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Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

48 REPLIES 48
delly
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Oooooomph, I do feel for you all.

Marie, that's such excellent, helpful advice from Sue ref any support groups in your area. This forum is a fantastic place for support, but you still can't beat face to face, in person contact with alike fellow BC women and hopefully an opportunity to befriend, when you feel more up to it.

 

Wishing you all strength. Sending love and big hugs

Delly xxx

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Oh Marie, I'm so sorry that you feel like that. I find this forum very comforting as you can chat to people going through the same treatment. Where abouts are you in the country? Are there any support groups near you? I'm sure your bc nurses will be able to put you in touch with others nearby.

Sending a hug xx

Marie hopeton
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

I know just how u feel I've been doing it on my own since I was diagnosed it's been so hard, I've got a partner not that it feels or seems like it, if I ask for his help I get cut off I live alone with my dog there's days I'm in so much pain so tired, I'm literally struggling the nurse's tell me I'm strong but no one with cancer should have to face it alone I cry myself to sleep feel so alone haven't got any mates my sister's live Mile's away, feel like I'm cracking up I just want bit of help and support 

Sue C
Community Champion

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

I agree H. Very difficult to go on fb and post, when you haven't really faced the diagnosis yourself. Have told friends and family when they ask. Looking forward to posting a positive outcome at the end of all the treatment.

Take it easy everyone

Sue x

haz25a
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Hels,

Thanks for your kind comments, I don't know how I am coping, I really don't, guess you just find inner strength from somewhere, you don't have a choice really so you just get on with it.

Your husband will be freaked out too by your diagnosis, unfortunately men aren't always very good at dealing with "emotional problems", he's probably just really worried about you. I'm sure he'll be there for you once he gets his head around all this.

I told people "bit by bit". I didn't feel ready to tell too many people at once. Also I was still in denial myself so it felt really strange saying it out loud. Some people still don't know. I've not posted on Facebook as I couldn't cope with the deluge of comments and having to reply to them. I have made some references to my "treatment" in replies to comments etc. but didn't do a "I have Cancer" post.

Good luck for Friday.

H.x
Hels_P
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

H,

 

Thank you so much for your kind words.  It sounds to me that you are an amazingly strong woman who has coped fantastically.  I hope I can cope with the chemo as well as you have!!!

 

Good luck,

Hels xx

Hels_P
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Thank you all for your amazing comments.  After an incredibly bumpy weekend and his best friend telling him exactly what he thought of him I think he has realised that this actually isnt about him and his job is to help me but also make sure the kids are ok.  We will see what the future holds and i am prepared incase we have another wobble.  I do have amazing friends who have all offered help, I think I am just too worried to ask for it which I know is daft.  I dont want to be a burden on anyone!!  Anyway - Vacuum Biopsy this Friday and then treatment plan next week so I should be a little more clued up after that.

 

I do have one question though......... what do you do when people constantly message you saying "I've just heard your news".  Have any of you just put your diagnosis on social media and asked people to give you time to adjust?  Did it work?

 

Thanks

Hels xx

Treeze
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Only just read your kind reply..thank you so much xx
Charys
Community Champion

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

This thread is so accurate. ...a major live change like a cancer diagnosis can make or break relationships. It really shows the people around you who 'can' and those who 'cant'! It's a desperate shame for those of you whose partners are the weak sort who , at your very time of need, show their inability to care for you as you deserve. AND you do deserve caring loving people around you!! So....as my counsellor said....leave them be, move on and take strength from those who ARE offering it. I am so sorry you've all had to deal with this xx
Sue C
Community Champion

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi

My partner of 20yrs also decided 2 weeks after my diagnosis that he was unhappy and wanted to be on his own!! It's amazing how selfish people can be! 

However, I have an amazing daughter and wonderful mum who help me every step of the way. Just about to start 2nd round of chemo and despite the fatigue, have not been too bad.

