Hi ostrich and all. I have started a new thread entitled "Top tips to help get you through chemo" and made it 'sticky' so it will stay at the top of the undergoing treatment - chemotherapy forum. You will still be able to continue to add your own top tips to this thread. Hope this is okay for you all.
thanks a lot!! I found the tips very helpful- i 've perpaed beofre my first chemo and it does make me feel much better. But though I am suffering from various side effects..
Wonder any tips for sore/uncomfortable skull?? My hair start to fall off from day 12 after my first chemo- now I am on day 17- skull is sore, like someone has been pulling my hair for 2 hours..
Also lips got dry then now it is with cracks and a bit swelling..
Got period 9days after chemo - very heavy and painful..
Great threat it has helped me plan my chemo and feel much more relaxed going into it prepared for all possibilities.
Friend told me that frozen pineapple chunks helped through through it.
Thanks ostrich for that list i have just had first epi and had some bad reaction to my sickness tablets so i think i will be of to pound land for a sea band and the things to eat at moment living on salt and shake crisps without the salt.
No Jane you can add to it when you want
You can update a sitcky by adding to the thread just as with any other thread.
That would be fabulous! Great idea and i for one would really welcome it. How would we go about keeping it updated if it was made a sticky - would it just be a case of contacting the Mods?
And thanks to ostrich for this great list. If you want I can start a new thread and make it 'sticky' so it will stay at the top of the category for everyone to find easily.
Let me know
Oh by the.......way a chemo nurse has told me to wear warm gloves prior to the appointment to make your hands warm and also for your veins to be nice and proud!!
If anyone thinks we should make this a new thread to save people going through the 15 pages then let me know, x
As requested here's my compliation of all the top tips on this thread! A big huge thanks to all the contributors who have added their tips and to Princess for starting it!!!!
TOP TIPS FOR CHEMO
- Cordsyl daily for x 3 and Cordsyl normal for 1 (dentist
- ultra soft bristle brush/baby toothpaste
- aloe vera based toothpaste, Beverley Hills gum strengthening
- Gelclair, salt water wash, Oraldene, tonic water, Difflam mouthwash
- aloe dent lip balm with lysine (good for coldsores also)
- pineapple (fresh/chunks/drinks/lollies)
- haribo (not tangtastic)
- celery, mints, fresh fruit, pear drops, cola cubes, sherbert lemons
Water tasting odd
- flavoured/sparkling water, lemon squash
- ginger (beer, biscuits, sweets, fresh)
- smaller, regular meals
- V8 vegetable juice
- Manuka honey with hot water and peppermint oil
- Slippery elm powder mixed into natural yoghurt
- Banana for early morning with the anti-sickness tablet
- Flavoured/green tea if can’t face milk or dairy products in tea
- Lite bites suggestions – cream cheese and bread sticks
- Nothing spicey
- Flat lemonade
- Plain biscuits
- Banana/peanut butter sandwiches
- Travel bands/anti sickness bands (Poundland cheaper than Boots)
General Wellbeing/During Chemo
- Carry your card and thermometer with you all the time and keep bag packed – see below
- Chemo Caddy – see below
- Pin up emergency numbers whre everyone can see them – who to contact and when
- Check with your consultant who to phone at eves and weekends
- Store emergency numbers in your phone
- Digital thermometer if not given one by hospital (Poundland cheaper than Boots) – take temperature under armpit as more accurate
- Lifemel honey to boost white blood cells
- Drink LOTS of fluid before and after chemo
- Lucozade for energy
- Light meal before chemo
- If having CMF and nose issues when Chemo being administered then sweets or lolly (mini callipo) to suck during (small cool bag also recommended to keep lollies frozen)
- Bath pillow (helps prevent cold bald head on cold bath)
- Don’t take 2nd steroid dose after 2pm (awake/energised at wrong times)
- Eat fruit when you need to eat whilst/before taking tablets
- Avoid alcohol for 2/3 days after chemo
- Keep out of direct sunlight
- Pregnancy type diet to avoid risk of infection – ie no unpasturised dairy products, wash veggies, meat properly cooked
- Accept help wherever offered!
- Prepare/buy nice food in advance for bad days
- Smash! When you can’t eat but must and mouth is sore! (Needs ketchup though)
- Sleep when you can
- Fresh air
- Ask for help if really sick! Docs etc for additional drugs!
- Steripen to sterilise water of nasties (works through UV and no nasty chemicals and easy to use but Â£90)
- Runny nose through loss of nose hair – tissues! Sorry no other tips at present!
