My Ovacome
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Starting Chemo in 1 week :(

Hello ~

I was just informed that I will start my Chemo next week. I was wondering what I should eat the morning before Chemo and during Chemo? I have read so many different articles and the all contradict each other. Eat fruits and vegetables don't eat fruits and vegetables. Any advised is welcomed. I hope everyone is having a great day!

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Hi , Sorry you are on the chemo trail. I used to try and have my treatments early in the day and made sure I had breakfast before I went . The nurses always asked”Have you had something to eat “ I take that to mean you should eat normally.while having chemo they always bought a trolley round with sandwiches, drinks , yoghurts for patients so they encouraged you to eat during treatment too.I wasn’t ever told to avoid certain foods but you should check if anything interferes with your particular chemo juice. . Hope you get on Ok. Love Juliaxx

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Thank you ~ I'm really nervous and I'm afraid I may run out of the cancer center.

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Oh believe me I wanted to the first time , as you get into it you will become more relaxed , let us know how you get on xxx

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oh bless honest you won't i was so anxiuos my first time i cried and felt sick prior to getting there once i was there i felt almost relieved that the chemo was going to help me. the nurses so understood me and i took courage from other patients. it was a surreal situation for me as 9 years previuosly i was doing the nurses job as a chemo nurse at the place where i was having mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i ate normally i tried to drink lots prior as this helped my veins

good luck let us know how u gets on hun

hugs

amanda xxxz

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You won't run out, most cancer centers have the nicest most compassionate nurses and they understand your fear. Eat a light normal breakfast. Drink a lot of fluids in the days following.

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Hiya Sunshine. Different approaches work for different folks. I would say don't overeat, the evening before chemo and on chemo day. Would stick to small healthy snacks and light meals, to avoid putting unecessary stress on your digestive system while still keeping it going. That seems to work for me.

Oh and you might want to bring a blanket and pillows, just in case. Especially if you are scalp or hand/feet cooling.

Wish you the best for the chemo. Strength, sister.

Maus (with 3 carb/tax chemo sessions to go).

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Thank you ~ I wish the Cancer Center offered the cool cap therapy but they don't ~ this makes me sad. I'm really having a difficult time with the fact that I'm going to lose my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. ~ I'm seriously ready to throat punch people that tell me it's just hair. Hope all is going well!

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Hi sunshine I cold capped but still lost 70% of my hair.. gutted. Touchwood haven’t lost eyelashes yet. Used a product called revitalash everyday. Bought a really good wig and wear scarves as well’. Good luck hun xxx

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I haven't gotten a wig yet. I need to go get one soon. I'm going to have to look into the revitalash. Thank you! i need all the hugs I can get right now. I'm so scared.

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I'd suggest eating healthily but lightly the night before and on the day. Take lots of healthy snacks with you. A lot of info relating to diet and chemo depends upon whether your cancer is causing bowel problems. I'm assuming you're having carbo and taxol and so it will be a long day. Some nuts, grapes, seeds, etc. and other enticing titbits will be good to pick at during the day. Your hospital will probably provide some food but surprisingly this can sometimes be quite unhealthy. Think white bread and tasteless cheese. I'd suggest you make your own snacks.

Take plenty to read with you, even if someone is accompanying you, you can't keep up a conversation for six hours. Don't forget your chargers for phones and other gadgets and noise cancelling head or earphones if you have them. Chemo wards can be quite noisy with alarms alerting the nurses when infusions are about to finish, have finished, etc.

Hope it goes well.

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Thank you for all the suggestions. It sounds like I need to walk in there like I'm leaving for a road trip. Hope all is well!

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Hi. Welcome to this crazy world of toxicity. Good advice from the girls as usual. Are you having Emend (or similar) to counteract any sickness during chemo? If so, take the 125mg pill about an hour before chemo starts, with breakfast if it's an early start. Then, eat what you want but avoid sugar as those pesky cancer cells just love to feed on sugar. Plenty of fluids and lots of things to keep your mind off what's happening. We are not allowed soul mates in my chemo clinic as they bring germs with them. I rather like that as I can knit, read, play games or sleep with my headphones on. Kicking off your shoes and donning a comfy pair of slippers is also nice. I wish you the very best of luck and hope it all goes well. I actually like being in the clinic as I feel as if it's the one day when I'm not responsible for trying to get me well and I let the medical team just get on with it. xxx

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Thank you ~

I asked if I should take anything before I came and was told no, that they would give me all the medication I need. I wish I had magic wand to wave and get rid of Cancer all together. 40 years old and still wishing I had super powers.

