First chemo timer : Hello I am sue and sue my... - My Ovacome

My Ovacome

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First chemo timer

Chicago59 profile image

Hello I am sue and sue my first chemo next week. This may sound a bit odd but what do you do your first few days after chemo when they say you should still be fine. I feel that I will be sitting waiting until I feel ill, panicking what to eat , avoiding infection worrying if I’ve have been to the toilet. Can I go out or do I need to avoid the sun? Can anyone recommend a good gentle sun tan lotion? How do you quieten your mind after it’s been done ?

24 Replies

Hi Chicago,

I did not go through the chemo myself but my partner did. We were both also quite scared beforehand as we did not know what to expect. I know it is hard to not think about it, but the experience was not nearly as bad as we had expected. During chemo, my partner ate what she could eat. Her appetite actually increased as they give you steroid medication after the chemo to help with side effects. Ultimately, just listening to your body worked well for my partner. If she felt she could not go to the toilet, she would take some light laxatives. Your doctor would be able to recommend it. As well, the anti-nausea medication these days are amazing and work quite well.

To take your mind off of thinking, doing some exercise or just trying to meditate could help! I don't have any sun tan lotion recommendations though. You will make it through! There are a lot of medications these days to help with side effects of chemo.


Chicago59 profile image
Chicago59 in reply to Stuee01

I have seen my doctor about anxiety and they suggest I take an antidepressant. I’m not sure how this may effect me or just go through it and see how I cope. I know everyone is different but how does everyone stay calm

Stuee01 profile image
Stuee01 in reply to Chicago59

Hey Chicago,

Yah I think everyone is just built differently. Some think more than others. My partner was definitely anxious about chemo and was very scared the morning she was to go to the hospital to get the first infusion. I'm not sure how anti-depressants would help much in this particular case, but perhaps just speaking to friends/family and your support network to get your mind off of it...It's a tough one cause it is normal to be anxious and worried about something that is so new and unknown. Whatever you can do to distract yourself will help...


Casamimosa profile image
Casamimosa in reply to Chicago59

You will surprise yourself, my motto: not to worry about things you can't change if you can change it then do it if you can. Talk to family and friends or nurses at the hospital get your worries out there!

Hi Chicago59. I did reply earlier but must’ve forgotten to post it - oops!

You’re understandably scared - fear of the unknown. Bless you.

You will get through it & find your own pattern.

As steph said, listen to your own body. Try to take one day at a time ( easier said than done I know).

Also, I’d recommend you write down any questions & concerns to ask your chemo nurses. I’m sure they’ll be able to help, support & advise you.

The sun cream I’d recommend is La Roche Posay.

Take good care & be kind to yourself.

Big hugs xx

Sorry just seen you’re Sue, I’m Lynne xx


I had chemo yesterday and today I have watched some West Wing, picked up a parcel from post office and done a litte food shopping and gone for a short walk with my dog. I'm doing a few emails, then some calls and a bit of gardening. then I will rest for an hour and cook dinner. Tomorrow I am having an outdoor lunch with friend.

I agree with other ladies you will find your own pattern and work it out. With this line of chemo have been okay days 1-3 whilst on steroids, then had a tough week, then gradually picked up. I am really gentle on myself, do yoga, walks, things I want to do- I save my energy for what is important to me. I am cautious about crowded areas (wouldnt go into them) even though I am given an injection to boost immunity.

Good Luck - you will figure it out. I hope tomorrow goes smoothly,

All the best


Hello Sue, just be cool - relax, just chill, go with the flow - that’s all you can do- and let the chemo do it’s work

Hi SueGreat advice from the women above xx i would just say don’t overthink it and try and live each day as it comes. Anxiety is tough as we run away with all the possibilities that probably won’t happen xx. You could put together a few things to dip into, magazines, a box set, crafty things, whatever you want, then you can go to them if you need to ‘do’ something. I found I couldn’t settle to tv (my usual rest buddy), my friend said what do you like doing? And i used to knit when the kids were little so I started knitting again and did cushion covers. For me i am not good at resting so this helped. Like the others I didn’t find the actual side effects too bad. Make sure you drink lots of fluids after as this helps too, weirdly i didnt like many drinks after but loved pelligrino water so i stocked up on that.

