Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

Tips for getting through chemotherapy

Options
1242527293034

Comments

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Great tip, Iss ! I did the same while the chemo was infusing and have no issues with neuropathy.

    Nico

  • Nicole4
    Nicole4 Member Posts: 56
    edited February 2015
    Options

    I learned about the cold mitts on my last treatment of FEC, once I start taxotere they will give me the mitts, I have heard they are vey helpful.  I also spoke with a women during her treatment that had them on and she has been going through treatment for 28 years, she told me that the only side effect of taxotere was that she was cranky, her husband attested to that, I can handle that.  I am happy to be at the half way point and not experiencing side effects, feeling really good. hugs :)

  • luckyjnjmom
    luckyjnjmom Member Posts: 114
    edited November 2011
    Options

    I just started chemo - four regimens of TC - I started with no portacath - nurses were not happy - I think they punished me by poking me three times before finding a vein. Anyone go through this without a portacath? I've had a BMX and emergency surgery for a blood vessel rupture all within the same month - and I just don't want another whole in my body right now? please advise - thanks

    Lucky

  • chatsworthgirl
    chatsworthgirl Member Posts: 197
    edited November 2011
    Options

    luckyjnjmom  I have had two infusions of TC after three surgeries and blood draws all from my right arm (left had node removal so no go).

    When they tried to get a vein for the second infusion it was difficult because all my good veins were scarred from previous pokes.  They finally found one after three pokes that was sort of OK and subsequently I developed a red bumpy rash in two places on my arm where the chemo leaked out of the vein - it's called a chemical burn and will take a lot of time to heal.

    I will now have to get a PICC line just prior to the next infusion because my veins ar just not up to it.  The PICC is a catheter inserted just above the elbow into a larger vein that will allow for all blood draws and infusions with no further poking. It just sticks out of your arm until you are done and then gets removed. No sedation or pain involved.  I have two more infusions to go plus probalby another four blood draws.

       A PORT is a different procedure which is used when there will be extensive chemo - like six to eight or more infusions and blood draws.  It requires sedation and surgery to implant the PORTt.

    My onc doesn't do PORT for four infusions because of the surgery and sedation required. He prefers the PICC because it is less invasive and no sedation.

    Where was the blood vessel rupture and what was the cause?

    Kathy

  • -RC-
    -RC- Member Posts: 38
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Lucky,  I just finished 4 rounds of DD A/C (every 2 weeks) without a port.  I went to Dana Farber in Boston and they said as long as your veins are good there is no need for a port.  I tried to have my chemo done at my local hospital but they wanted to put in a port and I said "NO".  I also talked to another BC pt who has had something like 12 rounds of chemo without a port and has done just fine.  You make the decision, don't let anyone talk you into anything you don't want to do.   Good luck.

  • sdowell
    sdowell Member Posts: 2
    edited November 2011
    Options

    I have had a port through 4 months of chemo, A/C followed by Taxol, and the port has been a lifesaver. I have bad veins, though. If you get a port, don't let it be used for anything other than chemo. I got an infection after being hospitalized for neutropenic fevers after my first A/C, then had the port accessed nonstop for 3 days and I wound up with a port infecition which took 2 months to clear up. The surgeon was not happy and wanted the port to only be used for chemo.

    My surgeon said that PICC lines have a bigger chance of getting infected because some of it sticks outside of the body. He said an internal port on your chest is much preferable.

  • Juliebell22
    Juliebell22 Member Posts: 37
    edited November 2011
    Options

    After my 2nd ac, i had horrible gastritis and heartburn. My stomach would cramp up terribly. Dr recommended prevacid and maloxx 5 times a day. The maloxx was my best friend during ac! Something to definatley keep on hand! Mouth sores can travel down the esophagas, so the maloxx helps to coat the lining. i also gargled with salt water for mouth sores in conjuction with using biotene. A water pick, with water mixed with biotene, helped the ick taste in my mouth without brushing my teeth 5 times a day, worsening mouth sores. Good luck to everyone starting chemo with little se's!

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited November 2011
    Options

    I have one arm for the injections because the nodes were removed from the right side. Will one arm make it through or do you wind up with a port eventually anyway. I start chemo AC next Wed and am not certain what to expect.

