For most people Chemo isn't as bad as they think it will be. There are so many meds to prevent nausea, etc. Just ask lots of questions, write them down prior to your oncology visit, so you don't forget what you want to quiz the Dr on. Some may be will I get sick, will I lose my hair, what kind of side effects can I expect? How many treatments will I have, how far apart will they be?
I am sure you will think of others, and other ladies may give you suggestions also. We will be with you at your appointment if you like. You will see lots of pink feathers floating around you. Take someone with you to hear the things that you don't hear the Dr say also. Because believe me you won't remember everything he/she tells you. It is always good to have another set of ears or a tape recorder so you can relisten to what you were told.
Good luck and God Bless.
Hi Tammy: Cry and vent away girlfriend. That is why we are all here. To help, support and listen. I can remember when I first talked to my oncologist. I couldn't tell you one word she said other than the number of treatments that I would need. I did take family and friends with me plus a tape recorder.
I was scared to death before my first treatment. The fear of the unknown. I would laugh and joke during the day but lay in bed and not sleep and cry during the night. But, once that first treatment was under my belt, it was okay after that. I knew what to expect. I never did throw up or get constipated (I had the opposite problem) Tammy there are premeds (usually steriods) that they will give you before the chemo to help minimize the side effects. If your oncologist says that you will lose your hair, then go to your beautician and see if he/she can help you get a good looking wig. Insurance will usually pay for it if you use the word "cranial prothesis". The ACS has wigs that are free also. Have this ready for when you want to use it.
Do you have a port? If not, ask your oncologist about one.
Remember, there are lots of us that have gone thru treatment and are here to help you.
Post Edited (debbiR) : 3/24/2005 1:04:18 AM (GMT-7)
Jeremiah 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Hi Tammy. So sorry you have to deal with this. I certainly know your fear. Prior to chemo, I was scared to death. As I made my way to the chemo room, I felt like I was walking to the electric chair. I have to say that it was not near as bad as I was expecting. I was taken to a room that had a lot of big recliners in it. The recliners were filled with other people getting chemo. They took me to my chair and I sat down and got comfortable. The nurses are very compassionate. The nurse took a warm towel and draped it over my arm. After a short time, she came back and started an IV. I can't remember what the premed was. After that was done, she started the chemo. The only thing that I felt, was the initial stick of the IV needle and when they "pushed" the chemo, which we dub "red devil", I felt a warm flush go through my body. Other than that and the fact that you may get a little sleepy, you don't feel any pain or anything. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, before, during and after your treatment, which will help to flush the excess chemo out of the system, helping to eliminate irritable bladder. You will have to tinkle a lot, but they can unhook you and let you walk, rolling your IV pole, to the bathroom. I took a newspaper and a book to read,during treatment. It was over before I knew it. Your doc will give you anti-nausea meds. Be sure to take them on time, every time, even if you do not feel nauseated. It is the meds that are allowing you to feel that you don't need them. If you let the nausea get on top, it will be hard to get rid of it. I worked through my chemo. It is very doable. I lost my hair on day 19, after the first AC. Prior to losing your hair, your scalp will become real sore and tingly. You know that the time is close. You can then choose to buzz it or wait and comb it out. I combed mine out. It wasn't traumatic for me, at all. I just put on a scarf and did my housework. Start looking for wigs , before your treatment, if wigs are what you choose to wear. Some women choose wigs or scarves, some women choose to go natural. Paula Young has nice, inexpensive wigs: www.paulayoung.com If you have further questions, feel free to ask. I wish you well.