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day two after chemo...hydrating, and a question

LindyLu
Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2016

Two days out of chemo and I'm doing quite well.  As many of you previously advised,  keeping well hydrated is a key component in getting through all these tests and treatments.  It's really working for me!  So, it's official, I'm a drinker!!  I have water or juice with me at all times.  My favorite chemo cocktail is half water, half diet cranberry juice.   I think I need one of those beer hats with the straws.  It would cover my soon-to-be bare head and hydrate at the same time!  LOL  I guess I would blend right in during football season.

A question: Well-meaning family and friends are calling and asking me how I feel.  How do you answer, do they really want to know?  And unless you've been through it, I don't know if I could explain it to them anyway.  The only words I can come up for me so far are "weird," "emotional,"  and "tired."  I also have a hard time when I meet someone I haven't seen in a while before this cancer journey started, and they of course ask. "How are you?  What've you been up to? How'd your summer go?"  I quickly say I'm good and then change the subject.  Just wondering if anyone else is having a hard time with this?

Thanks to all you courageous women for sharing your journeys.  Your support and love are so uplifting!

~LL 

DrienneB's picture
DrienneB
Posts: 183
Joined: Aug 2013

Hi Lindy,

Yes, communicating your ever-changing experience can be draining, and any way you might reply to inquiries is the right way!! It's also okay to elect someone else to do the talking for you. People will naturally want to convey their care and concern for you and will do it in any number of ways. I always liked it when people just asked "what can I do?" I also loved cards. Well, come to think of it, there were lots of responses to my illness that made me feel loved. For those who have not yet heard the difficult news, it is hard to decide when and how to tell them about the cancer. Maybe you don't feel like talking about it or answering a lot of questions and that's okay too! It is the same with any bad news. I just had this experience when my father died a couple of months ago.

Drinking fluids became another daily job. I bought a glass bottle at The Container Store that held 48 ounces and made sure I emptied that bottle twice every day. I also ordered gigantic straws online.

Take care of yourself and do whatever you need to for your self!-jane

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 676
Joined: Jan 2016

Yes, it is weird to explain how you feel. And as far as explaining to people you don't see often. It depended with me how I handled it. Sometimes I told people about the cancer and other times I didn't. My wig is so good that people often don't detect that it's a wig, so it's not obvious. Now I sometimes go out without it, so then people know. After my scan came back clear after first line treatment, one of my friends who lives farther away posted congratulations on the good news on Facebook.( she didn't say anything about cancer) a lot of my friends who already knew joined in. Finally someone who didn't know asked what the good news was and I replied on Facebook. Well my friend felt terrible. She didn't mean to publicize it. I said don't worry it didn't bother me and my cancer is no secret, but there is just no easy way to let other people you don't see all the time. She actually did me a favor. We can all use all the kind words from our friends and family:) This is a journey and we are all here for you!

Lou Ann M's picture
Lou Ann M
Posts: 987
Joined: Feb 2015

Answering questions and telling those who don't know can be hard indeed.  It kind of depended on who was asking as to how much I told people.  Since I love to talk and found it to be kind of theraputic, I,was,usually pretty open with must people as to what was going on.  If treatment wasn't going very well I would usually say that I was surviving.  If it was someone who was just Being social, I would just say I was fine.  After four years, I still occasionally run into someone who has no idea and sometimes that is awkward.  I think I also like best,when people just ask what they can do.   Even though we all seem to like being independent and don't want to admit we may need a little help, an offer of help is generous and is ok to except.  It also makes the other person feel good.

at the very beginning i ask several good freinds to put me on their church's prayer chains.  I do occasionally put updates on Facebook.

hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 1950
Joined: Mar 2013

I'm with you Lou Ann. I was pretty open with anyone who asked - I saw it as way to talk about these 'below the belt' cancers to people who wouldn't normally ask and may not know anyone with one of ours.  I told them they could ask me anything they wanted too.  

Be cautious around day 3-4, with the chemo the first that is when it hit me.  I think it was because my body said, "what is this?!"  The body and joint aches were never that bad on subsequent chemos.  I don't say that to scare you  - you keep doing what you are doing girl!  LindyLu - you are going to do this!

MAbound
Posts: 495
Joined: Jun 2016

But since NoTime brought it up, I'll 2nd what she said. All through treatments the side effects didn't hit me until the 3rd or 4th day after the infusion. Chemo days were always the easy part. It would start with things seeming a little off balance with increasing fatigue and progressed to the other issues that vary from person to person. Be sure to call your chemo nurses with anything you have a hard time with right away because they can help you cope with them and will tell your oncologist who can make adjustments to your drugs or how they are given for future treatments to get you through this. Don't think you have to soldier through any suffering. And drink, drink, drink, but think twice about acidic drinks like cranberry juice because they can exacerbate any heartburn or mucocitis side effects.  Be gentle with your digestive system because the chemo really does a number on it.

