Chemo and the sun

Feelingalone74
Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243

Hi all, I was just wondering if when having chemo therapy do u need to avoid the sun? My appt to find out when I will begin therapy is next week and I'm sure they'll let me know but thought I'd ask here too. It's hot where I live and I'm anxious for  when I feel well enough what my limitations are going to be.

Thank you 

«13

Comments

  • Jairoldi
    Jairoldi Member Posts: 221
    I had a reaction in the sun

    Hi Feelingalone74,

    I can't recall if I was told to avoid the sun but I became sun-sensitive during chemo.  One day, after being in the sun a bit, I broke out in a rash.  The doc asked me lots of quesitons- had I tried any new lotions, etc.  He said if my skin wasn't healed he would need to postpone treatment.  It didn't take me long to realize it was the sun.  From then on I kept to the shade, put up a gazebo in the yard, wore hats and some lightweight UPV arm covers.  I also got a white flouncy type cover/top to slip on when I was going outside.  It was a bit annoying but not terribly bad.

    Like everything else chemo-related some things come up for some and not for others.  This, along with bone pain about 3-4 days after chemo, and losing my hair, were my bodies reaction to chemo.

  • Feelingalone74
    Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243
    Jairoldi said:

    I had a reaction in the sun

    Hi Feelingalone74,

    I can't recall if I was told to avoid the sun but I became sun-sensitive during chemo.  One day, after being in the sun a bit, I broke out in a rash.  The doc asked me lots of quesitons- had I tried any new lotions, etc.  He said if my skin wasn't healed he would need to postpone treatment.  It didn't take me long to realize it was the sun.  From then on I kept to the shade, put up a gazebo in the yard, wore hats and some lightweight UPV arm covers.  I also got a white flouncy type cover/top to slip on when I was going outside.  It was a bit annoying but not terribly bad.

    Like everything else chemo-related some things come up for some and not for others.  This, along with bone pain about 3-4 days after chemo, and losing my hair, were my bodies reaction to chemo.

    Ok thanks for the

    Ok thanks for the replyJairoldi. I will definitely play it safe and avoid it as much as possible and cover up well when I have to be out. It's going to be so hard being it's summer but I definitely will do what is needed.

    I'm so nervous about treatment starting in 1 week and how my body will react. It will be so hard to surrender myself to chemo treatment as right now I feel perfectly fine. But I know I have to find strength to get through it

    Do u mind me asking what do they do if one gets bone pain? Does it last long?

     

  • cmb
    cmb Member Posts: 886 Member
    Bone Pain & Sun

    See the discussion at https://csn.cancer.org/node/314595 for information about bone pain and what worked (or didn't) for some people.

    I was told by the oncologist to avoid the sun while having chemo. Not a problem for me since I don't actually like to be directly in the sun. Plus most of my treatments were in the winter and spring when I was less likely to be outside for any length of time anyway.

  • Fridays Child
    Fridays Child Member Posts: 250 Member

    Ok thanks for the

    Ok thanks for the replyJairoldi. I will definitely play it safe and avoid it as much as possible and cover up well when I have to be out. It's going to be so hard being it's summer but I definitely will do what is needed.

    I'm so nervous about treatment starting in 1 week and how my body will react. It will be so hard to surrender myself to chemo treatment as right now I feel perfectly fine. But I know I have to find strength to get through it

    Do u mind me asking what do they do if one gets bone pain? Does it last long?

     

    Sunscreen

    Feelingalone, they did tell me to use sunscreen whenever I went outside.  Covering up is good, too. 

    For the bone pain, often they recommend Claritin.  I've heard of people using Allegra.  You might ask them if there are any antihistamines you should not use, and then choose what works well for you - if you have it, which you may not.  Benadryl worked for me. Some people get bone pain from the chemo and some get it from the Neulasta/neupogen/or whatever if you have that to keep your blood counts up. Some don't have any bone pain.  My experience was that the bone pain seemed to concentrate itself in places where I'd had prior injuries, even though it had been decades since I'd broken a bone! Hot packs helped me, but the weather was cold then.  I'm not sure I'd want or need them in the summer!

    You are strong and you can do this!