Let us know how you get t on



Well. Deep breath. You may be tired most chemo is well tolerated. They control for nausea. You will have nurses to consult some people eat lightly just before and after pay attention to your body it will let you know what it needs. Stay zen. Hugs from paris

You might not even feel fragile to be honest my first session which was 9 hrs didn't really hit me till about 5 days after then it was extreme tiredness lasted a couple of days and that was it. So please try not to worry. And good luck with your treatment. Xxx

Hi Sue(?). My chemo cycle seemed similar to Sara's/Sassy196's - fine for about 3 days on steroids.. then meh for about a week, then ok. I just concentrated on the various todo's during those first few days i.e. taking steroids, taking anti-emetics, watching temperature, taking a little m*vicol or prunes to keep bowels going (but not too much as my bowels tended to wake up a day after steroids anyway and go into rollercoaster mode, uh oh). No specific plans other than maybe light retail therapy (pre-Covid). Take care and just keep an eye out for side effects, specifically fever. If you are not sure whether what you feel is alarming or not, just ring your cancer nurse to check. Crossing fingers that your chemo is a success, with little side effects. xx. Maus

Hi Sue. For me the days immediately after chemo where when I felt OK (With all the precautions we now link to covid I.e. hand sanitising for anyone coming into my house . Keeping house well ventilated. Outside if weather permits.) Given steroids to take for 3 days so you may be on a bit of a high and hyper. Make sure you don't take them after noon as this will impact on your ability to sleep . Best advice I was given by nurse was take the anti sickness meds as a matter of course. Don't wait to feel sick .I upped my laxatives to the maximum prescribed two days before treatment and carried that on until I got signs I could ease off. Don't be tempted to physically overdo it as it did catch up on me and it made me feel poorly. Didn't do it after second chemo ! Lesson learnt. As with everything our bodies responses are all different and all the above are my experiences. I did find my overall feeling that I would have to put everything on hold and be really poorly was not the case. Maybe keep a diary from day one of 1st treatment through to second as you find you fall into a pattern of 'symptons' Iam now on Avastin only. Treatment 12 of 18 due next week and for example I now know on day 5 post treatment I will get sore achey joints for 24 hrs. I don't worry now as I expect it. Hope there is something of use to you in this long post. Good luck with your 1st treatment. Xx

Thank you , all these comments help to put my mind at rest

Please do not worry yes your journey will be up and down with side effects and emotions, protect yourself as best you can but your chemo team will be alongside with you and you will have a hotline number also you have the added bonus of the Teal warriors/Ladies on here to help you when you are worried or think does this happen to me only ...most on here will have a hit a side effect or emotion you will or are experiencing, voice your concerns with your Oncology chemo team and CNS nurse they really will and do help...wish I could offer you a magic solution but sometimes it's found on areas we have not yet tested.

The first is scary but you will learn a routine. I had carbo/taxol. After my first I was tired for a couple of days but just listened to my body and slept when I wanted. By the sixth I was tired for about five days. I always had two really good weeks before the next session. But nearly all the awful side effects I had heard of did not happen, except for hair loss. Don't look for side effects just deal with them as they come. They pass. The only thing I would suggest is to take one anti sickness pill each morning. I never needed any more but you can take them if you need them. Try to eat and go for a daily walk as normal and follow as much of your usual routine as you feel up to. But don't beat yourself up if you don't feel like vacuuming an odd day or whatever. The housework will still be there when you feel like it! Make time for yourself and those you care about. I do hope your treatment goes so, so well. Best wishes x

Hi. This is all excellent advice. I was given Ativan along with two other anti nausea meds and I took it at night to help with anxiety and nausea. It’s addictive so you have to be careful about it. The actual chemo experience is fine unless you have a reaction. It’s relaxing. I was fine for four days after and then hit pretty suddenly with nausea the afternoon of day five. I agree about keeping a journal of how you feel every day. Everyone is different but keeping ahead of constipation and keeping hydrated are key. You’ll be fine once you get through the first time. Xx

I’m a big skincare geek, and I would recommend Kiehls sunscreens, especially if you have sensitive skin. The mineral sunscreen feels light on your skin, and won’t burn your eyes or irritate your skin. Best to you!

