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    chemo side effects variables
    marafaust5 posted:
    I am curious about the variability of the side effects of the chemo. i was told that they were different each time and just because i handled it well this first round it does not necessarily mean that i will handle it well this time also. I did have some diarrhea, lightheadedness, but nothinig i could not handle, thank the lord. But I want to know how accurate it is that i may have worst (nausea, vomiting, passing out,weakness) ones. I can handle them, but i hate the ideda of putting my family though nasty stuff.
    DiKay1024 responded:
    It is true that effects of chemo vary from treatment to treatment, but the first one is usually a pretty good indication of how you will react. The meds they prescribe along with the chemo, to control side effects, can be tweaked as you go to help with things like nausea, pain, blood counts, etc. Some of the side effects do tend to be cummulative--get worse with each infusion--especially the fatigue and lack of energy. I found I just had to resign myself to sitting around all day as I didn't have the energy to be up and moving. This was very hard for me as I'm used to being on the go constantly! I got lots of reading done! On the other hand I know of others who worked all through chemo, and with allowing for a little extra rest time and a nap now and then were able to continue with a pretty normal routine. I like your "I can handle it" attitude! That's a big help--Just keep crossing the days off the calendar and knowing the end of treatment is in sight, even if it seems a long way off.

    I hope you continue to have a relatively easy time of it! Good luck--keep us posted as to how you're doing.

    Blessings, Di
    marafaust5 replied to DiKay1024's response:
    Thanks how about being hungry...i get really bad when i don't eat get lightheaded and stuff is that normal too? I know that there are times when your body is getting back to normal and needs more calories, but wow, yesterday I nearly passed out from the need to eat. Today, I'm having a high caloric intake since my next infusion is on Wenesday and I am cautious about the diarrhea i got last time I want to make sure I have a strong stomach this time. Last time I screwed up and had milk with my steroids bad mistake. Lactose intolerance made its appearance. I know it is common to gain weight, but I have lost 4 pounds since my first infusion because of the bathroom issue. I am able to work at home my boss allowed me to teach online so i'm pretty happy that i don't have to do on short term disablity.I should stop, i can't stop chatterboxing. No one else understands though. It is nice to find a place that has people who do.
    judyfams replied to marafaust5's response:
    I am on the cytoxan taxotare chemo combo and have had 4 rounds with 2 more to go. My only side effects are extreme fatigue and hair loss. I am 67 and have had rheumatoid arthritis sine I was 36, but that is not affected by the chemo.

    I make sure to drink plenty of liquids especially water and tea, and eat plenty of lean protein and fruits and vegetables every 2 or 3 hours. I especially eat lots of watermelon - it is my favorite fruit. I keep hard boiled eggs around as well as yogurt and peanut butter on saltines. When the lack of energy becomes a problem I have Ensure in the fridge. I know you are lactose intolerant so some of these things will not work for you. But you will figure out what you need.

    I make sure to rest a lot - do all my laundry and food shopping the day or two before chemo so there is nothing pressing that has to be tended to for 4 or 5 days after the chemo. I make sure to eat every 2 or 3 hours, drink plenty of liquids, and rest whenever I feel tired. I also try to get some exercise in when I can without pushing myself.

    I have gotten myself into what I call a "chemo routine" that works for me since I am divorced and my children are married with family and careers and are not available to help me during the week. I therefore had to develop a routine that works for me as I don't want to keep asking friends.

    For me the chemo is doable and I am tolerating it well and I think it has to do with my "new" eating habits- no fast food, no spicy, greasy food, no candy or junk food - mostly organic fruits and vegetables and lean protein sources. This works for me! Wish I had taken such good care of myself 30 years ago!!!!!!

    Good luck to you and I wish you no ill side effects as you face your chemo journey.

    marafaust5 replied to judyfams's response:
    Thanks Judy. I am starting to see that this is a routine. I feel pretty good right now and I get nervous of any tiny amount scratching on my body as a problem, even make sure I wear the mosquito repellant and floss as carefully as possibly, one time i did mess up and freaked totally, i have no idea how bad is bad, I think i will need to get some anxiety pills prescribed since i think i'm kind of anxious. I know that my blood count is up now, my body temp is back up to normal unlike last week that was in the tanker. Will have to get on either Neulesta or the other one. I have heard pain issues involved, but I would prefer that than getting an infection.
    judyfams replied to marafaust5's response:
    I have been on the Neulasta shot since the first chemo and only experienced some joint pain the day after I received the shot. I took Aleve for that day and it helped greatly with the pain and the pain dissapated by the second day after the shot.

    I just think if you take good care of yourself by eating healthy and getting rest you will be better able to suffer fewer and lesser chemo side effects.

    Good luck and please keep us informed.

    marafaust5 replied to judyfams's response:
    thank you so much. I really appreciate all the help. I have so much anxiety, but i know that it will be okay logically. Logically i know that i can really make it, but it is hard to get through it especially when i can't sleep.
    DiKay1024 replied to marafaust5's response:
    Hi Judy!