     

     

  • LisaPizza
    LisaPizza Member Posts: 348 Member
    I always try to avoid the sun

    I always try to avoid the sun anyway because I burn,  but I don't think chemo caused me any particular sun sensitivity, nor dryness, which is another thing you will hear a lot.

  • Feelingalone74
    Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243

    Sunscreen

    Feelingalone, they did tell me to use sunscreen whenever I went outside.  Covering up is good, too. 

    For the bone pain, often they recommend Claritin.  I've heard of people using Allegra.  You might ask them if there are any antihistamines you should not use, and then choose what works well for you - if you have it, which you may not.  Benadryl worked for me. Some people get bone pain from the chemo and some get it from the Neulasta/neupogen/or whatever if you have that to keep your blood counts up. Some don't have any bone pain.  My experience was that the bone pain seemed to concentrate itself in places where I'd had prior injuries, even though it had been decades since I'd broken a bone! Hot packs helped me, but the weather was cold then.  I'm not sure I'd want or need them in the summer!

    You are strong and you can do this!

     

     

    Thanks Fridays Child for your

    Thanks Fridays Child for your encouragement and recommendations. I'm hoping I can stay stronger than I anticipate.

    I too wear sunscreen whenever I got outside. Sounds like I definitely will need to limit myself being it's hot summer weather right now. Hating to think I will be house bound when feeling well enough. My backyard is full sun and certainly will miss my pool in this hot weather. 

    Thanks for the info on bone pain.  Hoping I dont get it but certainly will take your suggestions should I.

    Wishing u good health

  • Feelingalone74
    Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243
    cmb said:

    Bone Pain & Sun

    See the discussion at https://csn.cancer.org/node/314595 for information about bone pain and what worked (or didn't) for some people.

    I was told by the oncologist to avoid the sun while having chemo. Not a problem for me since I don't actually like to be directly in the sun. Plus most of my treatments were in the winter and spring when I was less likely to be outside for any length of time anyway.

    Thabk you CMB, I will check

    Thabk you CMB, I will check out that discussion.

    Wishing you good health

  • Feelingalone74
    Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243
    LisaPizza said:

    I always try to avoid the sun

    I always try to avoid the sun anyway because I burn,  but I don't think chemo caused me any particular sun sensitivity, nor dryness, which is another thing you will hear a lot.

    Ok, thanks Lisapizza.

    Ok, thanks Lisapizza.

    I hear everyone body and skin react differently.  Anxious about what treatment will do to me.

    Wishing you good health

  • Fridays Child
    Fridays Child Member Posts: 250 Member
    "Decadron glow" is not sunburn!

    Just remembered something, Feelingalone.  A day or so after chemo you may have the "decadron glow" in which your face turns red and hot and feels like it's sunburned.  It will go away after a day or so.  I found 100% aloe gel to help with that.

  • MAbound
    MAbound Member Posts: 1,164 Member
    Sun

    I don't remember being told to avoid the sun when I was getting Taxol, but I do remember that I was with Taxotere and they are in the same family of platinum based drugs. It's probably best to be a houseplant as much as you can this summer to be on the safe side. I went through chemo in the summer, too, but staying inside didn't bother me much because I really didn't feel up to my normal routine anyway. Just give yourself permission to focus on getting yourself through this by getting lots of rest and drinking lots and lots of water to flush the drugs and deal with the constipation. Everything else can wait till later or someone else can do it. 

  • BluebirdOne
    BluebirdOne Member Posts: 552 Member

    Ok, thanks Lisapizza.

    Ok, thanks Lisapizza.

    I hear everyone body and skin react differently.  Anxious about what treatment will do to me.

    Wishing you good health

    For me the physical discomforts

    were tough, but doable. Absolutely doable, but challenging. Nine months post chemo I am feeling pretty good. The psychological aspects have been much harder. Which surprised me, as I believe not enough emphasis or education is put on the longer term survival or shorter term non survival aspect of our cancer. So much is written about nausea, but not enough about   dealing emotionally with ourselves, our families, busy bodies, and those whom I really avoid, the “think positive” club. I find that they try to deny you the ability to accept your diagnosis for what it really is and think the cure is simply positive thinking. You will go through the chemo and/or radiation and be amazed at your physical ability to bounce back, but the every day emotional aspect can be much more challenging. Prepare yourself for that. I also have a son and daughter in law who never want to hear anything negative. Their attitude means I am affronted with family who never want to face the possibility I will die from this cancer. No discussion of what may be is allowed. So no deep discussion of feelings, long buried slights, or the absolute terror of dying from this cancer is allowed. That is almost worse than having no family at all. Almost to the day my one year anniversary of my diagnosis is here, I am at peace with what may come, I really live in the moment and am NED. I wish you much success in your treatment and hope the emotional aspects work for you as well. 

