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Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks for making me smile instead of worrying about having to do a lot of shopping!
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

keep meaning to mention ‘Heathers hair’ on here..they are a charity who make headbands with real hair on, so you can wear them under a cap or scarf and you have a fringe,* or even an all round short bob.*

it is free, but as it’s a charity, they like small donation.xx I have two of those myself.*

 

hugs, Moijanx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Just read it, lovely blog and helpful
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thank you x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks, pre assesment Tuesday, start Chemo Thursday so will see what she says. Thanks again.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Lozy

 

I had a PICC line in on Monday. I took some co codamol beforehand. I do this before dentist visits too. Hardly felt the local anaesthetic and totally pain free procedure. I was advised to use a hot compress with a cover for the first couple of days. I had my first chemo and having the line made it a really easy procedure.

 

Rhona x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Lozy

Just saw your post re Picc line, I had one it was put in with local anesthetic and then I had to have an xray to make sure it was in the right place, all completely painless.

All chemo drugs, blood tests etc are done through the line so no harm to your viens, had to go every 10 days to my local clinic and have the line flushed and dressings changed again painless and easy to cover with plastic sleeve so showering etc not effected.

From my experience I would say if offered one take it

Good Luck and Best Wishes

Mary x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Lozy, sorry no one has replied re PICC line. I can tell you of my experience with a Hickman line if it would help? I, too, don't like needles , but that's because my veins are so thin there is always bother  finding them. As my chemo would last 5 months my Onco, once he'd looked at my good arm ( can't use the side the ops been on) decided that a Hickman line was the way to go. It went into the chest below the clavicle. The anaesthetic was local into the breast. The procedure , for me, wasn't the easiest . Again, all my veins are narrow so to thread tubing in was a bit difficult . It made administering the drugs extremely easy, and much reduced the time needed for each session. I have met a couple of ladies on my hospital visits who have had PICC lines fitted and it greatly helped the administering of the drugs. Both of them had the lines fitted after their treatment had started, and because their veins had hardened. PICC lines don't last as long as the Hickman. X

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Sue I start chemo in the next few weeks and am considering a PICC line as I am needle phobic and feel this will help me and the poor nurses. Can you tell me a little bit more about your experience. How long did it take to insert did they use an aesthetic? Thank you
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Melly, everyone is very different re SE's, but I think you should let the Chemo team know about the palpitations. It may be that this is unusual and your dose needs adjusting. I'm not a medic so don't know, but the advice to me was, if in doubt ring.

Fatigue is fairly common, and if you have a little booklet and start writing down symptoms you may find a pattern emerging. This is helpful in planning stuff during cycles. For me I had one week knocked for six, one week ok but no immunity so didn't go out much, and the last week I was full of beans! Then it was the next round of chemo. The fatigue was cumulative for me, so by my fourth one there weren't so many beans, more like spaghetti! Im half way through rads now , so it's all doable. X

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thank you Nicky49 and all you lovely people. I've just started FEC-T, first cycle 10 days ago and it has hit me like a ton of bricks! I didn't expect racing heart and missed beats as well as fatigue after the first one. Any tips for getting through it is sooo helpful. It all feels very daunting right now.
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

 Hi Dotty79, 

 

I have moved your post to a thread that has already been started, Chemotherapy - Tips and Tricks. The ladies on here are very supportive and I am sure they will be along to share their tips soon. 

 

Best wishes, 

Lizzy 

 

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Falling off nails !

Hi well I finished chemo 1st September 2016 and radios last week and the past 3 weeks I've developed really soft nails that have lifted off the nail bed they smell occasionally and are generally manky and painful I've tried nail polish what else can I do ?

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

The little pots of fruit in jelly or fruit salad pots are great. A flask for hot water  to keep for days when you struggle to get up. I agree with JenJen that a lot off stuff gets bought but not used. You do need a thermometer. The only thing I would say about the mouthwash is to get the non alcohol version. Chemo is scary but until you do the first cycle you won't know how you'll be affected by it.

