• Aggressive Chemotherapy - what to expect

    Asked by Blue on Monday, June 25, 2012

    Aggressive Chemotherapy - what to expect

    Had port installed and am now ready for a new type chemo which is much stronger than the earlier mix. I'm told I will lose my hair and will feel crappy.
    Will I be able to drive myself to and from ny oncologist's office about 40-mins. away?

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Yes. The side effects of chemo drugs are not immediate. What side effects, and when they start and end will vary based on a number of things, including which drugs you will be taking and how often. In my case, it was usually not until 2-3 days after the infusions before I started to feel crappy. Even during my crappy days, I could drive if I had to. I had my infusions on Wednesdays, so I usually felt the side effects starting late Friday through about Monday, so I could just curl up on the couch over the weekend during the worst of it.

      almost 2 years ago
    • GRACENOW's Avatar
      GRACENOW

      I live about an hour away from chemo. I was told to have a driver and glad I did as I always felt pretty "loopy" after. Chemo side effects came after for me as I would feel pretty good for a few days, but then not so well after that. Everyone is different. I did loose my hair, but it is coming back. It has been a time to read, nap and watch movies.

      almost 2 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      Everyone is so different.... I think it probably depends on your pre-chemo cocktail. Will you have Benadryl, Ativan? Etc...?
      Hw do you respond to those meds?
      Benadryl made me pretty high for about 20 minutes... And then super sleepy.... And then i was just peachy and ready to ride wherever....

      Another friend of mine is loopy on the Benadryl for like three or four hours, so she cannot get herself home right after chemo....

      Dunno if that helps....
      Good luck.
      I wish you minimal side effects but maximal effectiveness!

      Lee

      almost 2 years ago
    • CaptainBob's Avatar
      CaptainBob

      I thing you have to find out yourself. Everyone reacts a little differently to their treatment even if is is with the sam drugs. I wouldn,t suggest driving at least for the first 1 or 2 treatments till you get a feel for how you react. After my treatments which have been ongoing for almost a year and a half I feel almost drunk. I loose all situational awareness and would not want to be responsible for causing anyone else harm.

      almost 2 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar
      Blue

      Thank you for your informative answers. Will begin a prolonged infusion this morning and have my iPad with me to help fill the time.

      almost 2 years ago
    • akiko's Avatar
      akiko

      I believe my chemo treatment was very aggressive. I was hospitalized 24 hours 5 days and I was in bed all the time. It was difficult even to use bathroom.
      Between chemo, at home, I occasionally lost my consciousness. For example, I was trying to microwave something and tapping the number pads and then I found myself sitting in front of the microwave oven but I did not remember what I was doing. The food was still sitting inside the microwave oven in a cold state. It was may be a second loss of consciousness but if it happened while I was driving, it would be disaster. I stopped driving by myself until I completed my chemo and waited for 1 month or so.

      almost 2 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      I live about 30 minutes from my infusion center and I usually don't start feeling bad until a few hours after my chemo. But I did have someone go with me the first time because I didn't know how it would effect me. Now that I know I don't start feeling really bad until a few hours later, I manage on my own. I would suggest taking someone with you the first time and seeing how you handle it and go from there. My worst days are the night I get the chemo (Friday night) and then Sunday. For some reason, I usually feel great the Saturday right after my chemo.
      I was losing my hair so I just shaved my head and for the summer in Florida, it is much easier. I ahve now started losing my eyelashes and that is freaking me out more than my hair, but still, not a lasting effect.
      Good luck.

      almost 2 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar
      Blue

      I'm sitting here being infused w/new and stronger chemo cocktail. Feeling a slight numbing sensation on the tip of my nose. Otherwise don't feel side-effects yet.

      almost 2 years ago
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      Since chemotherapy is, first of all, toxic, the hope is that it is more toxic in a shorter time to the cancer than it is to you. My chemotherapy had to be stopped just short of what they had planned, due to cumulative toxicity. At the end, doctor may have a concern about lowering your health to the tipping point, which is where I was. Every patient, and every mix of chemo is different. Toward the end, it would be advisable to have someone drive you, I would imagine. I managed to work through the first two months of chemo, but when it really began to take its toll, I stayed home. The general rule is, the worse you feel, the better the chemo is working.

      almost 2 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      "The general rule is, the worse you feel, the better the chemo is working."

      That is just a totally untrue wive's tale.

      almost 2 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar
      Blue

      After a half day + of an aggressive chemo infusion, I drove home, but had a back-up plan in case I couldn't. Then went straight to bed and eventually to sleep. Have never been one to doze off easily even at night, but sleep comes easier now.

      almost 2 years ago
    • pinklady's Avatar
      pinklady

      I have a portal port also. I have found that I feel crappy few days after the white cell shot but I am careful to drive myself. Appetite and taste in mouth as my biggest issues. AND the restlessness it does to my legs!!

      almost 2 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar
      Blue

      Pinklady, what do docs tell you about the restlessness in your legs?

      almost 2 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar
      Bashiemn

      I would never drive myself to chemo. I get completely drained about 1/2 way through. There is no way that I could mentally operate a vehicle.

      almost 2 years ago
    • Blue's Avatar
      Blue

      I guess the variations of chemo infusions function differently in each of us. Myself, I drove home OK, even stopped to do light shopping but, once home, fell asleep for several hours. The need for sleep seems ongoing.

      almost 2 years ago
    • bmaler's Avatar
      bmaler

      After my chemo treatment on Friday mornings, I begin to feel drowsy by mid-afternoon. Since my cocktail is mixed with steroids, I am on the go Saturday and Sunday. By Sunday afternoon I start to wind down, and am in my lounge position on Monday and Tuesdays. To start again.

      over 1 year ago

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