  • -RC-
    -RC- Member Posts: 38
    edited November 2011
    Options

    jazz - I too could only use my right arm because I have mild LE in my left.  My IV was placed on top of my right hand each time.  If (and that's a BIG IF) a vein "blows" they just reposition the IV a little farther toward the wrist.  Then at the next tx, they can start all over again at the top of the hand.  I had been very concerned about this and the lab tech explained it all and made me feel much more comfortable about it.  At my hospital, I went for lab work first where the IV was inserted, blood was then drawn through the IV, went to see my MO for those results, then the infusion so I was only stuck one time for each tx.  Good luck.

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Thanks for your share RC, I really appreciate the insights. I'm finding that the surgery -MX- didn't bother me half as much as the thought of beginning chemo. Isn't that strange? I think I've seen too many movies where chemo resulted in all sorts of bad experiences around cancer. I'm hoping it's going to be somewhere in the middle of my fears and doubts. I read one woman's thoughts on embracing chemo as her best friend for the next few months but I'm not that positive about it all.I just so enjoy reading all the ideas and thoughts about the To Do List for chemo. Am printing as much as I can up and will make certain to try to have everything in order. I thought Wed was C Day but found out today it's this next Tuesday. Thanks for all the help on this thread. I enjoy reading and learning from it daily. Everyone have a great evening.

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Bump

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Bump

  • exbrnxgrl
    exbrnxgrl Member Posts: 4,861
    edited November 2011
    Options

    There are so many threads with tips for getting through chemo. I know this has been covered somewhere but the search function provides too many hits to wade through. Would someone who has used frozen peas to ice fingers/toes please give me a step by step guide on how to do this. Many thanks in advance. Caryn

  • GrandmaV
    GrandmaV Member Posts: 1,045
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Caryn,  Go to this thread:

    http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/69/topic/578284?page=392#idx_11731

    They have been talking extensively about the subject of icing toes and fingers.

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Bump

  • MiniMacsMom
    MiniMacsMom Member Posts: 15
    edited November 2011
    Options

    On the port discussion, I had mine put in during my mastectomy so I didn't have to undergo yet another procedure right during chemo.  I have heard some docs don't offer that outright, but it doesn't hurt to ask.  I was already sedated and now its all nice and healed and ready to go for chemo in 2 weeks.  It would be 3.5 weeks between port and chemo.  I have also heart port right before chem sucks because you don't have time to heal and chemo can slow down healing....  good luck with your decisions.

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Well I start the chemo this afternoon at 1;30 pm. I'm just so excited -LOL- at the prospects of all I've read and learned about the A/C treatments. Blood tests - emetics-steroids and the chemo. Really more nervous than anything else and I think I'll be exhausted from it all afterward just from the waiting and worry. We'll see

  • Juliebell22
    Juliebell22 Member Posts: 37
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Jazz, Hope it went well for you, and you have very little se! I have 5 abraxane left. have done 4 a/c and 7 abraxane all in my right hand vein. Have had no problems at all. Havent even had any bruising! Chemo does suck, but its doable and temporary! ( even though i have to still remind myself of this at times) Good luck with the rest of your treatments!

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Bumpimg

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    bump

  • Nicole4
    Nicole4 Member Posts: 56
    edited February 2015
    Options

    I just started my 1st round of Taxotere. On day 4 and now the muscle and joint pains started.  They are light sharp knives stabbing me in the joints and muscles. Any other suggestions for how to deal with these and have a somewhat normal life? Does it get worse? I started to read what everyone had to say and it scares me to death!. But if it works, I'll just get through it (2 more rounds, every three weeks).  It's helpful to read about others who have gone or are going through this. I am going to take b6 and b12, see it that helps.

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Bump For Nicole4 ~ any suggestions for her ladies?

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Juliebell thanks so much for your encouragement. Still nervous about all of this. I actually fought with myself over whether or not I even wanted to go through this. Before I started I felt as if taking chemo was the same as cancer - a death sentence. Today I feel like it may be a pathway to life. It's a strange thought process but I am guessing I'll understand it all as I pass through this whole thing. My mouth hurts and my eyes have taken a sudden change. Where my glasses have always provided better vision I find that wearing them can actually give me a nuero change and I actually feel almost dizzy. Thank God there's a zoom on this forum so I can actually read what' happening. I see the Onc tomorrow and have no idea why. Oh well....You are going through this as well so I don't want to burden you with all my issues. I sure hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving or least a good one with a few highs. Are you TN as well? The AC seems to be for the TN and TP's as well? Both ends of the scale of BC? So sorry you're going through this as well. Many blessings and hugs. You've lifted me up. Thanks. so much.