     

    Denise

  • TeddyandBears_Mom
    TeddyandBears_Mom Member Posts: 1,811 Member
    edited July 2019 #13

    For me the physical discomforts

    were tough, but doable. Absolutely doable, but challenging. Nine months post chemo I am feeling pretty good. The psychological aspects have been much harder. Which surprised me, as I believe not enough emphasis or education is put on the longer term survival or shorter term non survival aspect of our cancer. So much is written about nausea, but not enough about   dealing emotionally with ourselves, our families, busy bodies, and those whom I really avoid, the “think positive” club. I find that they try to deny you the ability to accept your diagnosis for what it really is and think the cure is simply positive thinking. You will go through the chemo and/or radiation and be amazed at your physical ability to bounce back, but the every day emotional aspect can be much more challenging. Prepare yourself for that. I also have a son and daughter in law who never want to hear anything negative. Their attitude means I am affronted with family who never want to face the possibility I will die from this cancer. No discussion of what may be is allowed. So no deep discussion of feelings, long buried slights, or the absolute terror of dying from this cancer is allowed. That is almost worse than having no family at all. Almost to the day my one year anniversary of my diagnosis is here, I am at peace with what may come, I really live in the moment and am NED. I wish you much success in your treatment and hope the emotional aspects work for you as well. 

     

    Denise

    Denise,

    Denise,

    I think many of our family members just can't face the what could happen possibilities. And, they can't really understand what we go through. No one can that hasn't been through it. This board is such a gift for us. We all get it. And, the support and ability to come here for just about everything helps close that supportive gap.

    You are right, this is a subject not really discussed enough. It does get better over time. I think we come to a point where we do learn to live each day and put the what if in a box for the future - to be dealt with only if needed. At least that's how it is for me now. That doesn't mean that thoughts don't drift in and out from time to time. But, mostly I live with the possibility of a long life in mind.

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

  • BluebirdOne
    BluebirdOne Member Posts: 552 Member

    Denise,

    Denise,

    I think many of our family members just can't face the what could happen possibilities. And, they can't really understand what we go through. No one can that hasn't been through it. This board is such a gift for us. We all get it. And, the support and ability to come here for just about everything helps close that supportive gap.

    You are right, this is a subject not really discussed enough. It does get better over time. I think we come to a point where we do learn to live each day and put the what if in a box for the future - to be dealt with only if needed. At least that's how it is for me now. That doesn't mean that thoughts don't drift in and out from time to time. But, mostly I live with the possibility of a long life in mind.

    Love and Hugs,

    Cindi

    Cindi, you are so right!

    With  three kids I have the full spectrum. One is totally able to accept what is going on, allows me to talk about everything and is very supportive. My son's approach is how he approaches his life, no negatives allowed, changes the subject whenever there is something the least bit unpleasant happening, is not really very supportive about my situation because I think he is just thinking it will go away if we don't talk about it. My youngest daughter is a mix of the two, she will listen but she prefers not to talk much about anything regarding the cancer. Luckily, my husband is terrific and the friends I have chosen to tell are also incredibly supportive. I have a sisterin-law who I have had to hold at arm's length because of her emotional reaction to me, plus her mother and best friend recently passed away from cancer. After the first months of surgery, treatment and recovery, I eventually settled down emotionally, and now I do the same as you. I put it into a box that I don't open as much anymore and go on with living. I am so thankful to have this board and the many supportive women as well as the informative topics and experiences that help to understand what is happening and options. I am having a bit of mild PTSD at the moment as I was diagnosed exactly one year ago, so the weather and summer season is triggering for me. This is a surprise as I would not have guessed I would be having these feelings. My ability to handle stress has also decreased in the past few weeks, different feeling than the scan anxiety that I had in May. So for me the emotional aspect has been much more difficult because the ability to cope comes and goes. Thanks for the response.

