1st time chemo: OK guys this Monday I... - Advanced Prostate...

Advanced Prostate Cancer
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1st time chemo

GoEZ
GoEZ

OK guys this Monday I will be starting my first chemo session. Need advice on dues, don’ts and what to expect. I will be receiving Docetaxel. Thanks for any advice.

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My husband just did his first session on Thursday. It was incredibly boring. Lab work to check liver enzymes first, 20 minute infusion of steroids, with instructions to self-medicate before the infusion next time, about an hour and a half in the chair for the docetaxel, and about 10 minutes at the end for application of the Neulasta patch. The patch was literally the only discomfort he had. Made him jump when it triggered, lol. I was there to bring him food and drinks - - he drove there and back.

We are four days in and he's felt nothing until this morning. He woke up and told me his joints ache (they suggest Claritin to reduce this, and Tylenol as needed). No tiredness though, and certainly no nausea. Hope you have a similar experience. Only advice I have is to stay very hydrated. I had to push him to drink.

We didn't bother with the ice. You can read here and make up your own mind. Neuro symptoms seem to be about 60% afterward.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to CantChoose

I hope my treatment goes as well. Thanks

monte1111
monte1111 in reply to CantChoose

Thanks for the link. Since I got foot neuropathy after 8 cycles and still have it and will always have it, a year and a half now, i'd go with the icing of the feet. Would also chew on ice chips. Was next to a lady who got mouth ulcers. She was not having fun. Lost both big toe nails, but they have grown back. Thumb nails had a "ring" for each cycle, but are now normal. Who cares about the hair. Mine grew back, except mustache and eyebrows are almost unnoticeable now. I still walk down the street without people staring at me. I guess most have a better experience, some worst than mine. Gotta do what you gotta do. Good luck and enjoy.

What kind of chemo, exactly, ? Where are you being treated ?

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to Fairwind

Docetaxel. Local cancer center

My tips: Hydrate beforehand to make it easier for them to find the veins. Of course, if you are taking dexamethasone beforehand (highly recommended), that will cause your veins to go into hiding.

My veins were very hard to find on infusion day. It took 6 pokes to get a vein on the fourth? infusion (ouch!). They finally tried a heating pad and that made my veins pop right out, and from then on they used the heating pad before even trying the first time.

Finally, if you're able to exercise or move around, do as much as you can during treatment. It will help with the side effects during treatment, and really help with recovery after treatment.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to tom67inMA

What kind of exercises do you do?

tom67inMA
tom67inMA in reply to GoEZ

Mainly running, but by the later cycles it was mostly walking 10 - 15 miles a week. 3 months later and I just finished a 30 mile week. Not trying to brag (at least not too much), just putting a number on how I felt.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to tom67inMA

I had to slow down due to leg and back pain.

tom67inMA
tom67inMA in reply to GoEZ

I have pain too, but am lucky that it hurts to sit, but running is generally pain free.

Mathes72
Mathes72 in reply to GoEZ

WALK (NOT RUN,HALF HOUR TO 45 MINUTES) join a gym if you see rocky working out leave.easy workout 30 minutes.i have had two cemos in the past two year. Good luck

monte1111
monte1111 in reply to Mathes72

If you see Nalakrats working out, haul ass. If you see j-o-h-n working out, just commit yourself and get it over with. If you see Lulu700 working out, you are in the wrong state of mind. If you see whatsinaname working out, you are in the wrong country and have taken too many opiates. If you see me working out, it is a case of mistaken identity. And on and on. Have a nice Monday everyone. Enjoy.

GoEZ, daily Claritin is an absolute must. It definitely helps a lot. While they are not totally sure why it works so well, it really does and my infusion nurses insisted on it. All Best Wishes, judg69

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to judg69

Thanks

ForJoel
ForJoel in reply to judg69

judg69, Do you take Claritin everyday? My husband was prescribed two pills a day for four days starting with the first day of chemo, but they didn't say to continue? I'm wondering if I should ask about him continuing to take it. He felt fine at first, but started having unpleasant symptoms after day 4. ??

I'm about to go to my 3rd infusion on Wednesday. Quality of life has sucked ... spend about every other day in bed all day - chemo burn on both arms is driving me crazy; can't catch my breath, having to do oxygen and nebilizer treatments daily. Bruises everywhere, headaches, so tired - have a hard time moving from the couch to the bedroom; food tastes horrible. Beginning to think that this is not at all worth it. Hopefully your experience will be much better.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to Alvin735

Thanks

I did Claritin (generic) plus Alleve (generic) to minimize the bone pain from the Neulasta device. Chewed ice during the docetaxel infusion. Third day after each session was the nadir.