Hi Chicago, like one of the other ladies I to had chemo yesterday & didn't get home till 6.30pm so wasn't able for much. I find it helps to have the dinner prepared for myself & family the day before my chemo so when I get home they are all fed & if I feel OK it's ready to eat & then rest for the night. The steroids & anti sickness tabs you have to take, really get you over the 2 days after chemo so I do my grocery shopping the morning after it as I am normally still feeling OK. It's good for your Mind to do your normal daily chores on these days as it keeps you mind of everything. The 3rd day I crash & I don't normally be feeling the best for about 3 days 🥴but it's mostly fatigue but it also depends on what chemo you are on, but then I bounce back a little more everyday after that. Believe me you will get through this, it's really the fear of the unknown. I like you, thought it would be horrendous but got through it with only one kidney infection so hopefully you will be the same. We had booked a holiday abroad before I was diagnosed & we didn't cancel it. I used it to focus on getting through this upheaval that had arrived into our lives so suddenly. It really helped me, as it gave me something to look forward to, so maybe you could do something like that too & reward yourself after you finish. I did go on that holiday 10 days after finishing chemo July 2019, so after having 2 ops, having an ostomy bag fitted during the first op, 6 chemo's & was completely bald, I made it, & had a great holiday. I bought a big sunhat & used "Garnier delial Ambre scoláire sensitive 50+" suncream & sat in the shade most of the time. Sorry for the long reply but I hope it gives you a lift & that you know like all the other ladies on here, you will get through it too & won't find it flying by. Hope all goes well & keep me updated. Any more questions just ask, we are all on here to help each other Xx🏖️

Hi there,

I had my first chemo session 6 weeks ago and completely understand where you are. Not knowing what to expect at the hospital, back home etc was the worse thing.

The nurses in the unit will be brilliant and it’s important to tell them about anything that doesn’t feel right during your session.

I have made use of the 24/7 hotline a couple of times just to get some advise and re-assurance. It doesn’t have to be an emergency situation to call them.

For me, the first 3 days after treatment have been ok and then I have 2-3 days of feeling less ok but actually bearable.

I decided to take up cross stitch again after many years and have been taking this to hospital to keep me occupied for the 5-6 hours i am there. Audio books are also keeping me relaxed and at night I’m listening to sleep stores and meditation on my phone. Seems to help me get to sleep as I don’t often get to the end of a story!

I hope all goes well at your first session.

Take care and good luck

Fiona x

Hi Chicago, after My Chemo I felt relief it was over. I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about how I was supposed to feel. We’re all different and we deal with things our own way. If you feel good that’s OK. I just carried on as normal. At one point in my treatment I felt a bit off as if I had a chill. As luck would have it I’d received a phone call from a young assistant oncologist reporting a scan result. She asked how I was feeling and I said I had a bit of a chill I told her I’d taken paracetamol. She warned me never to take a pain killer before I took my temperature. That evening I felt rough again but this time I took my temp and it was 91.2 degrees. I had to contact the hospital and my daughter drove me there and they had antibiotics ready for me, I had sepsis. Fortunately I was there in time. ALWAYS TAKE YOUR TEMPERATURE.I didn’t have any problems with the sun after Chemo but I’m taking Rucaparib now and my skin does go red- a spf 50 should help or wear a sun hat with a peak maybe.

Best wishes

Hi Chicago,I had the rare or uncommon type of breast cancer called triple negative and a separate thyroid cancer at the same time in 2016. I had the same fears you did, my doctor tell me that the T NBC was very aggressive and very apt to return but was easier to treat. But easier to treat they hit me with some of the strongest chemo, the red devil and Taxol before my double mastectomy. I was warned I would lose my hair within a few weeks after chemo and they were right on the 13th day it was coming out and I had to shave it. I will tell you though that unlike a lot of people I was lucky I guess. I am an extreme worrier and I had probably one of the better reactions to chemo. I had a little nausea and I did not want to eat much for a few days but overall I was just extremely tired. The shot I had to receive The day after chemo caused a little more problems than the chemo itself but it was mostly just leg pain. My advice is if you have to have a shot or the Neulasta after your chemo treatment ask them for the pharmaceutical strength of Claritin to take when you have the new last year. It sounded silly to me to take a antihistamine but they did not give it to me after the first round of chemo and I was in the ER in the most severe leg pain that I could barely walk. With the Claritin it was much better. Not completely gone but tolerable. I’m just saying that everyone has different reactions it’s hard to think about and worry about and I understand. You have to go in there with the main said that you are going to beat this and the chemo is not going to affect you that bad. Do your best to stay active and keep in close contact with family and friends and do not isolate yourself at home. If you feel well enough get up and get out in the sunshine, get some vitamin D I have your friends come over and lay on the bed and out to you if that’s what you need. A good doctor and good family and friends support not to mention my for babies got me through it and I have been cancer free for three years now. You can do this. It’s scary but do not let it take over your life.

Try to carry on as normal but don't push yourself, eat whatever you fancy and drink plenty of water, note anything you are unsure about abd ring your team if worried, when you feel a bit rough just go with it and sleep or rest. Good luck

Ps, yes enjoy the sun but protectyourself with factor 30 minimum. Whatever you normally use.

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