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    Lkeith shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): Chemotherapy has not been easy. The first week is very bad. Other weeks I recover OK. I can’t wait until this is over.

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    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Hi. I wish your chemo first weeks weren’t so bad. I’m assuming you’re getting AC and then Taxol. I didn’t have Taxol, but from what I’ve heard, nausea isn’t usually a side effect. I see you’re halfway through your chemo, and I wish you a much more comfortable time.

      4 months ago
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    Lkeith wrote on channing2623's wall

    Hi. Looks like we have very similar journeys. How are you doing? I am halfway done with chemo therapy treatment, then surgery and radiation. Struggling with my treatments, concerned about permanent damage. Please reply. Thanks.

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    kalindria wrote on Lkeith's wall

    I read you'll be starting chemo soon. I'll be starting chemo AGAIN soon. I didn't see anywhere whether or not you have a port, but if that's an option, I highly recommend you get one. It makes life much easier.

    I was apprehensive at first, expecting to have pain or discomfort from the chemo but it flowed into me and nothing. I did have side effects afterward but nothing really at the time other than a bit of tiredness from the Benadryl they gave me.

    I also did visualizations during treatments - I pictured little Ms. Pacmen chomping up the cancer cells as the liquid flowed into my body. Kind of crazy but for me, it helped. I told my body that this was good stuff to help it fight the tumors that were causing me so much pain/problems.

    I have had two recurrences which sucks but that's the usual story with stage IV ovarian cancer so I have accepted it. I hope your experience is different and that you can have the one-and-done experience. Whatever lies in store, if you want to share your experiences or have questions, I'd be happy to help.

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    Carool wrote on Lkeith's wall

    Hi! I, too, was very scared (who isn’t?). Apology if I’m repeating myself now. I had one infusion of Adriamycin and Cytoxan, combined, every three weeks (four infusions altogether, same as you’ll be getting). Mine took an hour or so from start to finish (not counting the blood work done right before each infusion, to make sure the white blood cells are high enough; if not, you’ll get Neupogen or something like that).

    Once my first infusion was over and I went home, I felt pretty okay. This was 20 years ago, and I may have forgotten things, but I’m sure I’m remembering accurately how I felt. That night I had heartburn (which I never have). I think I began to feel queasy after that. Oh - you’ll be given Zofran or some other anti-nausea med right before you start the infusion, and you’ll get some to take home and use as prescribed. You may also get Ativan to take home. And maybe other good meds to prevent nausea.

    Nowadays, patients get steroids, too, to help with nausea. Those weren’t given to me back then, from what I know.

    I was able to work, see friends, sleep, eat. Food had an unpleasant taste (metallic). There are ways to help with that. I think here on WN you’ll find some, and your chemo nurse may give you suggestions. I ended up eating five donuts a day, as they tasted pretty normal. Gained weight, as you can imagine. Not a lot, but some, and who cares?

    I lost every hair on my body. My hair started falling out maybe 10 days after my first chemo. I got it buzzed off. Bought two wigs. Ended up going bald at my crazy job (almost everything was allowed there!). You may want to wear scarves instead of a wig.

    I just realized that MY first chemo was just about now, though 20 years ago! So the wig-wearing-weather was similar to yours, even though you’re in MN and I’m in NY (Brooklyn). My wig was hot to wear until about October.

    My subsequent chemo treatments were no worse than the first one (I think). Everyone’s body reacts differently from everyone else’s, obviously. But I can say, from the experience of the women in my adjuvant treatment weekly group at MSKCC, that most of the other women reacted to their similar chemos as I did: They were able to carry on with their usual lives.I did feel lousy twice during the 3.5 months of chemo. And I never felt all that great. But it was doable and definitely not horrible. And before you know it, it’s over.

    Let yourself feel and do whatever feels best (as much as you can). If you’re tired and can rest, rest. If you feel sad or angry or whatever, acknowledge your “negative” feelings—you don’t have to be “positive.” But if you can’t feel anything but sad, seek counseling. I found the support group of immense value. And a number of years after I’d finished all treatments, I went to a shrink and got an antidepressant (Lexapro, which has almost none of the usual side effects of most antidepressants).

    I hope this helps you. You will be fine. All of us here on WN hold you close. Hugs from me in Brooklyn to you in Alexandria -

    Carool

    P.S. Btw, at my first infusion, the chemo nurse gave me the Zofran pill, and I promptly dropped it. She said, “That pill cost $50.” That was in 1999. I wonder what it costs now. Don’t drop your pill! LOL!

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    Lkeith wrote on Carool's wall

    Hi. I just saw your post at the site, and think we have similarities. I am just starting my treatments this week, first of four. Very scared and uneasy about all of this, so overwhelming. Wondering how sick I will be and all the side effects. Any advice?