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Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Becca
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hello there

i was diagnosed in dec HER 2 positive stage 3 Breast cancer.

had the most awful chemo hit of doxataxel, carboplatin, herceptin and pertuzamab.

i was unwell during the whole 4 months plus of chemo but I came out the other side.

If sickness is the main problem ask to be prescribed EMEND aprepitant. And also I had another sickness drug given at same time as chemo beginning with P.  After both these extra drugs were prescribed it really helped me a lot. I do know that both are expensive so they are reluctant to give patients but ask them EMEND is taken on the day of chemo one hour before then day 2 and 3 as well as your other meds they prescribed. It was a god send to me. I have a friend also that had really bad sickness etc I told her about my extra sickness drugs and she asked and they were really not wanting to prescribe them due to cost but eventually after she kept asking they gave in she is feeling much better.    Chemo is awfull and I also did cold cap as well during the whole 4 months which was another dread each time but I still have all my hair so it was worth it.  You will come out the other end and to be honest the time passes quickly and when you finally finish and you start to feel better you never complain about the small things that you use to ever again. It makes you stronger xxxxx

survivor
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, I'm new Girl in town! For hair regrow I'd recommend minoxidil.

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Vikki, so glad to hear you are nearly through. I am due to start towards end of May. All prepared for it. As to your question you may find this link of much help - http://cancerhaircare.com/page/commonly-asked-q-a-new-hair-growth/73 Happy growing!
Vikki
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Just found this sight and very happy I did.  Going to get my 5th (& hopefully final chemo on May 13)

What is the prognosis for regrowing hair??  i have a couple of wigs, but don't like them.  I have heard that it grows back thicker and darker??

thanks guys and hang in there

Jenni North
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi I get nauseous on AC but it goes after a fee days, only slight sickness - one more of those to go then on the weekly paclitaxel
Ali-B
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Gosh Jenni & Jen

You lucky pair I was sick as a dog on all my ECs!!

🙂

Ali xx
Jenni North
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks thats reassuring
JenJen
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Jenni

I had 3xEC then 12 weekly paclitaxel (plus herceptin) and finished on March 29th. I am now feeling more or less 100% and have been out and about for hours everday and have been to work just 2 weeks after.

I had hardly any SEs at all during EC chemo and when I swapped to weekly paclitaxel I more or less felt normal most of the time. I still had a bit of fatigue bit that was about it there wasnt a good week/ bad week scenario all the days on weekly were good ones. Day after chemo bedtime was a bit earlier as was tired but that was it
I did have a bad time about 3 days in on first one with aches but it went overnight.

Hope all goes well

Jenx
Jenni North
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Seperately, I am soon going to start weekly paclitaxel - I'm told its calmer on the body and tolerated better than three weekly - how did others find this? Do you have any recovery during the weekly cycles.  I fortunately have tolerated AC well with a few SEs but touch wood nothing major.  Hoping it will continue this way. x

Jenni North
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Sue

 

I had a PICC line put in and it was a very simple and pretty painless procedure - I have it in my left arm and its saved me a load of hassle in terms of when I am at the chemo unit.  I got a shower cover for it from Amazon.

 

The only thing is it needs cleaned every week and I have a nurse come on a Wednesday that I am not in chemo to come and clean it but they never give a time so it can be a wait indoors all day but there are worse things!

 

Be aware of the positioning of the line - mine initially was put in and it tickled my heart (felt like a butterfly!) so they had to adjust it.

 

I purchased some fun long socks and cut the ends off to create a comfortable cover.  Also my nurse suggested naming the line - mine is called Jean Luc (Picard!)

