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My new 'friend' called Chemo!

26 REPLIES 26
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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra,
hope you are coping well and you have watched the dvd verrry carefully!!! Wow the age of technology...will we be getting a dvd for how to operate on ourselves next!!!!
At least we all know that you will be occupied watching your new dvd!!

Best wishes for few SE's to you...keep it in mind that after the first week (in my experience as I am now a week down the line and an expert!!) that there will be 'normal' times returning to you...keep thinking of those times to come in the not too distant future.
Hugs to you and all the other peachy mother people out there
Suze xxxxxx

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Great news Sandra.
I will PM you sometime with my recent news.
Until then, eat as you can manage and drink loads and keep those puzzles to keep your brain cells tingling or put you to sleep!!!

Either way, take it easy.

Will watch out for you over the next week but remember to look after yourself before you push yourself to post to others...
Your recovery is your current focus.

Oh dear, I do sound like an old mother hen!!!
I hope you know I mean well!
Best wishes to everyone who is going through chemo and its side effects. You are amazing women.

Love Wendy x

marial
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

I even thought of that, but spelt Chemo wrong so I didn't get it. "Mum's a Twit" as my son would say. Ok I've an excuse= peachy mother brain

sandra4
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Oh Maria, wakey wakey!!!

Peachy Mother - Chemotherapy

Hugs
Sandra xxx

marial
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

I want a dvd, not fair. I'm glad you are OK Sandra, Take care now
I did mow my lawn, well you can't call it a lawn, more like a meadow on a slope, so I am very proud of myself, it was my first good day for a few days now, so I think I'm going to start a thread "3rd week, positive chemo stories". By the way did you find a name for your friend, now you have met her at last. What's with the anagram? I was never any good at them.
Hugs to one and all
Maria

sandra4
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Ladies
Thank you for all your good wishes, glad the first one is over, felt quite high when l was having the chemo, but now feel a bit emotional, not tearful, just a bit wobbly, so hopefully the tears will stay away, feel quite tired, but l expect that is the emotional side of me!

Hope l haven't eaten too much today, l have felt quite hungry, only snacks, but l was just wondering if l should have had just a little!
anyway had lots to drink, feel as though l have a bit of a headache coming on, hope not, don't need that on top of any s/e l may have!

Came home with a dvd! now how many of you came home with a dvd? l am having the injections to increase my immune system, they are for 10 days, they said the district nurse would come in, but l said l was happy to do them! so they gave me a dvd to look at and teach myself!!
talk about DIY!

Maria, a day with nothing much to do! cant have that, hope you got the grass cut? xxx

Midge, Thank you for your good wishes xxx

Wendy, Yes must keep positive, Thank you for your thoughts. Good to hear from you, hope you are well? xxx

Emmbee, Hopefully l will try and keep myself busy, even if it is doing puzzles. Thank you for your kind words xxx

Anne, Thank you for your positive vibes and hugs, all very welcome. Hope you are keeping well? Take care xxx

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra

Hope today went ok and you do not have a bad time. Thinking of you and sending lots of positive vibes and hugs.

Anne x x

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra,

Hope today was not too traumatic. You should be fine tomorrow and for part of Sunday. If SE's hit you then rest and watch TV listen to music, do puzzles, they saved me, anything to try and keep awake as it's best to sleep at night if you can possibly wait until then. You may be really lucky and not suffer too much. I know someone who sailed through the chemo but most people do have some problems.

If you need any advice just ask. One of us is sure to be able to help.

Fingers crossed.
E

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Really hope you are coping with today Sandra.
I'm sure it's not easy!

Take a big hug from me hoping that you'll see this difficult experience as a positive act to kill all those malignant cancer cells left behind...

Will be thinking of you and trust the side effects are manageable.

