@kereru - I have just seen your post and wanted to send you a hug as you go through chemo. Do keep reading your own last sentence “one step at a time and we will get through it”. That is the same advice I received from another lady going through chemo when I first joined the forum, and it’s very wise advice. Very best wishes, Evie xx
Hi @NKB I just saw this thread and thought I'd say a belated hello as a fellow lone parent going through chemo - I have a 13 year old daughter and like you, no family around. It's a very intense relationship - lone parent lone child - and I feel very sad for my daughter that she doesn't have siblings or another parent around to help her deal with this. Having said that, we also have some wonderful friends around and they are being our family through this.
Anyway, it's a shock isn't it - I was like you and freaked out when I realised I would have to have chemo and was very worried about how I would manage and how it would affect my daughter and what to do about summer!
I've only had one cycle so far so not much experience to share, however it was pretty similar to what @Evie-S described, feeling rough on week 1, better (but seriously immune compromised) on week 2 and then mostly quite well in this week 3 - I am due my next dose on Tuesday.
My daughter is a bit older than your son so I am lucky that she can get herself around (to school, friends etc) fairly independently and also cook herself basic meals if necessary. But I did lots of batch cooking and stocked up the fridge/freezer in case I wasn't feeling well enough to prepare food; and promised her we could watch a series on Netflix that she'd been desperate to see together. I also have a list of friends on standby in case I end up having to go to hospital at short notice. I have booked her on a summer community theatre course for a couple of weeks over the holidays too. And trying to plan some fun (low key) things to do together on my 'good weeks' going forward.
One step at a time and we will get through it. Sending hugs your way xxx
It's been a real whirlwind since I posted but wanted to send a massive thanks for your advice and the links. I have been reading alot and I had a fantastic appointment with my oncologist this past week. Knowing my regime now is helping me organise a little and my family and friends have been super in offers of support.
@NKB - You’ve already had some great advice from Jill and Shi, so I’ll see if I can add anything too.
Having a cancer diagnosis is a shock, and then when plans change you get another shock. So I would definitely agree with Shi - do ask your friends for help to get you through chemo, they will be very glad to help.
As you say, chemo does affect everyone differently. Your team will read you a list of side effects, but that doesn’t mean you will get all of them - they have to warn you about everything though. When I had my chemo I had infusions every 3 weeks. I felt rough for the first week, the second week I started to improve but that was the week where my immune system was at its lowest so I had to be ultra careful not to get an infection, and then the third week was where I would feel more normal again. Some people have weekly infusions though - but I don’t know how that would make you feel.
I didn’t work during chemo, but I have read stories from people who managed to work through chemo - so everyone is very different.
Do make sure you speak to your team if you suffer side effects as there are all kinds of medications to help. Also get yourself a reliable thermometer as you will need to monitor your temperature daily - your team will explain everything to you. They will also give you a number to call if you have problems - don’t hesitate to call if you have concerns.
So I guess I would say play things a bit by ear to see how you feel, but get some support systems in place, particularly for the first week after an infusion. Also explain to your friends that they will need to keep away from you if they are unwell as chemo will knock your immune system. Hopefully as it’s summer there will be fewer bugs around and you could meet your friends outside if you were concerned.
I found the support of friends invaluable when I had chemo. I enjoyed messages from friends chatting about anything other than chemo, made me feel just that bit more normal.
On a practical level, stock up the freezer or get some online grocery deliveries - or ask your friends to pick up groceries for you.
That’s a few thoughts to start with - but I’m very happy to answer any more questions you think of. I wish you all the very best as you go through chemo, and really hope it is gentle with you. Evie xx
NKB ❤️ Lovely advice and support from Jill and do use all of the help and support bcn can help with too ❤️ Take things one day at a time ❤️ You will navigate through ❤️ And your friends will want to help just ask them, it’s a difficult one because friends do usually want to help but don’t always offer in case it makes anyone feel like they can’t manage or offer of help offends anyone, so if you ask them for help ❤️ I’m sure they will come through for you ❤️💕💕✨✨Shi xx
Welcome to the forum , I’m sorry you are having such a tough time !! I haven’t been through chemo but If you post in the chemotherapy section ( monthly threads ) when you start your chemo you will get loads of support and advice . I will post you the link . There is also a coping alone section of the forum .
I believe that MacMillan have volunteers who provide practical support to people going through treatment so it may be worth seeing if this is available in your area .
@Shi @Evie-S can you help re-assure ?
Wow - this is really happening!! So I was diagnosed recently and currently 2 weeks post lumpectomy and node sweep op. I found out yesterday that chemo is my next step in prevention treatment and I am FREAKING OUT!!! My mind is racing but mainly because I am a single parent with a 10yo and no close family support but an amazing group of friends. With summer upon us my questions are how sick do you get? Is summer a right off for my LO? Will I have any good days at all to maybe do some fun things? Or is it a summer of being passed around and summer camps for him? I know everyone can be different and I appreciate that. I just needed to get some of these thoughts out and at least gauge a little of what to expect..all over the place right now.