ShonaLeeds
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

 
jaxson123
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi sue
I too was dreading the picc line insertion!
But the procedure was smooth .the team give you an anesthetic wipe so you can't feel anything.
You soon get use to the bulk in your arm .I had a day with my daughter going round the charity shops for 3/4 length tops
any opportunity to make positive memories
coffee and cake and lots of laughter.
I bought some tube arm coverings (not sure what the're called but the chemist knew what I needed )
Cut them up and cover my picc plaster and pretend its not there! !
Just finished fecT
slightly apprehensive about the next 3 and the 6:hour awaiting reactions! !
Take each day at a time
there are some lovely lovely people out there
just say yes to everyone when they offer their time
I've found strength and things about my friends and family I never made time for before
and if you haven't fallen asleep reading my novel
have a lovely day! !!!!
Ali-B
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Susan,

I have a PICC line and it took a few weeks for it to really settle for me. Some hospitals use a clip to keep the thin tube in place. This clip can irritate a bit whilst it settles down. However the PICC line makes the whole process of chemo and taking blood tests etc much easier. You might need a waterproof cover for showering etc. This is the one I bought:

https://limboproducts.co.uk/product/limbo-adult-elbow-cover-m65

You can get these on prescription but I couldn't wait and just bought it. It arrived pretty promptly too.

The PICC line will need flushing and redressing (just a clean-up and put a waterproof plaster on it) weekly and this is done either by the District Nurse or can be done in your local GP surgery.

Some people find it a bit yukky if they think about it too much. It's not very attractive I admit and you may not feel comfortable wearing a no-sleeve t-shirt or top. One of my colleagues nick-named it my "USB port" (we work in IT) 🙂

 

Personally I would recommend it over getting repeated cannula insertions.

Hope this helps,

Ali xx

Susanhighgrove
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thank you for advice.
Kim555pink
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Susan, I haven't had a PICC line so I'm afraid I can't help but you could start s new thread (new topic button top right hand corner - well it is when I lookin my phone!) and it might get noticed quicker by other PICC liners.
Drop into and join the April 2016 starters thread too (monthly chemotherapy threads) and I'm sure you'll find someone there too with a PICC line. I'm a January 2016 starter - nearly at the end!! I found the monthly threads brilliant for all sorts of issues that crop up along the way.
Wishing you loads of good luck,
Kim xxx
Susanhighgrove
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hello, I am new to this forum. It's seven weeks since I had my mastectomy, had a few problems with my wound but almost there. My FEC treatment is due to start next Tuesday, I am due to see Oncologist on Monday at at some point before chemo an due to have ECG and have PICC put in, just wondering how others coped with PICC.

msmcann
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Check out www.heathershair.co.uk. It's a charity that provides human hair weaves to be worn under a hat or scarf. It was a great addition to my wig and probably ended up wearing

my HH weave more. Hope you ladies find a manageable rountine for all your treatment.

Sue H-S
Community Champion

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Lynne - I am due to start my 6 x FEC towards the end of May - so great to hear all went well with you. Gives me much hope, as I will have to work through the treatment. I know we are all different, but still
Lisa16
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

 
marbrow
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi ,

My name is Maz and I am a nurse facing my first of 6 ec cycles next Friday. Triple negative with clear nodes so no option . Will have 3 weeks of rads after. 

If no delays and well going to try to squeeze 5 days in Venice before rads -- I will be 4 weeks post last cycle and did mention it at Oncology meeting .

Feel much happier after reading all your comments and the Chemo list is excellent. I am very lucky as I have lots of nurse friends keeping an eye on me and one of them had chemo for breast cancer 9 years ago. She's fine. I work on a busy Coronary Care so due to infection risk won't be at work but on full pay for 6 months so really grateful for that  xx

jaxson123
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Reving not reviewing. ........
jaxson123
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi everyone
I wish i had found this site earlier !!
I'm review up for my third and final fecT at the end of the week.
I've just been given an appointment for a heart echo
should this have been done before fec t ?
Lynne N
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Had 1st FEC chemo on 1st April, was given 3 different anti nausea drugs to take over 5 days, have had no nausea at all even when the drugs were finished. Have felt absolutely normal, been out and about, no problems until yesterday when I developed oral thrush- I'd been taking antibiotics previous to chemo due to a slight redness in my breast operation site. I used the cold cap, it was horrid at first but after 15 or so mins I got used to it.

