Helpful Hints or What I Wish I had Known

Breast Reconstruction

Be sure you see examples of the expanders and implants that will be used in your reconstruction. You would be amazed at what your imagination conjures up!

Get some BodyGlide (phone # 1-425-467-6580) from a running store to sooth sensitive skin. My sensitivity lasted for about two months.

Chemotherapy Helpful Hints to Get Through It

This is what I believe helped me get through chemo with no major side effects. Please check with your doctor to be sure these things are okay for you to do. Everyone is different and reacts differently to chemo treatments.

I have a friend who also went through this with the same type and duration of chemo and she had many more side effects and felt much worse than I did. However, she did not do most of the preventative things that were recommended so………………

  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water two days before and two days after treatment to keep your body hydrated to start with and then to help flush away all the nasties!
  • Take the Zofran beginning the early evening of the chemo treatment and stay on schedule! Don't let the nausea get a foothold.
  • Eat very lightly for the evening of treatment and the next two days. No greasy or spicy anything. Keep soda crackers on hand and nibble on one if it even remotely feels like nausea! Chicken was good, soups, mashed potatoes, Kraft Easy Mac macaroni and cheese if I needed some flavor! I liked Edy's Frozen Lime bars, too, they were soothing and helped provide liquid. If you just can't eat anything be sure to still drink plenty of fluids!
  • If you find the chemo causes constipation, begin the stool softener about four days before the treatment. If I hadn't had a bowel movement by the third day after my chemo treatment, I took Dulcolax to get things moving.
  • I felt bad for about two days after #1, three days after #2, felt really badly after #3 for about 4 days and about five days after #4. I stocked up on movies and just slept as much as possible. I always felt okay the night of the treatment, started to go downhill between 11:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. the next day.
  • Hair began to come out thirteen days to the minute after I finished my first treatment. My advice, shave it off when starts to come out in clumps, I felt so awful about it coming out, was really a devastating experience, and relieved when I shaved it off. If you are planning on wearing a wig, do your wig shopping before your hair starts to come out.
  • Stay out of the kitchen when someone is cooking. The cooking smells really bothered me on my bad days and even for some days after I felt okay. We had a small microwave in the garage in which my hubby cooked.
  • I was "on restriction" for the 10th to the 17th day after my treatments. That time frame can be different for each person, depends on when your nadir (lowest blood counts) occurs. During that time I stayed away from all but family members or people that were around me on a regular basis. No eating out or take out during that time. Also ate no fresh fruit or veggies, canned or frozen instead, to avoid risk of infection. The rest of the time I washed all fruit and veggies thoroughly. They told me to stay away from cantaloupe for the whole time because the skin was too porous.
  • Each morning and evening I brushed my teeth with Biotene toothpaste and at night I use the Biotene mouthwash to prevent mouth sores.
  • I bought a tube of AYR Gel from the pharmacy for when I lost my nose hair, which let my nose become irritated. Very soothing.
  • I used Playtex Personal wipes faithfully, every time I went to the bathroom to prevent any type of infection.
  • I drank 8 ozs. of cranberry juice daily to prevent a urinary tract infection.
  • I got a flu shot on my doctor's recommendation along with my second chemo treatment.
  • I stayed away from anyone who was smoking and my hubby smoked outside.
  • I was fanatical about hand washing with an antibacterial soap.

Does your doctor or hospital offer a New Chemo Patient Seminar? If so, go and be sure to take as many of your family members as possible.

Chemotherapy Tidbits of Info

At the initial visit to doctor and immediately after the first treatment (while still in the treatment room), make them go over what the possible side effects are and what to do about each of them. Write the info down and makes sure it is the same both times! If there is a difference in any of the info make them explain why to YOUR satisfaction. What percentage of people get those specific side effects.

If you get the metallic taste in your mouth, eating with regular silverware makes it worse. Use only plastic utensils if you get that side effect.

Biotene mouthwash and toothpaste are anti-bacterial for combating dry mouth and helping to prevent mouth sores. Purchased at drug store. Tastes good, too!

AYR Nose Gel, available through the pharmacy, will help if your nose hairs go and your nose is dry and sore.


If you choose to have both breasts removed, be sure your insurance will cover both. Sometimes insurance will only cover the breast with the tumor.

Really understand the possible effects of Lymphedema after surgery if any lymph nodes were removed.


If the IV tech can't get the IV started in two tries, tell them to stop and make them get someone who can do it. I, personally, will never allow that to happen to me again.


Talk to family and friends. Really talk - tell them how you are feeling as well as he medical stuff. Their support is crucial to your mental health and well being. If you don't talk to them they feel helpless and shut out of a very monumental time in your life. I am positive they all helped with my attitude and recovery.


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