    Please do talk to your doc about your anxiety and problems sleeping. They can prescribe some mild meds temporarily to help. You deserve all the help you can get to cope with all that's happening, and a good nights sleep will make things easier.

    Hang in there, and keep us posted!

    Blessings, Di
    marafaust5 replied to DiKay1024's response:
    Thanks Di. I will see him tomorrow. I would like to thank you for this info so much. Thank you.
    mmtr1 replied to judyfams's response:

    stayinpositive replied to mmtr1's response:

    finished chemo almost a year ago. what I have found that lingers is the fatigue. but I am trying to continue activity despite it.

    during chemo it is good to drink lots of water the days before the infusion. 8 glasses throughout the day will help with the gross feeling of it all.

    don't refuse to take a zofran for nausea before hand, if you have already experienced even a little nausea. it isn't worth it. nipping it before hand is the best remedy.

    i could only eat fruit when I was on chemo. I had no appetite for food. also, it is a good idea to eat well when you can, don't deny yourself any foods.

    The neulasta for me caused severe bone pain, but not eveyone gets that.

    MMRT1 is right. the claritinD works, it helps. The chemos stack onto each other like a house of cards; the more you get, the stronger it feels, but days 5-8 after the infusion seemed to be the most painful, then it gets better. Just rest and listen to your body; eat when hungry, sleep when tired. take an ativan for anxiety (also works as anti-nausea).

    Be careful with the pain killers--they are constipating which is so painful when you are weak. I ate a lot of canteloupe.

    I hope this helps anyone out there going through this. stay strong.
    wjhille replied to stayinpositive's response:
    Hi, I am new to this website. I have just finished my second chemo yesterday and go back in this morning for IV fluids and Neulasta shot. Fluids because I was so so sick on first round. The whole, severe vomiting, diarrhea, severe joint and body pain and stomach cramps. I had fever and chills the whole nine yards. However, they believe I might have concurrently had a viral infection because several of my family came down with a stomach virus right after my treatment. So am praying that this round won't be so tough. Have heard lots of different stories about how each treatment will go. Even one of my nurses said, since the first was so bad, then maybe #2,3,4 won't be. Then others said, it will probably follow and be the same.???? I lost my hair at 1 1/2 weeks after first chemo. I am positive, much more than I thought I could be, but my whole family, my husband 4 grown children and their families have rallied around me and all my friends and church community are praying for me and for all of us...Wow what a boost. I am 61 and feeling sorry for myself ceases quickly when I see the little children on the St. Jude programs and what they must endure along with their families. I know God has a plan...I just have to trust he will help me and others through it.. Commenting on the pain meds...I can't take strong ibuprofen worked well for me for my joint and body pain. I was on zofran and it works during the "non-severe" symptoms, but also used compazin, ativan, and decadron help alleviate them when it was severe. I am on the cytoxan-taxotere combo chemo and will have 4 rounds. Hope all of you are doing well and have successful and complete recoveries.
    judyfams replied to wjhille's response:
    I too was on cytoxan/taxotere last year for 6 rounds three weeks apart.
    My doctor gave me strong oral steroids that I took the day before and the day after chemo and IV steroids was one of the infusion bags. My infusion consisted of a steroid, an anti-nausea, cytoxan and lastly the taxotere (in that order) as that is the strongest chemo drug with the most severe side effects.
    And the neulasta shot the day after chemo.
    I was 67 at the time I had chemo and tolerated it very well.
    ake sure you drink lots of water after chemo.
    See how you fare with your 2nd round. Before that round build up your strength by eating lots of lean protein, fruits and vegetables and drink lots of fluids and water.
    Hopefully this time it was the viral infection and not the chemo that made you so sick!
    Everybody does react differently to chemo - but try to have a positive attitude as that goes a long way with all the bc treatments.
    Much good luck to you,
    Sandympd replied to mmtr1's response:
    I don't know what kind of shot I'm getting tomorrow, but the nurse told me to bring Claritin as well. She said it works a lot better than Benadryl. Sandy
    brcansur replied to Sandympd's response:
    hello and welcome the shot you could be getting could be neulasta it is used to build up your blood counts and help you from getting sick.It helps build your immunity back up after a chemo treatment. I had these shots myself I would get my chemo on a weds and then the shot on fri. They would say to take a Claritin because it helped with the side effects of the shot. Like the bone pain and achyness it feels like a very very bad case of the flu after the shot. I also found that the more you get up and move around the faster it gets through your body and better you feel. So iwould get up and walk to the bathroom or kitchen then back to my chase and lay back down every hour or so. It cut the time of feeling flu like from 7 days to 3 days. Some people don't get any reaction from the shot when they take the claritin so I am crossing my fingers and hoping that would be you no side effects for you. Wishing you all the best and a great day and rest of the week angel hugs Roberta,
    I hope this has help you some.

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