I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

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Kuini
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I start Chemo on Monday and I feel that I am blind folded about the experience. My doesn't make sense, the nursing staff keep telling everyone is different. I just need answers, can anyone help me!

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Kuini
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

I start Chemo on Monday and I feel that I am blind folded about the experience. My doctor doesn't make sense, the nursing staff keep telling everyone is different. I just need answers, can anyone help me!

kj
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Kuini
I had a course of chemo for a different cancer and got various reactions most cancers are treated with different chemicals I had a friend treated for lung cancer and she breezed through it we are all different you wont know until you have it good luck
kj

oldhippy
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Hi Kuini
(lovely name, wheres it from?) It will be OK (in a strange, bizarre sorta way, of course) - the Chemo Nurses will run you through it all, what happens, what you need to do, give you brochures, you should get morning tea and lunch, and yes, having holes put in you aint nice, but I must say the nurses who do me are brilliant - they are REALLY good at it. Hot packs, skill - only missed up twice in a lot of sessions. Ask them questions, they will tell you. Mine even ring me up the day before so I can go get the blood tests done before chemo they know how it vagues you out.

Side Effects. Yes. There are about 200 pages of them - which ones do you want? - its highly individual,(except for the feeling crap bit) you wont know till it happens. When it does, check in here again, most of us cop this and after a while you know what to do for a particular side effect...

(You will accumulate a HUGE collection of Assorted Tablets ....in a whole range of shapes, sizes, colours - the red ones you should avoid, the blue ones are usually OK)

Andrew the oldhippy.

Allicat
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Hi Kuini

I had chemo for breast cancer which finished in February. 4 x AC and 4 x Taxol. The AC made me somewhat queasy and tired and the Taxol gave me leg pains. But it was all manageable. I went to work through treatment - although I often arrived late and left early.

But as the nurses say - everyone is different. My sister is having the same treatment and she is having the whole time off work.

Best wishes for Monday

u_can (not verified)
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Hi Kuni,
I've had 8 months of chemo and the best advice I can give to you is dont be afraid. Accept that the chemo is there to help you and want it to help bring your body back to health. That approach, as opposed to fear, will make a HUGE difference and your experience so much better.

Did you know that most people get sick before chemo? That's because the fear of chemo can be stronger then the actual drugs.

I wish you peace and a smooth journey through chemo.
U can

Bindy
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

It is true that chemo effects people differently, but the nurses are experienced and can advise on the most common reactions. The nurses are always good and will listen when a patient talks about how they are feeling.
I have just finished my chemo (including high dose chemo) and a stem cell transplant and the nurses at Peter Mac where the best.

Annie333
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Hello Kuini, (New Zealand name?)
Well you had your chemo today and I do hope it wasn't bad. I found there are up days and down days. Depending on how many days between doses. My ones were every few weeks. On the third day after chemo I had what I called a low day. Very weak and almost dizzy. But within twenty four hours I was right as rain again. I did have the high doses and this went on for twelve months. I found the red one to be the worst. But this is the one they promised would be the best one for my cancer. There are many i know that breeze and work through their treatments, I hope you are one of them. Just remember to take it easy and as the above posts have mentioned, ask as many questions as you like for the health professionals are there to help you. Eat well (some frozen meals can help if you can't cook), take vitamins or supplements (doctors will talk to you about these)Anything that can relax you will help ease your tension before hand and drink plenty of fluids before each injection.
God Bless and let us know how you went
Annie

Leeanne
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Hi Kuini

I am about to start Radio/chemo next Monday and similarly don't know really what to expect. From what people have told me everyone is different, (I have been over every possible side effect with the oncologist and now they just run into each other). I know that doesn't help as it doesn't help me either. One common thread though is our attitude going in so I am going to view this as just one way to help me get well. Go with it and be true to yourself.

I wish you all the best and see you on the other side.

In light and laughter

Leeanne

julia.w
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

It is so scary starting chemo. Make sure you take someone to keep you distracted and keep you company. Also make sure you take all the anti nausea medicine they give you even if you feel ok. You didn't mention what type of chemo? I had AC which is pretty strong. I found that the days after the medicine was finished was when I felt most nauseous but I just took my maxolon and I was fine. I was knackered the first week, then the next two were ok and I would work in those weeks. Your hair may start to fall out after about two weeks, it's a good idea to cut it short before this happens and to shave it all off once it starts in earnest.

Go to the Look Good, Feel Better classes they run which will help with makeup, scarves and wigs, plus you get to meet lots of others in your situation. Good luck with everything, we're all here for you

Julia xx

Allicat
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

When I met with a chemo nurse before I started chemo she gave me a pamphlet that had the side effects listed. She said she was legally obligated to give it to me but she advised me not to read it as I would probably not experience most of them and it would only worry me. I did read it but I really liked her advice and her encouraging attitude.

Best wishes for Monday Leeanne.

Leeanne
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Thanks Allicat
I am going in for my Chemo/radio prep tomorrow - apparently there is a video to watch, so all go now.

Thanks for your kind words. I'm just taking one day at a time.

Leeanne

Penny1963
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Hi Leeanne

Wishing you all the very best for the start of your treatment. Also, just to follow on from Julia w, most of the bowel cancer chemos don't cause your hair to completely fall out, although you do tend to get some thinning. I've been on chemo for 7 months and stil have hair, so don't do anything drastic until you see how it goes for you!

Take care and good luck
Penny

Leeanne
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

Hi Penny

Thanks for that tip. I hope the ones that thin out are the grey ones - LOL.

Cheers.

Leeanne

periMeso
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

NOT anywhere near as bad as people told me.

The chemo experience of a friend or relative may be completely irrelevant and nothing like yours,

because

CHEMOTHERAPY is DIFFERENT for EVERYBODY.

and of course it would be different for you if it is a different illness being treated with different drugs.

You might get the drugs that are very easy to tolerate. Waste of worry.

Even if you know the names of the drugs you will be using and read about all the possible side effects, nobody gets ALL the side effects, and some people get none.

julia.w
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Re: I start Chemo on Monday - don't know what to expect?

I've had two types of chemo, AC when I was first diagnosed in November 09 and then Xeloda when the cancer spread in August 2011. The AC was difficult to tolerate, in fact the first dose gave me neutropenia and I was in hospital for 12 days. Each subsequent dose required an extra week for my white cell count to raise enough. Each of these made me quite unwell and exhausted for the first week of each three week cycle before I got back near normal but still tired. Of course I lost my hair two weeks after the first dose.
The Xeloda is much easier to take. It takes the form of tablets which are taken twice a day for two weeks and then one week off. The side effects are quite minor, although I find myself exhausted. This is something which I will be taking indefinitely until my circumstances change again which of course I hope won't be happening for a very long time. I was unfortunate enough to get hand and foot syndrome for a couple of months but this was eventually cleared up with antibiotics. Apart from that I've had swollen feet which has settled down, and pigment all over my face which hasn't settled. My appetite is very low and I find it hard to eat as much as I should..
Of course I know that my experience will be different to others who may have a greater or lesser tolerance to the chemotherapy drugs that thay're given, but hopefully this will give others an idea of what may happen.
Julia

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