Lots of love Wendy x

Midge
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Good luck Sandra. Hope it all goes smoothly for you. debx

marial
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra, I'll be thinking about you today, I'll have plenty of time to send you all the positive vibes I can, as it's my first day this week when I have nothing special to do, I may mow the lawn though. I hope my thoughts reach you.
Love and Hugs Maria

sandra4
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hello Ladies,
Thank you for all your advice and good wishes, l will be pleased to get the first one out of the way, just the unknown!
I have taken lots of notes, and hopefully all your suggestions will help me through this.
Thank you once again
Wishing you all easier days ahead
Sandra xxx

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

What I have learnt is that we are so different in how our bodies cope and we find our own way. I am Mrs positive but I was so sick with chemo 4 FEC 3 out of 4Tax, i thought I had a cast iron stomach but hey I didn't, really bland food worked for me chicken soup, porrige and rice pudding plus ginger in every which way. What I did find helpful was complimentary therapies - hypnotherapy and reiki.

marli
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi sandra - just to wish you luck for tomorrow. Sending good thoughts. Marli x

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra

Agree with lots of the advice you have been given by the ladies.

I have found that haiving a healthy diet really helps, have eaten healthy throughout except the last cycle as i didn't feel too bad with the last one and all of my counts were at there lowest.

Have made soups stews and pies with beans and pulses and eat seeds and nuts to keep up energy levels.

I can't eat anything that is not plain for about 4-5 days but have a sensitive stomach, but you will find out what works for you. Eating little and often is good every 2 hours.

Drink loads of water today and the next few days to flush out your system and if you have any problems get in touch with your chemo nurses they are very good and should give you everything you need. After the first one you will see how you are likely to be with the rest.

Good luck Sandra, you will be good.

Lot of love

Jayne xxx

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Good luck on Friday. Everyone is different but I always had a little emergency makeup bag with me full of green & lemon tea sachets, ginger chews, lip salve & Bach flower remedies for those panicky moments. Drink lots of water, keep a big bottle in your fridge & eat little n' often of whatever you fancy especially if your mouth gets sore. Mouthwashes are good to help get rid of the metallic taste if you get that & Biotene gel helps with a dry mouth. I used the cold cap & watched a lot of old friends episodes on my Ipod to help while away the 4 hours between chats with those around me. Floradix is a good iron/vitamin tonic available in most health shops. Most of all be kind to yourself, rest when you need to & take all the help your supportive family/friends offer you.

marli
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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra - Just read your post and love your attitude. The sister on my chemo ward told me that ladies with a positive attitude were much better at dealing with treatment and that they could always tell who would have trouble! Finished chemo 3/3/10 (6xEC) and never felt sick. Was given Ondansetron which worked well although gave me terrible constipation (the worst of SE's for me) and set of an attack of diverticulitis. Onc halved dose and that helped BUT I took lactolose from the day before chemo until day4 and also had a meat free diet which really helped. So be aware of poss of constipation 'cos we have enough to think about. If I felt a little nauseous I ate crystallise ginger which always worked. Like danjo drank lemon and ginger tea. Went off chocolate and wine, still not really back on the wine yet. Enjoyed chilli and curry most 'cos could taste them.
Will be thinking of you and sending poitive thoughts. Take care Marli. x

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi, Sandra, I havn't look at other threads yet so didn't know you had a date. Now you will feel you are getting somewhere. My taste buds were shot for the first few days.I ate a lot of Cantaloupe melon. the anti sickness pills (4-one every 12 hours) worked for me. the ones I was given were Ondansetron. My Onc nurse told me that none of her ladies ever needed anything stronger. she also told me not to be paranoid about taking my temperature, so I take it every 3 days or so and make a note of it. I have nade a diary of each day so I will know what to expect next time. From day 5 I have written "felt fine" although I have experienced the odd ache & headache twice. I have had a sore throat for the last four days,will get some Manuka honey. No sore mouth or ulcers yet and my appetite is as normal now. I had made veg soup beforehand and tried some on day 3 but it tasted disgusting. I put some HP sauce in it. I think you need strong flavours when nothing tastes right. I am off tea & coffee, just drinking redbush & fruit teas. I have lemon & ginger tea first thing. gets me going in the morning!

