Support Tips

Hi ladies, I am new to the page and was looking for some advice. My mother in law has just been diagnosed with Stage 4 and is beginning chemo next week. Can you give us any hints or tips on what to expect over the coming weeks? I was hoping to put together a kit with things that might give some relief e.g. epson salts, e45 cream etc so she will have them to hand if needed. Any suggestions at all would be really appreciated. Also any helpful support techniques for family members would be great too. Thanks

9 Replies

  • Hi Spring 17, I would add prunes in juice, plain biscuits such as ginger biscuits or Cars water biscuits. Chicken bovril when her tummy might be out of sorts, water to keep hydrated. Your Mum in law should wear warm clothes going in for treatment maybe layers so she can get rid of some but it is important to keep warm so veins dont go into hiding. Maybe some music cd player etc to listen to while on treatment and a magazine or two, I find although you may bring a book you wont actually read it. I would also suggest that you find a local Cancer Support Group such as Arc House here in Ireland or Penny Brohn Centres in UK. It is good to speak to someone outside the family circle. Most of all make sure you get rest too if you are the carer.

  • Thanks Suzuki

  • Hi sorry to hear of your mums diagnosis, it's so tough to get your head around. My tips would be that no matter how much sadness there is in coping, try and keep a good sense of humour, and encourage any visitors to have a good upbeat attitude. Chemo can be extremely tough, but the body is marvellous and it will bounce back before facing the next round. Get her to take all and every tablet for side effects they offer as it's better to prevent sickness than deal with it. Drink the Daily 3 litres of water it helps so much. I had a list of up best friends that came as chemo buddies and kept my mind off what was happening . It's a long day so comfy clothes, preferably easy tracksuit type bottoms as it's hard to manage the bathroom trips. Ginger biscuits and dry crackers are great. Once the hair is going, I found it less distressing to take control and shave it, the wispy look is more distressing. When it's first gone the head can be sore and Alveeno products are recommend. A useful gift is a silk pillow case as it soothes the sore head and keeps you cool, and thin chemo beanie hats can help as you can feel cold at first. Berts bees lip balm is the best for the lips as they can get very dry and sore.

    Here's hoping she won't find it all too hard, but great that you are able to give support. Yes be sure you find the local cancer support centre and they are invaluable for providing services like massage reflexology etc not just to your mum but the whole family.

    Wishing you all the best😀

  • Thanks so much Pigletokeefe, all these tips are great and much appreicated. I hadn't even thought of the toilet breaks and pillowcase. Good luck with your own battle too.

  • Thank you, I'm stage 2 and finished treatment 18 months ago and for the most part doing well. Juicing daily and walking is all good therapy for trying to keep the head in the right place, along with great support from family and friends helps me to keep smiling 😊

  • Hi, I'm sorry to hear about your mother in law. The side effects of Chemo can be hard, I've been through it now on two occasions and know this from experience.

    On the day of chemo, I suggest she wear comfortable c!othes, I wore leggings or jogger bottoms, no zips or buttons to deal with when she needs to visit the bathroom attached to her drip stand. She should also have water to drink both during chemo and in the days following. I would suggest she have some fresh pineapple chunks at home as this helps to take away any metallic taste she might have. Ensure she has a good mouthwash at home too and I would invest in some Bonjela to have at hand in case of mouth ulcers, better to treat quickly. She needs to ensure she takes her steroids as prescribed and at the time advised. Prunes, kiwi, plenty of veg and lots of water to ensure she doesn't get constipated as this should be avoided. Rest when she needs too and a wee walk each day too. Good luck. PS, do remember to look after yourself too. Ann xx

  • Thanks thesilent1 for the tips. Mouthwash and bonjela are to hand now! I will let her know what you suggested re the steriods etc too. Its great to get these tips from people in the know, and its much appreicated. Good luck to you too in your fight against this awful disease.

  • Hi Spring,I was also ,diagnosed stage 4 in 2014.

    I agree with all the other ladies,make,sure there's Movicol in the house and pain relief as some chemo,can cause muscle pain.A sense of humour is a must and vegging out on the sofa snuggled in duvet watching comedy shows is a great release.Your mum in law will also need space,her own zone,time to herself .

    She will have all the family's support and love when she needs it and I know you will worry as is a natural response.Best wishes to you and your mum in law and family.x

  • Hi,

    I will be 39 years old next month. I'm on second line chemo now. Diagnosed in 2015 with stage III c OC.

    I always take my own blanket to the hospital. My chemo lasts around 6 hours, room in well wentilated and air-conditioned so it's nice to be covered with your own cosy blanket. Nurses are always saying it's a good idea, and the other patients actually asking g for blankets as well 😉.

    Im not loosing my hair now, but I did in 2015. I didn't wait for them start to falling g out. I preferred to take control on that and after first chemo I shaved them. Wasn't ensure, I felt cold. But I got used to after week and since that I never had a problem. With boldness. After they grew up I still had a perfect excuse for mad hair days wearing my hats 😉

    This is not the option now and actually I'm quite disappointed. I have so many other, much worse side effect, my hair are damaged by chemo and unfortunately I need to look after them when I'm not in form to do it on daily basis. So for me loosing my hair wasn't the end of life. But it was upsetting a bit for first week.

    After first line chemo treatment, six months later I set up website for ladies who lost their hair due cancer or alopecia. I'm selling head wear in extreme good quality for reasonable prices. Also I have my all story there, lots of tips related to my illness and blog. Maybe you wish to visit it and some of tips will help you and your mum in law😉


    Hope you both will do well, lots of strength and optimism

    Hugs, Zaneta, xx

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