    Nicole4 have you read the articles in the forum for chemo management? I checked and they have a list of helpful suggestions on how to deal with the pain. Maybe you could call the Onc and ask for something to help with it. Mine says we're not suppose to be in pain, (LOL - she's got to be kidding). Sorry to hear you're going through any of this but keep going. Hope your Thanksgiving was nice and you're feeling better. You're not alone girl. Keep in touch and let us know how things go. sharing helps.

    Thanks Nicole1012 for being here. Some days I just need to see the forum and it cheers me on. Hope the Holidays are great for you as well. Keep on keepin' on.

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    We it all to resident rock star ~ she authored the thread! THANKS, rock!

  • Nicole4
    Nicole4 Member Posts: 56
    edited February 2015
    Options

    thanks a bunch, I am taking pain killers for relief, but wanted to know whether this will get better in a couple of days?  does the second and third taxotere get worse with side effects?

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Nicole4 ~ From my personal exp, I didn't have pain with taxotere, only with taxol which is why I switched. Also, I had weekly doses which were smaller than the every 3 weeks dose.  While on the every 3 weeks dose, I found that the pain lasted the first week, then a week of feeling OK and then a week of "normal". Then the cycle started all over again until I switched to weekly doses. Also, I thought that the taxotere was not so much the culprit as the cytoxan. The weeks that I didn't get cytoxan, I had no pian or nausea. Hopefully, someone will come along who was on the every 3 week dosing and give their perspective. Best of luck to you! Nico

  • jazz3000
    jazz3000 Member Posts: 109
    edited November 2011
    Options

    Went for the second treatment today with A/C and only got an ounce of C, The needle a helpful nurse put in my left hand was inserted wrong and started hurting. The nurse assigned to me came in after lunch break and took up the administration of the chemo. I told her my needle hurt, and she said she couldn't get any blood out and that's what was needed. another nurse came in and told me to lower my arm to the floor, and see. The administrating nurse got the blood she was looking for and started pusing that stuff into my arm. As she pushed my veins began to itch and burn and hurt. Another nurse came in and told them to take the needle out now. The administrating nurse started yelling at me. I sat there staring at her as anymore it's just a  dance your dance for your attention needs,  I'm here to get chemo. Then the nurse that placed the needle came in and both of them took off on me. One had been there 10 years the other 6 and they knew what they were doing. Something must be wrong with me. Then they asked me if I wanted to continue treatments? No explaination of anything. I told her the pain, the issue with the burnin, and painful needle, had been no prob with me other than noting it was painful and burning. I did not know if it was a side effect or what. I told them I no problem with the treatment but I felt their behavior and attack on any patient more especially not one but two was inappropriate. The issue not being the chemo or needle but the way the handled the issue. Picked up my purse and walked out the door. The nurse followed yelling but we need to talk to the Doctor about this. All I could think was when you do and you have a plan you call me and stop wasting my time. I'm not here to play the human garbage can for your frustrations and or bad day.

    When I realized it was 5 pm and they were closing and soon and wanted to go home I realized they simply didn't want to start line at that late date. Not really wanting to go back to the Onc or the onc nurses there. 

    Question: Is the chemo suppose to burn and cause the veins to immediately itch and vein around the needle to swell and turn red? Is the needle suppose to hurt? 

    Nicole4 I have been told the same thing about chemo. The cycle of se seems to last a week and you start feeling better. I hope you feel better soon and the next one is more bearable.

  • Nico1012
    Nico1012 Member Posts: 1,152
    edited December 2011
    Options

    Bump

  • Jennt28
    Jennt28 Member Posts: 1,095
    edited December 2011
    Options

    Can someone point me at a thread/s or messages that discuss s-x during chemo (if there are any messages)? 23 years married and still so in love. Very scared at the potential loss of intimacy...



    Jenn

  • kenyohunt1
    kenyohunt1 Member Posts: 8
    edited December 2011
    Options

    Jenn I have been looking for the same thing. Found some info under a thread called Mojo and then I Google. I think it is okay as long as we are okay, but I wanted to make sure it is safe foe hubby. I absolutely love that part of,my marriage and don't wanted give up that intimacy either. If you find anything else out can you pass it along.