72.7K members
1.2M posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Supporting My Mum

11 REPLIES 11
gemmaralph17
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

So we are on day 6 and mum is feeling much better, which is such a relief. She has ordered some scarves etc in preparation for the hairloss and the hospital hairdresser has ordered in some wigs for her to try out next week. From what I've read day 15 seems to be when a lot of ladies start to lose their hair so I guess that is the next hurdle. Just so happy to see my mum feeling more like herself.

 

love to you all x x

hopefulholly
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

Hi Gemma, I forgot to mention about keeping a diary. You may have already read about it in tips for chemo but thought I'd flag it up just in case. It's been invaluable for me not least because it helps me to remember when I took meds (chemo brain!), is an aide memoir for when I meet with my on oncologist and can identify patterns i.e. nausea, fatigue etc.

 

I did get your msg, I'm going to reply now. Take care, love to you and your mum x

gemmaralph17
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

Hopefulholly thank you so much for taking time to reply in such detail, I really appreciate that. I have found this forum a godsend during this time. We live in Northern Ireland so don't have the yellow card but have access to a 24 hour number at the hospital which they say ring if at all unsure or concerned. If I can work out how to private message on here I will stay in contact. I hope that you are feeling well after your third cycle Holly, you sound like a lovely lady and I send you all my very best wishes.
Gemma x x
hopefulholly
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

Hi, as you know we all have varying degrees of some of the side effects (none of us have them all thank goodness) but I can share my experience and hope it is of some help. I'll try to do it in a logical order: 

 

1) First few days tend to be the worst for nausea. Small meals often help to prevent it, and ginger biscuits help me when I feel nauseous. Take all anti-emetics prescribed and as these cause constipation, as well the obvious fresh fruit etc (liquorice is good ) I recommend Movicol and start taking them before the constipation starts (I learnt from experience!). If sickness is a problem she needs to contact the chemo pager number she will have been given (in Wales we have a Yellow Card that we need to carry with us at all times in the unlikely event we're taken ill whilst out).

2) Water, I can't stress enough how much this helps as others on here will testify. It will help if your mum can drink as much water as she can. It also helps with constipation.

3) The steroids can prevent sleep which is tough when feeling tired. I had to have mine reduced because they caused me to have a hot, red face (like sunburn) but not everyone gets this. I make sure I get up early to take my breakfast steroids so I can take the second dose no later than 12 / 1pm to prevent being awake half the night.

4) Indigestion can be a problem, my oncologist prescribed Omeprazole taken daily, another magic pill !

4) Mouth soreness and ulcers can be a problem but I've found using mouthwash 3/4 times a day really does help.

5) Re: chemo pager, don't be afraid of using it, I've been 'told off' for not calling! Your mum should have a list of things to look out for - high temperature etc. (the Yellow Card).

 

I'm sorry if the above sounds a bit clinical but I've included things that I wish I knew when I started chemo.

 

I remember feeling quite scared after my first chemo, not knowing what to expect and questioning any small change in my body but that got easier. In my experience the nurse is right, your mum should feel better  - for me, I feel a bit yucky and 'spaced out' the first few days, less tired the second week and fine for the third week which is when I plan a treat (meal out, short trip etc). But tiredness and fatigue can come on us unexpectedly and we need to listen to our bodies and rest when we need to. Saying that, I've come across a lot of women on here who walk miles, one even run a half marathon between chemo cycles! 

 

I also had problems with my veins and had a picc line fitted in time for my 3rd chemo yesterday and it was so much easier. Having it fitted didn't hurt at all, it was a simple procedure and apart from wearing a waterproof sleeve in the shower, I forget I have it.

 

I noticed on your earlier post that your mum isn't using the cold cap. I used it for 1st cycle but found it uncomfortable and haven't used it since and still have a fine (as in thin) covering of hair. I found a fabulous salon, selected a wig then had my shoulder length hair cut into the same style - friends couldn't tell the difference when I sent them photos! My sister and I made a day of it and had lunch in a 'posh' restaurant too. I know your mum says she's not sure about wearing a wig but, if she gets a good one she might feel more confident.  I've also bought funky scarves so feel more prepared.