All the best
Lucy Lu
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I had my first fec on Tuesday and have been fine. I was out walking the dog the next day and shopping. Everyone is different though. I finish my steroids today so am a bit worried that the side effects will kick in then
Maureen
helly18
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Just nipping in from April 16 with a quick question.   I start 1st fec next Wednesday and have appointment come through  for echo cardiogram the following day. Can I ask how people felt the day after  I know everyone is different but worried  about I will feel getting to hospital/being scanned etc.

Dezdi
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hey

I finished 6 cycle of chemotherapy 3FEC + 3T after 4 week I still have pain into my legs and hard to walk. I feel like as if I just run the maraton. Did anybody experience something similar? Could anybody tell me when it will stop hurt and my tiredness will go away? I think I ungergo really well chemo and suddennly when I finished it got hard.

many thanks

 

 

Singingspam
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi everyone, new here, pleased to meet you. Day 6 of lying in bed following 1st docetaxel. It gets better apparently but it's taking its time. No patience. Pam. X

Nellyfanjita
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I found that Immodium helped me a lot with tummy cramps and then I didn`t get them at all with subsequent treatments. Ask your doc. xxxxx
Nellyfanjita
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Because I know the effects only last up to 7 days, I find that helps. Ibuprofen and co-codamol took away the awful aches, Keep yer pecker up! xxxx
Nellyfanjita
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hello Milly,

 

I`m having the same treatment as you, only the other way round so Taxotere first. I`ve had very few side effects, the worst one being aching bones and I gather this is because of the injection to boost my white cells, rather than the actual chemo. I don`t think you are a wuss, everyone is different and I`m dreading the FEC so there you are!

 

My top tip for managing is to remind myself everyday that this too will pass. Don`t read Dr. Google, it`ll do your head in!  Keep your mouth fresh with a nice mouth freshener. Eat what you like when you feel ike it.

 

Stay away from sad people.

 

Keep the faith!

 

Your journey will be worth every moment when you have finished the treatment.

 

Big hugs. xxxxx 

waiyee
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks Jen..

 

I have been making soup for her daily consume..hope she could be better soon. You are right, i get a bit angry when I know that she hardly eat. I will try my best to calm myself down and try to ask my mum to take more meal in small amount..

 

Thanks again!

suefag
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi  Tina and ladies xx

Not been on sire for while logged on tonight to see how everyone bis doing?

 

I had chemo no4 mlast friday, long day with the observation wait of six hours. Doxetaxal and herceptin, my mum and sister in law came with me for support and company so the day went well. I'd been fine on 1 &2 no 3 bad for 3 days achy sick. I had reduced my steroids as I found they made me anxious and my heart constantly pounded! I knew I had to be a good girl and take the precribed dose this time. My nurse told me that by reducing the steriods I'd probably made the symptoms worse! 

Sat sun I was fine but this week Ive actually stayed off work, no sickness racing heart but terrible aches pains, did I rwad someone said you felt youd been hit by a bus!? Well it did! I wont worry if this is how it is? This is why the forums are so could, helpful reassuring.  Going into work tomorrow but to be honest quite liked the peace and quiet of working from home with no iteruptions. 

Went to the christies colour me and make up feel good this week. The make up course was fab and I would highly recommend it. Itvwas lovely to meet other ladies and the make upmladies were allmso helpful and encouraging!  Some fab tips and went away with a bag full of amazing goodies!!

