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Chemo - What Happens? Chemo - What Happens?

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  #1  
Unread 04-13-2005, 03:11 PM
Chemo - What Happens?

I will be starting my first round of Taxol/carbo administered by IV at the hospital on Tuesday and am wondering about the more practical things when it comes to sitting around for 6 hours getting the infusion.

Can you sleep, eat, drink? Do you get bathroom breaks? Is it comfortable enough to be able to do needlework, or should I take a book?

Did anyone have any effects from taking dexamethasone before the treatment? I have to take it at 4 AM, and the nurse indicated that it keeps some people awake.

I have to go for an orientation session, but am wondering what to expect. I am not a very patient patient, so I really need to know how to prepare for all this sitting around.

Thanks for your input.
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  #2  
Unread 04-13-2005, 03:34 PM
Chemo - What Happens?

Hi number 9,

I'm sorry you are going to have to be going thru chemo but from my experience it really is quite doable. I was able to read, play game boy, write in my journal, do crossword puzzles, eat, drink, sleep...watch tv, etc etc etc. As long as the IV doesn't bother your hands, I can't see why you couldn't do needlework.

I packed a bag full of stuff to keep me busy and also a cooler with lunch, snacks, and drinks.

My IV was hooked up to a rolling pole, so I could walk around to stretch my legs, use the bathroom, and visit other chemo patients.

I definetly did have an insomnia reaction to the dex, so later on in my chemos I took Zofran to head off any nausea.

It wasn't the way I'd prefer to spend my days, but since I was there, knowing how important it was that I WAS there, it wasn't so bad

Best of luck to you! I hope your experience is as relatively easy as mine ..and many other sisters here...was.

xoxo
K9
  #3  
Unread 04-13-2005, 03:41 PM
Chemo - What Happens?

Number9

Yes you can eat, sleep, read, do needle work, go to the bathroom.

My chemo center had drinks and snack foods so if I wanted more, I brought it. This would be something to find out when you go to your orientation.

I also had a choice between the comfortable chairs they had or a bed. I went with the chairs, they reclined and had foot rests. Each chair also had a small t.v. You can also take a cd player.

I did not have a problem with the steriods before treatment but I did get jittery the day after. Each person reacts differently though.

I had my orientation just before the first treatment and I was given handouts with all the potential side effects and which ones I would need to seek help about. They also explained all the things I needed to do to help lessen side effects.

Chemo is very doable. The anticipation of the first one is probably more stressful. Not knowing what to expect or how you will react to the chemo, side effects and such.

We are here to help you through it.

s

Jane B
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  #4  
Unread 04-13-2005, 04:54 PM
Chemo

Are you having a port put in? With a port, you have both hands free; otherwise you'll have one tied up with an IV. They should "feed" you in the hospital (I'd bring in something to eat though vs. hospital "food") and you will be able to sleep, rest, read, watch TV, go to the bathroom, etc. You just take the IV with you.

Chemo rooms have recliners and chairside tables. There you can rest or bring a CD player/radio and headphones, or read. I would ask about what they serve--ours only has soda and juice so for a long chemo, I'd suggest bringing along a lumch or snack.

I did have problems with insomnia during the first chemo with the steroid. Don't ask me why, but after I reacted to carbo on my first recurrence I got the same steroid and was just fine.
  #5  
Unread 04-13-2005, 07:23 PM
Chemo - What Happens?

s number 9

Guess I'm the odd ball out here....i had no attention span during the actual infusion. T.V. was about all I could manage. I brought books, etc....but never read them. I was pretty social, up walking around, pushing my pole (i had a port). I wasn't shy to talk to anyone. It's a great group of people and nurses there....

I also had insomnia from the steriods. I told my oncologist about it, and he have me an RX to help me sleep while taking chemo. Everyone reacts different to them.

You will do just fine........it is doable....
  #6  
Unread 04-13-2005, 09:27 PM
Chemo - What Happens?

Thanks for the info everyone!

The thought of being awake from 4 AM if I get insomnia from the steroids really scares me. I hate that surreal, tired but wide awake feeling!

I am more terrified about losing my hair and having to face people than I was about the cancer diagnosis. (call me vain, I know).

Isn't it strange what we worry about at a time like this? I know both of these concerns are minor in the grand scheme of things, but they're what I'm obsessing about.

I will take my water bottle and cd player and some of the many magazines friends keep bringing me, and pretend I'm at the spa for the day.

Thanks for being here, ladies!
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