Posted 10/3/2018 8:14 AM (GMT -7)
When I did chemotherapy with Docetaxel (TAXOTERE), I had never heard of the "ice" method that my oncologist recommended to me.
For those that don't know exactly what this entails, it's quite simple ... during the infusion process, you are given a cup full of chipped ice. You chew on the ice chips DURING the infusion process, with the idea that this can potentially alleviate damage to your taste buds.
In my experience, my sense of taste remained intact. A friend of mine forgot to ask for the ice chips during one of his chemo infusions, and then said he went to a Mexican restaurant a few days later, and felt he had lost his sense of taste. From that point forward, for the rest of his infusions, he ALWAYS asked for ice chips, once again.
It was easy to do ... and I figured I had nothing to lose, and everything to gain. The ice chips were recommended by my oncologist and all of the chemotherapy nurses. No harm, no foul, in asking for ice chips ... can't hurt, might help!
In my case, a large ZIPLOC bag filled with ice cubes was placed on my lap. Again, during the infusion process, they asked me to rest my hands on the ice bags, as much as I could. Their intent was to prevent neuropathy from occuring in my fingers, down the road.
Again, I felt I had nothing to lose, and everything to gain.
The same was done for my feet ... a towel was placed upon the floor ... and a couple of ZIPLOCK ice bags were placed at my feet ... they asked me to remove my shoes, and rest my feet on the ice bags, as much as possible ... with the intention of potentially avoiding neuropathy in my feet and toes.
Some clinics provide "ice mitts" that can be worn during the infusion process. This seems to be standard practice in some hospitals, but not necessarily the practice in other hospitals.
No matter what, it's worth a conversation with your oncologist, if you are going to start a course of chemotherapy. If nothing else, having a cup of ice chips to chew on during the infusion process might help preserve your sense of taste --- again, no harm, no foul, in trying this method.
I had six infusions of TAXOTERE, given three weeks apart, and this "ice" method was part of each and every one of my infusions.
It's good to keep sharing our experiences ... that's how we learn from each other, as brothers and comrades.
With my best,
CYCLONE ~ Iowa State University