- Check and see if GP can refer you to local leisure centre for cheaper use of fitness suite and swimming pool
- breakfast of high fibre cereal/fruit smoothie/prune juice
- “Go Cake” – see below for recipe
- Boots hayfever relief drops
- Cooling/chill eye mask
- gel pads (stick on kind used for infants/migraine)
Dry skin/rashes/spots from Taxol
- gentle moisturiser for hands and feet
- drink lots of juice and water but leave spots on face alone as skin sensitive
- buffs from buffwear
- baseball cap
- headcovers website – sleep caps, scarves, bangs, eyebrows, eyelashes, wigs etc
- don’t it wash too often, use baby shampoo
- Browzings by Benefit – good eyebrow make up - Boots
CHEMO BAG AND CHEMO CADDY
(A bum bag has been suggested as keeps both hands free and no restrictions on your shoulders and particularly snugpak response pack (online) as “tested in war, never beaten” and big enough to take a tool kit/chemo caddy or chemo bag)
Keep a bag packed in case of emergency hospital visit and to take on chemo days.
Pyjamas, warm socks, clean knickers, wash bag with spare toothpaste and brush, face wipes, mirror, tissues, bag of pineapple pieces, anti bacterial hand gel, book.
A basket with a handle (previously from delivery of pot plants) with everything needed in it so that you can have it by the bed upstairs or carry it down to crash in front of TV.
Edibles – ginger bics, minty chewing gum, root ginger to nibble.
Treats – nice hand cream, chocolate, octopus shaped back massager, nail cream, buffer
Essentials – tissues, glasses, lipsalve, bottle of water, straw (in case can’t lift head from pillow), little bell (to summon family to fetch/make tea)
4oz All Bran
10oz mixed dried fruit (basically whatever is in the cupboard – use a nice mixture) – apricots, sultanas, cranberries etc, lots of chopped prunes for extra “GO”.
Â½ pint of milk
4 oz self raising flour
Put All Bran, sugar and fruit into a bowl, mix, add milk and allow to stand for at least half an hour (while you recover from the physical effort so far).
Sieve in the flour, mix well and pour into well greased 2lb loaf tin.
Bake in moderate oven (180 degree c) for about an hour, until a knife comes out dry.
Cover with foil after 30 mins if its browning too much.
Turn out of tin and cool. Serve in thin slices with butter as thick as you like it!
Once again, all credits to the ladies who have added to this thread making it an invaluable reference tool and thanks to Princess for starting it!
Good luck and much love, xxxx
Okay girls going for it, will put it on top tips for chemo (the original) and here's a huge thanks to the girls/ladies who have contributed to it to assist in our survival!!!!
Its on my hard drive so if people want to add further posts with new tips I can produce an updated list in the future, xxxx Good luck to us all.
Thanks for all these tips.
I am starting my chemo on Thursday 3 lots of FEC followed bu 3 of T.
I am a bit apprehensive, but reading your tips and advice has given me strength.
A friend of mine has mentioned a herbal remedy called thistle milk.
It is supposed to help your kidneys when having chemo.
Has anybody ever tried it.
Also I read an article in Saturdays papers about jeni Murray the Radio 4 presenter who has had to have 2 new hips after Chemo, does anybody know how this can be avoided.
hi i think that would be great i have just had first epi and have had sickness acid and in the middle a blessed period so feel like a few good tips would be greatly
I, sadly, printed off all the tips I could find on this thread and then put them into a list and categories (too much time on my hands) to help me with my forthcoming chemo.
I haven't however printed off or typed up the name of the original poster.
I was wondering what the general feeling was if I posted the version of "Chemo tips" I have created here so that they were all in one spot (or on a new thread perhaps?) or whether people preferred it in this format or would be offended/upset if they weren't credited with their idea?
Hello all, I am going to be starting around that time Irina. I am deciding whether to take part in the Tact 2 trial, but otherwise it will be FEC.
Where do you buy the Aloe Dent lip balm with Lysine? I often get cold sores and ulcers - sounds brilliant.
and again for Irina - starting FEC on 2nd Oct and would like to hear from anyone else - especially anyone starting round then
I had extremely bad reaction to first FEC - gastric bleeding which saw me ambulanced into hospital in the middle of the night. That was the start of 5 horrendous days.
Since then I have refused all steroids as they were deemed to be the problem.
And this time round it is much much better - no vomiting at all and manageable nausea.
