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starting chemo thurs! very afraid

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

everythingisrosie Try oat 'milk'. You can get it from Holland and Barrett or larger Tesco, It's called Oatly. I go for the one in the green pack. Make sure you shake it before pouring. Oats are good for lowering cholesterol I think too. Because I'm not always in the mood to cook I have lots of things in the fridge I can whip up a tasty cold buffet with. Reduced fat hummous, cooked beetroot, sundried tomatoes, watercress, artichoke hearts, olives. Also tinned wild salmon (good source of omega 3 and rich in calcium). Snack on nuts, seeds, dried fruit. Make lots of fresh juices. Drink lots of water and herbal teas. Also lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Costco do some very tasty wild salmon burgers that make a convenient and healthy meal. It can be tough at first because modern eating habits (and supermarkets) aren't set up to encourage healthy eating but once you work out some good things you can enjoy eating it gets easier.
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Re the constipation, ask for a prescription of laxido, it works eventually! Next session start taking it as soon as you get home as a pre-emptive strike. Also, high fibre foods eg bran cereal,lots of water, exercise if you can....and liquorice allsorts. Got a friend who swears by warm orange juice, another says walnuts, someone else said oranges and plums....
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

thank you key features & dancing girl. the food thing is really bothering me as i am so aware now that practically everything has some sort of oestrogen in it so i really want to try and stay away from meats/dairy but struggling with the Soya milk is it as bad to take as cows milk im so fed up of toast in the mornings now but i just not sure what to do best with regards to milks. ive cut out tea and coffee just drinking green tea for now as so aware of the stress my liver must be under with all these drugs im having to take. I have been told that 'Life Mel' honey is supposed to be very good for you whilst going through chemo as it apparentley helps with the sickness, but I'm note sure if your supposed to take just on the day of chemo or throughout the whole cycle. Also these steroids they've given me to ease off sickness have constipated me totally can anyone advice on what is good to take to get it all going back to norm or do I have to request another presricption from my useless GP surgery!
xxxx
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi Rosie,
Sorry you need to join this forum. As a nearly 60 year old woman (diagnosed a week before my 58th birthday) I really feel for all you youngsters with or without children. To confirm what others have said - chemo is not much fun, but doable. Take everything a day at a time and make the best of each day - rest when you need to (if you can with toddlers).

Make sure you tell the unit about the sickness and ask for Emend next time. They give everyone basic (and cheaper) anti sickness drugs which work for most people, but if you are as sick as you were they can give you Emend which should stop the sickness.

Also if you have family/friends who can help, take them up on every offer and if they ask what they can do - tell them. Help with taking children to nursey or looking after them for a couple of hours, help with meals - anything. Long story, but we had my adult son at home with mental health problems and friends would arrive with casseroles/crumbles and cakes. Not to have to worry about feeding the family sometimes is very helpful.

Best wishes - you will get to the end. x

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi everythingisrosie - you can get a free dvd with information on diet and lifestyle changes from Breast Cancer Haven. I've cut out dairy completely and sugar as much as humanly possible. Also staying off soya, coffee and alcohol. My diet now pretty much consists of fruit, veg, fish (not smoked), nuts and seeds. Also added in manuka honey, chlorella and spirulina supplements.