Good luck to everyone

Sue xx

delly
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Please can I just say -

YOU LOT ARE ONE LOAD OF TOUGH COOKIES - I applaud you and wish you ALL continued STRENGTH to carry on kicking this gawd awful disease in its behind regions !!!! (as well as a few lacking partners, it would seem. Shame they can't see you in the same way i'm sorry).

Love and biiig long hugs to you

Delly xxxx

 

haz25a
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Hels,

I sympathise with your situation. I was diagnosed in April. Had lumpectomy/SNB in May. Pathology results showed no lymph node involvement, clear margins, ER negative but HER positive so chemo and herceptin.

When my partner of 5 years found out I needed chemo, he freaked out and left me. We didn't live together, it wasn't the strongest of relationships, he has mental health problems and wouldn't have been much support anyway. I would have had to cope with him freaking out about me cancer which is an extra burden I didn't need so I completely understand why you asked your husband to leave. He may still overcome his fear and be able to support you through this. Cancer can cause relationships to be become stronger, but, it can also cause them to fall apart sadly.

The anticipation of chemo is far worse than actually having it. Chemo isn't pleasant but it is doable. I have long term mental health problems, an anxiety disorder and depression. Despite this, my partner leaving me and living alone, I've coped so much better than I thought I would and the time flies in.

Very best of luck with your treatment.

H.x
ScarletBea
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Hels, good luck.

Don't you have friends who you can ask for help? I'm on my own and my friends have been invaluable!

And they actually appreciate being asked, as they feel a bit weird without knowing what to do or say otherwise.

 

I'm driving myself now, but if you have surgery you won't be able to for around 2 months, so help in that area is very much appreciated. I also get lifts on actual chemo treatment days, as I never know how I'll be feeling afterwards.

Also help with the shopping is useful, as you won't be able to carry weights for a while.

 

I don't have children, so can't advise you there, but my general thought is "it can be done on your own, but don't be afraid to ask for very specific help".

 

(for example, one day that a friend came to visit me and asked what she could do, I put her to work folding and putting away my laundry, I was just feeling so incredibly tired that day, and she didn't mind at all)

Hels_P
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi,  I was diagnosed with Grade 3 breast cancer last Thursday.  I have had a breast MRI and now waiting for vacuum biopsy next week.  I am married with 2 children (23 and 12) but my husband is not coping (doesnt really cope with anything, and goes out drinking) so I guess I am facing this on my own with the kids.  I am HER2 receptive but havent been told my treatment plan yet - this is all happening this week I believe.   The thought of the surgery doesnt scare me too much (had 2 c-sections and may other ops) but the chemo is a walk into the unknown for me - and I am petrified.  I am hoping to be able to drive myself to the treatments as my parents died over the last two years and my sibings live far away.  I have aske my husband to leave and let me concentrate on getting better which is why I am on this thread.  I have found such good advise on here and feel a little more able to cope so thank you and I know where to come if I have questions in over the next few months.

 

CAZTURN1973
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Teresa,

 

You're situation moved me, I am 43 and have recently had mastectomy & chemo for stage 3c breast cancer.

Although difficult at times I've been lucky enough to have my 6 year old little girl to give me strength and a reason to fight.

 

I absolutely agree with you that friends & family much as they try to understand and boost us can never truly empathise with how we're feeling, especially as our emotions and resolve can change from one minute to the next.

 

A word of reassurance - I've just my had 6th and last chemo, you'll be surprised how quickly you get through your treatment and how strong you become.

 

I wish you strength and hope your treatment goes well without side effects. Love and very best wishes,

Caroline xxxx

 

Treeze
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Thank you for replying..hugs to you.yes i do agree there are distinct advantages being on your own when youre ill anyway..i can slop around looking disgusting! Its difficult with friends isnt it..minebare based around acting and drama and socializing a lot so its common sense that things will definitely change..also they are positive...great...non-ill people..always healthy and hate thinking of illness so i dont want to drain them.it will all be what it will be.hope youre having a good day.thanks for writing x
Milly216
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Treeze - I also live alone and find night times and late afternoons the bleakest times. My friends have been great but it is hard for them to understand without going through it themselves. I do think there are a few positives to being alone - after chemo when I 'm feeling particularly rubbish it's good not to have to think about anyone else's needs. You can do as much or as little as you are able without worrying about having to cook someone else's dinner, do their washing or make sure they get to school or work on time. If you want to you can spend all day in bed or watching box sets. You can have a good old wallow in it without anyone watching!