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They may have meds at the clinic. Things are a little different here in France. The patient keeps all records and gets all meds at the local pharmacy. It's just their way of doing things. Super powers sounds good to me. xxx

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Sorry you have to do chemo but it is doable. We all react differently to the chemo and all the pre chemo meds. I found them to be the worst. My INC worked with me and I was able on the taxol days to skip all the pre meds. Benedryl gave me restless legs and made me hyper. The steroids also made me feel horrible but others love how it makes them feel. The anti emetics I did not need as I was not generally nauseous. They make you constipated so drink a lot of water. Drink drink drink to get chemo out of you and not get too constipated.

Afterwards if you feel a little nauseous eat small meals. That may make you feel a lot better.

Also - there is a small lozenges called gin gins. They are real ginger. They were a god send for me.

Please let us all know how it goes. Chemo is cumulative. You most likely will breeze through the first rounds but it catches up with you. We are here for support.

Xx carol

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Thank you ~ I really don't want to go through with Chemo but, my friends and family insist that I go. I've read that with my type of cancer its chemo resistant so, my thoughts are why do it. They said if there is even a 20% chance that it will help I should do it. might need to wear weights on my legs so I can't run.

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Hm, I don't know the chemo response rate for clear cell OC tumours. Mine are low grade serous OC (stage 3a), which are also said to be pretty chemo resistant.

Yet here I am, having agreed to 6 courses of carboplatin/paclitaxel chemo, for two reasons:

1. Try to maximize the progression free survival time before recurrence

2. Meet guideline needs here in Germany so I can move on to anti-hormone maintenance treatments afterwards.

Before my own diagnosis, I would have considered 20% response rate pretty poor. But getting saddled with a rare type of cancer that doesn't respond so well to standard treatment has changed my mind. Meanwhile, I accept low odds because they still add up to a better chance at a longer cancer free life. Self-funding would steer me towards the most promising treatment my oncologists have to offer.. but I would still go for it I think.

Re: scalp cooling...

If your chemo ward doesn't offer it, you could opt to receive chemo in another hospital, which does. That's not uncommon, but might result in a longer drive. Personally, I opted out, because I wasn't keen on the associated pain on top of everything else, and did not want a long drive home after a 8-12 hr chemo day.

Btw I look like a holidaymaker every time I show up in the chemo ward, as do the other folks there, lol.

My chemo bag holds:

Fruit and snacks incl. ginger candy,

water bottle (!),

some medical records pertaining to my cancer and/or the latest blood results,

blanket and small pillow (so nice) ,

phone charger stuff,

phone with kindle/music app and noise canceling headphones,

chemo diary and pen,

slippers, scarf and fleece,

thin gloves (got socks on already) , gel cooling packs for feet and hands during taxol (in extra cool box; this is to try and reduce hand/foot damage like neuropathy),

plastic bag for trash,

seabands for wrists,

lotion and lip balm.

And in the car I keep a small overnight bag just in case.

See, definitely holidaymaker :)

Chemo day is mostly very boring.

xx. Maus

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Thank you for the list in your Chemo bag. This is very helpful.

I have to go to a certain hospital because I have no Health insurance. It's an hour away from my house. I have to pay for all my testing and scans upfront. Which has been rather costly. I looked into renting a cold cap but, I can't afford it. I'm so stressed already with the Chemo but, I know stress about being able to pay my bills and keep a roof over our heads while going through this.

Thanks for all your help!

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I was offered a choice of 3 months or 6 and took the 6 even though the second 3 is less effective than the first 3. I was also offered pills VS I.V. drip. When I asked they said the drip was 5% more effective than the oral, so I took the drip. I didn't want to have the cancer come back and then always think that I should have taken the more effective option.

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I would say eat something...not nothing. My unit did not have anything beyond tea and bics- so take sandwiches...it’s a long day and although when nervous you may not feel hungry you will later on...best of luck xx

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Thank you ~ Guess i'll need to get me a little cooler on wheels. Sounds like i need to pack everything but the kitchen sink...lol

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Hi Sorry to hear you are starting chemo have a good breakfast I would of had toast eggs, orange juice I would bring my own food as I find hospital food awful, I would bring fruit, small sandwich 7 up, water some chocolate, smoothie, its a few days after you may experience taste change and find it hard to eat as I did, there are a few mouth rinses you can get and cool drinks help good luck with chemo

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Thank you, what mouthwashes did you use? I'd like to use something daily for preventative measure so I don't get mouth sores.

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I used diflam and BMX mouth rinses and have lots of ice for cool drinks, re the cold cap i tried it first day and it didn't work for me it made the day very long too as they have to apply conditioner to your hair and put the cap on before taxol and leave the cap on after taxol too. my day was 8.30am to 7.30pm for everything I lost all my hair 17 days later It didn't even just thin so if I need to go back on taxol I won't use it I got a really nice wig from trendco

best wishes

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I need to get a wig but the cheapest good one I found is $650, I don't have that much money. I have to pay everything out of pocket because I have no Insurance. That's an added stress I don't need. Hope all is well.

