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1st Chemo

Mmpeterson
Posts: 124
Joined: Sep 2016

Yesterday was my first chemo infusion.  Port worked great still a little sore from it being put in Monday but it was only painful for a short second when the nurse put the needle in then taking it out.  My nurse was amazing.  I only received Carboplatin because my dr wanted to get a head start (I call them my little soldiers) only being just over 2 weeks out of surgery and at 49 I was young and healing so well, thank the Great Lord above!!!  She said on Nov 15 the Taxol will be added, she didn't want my body to go down hill this time since I am still healing up.  I tolerated it good and was eating all the 5 1/2 hr ride home.  I put lemon juice in my water during the day, sucked on ice chips and sugar free lemon drops during the infusion.  Woke up and took anti-nausea before getting out of bed and so far feeling good.  I used Biotene and a rinse my dietician gave me yesterday when I got home, so far (knock on wood) no mouth sores. 

No Neulesta patch until Nov, my dr said the Taxol will be the one that will make my hair fall out and I guess that one is the one that really will hit hard.  I have so many questions but I guess it depends on how my body wil react to both drugs.  I did get Claritin to use next time and I am eating all my organic/healthy foods so hopefully I can get a head start on any side effects.  Also taking a probiotic, B6, Iron, and D3 my onc nurse and dietician cleared me to use these. 

Any other suggestion or advice I would love to hear from you.  Thank you so much for the prayers and well wishes!  I pray everyday for all of us going through this journey together and heading for NED and the ladies who achived NED to stay that way for a long time.  Luv you all and many hugs!!!  Maryanne

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

I put lidocaine on my port and covered in in Serran wrap up to an hour before my labs were taken. It helped a bit with the sting of injectioN. I guess I'm unique. I never had the nulasta shot and my levels stayed fine. 

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1415
Joined: Oct 2015

I'm glad you're doing so well, Maryanne!  I like this approach with one chemo drug to start out - then, if you have a reaction, you know which drug it is.

It sounds like you've got your bases covered in heading off any of the bad side effects.

Love,

Eldri

MAbound
Posts: 1039
Joined: Jun 2016

You are looking marvelous, girlfriend!

Nellasing
Posts: 529
Joined: Oct 2016

Sounds like you did a GREAT JOB preparing and getting through your 1st treatment- you will find it much easier next time I think.

I also use the lidocaine on m port and cover with Serran wrap like Soup52- it helps so much!!!  I love my port- they can do everything with it and save your veins.

I had to do the neulasta from my 3rd treatment.  It doesn't hurt any more than being snapped with a rubberband.  I REALLY needed the claritin so glad you have it.

When you start the taxol they will start another set of drugs to keep you from having a reaction- that adds time.  I was usually in the treatment room for about 5 hours.  I watched a lady throw a fit one day because she hadn't taken into acct the added time from the other drugs.  Just wanted you to be prepared.

I thought of you as I got my IV therapy and first thing today.  Wishing you an easy day.  Thank you for letting us know how you did!  (((HUGS)))

MAbound
Posts: 1039
Joined: Jun 2016

I had taxol/carboplatin at the same time, so I can't remember which or if both are the culprit for mouth sores issues if they arise, but if that crops up for you another trick you can use is to dissolve 1 tsp. baking soda in 8 oz. of water and swish your mouth with it everytime you eat to neutralize any acids in the food you eat or in your saliva. It tastes a little salty, but it's not too bad. I was also advised to avoid acid and spicy foods like citrus, tomatoes, cranberries, and pepper and sharp foods like crackers and toast. There were points during chemo when the texture of the roof of my mouth changed to like it was going to slough off a layer during the week after side effects kicked in, but it never happened following that advice. After a couple of days it would go back to normal without any open sores and I knew then I was coming out on "the other side" of the side effects of the latest chemo infusion. 

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Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

Glad you made it through the first one in good shape.  I have,used Biotene from the very beginning and I have never had any mouth sores.  It sounds like you have done your homework and are well prepared.  I often lost my appelite after a few days and could not taste salt.  Watermelon cantaloupe, and fruit smoothies work well for,hydration, when you need a little extra.