Love to all xx keep brave xxx Sue x

 

JenJen
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi WaiYee

Sorry to hear about your mum, if your mum is feeling poorly she may not want to eat so making sure she drinks enough fluids is important water, or fruit juice or some nice warm soup 🙂
Maybe you could make lots of little things for her to eat, chopped up fruit, nuts, light broths with vegetables/tofu in cook the things she cooked for you when you were little and felt ill maybe? she will know from doing this you are trying to help

Dont get angry if she doesnt eat but let her know you are worried she isnt eating in a nice way and just keep making very small meals or offering small snacks.

Hopefully this will help

Jen x
waiyee
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi..i am new here and i am from Malaysia..

My mum diagnose with BC last Oct 2015 and had her operation on her right breast in Nov 2015. She has started her chemotherapy since end Dec 2015. Oncologist advice that she need to have 6 dose of chemo. As of now, she had already gone thru 4 dose, but the last dose she caught in fever and her white cell blood was low. So, she was admitted for 5 days till her wcb increase to normal level. However, she has totally loss her appetite and hardly eat. She is 63. Just wanna ask how could I improve her appetite?Thanks a lot!!

VictoryV
Member

Re: Upcoming chemotherapy

Hi Jenni,

Hope you're doing ok. I've now had 2 sessions of TC (taxotere/cyclophosphamide). In terms of food just eat what you fancy & can get any taste from! I found the taste issue wasn't too bad after 1st chemo but definitely feeling it since the 2nd round. I'm trying grapefruit & pineapple at the moment, which are both good. My tongue was sore after the first round & sucking on fruit ice lollies was refreshing. I like drinking sparkling water but find its got a 'funny' taste at the moment so am adding cordial to make it more drinkable. After the 1st chemo I was up and about within 2 days out walking for 3 miles, big mistake! The following day was aching, sick & very tired. After my 2nd dose I gave myself 3-4 days of rest before tackling any too adventurous. You will find what's best for you, we are all different and some take longer to gain some strength back than others. I find writing a diary of my side effects is useful for referring back to, you know what to expected or can change how you dealt with something. Love & best wishes, Vic 

Gfnich
Member

Re: Upcoming chemotherapy

Hi jenni,

 

i am am from dev thread and have had 3FEC and 2 Taxotere so far.  In a nutshell eat what you fancy when you fancy.  I find bland stuff easiest for the first few days, toast, eggs, potatoes, rice etc. I find meat tastes odd and has a strange texture but cheese is ok.  Pineapple is good when you have a sore mouth and anything ginger helps with the nausea although mine wasn't too bad.  I haven't been sick once during my treatment thankfully as I hate it.

 

gillian

Lizzy_BCC
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Jenni North, 

 

Welcome to the forum and I am sure users will be along soon to offer support and tips. 

 

I have moved your post to our busy and supportive Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy thread to give our users more of a chance to respond.

 

Best wishes, 

 

Lizzy 

 

Digital Community Assistant 

Jenni North
Member

Upcoming chemotherapy

Hi, I am new to this forum and need a bit of support. I was diagnosed with bc in December and yesterday it was confirmed lymph nodes affected so I have been advised to have chemotherapy. Have any of you got food or other tips as to how best get through this and what you can do daily? With love.
Tandy 4
Community Champion

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Sue....... You started chemo same date as me and haven't heard from you for ages on the December thread. Wondered how you're doing?? Xxx Tina

Roch
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Tip for getting through pain of chemotherapy is only useful if people know about the drugs that they are taking.  People fighting cancer can find informaton about the specific side effects of drugs in the following link. This will help them to find appropriate alternatives conteract the side effects:

 

http://www.oncologybiomarkers.com/2016/01/chemotherapy-for-most-common-cancers.html

carolec
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Pammy I used the paxman cold cap and was also given a wheat bag warmed up in the microwave which I used although not near the cold cap - maybe you could take one and ask them to warm up for you - also I had a pillow and duvet.  I also took a 5mg lorazepam which the hospital gave me and that really relaxes you and I slept a lot through mine.  I finished at end October and kept most of my hair on the 12 weekly Paclitaxol.  I also only washed my hair twice a week and used natural "Lush" products, a wide toothed comb and slept on a satin pillowcase as the satin is more gentle on your hair.  Good luck everyone xxx