Hope some of this helps.

Take care
Carolxx

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Good attitude, hope you can keep it up!

Jut a note on the soup........don't use stock or salt! Just lots of herbs and spices to flavour. Salt is poison for your already over-worked liver. I believe the horrible taste during chemo is the liver trying to detox through the tongue, I went on an ultra healthy diet after 4 chemos and the difference it made was incredible.

Walk every day
Take up relaxing yoga
drink 2-3 litres of water everyday.
Rest every day.

The cancer active website is very good.

saffronseed
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra love the new thread title! I See on the other thread you have now got a date to start... I know how you will be feeling part of you wanting to get it started the other dreading it. I am sure you will be fine. There is so much help on here to get you through it.

It is good to think of Chemo as positive but it is very trying... having seen your post I keep humming 'I've got a friend who gets on my nerves'.... (tune I've got a song that will get on your nerves). She/he does get on your nerves a bit.. but like you say with a true friend you put up with that - as the good outways the bad times.

xx

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Sandra....
yet another fantastic piece, the way you put your feelings down is so inspiring...it kind of says what I am thinking but in a much better way than I am thinking it:-)
Since Thursday I have done ok...the anti sickness tablets worked well (they lasted till Sunday) then Monday I had none as I only had the backup ones left and wasn't sure if I should take them as I haven'y actually been sick..just felt nauseous. This morning I felt so rough that I took one and called work to say would have to see how things went....after 20 mins I was showered, dressed and ready to go to work so I take it that you don't have to be actually physically vomiting for the pills to work. Today has been a better day than yesterday thanks to one pill.

The top of my mouth is now feeling very wrinkled, not sore, no ulcers but a bit tingly, I can still smell (in fact a heightened sense of smell), taste most things and have not gone off tea, coffee or chocolate,,,there is a God:-)) I don't want as much of any of those things as I used to, horlicks is good and toast.
Todays treat is blueberries, strawberries and cherries(life is sweet).

As I sit here I am having jamaican ginger cake and a small coffee (all welcome to join me) and I'm feeling that at day 5 things are not too bad today. As you know last week before treatment was a trial and the past 5 days haven't gone without tears or fears but I am doing the doable and will be here whilst you follow.

You will learn to do your injections (and not prick your finger in the process as you have been forewarned)this afternoon it felt like a stray needle had found its way into my lumpectomy site as I was being stabbed rather ferociously it has stopped now and I am just hoping that it is the stuff doing it's thing, if it is that then I am sure that the stuff is working well cos it hurt:-(
My poor brain feels like it needs to be put on a battery charger and the drunkeness and dizziness are not my favourite feelings but despite that after a sleep this afternoon I still managed to go and visit my mum and my friend.
My next challenge will be the hair loss....maybe that will be one time when I may appreciate the numbness in the brain but if its all part of the good than once again we shall pick up our shields and fight on boldly.
Thinking of all on this journey
Hugs Suze xxx

marial
Member

Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi sandra,
Seeing chemo as a friend is a great idea, after all, she is going to help chase away any little bullies that might still be lurking about. If you get a headache or feel sick or just not right, just think what she is doing to those little bullies, they must really suffer. When you hair falls out and you no longer need to shave your legs, just think of those bully's hair and legs !!
Try anything that you fancy that might help, everyone has their own ideas and many will work for many people. But one important thing is to drink as much as you possibly can. I find that when I feel grotty it is because I have not drunk enough in the past hour or so. I take a bottle of water to bed with me. Listen to your body, treat your self to anything you can get. You may not feel like cooking so if you can't get anyone to do it for you, plan in advance, so yo don't need to do any the first 4-5days post chemo, after you will feel better, ad plan stuff for week 3. Week 3 is a good week.
The strangest thing is time. I remember feeling so bad, waiting for results, test, ops and more results. And all of a sudden I am already 1 week post 2nd chemo, wow.
I'll be thinking of you on Thursday.
Hugs
Maria

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra

Couldn't help but respond to your post!