Do get yourself on the monthly thread for your chemo as having the support of people at the same stage as you is invaluable. All the best for your treatments. xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks for advice

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Ive got my first oncologist appointment tomorrow night and like you haven't got a clue what I need to get in preparation so the list of essentials from JenJen is a great start. All very scary but I remain positive and its great to see that others have the same worries/concerns that I have at this very early stage of our journey 🙂

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi ScarletBea

I finished chemo end of March 16 I like you read the lists and bought stuff much of which went unused what I did use was

Paracetamol/ibruprofen
gentle laxatives
Diarrhoea relief tablets
Squash - lots and lots as water starts to taste nasty
Aveeno or other unscented body moisturisers
Alcogel hand stuff for out and about
Cordysl toothpaste and cordysl mouthwash
A kids toothbrush -i bought from £shop or b&m bargains as you get 5 in a pack and chucked mine away every cycle
Crackers or crispbreads for cba cooking need to eat meals - with various toppings whatever I had in

Little picky snacks nothing in particular just stuff other people in the house would eat if I decided I didnt want it/like it i bought nuts, crisps, pretzels, raisins just more than id usually buy as snacky type meals are easier when your not hungry and cba

I didnt use any of the ginger stuff I had bought as didnt really get nausea or sickness but you could grate fresh ginger from the freezer into water with some honey so it stays fresh and doesnt cost much 🙂

Anything else you need you will be able to get people to pick up or buy in your good days (and you will have them)

Its scary prepping for chemo its kind of like prepping or armageddon but it is doable and you will be well lots of the time so get the basics in and you can always get the rest or ask someone else to

Jen x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I was given the info for Headstrong by BCN to make my own appt , and received referral info for wig through post today... Wasn't going to bother with a wig or cold app but BCN encouraged me to t least have a look at the wigs available. Makes you less noticeable seems to be the reasoning - doesn't really bother me - keep nipping to shop and forgetting I haven't put my softie in 😱Suppose no hair is more noticeable though. Will look into the Toni and Guy session.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Annietre wrote:

make wig appt, make headstrong appt ...

 

I mentioned Headstrong to the nurse today (first time I visited the chemo ward) and she said it's them who make a referral to that service, after the first cycle. Maybe it's different by region/hospital, though.

 

And about the wig, I'm not going to get one, but from a Macmillan booklet I found out about the Toni&Guy "Strength in Style" service, and you can get an appointment with one of their specialists to talk about hair treatment, wig styling, etc. The first one is free and doesn't force you to continue.

I'm going to check it out on Monday.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I need an idiots guide to top tips too SCarletBea , heart scan next week should be starting chemo 1st or 2nd week of August . Trying to do a list  and not succeeding , make wig appt, make headstrong appt ... Rest is vague , sun screen, moisturiser, boiled sweets ? When I get actual date might organise me more . Note book for chemo brain I have already as I am already fuzzy headed. 

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, I'm meeting the consultant oncologist for the first time later this week to discuss my oncoming chemo, probably to start early August.

 

I read the other tip thread completely, a bit of this one, and I'm so confused. There's just so much information, and my brain is still a bit fuzzy from 2 general anaesthetics...

 

Could some kind soul make me a list of the *truly essential and basic* things I need to get before I start?

There's just so much, I don't know what I can leave to worry about/sort out later or what I should really have on the hour zero...

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Fab thx Sue x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi T - 

just pop into Boots and get a digital thermomenter

 

 http://www.boots.com/en/Boots-Digital-Thermometer_1125289/

 

Sue xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, Can anyone recommend a decent thermometer please, thank you x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks for the advice Sue! I will join that thread. x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Popkit50

 

The dizzyness should go afer about day 8-10 post  treatment - it it because your red blood count is dropping and not so much oxygen is getting to your muscles and the rest of your body. It is not because of the tablets you are taking. This dizzyness  may likely come back after each treatment between days 3/4 and last to day 9/10.

 

You might find it helpful to join the June 2016 sarters chemo thread. There are many ladies at about the same stage of your treatment. It is a fun and lively thread and I feel sure it could be of great help to you.