    Denise 

  • LisaPizza
    LisaPizza Member Posts: 348 Member

    "Decadron glow" is not sunburn!

    Just remembered something, Feelingalone.  A day or so after chemo you may have the "decadron glow" in which your face turns red and hot and feels like it's sunburned.  It will go away after a day or so.  I found 100% aloe gel to help with that.

    Interesting, I never heard of

    Interesting, I never heard of that one.

  • jan9wils
    jan9wils Member Posts: 179 Member
    I stay out of the direct sun

    I stay out of the direct sun as much as possible. I wear big floppy hats when walking the dog or working in my garden. I swim early in the morning before the sun is high in the sky or in the eveneing. I love swimming because the water supports me but I still feel like I am getting good exercize. It also helps me calm my mind. Both times I had chemo and when I had radiation I was advised to avoid the sun. I'm on a trial immunotherapy drug now and was not cautioned about the sun but still avoid it during the peak times.

  • Feelingalone74
    Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243

    For me the physical discomforts

    were tough, but doable. Absolutely doable, but challenging. Nine months post chemo I am feeling pretty good. The psychological aspects have been much harder. Which surprised me, as I believe not enough emphasis or education is put on the longer term survival or shorter term non survival aspect of our cancer. So much is written about nausea, but not enough about   dealing emotionally with ourselves, our families, busy bodies, and those whom I really avoid, the “think positive” club. I find that they try to deny you the ability to accept your diagnosis for what it really is and think the cure is simply positive thinking. You will go through the chemo and/or radiation and be amazed at your physical ability to bounce back, but the every day emotional aspect can be much more challenging. Prepare yourself for that. I also have a son and daughter in law who never want to hear anything negative. Their attitude means I am affronted with family who never want to face the possibility I will die from this cancer. No discussion of what may be is allowed. So no deep discussion of feelings, long buried slights, or the absolute terror of dying from this cancer is allowed. That is almost worse than having no family at all. Almost to the day my one year anniversary of my diagnosis is here, I am at peace with what may come, I really live in the moment and am NED. I wish you much success in your treatment and hope the emotional aspects work for you as well. 

     

    Denise

    Denise,  I'm so glad to hear

    Denise,  I'm so glad to hear that 9 months post-chemo that you're feeling pretty good! Most keep telling me the same as you that chemo is doable.. .so thankful for that and hope it holds true for me! My 1st treatment will likely begin next week.But I agree the emotional aspect is very difficult along with the uncertainties and what its. Everything does seemed to be placed on the physical role and little on  emotional roller coaster. I'm hoping physically I can get through the chemo but it's the emotional ride that I'm worried about. I know I'm going to have a very difficult time with losing my hair not looking like myself anymore  and as u said dealing with the absolute terror of dying. I know staying positive is key and tucking stuff in the other box when possible is a must but easier said than done. I too wish their was more support for the emotional challenges this poses.  It sounds like you've surrounded yourself with a good circle of support and don't let in those that might not be that helpful. I hope to do the same. I do think that it's so much harder for us going through all of this. As much as those supporting us want to cheer us on make sure we can't begin to understand what it's like emotionally.I did meet with a social worker at the center I'm going to but felt like she was more just there to listen and not offer support and guidance. . They also have a psychiatrist there that I may consider seeing to help me find strength emotionally.  

    I'm so glad to hear that nine months out that you're at peace and  NEDI!!

    You got this girl!

    Thanks for your kind words and encouragement! 

    Michelle 

     

  • Feelingalone74
    Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243

    "Decadron glow" is not sunburn!

    Just remembered something, Feelingalone.  A day or so after chemo you may have the "decadron glow" in which your face turns red and hot and feels like it's sunburned.  It will go away after a day or so.  I found 100% aloe gel to help with that.

