• getting this show on the road!!

    Asked by HearMeRoar on Thursday, March 7, 2013

    getting this show on the road!!

    FEC chemo starts Friday. Nervous but happy to get MOVING!! How was your first.chemo? Any.advice? Hugs, friends!!

    20 Answers from the Community

    20 answers
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      Hi HMR: I completely understand your enthusiasm! I wanted to get moving on mine as well, as I figured the sooner I got started...you know. Now that I'm finished with chemo, I am proud that I could get through it. It wasn't all bad...I had TCH and most of the time, did not have nausea or other reactions. I WAS tired. My onc gave me lots of steroids with each infusion (to avoid nausea) and after a few weeks of not sleeping after chemo, I talked with him about maybe not getting so much steroid and he cut my dose in half, which was great. Do you have a port? I sure enjoyed using it rather than having a needle each time in my veins. I packed a bag that I left in the hall closet with snacks, crossword puzzles, my knitting and a blanket--"the chemo bag"--and it was easy to grab it & take it to each session. One other positive thing I learned is that once you get to the half way point, the remaining weeks of chemo seem to go by much faster. Good luck. Love your name as it reflects my belief that we should all kick cancer's but (t). Will be sending you good thoughts and mojo. :-)

      over 4 years ago
    • Debbie's Avatar

      HMR-happy to hear the fight is on. Aside from the advice already given, include a throw or favorite small blanket. Nurses told me that the drugs are room temp so you may get chilly. They had smaller blankets there but I wanted comfort from home. I wore a tank top with a larger button up shirt over it. Made me feel comfortable that I was not "flashing" more than my port :). Positive thoughts headed your way!

      over 4 years ago
    • Tracy's Avatar

      Sending you lots of hugs and warm thoughts. I have many friends with breast cancer go through chemo, they all wanted soft comfy clothing (soft being a key word). Everyone reacts differently so don't get yourself freaked out by others stories, find things to laugh about. Everyday will be different. Take Care - Tracy

      over 4 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      Hi HMR, Glad things are going so fast for you. Every suggestion above is right on. You might want to have some sort of hard candy to suck on. The chemo will usually leave you with dry mouth so use the biotene toothpaste, mouthwash, gum and carry around spray. My chemo did not cause me any problems until the last two and that was only fatigue. If you have the Neulasta shot after chemo, take a regular claritin the day of chemo and about three days after--no joint pain--it really works. Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Glad to hear your fired up and ready to go. My first one was a shock to me, because I didn't have any resources like WhatNext or even the internet to prepare. I had no idea even how chemo was given. That was 24 years ago, not much info out there then, and Dr.'s didn't share alot. If I would have known what was going to happen I would have been much better off.

      The first treatment was pretty hard on me, there wasn't good anit nausea drugs around back then. Today there are much better drugs to help, and each person takes the treatment different, but from what I see from everyone here, its not as bad as it used to be.

      We all wish you speedy and easy treatments!

      over 4 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar

      I made a point to always wear a button up shirt so I only had to undo the top button to access port. I did take a bottle of water and a book. The center I go to has warmed blankets. You will get cold. I go to a fantastic center "Memorial Breast Cancer Center" in Florida. They gave me steroids and Benadryl to keep me from having a reaction and Pepcid and zofar for nausea. Mine took 5 hours including the wait time. I had a wait time between chemos to watch for reaction. The nurses there are so great you feel like your at the spa. I tell everyone it's my spa day. The Benadryl did make me sleepy so I napped a lot too.
      It's nothing like the old days of misery. Expect to get pampered.