Try those flavored, fizzy waters to stay hydrated. Plain water didn’t taste good during the 5 months of treatments. There are no-calorie versions.

Best wishes!

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to tallguy2

Thanks

HiddenThis reply has been deleted
GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to Hidden

You make sound like fun. Hoping for the best

pilot52
pilot52 in reply to GoEZ

Bill68 is right.......all the post about exercise is spot on....gym is fine,,,,I have one at home ....but also functional work outs are great...I parked my zero turn and bought a Fisker push mower...( I am the motor) 2 1/2 acres of grass, it is actually fun. Neighbors are sure I am crazy...Also stand up paddle board year around and jog in the rain...this is my second stage 4 monster, so will not go sitting in a chair.... make it fun....Glad Gracie loves water !!

Good Luck Everyone.. Blue Skies, Grounded Sky King...

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to pilot52

You guys are a light to follow. Thanks.

More and more the anecdotal evidence indicates the benefits of regular, consistent exercise in mitigating SEs of our cancer treatments. My heart goes out to those who do not have a regular exercise regimen in their daily life. It’s tough to start if you’ve never done it but this is a fight for your life so please make an effort.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to 6357axbz

I started a year ago. I had to cut back due to pain in my legs.

pilot52
pilot52 in reply to GoEZ

If you have access to a pool get a jogging vest for pools...no more pain...If you have a wellness center sponsored by a hospital insurance will usually pay...they are cheap anyway and you would have year around access to an indoor pool..If they have one...good luck ..Blue Skies ...GSK

Listen to your body

And check your temp more than you should

Go hard

All the very best

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to Bebby1

Thanks

No advice to share since my husband hasn’t needed chemo yet. I just want to wish you the best as you start this new part of the journey. Let’s hope you’re one of the lucky guys who have so few side effects! Be gentle with yourself. Peace be with you.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to Emmett50

The 1st day was ok. I too hope it stays that way. Thanks

It wasn't as bad as I expected it would be. The fatigue kicks in during days 3 to 5. I just laid in bed. Getting up to pee was an effort. I really appreciated friends who prepared food for me.

Drinking a lot of water is good but don't do it right before the treatment. Otherwise you have to wheel all the gear with you to the washroom.

Definitely ice your fingers. I was provided ice gloves at my cancer centre. I got neuropathy in my toes after the fifth treatment and it still has not completely disappeared (6 months later).

monte1111
monte1111 in reply to MarkBC

Think my foot neuropathy is going to be permanent. Over one and a half years since end of chemo. Gabapentin doesn't seem to help much, except eliminate most hot flashes. Am trying Alpha Lipoic Acid now, but that will probably be dead end. May help if Injected? Anyone got a miracle cure, I'm in.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to MarkBC

Thanks

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to MarkBC

Thanks

I recommend anyone undergoing chemo speak with your Doctor to have an infusion port installed. Makes life far easier,,,,comes in handy for any succeeding rounds of chemo, MRI or CT Scan infusions. You are likely to have many in the future.

And you are no longer at the mercy of Nurse “Ratchets” who can never seem to get the infusion needle in place on the first poke,,,some never as many of us know.

monte1111
monte1111 in reply to Sxrxrnr1

Ah, yes. The cute nurse, intern, trainee who is more nervous than you are. Been there, done that. They go on to marry doctors and such and black out that horrible experience from their memory. And then there is usually jolly well fed gal who has been there forever who saunters over and says "Stick your arm out dude." You gotta love 'em.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to monte1111

I got a good mix of people working on me. Very nice and caring people. The only thing that got me was the different stories I was getting from the doctor and chemo nurses. The doctor said one thing and the nurses saying the doctor doesn’t work here. Other than that difference things were good. Thanks

My husband just had his first treatment almost two weeks ago. He did fine at first, but then his mouth started bothering him. The dr. said he had thrush in his mouth, basically a yeast infection. It bothers him a great deal. They gave him some medicine for it, but it hasn't helped get rid of it completely. I read if you eat ice chips during the infusion you may be able to prevent this from happening. Additionally, he felt tired and didn't want to eat, but he didn't ever get sick enough to vomit. We are not sure if he's going to be able to continue because the incision on his back from surgery is coming open, and I'm worried it won't heal and could become infected! Always something to worry about. :-o

Good luck with yours!

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to ForJoel

So far it been okay but it is my 1st day. Good luck. Stay strong.