I had Ondanastron IV with the chemo and then have managed it at home with a combination of Domperidone and Ondanastron tablets.
Other very useful anti-sickness meds are the Domperidone suppositories - when you can't keep anything down shove one up! They have the added benefit of lubrication when you are constipated.
There is also Buccastem - a neat little pill you can tuck under your top lip to stop vomiting when nothing will stay down.
Just wanted to let people know there are options aside from steroids ....BUT there are some chemo regimens that need steroid cover because of risk of anaphylactic shock etc SO IT IS ESSENTIAL TO CHECK WITH YOUR ONC to see if you can do without them.
In the US steroids are not used so habitually for the treatment of chemo-induced nausea.
A couple of things to add that are now the mainstays of me treatment in the later stages (last dose on Tuesday)
Bum bag, leaves your hands free and no restriction on your shoulders, good when you're post surgery.
I recommend the snugpak response pack which you can buy online, it has a very accurate comment on it's label... "Tested in war, never beaten". it's big enough to take a tool kit! Mine always has most of the things from this thread and 2 small bottles of lucozade.
And here's the star prize for me that will never ever be without again... Aloe Dent lip balm with Lysine. I was getting over run with cold sores and ulcers. Lysine kills cold sores dead apparently, apparently this is true and makes for soft kissable lips again. I lost mine and within 3 days was cursing my cracked dry unhappy lips from the FEC again.
Same goes for Aloe vera based tooth paste, never going back to the old rubbish. OH prefers it too.
Thank you so much everyone who has contributed here, I can feel that it will be so helpful to me in a few weeks.
I'm off to see Professor Chemo tomorrow to learn what cocktail he plans for me .... you have given me so much info ... my list of questions is now twice as long!!!!
Love and light to you all
I wish I had found this link a fortnight ago before I started chemo! Its brilliant 🙂
I'd like to add my own top ten tips...
1) V8 Vegetable juice - when you can't keep anything down or face food its gets in really vital nutrients and vits - its tastes like a Bloody Mary mix.
2) Lucozade - I know its been mentioned before but I'll back this all the way. Energy boosting. Good in the mornings if you can't face a cuppa. Personally for 10 days after chemo I haven't been able to face milk - not even in tea. And on that note....
3) Flavoured tea / Green tea - if you can't face dairy this is good for a hot drink
4) Haribo - the soft starmix are good for sore mouth and releiving the metal taste. I keep some in a pot by the bed. Don't get the tangtastics though which have hard sugar on and will irritate gums. Also mints are good.
5) Flavoured sparkling water - I have had times when tap water (even filtered) tastes awful and found this flavoured stuff is great. Tesco's own are 3 for a Â£1. Bargain.
6) Bananas - when you've got to take those anti sickness pills first thing in the morning a banana is so light it shouldn't make you too ill.
7) Accept help. Even if someone offers to come and hoover for you. Say yes. Save your own energy for 'indulgent' things like going for a walk.
8) Store emergency numbers clearly in your phone. I spent a panicked morning today searching for a helpline number for a development in my own status. In fact keep a copy on the fridge / kitchen door / pin board in case family members need to make a call for you. Also find out from your consultant which numbers you should be phoning at weekends or in the night as some centres are closed at this time.
9) Smash. Yes the instant potato. Again when you can't eat but must eat and your mouth is sore I find it works well. Needs ketchup though (tomatos are good for us at least).
10) Laugh. Whenever you can. It really is the best medicine.
To anyone new reading this I'll say I agree with all the comments and tips on here - follow them all and add your own. I've got ginger and pineapple bursting out of my kitchen cupboards! I've got my chemo bag ready incase an emergency hospital visit is needed (and take it on chemo days) and have told the OH where it is and that he needs to remember I have told him about it! Its got pyjamas, warm socks, clean knickers, a wash bag with spare toothbrush and paste, face wipes, mirror, tissues, bag of pineapple peices, anti bacterial hand gel, and a book. I hope I never use it but as I learned all those years ago in the Girl Guides - Be Prepared.
you are more than welcome, I'm glad the tips helped. Lucky your mum's got you and your advantage card taking care of her! I really hope all goes well with your mum's treatment and her side effects are minimal, she'll be finished sooner than you both realise, honest.
Thank you so much for your top tips! I'm new to this site but basically mum is starting chemo in 2 weeks time having had a lump and all her nodes removed.
This list of tips will be so useful! My advantage card will be put to good use!