• I start chemo ...Tomorrow! !!!!. I'm a little anxious of course...just wanted to get first day stories. or advise ...I'm ready but nervous!

    Asked by coco48 on Monday, April 15, 2013

    I start chemo ...Tomorrow! !!!!. I'm a little anxious of course...just wanted to get first day stories. or advise ...I'm ready but nervous!

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Hi Coco. Suggestions on stuff to take w/you: I always took a warm blanket, a pile of books, suduko puzzles, juice, lunch (as I was in there for 6 hours) and the large plastic water glass I got from the hospital. I had a reaction to Taxol, which scared me, but I had every oncology nurse on the floor at my side as soon as I yelled for help. If you feel weird, ask questions. The nurses do tend to circulate very frequently. I always asked what was going into me each time they made a change. For a lot of people, the steroids they give you make you sleepy, and you may nap -- I can't sleep sitting up, so I was awake the entire time. My other suggestion -- make sure you take all your meds as instructed. I took my nausea meds as prescribed and I was lucky enough not to have major issues -- I think I threw up once in the entire 5 months. And once you get through the first one, you'll have an idea of what to expect and what works for you. I wish you the best of luck and may you have few side effect & only the mildest of those!

      over 5 years ago
    • Caroclara's Avatar

      Always, I repeat always, bring a friend (who knows when to shut up) with you, a soft blanket as you may doze in and out of sleep. My friend got me lunch, hot soup which felt really good going down. Ask you doc. for anti nausea meds in the drip. I never felt like reading. Was very tired on first round and foolishly went wig shopping after and took my friends to lunch...wrong. Go home and rest. Give a list of willing friends to your best friend and ask her to ask them to bring you easy to digest meals, no meat. Pureed squash soup, pasta etc. Eat small amounts and drink as much as possible although you won't feel like it. When they say to you drink as much as possible ask WHY and ask that to anything they tell you. I didn't know till I investigated later that drinking keeps the chemo out of your bladder therefore reducing the risk of future bladder cancer. I may have forced my self to drink more if I'd known.I wish you well, everyone reacts differently, one friend was out working every day, another digging clams, me...I stayed on the couch. Good luck, will send healing vibes your way.

      over 5 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      Coco - I dress up for my treatments - heels, skinny jeans and definitely my wig. I go in there feeling in control and sassy. For my first treatment I went in in yoga pants and feeling timid and weak. After that I took control. I even pick a theme song. First time was DIVA by Beyonce, this one will be GIRL ON FIRE by Alicia Keys!! Good luck!

      over 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      consider asking about glutamine as a supplement during chemo. you can buy this as a powder at health food stores - you swirl about 10g in a cup of water and drink up three times per day for the first 3-4 days after each treatment (or more).

      it's a supplement that's actually been vetted out in clinical trial and shown to reduce side effects like mouth sores and neuropathy... without compromising the efficacy of the chemo.

      so, ask your health care team about adding it. mine was very supportive of this one! and the two cycles during which i slacked off - i got horrid awful mouth sores!!!! i had very little neuropathy through the taxol and carboplatin phase (known to have neuropathy as a fairly common side effect) - just a wee bit of tingling in my finger tips and toes. that, by the way, has completely resolved.

      and... if you're interested... rleepenn.wordpress.com - i do have a post in there about chemo therapy tips...

      and... it's funny, but you'll just feel better because the ball is rolling... even if you end up with some side effects... mentally, i felt better right away even as i was scared ....

      as for what to take... our chemo unit had warmed blankets, so i never took a blanket with me... and the benadryl and ativan they infused prior to the actual chemo infusion made me super duper sleepy... and our chairs reclined nicely, so i got a solid nap nearly every time. if you're feeling anxious and scared and stuff - go for the ativan - that stuff is GREAT - makes things just go more smoothly... my better half went to every single one, and that was nice. we'd watch some stupid show in the ipad until nap time arrived... and then my better half would get some work done while i snored away....

      the chemo nurses at our unit - they are AMAZING - they are so kind and so competent... i always felt safe and secure in their care....

      good luck - please post here and let us all know how your first one goes!

      over 5 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      Oh - here's the link to the tips post that I wrote a while back...


