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Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Pinkbow47
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thank I will give these ago
Maryland
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Julie......I have practised a couple of breathing techniques since having a collapsed lung in the 80s, which may help? Instead of breathing through the top of your lungs, place your hand on your diaphragm and breathe deeply through the bottom of your lungs......inhale though your nose, hold and exhale through your mouth. Your diaphragm should rise and fall. Another technique is to practise single nostril breathing....put finger over R nostril, breathe in for a count of 4 through L nostril; place fingers over both nostrils for count of 4; exhale through R nostril for count of 4; hold both nostrils for count of 4 then repeat breathing in through R nostril first.....does that make sense? Easier to do than describe!!!! Something else that has helped me to sleep....rather than counting sheep!....is to imagine holding an ice cube at the top of your head and work its way round the whole silhouette of your body, including round individual fingers and toes...very rarely has the ice cube made it back to the top of my head :). Hope some of this helps? My very best wishes for your treatment....take care x

Pinkbow47
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi my name is julie, I was diagnosed with breast cancer on the 23rd dec, I had a lumpectomy and also my lymph nodes removed on the 10th jan, I have been told that I will have to have chemo radiotherapy also tablets, from finding a lump ant the removal of it was five weeks, i am suffering with anxiety for which my doctor has put me on meds for although they help in the day I'm finding it hard at night, I was wondering if anyone had any breathing methods I could use to help
lisac
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanx for the tips Jo, has helped me to begin to get organised x
jellytot83
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi All,

 

My tips are on this thread somwehere but have got buried so thought I would post them again:

 

http://thelittlestjojo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/top-tips-for-getting-through-chemo.html

 

Love Jo xx

Jonsi79
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Anyone got a really good book they'd recommend whilst going through treatment? Something light, fun and easy to read? xx
trish1109
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Did not know that , my main problem has been thrush ,really bad in my throat .xx

 

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hey that's weird I was in boots looking for a toothpaste and gel to keep my mouth wet and found Biotene but did not realise it was free on prescription. Thank you for that, save me a fortune. Bless you.
lindsay1964
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

DONT FORGET to go to the dentist and get floride toothpaste (free on prescription to cancer patients).

Also go to the doctor and ask for Biotene mouthwash and biotene toothpaste - also free on prescription - your doctor may not know about it = just tell him.,

 

 

lindsay1964
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Jemp

 

I too started FEC on 6 Jan - I had a friend who has gone through it and listened to her advice.....I take  Lysine everyday and a multi vitamin bought from holland and barrett (Lycine is an amino acid that blocks cold sores and can help with throat ulcers....my oncologist said I COULD continue to take it....I've had no problems....I also chewed chewing gum (sugar free gum as soon as I got up in the morning and before I went to bed to help with throat issues - and then rinsed with biotene or salt water to get rid of bacteria)....it seems to help -  hope it helps you...what about bonjela for adults also.

Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Jemp0812
Welcome to the BCC forums, please see the links I have posted below to Lizzielou to our helpline and further information from BCC which you may find helpful over the coming months

Take care
Lucy BCC

Guest user
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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi I've just started Fec 20/12. 1st day was ok went for a walk then nausea kicked in. I've been given cyclizine and eventually that has helped but now suffering with throat ulcers. Have been given erythromycin which has caused unpleasant stools. I am going to try your ideas and I'm hoping something works. If anyone has any suggestions your help is very much appreciated.
Lucy_BCC
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Lizzielou and welcome to the BCC forums

In addition to the support you will soon have here, please feel free to call our helpliners for further practical and emotional support on 0808 800 6000, lines are open during the week 9-5 and 10-2 Saturdays

You may find the following link to the BCC 'Treatments' information and more support ideas helpful over the coming months:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/treatment

