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Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Dear All,

Thought I would add a tip from my local Boots pharmacist regarding mouth care.

 

I have a reaction to non-steroidal so and aspirin, so I'm wary of some Bonjela products since they contain salicylates. 

 

For or anyone in a similar position, the recommendation was to try a teething gel (Boots Teething gel 3 months+) which is aneasthetic and antiseptic but contains no salicylates. There are probably other brands out there too. I would never have thought about looking at baby teething products, so hopefully this tip might help someone out there.

 

Sue

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hello everybody and thank you for all the helpful posts that I have read my way through. I had my 1st EC chemo on Wednesday (21st Sept) and nausea and vomiting have been the worst side effects so far. The vomiting was only on Wednesday but I've been on and off nausea ever since. I'm feeling better this evening so I'm hoping that will continue on. I treated myself to a little nap this afternoon and when i woke up I noticed my tongue was covered with a nasty coating and it felt like I'd been eating too many boiled sweets (I haven't had any!) I was given some Difflam so I think I'll give that a try at bedtime. It isn't really bothering me but I'd rather eradicate it before it gets unbearable.

 

I'm going to the wig people at my local hospital on Wednesday, with a friend, to get a respectable wig but I've also ordered a couple of fun wigs - one long rainbow curls and a "Downton Abbey" style 1930s bob. I also have a fringe that clips onto a headband because my face shape does not allow for no fringe - tried it in my teens and oh dear me, no! One of my very good friends is a Muslim with the biggest scarf wardrobe I've ever seen, which she has opened to me (I had to confess to nearly bursting into tears on her when she offered) but I also have a few of my own, usually used as hairbands. I've been trying different ways of trying them out to achieve that glam Audrey Hepburn look rather than Baboushka Smiley LOL

 

I'm a student nurse so it is a big learning curve to see it from the patient's side as well as the nurse's side (I did a placement in the haematology unit at my local hospital), even though it's not a learning curve that I would recommend. Hopefully I feel this bright tomorrow as I have a shopping list of bits and bobs to buy to make me feel better, if i can persuade a parent to take me to the supermarket. I am living in the parental abode until I do my training (long story) and it has worked out for the best from this angle. At least I'm not alone in the house when I'm feeling particularly unwell.

 

I seem to have written my version of War and Peace so I'll shut up now. Congratulations if you made it this far!!

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks - Discount code for Live betterwith website

Placed an order with this company last night and received a goody pack this morning - how nice and quick was that.Smiley Very Happy

 

They are offering £5.00 of your first order valued over £10.00 just enter the code LBW6  https://livebetterwith.com/

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks - Great website

Just found this website - some useful products https://livebetterwith.com/

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks great advice from Look Good Feel Better

Any one looking for some beauty tips take a look here

 

http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk/tutorials-and-advice

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks - Eyebrow stencils

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Thanks Sue,

 

Do not know if I have time to get eyebrows done before Wednesday, as booked to have my hair shaved and possibly buy wig on Tuesday Woman Sad  I think I am going to go and buy WunderBrow 1-Step Brow Gel - Blonde

 

Been to the dentist, advised I need something doing, can't remember what but will need to be done at the hospital and not at the dentist do the nature of it, not sure if I can cope with that as well, it is obviously something going on, but it's not bothering me, so will check with my Oncologist and see what she thinks.

 

Better go shopping and stock up!

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Community Champion

Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi lisad,

Look Good Feel better does not do semi permanent eye brw tatoos, as far as I am aware.

You should check with your breast care nurse, whether you can still get this done pre chemo.

If you can - google that service in your local area - I am sure there are reputable salons, which offer the service.

It is expensive to have them done and a top up session may also be required. Should that fall within your chemo treatment, then it may not be an option anymore.

This thread may be of help, too - https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Top-tips-and-practical-support/Fake-Eyebrows-anyone-got-any...

As to herbal teas - you might like some ginger and lemon and or camomile, as they may help with an unsettled stomach - otherwise - whatever takes your fancy! It will keep you hydrated - that is the most important thing.

The dentist and hygienist should really be on your list, too as also a soft toothbrush. Oral hygiene, no matter what - is going to be very important.

Hugs

Sue xx 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Where and how to I find out about getting my eyebrows tattooed and also is it safe??