So far my husband has been doing all of the talking to friends and family for me. It's therapeutic for him and lets me think about things other than what I'm fighting when I don't have to. He has so been my hero! 

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1045
Joined: Oct 2015

I'm glad you're feeling pretty good.  I drank glasses and glasses of ice water through a straw.  It seems it was easier to drink if it was through a straw.  I still have to drink a lot of water or I get bad muscle cramps.  My oncologist's PA just told me she tells her patients to drink half their weight in ounces every day.  I don't know if I can drink that much - LOL - but I try keep hydrated because those muscle cramps hurt like a son-of-a-gun.

When people asked how I was doing, I usually just smiled and said fine.  With my good friends, they knew I was not so fine and thankfully brought me soup, family meals, etc.  I was overwhelmed by all the friends I have.  Made me feel very humble and grateful.  (((LindyLu)))

Love,

Eldri

janaes
Posts: 509
Joined: May 2016

I was very open with my family esspeciallly at first.  They knew right when i found out.  I knew i would need there help so i told them a lot.  Friends it took me longer to tell, esecially the ones who i didnt know as well.  I eventually told my neighbors and i was glad.  At one point I told them to not be surrised if i come outside bald.  I havent done it yet mostly now because its getting colder.  Im sure it has to do with me feeling a bit uncomfortable too.  I go bald all the time in my house.  The telling people is a hard thing to figure out but i have confidence that you will figure out what is best for you.  Be patient with your self and as other have told me, trust your gut. You will do great!!!!

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 625
Joined: Apr 2011

In Texas in 2011 during May to Sep it was HOT over 100 almost every day that year.  I had no problem going bald to work or out in public . That is just me. I know it can be hard for some losing their hair. I had alot of people stop and stare, some said I recognize that hair cut then asked what kind of cancer l had and what stage I was at in my journey. I would talk to anyone that asked. Good luck and I will be praying for you and all the ladies.

The hardest days for me was also 3-5 but I managed. The joint pain was the hardest to get through.trish

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

Like the other ladies, I found several days out was when the effects hit me.  Water water water and more water helped me.  I lived on watermelon and cool whip. This is my last chemo and the illness started on the same day and I have felt worse this time than any other infusion.  BUT this is the last one so I can handle it.  

I don't know why, but other than close family and select few friends, I have spoken to no one about the disease.  I have sort of dropped out of circulation.  Not interested in a lot of gushing and platitudes.  Gosh I sound hard, but I am not.  Just the way it felt more comfortable.  

MAbound
Posts: 495
Joined: Jun 2016

I forgot about how good watermelon tasted when nothing else did and how it helped to tame the heartburn beast when it reared its ugly head. It's got to be in season somewhere so you can try it if the need arises! 

I so get what you're saying about dropping out of circulation Patti. My white counts always tanked until just before the next cycle, so I even avoided church and grocery shopping and I've never been one for gabbing on the phone and reliving the details over and over again.  I've been a real houseplant except for dr. appts. and testing. Last night was my first outing with my husband, who also doesn't like me to drive alone still, to the grocery store. It was as much as my feet could take as the neuropathy still persists.

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 676
Joined: Jan 2016

I agree with no time as far as chemo affects were worst after the first chemo, body aches and extreme pain in my knees. Yes, days 3 -4 were when it hits. Subsequent chemos weren't as bad though towards the end it took me a little longer to recover. You can do this:)

LindyLu
Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2016

Thanks so much to all of you for your words of encouragement and wisdom!  I will heed your advice, for sure.  I'll just go with my gut about letting people know about what I've been doing the last couple of months.  In the fall I usually sing in a choral group and get involved in our local theater winter production.  Guess all that's put on hold for another time, which is a bummer.  I'll do my best to take one day at a time and take joy in the little things.  Love to you all, LL

beccabtown's picture
beccabtown
Posts: 234
Joined: May 2016

How are you feeling today, LL?

LindyLu
Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2016

Five days out and doing quite well.  A few little "niggles" but nothing too bad.  I went to church yesterday, then came home for a long nap!  I try to take a walk every day which helps.   Thanks for asking...LL

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 1950
Joined: Mar 2013

SOOOOOOOOO Happy for you!

MAbound
Posts: 495
Joined: Jun 2016

That bodes really well for future treatments, because the first seems to be the most intense even though the duration of symptoms seems to last longer with each successive treatment because they are cumulative. Way to go!!

Editgrl's picture
Editgrl
Posts: 903
Joined: Jun 2015

Good to hear that you are doing well!

 

rcdeman
Posts: 217
Joined: Aug 2016

So great to hear this! Hope for your continued wellness throughout all of this!

janaes
Posts: 509
Joined: May 2016

Yea, with hope that all your treatments will be the same.

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

I am so glad and like Janaes, I hope all your others will be as easy as this one!  

LindyLu
Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2016

thanks for everyone's good wishes!   Tired, but doing a-okay.  ~LL

Nellasing
Posts: 528
Joined: Oct 2016

really good news- thinking of you!

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