Lung Cancer Support
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I like to be as prepared as possible for the what ifs. With this in mind, what can if have on hand that will help deal with chemo and radiation side effects? Any ideas on how I can have some cool clothes made up in advance? Want to make it as easy as possible for my son who will be stuck being my care giver/driver.

5 Replies

What a thoughtful thing to ask. As far as clothing is concerned you will want to dress in tops that are easy to take off to dress for radiation. Pull over shirts and zippers are easier to cope with than buttons. Sports bras are easier too.

Will you be having concurrent chemo/Radiation? What chemo doublet or triplet will you be on? Knowing which ones we can better help you.

Stay hydrated. Use a stool softener like Miralax every day. Also have a Laxative on hand and an anti diarrheal med just in case.

Chemo will change your tastebuds for a while so foods you like may not tasers good. No way to tell in advance. Do eat 5 small meals a day. I kept a stash of cheese and crackers, applesauce, bananas, fruit cups and cookies next to my bed and favorite chair. Chemo may make things taste metallic so use plasticware.

Put your med list on a spreadsheet and check them off as you take them. A pill organizer that can be set up a week at a time is best. If you have a smartphone set the alarms to take your meds on time.

Take all meds exactly as directed to prevent Chemo induced nausea. If you experience any nausea call your doctor they can change the Rx to something different. If you have a problem anytime call. They’d rather hear from you at 3am than to let you try to get by through the night.

If you experience tinnitus or neuropathy in your hands or feet let the Chemo nurse know. She will notify the dr and they can adjust the meds to resolve that as the pins and needle and cold burning sensation can become permanent otherwise.

I’m sure there’s more to tell you and I hope others will chime in soon.

Denzie covered just about everything! I might add having food/drinks available for your son while he’s with you will make it easier for him as well. Having meals prepared in advance was very helpful as well as having a line up of good movies on hand. Each round was different for me and I would suggest remaining aware of new or worsening side effects and report them to your doc. Wishing you all the best.

For radiation I figured out that I could wear button down shirts and not have to change into a gown - just unbutton the shirt while on the table and button it back up when they are done. Chemo was very hard on me - I kept a trash bag by the bed so that I did not make a mess trying to get to the bathroom in time. Bag Balm is wonderful for rads chafing - Walgreens or any farm/feed store carries it and my rads oncologist now recommends it to everyone instead of aquaphor. Keep a stash of soft, healthy snacks where ever you spend lots of time. Hopefully you won't have a difficult time - but if you do, don't be afraid of calling the oncologist in the middle of the night if you feel the need - better to bother him and get things straightened out that to suffer!

Good Luck and Godspeed

Everything everyone posted sounds great. Make sure you have all you most comfortable pjs, soft clean sheets on your bed (cotton is best for the inevitable night sweats) and have lots of fresh fruit on hand. You will eventually get tired of drinking all the water necessary to keep yourself hydrated during treatment and I found that having fruit (especially watermelon and grapes) were easier to tolerate than plain waiter. I also became very attached to a stuffed hippo (yes I’m 48 and still sleeping with him after 3 years lol) because 1. He gives me comfort and 2. He’s filled with lavender and it helps me to relax. Everyone is different so you will find your comfort items as you go along. Don’t worry about being judged for your choices. If you want Elmo pjs and a stuffed monkey then you get it lol. Your son is an angel for helping you through treatment and he too will find his comfort items as things move along. God Bkess and be well!

Some great ideas here. I've had pemetrexed/carboplatin chemo every 3 weeks for 6 cycles since January. Now I'm on "maintenance chemo" with just pemetrexed every 3 weeks. Just had one yesterday. The full chemo definitely gave me side effects.Constipation being the worst. Took decussate s for this. It worked, (stool softener and laxative ). Eating was a problem due to the saw dust like taste of everything and just plain not wanting to eat but I came up with stuff I could get down: English muffin with peanut butter. frozen welche's grape juice. Oreo thin lemon cookies. Old fashioned oatmeal with cut up fruit. Noodles restaurant pad tia or spicy Korean beef noodles. Lost about 15 pounds during this time from 180 to 165 or less. The half chemo isn't nearly as bad and eating is generally not a problem except my wife is sick of going to Noodles. The good news is the drugs seem to be working. 3 pet scans with improvement each time. Now down to a small tumor by the upper left lung near the esophagus , spinal lesions gone. Hope these small ideas help. Best wishes ! Gerald, also a 1949er .

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