 

Booked in for the https://www.facebook.com/LookGoodFeelBetterUK/ on the 4th October, does anyone is this something that they would do at the event?

 

Also thanks Sue-H-S for tips on eating for sickness , is there anything else I should look out for? as I had better go shopping Woman Indifferent

 

I got listed:-

Water biscuuis & ginger biscuits. 

What herbal teas are good?  

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Community Champion

Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi ladies,

been doing some research again - 

As to cosmetics - and bits to reduce or avoid - now and in the future 

It really is a question of cumilation of chemicals, rather than the amount contained in a specific product.

So here is a little list - 

Parabens – mainly in cosmetics and has a number of different names, such as Methylparaben. 
Get to know the pseudonyms. Personal care ingredients that include: “ethyl,” “butyl,” “methyl,” and “propyl” are from the paraben family even if the word “paraben” isn't in the name
Phthalates – mainly in cosmetics
Avoid fragrances and perfumes. Essential oils are naturally fragrant botanicals with numerous benefits. But fragrances? Not so much. Fragrances or perfumes are typically full of phthalates, but manufacturers aren’t required to list the actual ingredients in fragrances because they’re considered proprietary formulas sacred to manufacturers. Look for products instead that list the scents specifically, and those should be named as essential oils or labelled as “no synthetic fragrance” or “phthalate-free.”
Avoid plastic. A so-called “clean” personal product can lose all of its integrity if it’s in a plastic jar or bottle. That’s because plastics, particularly soft plastic (like a shampoo bottle or toothpaste tube), can contain phthalates, which are prone to leaching, particularly if there’s a high oil content in the product like hair conditioner. Look for plastic with recycling codes 1, 2, or 5 and avoid those with 3 or 7 as there’s a greater risk of phthalates in those.

Formaldehyde can be found in nail polishes, nail hardeners, eyelash glues, hair gels, soaps, makeup, shampoos, lotions, and deodorants, among other products. Other words used are methylene glycol, formalin, methanal, methanediol or formaldehyde monohydrate.

There is no current evidence that aluminium in deoderants is causing any issues. When this subject was raised a few years ago, it was a very small study and not based on strict scientific criteria.

Hoping that this is of help to those, who are interested in this specific subject. As said, it is not what is contained in a single product, as that will adhere tostrict guidelines. Using many products which contain these 'nasties' builds the chemicals up in our bodies. As always the choice is ours.

Sue xxx

 

 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Thank you. Sorry I missed it further back in the thread.

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi LisaMary2016

This infomation was buried a little further down this thread 

..........

did some exploring as to sunscreens - 

QUOTE

The safe mineral sun-blocking ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, and they work by reflecting the sun's rays instead of being absorbed into our bloodstreams (as chemical sunscreens are). While both zinc and titanium are photo-stable, the Environmental Working Group prefers zinc because it provides slightly more protection from UVA rays (the scarier, aging kind that we beauty obsessives really stress about). Another reason to prefer zinc is because the absorption of trace amounts of titanium can cause serious internal stress and inflammation. This is a concern with the prevalence of titanium nanoparticles, which allow many mineral sunscreen formulas to go on clear instead of white. END QUOTE 

So looked for those and without Parabens, etc. and as chemical free as possible - here is a list: 

Lavanila The Healthy Sun Screen SPF 40 Face Cream - available via Amazon

DeVita Natural Skin Care Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 - available via Amazon

Suntegrity “5 in 1” Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen SPF 30  - available via Amazon

Banana Boat Natural Reflect Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50- available via Amazon

........

Hope it is of help

Hugs

Sue xxx 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Any tips about sun cream (for the remaining days of summer)? I've generally always used high factor sun cream for children / babies but the whole paraban thing is making me nervous I'm using the wrong stuff.

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi Sue,

I've been using dark polish on my fingernails and toenails. So far no problems with fingernails but I have developed tingling in my fingertips and very red, sore feet with dry skin and tingling, burning sensation recently. I'm on TC regime so T right from the start. I'm lucky to have a Podiatrist who treats patients going through chemotherapy at my local cancer charity. She says the problems with nails lifting often don't start until after the T has finished so I'm doing everything I can to prevent this. Also massing oils and creams into nails. I showed the nurses my feet yesterday at my third chemo and was given a small tube of diprobase which doesn't seem to be doing much for redness or burning, tingling sensation and told to keep an eye on it which I will do over the next few days. That's great you've had no problems with your nails, long may it continue.

