Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An answer to an email

Someone new to having cancer sent me an email asking about my chemo.  I though I would post the answer here too.  Maybe it will help someone else that is "freaking out" over starting chemo.  I know I was.

I haven't been on the cancer boards too much because they haven't been helping me at this point. They have been just one more thing reminding me I have cancer and it hasn't helped me. They were very helpful at the begining when I had lots of questions, but right now I am just trying to get through this with my life as normal as possible. Which this week is very normal. Last week about all I could do was lay on my couch and feel sorry for myself. Yesterday I cleaned my downstairs and was able to steam clean my carpets. Stanley steamer will be here this morning to clean my couch and loveseat. Woohoo! Can't wait. They are so dirty.

My first few chemos were pretty much a piece of cake. Except for the oxyiplatin (sp?). It about killed me. I had throad spasms, couldn't touch anything remotely cold, couldn't even drink anything cool, hands hurt...couldn't deal with that. So after 2 treatments they gave me two weeks off to recuperate and then they started me on camptosar instead. It seems to be working just as well without the side effects. The only thing it does is my hair is thinning greatly. After 7 treatments I probably have less than half the hair I started with and I lose more with each treatment. I only have 3 to go, so I don't think I'll be completely bald, but close to it.

Chemo week is worse for me than the off week. Are your treatments every other week? Typically at this point, like I said the first few were a piece of cake. They accumulate and get worse - at least they did for me. Now I'm pretty sure that on Moday (chemo day) and Tuesday I'll feel pretty much ok, maybe a little tired. Wednesday I'll be tired and by the afternoon I'll be nauseated. Have to remember to take pills at the first sign and keep something in my stomach; white toast or plain saltine crackers work wonders. I've only throw up about 3 times in all the weeks, so that's not much of an issue for me. Thursday I won't really be sick, I'll just have absolutely NO energy whatsoever. I'll sleep a good portion of the day, and when i'm not sleeping i'll be laying on the couch just staring at whatever because I don't have the energy to do anything else. On Friday I'll have more energy, but still be really tired. Saturday is almost normal for me. Then on Sunday without fail I get diareaah. But 2 immodium is all it takes for that.

And then comes my non chemo week. That week I'm pretty close to being my normal self. I can pretty much ignore the fact I'm sick. I get tired a bit easier than normal but besides that no problems.


  1. Hi Millie
    I started the chemo, feel weird.... in my skin, depressed.... get upset easily I find. No side effects yet. Except for swollen lips and lack of appetite.
    I am very depressed, and sad
    Don't know how to feel these days been 5 days since chemo.....
    Hope you are doing well...Isaura