• For 1st chemo treatment - what to have on hand at home?

    Asked by MollyT on Monday, January 7, 2013

    For 1st chemo treatment - what to have on hand at home?

    My first chemotherapy treatment is scheduled for Wednesday morning (carboplatin and paclitaxel). Are there things I should have on hand at home? I live alone, so I'm a little worried and don't know what to expect.

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • Peroll's Avatar
      Peroll

      Y

      about 4 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar
      BuckeyeShelby

      Hi Molly. My last taxol/carboplactin chemo session is this week. I also live alone. So far I've managed on my own through treatment. You'll know better after your 1st sessions what kind of side effects you'll have. Regardless, i'd suggest you make sure that you either have any meds filled or stop on your way home. I'd also suggest having some meals ready, whether it's home cooked or frozen things you can either nuke or throw in the oven. I get leg pains, so laundry is hard. I did mine today so I won't to worry for about 2 weeks. Other things are specific to my side effects. I hope those general ideas are helpful. Good luck.

      about 4 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar
      gwendolyn

      Make sure you have a variety of beverages on hand. It's important to drink a lot and you may find that water tastes bad. I enjoyed lemonade during chemo more than anything else. Make sure you have all your prescriptions filled. Have some distractions ready to amuse yourself if you're feeling poorly - funny movies, suspenseful books, or whatever distracts you the best.

      about 4 years ago
    • Peroll's Avatar
      Peroll

      You should have any meds you might need for side effects like diarrhes or nausea. Your oncologist can get you any prescriptions you need and the chemo nurses can also make recomendations too. Other than that you might want to have a friend lined up to help get you anything incase you get sick andneed help or a little support. Everyone reacts to chemo differently some better than others. Good Luck and let us how it goes.

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Ready to eat foods so you don't have to cook. Explain your situation to your oncologist so he can provide scripts for nausea meds or other side effects you may have. Line up a friend to go to the store or pharmacy if you need anything.

      about 4 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar
      packerbacker

      It's really a good idea to have a friend to be with you, because you don't know how you will react. I had a bucket or garbage can available in case of nausea and vomiting so I didn't need to search for one at the last minute. Make sure you have meds available in case you need them. It is a good idea to have meals ready ahead of time, because you may get wiped out. Chemo affects everyone so differently, it's hard to say which ones you'll have. Hopefully none or minimal! Best of luck to you on your journey! Keep us posted!

      about 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      Have small meals that you can eat....eat whatever your heart desires....drink and drink and drink water and more water.....flavored water, electrolye drinks (gatoreade etc) or whatever you like to drink....have all your Rx filled....take all the pre meds that your onc Rx for you.....

      about 4 years ago
    • Carol-Charlie's Avatar
      Carol-Charlie

      I'm five years out from chemo, but I know they give pretty strong stuff for this one usually (I don't have medical training, but) They * the wonderful staff and my oncologist" said to not let the nausea get ahead of me. In other words, to take the meds they gave me prior to receiving the chemo. They monitored me very carefully while giving the infusions, we were instructed to have someone drive us as they did not want us driving ourselves to chemo and back. I still drink the Cyristal Light Pink Lemonade. It helped me to drink water as instructed. At first all things tasted strange... but after a month or two my taste came back. He said I wouldn't lose weight and he didn't let me. In almost two years of chemo - I never once got sick... a tad nausious once or twice but I never threw up. I had a bag of Books, magazines, and a bit of candy that I brought with me. They offered me juice, cookies and candy... .... You really should have your teeth checked prior to starting and perhaps get a precription toothpaste with a bit more floride added. My dentist felt so badly that he didnt remember to do that for me. Please keep us updated, We care!

      about 4 years ago
    • MollyT's Avatar
      MollyT

      Thank you all for the information and support. I will check in and let you know how it goes after Wednesday.