I got my eyebrows tattoed two weeks before starting chemo so I couldn't get my top up. I'm glad I did as I had sparse eyebrows anyway and despite not having the top up (yet) it has made a difference as my eyebrows are thinning. I'm booked in to a LGFB course at my local Maggies so I'm hoping to learn how to use make up, particularly eyebrow pencil and eyeliner, not usually one for make up on a daily basis, only special occasions. I did wear some mascara to a Talking Heads (advice on headscarves, scalp care etc. at my local Maggies but when I removed it, probably too harshly, it took some of my eyelashes out so I haven't wore it since.

Post a pic of your brow wigs if you decide to wear them.

Best Wishes.

Hazel. xx
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi haz25a

Thank you - great tip! How are your nails doing?

Mine are still holding up just fine, much to my surprise. I have kept mine au naturale - not used any strengtheners or varnish. Just buff them once a week.

I have very faint white lines - showing the chemo cycles, but they are so feint that I do not even need to cover them. Also no discolouration or anything else. 

My eye lashes are now just very, very short stubble, but it is amazing what carefully applied kohl eyeliner to the inner lash lines can achieve. And, of course natural tomnes of eye shadow to define the eye.

Thankfully I have a few eye brow hairs left, not many, but enough to get away with filling in with a brow pencil and it still looking natural.

We shall see what happens now - day 9 post FEC number 5. I might wear my brow wigs yet!

Hugs

Sue xxx

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Just a wee tip for your nails. A Leighton Denny crystal glass nail file. Prices vary but they get great reviews. You can file in both directions and they don't split the nails like emery boards. Not cheap but come with a 25 year guarantee. Google them. Mine arrived in post this morning. I found out about these when I was getting my nails done at my local cancer charity who offer complimentary therapies. They use them.

 

H.x

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi LynnW,

I am so glad it works for you. The product you are using contains propylene glycol. I have just checked the ingredients for Regaine for women, too - and it also contains propylene glycol - so I might just stay away from it and let it a  grow naturally - as and when it wants to come back.

If someone wants to stay paraben free 

QUOTE -

Is propylene glycol a paraben?
Two good examples of paraben bundled preservatives include: LiquaPar containing; Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Butylparaben; and Germaben II containing; Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben. - END QUOTE
And from Chemical Watch - 
QUOTE - 

Bans and restrictions on widely used substances have come into force over the last two years. Propylparaben and butylparaben were banned from some leave-on products, and restricted in all cosmetics. The transitional period for selling off existing stocks ended in October last year. Five more parabens – isopropylparaben, isobutylparaben, phenylparaben, benzylparaben and pentylparaben – were banned in all cosmetic products. And the mixture of methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MI) has been banned from leave-on products, since July last year. It is restricted in rinse-off products to a maximum concentration of 0.0015%.

More preservatives bans and restrictions are in the pipeline this year, such as methylisothiazolinone, polyaminopropyl biguanide (PHMB) and chloroacetamide. -END QUOTE

 

These links may give some tips and help in chosing which way to go - 

http://www.nhs.uk/ipgmedia/national/my%20new%20hair/assets/mynewhair-haircareaftercancertreatment8pa...

Hug,

Sue xx

 

 

 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

FAST stands for fortified amino scalp therapy. Thickens yr r hating hair too 😄 .... Any things worth a try !! Lol xx
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi lyn
Ooo interesting! Knowing me ill end up using everything!
Tina x
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi I'm using FAST nisam shampoo it states makes yr hair grow 1" a month it seems to b doing what it says on the tin 😄 X
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi sue
Rightio....ill get googling the best deals! Ive looked at eyebrow n lash serum but its so pricey! Will stick with eyeliner for now xx
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Community Champion

Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi Tina,

Glad something is growing for you!

I looked into all of this at some point, and although not the cheapest - Regain certianly has my vote.

Not there quite yet -  for me - as on FEC all the way through. Mind you only 1 more to go! Yay! Head hair, eye lashes and eye brows all need to come back, lol.

