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Hard time with chemo!

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

I had chemo 8 days ago, 3 hours of Taxol & 1 hour of Carboplatin. Doc said side effects would subside in 4 days but I'm still struggling with nausea and fatigue. I'm feeling guilty about this, like I should be feeling like my old self by now. Any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.

jodil
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 2017

Please don't feel guilty. I had my first chemo 11 days ago-taxol & carbo and just started feeling good yesterday. My nurse suggested fresh ginger tea for nausea and it did help. Soda crackers, plain rice,bananas help too. Smaller,more frequent meals.

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

It will get better but it does take some time...for me the day after was "Energizer Bunny" day thanks to the devil drug Decadron but then fatigue would hit about 36 hours after chemo and would be really bad days 2-4 and then ease up a bit but I was still fatigued for several days. The nausea would be bad for about 5 days (took the nausea meds round the clock...and metamucil!!!!!) and then would sort of hit or miss the next few days...

It will ease up...but for now rest and take your meds...I found small meals helped and thanks to the decadron I craved carbs but that seemed to help the nausea...

I found taking a quick nap in the afternoon (20 minutes) helped a lot to help me get through the rest of the day...

hang in there...it will get better!!!!!

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

I've decided to not be so hard on myself. Kisses!

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

We are Wonder Woman in that we can get through it but don't put too much on yourself by thinking "I should be over it"...it's your body and each body handles it all differently...

You go Wonder Woman! Nap...eat what sounds good...sip tea...rest up...make a cozy spot someplace for yourself (for me it was my recliner chair and a very soft blanket with a little table beside me).

you can do this! 

llhgrey
Posts: 18
Joined: Nov 2017

Make sure you are receiving an anti-nausea med via IV right before you get the taxol.  My doc prescribed Aloxi, which is a long-acting form of Zofran.  I have had two chemo’s so far, and I have not experienced nausea.

jodil
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 2017

are u raking the meds thru iv just with chemo or in pill form daily/as needed? I was taking the pills but contributed to constipation so no longer taking. 

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

Jodil...

Did you try metamucil or something like that? 

my pharmacologist suggested I take a class of water with metamucil or miralax each morning...I liked the metamucil because it tastes like Tang...

I took it every morning on the days I was on the anti-nausea pills...and for at least 2 days after...

I had zofran in my infusion and then took compozine and zofran in pill form after..I found that the zofran (Ondansetron) "plugged" me up more than the compozine (although I had to take both round the clock for 4-5 days post chemo).

I also found that if I didn't drink enough water it made me more constipated so I tried to drink a lot of water (I found that lemon or mint helped me drink more) or herbal tea helped me stay hydrated and "kept things moving"...

good luck sweetie...hope this helps...

jodil
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 2017

Yep, tried both metamucil and miralax to manage constipation. The mirilax was too much. Suffice it to say I was no longer constipated but had to be near a bathroom all day. I just feel like my body doesn't know what to do right now: I take medications that makes me constipated (chemo & anti nausea)) and then am using all these other things to unplug me-smoothe move tea,stool softeners, miralax. My chemo nurse suggested taking just 1 stool softener a day and d/c the tea,etc. Started doing that friday and i don't think it's going to be enough.   Am going to try using the metamucil daily and up my intake of water. Thanks for the suggestions. Back to work Tues! 

evolo58
Posts: 293
Joined: Dec 2017

Ditto on the water. I felt like I was going to slosh! I carried a bottle around wherever I went. I was told by my onco nurse to take Miralax twice a day. Stool softeners as well. Finally, I'm down to less than a full Miralax dose a day, so perhaps things will subside for others as well. I hope so, Feeling stopped-up is no fun.

I was also told that if the nausea was so bad that I had trouble functioning, that I could take an anti-nausea pill after the first three days, but PLEASE check that with your team.

Chemo affects all of us differently. (Right now, I'm dealing with chemo rash. Not painful or itchy ... just annoying.) Let us hope that we all can put this behind us soon and get on the road to actually feeling well for a long time!

jodil
Posts: 42
Joined: Nov 2017

cheers to that! 

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derMaus
Posts: 561
Joined: Nov 2016

Towards the end of radiation, nothing much relieved my nausea so I resorted to old-school OTC stuff: Pepto Bismol, Aka Seltzer and Emetrol. It actually helped. A regular (not diet) coke helped too; I got that idea from my mom's stories of taking cola syrup as a child. 

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

I need to pace myself. This is such an adjustment. I take zofran for nausea but I think I need something else or in addition to. Hugs and kisses to all you warriors out there!

 

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

See if your doctor will give you compozine as well as the zofran...I took both (one was every 8 hous and one every 6) for the first few days after chemo...after that I just would take one and only take the other if the first pill didn't work...I usually started with the compozine as it didn't "plug me up" as much as the zofran..I sort of learned how the nausea felt and which pill to take...and if you are getting radiation later it's good to have both on hand for that as well...

Avidreader
Posts: 4
Joined: Dec 2017

I was on Taxol and Carboplatin in 2015. I found that keeping a record of how I felt each day could help me know what to expect. I felt ok on the day after chemo so could plan things for that day. Days 3-7 were subject to bone pain, heartburn and other issues, so I knew to relax in bed. On day 8 I always felt great and could get out again. That said, Cherpear, how your body reacts could be different so listen to it, take it easy, and please stop feeling guilty. We must think that we should be able to shake it off. That's just not the way it is. 