Take care
Lucy BCC

Lizzielou
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Rachael
I stated my 1st chemo with FEC on 16th Jan , worse day of my life ! Not been vomiting just felt my body was dying from my toes upwards till two days ago when I felt ok . Still got my hair .... Dreading the next few days with that one .
I love marmite so I will remember ur advice , take care
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Great tips....will try some for sure...i'm the day after my secound round of Chemo and am sick,sick,sick.have found Marmite,touch of butter on a Carr's cracker accepted when super low on energy or about to take strong meds.....!
The
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

http://mytrustylittlesunflowercream.co.uk/about.html
Just found this on another thread which may be of intersect they said its really good. Xxx
Bas_B
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks for reposting this. I'm starting chemo next Thursday and this is really useful - especially like the chemo caddy idea. Thanks again J xx
Biddlybee
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

‎I have copied this post from 2008! I thought it would be useful for new ladies: 27-10-2008 07:33 AM
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
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Naturegirl15
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Have developed a liking for blue lady tea and bitter shandy. Found shandy the best thirst quencher! Wine just doesn't taste right anymore. Will have to get down the local pub more regularly!
The
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

What's a central line? How comes they couldn't fit the pic line ? Glad it can still go ahead xxx Tracy
Ro21
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks for that The,
Been to get PICC fitted today but they couldn't do it so now going to have central line put in on Monday before the chemo starts. At least the chemo is still going ahead on schedule.
Ro x
The
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Ro21 I have pic and use cling film it does the job fine for me xxx Tracy
Ro21
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

PICC line - how have people coped with showers.
I have been given the limbo products leaflet at the hospital for a waterproof protector which incidentally looked rubbish when they showed me one. fine if it does the job tho' however when tried to go on website prices nothing like on leaflet & unclear which one I need as PICC not in elbow is in upper arm.

Nurse mentioned some people use cling film. is this effective? Don't mind paying for sleeve if makes life easier just want most effective solution

Thanks x
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I've also found hulu hoops are great for nausea! lol
DiDi65
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

hi just about to have second lot of FEC i found orange lucasade ,pineapple and ginger beer helped .

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I just had my first chemo last Thursday and I find pineapple juice quite a good drink especially for sore mouth. Hope this helps.
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I find ribena and lucozade really help, good luck
BlackSwan
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Pizzas in the freezer?

 

I had to send hubby out to the supermarket for emergency pizzas when I ran out.....

jellytot83
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Just wanted to re-post the link to my blog post detailing my tips and hints (I had FEC-T): http://thelittlestjojo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/top-tips-for-getting-through-chemo.html 

Love Jelly xx

Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Icle_V, if you mean the link to September Stars, you will find us on the Going Through Treatment section, Monthly threads Starting chemo in September. We also have an active Facebook page too. x
Icle_V
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi
Sounds daft but have a Mac Ds chicken sandwich meal....not healthy but really nice especially if your not eating much, don't have a cold drink as the coke doesn't seem the same. Hope this helps.

TC
xxx
Icle_V
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, thank you for your reply.
Do you have the link please?

TC
V xx
Naturegirl15
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I had my first chemo 9days ago and apart from over estimating what I can do, am feeling a lot better today as long as I pace myself. Have suffered sickness at start and constipation, and never seem to finish a cuppa but have found so many things to tempt my taste buds at present. Blueberries, Victoria plums, salads, raspberries all good stuff.
Am trying to keep mainly fruit and veg meals and avoid high protein/fat on advice given by oncologist and indeed these are what I find I am craving anyway. Anybody any tips on what to drink, don't do water, don't fancy wine?
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi icle_V
Just noticed your posting. Wondered where you had gone. I'm the one doing chemo first like you. Started first one on the 3rd. Can't help much personally with your SE's as I have escaped most of them but you may find it useful to hop over to the September Stars monthly thread where there are some very knowledgeable ladies going through lots of these SE's at the moment and probably more besides. They are a great bunch, very supportive, with lots of help and tips to get you through this.
Take care and I hope things improve for you soon. x
Icle_V
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi all,
I've had my first chemo two weeks tomorrow. First few days were just getting the sicky feeling, Sunday was more my throat burning. I hate milk but milk and strawberry shakes have helped loads, also frozen grapes and mango. Although Gavison spearmint has helped loads. So nice to enjoy a hot cuppa tea and warm food. So week later I had eaten my first proper full meal and it was so tasty. Although it will be a week tomorrow since I NOT opened my bowel. I've been given sachets which should of helped since Tuesday....failed! Now been given Lactulose, hopefully will kick in soon. Does anyone else had these systems or recommend anything else please?
Also I feel like crap tonight....have the cold signs etc. do I need to call the cancer ward or will this pass?