 

This is the link  https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy-monthly-threads/June-2016-starters/m-p/1026023...

Warm wishes

Sue xx

 

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi

 

I'm on day 5 of first FEC treatment and so far the worst thing seems to be a feeling of dizzyness most of the time. My mouth isn't too sore yet but I can feel it going that way. I have a raging thirst most of the time and have been drinking as much water as possible. Does anyone know if the dizzy feeling will go or is it to be expected for the duration of all treatments? I'm thinking it might be the Lansoprazole I have to take every morning so was wondering if there might be an alternative I can take?

Thanks 

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Is there a product that covers your scalp. ...bald spots? Or am i being silly.....? X

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Wonderful stuff.....will try it. Is it when the T part starts? X
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I have had good result from something called 'Diamond' nail hardener that I bought in boots.  My nails as a result are actually longer than normal and I am 4 FEC chemos down!.  I did take it off the other day and before I reapplied my nail had broken so the stuff definitely works

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Anyone know the protocol. ..tips, for nail care please? 

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thankyou for that. I ended up being called intotthe ward to be checked over. They gave me tramadol for the awful head and some gelclair for my mouth. Tramadol didn't do anything and my daughter called in again as my temp kept going up slightly but the paracetamol was probably masking it. Ended up having to call ward in the night with my temp and luckily it was ok. Made myself get up today....my birthday and received lovely pressies. Hopefully nasty heads going. ...just a dull ache now. My eldests a nurse so bless her she's constantly monitoring me xx
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I was given mouthwash on prescription, the name of it escapes me now, I was told corsydil can stain your teeth.  Anyhow worth asking your team about a mouthwash script if your suffering x

 

haha just remembered it was called Difflam.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks both! Xx
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Tina, I brush my teeth and use cordysl, (well generic brand from home bargain which is half the price and exactly the same) after every meal/night and apart from 2 small ulcers on first cycle which Iglu sorted out my mouth has been fine. In fact had check up at dentist the other week and he was well impressed.  It's really important to floss as well.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Tina, seems a good idea to book with the dentist, but tell them about your chemo. Went before chemo to get all sorted and have one hygienists appointment left for the day after my first chemo. I suffer from thrush very easily - they will be able to tell you whether it is oral thrush and what you can do. My ice chips and lollies will definitely be in my bag! - Just hope the cooling elements keep them solid, as I have appointments in the morning before going at 14.00, so presume treatment will start at 15.00 as they need to prepare all. xx
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks for the info, youre definitely my Oracle! 

Ive just rung the ward about mg bloody sore mouth n gums,  they advised corsadyl, surely thatd make em more sore. Ive always suffered with a sensitive  mouth so have alcohol free mouthwash and now a soft kids toothbrush,  its on fire though,  plus my glands are up, grrr! Perhaps i should  book in with my dentist?   Oh the joys xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi ....again, Definitely older.....look at my profile.... Yes, had CT scan done, but did only have to drink oodles of water before it was done. They injected some contrast fluid, which gave me the oddest feeling - bit like molten fluid going through your veins. It was done to see whether there were any metastasis of the cancer elsewhere. Thank goodness I was clear, and I hope you are, too! Tina - for the future and in case you have not been told - DO NOT let them use the arm on the side where you had your op for any injections/bloods, etc. as it increases your risk of lymphedema. Bone scan important for 2 reasons - firstly whether the bu...r has got to your bones - and if they have done a density scan, too - they use that as a reference for your bone density, when you are on your hormone treatment. Estrogen ensures we have healthy bones - and of course - we take estrogen killers - so they have to monitor our bone health. Promise - I am not an oracle - just pretending, lol 😉 xxx
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks sweetie, good idea about the  jug of  water, will go looking for sugar syrup  tomorrow.  Must warn kids to keep paws off!  Old?? Im surely older than you,  im 49 Thursday. 