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

Thanks, Avidreader.

pinky104
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

in 2010 when I had chemo, I had a prescription for a drug called Emend to prevent nausea, and I NEVER had any.  This year, my insurance (a different company) was going to charge me so much for the pills that my cancer center recommended I get Emend IV, which would go through part B of my Medicare.  I only had the IV on the day of chemo, where the pills were for 3 days around the start of my chemo, but that worked just as well.

As far as fatigue goes, mine just kept getting worse and worse until I was given transfusions of two units of packed red blood cells, as I'd refused the Neulasta shots.  When my cancer came back after a remission and I had different chemo which included Gemzar, I had to have my chemo doses lowered because my bone marrow couldn't handle chemo as well as it did the first time around.  My blood counts tanked pretty fast, which is expected with Gemzar, I understand.  Eventually, I had to have another two units of packed cells.  I still didn't have my blood counts return to normal after those, and they're probably still not quite back to normal, even though my chemo ended 9/20/17.  It just takes time to recover, although I feel much less fatigued and short of breath than I did prior to getting the blood.

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

Compazine and Emend ... I'll ask for those. My cancer support group is having a Christmas party tonight. Thanks for the great advice everyone. Love you all!

Sudy
Posts: 1
Joined: Dec 2017

I was very lucky to know an oncology nurse who told me about the medical drink Enterade for amino acids and electrolytes. Helped almost instantly for nausea and GI problems. Also cold mitts and socks prevented neuropathy. I hope this helps all. Also Benadryl (urination burned a little) and Pepcid were invaluable.

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

Been getting more electrolytes. Helps.

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

Just called my doc for Compazine, doc said it's only intravenous. Giving me phenergan instead!

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

I meant doc said Emend is intravenous.

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

It will make you sleepy (or it does for me)  but it definitely works!!!!! Hope it helps you!

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

Hi! I just picked up my phenergan today!

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

hope it helps!  

nothing is as miserable as nausea...

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

It's very helpful. And thank you, hon, for your advise. How are you? I'm doing much better. Next week I go for my second chemo. I'm more prepared this time. 

ckdgedmom's picture
ckdgedmom
Posts: 166
Joined: Oct 2017

glad the phenergan is helping...and yes you will be more prepared this next time...I learned more about what to do with each chemo session...even the things I packed in my bag...

I'm doing great sweetie thanks for asking...in a holding pattern until I get my PET on Jan 11...did hear my CA125 that was done on Monday was 13 so I will take it!

do you know if they are giving you a steroid (like decadron) when you get your chemo? They always gave me decadron (to help with symptoms) and zofran and pepcid before the chemo infusions...i think it helped a lot

pinky104
Posts: 574
Joined: Feb 2013

Emend comes in both pill form and IV.  I was going to have to pay an over $200 co-pay for 3 Emend treatments for the pills, so that's why I went with the IV which was free to me.  I later found out that if I had talked to a certain facilitator person downstairs in my Cancer Center where the chemo is given, rather than upstairs where I see the oncologist and other nurses, this person could've probably gotten my Emend pills given to me for free. If you get the IV form, it should be charged to Medicare under part B, assuming you're on Medicare.

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

Glad to hear you're doing so well. I believe I get steroids. I will ask about immunotherapy. Thanks, my friend.

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

Doc flat out said IV only. I beieve I've gotten my nausea under control (not gone). Thank you.

barnyardgal
Posts: 227
Joined: Oct 2017

I had trouble the first week with the nausea after my second treatment. Pepcid helped and so snacking on things like saltines or pretzels. For some reason I found that what really helped was something greasy like sausage or bacon. Just a piece really helped. I go for my third treatment on Wednesday and I will talk to the nurse about other ideas. But I'm on doxorubicon after having reactions to Taxol and nausea is common with this chemo.

Cherpear
Posts: 14
Joined: Dec 2017

xxxooo

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 1978
Joined: Nov 2009

Cherpear, be easy on yourself.   This is a new way of life.  You will go through many emotions.

With the nausea, also try popsicles.  It will keep you hydrated too.  Also ask your doctor if they can "tweak" your treatment.  Maybe lower your dose.  Especially if you have lost weight in the meantime.

My best to you.

Kathy

Northwoodsgirl
Posts: 560
Joined: Oct 2009

I am sorry you are suffering. Something you may want  to consider as a contributing factor to your nausea is your anxiety level. Anxiety can cause nausea or make it more severe. 

When I was having chemo I had IV Aloxi. At home I had prescription filled for Zofran sublingual ( dissolved under tongue) and oral Compazine. I also had a prescription for Lorazepam which is Valium for anxiety. I never did take any of the Valium but it was nice to have available. It would also help me sleep as our anxiety keeps us from a good nights sleep. Our brains affect how we perceive our physical well-being as we know. Lord knows if anyone has something to feel anxiety over it’s being told you have life threatening cancer! Anxiety also may cause us to respond to pain triggers differently as well. Anxiety affects our pain receptors differently.  I used guided imagery CDs to help ease the stressors both mental and physical during my treatments. Just some things to consider as you figure out what will work for you.  Nausea is misery! Take Care!  

 

evolo58
Posts: 293
Joined: Dec 2017

Some yoga positions can help as well, as well as deal with minor neuropathy symptoms.

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