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Tips for getting through chemotherapy

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  • playwriter
    playwriter Member Posts: 10
    edited June 2007
    heavenlyhats.com is a charity that sends free hats to chemo patients.
    there's another web site where u can buy temporary tattoos for your head. chemochicks.com maybe?
  • pnut2
    pnut2 Member Posts: 3
    edited June 2007

    hi. i read on a thread that zofran was good for you. unfortunately i was one of the few tha it did not work on. phenagran turned out to be my mircle, along with the aloxi. i agree regarding the magazines not being updated. i am actually mourning the day i will end my chemo. my nurses are amazing. i know the names of the kids, and what they did on the weekends. bring pretzels and ginger ale. i was happy that it was supplied for me. anyone who lives in huntsville, alabama please let me know. i have a wonderful oncolgist and a great clinic i go to. good luck to all who is starting chemo.

  • melissaga
    melissaga Member Posts: 9
    edited July 2007

    The post above reminds me... if your anti-emetics are not working, don't waste time. Call and get them changed. There are many choices out there, sometimes it just takes finding the right combination.

  • melissaga
    melissaga Member Posts: 9
    edited July 2007
    One more...

    Dry Eyes
    A later side effect of chemo can be severely dry eyes. My eyes started constantly tearing in a big way. I tried Natural Tears which did not help at all. If it is that severe, a gel based lubricant type eye drop is the way to go, such as GenTeal. What a huge difference that product made for me! I was reminded about this because I have my usual allergy dry eyes this summer which are nothing in comparison to the dryness I experienced after chemo.
  • 1973vwbus
    1973vwbus Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2007

    I found these great wrist bands with a pressure point on them, they are made for motion sickness and I wear them to chemo and for 2 days after. They cut the nausea for me, I still took the meds but when I took them off the nausea was there within an hour. Ask the pharmacist they will find them in the drug store about $9, and not adding more drugs to the body a good deal.

  • shrink
    shrink Member Posts: 131
    edited July 2007
    Here's a great site for laughs: - books, mugs, postcards, etc. www.ashlieghbrilliant.com

    I try to take one day at a time - but someimes several days attack me at once - Book by Ashleigh Brilliant - I can relate.
  • Fit999
    Fit999 Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2007
    My tips are: Chocolate pudding for mouth discomfort. The cold is wonderful and I used the sugar free stuff.

    Other tip: Plan something nice for every week. Lunch w/a friend, watching a chick flick, anything. Just something to mark on the calendar to focus on instead of counting the days until the next tx.
  • rspayne
    rspayne Member Posts: 1
    edited July 2007
    What a great idea. I found that if you are still doing dairy. that yogurt on a daily basis is good for both mouth and digestive health. Be sure that it is a yogurt that is organic with live cultures Brown Cow and Stonfield Farms come to mind. I know there are a few others out there available at health food grocery.

    I also use one of those colgate 360 toothbrushes. It has a nubby tongue scrubber on the backside of the brush. I brush my tongue several times a day. It really helps.

    Also if food is tasting salty, suck a little on a lemon drop before you eat. I improves the food taste.

    Just my little discoveries. peace, rose
  • paxton
    paxton Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2007

    this is a great post. thanx to all who've given advice

  • ocinny414
    ocinny414 Member Posts: 6
    edited September 2007
    I just finished chemo on August 10th. I did use some of the tips on here. Thanks for all the good advice.
    My oncs office had fold down display table things on each end. I always tried to get a chair on either end so I could watch movies. I took my laptop and we would set up and watch comedies. Sure made the 2 hours pass quickly. Just another helpful tip.
    Good luck all starting and congradulations to all done.
    Cindy
  • mtlion322
    mtlion322 Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2007
    Tag, bump up for newbies:

    I would like to add a few of my favorite things:
    Plenty of water during and after chemo
    Lemon Drops
    Plastic utensils
    Yogart
    Cheese
    Pudding cups

    AND THE MAIN ITEM!!!!
    LAUGHTER AND GOD

  • bluewillow
    bluewillow Member Posts: 28
    edited September 2007

    Hi everyone!

    These tips are great! Thanks to everyone who has contributed, because I hang on every word (and take notes)! 

    I have my very first chemotherapy treatment next Monday, Sept. 17, and today I had my "pre-chemo" session with the chemo education nurse, toured the chemo room, met all the nurses, and I have to say that now I am not near as scared.  I would like to pass along one "hint" that the chemo ed nurse told me:  she said exercise was one of the best preventions against side effects!  She said to do as much activity as you can tolerate and that would help tremendously to combat fatigue.  In fact, she told me to exercise even when I didn't feel like it.  So, that sounds like a plan to me!  Just thought I'd pass this along to everyone.

    Thanks again and best wishes to everyone on their treatment journey!

    Mary Jo 

  • liven42day
    liven42day Member Posts: 1
    edited September 2007

    Bumping this up, it is great for newbies.

    Take Care Charlene

  • mrs7148
    mrs7148 Member Posts: 15
    edited October 2007

    I have surgery tomorrow, and will start chemo on Halloween.   Thanks for all the great tips, I need to go shopping with my daughter for the perfect chemobag!

  • paxton
    paxton Member Posts: 8
    edited October 2007

    bump up for newbies

    Biotene mouthwash or toothpaste does help with mouth dryness.  But also rinse with salt and water with a bit of baking soda (or someone else mentioned club soda if you don't like the salt rinse).  It help the mouth sores, sore throat, and getting thrush (yeast infection of the mouth).  Chloroseptic cough drops work good for a sore throat; it has a numbing agent in it.