Kim555pink
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I went on moneysupermarket.com and got a quote for £21.35 for 2 weeks in Greece!! That also included my kidney disease as well as breast cancer diagnosis! Give them a go 🙂
Xx
suefag
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi,

New to the forum ladies. Started chemo 18th dec , next one 8th jan. We were planning a long haul hol this march folloeing tge end of my partners chemo ended in Dec 15. However, mine with radio end in summertime. What is the policy for flying and any details travel ins greatly appreciated. 

Love and good luck to all Sue xx

fredflowerpot
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

thank you . i had my dobule fect dose on boxing day . so day five today my throat feels like raw flesh.. and hard to sallow. so water tip is great will start ... already coming out in sore spots in head and face. my musells feel like i have been badly hit by a huge bat . so good to hear not just me . so again thank you xx

Pammy
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, yes must remember to take a small blanket, thank you for that, as my daughter had to have our coats piled on her to keep her warm when she wore the ice cap. Keep well.

Pammy
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, my name is Pam and I start EC at the end of this month. I will try the ice cap, hopefully it will work but if not I tried. My daughter went through a different chemo three years ago, so sort of expect some uncomfortable effects. Hope everyone get through this with too much discomfort.

SLC
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I had my first round of 8 yesterday.  EC for 4 rounds then taxol for 4 rounds. The cold cap was bearable. After about 10 minutes you get used to it. Well kind of. Make sure they put padding on the top if there's any gaps and make it as flat as possible on the top. I also used a scarf and tied it from the top of my head to under my chin to make it as tight as possible! Got to do what you can. I've been told that my hair will definitely fall out with taxol without the cap so nothing to lose. Only 1 day it but so far so good. I would just say to bring layers and use a blanket and watch a movie or something that's going to distract you. 

Nikki49
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I finished fec-t 2 yrs ago this month.
my top tips for getting through it:-
Drink 2 litres of water the day before, the day of and the day after chemo - don't chug it, just sips throughout the day. I discovered this tip before 2nd fec and felt soooo much better than after 1st dose.

Steroids - take at 8am and noon, I had no problems with them or sleeping.

Take all the meds they give you - if you wait till you feel sick it's probably too late.

I was allergic to metoclopromide so this was changed to ondan something whch did nothing for me so ended up on Emend, granesetron and cyclazine - I still felt a bit weird or wired even lol

If you're sick you must tell your team they've loads of meds in their arsenal to choose from so don't suffer as there really is no need.

T
I felt much better on this regime but did suffer with awful pain days 5-8, paracetamol/ibuprofen/codeine combo didn't touch it. I felt like I'd been beaten up with a baseball bat.
Onc gave me the 'steroid tale' for the remaining doses whch yes was more steroids but it worked like a miracle cure.

 

this one affects your nails - my onc advised I wear a solid colour varnish (no it doesn't have to be black) the thinking is that the chemo reacts to ultra violet light in the nail bed which can cause the nail to lift.  I never left the house in day light hours without putting on gloves even when just nipping out to the dustbin.  I wore nail varnish throughout and although my nails felt bruised at times I didn't lose one - could be coincidence......  Ooh don't forget the same applies to your toe nails but obviously socks not gloves lol

as for hair - I didn't cold cap and my hair started to fall around day 17, I clippered it to a grade 3 before 2nd dose. My hair is now shoulder length.

good luck to you all x

sugar8
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi hopefulholly. If you are over 50 Saga is cheaper
hopefulholly
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Yes, I had full node clearance but I checked with my oncologist before booking and she said to go ahead with it. To be honest I was more concerned with vaccinations and hadn't thought about the nodes 're risk of lymphedema but I'm sure the onc would have considered that. I hope so because it's all booked! x