• Someone wanted to know what to expect from chemo. Please post what was your experience like during and after 1st chemo session?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Friday, August 16, 2019

    Someone wanted to know what to expect from chemo. Please post what was your experience like during and after 1st chemo session?

    Did you have: nausea, vomiting, headaches, soreness, or no immediate side effects at all?

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • JaneA's Avatar

      Like everyone, I was terrified going in for my first chemo. First of all, the chemo nurses are wonderful. They know that you are frightened and are watchful over you to help ensure that should you have a reaction to the chemo that they will catch it immediately.

      I didn't have any adverse reactions. I was tired at the end of the day because they run the infusions more slowly the first day to err on the side of caution.

      The strangest part is that this is it - I really have cancer and I'm at chemo. Learning the system, learning how to pull your pole with you to the bathroom and just seeing, in general, how coming to chemo really is.

      7 months ago
    • cllinda's Avatar

      Everyone's different. I think the first couple days from chemo, I was just feeling a little off. And then by the weekend I would feel like I had the flu. And as treatments went on, the symptoms grew worse.
      They do have more remedies now than when I went through treatments seven years ago.

      6 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      I was very scared for the first day. It was overwhelming, and I couldn't get the ideas that I had about chemo from other's stories and TV and movies. The nurses are wonderful. The one that I had on the first day told me that chemo was not what it used to be, and she was right. That evening I thought I felt a little nauseous, so I took an anti-nauseous pill. I don't think I really needed it. It must have just been nerves. I never felt nauseous again. I went to work the day after for all of my treatments. I had been warned that it might all hit on day 2 or 3. I kept waiting for it to come, but it never did. Let us know if we can provide any more information for you. I hope it all goes well for you. Take care.

      6 months ago
    • Carool's Avatar

      Mine was twenty years ago, and ways to ameliorate chemo’s side effects have improved. I had four infusions of Adriamycin and Cytoxan combined, each three weeks apart. The first night after each infusion, I had heartburn. I felt queasy throughout chemo but only got very sick to my stomach twice in the entire three and a half months. Food had a metallic taste. I was 51 at that time and had enough energy to be able to continue to work at my 25-hour-a-week office job, socialize, etc. I lost all hair everywhere. I felt sort of weird but still “me.”

      My white blood cell count never got low enough for me to need Neupogen to help raise it, so I avoided the bone pain that Neupogen can cause. No fun, but we get through it. And nowadays the anti-nausea meds are much better.

      6 months ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      For me, I had one type of chemo that made me nauseous with severe vomiting. Also, I had sores, sleep issues, eating issues, etc. The following year I had a different type of chemo drug with little to no problems. This was 32 years ago, however, and since then there have been huge advancements in controlling the common side effects. Lots of people report that they can tolerate it quite well. It's no walk in the park on a sunny day but it's much less severe than it was years ago.

      6 months ago
    • Julesmom's Avatar

      I had issues when I first started but I told the doctors and nurses about them and they were mostly corrected with either drugs or by adjusting my dose of chemo.

      6 months ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar

      I was scared before my first infusion chemo session back in 2016 because I'd just had a very strong cancer surgery and felt like I was barely back up on my feet from that, on the day that round 1 was going to start.

      I went in and just quietly took my treatment without complaining. I did end up really sick from it later in the week because it turned out that it worked as a neurotoxin on me, but during infusion I was mostly just very tired.

      The nurse bent over back wards to try to make sure I had as few possible side effects as could be. She even made sure I had extra Ativan when I was feeling pretty nauseous and distressed.

      FOLFOX Chemo was not a picnic , but was a winnable battle at least. It wasnt like the old stories is always heard of hugging the toilet for weeks.

      Thats not to say that it's not possible for chemo to be that bad. I am having a severe reaction to a different chemo now, and the doctor had to lower the strength of It. I may be in hospital for all of round 2 to manage my symptoms, but I'm a little unusual there.

      It is just very less likely to be that bad anymore for many chemos initially. I am not going through all of the complicated and awful pain that my grandmother did during her chemo in the 1970s! Some of this is due to better treatments, some of it is due to much better doctoring and nursing.

      6 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      I was pleasantly surprised by my first chemo - at first. The only experience I had was watching my dad go through chemo in the late-70's and it was ugly. So, I expected to be sick before I ever made it from the clinic to home ... but with the steroids they give you, I didn't get sick for 2 days after my treatment. A lot of people can take anti-nausea pills to control their side effects, but the pills didn't work for me. I couldn't eat anything - the thought sent me to the bathroom to throw up ... but I also couldn't drink anything and that meant that I got horribly constipated. Make yourself drink water. The constipation was just awful.

      There were two or three days where I was in bed, cuddled with my dog, sleeping away the day. I got out of bed to throw up and to urinate. I would begin to turn the nausea corner and I would come into the den and tell my husband it was time to go to Furr's Cafeteria for roast beef. Had to be Furr's; had to be their roast. Every time.

      I experienced fatigue for the first week that made it hard to make it from the den to the kitchen - not a very long distance. But, before it was time for my next treatment in three weeks, I was out with my dogs, doing our daily mile or two walk before work and running agility at night and on weekends - far more slowly than before, but doing it ... I would be wiped out from the exercise, but could rejuvenate a bit after resting a few hours.

      I hope to never have to go through that experience again, but I know it is doable at this point. And, like everyone has said, everyone experiences something different when they go through treatments. You never know for sure how your body is going to react until put into the situation.

      Best of luck!!

      6 months ago
    • IKickedIt's Avatar

      First chemo session was a piece of cake. Yes, I was terrified, but it was uneventful other than immediately feeling tingling in my mouth and being too sensitive to drink anything cold. But the nurses had told me that was going to happen. They had given me anti-anxiety meds so I slept. After this first treatment, I declined the anti-anxiety meds because I wasn't able to drive if I had them, and I was feeling well enough and actually went to work afterwards.

      I was so happy walking out of my first treatment. I went home and told my husband I was going bake brownies to celebrate. While getting the ingredients together, I grabbed a pretzel (the really thick sourdough pretzels) to eat and took that first bite and screamed out in excruciating pain, honestly falling and laying my face on the cool floor to ease the pain. Needless to say, I didn't bake the brownies, nor did I attempt to eat any solids during the first few days after chemo.

      For me, the actual treatments were never a problem. I'd finish up and go to work afterwards, chemo bag attached to my waist. It wasn't until I was unplugged from the treatment (2 days later) that I crashed and was out of commission for a few days. Days 3-8 were the toughest. It was pretty consistent and fell into a pattern so I could prepare for the bad days.

      6 months ago
    • Boogerman's Avatar

      Mine started out just fine, actually better than I had expected. Then each week I got a little weaker and felt a little worse. I got fatigued pretty bad and had to take off work early. After about 3/4 the way through I was at my worst or lowest point. Then I started getting a little better until the end. Now with just maintenance (I think that's what they call these) treatments I am doing better.

      6 months ago
    • smlroger's Avatar

      Two different times over 3 years with chemo. First was pretty easy. Just fatigue. No nausea no hair loss. Was doing 35 radiation treatments at same time that kicked my XXX. Second chemo 3 years later, of course different type about did me in. No nausea but lost all hair, weight and extremely fatigued. Didn’t really recognize myself in the mirror. Both times going into it with the confidence that it will work and I will be stronger when it’s over. Be positive keep working and don’t let it get to you.

      6 months ago

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