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Tips for getting through chemotherapy

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  • -RC-
    -RC- Member Posts: 38
    edited September 2011
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    Anyone else here experience flushing of the face & upper chest after tx?  I had what looked like a bad sunburn complete with warmth on my face & middle upper chest.  I never had a fever and it lasted about 2 days or so.  I will mention it to my chemo nurse at my next tx which is Oct. 3rd (my 2nd tx).

  • Thepeddlerswife
    Thepeddlerswife Member Posts: 5
    edited September 2011
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    Does anyone know...are the SE from A/C different from Taxol? My daugher is doing A/C first. She is one week out from her first dose and is doing amazingly well. Aside from some fatigue and slight bone pain it is nothing like she expected. Of course, she has stayed on top of all of the meds given to her for pain and nausea. Am I ain denial that this will be better than expected? I know that everyone is different but I'm just wondering if this is too good to be true?

    Kim

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited September 2011
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    RC With everything I've read up on before my chemo your skin reaction is not unusual but you should let the Doctor know what's going on to make sure something else is not going on. I've also read you've got to be careful about moisturizers and certain soaps with chemo. If you used a certain moisturizer before you went in for the treatment it may have an effect on the skin. Glad to hear you're feeling better and here's hoping things will get better. Hoping your treatment takes care of all your cancer cells and at the end of it all your up and running in life again. Hugz and Hopez @ RC

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited September 2011
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    Bump

  • marial
    marial Member Posts: 98
    edited September 2011
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    Thepeddlerswife- I think AC was very different from taxol. My oncologist told me 9 out of 10 patients think AC is much worse than taxol. I had very little side effects on AC..low WBC and some anemia, but felt fairly well..Taxol I had some neuropathy but felt farily good..my neuropathy started by theb2 nd treatment but didn't get much worse luckily..Taxol did cause more Jody hair loss..lost all eyelashes and brows, but began getting fuzz on my head.best wishes to your daughter.

  • -RC-
    -RC- Member Posts: 38
    edited September 2011
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    Thank you jazz - I will tell my chemo nurse at tx #2 on Monday. 

    ThePeddlerswife - Not everyone experiences bad SE's.  I count myself as having a good experience so far, can't really complain, some "morning mouth" taste, a tiny headache which was relieved by Tylenol, mild constipation (I eat a bowl of shredded wheat every morning).  Aside from just sort of feeling a little "off" I went to work etc.  I also am taking the Neulasta shot for which I take Alavert (same as Claritin but cheaper) the day before tx and 3 days after so I've had no SE's from that.  At day 6 post tx I actually totally felt like "normal" again.  Attitude is a HUGE part of our experience!  I am optimistic by nature but since I'm in "fight mode" I think I've ramped up my resolve to get through this just fine!  Good luck to your daughter!

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited September 2011
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    Bumping

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited October 2011
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    I keep checking in to see if there are any more chemo's starting up so we can share the experience and better understand the how to's as it's getting closer and a little frightening. Hoping I can continue to care for my family and personal responsiblities while I pass through all of this.

  • -RC-
    -RC- Member Posts: 38
    edited October 2011
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    jazz3000 - I had my 2nd AC tx on Monday and I can honestly say I feel better this week than I did after tx #1.  I don't know why but I'm not complaining!  It's a bit of an off feeling, weird almost sore throat (but there is pollen around here), a tiny headache, my stomach doesn't feel queasy as much as just feeling "full".  I eat just because I know I should have something.  If I feel the least, tiniest bit like it might be heading towards queasy, I just take a Compazine and I'm perfectly fine.  Just take those meds, don't wait.  You will be fine.

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited October 2011
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    thanks so much RC. You make me feel a little better about it all. I'm so glad to hear your doing okay with it all and it's not as bad as everyone has told me it would be. How about your hair on AC? My onc said it would be gone in three weeks.

  • Nicole4
    Nicole4 Member Posts: 56
    edited February 2015
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    I was scheduled for my second FEC yesterday and had to reschedule for one week, blood counts were too low.  I had  a shot of Neupogen and experienced major back pain, took pain killers for it and seemed more managable.  I have another shot today at 1.  I will have to take this shot between cycles to keep the schedule.  I sure hope that gets better.

    I had full body bone and ct scan and they were both clear, my onc says "for now", but I believe this is good news!!

    My hair started falling out one week ago today, but still have quite a bit, seems to have slowed down, has anyone else experienced this?  I am not sure how long this process will take.

    The next step for me is to decide whether I want a port for the chemo and herceptin, which will be for a year.  I think it is a good idea, but v scared about it.

    love and big hugs to all XOXO

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    Nicole4 ~ Many of the women on these boards found that taking Claritin (not ClaritinD) helped a lot to prevent the pain from Neulasta. You will find mention of it on the companion thread to this one "More Tips and a Shopping List . . ." I'll bump it up for you.

  • Nicole4
    Nicole4 Member Posts: 56
    edited February 2015
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    thanks, I had no choice but to take claritin last night, I was in so much pain, within 3 mins of taking it, pain was relieved.  I took another one this morning. what a miracle!

  • etherize
    etherize Member Posts: 43
    edited October 2011
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    I'll be getting Neupogen, not Neulasta ... does anybody know if the bone pain is the same, or different?  And would Claritin help with it?

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited October 2011
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    What exactly is Claritin? Is it an anti histamine or something else?