 

You are clearly a loving and supportive daughter to both your mum and dad. I understand why you might feel 'useless' but believe me your parents are fortunate to have you. Of course practical help is useful but just being there for them both, as you are, is everything. The support I've received from my family has kept my spirits up (as has humour!). I hope you have someone to lean on too. Please feel free to msg if you ever feel like a chat.

 

Take care of yourself, wishing your mum all the best x

 

 

 

gemmaralph17
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

So my mum Had her first chemo session on Thursday. She's having problems with her veins so is scheduled for a picc line before her 2nd cycle which I think will be good and hopefully make things less stressful. She managed to get out of bed this afternoon for an hour or so which is a positive. Can you ladies give any insight into how she's likely to be feeling in the upcoming week or so? One of the nurses was saying that by day 7 mum should be feeling relatively normal albeit very tired, is this correct? I've just been popping in to check on my
And help my dad around the house with some cleaning etc and keeping him company as he's obviously worried for her. Feel a bit useless really. X
Annapanda
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

Sound a good plan, best wishes xx

gemmaralph17
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

Thanks Lucy and Annapanda.

 

mum has decided against using the coldcap her oncologist was saying it can cause discomfort and headaches etc so she just didn't feel it was worth it. I think she will be glad to just get started with the treatment on Thursday she will get to choose her wig that day but she is thinking she will mostly wear scarves. she is also getting her hair cut into a very short style as she felt that the hair loss might be less upsetting that way. Thanks for all your replies x 

Annapanda
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

H Gem.. Sorry to hear about your mum xxx

ive only had one FEC-T so far,, my advise is take everyday as it comes, each day brings different things, some days sleep some days tears , being there and helping your mum with all of the effect will make it a lot better for her xxx 

pis glammy worried about hair loss? Is such a big thing for most ladies.. I tried the cold cap.. Post chemo 9days it started falling and still falling.. My next one is on Monday.. No cold cap I'm just going to have deal with it xx sending you both love xx 

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

Hi Emeraldrose and welcome to the BCC forums, it sounds like you and your Mum are a great support to,each other and I am sure you will find the extra help you need from your fellow forum users

 

We have a long running thread called 'Top tips for chemo' which may also help, you can read this here:

 

http://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy/Top-tips-to-help-get-you-through-Chemotherapy/t...

 

Our helpliners are also on hand for both of you with practical and emotional support so do feel free to call , lines are open 9-5 weekdays and 10-2 Saturdays on 0808 800 6000

 

You may also find some threads running in the family and friends area helpful as some are similar situations  to yours:

 

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Family-partners-and-friends/bd-p/4451

 

Take care

Lucy BCC

gemmaralph17
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

Thanks Tweasel I will take a look at the other sections in the forum. Yes it's FEC-T that mum will be having so I've been trying to read up on tips to help her through. I'm finding this website and forum a great source of info and advice x
Tweasel
Member

Re: Supporting My Mum

Hi Gem. Sorry to hear that your Mum is on this journey, but it's great that you are there to support her. This forum is a fantastic source of support and advice. There are monthly threads in the 'going through treatment' section, under the 'Chemotherapy' subject.  I don't think there's an August thread yet though. Do you know what chemo your Mum will be having? Lots of us are having/have had FEC-T, but there are quite a few other chemo regimes too.  There is also a section of the forum called 'supporting someone with breast cancer', so it's worth having a look there too. 

I had seromas after my surgery and they can be drained if they are really uncomfortable. The relief is instant, but they quite often come back so may need draining a few times.  Sending very best wishes to your Mum, and a hug for you too xx

gemmaralph17
Member

Supporting My Mum

Hi,

 

My mum is due to start her chemo next week and I just want to be able to offer her as much support and encouragement as possible, so looking for advice really. She is in her 60's and I am 35, she is a great mum and glamorous granny and has always been the one doing all the supporting so it's hard now the roles are reversed.

 

She had a bilateral mastectomy at the start of July, having been diagnosed with lobular, stage 2, HER-, Hormone positive. She has done brilliantly since her op but is currently having to put up with seromas which are very uncomfortable.

 I feel so bad for her that she is having to start chemo on top of not feeling 100% recovered from surgery. I think it can be dificult for family members as we often feel a bit useless and just want to help as much as we can.

 

sending positive thoughts to everyone.

 

Gem x x