• Any advice

    Asked by haleyy on Saturday, June 21, 2014

    Any advice

    Im 19 I was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukemia last week going in for chemo Monday morning. Just wondering what exactly to expect. I am really nervous about the whole thing

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • Roses4ever's Avatar
      Roses4ever

      Haleyy, 19? You are in my thoughts and prayers today. All I can say is chemo is not as bad as it sounds. It does take like 5 hrs so make sure you take a blanket, snack, books, and I'm sure you have a cell phone. I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnoses. My heart goes out to you. Keep us updated... Take care!

      over 6 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      Hi -- I found the ACS "Understanding Chemotherapy" guide to be very helpful. You can find it here:
      http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/index

      I was plenty nervous before my first infusion (I've had three so far). Each patient responds differently, even to the same treatment, so I prepared for as many side effects as I could and then logged my side effects. Drinking a lot of water (at least 10 glasses/day) helps get the toxins out. It's also a good idea to drink lots of water the day before chemo.

      Here are a couple of guides of things to bring:
      https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/be-prepared-22-things-to-bring-to-chemo
      https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/things-to-bring-to-chemo-part-ii

      I'm undergoing chemo for breast cancer and wrote of my experience here, with a description of what happens in the chemo bay at my cancer center:
      http://csn.cancer.org/node/276484

      I wish you all the best. Don't be afraid to call your oncologist with questions or concerns.

      over 6 years ago
    • BabsWon's Avatar
      BabsWon

      Found some interesting online resources for young adults dealing with cancer that you may not know about:

      Resources for teens and young adults with cancer

      Looking to connect with other teens (or young adults) with cancer? Check out the following:

      StupidCancer.org: This nonprofit primarily serves the young adult cancer patient aged 18 to 39, but younger teens are welcome to participate in its many programs, including meet-ups, the OMG! Cancer Summit for Young Adults and the weekly Stupid Cancer Show. StupidCancer is also currently raising funds to launch Instapeer, a new free mobile app designed to provide anonymous peer-to-peer support for teens and young adults with cancer.

      over 6 years ago
    • Camarillolaw's Avatar
      Camarillolaw

      My daughter was the one diagnosed, so I have no personal knowledge. I do know that it will be better with someone with you. Also, first and foremost listen to your doctors and do as they say. Do not thnk you will find the answer on the internet. Ask every single question you have to the doctors, none are stupid, if its your question its important for you. Have a positive outlook, despite any news. If you are a person of faith, then pray and hold on to your faith. We are all diferent. Some of us want to know odds and numbers while others just need to know what comes now and what comes next. If you feel better by educatung yourself, then do so. If not, let someone else do it for you. It is a journey, not a race so don‘t rush your recovery. Be your own advocate, make yourself heard. Its you that is going thru this and despite the many others that have gone thru it, you must be the one that has her concerns and desires listened to. Have faith in your health team. Make friends with everyone, the doctors, nurses, orderlis, those who take you vitals, to those who clean your room should you be inpatient. Look for support, not only with friends and family if available to you, but with others like this group as well as in person. There is comfort in sharing your story with those going thru the same thing, as well as listening to others. Be positive, it really helps your health. My prayers are with you in this journey and always come back if you have questions or for an ear to listen to you vent. Good luck.

      over 6 years ago
    • Blazin's Avatar
      Blazin

      I strongly agree with Camarillolaw, but if you do research on the Internet take what you find to your doctor. I have done tons of research and everything I find that I think can help I talk to my doc and he says that would be OK or not. There is no approved drug for me but I found one in trials as Iwwas researching on the Internet and brought it up to my doc and he said that's the only one that may have a chance for me. Don't believe what you read until you talk it over with your doctor Stay involved in your treatments ask as many questions as you have. My oncologist loves me being active in my treatments and I find it helps me because it makes me feel like I'm not just sitting here waiting. I'm fighting none stop and that's what we all need to be doing. Also never be afraid to ask other patients questions you have about drugs, side, effects and things they do to help with them. Remember we all react different to the drugs so bits and pieces of info from people might make your journey a bit earlier. All the best and kick the big c's XXX.

      over 6 years ago
    • kalindria's Avatar
      kalindria

      Chemo doesn't always take 5 hours. Mine have varied depending on the number of drugs they're giving me, the number of pre-medications, and the speed of the drip. But d take snacks, I bring my own blanket - much cozier and special as my daughter and granddaughter made it for me, and books, CDs, a movie, a laptop, Kindle, or something to keep you occupied.

      Earbuds or earphones are great at blocking out stuff you may not want to hear...

