• Chemo therapy

    Asked by 4ellieluv2 on Sunday, April 28, 2013

    Chemo therapy

    Will be starting Chemo very soon and needed to know what to expect? side effects etc..?
    How long will the side effects last? Any suggestions on how to take care of myself during
    this time period? diet, sleep, supplements, etc.

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Do you know what drugs they'll be using? I also have endometrial cancer, & I had Taxdol &Carboplatin. Type of drug makes a difference in what kind of side effects are likely.

      over 3 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar

      Wishing you well in your upcoming treatments. Jan 2012, I began the first of 6 chemo sessions using Taxol and Paraplatin. Guess my advice would be to EAT, even when you don't feel hungry or food is tasteless. Drink plenty of fluids and get as much rest as you can.
      No doubt you will experience hair loss. I can giggle about it now but at the time, being bald was difficult to deal with.
      Have you had surgery?

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Hello and here's wishing you the easiest chemo ever! Here is a link to an article in our series "A beginner's guide to cancer" This guide is exactly what you need right now. Take a look http://bit.ly/15EVSKv

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      Best of luck with your upcoming treatment. I found my first infusion the worst. Have you spoken to your oncology team about what chemo and pre-treatment meds you will be getting. Those are the keys to side effects you may experience. I spoke at length with my oncologist about what he was prescribing, why and possible side effects. On the day of my first treatment the oncology nurses, spoke with me again about side effects and gave me a printed hand out of every medication I was given, what it does, possible side effects, etc.

      If you have not done so already, get a port. I love my onocologist, but like most, sort of doesn't really understand how fragile and painful our veins can become have hours of infusion several times a week. Another plus, I got a chest port which leaves both hands free - being tether to an IV line is so akward

      Your team is there to help you.

      over 3 years ago
    • anskysue's Avatar

      I hope these random thoughts help - a lot of it is stuff I wish I had known before I started.

      At the chemo center, ask if the pharmacist can speak to you. The pharmacist at mine came the first time and brought printouts of all the chemo drugs I was getting and went over side effects, what to watch for, etc. She has been an incredible asset through this entire process - I talk to her every chemo visit.

      Side effects. Seriously - they have something for everything. You will most likely get a steroid either as a pre-med or orally during each visit. The steroids might keep you up at night (they didn't tell me this until a month or so after I started). And, of course, they will probably make you hungrier than normal.

      Nausea medicine. My pharmacist recommended I start it the night I got home from chemo and continue on a regular cycle for several days. I have chemo on Tuesdays - I start my nausea medicine at 10 pm that night (they will give you a nausea medicine in your pre-meds at chemo also) then I take it every 8 hours (thank goodness for phone alarms) until Sunday night at 10 pm when I take my last dose. Normally this will keep me from getting nauseaous at all. It's easier to prevent it then deal with it once it hits. Also, I've found that eating smaller meals and more frequently will help. THey also prescribed me two additional nausea medicines that I can take if the one I normally use doesn't work. I've never had to use either of those.

      Ritalan - This really was a huge help in mental clarity for me. Also, they just recently started me on a daily claritin and zantac. This has made a HUGE difference. I feel like I am in round 2 instead of getting ready to start round 9. Of course, check with your doc before you start anything. Keep track of every weird side effect, symptom, etc. The oncologist is going to want to know about them, how long you had them, severity, etc.

      If you are getting a port put in, ask for a prescription for numbing cream to use before each treatment. If you get mouth sores, they can prescribe a mouthwash with lidocaine in it. I've had the mouth sores but only used the mouthwash once or twice. They just weren't bad enough to tolerate the taste of it. Food/drinks will taste weird as you get deeper into treatment. For me, this only lasts a few days and then it is back to normal.

      If you get a fuzzy head and feel like you can't think straight, that happened to me and it was the first nausea medicine they had prescribed to me. They changed me to something else and it cleared right up. I thought it was the chemo and assumed it was normal.

      over 3 years ago
    • BoiseB's Avatar

      Have something to do during treatments. I listened to music. For me one of the side effects of Chemo was blurry vision, so my son got me some books on tape, and he read to me. Do as much for yourself as you feel up to then let your support (friends & family) take over but don't let them hover. Remember you need to take care of your care givers. Remember that the battle against cancer is not all "chemical warfare" Much of the battle is "mind warfare"

      over 3 years ago
    • Svaha's Avatar

      finished the third of my first round of chemo (taxol and carbo for uterine ca) Radiation next then three more rounds of chemo. Ask your oncologist about supplements. Mine says NO antioxidants (they help fast growing cells including cancer). Drink lots and lots of fluids. My chemo nurse sais a Poweraide 0 every day for the electrolytes as part of those fluids. Keep your skin moisturized (I like coco butter oil after a shower and Acquphor at night). Exercise at the advise of your oncology team to keep your staminia up. Pain meds for the side effects (mine are always the third day after chemo. USE them.) Get a couple of stylyish wigs, lots of wonderful scarves and wraps. Check out "Look good Feel better offered by the American Cancer Society to learn how to apply makeup to hairless faces so we look as unique and beautiful as we are.

      over 3 years ago
    • Joachima's Avatar

      Like others have responded here, I think the type of side effects will depend upon the drugs you will be given, and your reaction to them. I was on Gemzar and Taxotere, and I believe that I fared better than some on the same drugs. I was also healthy (except for the cancer haha) before starting chemo - wasn't taking any meds before cancer. Praying that you will do well ... chemo is for a few months - stay focused on the light at the end of the tunnel.

      over 3 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar

      The thing that surprised me was that the side effects weren't always consistent, even though the same chemotherapy was given each time. Aside from the usual nausea meds, drinking gallons of water, tiredness, and such, there were sometimes alarming side effects that required extra visits to the oncologist and extra exams. Just try to be flexible, try not to worry (I worried entirely too much, and I still made it through), and be prepared to call your doctors if anything unusual develops. Don't be too proud to sleep during the day if you're having trouble sleeping at night, and so on. If you have muscle and/or bone pain, tell the doctor, and take the medicines offered. If you're stressed out and anxious or depressed, get psychiatric help. If you're having trouble with food, see a nutritionist. If your body is getting weird in regulating your own temperature, keep a hand on the house thermostat. (Sometimes I was too hot, sometimes too cold, but never a fever.) Probably all this won't be a problem, as everyone is different. I tried to be completely prepared, and it's just not possible to anticipate everything. Just be prepared to be miserable part of the time, and between treatments when you are feeling better, try to paint the town red, relatively speaking, because your soul needs a pleasant break. If you don't already have a port, do get one, as it makes infusion bearable without damaging your veins. Anything that can help should be strongly considered; it's just very hard to pinpoint what you'll need ahead of time. Once you know which drugs you'll be getting and what the schedule will be, then you can look up more about these particular drugs and ask questions more specific to your own circumstance. A good site to learn about a particular chemotherapy is http://www.chemotherapyadvisor.com/. Many of us on this site have walked down the same path as you, so you can search for answers that we may already have posted, and you can always ask if you need something. We'll all do our best to help you.

      over 3 years ago
    • 4ellieluv2's Avatar

      thank you for all the responses and suggestions on what to do..I just hope I will be together enough to remember them and put them into practice...I have had surgery and had all my female parts taken out as well as a couple of lymph nodes..I will be starting Chemo in 6 days and that will be my only treatment at this time...

      over 3 years ago
    • MariaM's Avatar

      Hasn't your care team already explained all this to you and given you written handouts? It seens very strange to me that you have to ask an online group for information that is so individualized.

      about 3 years ago

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