If you can, try and look to your friends for support and tell them how you are feeling. They may be desperate to help but unsure of what they can do or how you are feeling. I think we often put a brave face on it for the benefit of others, but sometimes it's better to reach out, though I do find that very difficult.

So sorry to hear about your friend. Sending you a big hug xxx

Treeze
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

I live alone and have just had my first chemo session.i'm 56, have two grown girls who are being brilliant and an 89 year old dad who has been given as little information as i can get away with but i expect is worried to death and we havent said the c word.i have lovely friends, my dearest if which has terminal cancer and hopes to see Christmas.my friends as i said are lovely but dont..cant possibly..understand.i feel they want me to say i'm fine like i have a cold and will be better in a few days.i feel locked in my own bubble, just able to put one foot in front of the other.the middle of the night seems quite bleak on your own and i feel quite cut off but too emotionally frail yet to really reach out.thank you for giving me and opportunity to say this. Teresa
Alli
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi starlight, alli here. I've just signed up. I've been completely alone since being diagnosed with breast cancer stage 3/4 in jan 2013.  It's now in my spine too. I've now got access to family members but have found myself in a rut mentally. I spend day after day alone, by choice, yet feel frustrated.  I don't know how to cope. Do you have any tips? Do you want to chat? I'm lost.  Your Cancer is further than min and I'm so sorry and petrified as I know I'm due the same soon. Do you think we could share ?  I send you all my love and support , alli. Xxxx

 

On a diversion
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi, I just want to add to what Charys has said.  So sorry you are going through all this.  I do understand as my auntie has gone through cancer treatment twice since her husband died. She asked a few friends to help but it was still very lonely and she was admitted to hospital a few times when the team was concerned because she had no one to look after her at home.

 

Big hugs xxx 

 

PS If it is something you think would be useful, you can request an assessment of your care and support needs from the local authority. There is some more information on this website http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/social-care-and-support-guide/pages/assessment-care-needs.aspx

Charys
Community Champion

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hello,

 

Im not currently having chemo but I just wanted to say how terribly sorry I am to hear of your situation. To actually have your husband pass away on the day of your own operation is staggeringly 'unfair', but as we know nothing about this diagnosis is 'fair'. Is there anyway you could have some sort of 'hotline' to your friendly and supportive neighbours, a mobile that you carry with you and call them or something like that. That phone could also have saved a whole set of useful numbers...GP number, NHS 111 and assorted other things like local hosp. team. What about a friend who could come and stay with you during certain parts of treatment? I know this seems maybe like a daft suggestion (.maybe others will come along shortly who live alone and could help with better advice......but is there any funding availiable for cases like this for a carer to attend someone, or could people pay privately?

 

I feel so sad for you, as clearly you are feeling very alone tonight, so I didn't want to pass by your post without saying something. I am thinking of you and there are always people around here to share your thoughts with. X

Grannynancy
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hello  I am in the situation,as well sadly I lost my darling husband the day after I had my op.and now have to start my chemotherapy,I am very nervous about it as my family live far and wide,I have fabulous friends and neighbors who run me here there and everywhere,but it is going to be the nights when I will feel alone,and worrying if I am going to be ill,it just seams so surreal I watched my husband go through it and now me, sorry, just feeling sorry for myself,it's the Unknown that's the scary bit,open for a chat if any body is out there.

