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I start R-CHOP on Tuesday-any suggestions?

drjlm
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2016

I start R-CHOP on Tuesday, May 10-any suggestions? I have recently been diagnosed with Diffuse B Cell Lymphoma. Needless to say I am scared about the side effects of the treatments.  Any ideas for making it easier would be appreciated.

paella's picture
paella
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2012

My suggestions are pretty basic - DEFINITELY stay positive, drink lots of water (LOTS), move/walk/stand as much as you can and rest only when your body tells you to.  Keep strong (think of yourself as the biggest friggin' enemy your cancer has and that you WILL be kicking its butt.)  Take your anti-nausea meds and if you need a recipe for carrot/ginger soup, let me know.  (The ginger helps nausea and I have a really good, easy recipe; you need a blender).  Everybody is different, but with my around-500 hours of R-Epoch in 2011 (yours but with Etopiside thrown in) had few problems with nausea, actually few problems with any of it.  Don't know if R-CHOP makes you loose your hair - but if so, shave it after your first round of chemo, get some warm NON-SCRATCHY beanies for warmth and go proudly bald if you're not chilly that way.  PS, if you're a fella', the baldness will fit right in with any age group of guys but if you're a woman, as am I, it takes a pair to go bald very often.  I would be beanied up most of the time (it was winter and cold where I live) but the minute I was no longer cold, off came the beanie...most fun in a nice restaurant :-). 

You'll get lots of great advice here - visit often and let us know how you're doing.

Best - Paella

 

drjlm
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2016

Thank you for your words of encouragement.  Yes, I would love the carrot/ginger soup recipe.

Sal0101's picture
Sal0101
Posts: 136
Joined: Sep 2015

Welcome drjlm,

I finished R-Chop for DLBCL in January.  the one thing I was greatful for was that I never really got nauseous. I faithfully took the Zofran (anti-nausea Meds) for the first few days after treatment.  i was tired from the chemo and rested when my body told me to.  I also pushed myself to keep moving.  I worked the entire time, although was able to work from home which was nice because I avoided all the sick people in the office.  

I certainly did lose my hair.  Least of my worries! although I did find cute hats, and learned by trial and error which wig was the best.  

The prednisone takes some getting used to.  It makes you feel great the first few days and then the so called crash, which is basically tired and crabby.  Once you recognize it, It's easier to handle.  

Constipation is another side effect from the drugs.  Lots of water and miralax every night during the entire treatment kept that in check for me!

#1  stay positive, smile, laugh...It will be over before you know it.  

Sharon

 

 

john1947
Posts: 14
Joined: Nov 2015

I think the most important is let you caregiver know that you are not going to be the same person while getting treatment, predisone will change you, worry will change you, fatigue will change you....but the good news is you will return to the same person you were before treatment after the treatment stops.  My wife told me she lived with a stranger for 4 months and there were times she had to remember that my body was full of chemical's that changed my personallity.  I'm back to my normal charming self now and love her for what she had to go through.

 

paella's picture
paella
Posts: 81
Joined: Jun 2012

This is really good chilled, too!

 

Carrot-Ginger Soup (from Paella)

2 - 3 T butter

2 onions, peeled and chopped (they’re going to be blended, so rough chop is good.)
6 cups chicken broth (I use water and that Better than Bouillon product avail in groceries)
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced (2 – 3 inch pieces to save time…they’ll be blended)
3 – 5 t grated fresh ginger – This needs to be SUPER TEENY TINY CHOPPED (even tho it’ll get blended)
1 C 2% milk and 1 C ½ and ½   (or use fat free milk or all ½ and ½ ; whatever…adjust to taste and calories-desired.  Lactose free milk is OK, too. 

 

As for salt, the Better Than Bouillon product is salty so salt won’t be needed).

 

 

In a large soup pan, over medium high heat, melt butter, add onions and cook, stirring often, until onions are limp (8 to 10 minutes). Add ginger and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add broth and carrots.  Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (covered) until carrots are very tender when pierced.

 

Remove from heat and let cool down a bit.  Transfer to a blender in batches  - blend for what will seem like a long time, starting with the lowest speed and ending on the highest…hitting all the spots in between for 1 minute.  If you’re using a Ninja or the like, there will only be 3 settings…do 1 minute on setting 1, then 2 minutes on setting 2 and 2 minutes on setting 3.  Point is – it needs to be very well blended.

 

Don't fill the blender more than half way.  Be careful not to burn yourself if carrots are still hot…hot liquids can spurt out of the blender (a good idea is to hold a kitchen towel over the top of the blender with just 1 corner of blender slightly released.)

 

Empty each batch into the soup pan.  Add milk and/or creams as needed. 

 

WORKS MUCH BETTER WITH A BLENDER THAN WITH A FOOD PROCESSOR.

 

OO7's picture
OO7
Posts: 282
Joined: Sep 2014

Thank you for sharing!

I make one with no milk, can't wait to try yours!

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2015

I agree with all of the above. The most important is drinking water. The more you drink, especially on the day of chemo and a few days after, the quicker you flush the excess drugs out of your system.  My goal was 2 liters of water a day at least the first week. The rest of the time it was 1 - 2 liters each day. 

