My tips for chemo...

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smarssygirl76
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, August 13, 2009 7:45 PM
Thanks so much ladies, it's been a journey for sure!!! I talked with my onc today before my LAST treatment, he said my CT scans were all clear and I'm good to go!!! So next appointment is with the surgeon on the 24th!!

Thank you again :)

sazbro
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Saturday, September 19, 2009 7:58 PM
Hi,
I am going to have my first consultation with the oncologist for pre-operative chemo on Sept. 24.  My Dr. receommeded A/C and Taxol. I have to admit, I'm scared because I watched my mother go through chemo for ovarian cancer back in the 90's. 

Thank yo so much for your tips, they will really come in handy. 

I will keep you posted on my progress.  

farla
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, September 24, 2009 8:48 AM
Hi, and Thanks everyone for the tips.  I started vomiting the first night, and thought that was normal! My husband brought me back to my onc, who kept mentioning my nausea, and I said no - I vomited!!  I was told I rewrote the rules.  Lucky me!
When I was 14, I was slapped in one of those big back braces, and didn't have a date until it was off!  I learned then that people, even supposedly well mannered adults stare.  Well ladies - Stick your tongue out at anyone who stares at your head!!!  I did it at 14, I'll do it again at 48. It really embarrasses them and it is a hoot to see them turn red!
I was told to chew on crystalized ginger for the nausea, but be careful - it is strong - a little bite and you are so involved with what is going on in your mouth that your forget your nausea!
And please don't forget to sunscreen.
Love y'all,
Farla
dx 8/09, R double lumpectomy, invasive mixed DCIS/LCIS
ER + PR + Her -
1/3 Sentinel pos. 1/15 nodes pos
 Stage 2A  Grade 2, Nottingham 6
chemo A/C x4, Taxol x 4 started 9/21/09 DONE!!!
femara  started 2/5/10
rads  2/8/10 DONE!!!
Now - osteoporosis?  Vit D, calcium, and a baby aspirin to boot!

BigDTLT
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Monday, October 05, 2009 4:40 PM
I am a 7 yr ovarian cancer survivor, newly diagnosed breast cancer survivor.
I just had my 3rd chemo for breast cancer.
Had two regular rounds with the ovarian cancer and one high dose round with a stem cell transplant for the ovarian.
I have had lots of chemo.....
 
As far as the mouth sores, try eating chipped ice while getting chemo. The cold will help keep the chemo from going to your mouth. So far this has worked for me thru all my chemos.....this advice was given to me at M. D. Anderson Cancer Hospital where I got my stem cell transplant.
 
Watch out for the popsicles and Italian Ice....while they taste good, they are tart and could  upset your stomach.
 
The side effects of chemo normally start with me about two days after......I am really weak because I do not want to eat.....and that is because nothing tastes good.....I have found that if you try starches....bread...pasta...potatoes...rice....they will work best.....not much taste to begin with, so no major change in taste except what seasoning you might use.....I have always been able to keep down Campbells Chicken Noodle soup and Sweet Sue canned chicken and dumplings.....I can also tolerate canned black eyed peas.....My biggest problem the week after chemo is that it is very very difficult to eat fruits and vegetables.......I think I probably eat a salad once a day for the two weeks in between chemo......your body will crave those good things if you cannot get them down immediately after chemo....
 
The hydration is very important too.....I have found that cranberry or cranapple juice mixed with seven up or sprite works for me.....
 
I also find that if I can stay as still as possible in a dark room, that helps.....I have family come stay with me during the week after chemo so that I can concentrate on getting better......use that help if it is available.....
 
My husband and I try to eat out the weekend before I get chemo on Monday, and by the following Sunday I am usually ready to eat out again....reward yourself and let someone else cook for you.....

tanya worth
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, October 27, 2009 12:03 AM
Thanks so much for the info.  My sister has triple neg and is due to start chemo Nov 5th.  I e-mailed the info to her.  She is having dizzy spells and nausea (doctors don't know why) right now so in going in to run tests and go to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist.  With the dizzy spells she is limited on computer time because it makes her dizzy and nauseated.  She is having anxiety attacks also.  Hopefully she will overcome this so that she can begin chemo.  I have a feeling that's were the real challenge is going to be.
 
Thanks again to all! :o)

lymphdema5
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Saturday, November 07, 2009 1:32 PM
I have four weeks of chemo apri may part of june of 2004 i had a friend who husband was going threw throat cancer she told me about a steriod called kytril my insurance wouldn't cover it and it cost $100.00 a pill so i asked the oncology nurse for samples ladies they have samples i took one pill hours before chemo it really helped me from vomiting spinning out, keep weight on it also made me hungry i used those menos lifesavers for nausea of course everyone needs to talk with oncologist first

4mysis
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, November 12, 2010 8:36 AM
All of you have such wonderful advice! I am thanking God for your imput. My sister was told yesturday she has breast cancer-ductal carcinoma and it's stage 4. I thought I had good questions..all 45 of them but when I see all of your posts I realize I have NO idea what is going on!! There are so many things and so many treatments!! I don't have a clue on what half of the things you're all talking about!
LuCinda...what is ER/Pr Neg. Her2 neg???? Is that something I should ask??
I just  realized these posts are from 2009! I'm behind
Thanks!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, November 30, 2010 2:59 PM
Jenn,

I think you probably understand this terminology by now, but the er/pr refers to hormone status and will reflect her tx so you need to find that out.

