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Advanced Prostate Cancer
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Suggestions to prevent Chemotherapy side effects

Hello,

I'm so grateful to all who have reached out to help answer my naive questions regarding this new journey we are taking with my dad. We were given a plan of treatment today and gave the green light to proceed. As many have assured me.......it will be difficult but do-able. Casodex began today.......Lupron shot and first cycle of Docetaxel next Thursday. So of course, I have more questions.......SORRY! Is there anything we can do to help prevent chemo side effects? I have ordered CRYOMAX cold packs for hands and feet to try to help with neuropathy. Also was advised to chew ice for mouth sores...etc....I'm open to suggestions as to what has worked for you. Thank you! 😊

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Hi there,

I got my dad some ginger candy just in case he got a little sick.

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Writing this down......making a list. That's a good one! Thanks for the suggestion

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No problem at all.

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I continued on with my normal routine, (I was 65) running, lifting, working on my land, etc. Along about the 4th course I could feel myself becoming fatigued quicker. I think I was lucky because I never became nauseated, weak, etc. The nail on one of my big toes came off.

The hair on my armpits never grew back. Now when the police tell me to raise my hands, they start laughing.

Make sure the drug Neulasta is readily available for use if needed.

Everything will be fine, chemo is the smoothest charismatic sociopath I have ever encountered.

Oh, one more thing. Never say your sorry in this forum. Everyone here knows what your family is going through. It's a strange trip for sure. Hang in, your father can see the love that's radiating from your eyes.

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You make me laugh......I might want to do chemo now if I'm hairless armpits are promised! (ha ha) You did quite well with the treatment. That's very encouraging! I took note of the Neulasta you mentioned, and added it to 'the list'. Thanks so much Bill48162

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So, do they ticket you for driving hairless or shirtless? :)

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I always iced fingers and feet bottoms to prevent fingernail problem and nueropathy, I also sucked on ice cubes in an attempt to prevent taste buds from changing, I bought my own ice and ice packs as I do not trust hospital ice. The tear ducts may tear, It is good to rinse them during chemo with natural tears. Have both a mild laxative and immodium on hand, I myself just use metamucil daily. It is important to have someone watch him for increased respiration and flushness of face, That is a rare allergic reaction. What steroids will he use for premends , , The MO should prescribe antinausea medicine. Eat smaller meals more frequently. I myself did not have much prolem with chemo side effects, I am on my 20th. Here is aprevious thread, of which you will find others over the years if you type chemo side effects in the search bar. healthunlocked.com/advanced...

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You always come through Dan59! I ordered the ice packs today. Made notes about the ice chips and eye drops. He will take Deximethisone the night before and the day of for nausea. Thank you for the link to additional information. I'm eager to read through it.

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Dexamethasone: Two pills twice a day for three days. Start morning before Chem, Day of Chem and Day following Chemo.

I’ve completed #4 Chemo two days ago. No nausea, no vomiting. Slight tingling in tongue. Neuropathy in soles of feet, but this could be an extension of existing planters fasciitis. Slight flushing in cheeks for two/ three days following Chemo. It goes away. Hot flashes and dizziness (vertigo) has been a constant, but not debilitating. Constipation was a major problem at the outset and caused prolapsed hemerhoids. I read of taking one glass of water a day with a capful of Restorelax stirred in, taken with one small glass of prune juice at breakfast each morning. Much better! Witch Hazel and Anusol have reduced the prolapsed hemerhoids to a non-problem. Hope this helps.

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Thanks BartonKen,

You're a few steps ahead in the game. Thank you for letting us know what we can expect. We are learning so much. I wish you continued success with your treatment and healthy days ahead.

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One more. Neulasta will probably be included automatically. It has flu like side effects of its own. Once a day Claritin helps with those. Start the day before Chemo and take for a week.

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Canoehead,

I had no idea! Thanks so much for the Claritin suggestion. Writing it down now.

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Here are some of things that I do.

