Thank You Lori,
Somehow that makes me feel better. I can be normal or sort of normal. I have a 5 year old daughter who will take a lot of my energy. She very scared about me losing my hair, she is afraid she won't recognize me. I bought a wig and put it on for her but she is still worried. Gosh what a worry bug family we are. On the other hand I have an eight year old son who thinks it's funny that his mom will be bald!!
Yes, there is a very good chance that you can have a very normal life during chemo! I need to clarify though, that I have no kids and just had myself to take care of. Your kids will take some energy, but if you set your mind up that you can do it, it will help you lots. You may want to even let the kids sleep away the first night or 2 just to see how you feel, or arrange for a friend to come and hang out to help. Don't expect to need help, but prepare for it just in case...my advice, anyway.
I made up my mind that I was not going to feel sick, since the cancer never made me sick, why should I let the chemo take my health away? Sounds funny, but I was determined to keep a normal routine. The hair loss was traumatic for a day or so, but like everything else, you buck up and carry on...you will be amazed at the strength you have, it blew me away that I could get through it. You may let your daughter help shave your head when the time comes....let her take an active role and see you go from having hair to being bald, so it won't be a total shock. There are others here with kids who can help with advice on how to work with them and hair. I have heard of some moms who let their kids draw on their heads to make it more fun.
You will get through this, we'll help you. One other thing, don't just sit and suffer! If you have any side effects that are hard to tolerate, talk to the doc or RN about it, they usually have something to counter the side effects.
Hi Judy! Wow, I remember how frightened I was the week/night before my first treatment. I discovered that the fear and anticipation was worse than most of the side effects. I am a little odd but I ate McDonald's breakfast before each of my treatments and didn't get sick. I remember that the first time they gave my bendryl as a premed it totally knocked me out. Slept forever. lol I usually didn't sleep for the first 24 hrs after my treatment. The streiod premeds would keep me up. It was amazing all of the work that I accomplished during that time. I never threw up and wasn't constipated (just the opposite for me) I did learn to listen to my body and rest when it told me to. Judy, there is a med for almost every side effect that you might experience. Just don't be afraid to ask.
My dd and granddaughters lived w/ me when I was first diagnosed. When I had my head shaved, I showed my granddaughter. She looked at me, rubbed my head and said, "Nana, it's not bad but just wear your hat when my friends come over". lol I discovered that my family and friends accepted my baldness in the same manner that I did.
Hang in there. It really won't be as bad as anticipated. Remember, you have lots of friends here that will walk beside you on this journey.
Thanks so much everyone, your stories are really helpful and comforting.
Hi Katt! Like Lori said, the side effects are different for each person. I never threw up. I was never constipated..just the oppositie. One thing to remember is that there is a med for each side effect that you will experience. Don't be afraid to call your onoc and ask for something to help you. You will receive premeds, usually IV, before the chemo is started. Usually at least one of these will be a steriod. I think that one side effect that each of us can say we have in common is weight gain. Also, the first night I didn't sleep. I was awake for about 24 hrs. A side effect from the steriod. I sure got lots of work done during that 24 hr period but when I crashed, I crashed hard and slept for quite awhile.
The most important thing to remember is to learn to "listen to your body". It will tell you what it needs.