SuzyEB
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Starlight, I'm so sorry you had to join us with this disease. I too live alone. The chemo us doable but let your neighbours know. My next door neighbour is on standby if I need to get to hospital urgently. I have several very close friends who make me meals for the freezer for those days when I don't feel great but need food. You will have good days and I use then to make soups and meals. Try to do a short walk every day even just out to the end of the garden. I have a routine with friends to go for lunch or coffee in my good week. Listen to your body. If you feel unwell then contact the helpline. Don't let things escalate. Monitor you temperature but don't obsess about it.
There is so much information in all these posts. It really helped me. I finished my chemo yesterday (3FEC/3T). I am now on 3weekly Herceptin. You can get through this and we will be here for you as you need us. I would advise you to join the monthly chemo thread as well. The support of women who are at the same stage of treatment is invaluable. I hope all goes well for you. Love suz xxx
starlight
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi I have breast cancer with metastases in liver, spine and lung. I live alone now because my darling husband died during his cancer treatment a month before I was diagnosed. I had my first infusions 10 days ago. They discharged me and I back in hospitak with pleurisy 24hrs later. I've been in since. Dr said I can go home thursday before my next chemo on 22nd December. It's surreal - tracing my beloved's journey excep it's me in the bed now. I'm scared of being too sleepy ( its hard to keep awake as i write now). My bro-in-law will get me home.
sisterphonetica
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hiya. I'm new here and live alone. I went to stay with my parents for one night only after my first chemo, more for their benefit than mine as they're very elderly and wouldn't have been able to help much apart from phone calls in the night if I took unwell. Only minor infections so far which I've been able to cope with.

 

About to have my second FEC-T treatment  next Friday.

LuckyLass
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Jo (and any other 'solo' chemo people),

 

I too live alone and am about to start chemo this week. I have relatives who are supporting me and one in particular who has come to a lot of the appointments with me, but they are all at least an hour's drive away, all of them on the far side of the hospital from where I live. I also have brilliant neighbours who have already been helping lots - living in a rural area, you need to get on, everyone needs help sometime!

 

Readng this thread has helped - some things I had thought of, others I hadn't.

spudlab
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi there.

I had a mastectomy in December and started chemo in January, followed by radiotherapy in May and June.

My husband works in the Carribbean and my son was at boarding school so I was on my own most of the time.

I had a lift to and from my first chemo but drove to all the other sessions after that. I even drove myself in on a Friday evening for an urgent CT scan for breathlessness - I was only breathless walking so driving was fine.

I made sure I had plenty of food in the house before each cycle including things that I might fancy like chocolate. I did my supermarket shopping on line which helped. 

Not everyone feels dreadful. I managed to work a lot of the time and actually only stopped when I was diagnosed with a bone met and that was partly because I wasn't ready to tell everyone and partly because work thought I should be off! I actually went to the gym regularly until the taxotere made me breathless after cycle 3. 

I am on long term herceptin and tamoxifen now. I do have joint pains at the moment but I think it is probably because of the forced menopause the chemo gave me.

I flew out to the West Indies to see my husband 3 days after finishing my radiotherapy and even went scuba diving although didn't go too deep.

I found that I did get lonely and allowed myself to cry if I felt I needed to. I also made myself do something everyday even if it was only a hospital appointment. There were days when I felt like staying in my pyjamas everyday but forced myself to do a little something such as a walk down the lane or a little bit of weeding. My garden has never looked so good!

I hope it goes as smoothly as possible for you.

 

Janet_BCC
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Jo_A

 

Welcome to the BCC Forum where I'm sure you'll find lots of support from fellow members.  Hopefully someone will notice your post and reply to your query about living alone.

 

You might find it helpful to join one of the Chemo monthly threads.  These are started by members who began their chemo in the same month.  I've attached a link to the September group:

 

http://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy-monthly-threads/Starting-treatment-September-20...

 

Very best wishes

 

Janet

BCC Moderator

Jo_A
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Gussie and everyone

 

Thank you for this thread, I'm about to start chemo in a few weeks time and will be living on my own. I'm moving cities to be close to family (I'd given up my flat anyway to go traveling!) so will have plenty of people on hand but it's helped me to read about others experiences.

 

I wondered how you got on in the end, whether you found the whole thing manageable living alone?

