First chemo tomorrow--tips, suggestions, cautions?
I'll do my first chemo tomorrow (Mon 4/24)–modified FOLFIRINOX, with all the additional meds and the infusion pump coming home with me for a couple of days afterward. I've been told that because I did well during chemo for ovarian back in 2007, I should do well with this. But I admit I'm nervous. I've already packed a bag with stuff to take with us, and I am going to try icing during oxaliplatin (I'd really like to minimize cold neuropathy in my mouth and throat). For those of you who've done this chemo regimen, are there any tips, suggestions or cautions you might share to make things easier? I'd appreciate hearing them. Thank you in advance!
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My palliative staff put me on round the clock meds for nausea-starting the morning before treatment started. He had me alternate Zofran and Phenergan every 4 hours. I set my alarm at night and took the meds around the clock for the first 3-4 days. It really helped make the chemo tolerable.
Also-if your appetite drops, I found Fairlife PROTEIN drinks much more tolerable than Ensure and the other options out there.
Finally–don't get worked up about all the side effects listed. Everyone is different and you may not experience the same as others. Chemo sucks, but you seem positive and your overall health is otherwise good so you may do just fine. 🙂
Good luck today!! Keep us posted on your progress when you are able!
You will do fine Keep a positive attitude and remember to ask for anti nausea meds before treatment begins. This is a very good chemo and hopefully does the job of reducing the tumor Thinking about you Let us know how everything worked out today the 24th. Rest up afterward and do not touch anything cold
I hope all went well. I had modified Folferinox for six months recently. The Zofran helped a great deal with nausea. I had a lot of heartburn controlled mostly with OTC meds. The pump was inconvenient for sure. The peripheral neuropathy has stayed with me, even with ceasing Oxaliplatin at the 10th treatment. Fatigue has been consistent as well. Everyone reacts differently. Best wishes.
In a strange way I say congratulations! It felt so good to me to know I was DOING something and this is a treatment many find successful! I did 14 rounds. My suggestions:
Ask for a bag of fluids on the day they pull the pump.
Watch out for constipation with nausea meds-just be prepared with Miralax .
I took odansetron the first night to sleep as long as possible. Couldn’t take beyond that.
Work hard to get protein any way you can. Drinks, beans, Greek yogurt, etc.
My husband brought me chick Fil a chicken soup on my chemo days!
Prepare for hair loss.
If you have bone pain or body aches take a Claritin.
Talk to nurses about any side effects, they are angels in all of this.
Listen to music, read, watch tv while in chemo and try to stay awake so you can REALLY sleep tonight!! Please let us know how it goes. Cheering you on! It’s strong stuff but it works!!!!
Thanks to you all! I survived in OK shape. The MD reduced the dosage to 80% of standard because of my age (70). I don't look like I'm 70 (not yet anyway, haha), so he was going to order the full dosage, but didn't after he reviewed my file. He said the full dose was tested on patients in their 50s and might be too strong and pose too many complications for older patients. He said this regimen leads to as much as 10% hospitalization due primarily to infections, so if we can keep me out of the hospital, I'm OK with that lower dose as long as we can keep hammering away overall. I do have some cold neuropathy in my fingers–it comes and goes. I definitely have stomach acid; some Tums and finally eating a breakfast with (lukewarm) milk helped. Still taking only Tylenol for discomfort. I didn't really sleep well until after 2 a.m. when I took a Tylenol blast. My sleep is weird, so that wasn't out of character. I'm keeping up with Zofran and have had no vomiting or diarrhea. Among the anti-nausea meds they infused is Emend, which is a long-lasting medication, effective for 2 days or so. On Wednesday we'll remove the infusion pump, and I'll return Thursday for the blood-boosting injection. Onward!!! Yes, it is good to finally get started.
My side effects were pretty tolerable and I credit getting twice a week acupuncture as well as other meds. Less fatigue and less nausea than expected and almost no neuropathy either during treatment or after treatment. My oncologist and his nurse were very supportive of the acupuncture as there is ample evidence to support its benefit during chemo. I also worked with a naturopath for supplements, cleared through my oncologist, that I also think really helped minimize my side effects. Compazine worked the best for nausea. I did not use cryotherapy. Hope this is helpful. Beth
My husband's first two rounds of Folfironox created minimal issues. He started having diarrhea after the 3rd round and nausea – impacting his ability to eat and drink. He became dehydrated and spent last night in the hospital getting rehydrated. His dehydration had caused his blood pressure to drop below the low level. This made him light headed and very unsteady on his feet. It sounds like everyone has a different experience on this drug though. My recommendation is to drink tons of liquids and make sure many include electrolytes. I am not a fan of Gaterade due to its very high sugar content. We are currently using Enterade which I buy off the web. Just don't let yourself get dehydrated, it is very easy to get IVs of hydration – probably from your Oncologist's office. It is worth the time to avoid the dangers of dehydration. BTW – with the hydration provided at the hospital – he is feeling ALOT better now and actuallly just ate something.
Glad your husband is feeling better today! We have a little experience with dehydration–not with me, but with our son. When he was younger, he had a couple of viral illnesses where he dehydrated rapidly. One we were able to manage on our own with fluids. The other, we took him to the pediatric ER, where they gave him a couple of bags. The nurse described it as "watering the plant!" I am working to keep up fluids, but I can tell it's very easy to dehydrate. Unfortunately, I can't have smoothies right now due to the cold neuropathy, but hopefully that'll rectify itself by the end of the week. Meanwhile, it's water and ginger ale, which our RN daughter recommends.
I forgot to mention that my oncologist absolutely recommended against icing. We had done some research and were going to try it in an effort to ward off cold neuropathy in my mouth and throat. He said it was a "horrible idea." His reasoning was, first, that the studies were not properly conducted and were conducted on patients who were not PC patients. He said they were really more anecdotal than scientifically based. As a result, he said given how painful icing can be, it wasn't worth trying to avoid the neuropathy. He said it would rectify itself with 2-3-5 days (his description). I hope that's true. I drink a lot more when the fluid is cold(er).