Hi Lenise and JJ,
not sure what combination FEC and EC are but I would guess that the E is Epirubicin, which is what I had first, and the F is Flurocil (or 5FU) and the C is Cyclophosphamide. If that is the case then the tips I've mentioned are defo appropriate for both of you as the E-CMF incorporates all of those drugs, its just you're not having the M (you're not missing out though, believe me! LOL!!),
Hopefully others will post more tips to help,
Those tips are brilliant - just want some for EC now! A very good idea thoughas I keep looking throught the posts to pick up hints and tips.
What a great idea! Think I might be having FEC (appropriately named) in a couple of months anyone got top tips for it.
I know that there are many forum users that have either just started chemo or are about to start. When I started in May I searched high and low for 'top tips' and found them to be invaluable. Now my chemo is coming to and end and I know there are so many others that have either just finished or are about to. So, I was wondering if we could pull together and share with the newbies any handy hints or tips that have helped us through chemo? I can only really comment on E-CMF as that is the chemo I'm having, but I know that there are many of you that are having different 'cocktails' so hopefully, between us, we should pretty much have it covered!
So, here goes:
1. Buy an ultra-soft bristle toothbrush. Colgate do a great one for adults. They are much less harsh on your gums than electric or stiff bristle toothbrushes and help prevent gums bleeding which can occur if your platelets are low.
2. Good oral hygiene is essential, particularly on CMF when you can be prone to mouth sores and ulcers. Use a good 'alcohol free' mouthwash regularly. I have always used 'Dentyl icy cherry', its delicious!!!!!
3. Invest in a decent baby's hair brush. 'Denman' do an excellant one, which although a little pricey, is defo worth every penny. Before your hair falls out your scalp will get very sore, so using a soft brush is more soothing than a normal one.
4. An excellant website to check out for all manner of things, inc head scarves and even eyebrows is www.headcovers.com. Although American the delivery is v.cheap and quick. Many of us have purchased their wonderful 'terry towelling sleep cap'. Its ideal to wear in bed if your scalp is sore or cold!
5. 'Travel bands' (about Â£7 from Boots) are an excellant alternative to pill-popping if you feel nauseous. They can be worn day and night, and though they may not work for everyone I have found them to be invaluable!
6. Lucozade! What more can I say?? It has certainly helped me restore my 'get up and go' on many occassions. I always have a hefty supply of lucozade in the cupboards around chemo time.
7. You will need a decent digital thermometer. Ideally temp should be checked under the armpit as it gives a more accurate reading. Boots do a digital thermometer for around Â£8. (I don't work for Boots by the way!!!!).
8. Ginger in most shapes and forms is great for nausea. I love ginger ale and can normally be tempted my a ginger biscuit or 2. Strictly for medicinal purposes of course!!!!
9. Pineapple is great for keeping your mouth clean.
10. When having CMF one of the drugs can give you a horrid taste in your mouth and a feeling up your nose like you've just jumped into a swimming pool! You can prevent this by eating sweets or sucking on an ice-lolly whilst it is being administered. Personally I take a 'mini-callipo' ice lolly with me each time I go and I never suffer with these feelings.
11. Try to eat a light meal before you go for chemo. Hard though it may be its not a good idea to go on an empty stomach.
12. Drink, drink, drink!!! The more fliuds you can handle before and after the better you'll feel. Get it in any way you can but obviously plain water or sugar free squashes are best.
13. If poss do not take your second dose of steroids later than 2pm. They are known to cause insomnia and if you take them too late you'll prob be ewake half the night! Also, they can cause constipation. Starting the day with a high-fibre cereal and a fruit smoothie can help keep the bowels in order!!
I really hope these help for starters!!!! Hopefully other chemo goers will give their top-tips too.
Take care all,