• Getting Yourself Through Chemo Treatments

    Asked by Ydnar2xer on Thursday, October 11, 2012

    Getting Yourself Through Chemo Treatments

    What do/did you do to motivate yourself to continue with chemo, particularly when you felt like you'd had enough of it all?

    I try to consider them "spa" days. REALLY! I go into a large room with windows on two sides. Lately, the sun has been out, so it's pretty--and there's a bit of a view. There are recliners all over the place...I choose one, sit, and open my "chemo bag" (stuff I take with me). I get out my leopard blanket and knitting..or maybe a crossword puzzle. After my order is filled, one of the always-cheerful nurses comes over and we chat while she accesses my port, which never hurts me. For the next several hours, she gives me bag after bag of "Grandma Juice". (I call it that because what's in those bags will help me make it to the "Grandma" stage of life!) Sometimes the nurses pass around cookies, ask if I want anything. If I want, I can snooze--even SNORE! Doesn't that sound like a spa to you? (Anyway, this delusion's worked for me so far!)

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      Good topic! I live an hour and a half away from the nearest shopping. Once I knew what I was in for, chemo day (Wednesday) also became retail therapy day for me. At the chemo center - ahem, spa - I enjoyed a relaxing few hours in those comfy chairs being pampered by those wonderful nurses.

      Afterward, I would go shopping before heading home. I love thrift stores and had some great finds on my chemo days. I also bought a big leather Lazyboy for my husband. Now, it was how I felt two days later that I dreaded....yuck! By Monday I was back on my feet, tired, but ready for work.

      over 8 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      I received chemo 5 days per week and then got 2 weeks off to recover. I was pretty sick the first 7 days following the end of my treatment weeks. I wanted to throw in the towel so many times. It was rough. Seeing my daughter everyday after school would always make it worth it. She would kiss me goodbye before school in the mornings and I knew it was time get dressed and head out for that days treatments.

      over 8 years ago
    • teddyfuzz's Avatar

      LOL! I did the same thing...comfy chair, snacks, TV..."Is my 'cocktail' ready yet? Yes? Great! That bartender I had last time really knew how to mix 'em. Knocked me on my a$$ for three days straight".

      My hubby would take me out to lunch afterwards so I really enjoyed the chemo days. But, like lynn1950 said, a couple of days after that...well.. not so much.

      over 8 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      Yep, me too. Chemo treatments became my "me time". I could catch up on my reading, take a nap, and they even had really good coffee.

      over 8 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      My chemo was every 3 weeks...I think I was on autopilot during the whole thing....really didn't think about it, other than I had to do it......I brought lunch to chemo and would have my dh get me a strawberrry smoothie....generally I preferred to shut my eyes rather than schmooze with him or anyone else.....after chemo went downstairs to PS for fills, then home to bed.....My chemo was on Thursday and by MOnday I felt half way human and went to work...anything to give a sense of normalcy!!!! I took any and all anti-nausea meds.....and ate whatever tasted goodf to me.....

      over 8 years ago
    • Modern's Avatar

      My answer to that is the same for many my age... The Internet! My chemo treatment center has free wifi so ill do homework watch an online comedy show play one of my mmorpg's or I'm my friends. Also before treatment me and whichever parent is driving me (my chemo centers an hour away) will go to an Uno's and have there unlimited soup which is amazing :) or if I'm not feeling energetic that day the nurses give you a small room pillow and balancet and just let you sleep :)

      over 8 years ago
    • Nancebeth's Avatar

      My chemo was never a spa day for me. It sucked, especially later that evening when I got home and the chills started, and all the other side effects. I got through it by picturing my chemo like Pac Man eating up all the ball cells and keeping me alive.
      It was tough, especially since I have no family to support me. But I made it through with friends and my faithful pooch, Daisy by my side.
      I just tried to maintain as much of a "normal" lifestyle as I could during chemo, so I didn't feel as "disrupted."

      over 8 years ago
    • ticklingcancer's Avatar

      So based on some of the answers above, I think I misunderstood the question. I promise...I did read it in it's entirety. Chemo Brain?? LOL...

      I always had someone sitting with me. Most often it was my Grandmother and my Wife. My chemo started at about 9:00 each morning and we were done by 4 or so. During the first round I would watch movies on an iPad. I'm a huge horror movie buff so I referred to my chemo as 2 4 5 Trioxin (The chemical in Return of the Living Dead that turned people into zombies). We would also play Yahtzee but would have to lay out a coat to muffle the sound of the dice hitting the table. It never failed, My grandmother (she will be 90 in November) would always roll the dice off the table...lol. Where I sat in the "infusion room" there were a bunch of oxygen tanks in the corner, that's usually where the dice would go. I loved my nurse Barbara. She knew exactly what to do to make the process easier on me. I could joke with her, she would tell me funny stories. She sure did like my Grandmother. I hate the fact that I had cancer but appreciate all the new people it brought into my life.

      over 8 years ago
    • nobrand's Avatar

      My chemo days were about eight hours long... I packed a bag full of goodies-- snacks, sudoku puzzles, magazines, etc. I rarely touched one thing in that darned bag. I just sat there and stared into space each time. I think it was the benadryl and ativan, but I was pretty much only able to stare or snooze.