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are you in USA are you looking for a human hair wig, I know there are synthetic wigs that look nice and are cheaper and you could try a bamboo wigliner under it the Noriko Jackson wig would look like a similar to your hair in the profile picture they are about £100 UK sterling I am not sure if you can get them in the states or if you would need to pay duty if its for medical reasons. there are different shades available but you need to use synthetic shampoo and no heat can be applied to them.

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directwigs.co.uk/Noriko_Jac...

that is the link to it if you can access it

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I had breakfast on chemo day, drank a litre of water before I went. Took a sandwich and more water. Fluid is the key and something to pass the time. I was usually only there about three hours but still went to male camp

I do suffer from ostrichitis but I did stay, grudgingly lol

Good luck

LA xx

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Hi Sunshine. When on chemo for the first time, I asked my onc what I should be eating. He said "whatever you can". It's true. Your taste-buds change & foods you used to enjoy are not so enjoyable.

Regarding losing your hair: eyebrows & lashes are the last to go; they are also the first to return. I hated looking at myself with no brows, but it wasn't for long and you can always draw them in. And just think: no shaving to do. Honestly, you probably won't believe it now but you get used to it; becomes a part of your life.

You mentioned wanting to punch people. I'm afraid there'll be more of that to come. You'll be told what you should eat/drink to cure your cancer. Not sure you ever really get used to that but have to remind yourself that they have no idea what to say to you and they think they're helping. Just have to grin and bear it.

Best wishes. You'll be fine. Pauline.

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I'm going to have to go have someone show me how to draw on eyebrows. I've never had to do that before. I may look like a clown :) I'm afraid that I may glue my eyes shut trying to put on fake lashes. LOL I'm always asked if my lashes are fake because the are so long and thick.

The only time I feel like throat punching people is when I'm told its just hair.... This goes right through me. I now respond with are you planning on shaving your head with me? This usually shuts them up ;)

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There are some great video guides out there for chemo makeup, by the 'Look good feel better' charity, e. g. goo.gl/z5yx3M

If you can get to one of their live workshops, you will love it. Costs nothing, leaves you with a bag of free cosmetic products and confident about achieving a good look despite chemo side effects.

Btw, my eyebrows and lashes are still present, after 3 chemos... even if they have thinned a little. As was said before, they stay around almost to the end.. thank god :).

You could try using one of those mascaras or serums that encourage lash/brow growth as well. I use those on a daily basis. Wether it actually helps, no idea to be honest. But the belief counts, right?

Xx. Maus

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I had a session scheduled for the Look good feel good and it was canceled :(

I will definitely look into the revitalash. I will try anything to keep as much as possible. Trying not to run away tonight!

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I fasted for five days over the chemo period. (See my past posts for details.) It seems to be quite controversial but a lot of research has been done regarding this (Walter Longo) and as I was fit and well prior to chemo, I thought it was worth trying! I would do it again.

Jenny

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Fasting for 5 days ~ you're a beast... LOL ~ 12 hrs is long enough.

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Hi sunshine! I had my first chemo 10 days ago, am clear cell too, but am thinking chemo kills everything so will even get those horrid clear cells floating about. I took masses of stuff the first time, but think the most important were a bottle of water, flask of tea (basically lots of fluid), some fruit, a blanket and something to read.

I’m going to eat lightly before I go next time, basically because the chemo massively messed up my digestion for 5 days, so trying to address that, it was my worst side effect. But I would eat whatever makes you happy and have a lovely meal of your favourite food 48 hours before you go 😊

It’s pretty scary but doable so far (get me, only 1 done, 5 to go!).

Best of luck with it, be thinking of you!!!

Ps I got 3% chance of chemo working, so 20% sounds pretty good to me lol

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Hello ~

I'm worried about having constipation. I hardly ever drink water (8oz in a month) But, I guess that is about to change. Trying to drink more water and less diet pop. I drink about 6-7 pops a day. I'm going to feel like I'll float away with the water intake everyone says to drink... I will force myself to drink water to flush out the Chemo drugs.

Thank you! keep me posted on your journey.

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That was my worst symptom by a mile, just awful, I think due to the anti-nausea medication I was on, ganesetron, (although I did not feel sick, so that was good). My friend had the same chemo but different anti-nausea and did not have constipation at all!

I drank water till I felt I sloshed inside! , from 24 hours before - would definitely recommend this, your skin feels nasty and your mouth too,and I think the water definitely helped with those symptoms.

Let us know how you get on xxx

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I'd take a sandwich, water and a book. Maybe some nuts/biscuits and eat normally before you go. I think I'm jinxed on chemo day. Missed the train for my first appointment. This week was second appointment and I caught the train ok but it never left the station! Some twit in Cornwall nicked the signalling equip on Tues (thanks for that) - so after sitting on the train for an hour we all got chucked off and I had to spend an hour and half on the bus, getting there very late. I did call the ward and they said I had to get there whatever the time.

