• How to prepare for Chemo.

    Asked by Tiff on Thursday, January 9, 2014

    How to prepare for Chemo.

    My mother begins her chemo treatments Monday. I know she will get nauseous, the oncologist already told us that, but is there anything we can do along with taking the medicine prescribed that will also help with the nausea, fatigue, etc?

    19 Answers from the Community

    19 answers
    • jewelhaque's Avatar
      jewelhaque

      Hello Tiff, I am really so happy and glad for you because of your concern about your monther. Now, yes couple of things your mother can do as follows: 1) ask her Oncologist whether she can get EMEND same day before she gets her Chemo, it is really very helpful for nausea, one shot lasts for 3 to 5 days, 2) also ask her Oncologist whether she can get ATIVAN, it is very helpful for nausea, and it also helps anxiety and it helps sleep, 3) tell her to have fluid and liquid type of foods first few days after getting the Chemo, 4) need to drink lots of water throughout the day, atleast 8 ounces 8 glasses of water, 4) avoid tough smelly foods, 5) avoid big meal instead split into 5 to 6 portions and then have it throughout day. 6) tell her to take plenty of rest.

      Yes it is not an easy journey but hang in there. It will be done before even she realizing it. No one wants to take this journey but remember God a has plan which is always best for us. Of course, there is a reason people gets it, not because we did something wrong.

      Now, Mothers are always God's gift, no one is comparable to Mothers, my prayer for you and your mother to God to make it easy and quick recovery.

      over 7 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      Now, I know they give you anti-nausea medicine before the chemo drugs go through the infusion tube, but if they are predicting you might still feel icky, you can ask your oncologist if it's OK for you to take ginger root. While I was on chemo, I honestly think that God, ginger root, and yogurt (in that order) helped me not to get nauseated at all. I did have days where I had no apetite and was tired all the time; those days are ones you just have to go through and feel out for yourself how hard you may be hit and how you can deal with it. For example, I found popsicles really helped with the gross "I licked a flag pole" taste in my mouth. On your mother's hair, you might want to get her a bottle of baby shampoo; that's what I used, especially once mine started falling out. The most important thing you can do for her is just be there for her and hug her if she needs it. Oh, how many times did I feel the need to just fall into a friend or family member's arms and sob on their chest while I was sick from the chemo. It was so therapeutic for me that one afternoon how a friend from church came over and let me literally cry on her shoulder for a while. HUGS and God bless you!

      over 7 years ago
    • KimmieJo's Avatar
      KimmieJo

      The center where I get my chemo uses aromatherapy during chemo. They put some peppermint oil on a cotton ball and attach that to my shirt on my shoulder before they start the infusion process so that I can breathe it in. This has really helped me a LOT. There are other scents that help with the nausea but this one worked the best for me.

      I went to my local health food store and purchased a vial of it for use at home. It was inexpensive. I did still use the prescription nausea meds they gave me, but I did not have to use them as often.

      over 7 years ago
    • Baker_Chic's Avatar
      Baker_Chic

      I just finished chemo last Monday. I never had to take nausea meds...I was given some through my IV before chemo but was one of the lucky ones who didn't get sick. I did however have really bad issues with my stomach. I had acid issues so I was given protonix to take once a day. After I started that I still had a little issue but not nearly as bad as the first time. A few other tips, after my first treatment I had mouth sores and my body was horribly achy. For my mouth, I ate lemon drops and ice chips the first five minutes of my chemos and never had another issue. For the body aches, I had read on here about taking Claritin...she said to try it so I did...it worked like a charm. I took it two days before treatment and about five days after and never had anymore issues with being achy.

      over 7 years ago
    • dmholt1957's Avatar
      dmholt1957

      Tiff, I commend you for being there for your Mom and being so concerned about her treatments. A lot of women aren't as fortunate as your Mom is to have a daughter that truly is concerned about you. Mine was there or me too and she really helped me a lot thru my surgery and treatments, I also had a dear friend from church that come and took me to almost every one of my chemo treatments. I don't know what I would have done without all of them. As for meds, I totally agree with jewelhague about talking to onc. about Emend and the Ativan. I took Ativan and it really helped with the nausea and anxiety and helped me rest. I send up prayers for your Mom and your family that she will have an easy and speedy recovery. God bless.