I did not get nauseous but I took the anti-nausea pills for at least 24 hours after chemo. Find what you will eat when you don't feel like eating. I also keep a case of nutritional drink in the frig. 

The other things is rest. I found taking a nap the day after I stopped the prednisone helped reduce the fatigue during the crash. If you wokr, tryin to keep working. If you don't work, get into some type of routine to keep you moving. that doesn't mean you can't have a day hear and there of bed rest. It just means the move you can stay active th better your mind is. Doing puzzles can help too. Good luck

Birder's picture
Birder
Posts: 29
Joined: Oct 2015

By now you've had your first?  They will get better. Everybody reacts and act differently.  It is a time for you to do two things, 1. Advocate for yourself. Prednisone made me pretty weird so I spoke to my Doc who said Dexamethasone is just as effective. The switch was perfect and treated me beautifully. 2. I think I assumed all side effects WOULD occur. Instead, some did not, but taking the meds to calm those side effects caused me troubles.  Work your way through it.  Remember, the side effects meds are not mandatory. Rather, they are at your discretion and only if you need them.  I'm about three months out from my final treatment. my body is coming back slowly. You'll get there, best wishes.

Max Former Hodg...
Posts: 3690
Joined: May 2012

Several of the folks were asking about you, Birder.

I glad that is sounds like you are doing well,

max

hopeful lady
Posts: 36
Joined: Apr 2016

Hello,

I have had two rounds of chemo thus far and I find the constipation is my worse symptom.  I am trying different avenues.  Seems like warm prune juice helps the other meds work better on it.  This may sound strange, but I use lollipops called Preggo Pops for pregnant women who are nauseous ( I am 60)!  They work like a charm.  If I am nauseous before getting up I have one ready beside my bed and I put it in my mouth for a little until I get up and the nausea goes away almost immediately..... no harsh meds.  I get them at Health Innovations Pharmacy.  I also have cut up lemon wedges and placed them in the freezer and sucked on them until the nausea dissappers.

 

Anyone with good suggestions about constipation, I would greatly appreciate it.  I use Sennocot, Colace, and Miralax the two day s before chemo and the entire week of and a few days after.  I am on a 21 day regimen. 

 

The best of luck to you.

Dianne

PS..... anyone taking Rituxin and have any bone pain?  What does it feel like?  I feel little glitches (not pain) in my joints and muscles of my back, knees, and calves.  Did any of you attribute that to faster Rituxin infusions?  They speeded mine up to less than 2 hours last chemo trx and I seemed to have more problems this time. 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2015

One of our favorite topics. I have IBS and constipation is normal for me. I usually took Senna 1 or 2 nights before chemo and then for about 4 days after. Then switched over to Miralx for a couple of days. I also really focused on drinking about 2 liters of water per day. I think water does more to help than anything. I also ate the Fiber One cookies and brownies. 

Rituxan has not caused very many problems for me. The biggest problem I always have is the Benadryl reaction, restless leg syndrome. I have to walk around for about 5 mins before it goes away. Then they start the Rituxan. I think it still takes about 3 hours for me. I have a Rituxan treatment tomorrow so I'll see how long it takes. (See if they speed it up.) What I have noticed the last 2 Rituxan treatments is that I didn't push the water like I did when I did chemo and my blood counts dip down 1 - 2 weeks later. 

hopeful lady
Posts: 36
Joined: Apr 2016

Thank you!  I am doing better but I think the prune juice is helping most. 

Hope your last trx went well..... let me know how fast they infused you! 

Dianne

 

Chris17's picture
Chris17
Posts: 175
Joined: Oct 2010

Are you taking the shots afterwards?, I took Claritin for the bone pain and it took the pain away, take Claritin the day before you start the injections, it makes a difference! Nuelasta/Nuepagin shots are what makes the bone pain, its forcing the cells out of your bones to help your immune system.

hopeful lady
Posts: 36
Joined: Apr 2016

I heard about the Neupogen shots... not there yet but hopefully soon.

I really can not totally describe what happens as it does not seem to last long.... it is more like a soreness than a pain.  It crackles through my bone, like when you put milk on  rice krispies.  It is fleeting, but can last a little longer sometimes.  My doctor is not concerned. 

I keep a journal about all the little things that happen though, just in case. 

Hope your PET Scan went well today... let us know! 

Dianne

drjlm
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2016

I have followed all of your suggestions (e.g. lots of water, work, carrot soup, etc.) and they have all made my adjustment to Chemo better. Thank you.

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 710
Joined: Mar 2015

Glad to hear that all of our tips and such helped. 

po18guy's picture
po18guy
Posts: 1216
Joined: Nov 2011

Mike, "natural remedies" "raw foods" "juicing" "sea cucumbers" "curcumin" you name it, they DO NOT WORK. Zero evidence. None. My dad made the mistake of trying it and died shortly thereafter. If you want to learn something useful, read "The Emperor of all Maladies" by Siddhatha Mukherjee.  

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