I did 6 x docetaxel in 2018 at age 61 and tolerated it pretty well. I did do the ice on my hands and feet and I did not have any nerve issues. About 5 days post infusion I had a very low energy day and just took the day off and rested. Other than that I was able to continue my activities including tennis and hiking, I believe the exercise helps mitigate the side effects.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to kmack57

I’ve been getting that advice a lot. Stay active. I’ve have been doing a treadmill for about a year now. If I don’t hurt I will continue that plan. Thanks.

kmack57
kmack57 in reply to GoEZ

You shouldn’t have any pain from the chemo, good luck!

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to kmack57

ME on L4. Pain down my right leg and hip.

Lots of naps, eat anything that tastes good. Potatoes and gray was the only thing I could get down, pink lemonade was the drink that I could handle. Get up and move if you can. But don’t worry about it if you can’t. Fight the monster and good luck to you both

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to larry_dammit

That sounds like a good game plan. Thanks.

It wasn’t as bad as you hear. I did 12 rounds. It was harder in my wife for her to know I was doing the dreaded chemo we all heard about as kids. I was a cyclist and kept riding and working my job thru the whole thing. I heard it’s a more lighter chemo than a lot of them. Fatigue at day 3-8 but not debilitating. It’s a mental game I think. Stay strong and tough and it’s easier. Get a port in the chest. It’s a simple procedure and makes the infusions just a little easier. Soak your finger tips in ice as allowed. It will keep fingernails from getting all jacked up. Stay hydrated. Look possibly at a sleep aid as the steroids will make sleep very difficult. I do Ambien and it works awesome.

Keep your head up high!!!

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to Survivor1965

Sounds like you were here. The nurses and doctors all said the same thing. Some thing about it not being a cocktail of drugs. I have always suffered from fatigue so I have my work arounds. It’s been a mind trip because of all the stories I’ve heard but the whole story is always different. I feel ok with just a little mind fog. Thanks.

3 words: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

To me, everything tasted terrible, including plain water, so I didn't drink enough, and that made all the side effects much worse. After about the 3rd cycle, I started having saline infusions between docetaxel drips to combat the problem. But if/when I have the pleasure of doing it all over again, I will make a real effort to find something to drink which keeps me hydrated. Didn't try pink lemonade, but sounds worth a try. Find something.

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to Garbonzeaux

I got the same advice from everyone here. Thanks.

I had 6 last year,gave me shot with the infusion to prevent nausea and pills just in case, I used 1 pill. The infusions was no problem, continued to work part time, just stay away from fried foods. Of course lost the hair everywhere but other than that along with side effect of constipation it was easier than expected , have came a long way. Just eat a lot of protein ,fruit and vegetables ,skip the red meats.

6357axbz
6357axbz in reply to Muffin2019

What chemo did you receive?

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to 6357axbz

docetaxel

Muffin2019
Muffin2019 in reply to 6357axbz

Docetaxel

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to Muffin2019

Thanks.

docetaxel. It wasn’t too bad. Had my 1st treatment about 4 hrs ago. Very tried and a little mind fog. I can still eat. However it is my 1st day.

DT2311
DT2311 in reply to GoEZ

The fog of chemo brain may linger through all your infusions, but it got better for me a week or so after each session. Stay strong!

GoEZ
GoEZ in reply to DT2311

Thanks

How many of you still suffer the leg pain? That is the main problem right now. Will the chemo fix that over time?

DT2311
DT2311 in reply to GoEZ

Leg aches seem to get worse for me with each infusion and has made it difficult to sleep some nights. I try to walk as much as possible during the day and take acetaminophen an hour before bed.

No chemo.... just big TITS.....

Good Luck, Good Health and Good Humor.

J-o-h-n Monday 07/01/2019 11:41 PM DST

Over a week now past my 4th infusion of docetaxel with 2 more to go. Have felt good for a day or two after chemo then the fatigue and related problems kick in for about 5-7 days. Continual difficulty sleeping, neuropathy in toes and a bit in the fingers, dry eyes, body aches, but no nausea. Only hair loss was my beard and some eye lashes after my first session, but mustache and all else remains.

Try to stay active when you feel good enough and a bit even when you don't. Drink as much water as you can, even if it tastes "odd". Without nausea I continued to eat as much as I could despite all food tasting bad (taste improves with time). You'll be provided with a list of symptoms that you should contact your doctor or PA if you experience.

Realize that we all respond differently to chemo and though there is good advice for everyone, listen to your body. It's a tough road ahead, but you'll get to the end and it will be worth it. Good luck!

Thanks, the 2nd day has started well. Just some heart burn. Just a little mind fog. Thanks for your word

My tastebuds went funny after round 5. My favourite foods then were apples and milk. Everyone is different. Good luck.

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