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Due to start chemo next week - scared

16 REPLIES 16
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Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

wolsty
Just relax and follow what the doctor will say everything will run smoothly and no problem will occur. keep us posted regarding your experience with your chemo. Have a nice day.
Guest user
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Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Thank you everyone. I've seen the oncologist today and as my viens are so thin I am having a picc line put in. This has pushed my chemo on to next week.
I'm going to a chemo talk at the McMillan centre later this week to get some more info and advice.
Thanks again for all of yours x
GIJaneH
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

I'm sure someone has flagged this, but incase they haven't there's a whole thread about top tips for chemo, whichis very informative http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/community/forums/top-tips-help-get-you-through-chemotherapy

hope all goes well this week, and that it's not as bad as you think. Remember, it affects everyone differently, and the people MOST likely to be posting on here are those struggling, not those getting on with every day life... so sometimes these threads can give you "worst" picture..... They are still fabulously useful, but you need to have that fact tucked in the back of your head. It's hard to post on here "I'm doing ireally well and haven't any significant side effects" when others are clearly not the same.... hang on to that....

God bless you this week.. Jane

pesteringpixie
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi jo

The one thing i would recommend is try ang get a picc line put in, it will save your veins and means no further cannulas. I was fortunate enough to get a portacath fitted prior to starting and i love it.

I was surprised by how lively the chemo unit is, much cheerier than i expected, and i quickly relaxed.

We get steroids for the first 2 days which help a lot, but then many of us feel quite low days 3 to 6 . You just have to give in to it and know you will pull up soon. By day 7, i am starting to feel well again and by day 12, feel my usual self.

If you are having FEC, ask for Emend (aprepitant) its a very effective anti-nausea.

And finally, joing the May 2012 thread, "the Darling Buds" and you will find yourself surrounded by love and support.

Good luck.

Pixie xx

Guest user
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Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi Jo - I went to hospital with a wheat pack on my hand to open my veins up. We were allowed chemo buddies, so I took a different friend with me each time and used it as an opportunity to catch up on their news. I have a magnetic travel scrabble set and challenged my chemo buddies to a game whilst waiting around. One of my top tips was to not eat my favourite foods the day before, day of and a couple of days after just in case I felt off - didn't want to be put off my fav foods. I also made fresh fruit smoothies and froze them into ice cube trays when I felt well, so when I felt off for the first few days after chemo I could just defrost some fresh fruit and add protein powder, there is nothing worse than trying to cook or think about food if you feel off. I also made melon granita's and froze in margarine tubs. I wish you all the very best of luck with your treatment, I am with GIJaneH on the starting chemo in May 2011 - so we are one year down the line from you - it is doable, it ain't great and you will get through it. Get yourself booked on a LGFB (Look Good Feel Better) sessions - fab freebies and teaches you to apply eyebrows and eye make-up which I found invaluable having never really worn make-up. Big hugs to you, Bev x
GIJaneH
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

As everyone has said, the anticipation is worse than the day..... my top tip though is to take ginger tablets the day before you go, the day you go and a couple of days afterwards... helps with the nausea (I don't like the taste of ginger, so the tablets were brill) 2nd top tip is to follow the mouthcare advice to the letter - brush 3-4 times a day. My dentist couldn't see why they'd said soft toothbrush and told me I could carry on with my electric one. MISTAKE! 3rd piece of advice is that there is no such thing as a silly question - if you are not sure about ANYTHING, phone someone... BCN, Chemo suite, GP, whoever will get back to you quickest and be most helpful. For me it was the BCN....

Plan some treats in for the 3rd week.... be gentle with yourself.... and God bless..

Jane (who went through it all last year and now has hair again!)

doggirl
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi Jo

I'm starting Tuesday so we can hold each others (virtual) hands! I'm sooooo ready for this! Almost looking forward to it? Bring it on.

Good luck x
Doggirl - Sarah

Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi Jo,
It's good to see that you're getting some fantastic support from your fellow forum users here. Just to help you along I've put the link to the 'Top tips to help you through chemo' thread which has been running since 2008 and has loads, of info on there from other users.
http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/community/forums/top-tips-help-get-you-through-chemotherapy
Also, here's the link to BCC's publication regarding chemotherapy.
http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/publications/treatment-side-effects/chemotherapy-breast-cancer-b...
I hope it all goes well for you. Take care,
Jo, Facilitator

Guest user
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Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hiya Jo,

I have to agree with everyone here - it's the anticipation and waiting which
is far worse than anything you expect.

I had an appt with Oncology the day before treatment, and my weight and
bloods were taken ready for the next day. And then it was......The Next Day !

  • I was given a choice of easy chair - I took the window seat 🙂

  • I was given a jug of warm water to soak my arm in, and then given steriod and
    anti-emetic (non-sickie) tablets.