    Keep a ledger or notebook of what pills you're taking (for sure the days you're taking a lot like the first days of treatment).  Chemo brain is awful and its not safe trying to keep track of what and when you took your drugs in your head.  I also wrote in quotes the next time I could take the drug so I kept on top of the antinauseant drugs.

    If you buzz your head and your scalp is really tender, gently shave your head with a razor (preferrably with help) and put a nice coat of lotion on.  I was leary but it felt awesome.  Keep washing your head with shampoo when you shower and lotion to prevent getting craddle cap (icky sores on your head).

    Keep a prescription of diflucan on hand and take as directed when you suspect a yeast infection.  I've had 2 so far but not every time.

    Be prepared for constipation and/or diarrhea.  I've had no trouble with constipation, but quite a bit with diarrhea-ended up in the hospital several days.  Ask your doc but mine recommended immodium 2 pills the first episode and 1 each one thereafter, not taking more than 10 pills in a day (much higher than the box states).  It also helps to eat broth with rice.  Rice is one of the few foods that will help build solid stool back up.  You can eat bananas no matter how bad the diarrhea is.  Jello, popsicles, and gatorade are also essential.  Keep hydrated. 

    Good luck everybody.  You can do it.  Its scary that's for sure, but soon you'll be on your way through.   

  • TexasKaren
    TexasKaren Member Posts: 151
    edited October 2007

    AWESOME stuff here, gals!  I start A/C treatments next Monday, and all this advice is more than priceless.. it is a blessing and a god-send.  Thank you all !!   I hope to have some hints to contribute as I go along.

    Has anyone tried the new Special K protein water as a source of not only hydration but also for the protein and calories?? 

  • paxton
    paxton Member Posts: 8
    edited October 2007

    I've wondered about that protein water, too.  Curious if anyone's used it??

  • paxton
    paxton Member Posts: 8
    edited October 2007

    bump

  • Kara
    Kara Member Posts: 17
    edited October 2007

    Great tips!  Bumping up.

  • Miss_Lolli
    Miss_Lolli Member Posts: 72
    edited October 2007

    Haven't had the protein water, but great idea for days that food doesn't appeal....anyone try it yet?

    Thanks for the amazing tips everyone. I've just had one of four dd A/C, but my heaven-sent product has been ginger! I've never been a hot tea person at all, but some peach ginger tea my dear SIL handed to me just to "sample" and I was hooked.... my stomach instantly settled for the first time in days. My kitchen is now stocked with ginger ale, snaps, tea, and I will never be w/o again. If smells are causing queasiness, you may want to let the tea cool a bit. For those who don't care for the taste of ginger, a few drops of bitters in soda water or Sprite is also soothing.

    Peace and be well......

  • paxton
    paxton Member Posts: 8
    edited October 2007

    I've just finished #4 AC and will be starting taxol x4.  Thought I'd pass along something from my experience with AC.  Keep in mind everybody's different.

    I took the steroid, decadron, in my IV at chemo during all 4 tx's.  I found when I took more at home during that first week I felt pretty decent and then when I stopped it, I crashed hard and felt like hell for several days.  When I didn't take it at home and just used all the other drugs, I had some fatigue and nausea that was quite bareable and didn't crash, leaving me the second week feeling good. 

    I'm not recommending anything here, but if this sounds familiar when you're in tx, talk to your onc about it.

    I also had the option of just taking small amounts of the steroid that probably wouldn't have caused such a crash so keep that in mind. 

    I can't say for sure it had anything to do with how I felt so take it for what its worth.

  • GrammyNancy
    GrammyNancy Member Posts: 24
    edited November 2007

    bump

  • Miss_Lolli
    Miss_Lolli Member Posts: 72
    edited November 2007

    Paxton congrats on your last AC neighbor! I totally crashed for two days after the end of my steroids. Actually felt like a wet limp rag and even moving seemed like a chore. Also was emtotional and whiny...which, as you said, may or may not be the drugs....but I did get permission from my onc to try the dex differently this round. More like taking less along with weaning myself slowly.

    Good luck to you. Hoping the taxol goes easy on you, and you can enjoy this beautiful fall we're having so far.

  • GrammyNancy
    GrammyNancy Member Posts: 24
    edited November 2007

    bump

  • Miss_Lolli
    Miss_Lolli Member Posts: 72
    edited November 2007

    bumpety bump

  • joykeeperorg
    joykeeperorg Member Posts: 33
    edited November 2007

    Does anyone know what to do about the pain from Taxol? I have strong pain meds but they make me go to sleep? I dont like being in active for so long!

  • mrs7148
    mrs7148 Member Posts: 15
    edited November 2007

    bump bump, newbies need to see this!

  • stella
    stella Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2007

    Hi,

    Just wanted to add a tip I think was helpful for me.  My doc suggested sipping sage tea to help prevent and soothe mouth sores.  The sage has an anti-bacterial effect, thus keeping the mucous membrane inside the mouth (as well as the throat) clean.  Even simply swishing the tea around inside the mouth will rinse off and disinfect.  I had found some honey-sage tea, and, along with lots of yogurt, yogurt (probiotic) drinks (also swish to coat the mouth), Biotene and sage cough drops, I never got any mouth sores.  Hope this helps.

  • suz45
    suz45 Member Posts: 85
    edited December 2007

    Just bumping this up

  • Kara
    Kara Member Posts: 17
    edited December 2007

    Bumping up for new folks.