      over 7 years ago
    • Horselady46's Avatar
      Horselady46

      Ginger ale, made with real sugar not corn syrup or other stuff. Plus there is a ginger gum that also helped with nausea. Glutamine helped me with fatigue. I took 3 times what they said and I now still take the recommended quantity. Both these things helped but didn't get rid of the effect completely.

      over 7 years ago
    • princess123's Avatar
      princess123

      My doctor gives me per-meds. Steroids and Previcid with my chemo and I don't get sick. I haven't figured out fatigue. I've been trying for 2 years.

      over 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Wishing your Mom the best in her treatments. Here is a Guide to Cancer we developed, there is a section on preparing for chemo in it, click here to read>>http://bit.ly/10BQKCi

      over 7 years ago
    • jojo2's Avatar
      jojo2

      Everyone reacts differently. I was the extreme, being nauseated all the time. I was nauseated for all nine months during my pregnancies even with medication so not really surprised. My oncologist ordered Emend, with Compazine and Ativan for breakthrough nausea. This was just not enough to make me feel even Ok. My PA ordered Zofran every 8 hours and this made a huge difference and I needed this until the end of treatment, even during radiation. As far as fatigue goes, try to do what you can, but I slept much more than normal and after tip toeing around for about a day, my family realized nothing was going to wake me up. I napped in a recliner in the living room, my family liked being able to check on me easily. The fatigue is something you have to work around, if you are tired you should sleep. I had to work due to my husband being laid off but being a nurse, was able to change my schedule to work best for me. This is a journey that has an end date, so do the best you can and you will make it to the end of treatment and recover. Go well. jojo2

      over 7 years ago
    • marybeth's Avatar
      marybeth

      I had a lot of nausea with AC. They gave me EMEND with each treatment and that helped a lot, but only had it for three days each time. By day four, I started to feel bad. First they gave me Compazine. It did no good at all. Then they tried reglan which made me feel even worse than I had. Finally, they tried Zofran and that helped a bit. Still had stomach problems but not nearly as bad. Keep asking if you need something more than what they initially give you. Its bad enough doing this without feeling sick all the time.

      over 7 years ago
    • Cece423's Avatar
      Cece423

      Lucky mom, she has you! The docs have lots of anti-nausea drugs, they're sure to find some combo that helps. They got mine down to just feeling "burpy". The best thing to fight the fatigue is regular exercise. She may not feel good enough for the first day or two after a treatment, but then try to schedule a walk or two every day for about 30 minutes or so. If you live somewhere cold, try the mall or the high school indoor track. Even mildly cold days when the sidewalk is dry can be managed. Naps are also wonderful! Very best wishes to both of you.

      over 7 years ago
    • debco148's Avatar
      debco148

      Best of luck to your Mom. You are wonderful to help her through this. The key with nausea is to get ahead of it and not let it even begin to occur. That is why the oncology nurses and doctors prescribe the meds right away. Have them on hand and the morning of the 2nd day after treatment start them right away. The meds they put in the drip usually work until then. But, don't wait for nausea, just have her take them anyway. I did exactly what they said to do and never had even a minute of nausea. These meds will probably cause constipation so make sure she is drinking lots of fluids, water, fruits, etc. I found watermelon was my friend at this time. A lot of the markets carry it out of season from Chile, etc. it is worth it. Chemo does a number on your taste buds so I found cold fruit like that or oranges worked best. Seemed to help a lot. Also, go get some of those fruit pops.. Edy's outshine are very good. This also helps with some of side effects as well to savor one of these pops was almost a highlight of my day. Also, fruit smoothies with some protein in them. The key is not to lose weight, to keep your energy up, but food generally tastes bad so you don't crave much. But, make sure she eats. And let it be whatever she wants... I had a craving for hot dogs and bologna...which I almost never eat normally, but it tasted good to me then. We are all different though, so let her tell you what she craves and then let her eat it. Also, make sure she goes for her shot of Neulasta and keeps up with getting her blood counts checked so that her immune system is Additionally, it will help keep from getting her depressed. If she says she wants to go out, go shopping whatever, let her do it. Our bodies know what they need. Best to you!