1) drink plenty of water and liquids. Pop cycles work good.

2) I get rash with this Chemo, so my dermatologist prescribed me Clobetasol Propionate Cream when the rash is bad. You can only use it for about 4 days since it breaks down your skin. Every day I use Aquaphor skin cream to prevent the rash. I use this where I've had rash in the past.

3) Mylanta almost every day to help with my bowl movements

4) Tylenol for pain. I needed this more at the beginning.

5) Usually about the 2nd or 3rd day after the Chemo, I get really tired so I take more time to take naps when I feel I need it and sometimes take additional naps not planned.

6) I haven't found a good solution to my swollen ankles and feet. Mainly elevate them. I'm just now trying compression socks to see how they work. My feet have become more swollen the longer I have been getting Chemo treatments.

7) Biotene products for dry mouth.

8) My doctor gave me a prescription medicine for thrush which I've had once.

9) We use a lot of hand sanitizer and wipes when we are out in public or in a restaurant to eliminate the germs. And we try to stay away from crowds.

10) Extreme weakness, no solution yet other than additional rest. This problem comes and goes.

11) Exercise 5 days a week at the gym.

This seems like a long list, but usually you don't have all of these problems at the same time. But you can anticipate them a little to minimize the problems.

Good Luck

Dennis

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We would rather be very prepared so I appreciate your detailed list. I will include these into mine. I appreciate you taking time to help me with this question.

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Just a note as I don’t know your MD, my doc wants to know everything that I use as far as drugs and supplements, food etc. some help some interfere with treatment so make sure to discuss anything your father is doing with your Med team.

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I found two more cents in my pocket so here it is, exercise this has been my supplement, I did what you and most on this site have done and asked a million questions and made a list but in my case I opted to only use them if it became necessary, except exercise i do an hour and a half five days a week and any other time I have I work on the yard, and projects I have going, the key word for me is going keep pushing, I don’t bench press my weight 50 times or run marathons just focus on endurance, if you can get a trainer great if not there is plenty of programs to be found on the internet, I believe this is what has gotten my through chemo so well, also let your dad know he had let no one down nobody asked for this crap it just happens not anyone’s fault, I imagine we all go through these emotions I have and still do at time, but I try to focus on the good, I should have years to go on the sunny side of the grass, I don’t take life for granted anymore and the best thing that has happened is all of my relationships with friends and family have blossomed to a level I would never have dreamed of, support from people I never expected, use it to live a good life however Long that may be, good luck and fight as hard as possible

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Very wise words, bhr17. Thank you for your advice. Exercise is so important. My dad loves working in the yard but I'm hoping that he will take up some resistance training during hormone treatment and chemo. I have two brothers that promise to help get him to the gym. I will make sure to ask the doctor about additional supplements. That was a great reminder.

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I found getting exercise helped a lot, even if I could only do a small amount. I was still able to walk two miles on many days druing chemo. I was prescribed 10mg of prednisone per day which really helped a lot with the side effects. Many others have taken Dexamethasone on the first day instead. I never needed the nausea meds, but you want to have them on hand in case. Mt doctor told me not to wait too long to take them if needed otherwise you could end up vomiting them up. They also gave me the suppository version in case that happened, so you might ask about that. Wishing the best for him.

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gregg57-

Great reminders. Exercise, even when you feel crunmmy, certainly helps the mind and body. He was prescribed the Dexamethasone for nausea the night before and morning of chemo. Thank you so much for your advice! Wishing you well, too.

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Great tips so far, but here’s another -the chicken bouillon soup packets in the infusion room really settle a nervous stomach. I hope you have some there in your infusion room. If not, I’m sure they have hot water so you can bring your own. We also used lemon head candy to “wake” the taste buds back up. Apparently food tastes like cardboard in between the 3 week treatments. Also, seems like tear ducts work overtime since the chemo dries out the eyes, so I kept the humidifier going at home with liquid menthol. Lastly, some great noise canceling radio headphones so he-or you can listen to some beautiful music, talk radio, or a book on tape. Dad and I wish you both our best.