I feel very lucky with no sickness so far, which I really hate. I have been driving since last week and also been back to work since last week. I have felt great going back to work getting into a routine but only part time.

If anyone can please email me.

T&C
V xx
belle22
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi

 

Thank you Anne

 

Judithxx

apandy
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Judith. Find the Going Through Treatment Board and then click on the Chemotherapy Monthly Threads and  just introduce yourself in the one called 'October Optimists'.

See you there.

Anne x

belle22
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi

 

I might sound thick how do i join the october thread

Judith xx

poemsgalore
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, here is my history (put the kettle on and get ready to be bored)...lol

 

I found a lump in the lower left quadrant of my left breast in september 2012. I kept quiet for about 7 weeks. Then told OH. He sent me to the docs, who thought the same as me. That it wasn't anything serious, as (to use her words) it wasn't tethered. But she referred me to the breast clinic anyway. As I was being biopsied, the doc saw a lymph she wasn't happy with. That told me it was probably cancer. I was diagnosed on 1st November 2012.  In December 2012 (12th actually) I had mastectomy and snb.  Tumour turned out to be 3cm (36mm) grade 3. three nodes removed, one contained cancer cells. Tumour was 100% ER positive, 70% PR positive, HER2 negative and I had Vascular Invasion.  My armpit is still a bit numb, but as only 3 removed,  not too bad.  On February 5th 2013, I had my first chemo session (FEC-T, 3 FEC followed by three TAx) well that was the plan anyway. Had the first three, then went to have my first TAX. A few days later I was in hospital (the one I mentioned in my last post) and told onco I didn't want any more chemo. She said quietly: "What if we put you back on  FEC?" I'd said yes please before she'd finished talking!! I had the final chemo on 23rd May.

 

I never did any of the exercises - well, maybe some of them. The plan was for me to have 15 rads after chemo. Turns out I would have had 25 - but I refused them. I have a lung disease, and was concerned of what effects rads would have on them. Radiographer said she wasn't happy giving them me without a conversation with my respiritory consultant. Then I asked what my risks of recurrence were. Less than 20% in chest but 50%  under armpit, for which I could have ANC if I wanted. So as I am now taking Anastrazole for at least five years, I didn't go with the rads. 

 

I do know a few people who had the ANC and the biggest risk (same with rads) is Lymphoedema. Not a nice condition, and incurable. So take care of your arm. Hopefully you won't need it, but here is a link to a booklet all about it:

 

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/sites/default/files/bcc5_lymphoedema.pdf

 

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/sites/default/files/bcc15_reducing_the_risk_of_lymphoedema.pdf

 

and here is a link to my mugshot:

 

http://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/media/v2/gallerypage/user-id/54164/tab/all

 

Poemsgalore xx

 

 

belle22
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi

 

Yes i would have burst out laughing to did you have your lymph nodes removed my tumor was 39mm and was attached to my rib cage nothing in my breast at all so he removed the tumor and all my lymph nodes he said it came out all in one peice he said like peeling a orange,. Under my arm is still really tender and i have no feeling at all the breast nurse said some times the feeling comes back and sometimes is does'nt did you do the excercises , i love hear what you hav to say.