By this time I got there, I'd drunk all my water and asked them if they could fill my bottle up and they said no, they were too busy! Luckily someone came round with tea (and biscuits , havent seen any food served although I go late in the day and there's a hospital cafe nearby).

I finally got out at 7pm after setting off at 1pm and was a bit hungry. Got home at 8.30pm so a long day - I only have one drug.

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Well, that's not a very good start to your journey! I hope things get better!

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I have clear cell and chemo didn't work. However I would not have been eligible for the clinical trial I am on if I had not tried chemo first. I was not scanned until several weeks after chemo finished and wished that I had insisted on a mid-chemo scan which others seem to get. I took L- glutamine while on chemo and didn't get any neuropathy. As for food I stuffed my face with sandwiches, biscuits and chocolate on chemo day but soon lost my appetite a day or 2 later but managed to eat quite healthily. I have read posts from several clear cell ladies who have had successful chemo and not recurred and also those who have had chemo which has worked for several recurrences- I am just an unlucky one.

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Hello Sunshine,

I’m sorry you are on the chemo trail; as others here have shared, no one really looks forward to it. What I have learned over these last months is I feel much better if I eat good meals and HYDRATE really well beforehand. I learned this the hard way as I didn’t drink so much last time and felt so washed out after, so lesson learned. I also bring my travel bag with necessities for the day, making sure I bring what I need to feel comfortable and occupy myself. I was very apprehensive before starting chemo, but have tolerated it well due to the pre-meds they give me as well as the chemo nurses being so understanding. Probably the worst thing is the fatigue, so listen to your body and rest. I appreciate how overwhelming it can all feel, especially with so much different information. Start with the basics and find out what works for you, it’s a bit of trial and error but you will find your way.

Wishing you the best, Christine

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Hi, I ate normally all through my chemo and whilst they were pumping it in. I gained a lot of weight and the excuse I gave was the steroids. I think a lot will depend on how you feel so I'd take that as a guide, if you feel like a good breakfast, unless they've said otherwise, I'd have it. I've lost all the gained weight and to be honest that was the last thing on my mind at the time.

Good luck, hope you sail through with no side effects. It can happen and often does.

All the best, Zena x

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Try not to imagine the worst. You may tolerate chemo quite well, like I did. Sandwiches came round in my Hospital, other pAtients were friendly, the nurses lovely. Go armed with plenty to do and follow the advice the other ladies have given you. Best of luck.

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I would ask for ice for my hands and feet in regard to neuropathy.

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Hey Sunshine,

I just ate normally. I'm not a huge breakfast eater anyway but I always ate something in case my chemo was late. My chemo experience at the Juravinski Cancer Center in Hamilton Ontario was probably the best part of my entire cancer saga. I felt like I was going to a spa i.e. recliner chair, pillow, hot blankets, cookies, pop, coffee, absolutely fantastic nurses who paid a lot of attention. Since the operation a couple of months before the chemo I had been ordered to drink 1.5 liters of water per day so I always had and still do have a bottle of water with me. I never suffered any constipation at all, in fact, the h\opposite. However, mine is colon cancer and I have an ileostomy as a result of the operation. This will now be reversed this summer.

Now I might be an oddball regarding nausea but I had zero. I went every two weeks for a two-hour drip of a mixture of three drugs. They then sent me home with a small bottle of one of them (I think it was called 5FU) for an additional 48 hours. Each hospital chemo visit they would give me a couple of nausea pills. The first time I also got some to take home but never used one of those in the entire 6 months. So to my surprise, I learned that not everyone gets sick from the chemo. Others taking the same regimen as me did get sick including a relative of mine that would feel sick for 4 days each time.

My only complaint about my chemo which ended in mid-March is the neuropathy I got that has just continued to get worse and worse. Again, everyone is different and I seem to be one of the UN-lucky ones when it comes to neuropathy. I can't do up buttons or zippers and need help getting dressed. I was so proud of myself when after losing 40 pounds I could get into jeans that I hadn't been able to fit into for ten years. I learned quickly though that I couldn't do up the button, pull up the zipper or get the belt through the belt loops. I am also tipsy and have chemo-brain. But as one friend said to me "At least you're on the right side of the grass", and I am very grateful.

Good luck :-)

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The steroids will make you hungry. Eat ONLY healthily, but lots. Chemo, Avastin etc will burn it all off. DO NOT eat the sugary treats or white bread dished out by well-meaning helpers on the chemo ward. We kinda know better now......don’t we? Smile & thank profusely, then order a large healthy lunch. I did that all 6 times.

My weight dropped by a stone & a half, as sickness hit 2 1/2 days after every chemo, but at least I knew I hadn’t filled my body with crap to go with the chemo poison.

Good good luck, & once the first one is over it does get easier I promise.

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