      over 8 years ago
    • ImStillHere's Avatar

      In a word, biscuits! I always had chemo on Fridays, which was biscuit and gravy day in the hospital cafeteria. Once I started Taxol chemo, I would send my husband out to get me biscuits (no gravy), along with butter and honey. I'd wait until the Benadryl kicked in, cover myself with those heated blankets, start a movie on my laptop, and then eat my biscuits in a blissful daze.

      over 8 years ago
    • SusanK's Avatar

      I like the reference to chemo as "Grandma Juice." During my six treatments of Taxotere and Cytoxan, I referred to them as "poisons"--which was stupid because I am still here and am grateful to be here. Sometimes it's just plain hard to be positive on those gloomy days. But "Grandma Juice" got me through, too!

      over 8 years ago
    • myb's Avatar

      I took a 1/2 Ativan the night before chemo so I could sleep and not start the day nauseous. Then the 1.5 hr trek to Philly to chemo to see the Oncologist and then chemo. Thankfully, had a private chemo treatment room with free wifi and tv. I used to bring a laptop and dvd to watch, but inevitably fell asleep. So just packed some snacks for nibbling if I was hungry and basically snoozed for 1/2 infusion of premed and 2 hr infusion of Oxaliplatin. Then hooked up to chemo pump of 5fu for 46 hrs. Slept on way home and usually the rest of the night.

      over 8 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      I am fortunate that I live about a mile from where i am treated. i usually walk down to help deal with the stress. The staff is wonderful and friendly, the chairs relatively comfy. Some days I get a pod with view (like yesterday I was able to see all the way down the Hudson river to Staten Island) others just the building next door. I read, crotchet, which I just learned how to do, play games on my Kindle, nap. I try to recycle books and magazines so others can enjoy them. The next morning is my "spa' day - I have a massage w/raki scheduled to help mitigate the side effects of treatment, especially those steroids I also try to remember to bring my own snacks, there lots there, but it's generally cookies and crackers, not my style. They give out sandwiches, around noon, some times I take one, other times DH bring in lunch. Every once in awhile I can get out in time to have a nice meal at restaurant near the hospital or where I live.

      over 8 years ago
    • packerbacker's Avatar

      I just think of every Friday as "treatment day." My husband works extra during the week so he can be with me at the doctor appt and then through the chemo. I look forward to having the time with him. We pack soda, laptops, some snacks, or he goes to get something to eat. I enjoy, no LOVE the warm blankets, usually nap, and continue studying for my Master's. I think of it as the treatment that's helping me fight, even though Ii don't feel the greatest for a bit afterwards, I like to think it's helping me. It's always nice talking to the wonderful and friendly staff.

      over 8 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      Wow--I just re-read my question and comments and realize how flip I sounded--especially as a newbie to chemo! :-0 I certainly didn't mean to sound so smug! Chemo days themselves aren't the hardest for most, it seems and I wanted to know what other people's routines or psyche outs (calling it a "spa") were. Believe me, I am beginning to understand feeling XXXXy a few days later--I had a terrible yesterday after starting my second (of six) doses of carbonplatin. It's just curious to me the mind games we sometimes play to get through it all, no offense intended at all to anyone.

      over 8 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      I got where your question was going. How do folks take what is potentially a scary or yucky situation and make the best of it. I've only had 1 session so far, & I had a reaction to the taxol, so I haven't figured that part out yet. I did feel ok until 2 days later, so I can see the folks talking about shopping or going out to eat. I'm sure a lot of how someone feels depends on the exact meds. I'm sure there are bunches w/side effects more immediate than taxol/carboplactin. No harm, no foul. We just all need to remember that inflections can't be heard when we type. : )

      over 8 years ago
    • Snooks' Avatar

      On my first visit to my oncologist, she told me that because the chemo would affect my immune system, that I should stay away from my daughter (who is a teacher) and my grandchildren (ages 4 and 2 at the time). This was not going to happen because they are my life and I could not see me staying away from them for five months. I took real good care of myself and I allowed myself a few hours of visiting with them each week. It lifted my spirits and also taught the children that nana was okay and it lessened their fears.

      over 8 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      My routine: Dressed warmly and drank a lot of fluids on the way there - to help the needle find my veins! Brought a large stuffed dog - my "companion dog" with me each time. People thought it was a real dog and they would always smile - young and old alike. Ginger, my lifesized stuffed dog, came to all 8 chemo treatments. Each week my children would finger knit a new necklace to put on Ginger. By the end Ginger had 8 necklaces and we knew we were done with chemo and my children had participated in the journey.

      During chemo I always got really hungry so I'd send my husband or friend out to buy yummy, tasty curry dishes from a nearby restaurant. It was a special treat and no one in the chemo area seemed to notice or mind. On my last treatment, I brought in snacks and shared with everyone else. Always a reason to celebrate and make others smile - even when we are so frightened. Chemo is scary, but now I know so many people who have made it through (including myself) and we have so much life left to live!

      over 8 years ago

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