Hgs and prayers, Lou Ann

Mmpeterson
Posts: 124
Joined: Sep 2016

I have a journal as of yesterday to keep up with what I do daily so I can see a pattern with my treatment.  I thought this would help to plan things around the "bad days, tired days".  Also keeping track of how much water I drink.  I think yesterday I had 160 ounces!!  Went to the bathroom couple times last night but slept pretty good except for a little sweating.  My Lexapro seems to help me sleep and keep most of the hot flashes under control.  I have disinfected the bathroom and kitchen before I left for Dallas and today washing my bedding in hot water.  I had my flu shot in the hospital so that worked out good and just trying to not touch my face and washing my hands a lot along with using purell hand santizer.  Maryanne

MAbound
Posts: 1039
Joined: Jun 2016

I'd like to suggest that you get a small package of Poise pads to wear at night for a day or two after each of your remaining infusions. Between all of the fluids you're drinking and the cummulative effects of the chemo drugs, you may find yourself waking from a sound sleep with urgency in the nights right after an infusion. Having a pad on will help you to not rush and potentially injure yourself trying to get to the bathroom in a hurry when you're still half asleep. I'm suggesting this from my own personal experience (I fell), but haven't really seen anybody else bring up that they had this kind of issue during chemo. Is it just me?

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 685
Joined: Apr 2011

Maryanne,  Glad you got through your first chemo.  As others have said the addition of the taxol may be the one that makes you lose your hair but it could also cause the body to hurt too.  It kinda feels like you worked out to hard or coming down with the flu.  What hurt most on me was about the 3rd day through day 7 that everything was just achy.  Oh yeah, the taste buds change too.  I did not get mouth sores and I really ate when ever I was hungry and ate what I thought I could handle.  Glad you talked with the dietian and they gave pointers.  The one thing I ate all the time before cancer was peanut butter and pinnapple jelly on toast.  I tried to eat that after chemo and it was one of the off days with dead taste buds, it was awful and made me so nauseous that to this day I cannot eat either one of them and even the smell of peanut butter makes me sick.  I hate that.  So my warning is wait to eat your favorite foods on day 18, 19 or 20 before the next chemo treatment.  It is so much easier with the port, you can also ask if the nurses can spray the area with cold numbing spray before they stick you.  Let us know how you are feeling and know that I am praying for you.  trish

 

SettledSue's picture
SettledSue
Posts: 55
Joined: May 2012

I'm glad you tolerated the Carboplatin well. The Taxol may present new challenges, but getting the infusions by port does make them easier. 

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Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

It's great to hear that the first infusion went well! I agree with everyone else on their recommendations. My onc nurses also advised that I stay away from raw foods (like salads, sushi, etc.) unless I was the one cleaning/preparing them. I guess it was because of the risk of germ contamination. They said that raw fruits with thick skins were fine to eat (after washing them well, of course) since the germs would be on the skins that are thrown away and not eaten. Hope that you continue to feel well and experience no bad side effects! Kim

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

to deal with the chemo and its side effects.  Hope that things continue to go well for you during / after the infusions.  I'm another one who never had the Neulasta shot but managed to keep my levels up during chemo.

I do echo being prepared for a much longer infusion when they add the taxol, if they haven't already told you that.

But so far, sounds like you're doing great!

Chris 

Mmpeterson
Posts: 124
Joined: Sep 2016

I saw on my appt that it will be about 5 hrs; carboplatin will be 30 min and taxol 4 hrs plus all the pre and post infustion meds I need to have.  I do have the lidocaine cream and they said to put that on 30 min before infusion to help numb the port site.  Saran wrap is a good idea that some of the ladies told me about so the cream doesn't rub off.  I also have printed out a Chemo Calendar (yes I am a type A personality, lol) which I am keeping notes on how my days go especially when they add the Taxol.  I do have a question:  how many of you went back to work while on chemo, I am hoping in Dec going back part time?  Maryanne

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Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

I went back to work right away.  I scheduled chemo for Wednesday.  Felt fine for Thursday and Friday.  Pain and side effects hit Friday night and by Monday I was feeling tired but good enough to go back.  I taught school for the,first two years that I was reacieving treatment.  I did have,much support from fellow.teachers and my kiddos were wonderfu.  They kept me going because I never had time to think about myself or the cancer word.

Lou Ann

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

I am self-employed but also work for someone else part-time.  I did do some work while I was on chemo.  My infusions were on Fridays, so my weekends were good, Monday and Tuesdays were usually low energy days, but the rest of the time I generally felt well enough to do some work.

txtrisha55's picture
txtrisha55
Posts: 685
Joined: Apr 2011

I had the surgery 8 April started chmo 6 May and another 21 days later.  Lost my hair 15 days after 1st chemo and went back to work on 6 June.  Worked the rest of the way through except I usually took off on the days I hurt but was back to full time in Sep. trish

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DrienneB
Posts: 186
Joined: Aug 2013

I work from home and could manage my own hours, so that was a great blessing. With that said I was on the tri-weekly treatment schedule, and worked all the way through chemotherapy (June-Sept.). I had an infusion every third Thursday, would lose that day (unless my treatment was scheduled for the afternoon/evening), would often do some work on Friday (but always had the Neulasta appointment, and sometimes had a low-grade fever), usually was down feeling miserable Saturday, and would also lie low on Sunday, often struggling with that severe constipation from anti-nauseau meds. Monday morning I'd be fine to work. My voice was supressed for a couple of days, but I could still talk on the phone.