      about 4 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar
      fastdog

      After they got my anti-nausea meds adjusted, I was fine after chemo treatments, but prior to that, I just couldn't eat anything but dry Cheerios for a few days each treatment. I also came home with a chemo i.v. pump, so I had 3 days of it going into my system. I always drove myself to and from chemo and was fine, although when I was loaded up on anti-nausea meds, the oncol didn't want me to drive as he said he'd had a patient bang into a stone wall while on the meds. Being a big reader, I always had a good book going. It was recommended that I have on hand Lorna Doone cookies, applesauce, peanut butter, and use an "extra soft" toothbrush, as well as alcohol-free mouthwash. Should you get any mouth sores, there is a prescription mouthwash called "Magic mouthwash" that helps.

      about 4 years ago
    • tara0769's Avatar
      tara0769

      Water, tea, organic foods/ fruit, medication. I also live alone, so I keep my emergency numbers close by. If you can have a few friends come by on Sat or Sunday so you are sure to go for a walk. For me it is hard to ask for help, everyone has their lives; however, when my friends do come I force myself to go on walks with them.

      about 4 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar
      Nancebeth

      I also live alone. I had a friend take me to my first session because I didn't know what to expect and it was suugested I bring someone just in case. I was fine and drove us home. It was nice to have prepared foods so I didn't have to cook, however, I craved grilled cheese and ate 5 of them in one day. Make sure you have plenty of fluids, water or gatorade or whatever you like to drink. Make sure you have your anti nausea meds ready just in case. I always took one before bed and one immediately upon waking whether I was nauseated or not and never had an issue with nausea throughout my treatment. If you have a friend nearby, just try and make sure they can be available just in case you really need something and can't go get it. Fatigue was the worst part for me, so I was lucky I had a friend who lives very close and could run to the store or something if I needed anything.
      Good luck!

      about 4 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      Anti nausea medication - ask you oncologist about Emend - ginger tea and ginger candy was all I needed but many people need more. Lots of liquids. You may have nights sweats and/or feel cold so have extra clothing - especially things to keep you warm and cozy. You might want something light to read (I adore magazines for this) - and also stock up on soups and "light food".
      Listen to your body - if it tells you stay in bed do so. The day after my treatment (and this included my first time) was ok - the side effects started kicking in about 24 hours later.

      it might be a good idea to see if a friend can stay with you overnight, just in case.

      about 4 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar
      ticklingcancer

      The best possible thing you can do for yourself is to have plenty of fluids on hand. Water, Gatorade, Powerade....whatever. The worst part of chemo for me was the fact that I allowed myself to get dehydrated which only made the effects of the chemo worse. Make sure you have all of your anti-nausea meds on hand. You may not experience nausea but if you do, you will need the medication. Definitely have a friend on stand by in case you need something.

      about 4 years ago
    • Cindy's Avatar
      Cindy

      I had carboplatin and paclitaxel - 6 treatments spaced 3 weeks apart. I was usually good the first couple of days after receiving the chemo except for very bad constipation. Milk of magnesia helped with that. After the first 2-3 days, I would be very tired for several days during first few chemo treatments. The fatigue lasted longer with subsequent chemo treatments. Having meals with little or no preparation time are good during this period. I would sleep a lot on a couch a lot and have several snacks and drinks on a tray nearby - and a remote control for the TV. I liked crocheting. So, I had patterns, yarn, scissors, etc. in a bag nearby. I had cravings for sunflower seeds during this time. Since I had a lot of problems with constipation, I tried to eat foods that have lots of fiber and eat less of foods without lots of fiber. I tried to drink plenty of fluids also.

      about 4 years ago
    • MollyT's Avatar
      MollyT

      Thanks again for all the support. My first treatment went smoothly on Wednesday. The exhaustion didn't hit me until Saturday afternoon. Today I'm tired, have a headache, and the tips of my fingers are tingling. Nothing I can't handle. I just hope I feel well enough to return to work tomorrow.

      about 4 years ago

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