      over 5 years ago
    • ColoradoCathy's Avatar

      Hi Coco, Yep, chemo is certainly scary. I went to my first one about 10 months ago and it was one of the most anxious times I have ever had. BUT, I quickly found out that I was well taken care of and among friends. Our chemo room typically has 6 or 7 women receiving chemo at one time. Sometimes it gets quiet, but mostly we chat, share stories and laugh. The nurses will keep a very close eye on you and should explain everything that is going on. Bring a blanket if your unit doesn't have them as you will get chilled. I also brought books, mags, water bottle, food, and my cell phone. Bring a friend if you have one handy. I went alone to every session and never felt alone because there is always someone to talk to if you are inclined. Also, sometimes I just wanted to sit quietly and read. Leepen wrote about taking glutamine. My oncologist recommended it and I take it throughout my treatment, 5 mgs per day with juice. I also take a slew of vitamines. Your oncologist may recommend some and be sure to take them. Everyone has a different set of side effects from chemo. I was usually fine for the first 2 days then became achey and tired for a couple more followed by a quick improvement until the next cycle. Listen to your body, rest when you need to, hire someone to clean your house (I did and was forever grateful), stay connected to friends and family, and find a reason to laugh and be grateful every day. Good luck on your journey!

      over 5 years ago
    • little_fut's Avatar

      I just had my first chemo last wednesday. All went well. It is so doable, get some desitine to alleviate the diaper rash symptom....start now before the rash comes. I wish i'd done it. Now i know to use it before my next chemo round. Good luck and dont over due just cuz you feel ok. I am so greatful i have the chance to fight back. I will keep you in my prayers. Ask your doc forsome mouthwash called macic mouthwash. It is helping with the yuck mouth.

      over 5 years ago
    • KarynBe's Avatar

      There was some very good advice from the community. The one thing I remember about my first chemo was how the med's felt as it started to go into my body. It was a weird cold, icy feeling, then after awhile it felt like a steady buzzing through out my body. It was NOT painful, it was just unexpected. It felt like my body and brain were vibrating, my skin was tingly. Another thing, the drip will be slow at first, to gauge your tolerance and check to see if there are going to be any allergic reactions. Your first chemo may take several hours; but after the first one, they should be able to adjust it.

      I would also suggest bringing lifesavers or something to suck on. You might get a weird metal taste or dry mouth. Like the others have said, chemo affects people differently. I dressed in layers, I couldn't decide whether I was hot or cold. Also, the sound from the machine may take some getting used to. There's a pump, that administers the medicine. There may also be a beep every now and then. It doesn't mean anything's wrong, but it always freaked out my son when he heard it.

      Your first night you may have hot flashes. I always had a big bowl of ice by my bed with a wet washcloth on top of it just in case I needed to cool off. I didn't really get nauseous, like I've heard others talk about before. I don't know if it's from the med's my doctor gave me before the treatment or if it was from the lemon ginger tea I was drinking constantly.

      Good luck Coco!! Get lots of rest and drink lots of water

      over 5 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      I love HearMeRoar's Diva answer, but for me, I chose my warm and comfy clothes. I also had no idea that I'd have to use the bathroom 20 times while getting the infusion, so after round 1, I liked to choose a chemo chair closer to the restroom. Good luck to you tomorrow! Just remember to take it easy when for a while and find out how your body will react - try not to overdo things.

      over 5 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar

      Good luck with chemo.
      I was groggy on day one because I had just had the port put in. Very nervous and afraid of the "poison" they were going to infuse. Not a problem. The premeds kept me in la la land, and no bad effects from day 1 - - or any other day except fatigue. Changed my attitude from poison to good health medication.

      over 5 years ago
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      Good luck tomorrow w/chemo. You might want to keep track of your reaction(s) to each treatment so that in time, you can predict how you will feel ahead of time, and thus be more "in charge" of planning your activities around chemo. I always felt GOOD day of chemo, it was usually a couple of days later when I felt bad. One more thing--they will probably give you steroids to help avoid nausea. I was always AWAKE for about two days after each session until I realized I should ask my doc about cutting down the dosage. I finally asked him and he cut my dose IN HALF! I still avoided nausea, but finally was able to sleep! YES! (Why did I wait so long?) Good luck w/chemo, we will be thinking of you.

      over 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      As always, lots of great answers from our members, you guys always impress me!

      Thanks to everyone for your help to others on the site!

      Greg P
      3x Survivor
      Team WhatNext
      Community Mgr.

      over 5 years ago

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