    Chemo set for the 13th put off for 2 wks or until the breast heals from the surgery I had on it two days ago due to necratic tissues that formed due to lack of blood flow because they had to take so much and the I guess the veins and blood supply had to be cut up. The surgeron was so happy @ being able to do it and just had to share the tissue he cut out with me. LOL - I almost puked...

    Now I'm running around like a semi normal person with a hole in my chest where there were stables and stitches, and using some ointment that eats at the bad tissue and helps grow the new. My oncologist called and said I had to wait but as soon as possible.

    Grrrr I was all set mentally for the oncoming chemo but I guess the gods that be figured I wasn't.

    Hope everyone is doing okay on their treatments and your week goes good with small delights that appear out of no where just to bring you cheers. 

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    Bumping for the Oct. 2011 chemo starters

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    bump

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    bumping!

  • chatsworthgirl
    chatsworthgirl Member Posts: 197
    edited October 2011
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    Hello all,

    Just wondering about neuropathy.  Had my first infusion last Friday.  I wrapped my feet and hands in ice.  Hands OK but I feel a weird sensation under my toes.   Does this get worse with each infusion? Does it go away after the last?  I also took glutamine and B6 and B12 and still doing that.

    Does all this stuff go away at the end?  Praying daily for that outcome.

    Kathy

  • chatsworthgirl
    chatsworthgirl Member Posts: 197
    edited October 2011
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    Nicole,

    Your onc is just covering his ass when he tells you that the scans are clear "for now".  Believe in the healing power of your body.  The human body is capable of surviving really horrendous stuff.   As an old doctor told me many years ago.  With very few exceptions the body heals itself.  It's designed to do just that.

    Kathy

  • chatsworthgirl
    chatsworthgirl Member Posts: 197
    edited October 2011
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    Etherize,

    I think that's what I got Neupogen.  My onc gave me the choice of one big shot of Neulasta for convenience or doing five dailyl small shots of Neupogen.  I chose the latter.

    Very little pain or discomfort.  I have my final shot today.  The small bits of bone ache were easily fixed with Tylenol or Aleve.

    Kathy

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    Bumping

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    bump

  • CaroleH
    CaroleH Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2011
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    Hi Nicole, I start my FEC Chemo in a weeks time. Am having 1 treatment every 3 weeks, 6 times.You seem to be the only person I can find having the same treatment. How have you found it? I'm abit scared at the moment, I'm still recovering from a Bilateral Mascetomy with chest expanders, which have cause a fair amount of discomfort. I was ready to get on with the Chemo, but have ended up in a negative space. Would be nice to talk to someone who is having the same treatment. Cheers! Carole.

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    Bumping!

  • Nicole4
    Nicole4 Member Posts: 56
    edited February 2015
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    Hi Carole, I hope you are doing okay with recovery.  I also had my lymph nodes removed on August 12 and found it extremely painful for 6 to 8 weeks.  I am scheduled for bilateral mastectomy in January after I finish FEC-T.  Are you finding the expanders painful?  I am scheduled for my third treatment on November 2nd, also once every three weeks for six cycles.  I have done surprisingly well, I make sure that I am drinking 3 or more litres of water per day, I keep to foods that are bland and easy to digest before and after (oatmeal, soups, tuna sandwiches, chicken, eggs).  I started to lose my hair on day 15, but it seems to have stopped coming out, leaving me with a bit to work with.  I am taking zofran and dexamethasone,  which make me feel very hungry.  I make sure that I eat small amounts of food every 30 mins the day of and the following four days.  I take it easy, keeping close to home and relax for the four days following treatment.  I don't feel that bad, kind of like a bad hangover.  On the fifth day I am feeling 100 % again.  I also take a pro biotic, vit D, cod liver oil and primrose oil daily.  I rinse my mouth with baking soda and also brush with baking soda tooth paste, my gums improve immediately after rinsing.

    I understand that heading into chemo can be very scary, but once you get there you will be surprised how managable it really is, you are there to get better.  I know for me, chemo has turned my thoughts around and I only look forward in a positive direction..the IV is the hardest part for me.  Private message me if you want to talk further, you can do this, its only a small time of your life that you will look back on one day with pride.  Keep smiling! :)  I have heard that FEC is the most managable treatment, but I know it is different for everyone

  • CaroleH
    CaroleH Member Posts: 3
    edited October 2011
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    Hi Nicole - thank you so so much for getting back to me. I don't know why but I couldnt find your reply for a few days, but hey I'm not that computer savvy! They are such great tips you have given me. Did you have to give yourself a needle the day after treatment? They mentioned that at Chemo school, and I have read on links that you muscles can ache.When you say the IV is the hardest, do you mean it hurts going in ? The expanders vary all the time, I have lots of days when they just feel like a tight bandage wrapped around you, and then some days I get a few sharp pains. They will give you pain killers, and my biggest advice is to stay on top of the pain, don't wait until it starts to hurt. If the pain killers don't work, you can ask to have a pain patch (its just like a sticker) put on your arm, I found this really good.I've already had mine pumped up twice since the op and it is great to see your breasts coming back. Keep in touch and let me know how you are going with the Chemo. Lots of hugs to you.

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    bump

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited October 2011
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    Bump

  • lss
    lss Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2011
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    Very good info.  I would add one thing though.  During your chemo sessions have the nurse put your fingers and toes on ice.  I had that done and kept all my nails and they stayed pretty normal throughout.