Hugs

Sue xxx

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi all
Any recommendations for hurrying up hair growth? Biotin supplements? Alpecin shampoos? Regain? Dont want to spend a fortune......but if theres something out there that'll help...ill get it! Last T on 25th August thank god then continue herceptin and rads to await. Have layer of grey fuzz presently...eww! Xx
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi All

 

Thanks for highlighting the post mentioned.  It has now been removed.

 

Best wishes
Anna
Digital Community Officer

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi GaryFerone,

may I just point ot that this is NOT a forum to advertise services, however helpful they may be.

This is a forum for women and men having to face breast cancer to share their experiences and support each other.

You may find that your post is being deleted and your membership suspened.

Regards

Sue xx

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

2 recommendations ladies

1.palmers cocoa butter formula  for rough dry skin  (the one for hands, knees elbows, feet not the hand cream one) best thing  I have ever tried on my hands and feet and the body lotion is great also, I found them better than aveeno. Parades etc free.

2. For thinning/lost eyelashes GOSH waterproof pencil  eyeliner from super drug,  beat lancome and other more expensive ones hands down. I couldn't get to grips with liquid liner but revlon collourstay was good I was just to cackhanded with it!

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi all,

 

For those of you thinking about going on a Look Good Feel Better day, I've been on one today and it was a lot of fun.  I've written a full review of it here: https://gettingabreastofthesituation.wordpress.com, including a list of the contents of the freebies which are well worth having.

 

FullSizeRender.jpg.jpeg

 

Well worth booking up.  The website lists the venues that host them along with booking phone numbers: http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk/workshops-and-advice/dates-and-locations

 

Hope that helps.

 

B x

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Preparation for chemo

Thought it might be a good idea to re-post this, as the original is so far down the thread now.

Thanks for all, including Belle for helping to update it -

 

For the Gums: 

Ensure you see your dentist before commencement of treatment to get everything sorted, including Hygienist. It will ensure your mouth is in a healthy state and may help to reduce some side effects.

  • Bonjela
  • Corsodyl daily for x 3 and Corsodyl normal for 1 (dentist recommended), mouthwash should not contain alcohol
  • ultra soft bristle brush/baby toothpaste
  • Aloe Vera based toothpaste, Beverley Hills gum strengthening toothpaste

For the mouth: 

  • Gelclair, salt water wash, Oraldene, tonic water, Difflam mouthwash
  • Aloe dent lip balm with lysine (good for cold sores also),Nivea Lip butter – try to ensure the lip balm is paraben free, especially if you have a hormone receptor positive diagnosis.

Bad taste: 

  • pineapple (fresh/chunks/drinks/lollies) - Haribo (not Tangtastic) - celery, mints, fresh fruit, pear drops, cola cubes, sherbet lemons

Water tasting odd: 

  • flavoured/sparkling water, fruit squash, fruit infusers

Nausea: 

 

  • Ginger (Rochester Ginger drinks (Holland & Barrett, Tesco Nurticentre and on-line stores) ginger beer, biscuits, sweets, fresh ginger)
  • smaller, regular meals
  • V8 vegetable juice
  • Manuka honey with hot water and peppermint oil
  • Slippery elm powder mixed into natural yoghurt
  • Banana for early morning with the anti-sickness tablet
  • Flavoured/green tea if can’t face milk or dairy products in tea (dairy – if you can go organic should you have hormone receptive diagnosis)

Light bites suggestions

  • cream cheese and bread sticks
  • Nothing spicy
  • Flat lemonade
  • Plain biscuits
  • Banana/peanut butter sandwiches
  • Travel bands/anti sickness bands (Poundland cheaper than Boots) - be careful with arm that's had lymph nodes removed if using these, they may be too tight.

General Wellbeing/During Chemo: 