    Good to know in advance

    Good to know in advance Fridayschild

  • Feelingalone74
    Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243
    MAbound said:

    Sun

    I don't remember being told to avoid the sun when I was getting Taxol, but I do remember that I was with Taxotere and they are in the same family of platinum based drugs. It's probably best to be a houseplant as much as you can this summer to be on the safe side. I went through chemo in the summer, too, but staying inside didn't bother me much because I really didn't feel up to my normal routine anyway. Just give yourself permission to focus on getting yourself through this by getting lots of rest and drinking lots and lots of water to flush the drugs and deal with the constipation. Everything else can wait till later or someone else can do it. 

    MABOUND, I think I will play

    MABOUND, I think I will play it safe and avoid the sun as much as possible.  The last 2 weeks I've stopped going in our pool and stayed in as much as possible just to get myself in a new routine so it doesn't get to  me all at once. This is hard as summer is my favorite season but not sure what else to do to prepare myself emotionally for the lifestyle changes that are coming  

    Thank you for the suggestions! I've heard flushing the drugs is key. I'm a constant water drinker so hoping that part at least is a lil easier.

    Michelle 

  • Feelingalone74
    Feelingalone74 Member Posts: 243
    jan9wils said:

    I stay out of the direct sun

    I stay out of the direct sun as much as possible. I wear big floppy hats when walking the dog or working in my garden. I swim early in the morning before the sun is high in the sky or in the eveneing. I love swimming because the water supports me but I still feel like I am getting good exercize. It also helps me calm my mind. Both times I had chemo and when I had radiation I was advised to avoid the sun. I'm on a trial immunotherapy drug now and was not cautioned about the sun but still avoid it during the peak times.

    Thanks Jan9wils , I intend to

    Thanks Jan9wils , I intend to get a big floppy hat for when I have to be outside or going on my long walks but will try to do it on the no peak hours .

    Best wishes on your trial immunotherapy drug!

  • BluebirdOne
    BluebirdOne Member Posts: 552 Member

    Denise,  I'm so glad to hear

    Denise,  I'm so glad to hear that 9 months post-chemo that you're feeling pretty good! Most keep telling me the same as you that chemo is doable.. .so thankful for that and hope it holds true for me! My 1st treatment will likely begin next week.But I agree the emotional aspect is very difficult along with the uncertainties and what its. Everything does seemed to be placed on the physical role and little on  emotional roller coaster. I'm hoping physically I can get through the chemo but it's the emotional ride that I'm worried about. I know I'm going to have a very difficult time with losing my hair not looking like myself anymore  and as u said dealing with the absolute terror of dying. I know staying positive is key and tucking stuff in the other box when possible is a must but easier said than done. I too wish their was more support for the emotional challenges this poses.  It sounds like you've surrounded yourself with a good circle of support and don't let in those that might not be that helpful. I hope to do the same. I do think that it's so much harder for us going through all of this. As much as those supporting us want to cheer us on make sure we can't begin to understand what it's like emotionally.I did meet with a social worker at the center I'm going to but felt like she was more just there to listen and not offer support and guidance. . They also have a psychiatrist there that I may consider seeing to help me find strength emotionally.  

    I'm so glad to hear that nine months out that you're at peace and  NEDI!!

    You got this girl!

    Thanks for your kind words and encouragement! 

    Michelle 

     

    Thanks, Michelle

    In this order the effects of being diagnosed for me are: 1. Emotional distress, depression, etc. 2. Hair loss (see #1) 3. Chemo side effects 4. Surgery 5. Radiation 

    Obviously, the shorter immediate physical effects of surgery, radiation and chemo were over quickly. The hair grew back, but I was bald or mostly hairless for 5-6 months. The emotional side is a daily struggle as we all come to terms with what is happening and what may happen. I can heal from surgery, chemo and radiation, I can grow my hair back, but the daily emotional toll all of the treatment, side effects and effort putting on a happy, positive face for others has been very difficult for me. I do consider myself very, very lucky to have this cancer, instead of others that are instant death sentences, difficult treatment, and debiliatating side effects. I consider myself lucky to have caught it so soon. I consider myself lucky because of the easy surgery, few lasting side effects and now NED. I know I am lucky, but the emotional toll keeps creeping up. I am having some deja vu about my initial dx time exactly one year ago, and it is freaking me out. If it continues I will seek professional help. In the end I feel like I can't complain knowing what others have gone through.  I hope to remain lucky! 

     

    Denise