 

I hope you are now well and enjoying life

 

Jo x

HG12
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Thank u for all the info looking at the wristbands . Might have to wait as just been made redundant . But will get ones. Great idea . I have posted on the ur area site . Hopefully will be someone in my area . Thanks again xxx speak soonnx
Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Helen

 

Here's the link to the 'Around the UK' forum where users contact others local to themselves.  Hope this helps.

http://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Around-the-UK/bd-p/4452

 

Jo, Moderator

 

Gussie_WW
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Doh! Here's the link to the company which i used for medic alert bracelet.

http://www.theidbandco.com/Rubber-Medical-Bracelets
Gussie_WW
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Helen, somewhere on the forum there's a section that links people up by region, you could post there too. ...

The medic alert bracelet I have is from this company. I found them to be very quick and efficient.

Gus x
HG12
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Thank u for bumping this info . I live in Twyford berkshire . Is anyone near me
Helen x
Gussie_WW
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Well, I'm halfway thru FEC-T and am bumping this up for another forum member who lives alone and is facing chemo.

Of course everyone's symptoms are different but so far, with all my FEC treatments administered, I have found it doable.

One thing I do is wear a light, cross body bag at all times containing my chemo emergency card, my mobile, lip salve, a pen & paper & at the appropriate stage, my meds for that day. I have a slightly larger chemo caddy (see the top tips for chemo thread) which I carry between kitchen, living room & bedroom (etc).

I use my slightly better weeks to fill my freezer with easy food. I like to cook for myself but I also buy in ready meals.

I have a plan for me and my dog in case I have to dash to the hospital - so far haven't had to use it. My close friends know where my emergency hospital bag sits in case they need to nip in and grab it for me.

I ordered a red silicone medic alert wrist band which I wear at all times. It gives my name, date of birth, CHEMO PATIENT and as I'm in Scotland my NHS Scotland patient ref number in case I'm stricken when out and about or in a car crash (etc) & can't speak.

Pegglass
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Gus - I did chemo/surgery/rads while living alone - I think it helped keep me from infections and colds, as I could keep away from germs very easily! I did turn into a bit of a hermit in chemo week, but in the 'good' week I made up for it by going out a lot and having lots of visitors. I kept in touch with work, visiting them in my good weeks and keeping up with email the rest of the time.
I kept enough cash with me to pay for a taxi to hospital in an emergency, and a phone was always within reach at night. I only had to call an emergency number once - at 2am when I was convinced I had a blood clot (I was right). You will know if something doesn't seem right - and you mustn't wait for your next appointment to ask someone about it.
I used internet shopping (Ocado) when I was in 'hermit-mode', and when the fatigue became too severe even to be taken shopping. I always had enough food in the house for a few days, and I tried to eat vaguely healthily (there's a temptation to eat rubbish out of sheer boredom, plus the feeling that you 'deserve' that bar of chocolate!)
Some builders over the road helped me out a few times (changing smoke detector batteries etc.) - I'm not usually one to ask for help and I had to force myself to acknowledge that I really had to ask for help and accept offers of assistance.
I made sure I got dressed every day, though often I'm sure I looked like a tramp!
Good luck with your treatment - it'll be over before you know it.
x
Gussie_WW
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Dear everyone: thank you for all this wonderful advice! It's really reassuring to hear that I'm not the only person doing this solo (however we define that 😉 - I take the broadest view).
Gus x
Philomena_b
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Gussie, great to all our lovely ladies doing what they do best...give great advice. The only thing I would add to this thread is to buy the best digital / tempanic thermometer you can afford. The taking of your temperature twice a day is really really important. Even if your temperature is not that high, listen to your body. If its telling you it's not wellcontact your oncology unit early. This will also give you time to organise things for the children. Good luck, it's not the easiest road to travel, but it's a well worn road. Xx
Suffolklady
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Gussie
I'm also on the June Jewels thread, starting T-Fec on June 27th. I have teenage children who sometimes stay with me and sometimes not, but no partner and have learnt to be self-sufficient. I'm not looking forward to doing this (who is??!!) and I do wish that there was someone there who would bring me tea in bed from time to time!. However, I'm unlikely to meet Mr Right (or indeed Mr Wrong!) between now and the 27th so I guess I'll be going it alone!! Please feel free to PM me if you'd like to swap numbers for middle of the night support!
Take care

Cress x
Gill_567
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Dear Gus,

So sorry that you find yourself here. But if you’re anything like me, this forum will be an invaluable source of support over the coming weeks.