I've heard calorie reduction (max 200 but as much fluids as you like) the day before, on and after your chemo can seriously help with the sickness. Google Tanya Dorff and fasting weakens cancer in mice. They've been doing some human trials to see how safe it is in humans and the initial results are encouraging. The women on the trial still had hairloss but reduced nausea. But it was a very small trial. It also depends how healthy / what weight you are at the moment. I dont' think it would be a great idea if you were particularly frail.
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Good morning Everythingisrosie. You can do this, and come out of it strong and healthy. Chemo is powerful stuff, my main comfort was the thought that if it's strong enough to make me feel so ill, just think of the attack it's making on the cancer.
I cut my hair into a nice short style. It thinned, especially on top, but a wide headband disguised it nicely. The good side is that you lose your body hair too, smooth legs, armpits etc will be yours!!
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi Ali H,
Thankyou for giving me hope that I may get to hold on to my hair throughout this. I will try the sea bands anything to not be as sick as that again. Dreading the next one now. thank you for your advice i really appreciate it.
Hi Liz,
wow its a strange feeling because when your told the type of cancer it is and the seriousness on the oncologist face when hes telling me and all Im thinking is to ask him 'well how long do I have' when Im thinking it but havent the bottle to ask him the question directly because i really dont want to know the truth I dont think i could handle it.
thanking you for giving me your positive feedback about this type of cancer there just seems to be so much to it, I'm now thinking about the importance of diet to prevent it from feeding off my hormone but having spoken to nurses and the oncologist they just seem to think eating a varied meal was more important im sure nutrition has a big part to play in this and wish hospitals would support women with set guidelines on foods/vitamins/drinks that can be taken during chemo and after that can help prevent reacurrence.
Too all you lovley ladies that have responded to me thanking you for sharing your thoughts and positive inspirational stories with me you bring me hope. thankyou
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi Ali H,
Thankyou for giving me hope that I may get to hold on to my hair throughout this. I will try the sea bands anything to not be as sick as that again. Dreading the next one now. thank you for your advice i really appreciate it.
Hi Liz,
wow its a strange feeling because when your told the type of cancer it is and the seriousness on the oncologist face when hes telling me and all Im thinking is to ask him 'well how long do I have' when Im thinking it but havent the bottle to ask him the question directly because i really dont want to know the truth I dont think i could handle it.
thanking you for giving me your positive feedback about this type of cancer there just seems to be so much to it, I'm now thinking about the importance of diet to prevent it from feeding off my hormone but having spoken to nurses and the oncologist they just seem to think eating a varied meal was more important im sure nutrition has a big part to play in this and wish hospitals would support women with set guidelines on foods/vitamins/drinks that can be taken during chemo and after that can help prevent reacurrence.
Too all you lovley ladies that have responded to me thanking you for sharing your thoughts and positive inspirational stories with me you bring me hope. thankyou
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi Everything is rosie,

I am replying to your original post when you said you were worried because you have a very aggressive cancer: I was told that too, and I am strongly ER+ and also Her 2+. I was diagnosed late September last year, had mx early October and started chemo a month later. I am on a trial and had 3 x tax + Herceptin then 3 x Fec which finished mid-February. I will have Herceptin until December and started Letrozole (the post-menopausal equivalent to Tamoxifen ) for 5 years. My oncology nurse is not at all worried about me (she doesn't expect a recurrence ) and I was told that survival rates after 10 years are about 95%+. I know I am a lot older than you but the future looks good for me so should do for you as well.
The chemo is doable; unpleasant but it's worth it.

I wish you well - and you will live to see your grand-children! I have to live long enough to see my 2 grand-daughters born this year to adulthood - and I intend to!

Take care and hugs to you, Liz.

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi Everythingisrosie! The first one's the worst, honest. Tell the chemo unit how bad your sickness was, they have lots of alternative anti sickness drugs for you. Did you try the sea bands too? I found they helped, I put them on straight after the cannula came out. I think the stress of the whole day and the weirdness of the cold cap made me feel more sick.. Deep breathing to calm myself and mint chewing gum to get me home! The mouth wash helped get rid of the metallic taste, although tbh one of my SEs was a feeling and taste of a dirty mouth and awful taste of food because of it...sharp flavours like pineapple or orange juice with lime were ok.
You may have different SEs developing later, you may not...and you may not be as ill next time. I felt worst with the first and last sessions, the ones in-between were manageable, don't lose hope!
Good luck with the cold cap, it worked for me 🙂
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