  • Carry your card and thermometer with you all the time and keep bag packed
  • Get a medical alert bracelet or neckless if you had a sentinel node biopsy or node clearance stating no BP/IV (either RT arm or LT arm depending on which side the procedure was done) Lymphedema Risk
  • Chemo Caddy – see below
  • Pin up emergency numbers where everyone can see them – who to contact and when
  • Check with your consultant who to phone at evenings and weekends
  • Store emergency numbers in your phone
  • Digital thermometer if not given one by hospital (Poundland cheaper than Boots)
  • Drink LOTS of fluid before and after chemo - Lucozade for energy - Light meal before chemo
  • If having CMF and nose issues when Chemo being administered then sweets or lolly , ice lolly to suck during (small cool bag also recommended to keep lollies frozen)
  • Bath pillow (helps prevent cold bald head on cold bath)
  • Don’t take steroid dose after 2pm (awake/energised at wrong times), best time is in the morning
  • Eat fruit when you need to eat whilst/before taking tablets
  • Avoid alcohol for 2/3 days after chemo
  • Keep out of direct sunlight, ensure you have paraben free suntan lotion with SPF50 zinc oxide based and BB cream or make up with SPF
  • To avoid risk of infection – try to avoid un-pasteurised dairy products, wash veggies, meat properly cooked
  • Accept help wherever offered!
  • Prepare/buy nice food in advance for bad days

Sleep when you can

  • Fresh air - Exercise - Laughter - Ask for help if really sick! Talk to you GP for additional drugs!
  • Runny nose through loss of nose hair – tissues!
  • V-pillow
  • Check and see if GP can refer you to local leisure centre for cheaper use of fitness suite and swimming pool.
  • Constipation - breakfast of high fibre cereal/fruit smoothie/prune juice/Senna tablets
  • Sore Eyes
  • Boots hay fever relief drops
  • Cooling/chill eye mask
  • General eye mask to block light if affected

Headaches

  • gel pads (stick on kind used for infants/migraine)

Dry skin/rashes/spots from Taxol

  • gentle moisturiser for hands and feet (Paraben free)
  • drink lots of juice and water but leave spots on face alone as skin sensitive

Hair loss/head coverings 

  • buffs
  • baseball cap
  • sleep caps, scarves, bangs, eyebrows, eyelashes, wigs etc
  • don’t wash it too often, use baby shampoo
  • Eylure great for brow stencils and brow pencils, false lashes, etc.
  • Amazon for real hair stick on ‘brow wigs’
  • Chemo bag Keep a bag packed in case of emergency hospital visit and to take on chemo days. Pyjamas, warm socks, clean knickers, wash bag with spare toothpaste and brush, face wipes, mirror, tissues, bag of pineapple pieces, anti-bacterial hand gel, book, ear plugs.
  • A basket with a handle (previously from delivery of pot plants) with everything needed in it so that you can have it by the bed upstairs or carry it down to crash in front of TV.

Chemo Caddy 

  • A basket with a handle (previously from delivery of pot plants) with everything needed in it so that you can have it by the bed upstairs or carry it down to crash in front of TV. (A bum bag has been suggested as keeps both hands free and no restrictions on your shoulders and particularly Snugpak Response Pak (online) as “tested in war, never beaten” and big enough to take a tool kit/chemo caddy or chemo bag).

CHEMO BAG AND CHEMO CADDY 

  • Edibles – ginger biscuits, minty chewing gum, root ginger to nibble.
  • Treats – nice hand cream, chocolate, octopus shaped back massager, nail cream, buffer.
  • Essentials – tissues, glasses, lip salve, bottle of water, straw (in case can’t lift head from pillow), little bell (to summon family to fetch/make tea)

Once again, all credits to the ladies who have added to this making it an invaluable reference tool and thanks to Princess for starting it!

Hus

Sue xxx

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

More about veins...sorry

 

I have now been told that my vein has burnt out and am having a PICC line installed with some urgency for chemo 5 & 6.

Apparently it will take 5-6 months for the vein to return to anything near normal.

So, to help healing along I have ordered a Beurer HK35 Therapeutic Heating Pad from Amazon.

For those interested - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B006H4OYJG/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_15

I also found - that when having a hot bath - it was so much easier to exercise the arm, especially as I now have restriction in stretching it. It did help with the massage and trying to very gentrly stretch it from time to time.

Hugs

Sue xxx

 

 

 

 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Look after your veins!

Not all of us will have challenges with veins on the chemo arm - but many will. So here is, sorry,  a long bit about what can happen and how to deal with it. Remember - your veins have to be there for you after chemo, too!

So here I go - The E in FEC is called Epirubicin and this can affect our veins. It can cause inflammation of the vein - superficial thrombophlebitis. 

