Monday, August 29, 2011

MONDAY MENTIONABLES - Chemo Suggestions

Recently, a acquaintance of mine started chemo. Her husband asked for some help, and so I came up with a list of chemo suggestions - things that I learned while being on chemo. These are pretty basic. There are plenty more, but I didn't want to overwhelm them on their first chemo appointment.

I thought I'd include the list I sent them here. I'd like to compile a list of suggestions from other people too, so please, if you have a minute, make a comment on this blog post, and leave your suggestions. Or, email me with your list at kara(dot)liftinghearts(at)gmail.com.

1. Make sure the patient eats something before she goes. It's best to not eat greasy stuff. She'll be there for quite awhile, and you don't want her to get sick to her stomach from lack of food.

2. Most chemo places have drinks and snacks, but take something just in case - water bottle, and snacks (crackers or cookies).

3. Make sure the patient sucks on ice during the chemo treatment - the nurses told me that it would help me to keep from getting sores in my mouth.

4. Take a blanket - not too heavy. But, something that will keep her comfortable. A fleece lap blanket is perfect. They should have those at the chemo center, too.

5. Take a book, or your laptop - whatever you need to keep you busy. You'll be there for awhile. My treatments took about 5-6 hours.

6. The patient needs a "chemo partner" - someone to stay there with her, especially on that first visit.

7. Remember, they'll give her anti-nausea drugs before the chemo drugs. They should help a lot. I think I took 4 different drugs - two through the IV, and then two more when I got home.

8. Keep a journal of everything that happens. When she gets sick, how she feels, when she takes drugs, etc. That journal will be helpful when you go to her next chemo appointment, because the doctor will want to know how the chemo affected her. That's how they know to adjust it if it's too strong. So, write down everything.
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What can you add?

2 comments:

next year in jerusalem said...

Take L-lysine every day - it also helps with the mouth sores.

keep a "blessings" journal - find something everyday that you can be thankful for.

ginger tea and candies can help with nausea. The chewy ginger candies are spicy - so take little bites at a time.

I also had a friend who just started chemo and is having a rougher time than I did. any suggestions I can give her on helping with diarrhea?

Kara Herron said...

Thanks for commenting. I'll add your suggestions to my list. In response to your question about diarrhea... (This is kind of graphic - sorry) The diarrhea issue is tough. Chemo makes having to go to the bathroom extremely painful - it burns coming out. My mom used to call it "firewater". It was so awful. I would just sit there and cry. It made me even more sick to my stomach. I'm not sure what, if any, medicines will help. The one thing that really helped me was that my friends brought me a small squirt bottle - the kind that the hospital gives you when you have an episiotomy. When you have to go to the bathroom, squirt warm water on that area while you are going. This really helps, especially with the burning - it dilutes the diarrhea.

-Kara

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