or What I Wish I had Known
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
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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- I got a flu shot on my doctor's recommendation along with my second
- 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
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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