 

Although my vein was sore - it was not inflamed initially - this is something that happened after taking blood pre my 4th chemo. the 'injury' to the vein caused the inflammation. Swollen lower arm and wrist, sometimes red and hot to the touch. Sore to touch and not able to stretch my arm properly any more. It will heal, but it will take time. My 5th FEC will not be able to be given via cannulation in the lower arm, so the chemo team will have an interesting challenge cannulating in the crook of my elbow. 

If you can - have a PICC line, or other type of port, installed from the outset. It may not be pleasant, but it will save you many possible challenges.

Even if you do not have one - try and get it installed before chemo 3, especially if you are on FEC throughout your active treatment.

So, what to do - if you do not have a 'port'?

Excercise your chemo arm - stretching, rotation. Get a stress ball or make one from a pair of socks (thanks for the tip Belle) and do about 20 squezes 3 x a day.

Keep your chemo arm warm at all times. Drink plenty of fluids every day.

If your vein is sore - firstly inform your chemo team and oncologist. They are likely to advise following:

Apply moist heat. A hot water bottle wrapped in a damp tea towel - apply for at least 30 minutes per day.

Elevate your arm as much as it is possible.

If it gets really bad get some Hirudoid cream (over counter or prescribed) or heparin gel.

Ibubrofen gel can also relieve the pain and inflammation - but do not mix with Ibubrufen tablets at the same time.

If you are not using ibubrufen gel - painkillers such as paracetomol and ibubrufen may give you some relief.

If it is really bad and affects your upper arm, too - also put the arm into a sling for it to rest with the hand facing upwards. 

Always though take it out - use it as much as possible and try and excercise it. This will help blood flow, which is very important.

Hoping this is of help to some of you.

Hugs

Sue xxx

 

 

 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks


@bagpus wrote:

Hi,

 

I've recently found some nice head covers which might suit those who dont want to fiddle with headscarves. They're called 'handbands' and are made by the company 'seasalt'. You can get them online but I also found them in our local department store (Fenwick).

 

They're basically just cylinders of stretchy cotton (like motorcyce buffs) and the designs are really feminine and quite vintage, so a bit different to what you find elsewhere.

 

They also have a sale online at the moment, bonus!

 

x


 

Thanks, they're great! I've just bought one Smiley Very Happy

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi,

 

I've recently found some nice head covers which might suit those who dont want to fiddle with headscarves. They're called 'handbands' and are made by the company 'seasalt'. You can get them online but I also found them in our local department store (Fenwick).

 

They're basically just cylinders of stretchy cotton (like motorcyce buffs) and the designs are really feminine and quite vintage, so a bit different to what you find elsewhere.

 

They also have a sale online at the moment, bonus!

 

x

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi Belle - thank you!

Invaluable!

Hugs

Sue xxx

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi All,

 

As I'm having FEC x 6 without a PICC line, veins are becoming an obsession of mine so I thought I'd pass on some useful tips for attempting to keep your veins in good condition while you're having chemo.  These drugs are not kind to veins and those of you on FEC in particular will find it worthwhile doing everything you can to preserve your them if you haven't been given a PICC line or some other permanent access for the duration of your chemo.  We need to try and avoid using our lymph node removal arm if at all possible because of the lymphodema risk so that only gives us one arm to work with.

 

The veins become painful due to two things: inflammation and cording (become tight like cords).  Inflammation is acute while the cording is chronic.  

 

Prior to attending the chemo unit for your chemo, plump your veins up by:

  • drinking 2 litres minimum the day before and if possible on the actual day before arriving at the unit
  • consider drinking miso soup the night before and on the day of treatment.  The saltiness of this helps to lock in the fluid, apparently.  Not tried this myself as my local supermarket doesn't sell it!
  • warm your arm up using a heat pad or hot water bottle
  • wrap your arm in gloves, leg warmers for trip to hospital
  • While at hospital, use heat pad, hot water, all means necessary prior to cannualtion - units seem to be very good at doing this automatically

Between trips for chemo do the following to help veins stay in good shape:

  • use a hot water bottle/heat pad once a day - wrap around arm for about 30 mins
  • if possible, use moist heat (damp hot towels wrapped in cling film) as this is apparently better absorbed
  • Continue drinking as much as possible - 2 litres minimum in days following chemo to help flush drugs out of system.  But keeping well hydrated will help keep vein damage at bay.
  • squeeze a small ball (stress ball ideal but ball of socks just as good) several times a day - helps with pumping blood through veins, veins are muscle, helps to build muscle up.

