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 My tips for chemo...
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Deb Allen

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Sunday, February 22, 2009 12:34 AM
Wonderful suggestions and additions.  While I realize many may not have certain options, I would like to share one thing that saved me and my hubby countless $$$...Since both of us have/had experience in some form or fashion of the medical community, (or were willing to learn) and since we live 85 miles one-way from my oncology team, we were so fortunate to be able to have the Neulasta and Procrit shipped to our home, along with appropriate supplies, so that I was able to inject my self with the Neulasta 24 hours after each chemo, and the Procrit on a weekly basis was injected by my husband.  It saved us time, travel, and peace of mind.  If this is something anyone might be comfortable with, please ask your onc team.  It IS possible, and it's not that difficult, plus I got to go lay down in my own bed immediately after every shot, and say in the comfort of my own home as much as possible. 

Regarding the hair loss, another post for another time, but we all need to chip in and help each other with our own experiences and our individual tips and tricks. 

Luv to all,
Deb/aka Mimi
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




CMFR1

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Sunday, February 22, 2009 8:15 AM
Great idea. Let me add:

1. Drink tons of water during chemo - through all the weeks of infusions.
2. Get regular exercise - even if its just a 10-15 minute walk each day - it will help with constipation.
3. The BRAT diet is always available if everything else tastes awful.
4. Go to a Look Good Feel Better program offered by the ACS for the positive boost (and free make up).
5. Write down your questions and any side effects you experience and bring it to each session to ask your doctor and nurses.

And most importantly, yes it will end, your hair will grow back, and you will feel better.
Caroline
Diagnosed 05/2007, Stage IIA, 1.4cm tumor, ER/PR+, Her2-, lumpectomy, chemo and rads.
1981 Thyroid cancer
Otherwise I am consider myself a professional patient who feels as healthy as a horse on the way to the glue factory as I cope with all my other medical maladies
 
Vera

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Sunday, February 22, 2009 12:12 PM
Great post for the newbies.

I will add that your skin will become terribly dry from chemo, so make sure you moisturize like crazy.

Also, when you don't feel like eating much, you can become constipated & you should have stool softeners handy for those times.

Look at it as 1 less treatment instead of 1 more.  You will make it thru this.

Listen to your body & rest, or sleep when you need to.
Vera 54yrs - NE Ohio
married to a great guy
dx 5/27/08
IDC Stage II
Er+PR+Her2-
Lumpectomy clear margins 6/20/08
Tumor 2.3cm
2/9 nodes+
4 A/C &12 Taxol Done - Rads -DONE
Putting on the BIG GIRL PANTIES and Combat Boots
Deb Allen

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, February 27, 2009 6:34 PM
   
Well, I absolutely welcome the new forums menu (I especially like the different categories), but it seemed like it took me 4 forevers to get to where I could reply or post to anything.  May be my 'puter     Or it maybe the traffic as we try to navigate the new highways and by-ways, not to mention the mix-masters...  Seriously, I am thankful to see topics in an outline format.  Now, back to what post I think I was posting too...   (that's supposed to be me scratching my head, not the pox!!)... Chemo tips, one other or two things I thought of was to keep a supply of fruit based popsicles for when you have no taste buds, and the yucky mouth feeling.  Plus I want to emphasize the need for fiber, stool softeners, etc.  Oh yeah, I found out the hard way what helps the most when it comes to shower time.  My hubby and I have a "stand up" shower   in our bathroom, and there were many times when I just didn't have the strength to stand up.  SO, we bought a "shower stool" and one of those extendable, adjustable shower heads so that I can sit as long as I want, adjust the volume and direction of the shower spray, and if necessary, David can even strap me in so I don't fall over  (ok, that last part was kidding) but when you can sit and let warm water pulse over you at your speed and temp, it is worth everything.  Just make sure you don't try this when you are alone (hot water, fainting...  NOT a good combo), and work out a signal so that you have your time, and so your significant other knows when to check on you.  Once you get out of this bliss on earth, have a big ole fluffy towel to drape yourself in, and don't rub dry, PAT dry, saving your skin from further dryness.  Try it, It works.  Let me know!! 
Luv to all, Deb/aka Mimi





[link=http://www.smileycentral.com/dl/index.jhtml?partner=ZSzeb114_ZCxdm869MOUS&utm_id=7922][/link]
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




Tricia Keegan

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, February 27, 2009 6:44 PM
Very helpful Deb and thanks!
I moved your post here as I felt it would be especially helpful to anyone starting chemo that has'nt actually posted yet. We may have a few teething problems but we're getting there!
Thanks for the input..
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia
sue_h

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, February 27, 2009 10:17 PM
Great tips!  I also want to add a couple:

-Make sure to tell your nurse or oncologist all of your symptoms, because you never know what's going to be important for them to know. I mentioned conversationally to my chemo nurse that I was starting to get neuropathy in my feet, and after asking me a bunch of questions, she conferred with the oncologist and I ended up finishing chemo two treatments early because they were worried the risk of permanent damage outweighed the benefits of my last two treatments.

-Take your anti-nausea meds at the first sign of discomfort. The only time I ever threw up was when I put off taking the meds.

-If you get a wig, you can wash it with baby shampoo and it will turn out fine. No need for that expensive (and huge) bottle of wig shampoo.
 
-If you can manage it, make room in your daily schedule for a nap. You may not need it at first, but the longer you go, the more tired you'll be.  I'm really good at falling asleep while sitting upright in a chair now!

-You will probably gain weight. My onc says most of her patients gain 10 to 15 pounds.

-It can take up to six months after you stop treatment to get your full energy back.

Sue
jaspielman

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Sunday, March 08, 2009 10:16 PM
hemp protien powder 45% fiber gets ya moving in no time!
Julie  in Oklahoma  45
2 kids 25 21 3 dogs
1 wonderful husband
SURVIVOR 2009
THIS IS CANCER IT IS TIME TO TAKE OFF THE BIG GIRL PANTIES
AND TIME TO GO COMANDO!
AND KILL IT ONCE AND FOR ALL!

Cindy D.

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Wednesday, March 25, 2009 11:33 AM
Just a bump to get this to the top of the threads!!

cindy d.
Mass. 
56 yrs old
dx 1/10/07
Stage IIIa
ER/PR +,Her2 -
chemo: 4ac/4 taxol  5/24/07
lump: 6/18/07
mast: 7/16/07
tamoxifen: 7/25/07-2/9/09
rads:  10/25/07
clinical trial: avastin and xeloda, 12/07-11/08
arimidex/lupron: 2/09/09-12/28/11
clinical trial: femara 1/1/12 9 months on, 3 months off
Mhmama

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, April 30, 2009 3:14 PM
I had my first chemo in July 2008 but it took me a while to learn one very important thing......  If you are feeling weak, sore, nauseous, or any other problems, call your doctor or in my case, my chemo nurses.
I thought it was normal to feel weak and be unable to get out of bed.  Turned out I not only needed to be hydrated but my WBC was so low that I ended up in hospital for 6 days.  My doctor and my nurses gave me a long lecture about calling them whenever I didn't feel "right" and after that I did.  I ended up having to be hydrated twice a week throughout the chemo and having to have my A/C chemo cut 25% due to complications. 
Deb Allen

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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, April 30, 2009 4:24 PM
That is a great reminder.  I know even though I was on Neulasta and Procrit to help boost my WBCs and HCT/HGB, I still ended up with a neutropenic fever.  Anything feeling you have that ain't quite right...let them know.  Thanks.

Deb/aka Mimi
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




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