was the first chemo drug i was put on. I had to have this every 3 weeks for 4 sessions.
This one took 3 months
I found this one to be really tough.
I ended up spending 5 days in hospital in isolation after 2 weeks due to infection that i caught from somewhere.
Things i learned
You go in to the day stay unit where everyone is in a big room it is quite scary but everyone is really friendly. the nurse comes over to talk you through everything and go over all the drugs you have to do they check your name and birth date. then they hook you up with your iv line which goes in your hand. this first chemo takes around 3-4 hours because they want to keep an eye on you and talk you through everything Before this happens you have had your meeting with your oncology Doctor I recommend that you go check out where chemo is held because the first one is scary you have no idea what to expect.
this one you have 2 types of chemo together and then you have lots of fluid to flush it through.
Your immune system and white blood cells go up and down they go down after chemo then they go up but what they didn't tell me was they go back down again around the second week.
I found smells and sounds over powering they were over exaggerated that i couldn't stand perfume or the smell of food cooking.
I just slept for the first few days after chemo.
by the third week i was feeling OK again only to have to go back in and do it all over again.
I thought i was going to work while doing chemo but after being in isolation and getting delayed for a week i decided that my health was worth more and that i didn't want to delay any more that i had to i just wanted to get on with it so i stopped work.
I started to lose my hair around the 2nd week. Make sure you have a hat to wear to bed as your head will get cold.
I wanted foods with lots of salt so lots of potato and gravy. or i would put salt on everything just so i could have some kind of taste of something.
drink as much as you can i had so many bottles of different juices, water, fizzy because i would open one it would be good then i would go to get it again and not want to drink it. But you need to keep your fluids up no mater what to flush out the chemicals.
Everything tasted the same and you get a nice thick coating of something in your mouth that doesn't go away.
I made a batch of half baking soda and salt in a jar and just added a teaspoon to hot water and rinsed my mouth a few times a day. staying away from any mouth wash that had alcohol in it as it drys out your mouth more.
The steroids getting used to them and then coming off them is fun you can get quite moody and emotional but this is OK.
Its OK to spend days in bed.
I found that my veins like to run away so before chemo, so drink water and i always head up with a hot water bottle on my hand to warm it up and get the veins out.
Don't be afraid to talk to people at chemo, other people are going through the same feelings as you, you ll find that they are more that willing to help and are more than willing to talk to you i was quite lucky i made some good friends at chemo and it was never boring we tried to make chemo fun, well as fun as it can be.
As i was going through all this lot of chemo i found the side effects lasted longer each time i had it and I started to get anxious before i would go up. I got some Lorazepam which helped to calm me down.
Always ask and talk about things nothing is stupid.
And i always had anti- bacterial hand sanitiser in my bag and car and by my bed and i used it constantly you ll be amazed how many people sneeze and cough when out and then touch everything.
you just have to do what you can to keep your self healthy.
I stayed away from sick people as much as i could Even if someone had just a runny nose.
you get used to what you can and cant do pretty fast.
Paclitaxelmy 2nd lot of chemo
This one i have every week for 12 weeks
I found this lot to be allot easier apart from again the first 2 lots because with this one there is a high chance of having an allergic reaction so the first 2 times you have this you have to sit on a bed and be monitored.
The side effects for this lot were muscle ache and numbness of hands and feet along with other things.
I found That hot baths and wheat packs were amazing and a electric blanket.
For the numbness in my hands and feet i was lucky to only have this very mild but i kept my hands moving by doing crochet most nights. but i found i was allot more clumsier with my hands burning and cutting them allot more than usual.
one of the weird things that happened to me was that i had this mechanical thing going on i had no warning if i was going to throw up it just happened if my feet were going to go numb i would stand up and nearly fall over quite funny but weird. thankfully his didn't happen very often.
Also the taste thing the thick coating went away but there was a taste in your mouth that was always there some foods set it off more than others but it was always there no mater what you ate or drank eventually it all tasted the same. Everything taste wise was really dull and some of my favorite foods like hummus i couldn't eat because it just tasted wrong.
I found that some times i wanted to stay in bed other days i wanted to get out and do stuff.
My hair started to slowly grow back throughout this chemo but i decided to shave it off again as it was growing back patchy in the hope that it would grow back more even.
so after 6 months of treatment one to go 16 lots of chemo it is quiet weird how fast it becomes apart of your routine. especially the once a week one. It has gone really fast but it has gone really slow.
I have had some great times and some shit times. but you just gotta pick yourself up and keep going. get through it any way you can. try to smile but if you feel like crying or yelling do that as well. turn the music on loud and dance around the house.
But all in all you can listen to what other people went through but everyone is different and everyone reacts differently. my advice to you is do what is right for you take it day by day and don't be afraid to say No. put yourself first and if you don't feel like doing anything don't.
I chose to not have a lot of my family around me as much as i love them it would of been to much to have them here worrying.
take any help that anyone is willing to offer. Do what is right for you and if it doesn't work change it. stay in your pj's all day and watch good movies.
Do things that make you laugh.
don't be afraid to ring your nurse for any questions.
I found the steroids to be the hardest part the fluid build up some mornings i would wake up and my face would be so puffy and tight but over the day it would slowly go down a bit. Along with the 3 nights where i was lucky to get 3-4 hours sleep due to having to have the steroids. i found its amazing what you can get done in 24hours when you only sleep a few. but also on the other hand because i was awake for hours and at home and then at home sometimes during the day i found i felt quite stuck In a rut and needed to get out of the house even if just for a drive just to do something different.