Anyone else been for a ct scan , where you have to drink that awful fluid? I've no idea why im having it! Had full bone scan yesterday too....getting my moneys worth i reckon but may they bring extra unwelcome news, thats the question.  Xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Tina, LOL - only sharing what I learn along the way.....and I am 'old' 😉 My diet is not the best either! - As to water - yuck - so plain - you might want to make your own flavoured water, if you have the patience - sooo much cheaper. Make your own lemon or lime or orange or combination of flavoured water. Buy and un-waxed lemon/lime/orange and wash well. Slice off a total of 5 slices, of whatever combination you are making. Then put into a 1 l jug of water, weight the slices down by putting a few ice cubes on top - and leave in fridge overnight. Next day - you may wish to add some sugar syrup to sweeten - decant into an empty plastic drinks bottle. And then - start the process again with the same fruit slices - a 'set' of slices lasts for three or four times. Keep water in fridge till required. Also - just a general comment - unfortunately we cannot 'boost' out immune system - it is what it is - all we can do is to support it. I love my usual cup of tea and strong black coffee - but am starting on Ginger and Lemon tea to help with possible nausea - and on the day of chemo - 1 x shot glass of Rochester Ginger Drink (Holland & Barrett) before I go and when I get back. It is organic and has a high percentage of ginger root. Hoping that will keep the dreaded feeling at bay. I am still on my espressos, etc. After all - the caffeine will help with fatigue symptoms a little bit. And I shall be working nearly full time through my chemo - as long as my body lets me.... Really - a little bit of everything does you good! - Just not overdoing it - After all, we need to be kind to ourselves through these challenging times and I certainly do not wish to spend an ounce of energy fighting food or drink cravings. You are so good making a start with green tea, etc. - I might get there, too - over time.
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Rightio!
No one tells me these things, ive only heard a few things today whilst having reflexology, so interesting. I dont want to be putting things jn my body that are not conducive to healing myself. But by my own admission i have a not so good diet. So even to try a few things like substitute my coffee and milk for this green tea im struggling with is a start do you agree? And drinking only water and fruit teas. Youre obviously very knowledgeable! Xx
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi again Tina, as ER+ we unfortunately have to stay away from anything, which contains phytoestrogens called isoflavones that may mimic the activity of the hormone estrogen in our bodies. I took a Maca Root extract - to try and counter the effect of my estrogen 'being cut off' . I.e. retain collagen in the skin, ensure my sexual health and all the other things that this hormone does for us women. Of course, as with all I take - I told by oncologist, who advised be accordingly - It is a no, no..... 😞 So you could try almond milk or rice milk if you are not happy with cows milk. xx
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Oh really, what shall I substitute it with? x
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Tina, no soya, if you are ER+ ! xx
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thank you. If I get another 2 hr delay they'll melt though hahaa. Ill have to see if I can sends someone to the canteen if they sell them.
I've bought some liquorice and mint tea to try help things move along! And green teas been advised to me...I'm going to try and substitute milk too..maybe soya. Little things that help build immunity up and up! X
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Tina, Give your GP a ring re the sore mouth - they should be able to prescribe something which helps. For your next chemo - take with you some ice chips/ice lollies - to cool your mouth - this is supposed to help a lot. Senekot might be a good idea - at least it is all natural, lol - to help with the constipation. Hope they help - will try the same regime on Thursday for the first time. xx
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi. Day 6 after 1st fec and although not too bad...Just a couple of niggles that i wonder if anyone can advise on.
Firstly my sore mouth....and gums. I'm using a soft toothbrush and non alcohol wash but even so.
Then the hard stools....only 2nd time I've been since last Thursday. ...should I get something? X
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hello, this is a reply to Maz,

I have same diagnosis and am now 5 weeks post op (all went well)' and waiting to see oncologist so anticipating a similar treatment regime. Not looking forwards to it much, and feel almost back to normal at present time. Longing to be able to plan a few holidays etc, but know I won't be going far for the next few months. Have to be so grateful to have come through surgery and feeling better without that dangerous lump! 

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, had 1st fec yesterday, cold cap too. Awake all night long with tummy grumblings zand feeling sick, even though I had emend...can't take next until 3 though. Cant sleep now either probably due to the steroids. Any tips?