Having had a look at your profile, just felt I had to respond. I too was widowed last year, then diagnosed with BC in November. 2012 really wasn’t a good year for some of us! I also have no family locally. I coped fine through surgery, with the help of some close friends, but when the treatment plan was unexpectedly changed to include chemo, I was terrified that it might all be too much for me on my own.

I am now post chemo (just) and would like to reassure you that it is doable. It’s a long slog and at times soul-destroying. But it can be done. You’ve had lots of good advice already and I would reiterate that planning ahead is the best thing (meals, meds, treats, books etc.), as well as making the most of any “good” days in your chemo cycles.

A friend very kindly came with me to every chemo appointment – but apart from that I have managed on my own. We all respond differently to chemo and, I’m afraid, until you start, you won’t know how you will be affected. Your chemo unit will provide you with numbers to call if you are unwell. It’s also worth making sure your GP knows when you are starting as you may find you need additional medication for some side effects.

Be kind to yourself, take one day at a time and try not to worry about the unknown (sometimes easier said than done). Let your friends know what you need. There will be some who are comfortable with offering the practical stuff, when all you really want is someone to talk to! One great source of support came from the February Valentines. All in the same boat, sharing our experiences, supporting each other throughout. If you can join the June Jewels (or the July group if your start date drifts) you will be in the best of company.

Wishing you all the very best for a minimal side-effect chemo.
Take care,
Gill
Tolliebelle
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Gussie
I also live alone and went through chemo in 2011. I made sure I had easy meals in freezer and lots of goodies in cupboards!! Only had one night of throwing up when started second regime and felt very sorry for my self although the dog kept me company in the bathroom!!! I had lots of friends and family who were a phone call away but really didnt ever need to phone them in the night. I worked through my chemo although only part time and found that helped as it got me out of the house and helped me feel a bit more "normal" but I know that is not practical for a lot of people.
I would just say make sure you have people on hand if you do need them, I am sure you will have lots of people who will offer their help USE THEM!! It is not weak to ask for help.
Take care
Jill
NicJ
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Gussie,
I don't exactly live alone, but practically I do.
My 16 year old sons are autistic, one quite severly and my husband works on oil rigs and is away for the whole of June into July, and then he is usually home for 16 days and home for 10. So you see I have to be very self sufficient. my boys would not be able to cope in a crises and, one night last week I was in pain from a reaction to one of the drugs and at 5 in the morning had to call the oncology helpline. I then had to arrange for a friend to pick up hardcore painkillers as soon as the pharmacy at 8. Also the helpline people arranged for one of my GPs to phone and I was given a priority appt. My boys were completely unaware that anything had happened.
i have had to call the helpline twice, the first time was a couple of hours after chemo, but outside of surgrery hours I had taken all the anti this and that but then promptly threw them up and kept throwing up. I called the onc helpline and they arranged for a Dr to come and see me as I could not leave the house for all the vomiting.
The chemo team when you meet them will give you lots of advice on what to expect and how to cope, they will give you all the emergency numbers.
Do make sure that you are registered for free prescriptions, and have an arrangement with your local pharmacy about delivery.
You should have someone with you to take you home after chemo and stay overnight with you, a friend if not your mother.
If you join the June Jewels chemo group and read the old posts you will see that I have had pretty much all the side effects going and they started within a couple of hours. Others either got hit later or haven't had them hardly at all.
my tips would be to have all the important contact numbers on speed dial but upfront the helpline or out of hours service that will be your first call.they should give you that when you go for chemo. If you have landline put in those as well. Have a bumbag always on and put your phone and a list of what drugs you are on in there, together with a thermometer. You can guarantee IF you have a reaction and are ill it will be when you have put your phone somewhere, And cant remember where your thermometer is. Also have your most supportive and reliable friend as your safety net. Give that person the same list of important contacts and drugs. Agree with that friend that if you are only able to make one very short phone call it is to them in an emergency and they will call whoever you need for you.
In the unlikely event that you have a really severe reaction never hesitate to call an ambulance.
I hope I haven't scared you, because chances are it won't get that bad for you. But my current mantra is "expect nothing and be prepared for anything"
NicJ
vodea
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Gussie- hi, I had a mastectomy, live alone ( having moved into scruffy house I planned to do up 2 weeks prior to diagnosis). I have friends on hand but family live so far away- and sister also having treatment at same time for breast cancer So we could not be with each other. The nights are long but I just finished 6 cycles of TC treatment. I got lifts to all sessions. I kept water with me at all times and had the radio close to hand at night. It's just one moment at a time. I also had a code text- a dude alert which meant I really needed help of friends rather than get here if your passing. I only needed it once . I managed on my own with surgery, drains, snow ( and a years supply of kleenex) as a few tears now and again are a food thing. Good luck. Thinking of you! V
Petal5
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Yes at night things always seem much worse