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Those are awesome tips, dadeb! I really had no idea that chemo dried the eyes. I will definitely implement these strategies. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I'm hear to learn. Wishing you well, too.

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Rinsing the eyes with a product called natural tearsduring and after infusion rinses the chemo out of the eyes to hopefully protect the dry eye problem.

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Adding it to the list of things to purchase before Thursday. Thanks for the specific brand name. I had no idea about the dry eyes.

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I had the opposite: watery eyes. It got worse as I went along with chemo. It's sort of counterintuitive, but the same natural tears also help with that if it happens.

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All good suggestions. My biggest issue was constipation. I learned later that the anti nausea drugs they give with the chemo can constipate and cause diarrhea (sorry to be so blatant) anyway get some good meds at the local pharmacy to handle either of those eventuallies and don’t be afraid to use them.

Schwah

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You can't be to graphic- ha ha. I like to hear about all the details so that we can be prepared. He is naturally more constipated so we will have to make sure he has a laxative beforehand. I appreciate you sharing your experience

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A lot has been covered but....

Plenty of water/fluids is a must but not so much caffeine though.

Fresh fruit and veg. At least 5 a day as they say.

Dont fight the tiredness and take a nap if needed. Exercise daily but light if a problem.

Probably should be on predisnolone every day as well as Dex.

Nystatin (or US version) for mouth ulcers.

Cut down on sugar, alcohol.

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Hi paulparry-

(We have Parry's on our side, too 😊) Is Nystatin a liquid mouthwash........prescription needed? Thanks for that suggestion.

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Yes Nystatin is prescription and for me works great.

Also for hot flashes use sage supplement tablets.

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I was prescribed compazine for nausea but it was mild. I drank ginger tea instead. It worked for me.

Nick

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I like the ginger tea idea.....someone also suggested ginger mouth lozenges. Thanks for the advice!

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Hi DW... all of what you and others listed was helpful.. but also a plan old Claritin was recommended by the nursing crew. One OTC Claritin day of and after helped with bone ache.

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Brbnbrn,

Thanks for the tip. Did you take before or after treatment?

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Does he have Mets in his bones. If they follow up the chemo with a Neulasta shot the day after, use Benadryl to help with the swelling. Lots of sleep helps. Drank a lot of ensure with it to try to keep the body weight up. And last but not least. Don’t think for a minute that any question is to small to ask. Fight the good Fight

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Thanks larry_dammit

Yes he has a couple of mets. Great suggestion about the Benadryl. I will share this info with my dad. I appreciate your help

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Good Saturday Morning DWDaughter,

Great suggestions, so here are a few more from my recent chemo with Docetaxel/Carboplatin:

1. Had a drip of Aloxi before chemo drugs to prevent nausea and it worked.

2. Med Onc suggested daily oral 100mg B6 to mitigate peripheral neuropathy.

3. Left with an On Body Injector of Neulasta to boost white blood cell count. Took Claritin day before chemo and for next 6 days to mitigate bone pain.

4. Like your Dad, had Dexamethasone, but day before, day of, and day after to minimize side effects.

5. Took Wisconsin American ginseng for fatigue. Google Mayo Clinic and ginseng for their trial results.

6. Bought an Amazon Fire laptop with Amazon Prime with headset/earbuds to watch movie while being infused.

Chemo worked for me, dropping PSA from 10.8 to .4 after years of drugs and radiation! See bio.

Best wishes. Never Give In.

Mark, Atlanta

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Oh my goodness. This is so comprehensive! Thank you so much. I'm glad you had great results with the chemo. Hoping for the same. Best wishes to you, too

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And of course... PLENTY OF HUGS AND KISSES....

