Starting chemo

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Starting chemo

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:54 pm

I was looking for a site like this today. Back in April I was DX with anemia, colonscopy showed tumor, had surgery 7/3, foot and a half of colon removed near cecum, it did not spread, though 23 nodes were removed along with a polyp. Now I will have 6 mos of chemo treatments and have been so upset about the whole thing. Its not about losing my hair, its just all the other stuff. My treatments will be once a week, 3 wks on, 1 off. Dr told me all the side effects, but I will just have to wait and see how I will react to the meds. I also stay home with my 83 yr ailing mother in law and the past 2 yrs have been a big pain in the you know where!! I know everyone reacts differently to the chemo, but I am so scared right now and when I think of it, I just cry. I'm afraid I will be so sick from the chemo, that I will not be able to function at all. Thanks for sites like this one.

Lee
Posts: 5939
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Postby Lee » Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:31 pm

Hi, Welcome aboard, sorry for your diagnoses. I was diagnoses 2 yr ago for rectal cancer. It sounds like you are stage 2, because nothing was found in your lymph nodes. I was stage 3.

Because you are 3 week on and one week off, I believe you are on a different chemo than me. I was on Folfox, 1 week on, 1 week off.

Chemo treatments are accumulative, so they build up over time. You may not notice any problems with the 1 treatment, but be aware of how you body is reacting to the chemo. That way you get an idea what to expect with your next treatment.

Eat health as often as you can, if that's not possible, drink plenty of Ensure. I found eating several small meal (snacking) vs. 3 meals helped my stomach. With a steady supply of food, my tummy was happier. If over time you develope an aversion to some food, eat what sounds/feels good. Take the ensure to help with vit/mineral. Go back to eating health when you can,

A day or two before each treatment, drink LOTs and LOTS of fluilds/ water. Assume you will get diarea during your treatments. On another site I used to visit during chemo. Some people would write in about having problems, ending up in the ER, and being told there problems were due to dehydrations. As a result of me drinking LOTS of fluids, my blood work was always good. Towards the end of my chemo, I developed and aversion to water, thus I drank tons of grator aide, soda, and coffee.

Can someone help you with your mother in law at certain times. I would get my treatment Tues. thru Thru., by Friday, I was a zombie, and could do nothing more than sit on the sofa. By Monday, I would be back to my normal self. Again see how you react with you first treatment, and plan according.

Plan on taking it easy during Chemo, get frozen foods if you have to feed the family. Find a project you can do at home to keep you busy, yet you can do at our own pace to deal with nervous energy.

Be sure to tell you doctor all you symptoms/problems/concerns. Once I was getting a treatment at the doctor's office. Felt a bladder infection coming on while getting my treatmebt. Was going to make an appointment with my primary Dr. at home. Mentioned this to my chemo doctor, she looked at me and said, it's not a bladder infection, but rather a yeast infection (guess there common on chemo, I never had one before, but have had bladder infections), anyway, she wrote a script which I filled on the way home, problem was cleared up the next day.

You will get thru this, please check back often, you will find a wonderful support group here, more importantly, you will find other people going thru the same things you are. Many times you will get answers faster than if waiting for the doctor to return your call.

Good luck, if I can help more, let me know

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

Lee
Posts: 5939
Joined: Sun Apr 16, 2006 4:09 pm

Postby Lee » Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:36 pm

P.S.

It is rare to lose all your hair on this type of chemo. It wll probably thin out alot, mine turned into a mass of frizzy hair (due to breaking mid way), but I still had tons of hair. My hair came back when I finished chemo.

Lee
rectal cancer - April 2004
46 yrs old at diagnoses
stage III C - 6/13 lymph positive
radiation - 6 weeks
surgery - August 2004/hernia repair 2014
permanent colostomy
chemo - FOLFOX
NED - 10 years and counting!

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Aug 17, 2006 10:40 pm

Thanks for responding so fast. I'm glad that I found this web site. I will start chemo on the Aug. 21. I am just so scared of getting the chemo. Dr said stage 2. I'll let you know how things turn out. Thanks again.

Becca
Posts: 63
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:08 am
Location: Mechanicsburg, PA
Contact:

Postby Becca » Thu Aug 17, 2006 11:14 pm

I was just reading your post & thought that I may be able to add to what Lee said. I am a stage IV survivor. I also kept myself very well hydrated during treatment. I could'nt stomache the Ensure, so I would drink Carnation Instant Breakfast instead. The small meals really helped a lot. It kinda reminded me of the first trimester of my pregnancy, to be honest with you! Just hang in there. It does get kinda rough...you'll be more tired than you ever thought possible. My husband used to joke with me about growing roots on the couch since that was where I spent most of my time. (When I was'nt running to the bathroom or sleeping!) I'm currently facing a possible 2nd round of chemo, and I'm not scared ONE BIT!! Think of it as a minor setback. After my 1st round was over I was feeling good again within 10 days. That was amazing to me because by the end of treatment I felt like ASS all the time. Just hang in there!! I was terrified when I started treatment. My baby was only 9 months old & I feared the worst. Cancer & chemo has taught me that I'm a hell of a lot tougher than I ever imagined was possible. You can do this!!!!!! :lol:

Upbeat

Don't Worry, Be Happy

Postby Upbeat » Fri Aug 18, 2006 1:57 pm

I have my 6th round of chemo next week and am one of those people who is not having many side effects. I am working fulltime while receiving treatment. I receive treatment from Tuesday until Thursday and take Tuesday off of work. On Wednesday and Thursday, I go straight home for coach potato time. My sister cooks dinner or I order out and pop in a movie. I'm usuallly feeling back to normal on Saturday and spend the day outside and the evening out with friends. In addition, I have not lost any weight. As a matter of fact, I keep gaining it. I'm a 30 year old female and hoped I'd keep some weight off after surgery!!!

I try to make chemo less scary and more fun but doing little things. For example, I go shopping and treat myself to a gift while they are mixing my concoction. In addition, my friends created a chemo calender with drawers full of gifts, cards, pictures, etc. Each time I have chemo, I get to open a drawer with something special inside. You should suggest something similiar to your family or friends. Incentivized chemo? It works for me!

I'm sure you've heard this before and I totally agree that keeping a positive attitude and trying to maintain a normal lifestyle while getting treatment helps mentally and physically.








I keep a very upbeat and positive attitude towards my cancer and treatment. keep telling yourself you will not get sick and I honestly think it helps.


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