 

lots of hugs x

poemsgalore
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I thought my little story might make you smile too Judith. Whilst having my chemo, after the 4th dose, I ended up on an Oncology ward feeling quite poorly. One of the lovely nurses in there came in and took my obs a couple of times, I was bare headed whilst in there. On the day I went home, she came into my room where my daughter and her friend and I were waiting for my take home meds. I had my little hat on then. This same nurse popped her head around the door and said:

"Sorry to disturb you, I know you're waiting to go home, but I just wondered - do you have any hair conditioner on you?"

I just burst out laughing and said " You are joking, aren't you?" She was mortified, but we all thought it was so funny - poor girl.

 

All the best

Poemsgalore xx

belle22
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi

 

Thank you for all your advise i have taken it on board and will get some scarves and hats  i will be joining the October one so i am with people who are already going through the same thing. I can't wait to have lovely smooth skin. I wish you all the very best for the rest of your treatment.

 

Lots of hugs.

Judith xx

belle22
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Goodmorning Poemsgalore,

 

You are a great help to me and you do put my mind at rest  my brother made me smile he said just think of all the money you will save on hairdressers and waxing etc  he has got a point .

 

sending lots of hugs to you.

 

Judith x

Lols
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi belle I've just finished my second chemo four to go. I agree with poems galore the hair loss on body is quite a relief I'm not doing any hair removal and legs really smooth. My skin all over my body feels really soft and smooth in fact I keep slipping down the bed we must have hair on our backs that we never normally notice as my back is now super smooth in fact it's like you'd want on holiday. Regarding hair on head I've struggled a bit as I loved my hair it was blonde passed shoulders and ringlets naturally but when it was coming out it was so upsetting shaving it off was a sort of relief . I've got a wig and I thought I'd live in it but I've worn it once in the last two weeks the rest if the time I've worn really pretty hats and scarves from annabandana which I've added to and have been asked where did I get them . I'm coping much better than I thought I would you will be surprised what you can do Hun.
As pg says you might not be sick the medication is there to relieve a lot of those types of side effects , I admit I've felt nauseous but I havnt spent any time hanging over the loo. Chemo isn't the nicest thing in the world but its doable ( that word)!! But it really is. You will be fine, wishing you all the best for your treatment. Ps have you joined a chemo thread for support a new October one is up on going through treatment the supports in valuable I couldn't manage without it, take care xx ju
poemsgalore
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Dear Belle

 

First of all, you might not be sick at all. I wasn't. If you are, they will give you anti sickness tablets to take to keep it under control.

 

About your hair. You could always try to use the cold cap which could save some of the hair on your head. But there are some lovely hats and scarves to wear and you should also get a voucher for a wig.  You do lose all the hair on your body, which I found quite a relief. No more underarm hair or leg hair etc  to have to deal with for a while. But it does all come back when chemo is over.  Here is a link to a booklet on this site all about hair loss:

 

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/sites/default/files/bcc_hairloss_2011_booklet_final_web.pdf

 

and here is a link to a booklet all about chemotherapy:

 

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/sites/default/files/bcc17_chemotherapy_2012.pdf

 

Sending hugs and best wishes

 

poemsgalore xx

belle22
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi,

 

I am about to start chemo very soon in the next couple of weeks and i am really scared  not looking forward to the sickness and the hairloss, can you tell me do you loose all hair on your body.

 

Please help

Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks RevCat

 

Hopefully I've  made this a sticky post again!

 

Jo, Moderator

RevCat
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

BUMPing up this old but incredibly useful thread that was a 'sticky' on the last two versions of the forum.  Don't know if mods can 'sticky' it again in this area, otherwise it's a useful one to bookmark or make a personal sticky for anyone about to start chemo (best read from oldest to newest as it's VERY long!)

 

If you want to make it sticky for yourself, you can do this from the 'thread options' next to the title

angiepops
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

hi
my nurse told me that fresh pineapple is better than tinned because the enzyme that gets rid of the fur isnt present after ithe canning process.
angie xx
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Fantastic list of do's and don't.
Keeping a bag packed I will do now as just had a spell in hospital. List of emergency numbers also brill.
Many thanks xx