      It's not that bad, just boring sometimes. If you can, take a nap. Rest is healing too. And best of luck. You know we will all be rooting for you.

      over 6 years ago
    • razewalk's Avatar
      razewalk

      Hi - In Oct. of 2012, my then 25 year daughter was diagnosed with ALL. She is now 27 and did have to have a bone marrow transplant due to the type of ALL that she had. I'm pretty sure that any patient with ALL will be admitted to the hospital and you can expect to be there for 4-6 weeks. If you know for sure that you will be outpatient, that alone is a terrific sign!! :) To be honest, the chemo is pretty intense which is why most every ALL patient is admitted to the hospital. My daughter's husband and my other daughter took turns staying overnight. She always had someone there with her. Your family and friends will help carry you through this! I wish you well and God's blessings on you!

      over 6 years ago
    • Momkat2's Avatar
      Momkat2

      Hi Hayley, so sorry you are facing this, but you are doing the right thing by requesting information. The more you know, the easier the process will be. My daughter was diagnosed with ALL in 2007 right before she turned 21. She had multiple rounds of chemo over about 9 months and then 24 months of Maintenence chemo (once a month). The process was hard but there are medications to help with the side effects and you've got to get lots of rest. Don't be afraid to let others help you. My daughter is now 28 and well. She wrote a book about her experience. It is called "Seriously Cancer, I Don't Have Time For This" . I think you would enjoy it knowing that it is first hand knowledge of someone's experience of what you are facing. You can find it at inspiringvoices.com or amazon. If you send me your information to my email, [email redacted], I would love to send you a copy. My daughter loves to give them to people that she thinks would need it most. Prayers for you and stay strong.

      over 6 years ago
    • Momkat2's Avatar
      Momkat2

      One more thing, my daughters treatment was all done as an outpatient except for the first couple of rounds. It is a lot easier being able to stay out of the hospital

      over 6 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      My treatments only took about 30 minutes. I got sick with about half of them, but that was 27 years ago, now there are so many anti nausea drugs that most don't get sick like I did. The biggest thing to get in your mind is that while this will be hard and not fun, you can do this and get through it. There are lots of great people here that will share experiences with any meds or treatments, just ask. Please share your experiences as they happen and others will let you know if that's normal or if your's is sounding a little different. I was 28 when diagnosed, it's no fun being told at any age you have cancer, but younger seems to be worse just because it doesn't seen fair. I wish you nothing but the best and easiest treatments as you progress.

      over 6 years ago
    • glam's Avatar
      glam

      Chemo is completely different from one person to other.....it will depends on your protocol, type of cancer, stage and body reaction....for some people chemo is not so hard, for others it is harder, but if this is your case remember always the main goal....you are killing this stupid cancer.......so everything is worth....below some tips that might be useful:
      - because it may take a while to finish your chemo section, take a blanket, a few books, a pen, headphones, some snacks, lotion, a water bottle, a journal, and a fun magazine....of course your cell phone also is a way of entertainment
      - if possible go with somebody to be with you, especially for your first section.....
      - plan not to drive to go to and back chemo sections....
      - visit a dentist prior to starting treatment and to resolve any existing mouth issues
      - eat well but if you can't eat what you can tolerate while in treatment....avoid raw foods, including vegetables, meats and fruits during treatment because of your immune system....
      - drink lots of water....as much as you can....it is helpful not only to keep you hydrated but also may help you with side effects
      - talk with your doctor about possible side effects and what you can do and/or he can prescribe to counterfeit them
      wishing you a very successful treatment....cancer killing
      God bless you and continue blessing all of us

      over 6 years ago
    • clemsoncash1's Avatar
      clemsoncash1

      I was diagnosed with CML that had gone into an ALL blast crisis. I had two rounds of the hyper c-vad for the ALL. Each of those was about two weeks long and 8 weeks apart. I was in the hospital for the entire first two week therapy. I think it was a combination of how sick I was and wanting to see how I responded. The second round I only was in the hospital for three days, and was planning to do the rest of the therapy as outpatient, but I got some sort of virus and had to go back in to the hospital. I would say that making sure you stay ahead of the nausea or other side effect would be the biggest thing. Take something before it really hits you, cuz at that point it too late to curb the problem. Also just moving one day at a time. It tough to be young and stuck sick.

      over 6 years ago
    • Kin's Avatar
      Kin

      I'm also 19, newly diagnosed, and am starting this Monday!!! so if you have any advice for me and what helped you, i'd love to hear!

      over 6 years ago

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