If/when veins begins to become painful or inflammed:

  • hirudoid cream is available over the counter and on prescription - used specifically for inflammation of the veins
  • if hirudoid cream not available try ibuprofen/diclofenac cream
  • ask a doctor about whether a steroid cream would be beneficial
  • continue with heat & ball squeezing

Cording:

  • massage - as often as practical.  The creams listed above can be massaged in but will have a limit to number of applications so also massage with oil.
  • stretch affected area as much as possible
  • continue with all of the above.

As with any issues, always discuss it as soon as possible with your chemo team.  This information is based on my rummaging around the internet, discussing it with my chemo team and discussion on forum.  It is based on my understanding and I am more than happy to be corrected if I have got things wrong.  I found this pdf which had some advice http://mylrh.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Vein-Care.pdf  If anyone can add anything else which would help, then please do.

 

Hope that's useful, 

B x

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

                                                 Cat_Lion.jpe

    

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi again,

That is great to hear! - so the link May thread may give you some answers to your current questions - I hope. As I am not on T - it is not so easy to help - especially as all side effects are so individual, too.

Hugs

Sue xxx 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

1st chemo 16th may done 3 X fec & 1 T no more chemo onc said enough so onto surgical now I'm so glad !! Xxx
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi LynnW,

When did you start your chemo - At a guess May/June?

Why not hae a look at these threads and pose the question again - there are many going through the same treatment, who may be able to answer these questions.

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy-monthly-threads/Anyone-want-to-be-my-chemo-bud...

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy-monthly-threads/June-2016-starters/m-p/1017898...

Hugs

Sue xxx

 

 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

I had 1st T on Monday & herceptin injection & a slow release immune boosting jab all I can say is ...... WOW IT PACKS A PUNCH ! I have been so ill since wed horrendous sore mouth thrush down my windpipe & start of strep throat had to get doc in & got antibiotics. Throat/windpipe stopped hurting when I swallow but still sore when I swallow food 😪 Also bone pain is horrendous I'm shuffling about like a very very old woman & sleeping all the time never felt so poorly does anyone have any idea when these symptoms will ease ?

Oh dry mouth & ulcers too xxx
Lots of love Lynn
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi again,

on another note - some of you may be suffering with sore veins, especially if having FEC - as the E certainly attacks them. Some of us have tougher veins than others - but for those who do not - following may be of help

Hydrocortisone Cream 1% - needs prescribing, I think - 

Hirudoid chream - can be bought over the counter

And moist heat - hot water bottle wrapped in damp tea towels - applied to the sore area - moist, as it helps the heat to get easier into the skin.

Good luck with your veins!

Hugs

Sue xxx

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi ladies,

Ti load up pictures is challenging if you are on a mobile device, especially a phone. However, when you are on a laptop or pc - look for this icon, when you are typing your message

                                                            icons.JPG 

Hope this helps!

Hugs

Sue xxx

 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi lollydolly

I agree I was so mad at that attitude appalling ! Only prob is I can't upload a pic I'm useless at techno lol

Love Lynn xxx
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

LynnW and Alex2016... I can also vouch for the cold cap and will happily send pics if it would help xx
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi all

hoping you are all doing ok.

Many questions arise, as how to deal with menopausal symptoms so many of us are experiencing.

Hot Flushes seem to be the topic of the day - not surprising as it is quite warm in parts of the UK at the moment - and it does seem to make this more challenging.

I found a really good article in the Breast Cancer Care Vita magazine  - Issue 28 Summer 2016.

You can download a version - by following this link

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/publication/vita-current-issue

Hoping this is of help.

Hugs

Sue xxx

 

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Ok thanks I'll give it a go 😄 Xxx
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi again,

try the ipad - I have looked - does not seem doable on a mobile.

Hugs

Sue xx

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

I'm on mob & don't see that anywhere shld I try it on iPad see if it shows up there ? Sorry to be a pain xxx
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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Hi Lyn,

Not sure whether you are on a mobile, tablet or laptop - whe you write your message look for this -

 icons.JPG

that should link you to an area, where you can then upload a picture.

Hope this helps.

Hugs

Sue xx

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Re: Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks

Sue how do I upload a pic ?