As I said it is good to have someone who can come if you need them. I had already called the doctor but just felt so wretched that I needed someone with me. My son lives half an hour drive so he came over and stayed the night. But if your family are too far away perhaps a friend could be on standby? Hopefully you will never need them. x

Gussie_WW
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

@MarthaSOS - thank you - I'm there already! 😉
@Pam - it's good to hear how you got on. I've started my list of things to buy at Boots. The thing I am most scared about is being ill alone at night and realising I need to get medical help. But logically it's no worse than in the day! Not that logic comes into this much... THANK YOU.
Petal5
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Gus
I live on my own and went through chemo alone. I made sure I researched beforehand on various over the counter medications that I might need and made sure I had them in before I started. I also had some ready meals prepared in the freezer.

I had someone take and pick me up from chemo so I didn't have to drive.

I only had one bad experience when I was very sick during the night and had to call the emergency doctor out to give me an injection and I did want someone with me during that night so it is good if you can have someone who you can call on, day or night if necessary.

I found I needed to sleep most of the time for the first few days, chemo really knocked me out, so it was good to be on my own as I could just do as I wanted and didn't have the pressure of trying to look after family etc.

As most people find by week three of each cycle I felt back to normal and could do all the housework I had neglected in the previous weeks!

Hope this gives you some reassurance that you will be ok. Oh and keeping in touch with others going through treatment at the same time through joining one of the threads on this forum is invaluable.

Good luck
Pam

MarthasSOS
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Hi Gussie

Although I don't live alone, I am currently going through chemo and I'm part of the June Jewels thread and it would be great if you would join us since you will be going through chemo at the same time.

We will all offer you as much support as you need (virtually of course) however, I am sure there are some ladies in the group which are also going through this alone.

Take care
Martha xxx
Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

Bumping this up for you Gus, please also feel free to call our helpline on 0808 800 6000 to talk things through as they can provide practical and emotional support, open weekdays 9-5 and Sat 10-2

Take care

Lucy

Gussie_WW
Member

Going / been thru through chemo & live alone?

I'm looking for advice / tips about getting through chemo when you live on your own. I can't be the only one in this situation!
I have a good circle of friends who have come with me to all the appointments (not all at once 😉 )and I have the promise of lifts to and from the chemo. My sister and mother live 300 miles away, and they aren't in a position to do much more than phone support. If she can organise respite care for my father, my mother hopes to come up to stay for a few days at the first treatment. (I start FEC-T somewhere between 20-26 June. Been told it's likely to be at the end of that period.)
If you've been through this I'd love to hear about practical ways you supported yourself, and things you wish you'd thought of in advance!
many thanks
Gus