The most gnarly times were the weekends of treatment, and there were also periods mid-cycle when the diarrhea would hit without warning. Otherwise, things were okay for me and work.

 

Mmpeterson
Posts: 124
Joined: Sep 2016

So far my treatments are scheduled for Tuesday but I am hoping the steroids will keep me going until Fri or the weekend.  I have treatment every 21 days so that helps because I can hopefully go to work for a full 2 weeks until my next treatment.  I work in a room with 2 other women and the next room has 3 with no door to close plus we have people coming in all the time.  I am hoping my boss will put me in an empty office while I have my treatments to isolate me from anyone who may have a cold or anything else. I look forward to going back when I am able to at least part time, depending on how my next treatment goes.  Maryanne

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Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

I also worked during frontline treatment. I have a desk job so it wasn't all that hard for me. Staying "quarantined" in an office is a good idea. Did you get a flu shot before you started treatments? I get one every year so when my oncology nurses advised that I could get one, I jumped at the chance. They always work great for me and I haven't been sick with the flu in years. Hope your next treatment goes well! Kim

rcdeman
Posts: 257
Joined: Aug 2016

Thanks for this post.

I've been reading through all the old posts about first chemo sessions in preparation for my mom's upcoming first chemo session this Monday 10/31/16 at 12:45 PM. They said it will take 4 hours. Is that time about right? Any last suggestions on how we should prepare? The doctor says she won't need a port and so she will be getting her chemo via an IV in her hand/arm, so I'm hoping there are no lasting repercussions with that.

So important stuff beforehand: Miralax, colace, senokot, extra layers of clothes during chemo, make sure to hydrate well before hand, and eat breakfast (any suggestions?)

Best,
Rebecca

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Lou Ann M
Posts: 996
Joined: Feb 2015

if a chemo nurse told you four hours it may be close, but if the oncologist said that add some time.  They never add on time for pre-meds and the time it takes to get the actually drug from the pharmacy.  I would have your mom bring along a book to read, a crossword puzzle, relaxing music, something to pass the time.  I like the adult color books or drawing.  If she will be getting a Nuelasta shot or patch taking Claritin will help with bone pain.

Hugs and prayers, Lou Ann

LindyLu
Posts: 72
Joined: Sep 2016

Congrats on making it through your first chemo treatment!  It sounds like you're doing everything right to help with the after effects.  Good for you!!

I just had my 2nd treatment (21 day cycle), taxol/carbo combination on Weds.  It took about 5 1/2 hours to do all the prep and both infusions.   For the first treatment, they had me go back the next day for my Nuelasta shot.  This time I was able to do the patch.  It's quite amazing how it worked.   For me, the weekend days following chemo are my downers starting on Friday.  I drink, drink, drink, get plenty of rest, and listen to my body as far as what to eat and when.  I do the baking soda/salt/water mouth wash every day and never had any mouth sores.  I find it also helps with "metal mouth."  

I am retired, so don't have to deal with the work issue.  I hope you're able to take the time off that you need, when you need it.   

Continued success in tolerating well your first treatment!   Cheers, ~LL  

 

 

sshhaarrii
Posts: 38
Joined: Oct 2016

Glad to hear your 1st treatment went well. I know it's very scary. And the drive you must make 5 1/2 hours, wow. I am very lucky, only 30 minuet drive for me. The same day I had my 1st round as well, carbo/taxol, granix the next 2 days. The infusion went well, just stressful, but they took care of me and I pretty much slept though most of it. The following days, upset tummy and very achy and painful from the waist down. As far as work goes, I'm not going back until my treatment is over. I'm getting weekly treatment and it's just too much. I have decided I come 1st this time. 

 

Mmpeterson
Posts: 124
Joined: Sep 2016

We do have a cancer center here in Odessa but since my oncologist is in Dallas and the cancer center there is absolutely wonderful I decided it was best to continue to go there and my soon to be husband does all the driving so I am very fortunate.  I am going to take my Claritin so hopefully it will help with any of the side effects from the Taxol, which my dr is adding to my treatment on Nov 15.  With the Carboplatin, I don't seem to have side effects besides getting a little more sleepy during the day.  I am a little nervous about the Taxol because I am told that drug is the one with more side effects but hopefully they won't be too bad.  Maryanne

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