I'm a bit behind you in that I'm only 58 so am still waiting for my state pension, bus pass etc etc but have loads of grandchildren and they keep me young. No moping about when the grandkids are around.

I have now passed my 2 year mark so have the chemo well-and-truly under my belt (hopefully never again).

Everyone reacts differently to chemo and you could be one of those who sails through it although I think most people have s/e to some degree. It's honestly not as bad as your brain is telling you it will be. I had 4 x epi followed by 4 x xeloda (I was on a trial) and I found the epi hard. Never sick. It was just the way 'it messed with my head'. Felt drunk and mouth problems. Furry tongue, no taste, sore throat etc etc.Lost weight (there's got to be a positive to all this).

I can honestly say that the hair loss didn't bother me. I bought a brilliant wig online which attracted loads of comments 'where did you get your streaks done?' etc etc. It's now on the top of the wardrobe but I'm loathe to throw it out. Seems as though I'd be tempting providence!

The time passes so quickly. I marked the chemo sessions (and every appointment) on the calendar and then crossed them off. Looking back, I think I just battened down the hatches, got on with it and then it was over with.

One thing I would recommend is Manuka honey. I was recommended it by a nurse at Christie's for my sore throat. It also helps your immune system. I took it every day (still do) and never any problems with my blood count.

So good luck. Just batten down the hatches and you'll soon be feeling so much better physically and mentally. Incidentally, grandkids are great, aren't they, for taking your mind off everything.

Take care
Mal x

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Dear Sandra,

I absolutely know the feeling but I never managed to look on chemo as my best friend. She was the one who kept turning up every three weeks and I could not wait to get rid of her.

Having said that, she was good to me eventually.

Soups are good for you. Make a big pan full and freeze some as you won't always feel like bothering. Litre of water, large onion, 2 chicken stock cubes, 3 leeks and a large potato and seasoning. Cut everything up, simmer for 1/2 hour and blitz when cooled a little. For a different soup change the leeks for a different veg. Broccoli is good and add a little grated cheese.

Drinks can taste foul. I lived on sh ginger ale, horlicks, hot choc and oxo.

Floury potatoes are awful, stick to waxy. The best veg are the sweet ones, carrots garden peas and sweetcorn. I had loads of trifles, creme caramel etc when I could not face other things. The awful taste goes after about ten days so then you can eat other things. Never have chemo without sucking ice lollies, the colder your mouth is the better. I bought a wide necked flask to take my lollies to chemo. Get some pure pineapple juice, asda sell it. Gargle with it 4 times a day and then swallow some. It is brilliant for stopping ulcers, I only ever had one and that was my fault as I did not follow my own advice when I got sick to death of pineapple. If your mouth goes white it is probably thrush so you must get Fluconazole 150, 1 capsule from the doc or get them from the chemo unit.

Take your temp every day. If it shoots up you need help. Do not go to A&E. Phone the doc and explain what is happening and ask for admission to the emergency medical unit. There are too any germs in A&E so don't go there unless you have to, in which case explain that you are a chemo patient and you should be given priority. Most likely this will not happen but just be prepared.

I was given anti-sickness medication with my chemo and was lucky enough not to need more.

If you get diarrhoea, take Loperamide. If you get constipation use dulcoease capsules which you can buy yourself.

I do hope that I have been helpful and not scared you too much. Most of there things will not happen but if they do you have the answer on tap.

If there is anything else...............

E

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

Hi Sandra

Just wanted to say I had my last chemo (FEC) on the 11th March. Yes it is harsh but I too decided that I would see the treatment as my saviour - an army if you like sweeping through my veins terminating any evil cancer cell there may be left behind. I visualised this every time they struggled to find a vein and, on my 'yuck' days, I just kept reminding myself the same. To the point that now, 3 weeks post rads, if I had to repeat chemo I would do it in a flash despite the 'yuck'.