hello ladies,
thank you again for all your feedback. i had my first chemo on Thurs. FEC i also tried the cold cap and sat with it on my head for 3 hours!! i found it wasnt as bad as i thought it would be and i could tolerate it, the worst bit about it for me was the weight of it i didnt realise it would feel so heavy. my side effects once i got home were nausea and just projectile vomiting all night. it felt like the worse hangover ever but that happened on the evening of my first chemo and then by the next day although i couldnt face food at all because i felt i was just going to throw up all the time I took my anti sickness pills and its all calmed down. The one thing i hated even more than the throwing up was thaat nasty metalic taste oh it was so awful thats all i could taste after each time i was sick. What gets rid of that???
Does the chemo get worse as you go along? Im dreading the next cycle now knowing whats in store when i get home cant bear the thought of my head down the toilet all night again. also what else will happen until my next cycle will i start getting all the other side effects creeping up in me. i keep waiting for something to happen. Cant believe i got 5 more of these to do this will drag in now till december!
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi
I am 2 yrs last March since my MX and then most of my nodes cleared. I had chemo and a year of Herceptin. I think once you get started with it all you seem to go with the flow. The first chemo was the worst but I gradually felt better to go for the next. I didn't have much trouble with veins, even towards the end of Herceptin. I got through and I'm here, living normally now. I didn't bother with a wig but bought lovely scarves with bead fringing specially shaped for chemo wearers and had many compliments. I didn't fancy cold cap and thought my hair would grow back, eventually. One person there did and she didn't lose all her hair, but I thought it was bad enough having to go for the chemo without suffering the cold cap! I tried to keep smiling for my family as there is nothing they can do but are so worried about us, and I think that helped keep me cheerful.
Sending a hug 'cos I know what you're going through. And a hug for anyone else having chemo etc.
Ami xx

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

thank you so much for your replies and words of encouragement its so good to know there are others out there who have been or are going through this and that can understand the fears and anxieties that build up throughout this process. i just cant believe how many women this dreaded C affects. thank you i will join the july thread and pray we all get through this.
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi Everything Rosie

Come and join us in the Starting Chemo in July Thread. I'm not a youngster but refuse to be an oldie (47). We can all hold each others hands and help each other.

Donna xx

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hello,

Another youngie here - diagnosed at 33, but no kids. Chemo is NOT as bad as you think it will be. It aint fun, but you'll get through it and this forum is a great support. My advice would be to keep a diary of side effects if you have any, and let your oncologist or breast care nurse know if you have any nasty side effects as there are tablets to combat them all. I was terrified of being sick - but never felt more than a little nauseas which went away when I ate (so I ate alot and put on quite alot of weight! Ha!).

I used the cold cap and thought it was great. I had 8 lots of chemo and was told it wouldn't work. I cut it shortish at the beginning and lost alot of hair after the first couple of sessions, but it grew back over the course of the treatment. At the end I had a thin chin length bob and within months it had thickened up. For me, it really helped that I could get away with hair bands and clips rather than chemo scarves as, like you, I hid away and just didn't want anyone to know who I didn't want to tell. The cold cap was uncomfortable, but I found it fine. My husband tried it and lasted 5 mins - so it's down to the individual I think.

Sorry I can't help with the young family bit (wish I could - we were trying for children when I got diagnosed) but I can say that I met a few young women going through treatment at the same time as me - many of whom had young children and found that their children kept them going. One, now a good friend, had 2 boys of 4 and 2 and worked and looked after them all the way through chemo! She had chemo on a Friday so if she felt a bit rubbish on the Saturday and Sunday she could stay at home with the boys - and would then be back at work on Monday (inc 1 and a half hour commute each way!).

Hope it all goes well.

x

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hiya,

Come and join us on the starting chemo in July forum. I started my chemo aged 28 (I turned 29 on 13th July) and although I don't have kids I can relate to you on a "younger" woman level. Feel free to pm me with any questions. I've done round one of my chemo and have the second one on Thursday (providing my bloods are okay),

I've also blogged about what's been happening to me so far so if you want to read that, click on the "about me" section and the link should be in there.

Healing hugs,
Jelly
x
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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hello everything rosie

It's pants that you find yourself here, it's pants for all of us, but what you will find if you reach outv, is tremendous onconditional love and support on these forums.

As others have said, join the July chemo thread, that is where you will find the greatest help as you will be at the same stage as others.

I had my surgery in February and have just finished chemo. It has been tough, but by keeping focussed just on the day I am in, it is manageable. Projecting about the future is inevitable at first and we seldom project happy things.

Perhaps a positive side effect of chemo is that it is tough and it takes all we have to get through it so we stop projecting. The side effects of chemo differ widely and none of us experience all of them, well apart from constipation!

Like Sameelee, i was wig obsessed, bought 3 and spent £700. Two of them have been worn once then the dog had one. The third one is kept for when i work, i teach. Otherwise, i wear scarves which are much more comfortable. Wigs, even the good ones, are hot and after a while, give you headaches.