      over 4 years ago
    • Baldredhead's Avatar

      Hello, Roaring One!
      Fight on - First chemo was a little longer than the following ones, so just go in knowing that - I have had people tell me that ports are wonderful, that ports are awful....I figure it is what it is, so just be prepared for whatever needs to be done - sounds like you are! I haven't had a port, and have been fine - I am now two treatments from the end and couldn't be more thrilled about it! As far as preparing, I'd just echo the blanket statement (not so much the statement as the blanket!) that you need one - and something to read, or do, or someone to talk to, or text.....Also, feel free to "work the room" if it seems like the people there are up for it - Lots can be learned through this as well. Other there, congratulations on the beginning of this portion of your chemo process.....so the end of the process will be closer every day. Be strong, Red

      over 4 years ago
    • Kathy's Avatar

      Hi HearMeRoar!! I want to wish you luck as you begin the chemo journey. If you wind up getting side effects just remember there are drugs for just about any of them. Don't think you are crazy or be afraid to ask. And you always have us to bounce things off of. I really disliked how many foods took on a different taste. Maybe this is a small complaint and my taste buds have been returning back to normal. It is a great feeling to get this behind you!! Take care. This group really helped and I know it will help you too.

      over 4 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      Your chemo nurses have the knowledge to help you. Ask them anything. I always asked what they were giving me and what it was supposed to do, every single time the bag was changed or something was injected. I didn't always have the same nurse, so I just wanted to know. Every nurse I encountered was easy to talk to, professional and caring. I hope and pray you have similar experiences. That positive attitude of yours will help you through this!

      over 4 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      My first chemo was a bit rocky because I'm one of the about 3% who had a reaction to Taxol. If anything weird happens (I got really dizzy & felt like I was going to throw up), let your nurses know immediately. They will cycle around and check on patients often, so don't be afraid to ask questions when they stop by to see how you are doing. As others have said, wear lose clothes that they can either reach your port or your arm easily (I did regular ol' IV in my arm). Because my Taxol had to be slowed down, my treatment was about 6 hrs in the chair, so I brought snacks, a light lunch (I was by myself, so no one could go grab me lunch), books, sedoku, a bottle of water, a single serve bottle of juice, and my warm fuzzy blanket. I had a total of 6 treatments and only 2 problems -- the Taxol reaction on the first one, and 2nd to last my Taxol leaked. It's sounds a lot scarier than it was. Make sure you take any post chemo meds your oncologist prescribed as directed, especially your anti-nausea meds. And remember, every one has different side effects. I was all prepared for some of the nasty side effects, but I didn't have the bad nausea or mouth sores or anything like that. Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      I went in there not knowing what to expect. I'd done my reading and everyone seemed to have a different reaction, so I didn't know how my body would react. I felt nothing. The next day I had some energy to spare, then the 2nd day I felt a little off, but the third day was a down day - low white blood cell count I think. The day after that my energy took a turn and by the 8th day I was "normal" again.

      The second drip hit me a little harder on day three, but days four and five went better, mostly because I took an anti-nausea pill each morning. On days two and three the steroid withdrawal was more pronounced, but not as painful as the 1st drip because I took Claritin.

      We'll see what the third drip brings.

      over 4 years ago
    • Mel's Avatar

      My baby sister is starting her Chemo. in Raleigh NC today at 1 so I am nervous for her hope all goes well. And I hope for the same with you!!... My first visit was so nervous just the not knowing what is going to happen. It went well considering that putting all that XXX in my body just made me want to get sick. lol... My legs were always moving in my chair the whole time and when nurses came over to me to change meds or poke me I hummed!! got to the point they would laugh cause knew it was coming. hugs back to ya!

      over 4 years ago
    • MillieS's Avatar

      I had a chemo bag that I kept packed. Easy to grab on that day. Take something to drink, snacks, a book (or an iPad type of gizmo), or note cards to write those thank you notes to those well wishers. If you have a port, usually you get off to a pretty quick start. At my infusion place, needle was inserted, lab work drawn through port, when results came back and we were good to go ,I was first given an anti nausea drug then my chemo drugs. Took me about 3 1/2 hours. Felt fine that day. Came back next day for nulesta shot. Third day was my down day. You will discover your body's rhythm by your second round and learn to work with it. Best advise is keep a daily journal on everything that is going on body wise and mood swings. Jot down questions to ask.Take this with you every time you go back to be infused. You will be surprised how much this will help. Hugs and prayers coming your way.YOU CAN DO THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      over 4 years ago
    • MillieS's Avatar

      One other thing, you might get some biotine to rinse your mouth out daily. This kept me from getting mouth sores. And a good lip balm. Hugs again

      over 4 years ago
    • Grandy's Avatar

      I'm done with 5 of 6. I NEEDED to stay on Prilosec the WHOLE time. (I also used Pepcid AC while I was waiting for the Prilosec kick in.)