      over 7 years ago
    • Lmagidsohn's Avatar
      Lmagidsohn

      Tell the doctor to put ZOFRAN in her chemo mix. It is the new miracle drug that all the oncologists are using. It saved my life. I never ONCE had nausea. It is amazing.
      the fatigue goes along with chemo and cancer and it will last a long time and there is nothing she can do but rest and take it easy.
      Good luck, the road is not easy but there is light at the end of the tunnel, Leslie

      over 7 years ago
    • Yallpaint's Avatar
      Yallpaint

      All good advice here. Doctors can help you with the side effects, you just have to ask. The main thing with chemo is not to let it steal your spirit any more than necessary. The medicine will do its work regardless of her outlook. Her job is to keep a generally optimistic attitude in spite of the physical toll this will take. This is not only a battle for health, it is a battle for life. One can not be pitiful and powerful at the same time.

      over 7 years ago
    • Teachergirl's Avatar
      Teachergirl

      Do you know what type of chemo? I started with AC and it was really helpful to bring a frozen drink with me. I sipped the drink to keep the mouth cold when they were administering the chemo, My oncologist told me that it constricts the blood vessels in the mouth and prevents the change in taste buds. It worked! They will most likely give anti nausea meds through the iv/port prior to administering the chemo. Each oncologist usually has their own preference for the meds they use and if it doesn't work for your mom she should let them know. when the nausea hit me I found it helped to chew peppermint gum. best wishes to your mom and please let us know how she is doing.

      over 7 years ago
    • grammy's Avatar
      grammy

      A friend who had chemo told me to take the oral anti-nausea medicine prescribed by the oncologist the day of chemo and to take it for 3 days after chemo. This is in addition to the infusion of anti-nausea meds they will give your mom before each chemo. I did this and never once felt nauseous. Try not to let the nausea get ahead of your mom but rather take the meds with the chemo and several days afterwards. Also, I walked every day. I tried to walk 3 miles per day but when I got really tired I walked as much as I could. Maybe 1/2 to 1 mile. I told my husband to not let me stop walking and so we walked and walked. I also took yoga once a week and I believe between the walking and the yoga they really helped with the fatigue and helped with mood also. Good luck to your mom and don't let your mom suffer. Ask the nurses and doctor what else can be done if she becomes nauseous. There is so much out there that they can do to help.

      over 7 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar
      karen1956

      Take all the pre-meds that are Rx and any anti-nausea meds after each chemo....I had horrid, horrid nausea (always got car sick, had awful morning sickness when pregnant) and took several anti-nausea meds after each chemo...drink lots and lots and lots of water to flush the chemo out....ginger is supposed to help with nausea...so ginger tea, or buy liquid ginger to put in hot water.....listen to your body...nap when you need to....eat whatever tastes good....I couldn't stand smells so that made it hard to use some things that the other gals have suggested...Wishing you an easy time.../

      over 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      Emend is the best anti-nausea drug out there because it works great and patients feel good with it and it doesn't put you to sleep and have other irritating side effects. Ask ahead of time if they can give it to your mother while she is having chemo...they seem to use it with some chemos and not others but I don't know why. I didn't get Emend but still I never threw up while undergoing chemo, the worse I felt was a little nauseous at times but that was mostly from constipation. I was told to take L-Glutamine Powder as well, you take it a few days before and after chemo if I remember correctly and it seemed to help me. Lemon grass tea is also good, and green power can help if you want to go natural. But please ask the oncologist for help with the possible side effects ahead of time- they are really good at helping people with them now and if she is in treatment at a cancer center they should have doctors available that do nothing else but help with the side effects. Hopefully she will do well and sleep through it like I did, chemo is hard but it isn't nearly as bad as it was a generation ago...I know because I was a caregiver decades ago and now I'm a patient. Good luck and god bless!

      over 7 years ago
    • workit's Avatar
      workit

      Cece423 and grammy give some good advice about fatigue - walk, move, exercise, too much resting will prolong and worsen the fatigue. Exercise is a category 1 (highest) recommendation in the NCCN guidelines for cancer treatment related fatigue.

      If she has to, break exercise up into 10 minute portions a number of times a day. If she does nap, set a timer and limit them to 40 minutes, otherwise night sleep can get messed up.

      It may seem counter intuitive to exercise (walking is fine) when feeling fatigued, but it helps. It also helps to prevent de-conditioning, which contributes to fatigue. This should be considered a part of her treatment plan. It may also help to keep her bowels more regular since some of the anti-nausea meds can cause constipation.

      All the best to your mother throughout treatment and afterwards.

      over 7 years ago

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