The her2 gene when it's positive, means your body is over expressing this gene and is seen as more aggressive. 
However, I was highly positive for all three five years ago and still doing well as they have new drugs to help now:)
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

marcij
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Wednesday, December 08, 2010 8:33 PM
Hey guys. Thanks for the tips from people who posted on the surgery thread.  I'm three weeks past bi-lat with tram flap.  Next up is a port on Dec. 27th and chemo.  I am supposed to meet with my oncologist next week.  The tips on this this thread have been very helpful as well.  One answer I must have missed -- I know there must be lots of differences depending on the drugs, but approximately how long do the infusions take?

Cindy D.
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, December 09, 2010 12:17 PM
marcij,

       The amount of time for an infusion depends on the drug you are being given. The actual infusion time for me varied from as little as 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on which med it was.

        But.... there is lots of waiting.... and it winds up being a long day... arrive, check in, wait to have vitals taken, then wait for the doctor, meet with doctor, then head over to infusion center, wait for nurse to hook up iv, and wait for pharmacy to get meds ready, then... finally, the infusion begins, wait for the buzzer to go off that the infusion is done, then wait for the nurse to get to you to unhook you, and then you can go home....

take care,
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

marcij
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Monday, December 27, 2010 10:41 PM
Cindy D.


marcij,

      The amount of time for an infusion depends on the drug you are being given. The actual infusion time for me varied from as little as 30 minutes to a couple of hours, depending on which med it was.

       But.... there is lots of waiting.... and it winds up being a long day... arrive, check in, wait to have vitals taken, then wait for the doctor, meet with doctor, then head over to infusion center, wait for nurse to hook up iv, and wait for pharmacy to get meds ready, then... finally, the infusion begins, wait for the buzzer to go off that the infusion is done, then wait for the nurse to get to you to unhook you, and then you can go home....

take care,
cindy d.


Thanks for the info.  Do most people go get fitted for wigs before their hair falls out, or is it easier to do right after you cut/shave it etc?  Thanks again for the support!
Marci

Jean Southward
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, December 28, 2010 1:42 PM
After you buzz it off otherwise your existing hair can cause the wig to fit differently.  Just be alerted to if you wear glasses be sure to try it on with your glasses.  I found a wig I liked but it ended up bothering me as the bows of my glasses would be pushed into the top of my ear by the wig.  Made my ears sore.  Many of us wore scarves more than we ended up with wearing our wigs.  More comfy and cool.  Also, if you do by a wig, there are those that have a light liner and they are much more comfortable than those with the scratching netting.
Jean S

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops...at all.

Emily Dickinson

IDC Stage IIB Grade 3 BC DX on 2-10-09
HER2+++
ER/PR+ 90% 
2 of 6 Node Positive
Double Mastectomy 2-23-09
Completed Chemo TC 7-10
Herceptin until 3-20-10
Arimidex for 5 years Started 8-09 

marcij
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, December 28, 2010 6:11 PM
I will keep that info in mind.  I plan on probably only wearing the wig around the kids' school and their events, and wearing a scarf or hat the rest of the time.  Thanks again.

chick vs fire ... and cancer
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, January 06, 2011 1:16 AM
This was really great to read, very glad I found this site.  I wondered if anybody had heard of the "cold caps" you can wear during chemo to help reduce hair loss?  I have personally come to terms with the idea, but I have a friend who brings it up every time we're on the chemo topic, and think he's more traumatized by the idea than I am.  HAHA. 
Beth
43 yrs old
metaplastic IDC - triple negative
11.19.2010 - double mastectomy
1.2010 - start chemo


Tricia Keegan
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2:25 PM
Hi Beth-yes i've heard of them but anyone I know who used one did'nt have great success and even if you don't lose all your hair, you can just have bald spots and odd hairs here and there....which may be worse than losing it all!!!

Losing our hair is traumatic of course, but you do get used to it and remember it's temporary and will grow again so worth it to be cancer free:)
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

Rechelle McCans
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, January 21, 2011 10:40 AM
I got constipated real bad with my first chemo was told I could take Milk of magnesa it was a wonder drug for me LOL. so now I take it at 1st sign of const. after each chemo round.

adrumhel
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, January 21, 2011 11:58 AM
Thank you so much for this post.  I will begin chemo sometime next month and am very anxious and unsure of the unknown...the only think I do know is that it will be the worst part of the process in kicking this beast to the curb - so thank you again, for this post!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:06 PM
Hi Adrumhel,

I hope you'll join us on the winter ladies chemo thread where other's are going through what you're facing soon:)

Good luck and hope to chat to you more there:)
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

JF
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Saturday, February 12, 2011 9:44 PM
Adrumhel,
I am going to begin my treatment this coming Thursday and while a large part of me is quite fearful of the whole process on many levels, a large part of me is really ready to get this show on the road.   The countdown to treatment is an odd time - I look and feel great but I know that I must begin the treatment journey.  I am sure that you will find the many warm loving posts to be helpful in quantifying some of the unknowns and in providing good old fashion support, like only someone who has been through this can provide. This site has been a godsend and I welcome you...
I am not sure what your treatment will be, but I will be receiving TC and will share my experiences with you. 
Judy
diag 12/2010; lumpectomy and then re-excision to clear margins; 2.8cm; stage IIA; low grade; .85mm micromet; ONCO 15; ER 100%+/P+/HER-; TC x 4 started 2/24/2011; radiation ending on 7/8/11 then aromasin



colormepink
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Sunday, February 13, 2011 11:20 AM
Hello and welcome!  You will do fine on Thursday!  I promise you!  I was all nervous and jerky before my first chemo treatment and once it was over, I was like, "is that all"???  Don't get me wrong, everyone is different. But my first treatment went extremely well.  One hint I can give you is to drink lots and lots of water the day before chemo, the day of chemo and the day after.  I am the biggest baby, and if I can do it, you can do it.  Good luck and keep us posted.  You can join us over at -Winter chemo ladies! 

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