Good luck to you and your new friend

Leigh xx

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Re: My new 'friend' called Chemo!

so sorry that you have to go through the chemo. (I did fec- finished Feb this year).

for morning sickness i had - Emend, Ondanzatron, Dexamethasone, Metoclopramide. For indigestion Ranitidine.

for mouth ulcars- Corsodyl mouth wash, oralbase cream, Difflam mouth wash.

Dont let me worry you , theres so saying that you will need as many anti sickness meds that i had!

I was told my chemo team that fresh pineapple is good for mouth ulcars. Drink the juice. Or else freeze fresh pineapple juice into ice cubes. hope this helps.
eva

sandra4
Member

My new 'friend' called Chemo!

At the age of 63 l have my very lovely family, and friends, some have proved to be very good friends, that have helped me during the last few months. Because my life has become a bit of an uphill struggle.

I thought l had everything in my life that l needed. I felt secure and very happy. I have wonderful family and grandchildren that l Love to bits. What more could l ask for.
Having reached the ripe ‘old’ age of 63 l have my pension, my free bus and train pass, my winter fuel allowance, my free prescriptions!! Everything in the garden was rosy……..

And then in January 2010, l went for my mammogram, having checked myself at regular times, l had no fears, so was quite surprised to receive a letter for a recall, l checked myself again, and told family, must be old scar tissue, having previously had two non cancerous lumps removed.

Then……….9th February 2010 (my sons 33rd birthday) changed my life forever.
Because whatever happens from that date l will never be the same up front, carefree person again, l am a new woman!! One not so sure of herself, not so sure what life holds, not so sure l can feel at ease with my body, not so sure l can cope anymore, not so sure when l am going to cry over nothing, not so sure l will ever laugh again, oh l don’t mean just laugh, l mean my really carefree laugh, that l once had!

CHEMO: FRIDAY 11th June 2010

So enter into my life my new ‘friend’ Chemo Therapy, she will be staying with me for a few months, l think l wll just call her Chemo (sounds more friendly) and l do want her to be my friend more than anything. The thought that she might upset me, or that she will not work with me, fills me with fear. How strange that my new friend fills me with fear! You would think a friend would comfort you in your times of need!
But this is a different friendship, this is a one sided friendship, yes l need her, she doesn‘t need me! Which worries me. So l have to make sure l keep her on my side, not sure how to do this, just go along with what my body tells me l suppose, as she will be ruling my body for a while. Makes me sound very selfish doesn’t it, And l suppose l am, because l am using my new ‘best friend’ using her for my own end.
I fear she is going to be very harsh on me, not sure why, l don’t remember upsetting her! Perhaps in life we should accept the good friends along with the not so good friends, perhaps we should tolerate their bad behaviour at times, like when we feel let down by them. Instead of telling them we are hurt by their words or actions, perhaps we should understand we are all different and that sometimes people can’t help hurting others, sometimes it is just careless words or thoughts, because after all they are/were our friends, once we made the effort for them, so we must have liked something about them!

So while Chemo is staying with me, l will try my utmost to be nice to her, in the hope she in time will return the compliment, l will learn to appreciate what she has tried to do for me, it might take a while, you know what it is like, your life is so busy, you don’t always have time to appreciate what someone has done for you, it is only later you look back and think how lucky you were. I hope one day l can look back and appreciate what Chemo has done for me…………..
But for now, l will greet Chemo with open arms, Oh on second thoughts Chemo, it will have to be the left one, due to Auxiliary clearance and Mastectomy on the right!!

So with all my heart, l hope you are kind and gentle, but at the same time help me as only you can.
I hope one day l can spread the news what a wonderful true friend you were to me, and hope your friendship can extend to others like me that need and want you to be kind.

Sandra xxx

PS. If anyone has any good advice as to how l cope with Chemo? what healthy foods l can give her?
Good recipes for healthy homemade soups? To keep my strength up!
What the best tablets are if she makes me feel sick? Or gives me mouth ulcers, or makes my mouth and taste buds disappear!
What drink tastes the best? Everyone seems to go off tea and coffee!
xxx