  • The nurse was a highly trained gentleman who managed to target and bullseye
    my usually cr@p veins with a paediatric needle (the smallest/for kiddies).

  • He sat with me whilst the E (the red one) went in, chatting about allsorts.
    When that finished, he flushed it, put the next one on, flushed, the next one,
    and then flushed it again.

  • Then I just had to wait until my TTO (To Take Out) drugs came up from
    pharmacy.

Alot of it is just waiting around, but there were 10 or 12 others there in the same
situation with me. Its great swopping stories and hearing the different stages
etc from people that are experiencing it - not just delivering it (if that makes
sense?).

Just before I left to go home, I had to pop in to pee - and sure enough, just
as they had warned me - my pee was rosy red! I was so disappointed - I had hoped
to be different and go for royal blue - alas that was not to be 😉

I am sure you will be fine, Jo. This is a long scary journey, and it is
unique to each and every one of us. If a wuss like me can do this and come out
of the other side, I'm sure you will too. We have still got a long way to go yet, but
the more hands available to hold the better methinks !

Good luck for Wednesday Jo - and huge hugs

Merc

xxxx
mangochutney
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Jo
I agree with the others, the anticipation of getting started is far worse than when you are actually having it.
I would take a book/magazines to read whilst you're waiting to have it.And your ipod/MP3 player. As the others have said, if you're having FEC the nurse is with you the entire time you're having it so she will chat with you. If you are having Docetaxol, thats an infusion/drip so once its connected they'll leave you to it until it finishes.
My advice is to drink plenty BEFORE you get your treatment as this plumps up your veins. Plus, drink loads afterwards too to flush the chem through the kidneys and bladder. Try and keep your hands warm to keep your veins plumped too, although they will use a heat pack to try to bring them up.
I went into it with an open mind. I personally, had NO nausea at all from any of my chemo. I took my anti sickness meds religiously twice a day for the two days after recieving it and I felt fine. If you do get the Neulasta injection to boost your white cell count, just to warn you, I got quite a lot of bone pain following this for a few days, but paracetamol and brufen helped.
Good luck
Mandy xx

sara12
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi Jo, just popped in to see if you've found the 'starting chemo in May 2012' thread.

Here's the link: http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/community/forums/starting-chemo-may-2012?page=3#comment-2026215

If you haven't seen it yet, I'm sure you'll find it a great deal of help, as everyone there is starting around the same time as you, so you can share your experiences as you go through. I'm a member of the April 2012 group and it has been a great support to me.

Good luck!

Guest user
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Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi
If you have opted for the cold-cap, then you should tke a warm jumper/cardigan, as you can get cold otherwise.
Apart from that, some snacks that are easy to eat with 1 hand (remember you will have a canula inthe other) and some drinks.
If you are having FEC, the nurse sits with you for the whole of the treatment (as it is lots of little syringes) so you don't get alot of time to read (unless you are going for the cold cap). But there is always a bot of waiting around (while they mix your chemo), so a book or magazine would be a good idea. If you are doing the Cold Cap, then you have an hour or more before and after to sit around, so you need more. My hospital was happy for you to take in a personal video payer or even briong in your own dvd and they had a machine you could watch a film on.
As others have said, the anticipation is far worse than the actual chemo.
kevinj
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Just a tip my wife uses she wears a plastic glove (the ones doctors /nurses wear)and it seems to help with making sure the the veins are up

Wolsty
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Sorry - what to take - I take my ipad, mags, water (you should try and drink 3 litres on the day of chemo which helps flush everything round your system), something to eat/some sweets. I am having my 5th chemo on 21st May. Although its tough at times it is manageable and you do bounce back for good periods between each session. Are you having Neulasta jab - this is very good for keeping you white blood cell count up - its expensive though so not always given but push for it if you can. Jane xx

Wolsty
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi Jo.
The anticipation is much worse than the actual giving of the chemo. When you get there they will put your cannula in - I often put my hand in hottish water before this to make sure that my veins are up nicely. Then you will receive a steriod and anti-sickness bag through the drip. After that your chemo will start - not sure which one you are receiving - if it is FEC then the worst one is the red one which can hurt your veins a little. There are little things that might happen whilst receiving chemo, you might feel your nose twitch/run a bit but certainly nothing major and the chemo nurse should look after you very well.
Once you have had your first one you are always getting closer to the end.
Good luck. Jane xx

Gilliancw
Member

Re: Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi Jo

Good luck for your first chemo, I start mine the following Wednesday. I have been going through the pervious months 'start chemo' for advice.
Like you I'm not sure what to take with me.
Take care
Gillian xx

Guest user
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Due to start chemo next week - scared

Hi.
I found out yesterday that I will be starting chemo on Wednesday and I'm freaking out a bit.
If anyone can give me any tips, advice (even on what to take with me) I would be very grateful
Jo x