      Dr. Needles (his real name) has them give me nausea meds before the chemo meds. I was also given Benedryl interveneously... Maybe that is a lot why I only had but a light feeling of nausea!!

      I kind of tore up my mouth the first time eating hard stuff. Mac & cheese, chicken stock, & instant potatoes were my best friends the first couple of days after chemo.

      A bit of lemon juice helped my water taste drinkable.

      I've always gotten my treatment on Friday... And it didn't hit until like Monday or so! I had trouble with overdoing it and then HITTING THE WALL!! So pace yourself.

      Whatever I or anyone else says is only our experience. Everyone seems so different!
      I hope you do well with it! For me it wasn't a big deal except when I also got the flu!!! :(

      I've worn gloves a lot to remind myself not to touch my face with my hands and catch germs when I'm out in public. At home we've used paper towels instead of cloth.

      over 4 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      Great advice here! I can only add that chemo often causes constipation, so be prepared if that happens to you. I wound up in the ER with severe gut pain before I knew that. Also, the steroids do cause us some sleepless nights. Just get up and read or watch TV knowing it passes in a few days. I rested and napped for several days after each treatment. The bone weary fatigue really was the worst part for me as I found it a bit scary. I was afraid I might stay that way. But it did go away. Listen to your body. Some foods tasted strange, but I ate whatever worked. Your nurses are a wealth of info, so remember that. Chemo was not fun, but it is doable! Good luck to you!

      over 4 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar

      The first chemo is usally quite easy. I had six treatments (one every three weeks). By the end of the third week, my hair started falling out so I had it all shaved off. It was quite exhilirating to tell you the truth. My hair stylist closed her shop, and we drank champagne, cried and laughed. However, things started getting serious by the second and third treatment. I opted for a extremely high dosage of chemo and it made me quite ill. That is not to say it will happen to you; it all depends on how your body responds to it. I extend to you the best of luck and my prayers. You are not alone in this! God Bless.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Hi, HearMeRoar. I can not speak to your questions but I just wanted to say good luck to you. I'll be thinking of you. Tell us how it went if you care to share.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAL's Avatar

      Good luck, I think we all can relate, but each of us has a different response and reaction. I reacted to each dose of Taxotere and had to have additional steroids and Benadryl so I had a nap during every chemo session. Thankfully NO nausea. Beware that the steroids not only make you have difficulty sleeping but for some of us have the effect of a false sense of being able to do anything and at the same time VERY irritable. I wanted to bite people's head off but I had a lot of energy for two days and then the third day would crash. The Claritan helped a lot with the bone and muscle pain from my Neutasta shot but by my last chemo, my blood counts (Hemoglobin) and liver enzymes were down and I was really wiped out so I hibernated for a couple weeks and then gradually started to get my sense of taste and energy back. Two months later, I feel SO good with energy and a sense of humor again. So listen to all our stories and take from them what is helpful. I would suggest trying to stock up on healthy foods with greens and lots of vegetables so as not to tax your body further with heavy dairy, meats, white flour/sugar stuff that adds to the inflamatory process in your body. LOTS of water or vegetable/fruit juices as well as fresh vegies and salad greens will help with the constipation. Start early with trying to stay active and walk or exercise. It will help with preventing constipation and you getting weaker just from lack of activity as well as the chemo side effects themselves. I hope you have good weather and can get out and get some sunshine as that helps with the depression that often occurs just because one feels so bad and can't do many of the things they find enjoyable. As with most things in life, try to find the balance of work, rest, activity , fun and call on all your friends and family as resources. Laugh as much and as often as you can and don't care if others think you are a little off--you might be but that is really ok.

      over 4 years ago
    • Giraffe's Avatar

      By the time you read this you will be on the road. The blanket and something to drink for the dry mouth are key in my book. I always ask questions, the nurses at my center are great. I decided to be in control and had my hair shaved on my terms before it started to fall. Very empowering. Worth the consideration. Best of luck to you. Soon it will be behind you!

      over 4 years ago

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