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First time chemo?

Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2013

My mom starts chemo for the first time next week. It is a high does and she will go once a week for three weeks. The tumor on her liver has grown an inch in just 6 weeks. Can anyone help with what I should be prepared for? The only thing that I was told is that she will lose her hair about 3 days after the first treatment. Anything else would be great to know.




dthompson's picture
Posts: 149
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi Sandy,

Do you know what type of chemo she will be given? That will help with people being able to assist you with the expected effects. Be strong for your Mom and help her out as much as possible as I'm sure she is going to be very fatigued after her treatment. God Bless



VickiSam's picture
Posts: 9085
Joined: Aug 2009

Best of Luck to Mom ...

First of all, it is okay to be anxious of the unknown -- Please don't allow this
anxiety to get the best of you.  Remember to alert your Onco RN of any unusual
feelings etc .. a list of possible side efforts, which should be presented to
you before your first chemo infusion

It is so important to remain and continue hydration, water - water, and more
water.  Splash in a little lemonade, cranberry juice -- or prepackaged crystal
light, or Lipton Tea.  Herbal Tea's also work for a change of pace.

If you are getting the neulasta shot -- Please ask your Oncologist about taking
a benadryl -- or claritin -- which many of us === swear by -- as they help alleviate that
'just run over by a truck' aches and pains - some of us experience from the
neulasta shot.

Ask for prescriptions for nausea and vomiting -- as well as diarrhea.

Plastic silverware is a must ---
biotin toothpaste and mouthwash is a daily essential
(available at most Target's or Walmart's)

Food is subjective -- depending on your personal needs and taste buds .. What
taste good or was tolerable 1 week -- changed for me, the very next.

I could not tolerate any foods with sugar, i.e. ketchup, or cola's.

Whole grains, potatoes, and fruits sit better with most folks compared to meat, fat, and spicy dishes.

Small custards (like egg custard, corn custard, pumpkin pie custard) might go down easily and provide
protein and needed calories. The old fashioned kind of oatmeal tastes a whole lot better than the instant kind,

but that depends if you have the time and energy to make it. If you have a small freezer and a microwave, you

can quickly heat up some macaroni and cheese or other pasta dish and eat before the smell
gets to you.

To help prevent mouth sores -- suck on ice chips during all chemo treatments.

Rest when you can, as some chemo queens have bouts of insomnia ---

Take goodies to entertain yourself during your infusions -- games, books,
friend, a snack, IPOD, laptop ...

Strength, Courage and Hope.

Vicki Sam 

SIROD's picture
Posts: 2199
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Sandy,

I had chemotherapy in 1994/95 and then went on hormonal drug therapies for 18 years.  I ran out of options for now on hormonal drug therapies, so I had to do chemo to confuse those malignant cells into dying.

I began Taxol on February 27, 4 weeks on - 2 weeks off.  I did loose my hair though I didn't the first time around.  Get a few turbans or hats for your mom when this happens.  I didn't shave my hair off, which I am immensely sorry. I had thick hair and it took over 2 1/2 weeks to loose it all.  I still have some very fine hair left not much and am anxious for it to go, I am sick of the lint roller in cleaning my clothes, hat and the sink.

Though anti nausea drugs don't usually work for me, this time they are.  I had a few experience with nausea and vomiting.  My blood values dropped especially my WBC so I had to give up my job (work in a high school).  My RBC did a dive too, so FATIGUE was a big deal for me.  I just start cycle 2 and will be scan on the 2nd week I am off to see how things are working out.

Wishing your mother the best and you too.


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