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Chemo begins 12/11 Chemo begins 12/11

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Unread 12-12-2003, 04:55 AM
12 hours post chemo #1

I felt pretty good all evening... just a little "weird". Probably not unusual consider the drug contails I went through.

I was given dexamethasone 12 and 6 hours prior to chemo and at the begininng of the session. This was to fight any reaction to the Taxol which I was told is suspended in a peanut oil type derivative. I've never taken steroids before and they did make me kindof jittery. My chemo nurse suggested I ask my doc for ativan to counteract that and to help me sleep the night before and after chemo. When I asked about that I got the response that they don't like to prescribe ativan unless you NEED it.

For nausea I also got a starter of Zofran in the IV... was told that was good for 12 hours. Then I got 12 tabs of Zofran with instructions to take 1 every 8 hours starting at 10pm for 3 days. I also have a back-up of compadine [?] and was told to call if that wasn't giving me relief. They may then have me take more of the steroid to help.

I was curious how others have been taking the Zofran. I happened to read the info packet that came with the box and it said to place the tab on your tongue and let it dissolve before swallowing the saliva. If I hadn't read the small print I wouldn't have known that. Is everyone else taking it this way or just swallowing it like other pills. It tastes pretty bad so I could imagine that if I was already feeling nauseous that wouldn't be very pleasant.

So I'm up tonight at 3:15 cause I still feel jittery and "weird". Not exactly sick... but like my body can tell there is something going on it hasn't experienced before and I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop so to speak. I'm wondring what others experience has been as far as feeling ill in the days after chemo. When do you start really feeling bad?

Thank goodness I have this place to come to for answers. What a blessing you all are!

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Unread 12-12-2003, 05:54 AM
Chemo begins 12/11


You can cross that first chemo off the list now.

It is really important to take all the meds. that you are given usually for the 3 days after a chemo. I take Dexamethasone (which, according to my notes, is a generic of Decadron), and Navoban to control any post chemo vomiting (which I've never had, thanks to them!). Whichever one is the steroid, it makes my face a little bit swollen, but that passes in a couple of days.

And, if you get constipated, it is one thing that many of us experience after a chemo. The night of the day that I have had a chemo, I now always take Senokot , or Senna Lax, a laxative, to help things get moving. But, I checked this first with my gyn/onc. Other hyster sisters have said that a stool softener is what is recommended for them, though.

And, do not feel quilty about resting! You are quite right when you say "that your body can tell there is something going on that it hasn't experienced before".

Unread 12-12-2003, 07:52 AM
You are a blessing!

What a blessing you are to me, Limbo!
Today I will be halfway through my radiation treatments and then next will be chemo. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I appreciate the detailed "play by play" you are giving us about how your chemo is going.
When I saw you on last night right after your chemo, I about fell over.....I guess I have these visions of me being like a "wet noodle" that my family will have to carry around on a stretcher for at least a week each time.
Please keep giving info, knowledge is power throughout this whole rotten ordeal.
What was your diagnosis? stage and grade?

<admin snip of email address for privacy/safety--please use email button>
I definitely do not want to miss any of your messages!

Many blessings to you,
nancy j.
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Unread 12-12-2003, 10:53 AM
Chemo begins 12/11


I sent you an email with more detail about my diagnosis and staging issues. You may not recognize the email address so watch for it. If you're anything like me I often delete things from addresses I don't recognize.
Unread 12-12-2003, 01:23 PM
Chemo begins 12/11

Hi, Limbo!

I also took (and continue to take) Deximethizone (spelling?), or Decadron. I took a lot more when I was undergoing high-dose chemo, and sleep was very difficult. I did eventually get an Ativan prescription. I also smoked marijuana for the first three treatments, which helped with the sleep, the nausea and the pain.

You can get Colase (stool softener) over the counter without a prescription. Take one in the morning and one at night, and start the day before chemo. You could probably even take one mid-day. Chemo really constipates you -- in a painful sort of way. So anticipate that, and take the stool softener. I could not manage laxatives; they hurt my bowel too much. The stool softeners worked much better for me.

I took the steroid, Tagamet (to prevent ulcerts from the steroids) and Anzemet (which is similar to Zofran). The Anzemet instructions say *do not break or chew*, so I was sure to always swallow the pills whole. I still take all three meds the morning of chemo, since I'm doing low-dose chemo right now.

Congratulations on making it through your first treatment! You will probably feel a little worse tomorrow, and then your worst the next day. But then you will start to climb out of it. I never did find anything to really help with the bone pain. An electric blanket was comforting, but it didn't really help the bone pain itself. Advil didn't work. Ativan didn't work. Oh, well.

The marvelous thing about the human body is its ability to forget pain. I was in a lot of pain earlier this year, for many months. But now . . . I seem to have blocked it out a bit. Thankfully!

I am happy to be here and alive. I wish you the very best of luck with your chemo!

Unread 12-12-2003, 01:31 PM
Chemo begins 12/11

Hi Limbo,

AH yes the dreaded steroids... Not really soo bad.. I also was given a script for them to be taken, I believe, the night before. However, I still had a reaction to the taxol during the treatment, they had to give me more steriods, and then continue with the taxol.

The only good news is that once you have a first reaction to the taxol, if you even do, you will never have another one. In fact, I did not have to take the steriods at home any more. The gave them to me the day of the treatment with all the other pre meds.

Keep in touch.

Unread 12-12-2003, 02:36 PM
Chemo begins 12/11

Bummer, Siren, I was hoping this was as bad as it gets. Sorry to hear it's still downhill. At least the Zofran is doing it's job and I'm not yet constipated. My doc recommended Milk of Mag for that and it's doing the trick. I'm also taking stool softeners.

Can anyone give me some insight as to how you handle the days when your immunity is at it's lowest? I expect that to happen right around Christmas Eve and I have plans to travel to a family get together out of town where children are likely to be present. Do I need to freak out about being around sick kids, etc.?
Unread 12-12-2003, 03:02 PM
Chemo begins 12/11

Hi again limbo,

I guess I was always lucky and am the exception to the rule. I took everyday as it came and did not get uptight about the colds of everyone etc. I just politely stayed away from anyone who seemed not to be feeling well and tried to avoid alot of kissing.

Anyone with any sense at all would not come into direct contact with if they were ill.

Enjoy the holidays.

Unread 12-13-2003, 01:40 PM
Chemo begins 12/11

Rosalie, just before I left for the DR yesterday I read one of your posts when I was at the Oncologist yesterday a patient came in and the nurses said HI ROSALIE and I just turned to a complete stranger and said HI ROSALIE and thought of you! It would be very strange if it turned out to be you. I was a MSKCC in Rockville Ctr. yesterday any chance it was you?
Unread 12-13-2003, 04:05 PM
Chemo begins 12/11

Hi Helen...

Sorry, was not me although Rosalie is not a very common name now a days.

All of my doctors and my treatments are at North Shore Hospital in Manhasset. I do live in Massapequa so we are kinda neighbors.

Who knows, maybe we really will run into each other some day.


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