Find out about the Look Good Feel Better workshops at your hospital and book yourself on. Thry are fantastic and a real lift as we go through chemo.

Finally, a real bit of advice, if you are having herceptin (as i am) ask for a line putting in or a portacath. It will save your veins and make life gentler for you.

Love and blessings to you

Pixie xx

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi there, so sorry that you have had to deal with all this, it is frightening, but you are in good company here. When you are first confronted with the chemo it's easy to become obsessed with the hair loss. Straight after the first FEC, Iwent out and bought an expensive wig, ( long and dark, monofilament, which is the better kind. Cost me £200! ) I was in a panic. I bought hats and turbans as well online, needing to be readY for when the dreaded hair loss happened. My hospital doesn't have cold caps.
I spent £ 40 having a short pixie cut. A week later my hair fell out in clumps, but Iwas glad it was short because there was less of it to come out. My scalp became so tender that I was relieved when I finally decided that enough was enough and took the razor to shave it all off. Bliss.
I wore my expensive wig only three times. Because I rushed into it, I bought one that was too long for me at my age, and too dark. It is the colour I use to be when I was younger. Later on I used the £60 NHS voucher tobuy a cheaper one that suits me much better and have worn it a lot. Nowadays, getting towards the end of thtreatments, I wear a range of silk scarves that I already had and tie them in pretty ways. They are cooler and softer for everyday use. My husband and son are used to my baldness now. I only wear the wig sometimes, no longer feel that I have to blend in.
It is amazing just how you adapt and the things that feel so horrible at the start become less so as you go through the treatment. In fact wheni think of all the time I spent on hair cuts and colours, it is liberating not to even think about it. Ithink what this rambling postis trying to say is that the hair loss seems really important, but once you start treatment it isn't. Other stuff takes over! For you, that's likely to be how to find the space and time to deal with the side effects in the first week after the chemo.
Try not to project too much about the future-your cancer has been found, the mx has got rid of the nasty stuff and the chemo will get to work on making sure that you have the very best chance of a long and happy life. There are no guarantees, but you are getting the very best treatment.
You will find fantastic support and advice from other women here. If you need a long dark wig, let me know!
Best wishes, sameelee

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

hiya as maggie said there is a july thread and we can help u rgeo all this im 42 mom of 8 its mot a nice place im like u dont go out since this only to my moms and carnt face anyone but im getting better as u will to hun im goin 4 2nd chemo fri im hoping it goes as it did with my first and hope urs goes well to if u need to chat u can pm me or go on to july thread huggs xxxx

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Re: starting chemo thurs! very afraid

Hi everythingrosie
Sorry you're here. You will find plenty of support on this site.
There is a thread for people starting chemo in July where you will find lots of younger women with young children (I'm one of the oldies who started chemo in July).
The thread is 'Starting chemo in July' have a look and read through and I'm sure you will find a lot of comfort knowing that you're not alone. Whatever feelings you have at the moment, we've all been there.
I only had my first round of chemo at the beginning of this month and I still feel fine it's usually not as bad as the thought!
Good luck tomorrow
Maggie

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starting chemo thurs! very afraid


Hello, I was hoping to get in contact with anyone who will be commencing chemo towards the end of July and if they will be having treatments at university college hosp.
It has been four weeks since I had a double mastectomy, I have been told I have a very aggressive tumour that spread to my nodes and am er+ so I will be having fec-docetaxel and herceptin. I am just waiting for my appointment to come through so that this whole process can start, I am a 35 year old mother of two girls a 3 year old and one year old. I am feeling very deflated and afraid. I’m scared of the chemo, scared I’m going to leave my kids and husband. I know with this disease there are good and bad days but now ive seen in black and white the seriousness of it all I cant snap out of thinking the worst. I need some positive news from women who have come through this as I am so afraid of this returning after treatment. Since this all began I haven’t left my home other than to go to my hospital appts. I don’t want to see anyone so wont take my child to school or any play groups.
I will be looking for tips for when chemo starts like is it worth having the cold cap or is it just such an unpleasant experience that your just prolonging the agony because all the hair falls out eventually. Can anyone recommend a good wig/headscarf place etc. Id just really like to be able to chat to someone going through this with a young family as well.
Many thanks in advance to anyone who responds