Good Luck and Good Health.

j-o-h-n Saturday 08/04/2018 12:53 PM EDT

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😃😃 I hear all of these treatments cost a small fortune! We can all be grateful that HUGS & KISSES are free and better received than any medication out there.......with no side effects. 😃😃

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If I were single, younger, richer, had hair, better looking, cancer free and could get down on one knee and get back up again without help I'd propose to you... (you're such a sweet lady).

Good Luck and Good Health.

j-o-h-n Saturday 08/04/2018 1:05 PM EDT

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I fast for 3-4 days around chemo, at least 36 hrs before the infusion. I know it's not for everyone, but after 5th session I'm doing pretty good with minimal side effects typically attributed to Docetaxel. I drink herbal tea with ginger during the fast and at the infusion station. I bring thermos with me as I get somewhat cold during first days of fasting (I'm pretty skinny). I start feeling side effects only when coming out of fast. Mostly weakness and muscle aches. It gets progressively worse and nadir is at around day 5. I take vitamins C, D,B, K1/K2, exercise, drink a lot of fluids, eat mostly greens initially and easy in into eating more heavy food. The most significant side effect is related to my autoimmune condition - the chemo greatly aggravates it. The treatment creates a lot of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-a, IL-1, IL-6) and that is manifested by strong autoimmune reaction - inflammation and pain in spine joints. It can get pretty brutal. To fight this off I take Celecoxib 200-400mg a day and bio-available Curcumin. Plus, high dose Vitamin C infusions help a lot with the same.

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Wow! You have a great protocol. Have you had any problems with cachexia? My dad has lost 20 pounds recently. I know it is aggravated by the cancer and inflammation. We hope that he will be able to put on some weight after he gets better control of the testosterone feeding the cancer. I like your willpower! Thank you for sharing these suggestions

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My weight goes down 6-8 lbs during fast and comes back up a few days after once start eating. I did initially lost around 20-25 lbs at the onset of the diagnosis since I couldn't sleep well and was exhausted. But now it's normal weight. Just make sure to eat fresh, whole nutritious food, fresh squeezed juices, greens, good fats, etc.

Another thing, some preliminary studies found taking melatonin during chemo may help reducing side effects as well, so I take 15 mg before going to bed.

He will get better, just get in the groove and keep going at it. Wish him the best!

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henukit

Thank you so much!

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Yup, it worked for me! I fasted 2 days before each of my 15 Taxotere sessions and was spared most of the side effects: had hair loss, metallic taste, and neuropathy - but only after the last chemo.

tcr.amegroups.com/article/v...

scientificamerican.com/arti...

oncologynurseadvisor.com/si...

osher.ucsf.edu/patient-care...

My saga: theloopnewspaper.com/story/...

Fight On

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Thank you dockam,

Your story is very inspiring. I am sharing with my dad.

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You’ve made a great start with the ice. I would also recommend special attention to diet just before and just after chemo. My medical oncologist gives me several medications along with chemo to reduce nausea and other reactions. These constipate me, and that causes terrible cramping when my system starts to detox via diarrhea. What works best for me is to start a daily dose of Miralax two days before the infusion and to continue until the runs start. At that point, I have an anti diarrheal handy to prevent dehydration, but tend not to use it because I stay on a purely liquid diet during this period. Also, I take special care to eat mostly salads and other veggies before chemo, so as to keep everything flowing.

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Reptile-

So many are saying that constipation is a problem.......I had no idea! My dad is already a sufferer of sluggish bowels. He needs to hydrate more. I appreciate the tips and first hand advice. We will be implementing what we are learning this week. I hope all goes well. Wishing you the best!

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Wishing you and your dad all the best. Chemo really is tolerable with a little help.

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You Kay also try smooth move tea to help in the constipation.

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sotee888

I will look for that. Thank you for the suggestion

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My husband may have chemo in the not too distant future. I was wondering if this great compilation of preventive measures to take for Doxetaxel is the same for all prostate chemo in general.

If it is maybe it could be retitled with “chemo side effects” so it shows up on search. So far it doesn’t unless you search Doxetaxel specifically.

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mjbach

Great idea. I will change it

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