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Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

belinda
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Jane you're one up on me..I did buy a thermometer but haven't a clue where it is now! Belinda..x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

The French are so much more sensible about food than the Brits!

I'm afraid these earnest lists of chemo tips rather make this cynic laugh.

I know where my thermometer is, have ginger ale at the ready, a supply of anti emetics and movicol and thats about it....its seen me through 30 plus chemos...mind you I'm still looking for a solution to 'fatigue'...reading the chemo tips list makes me feel exhausted for starters but maybe that because I've never made a cake in my life and certainly ain't starting on go-cake now.

Jane

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Excellent thread - brilliant idea.

I've recently moved to France, where we have cheese coming out of our ears and avoiding it (or any other food for that matter) has never been mentioned to me.

Also, a solution of bicarb makes a good mouthwash....

And I would recommend 'Crocs' (or a cheap imitation) for 'Taxotere feet' - sooooo comfortable, with those thick soles - you can even wear them in the shower, if you need to!

X

S

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I just wanted to add to , avoid grapefruit or juice as I used to have in the mornings fresh grapefruit juice and find out much later it is not good while you are on chemo.

Gul x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I was dx Oct 2007 am a cheeseaholic!! never been told to avoid to it and never have - love cream cheese on toasted crusty bread mmmm

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I have been told to avoid cream cheese (my family looked at me gone out when I asked the question - like were the hell did that come from!! LOL) which is a bummer, but normal cheeses like cheddar are ok.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

i found this thread really helpful thank yu although i have one query, i love cheese of any description however my nurse told me to avoid cream cheeses? take care ladies speak soon. x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

My chemo nurse told me after my first FEC on Tuesday that me and my OH ought to use condoms for the first 3 or 4 days post chemo so that he didn't get any chemo drugs through my bodily fluids! Just thought I would add this for any of you ladies feeling up for a cuddle in the days just after chemo!!!

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Get to a dentist for any outstanding niggles before starting chemo - for some reasons it has a tendency to upset your gnashers/gums. With all the sweety sucking for sore mouth/gums be sure to floss, clean and moutwash with monotonous regularity!

GrannyScouse
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

What a lovely, lovely thread. Thank you, Jo and Princess. Pity it wasn't available when I was going through chemo, but I'm sure it will be invaluable to anyone currently or about to go through it.

I was pleased to see tonic water included for the mouth. Personally, I found a good slug of gin with it helped enormously hehehe. Seriously, as a light snack I enjoyed a slice of Nimble bread spread with cream cheese and topped with sliced kiwi fruit.

Good luck to us all.
Maureen xx

Jo_BCC
Member

Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

As requested here's the compilation of all the top tips for going through chemo! A big huge thanks to all the contributors who have added their tips and to Princess for starting it! Please do continue to add your own top tips to this thread.

For the Gums:
- Bonjela
- Cordsyl daily for x 3 and Cordsyl normal for 1 (dentist recommended)
- ultra soft bristle brush/baby toothpaste
- aloe vera based toothpaste, Beverley Hills gum strengthening toothpaste.

For the mouth:
- Gelclair, salt water wash, Oraldene, tonic water, Difflam mouthwash
- aloe dent lip balm with lysine (good for coldsores also)

Bad taste: - 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

Nausea:
- 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
- Chemo Caddy – see below
- Pin up emergency numbers where 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 un-pasturised 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 - Exercise - Laughter - 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 £90)

- Runny nose through loss of nose hair – tissues!
- V-pillow
- Check and see if GP can refer you to local leisure centre for cheaper use of fitness suite and swimming pool.
- Constipation - breakfast of high fibre cereal/fruit smoothie/prune juice - “Go Cake” – see below for recipe.

Sore Eyes
- Boots hayfever relief drops
- Cooling/chill eye mask

Headaches - 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.

Hairloss/head coverings
- buffs from buffwear
- baseball cap
- headcovers website
– sleep caps, scarves, bangs, eyebrows, eyelashes, wigs etc
- don’t wash it too often, use baby shampoo
- Browzings by Benefit – good eyebrow make up - Boots

CHEMO BAG AND CHEMO CADDY
Chemo bag
(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.

Chemo Caddy
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)

“GO CAKE"
4oz All Bran, 5oz sugar, 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”. ½ 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