- Joined: 7/16/2007
Re:My tips for chemo...
Wednesday, May 13, 2009 9:09 PM
Robin, when I posted my "tips for chemo" I was flying blind by the seat of my pants, trying to remember what helped me, and what I felt like and what was the worst. There is no way to cover everything, but there are a few things I learned along the way, some were simply trial by fire, some were taught by chemo nurses, and others, are in hindsight. I would have given almost anything to have been aware of this site during my own chemo treatment. Didn't know, wasn't informed, walked in blind. All I knew about chemo was what our mother's mothers spoke in whispers about. The worst of the worst. To make it even more personal for me, I worked at a law enforcement agency, and a highly respected, much loved detective I had known for over 5 years, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, about 2 years before my own diagnosis. I ended up sitting in some of the same chemo chairs as he did, and he died right before my diagnosis. Sounds pretty dreary, but I had nurses taking care of and educating me while knowing that they took the best care of my friend.
Now with that out the way, take books, take paper, take pens, take a friend, ask, ask, ask questions, write down everything or have your friend write down everything. Some of the best naps will be in the chair, please get a port, not a picc line, and drink fluids, lots of fluids. Above all, allow yourself time to rest and to just be. Don't go alone, you will feel euphoric for a bit after the chemo, but that is in part due to the decadron, and other meds given prior to the real stuff. Don't freak when you pee red...drink more water, that is the "red devil" coming out.
When you hurt, yell out, don't suffer in silence, ask for and you should receive any and everything you need. Be prepared for mouth blisters, diarrhea, constipation, aches, and just write it all down, and do what you have to do...call your docs, and scream bloody murder, there is no reason to suffer. Seriously, I don't mean to scare you, but this is chemo, and the poison is killing the cancer. Allow yourself to be human, curl up and sleep and cry. But keep fighting, and it does get better. When you feel like you can't go on,,,come back here, and someone will be here for you...hopefully I will.
Feel free to PM me, and then you can shoot me if I shared too much!! I wish I had known then what I know now, and I'm still here.
Hugs and love to you sweet Robin...
Deb/aka Mimi Dx '03, ER/PR+, Her2+, Grade II, Stage III SNB, 18 wks chemo 36 rads;
Rec in 07, Bi-mast/DIEP 08/29/07; MRSA in abd incision w/resulting hernia, difficult healing
Still alive and kicking and ornery as ever...butterfly kisses to all