Does the chemo treatment get easier: Hi am on my... - My Ovacome

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Does the chemo treatment get easier

OutdoorEscapeelady profile image

Hi am on my second day of my first Chemotherapy treatment I've been given paclitxel and carboplatin, am feeling really bad the worse I've ever felt, just horrible am a bit shocked by all of this wasn't prepared mentally or physically for side effects, does this get easier as the days go and will each treatment get easier or are they all the same, just trying to stay focused and positive in this and get through each step day.

65 Replies

Hi there. Everyone's different, but I did find each cycle got easier. Make sure you take all the take home drugs they give you as they will take away many of the side effects. Personally, after each session I marked on my calendar how I was feeling (marks out of 10) and any bothersome side effects for the 10 days post chemo when I didn't feel 100% - it helped to remind myself that anything I was struggling with - poor sleep + tiredness in my case - would soon pass, and that each day was an improvement on the previous one. Good luck, let us know how you get on x

Hi thank you Saffery1, for replying to me, it just hard to understand everything I don't know anyone who had chemo, so I'm grateful for everyone on here to help me, I'm so grateful for the anti sickness tablets I've been given don't know what would have happened, just so much pain in my stomach feels like my stomach is a washing machine no sleep and shakes which is all weird, I have written down everything so I can keep a idea on stuff, hoping this gets easier and I can move forward in this journey

In many respects, time is the great healer. It never gets easier but our attitudes do improve as we go through this and when that happens, we are happier and, if we have the will to continue on, then we do with whatever gusto we can muster to bring joy. My dad always said, "getting old is not for sissys." So is this dance.

I am also so very grateful for all of you ladies and the support we give one another is so very important especially as no matter how many loved ones are surrounding us, we can still feel alone.

Hi 🤗I found that my first was definitely the worst 😱Ifelt like I was connected to the national grid, my body shook non stop from head to toe.I was terrified & really didn’t think I could go through with it but looking back I think a lot of it is the fear of not knowing what to expect. Symptoms changed as I progressed through the 6 infusions, unbelievable exhaustion, tiredness,many tears etc but was able to realise that chemo is a poison & it does work but you must be kind to yourself! Allow yourself to sleep when your body tells you, eat whatever you can manage at the time surround yourself with lovely smells !It will be worth it & you will beat it 👍Keep chatting, we are all here for you 🥰XDee

Thank you Mammi, thank you for replying to me, it's certainly been a crazy shock, you read all the side effects but still hits u when they happen, I'm trying to sleep rest when ever my body tells me to, i really need to look after my body it's been through so much lately really trying to do my best and get through this best way I can and just do this and breath

Hi, for me the first was the hardest and most scary. The subsequent cycles did get better. I found the first 3days the toughest and then it leveled out a bit. Important to take the meds they gave you too. Talk to the injection nurse about ALL when you go back, they will have tips and modifications to help too..

You are doing the right thing, sleep, rest and be gentle with yourself.

It is like your body is being assaulted from the inside --->out. Sending you good energy, you can do this.

Valerie xx

Thank you henrib for replying to me, hoping it getting easier by the day, yes I will speak to injection team next time I see them, keeping a record of everything I really can feel in my body as something inside me that feels so alien to me, be glad when this is over

HiyaPoor you…I hope you get some sleep tonight…. I wonder if some of your symptoms might be the steroids? Did they give you about 4 doses to take at home? They cause insomnia, shakes and generally feeling weird. But the good news is that you feel better once you finish them! If you are taking Ondansetron for anti sickness…that gives constipation, I usually take lactulose or laxido alongside. You will feel better…chemo takes about 4 days to leave your system and after that your cells will still be affected making you tired. By week 3 you should feel more normal. Report your side effects to your chemo team in case they can adjust the dose a little …keep going you are doing a good job! xx

Hi Lyndy, thanks for your reply, I only had steroid at the beginning of treatment havnt been given anymore to take, I have been given ondansetron and dexamethasone, I will make sure I take something for constipation, as I had that after my total hysterectomy and it was the worse pain, I will let chemo team know see if they can help me, for next time, thank you for messaging me

Dexamethasone is a powerful steroid…that’s what’s giving you insomnia x

I had a conversation with my onco doc before beginning taxol this time around. I did not want the steroids because they are problematic in and as of themselves. She agreed that if the first round of three treatments went well without any allergic response that she would discontinue it. I did not and she did. I am very happy to have no steroid. Don't know if that is what bothered me mosts the first month and eliminating it has anything to do with feeling so much better or not.

Thank you blms, I have not slept properly for 4 days really do think it's the sterriods wasn't told they were sterriods said on box anti sickness, I will diffantly see if I can not have them or something else in place off, just be would try anything to make this hard journey easier

They only give you the steroids with infusion because they are concerned about a serious allergic reaction. If you have had a full month, 3 weeks on, of taxol, without allergic reaction, she/he can take it off. But, I cannot speak for the other drug you are taking. So, that is a separate question.

Hiya I’m sorry you’re having to go through this but as much as it’s making you feel pants it’s attacking the bad cells. My first chemo was the worst it was a shock to the system. I found days 3 to 10 the hardest for me then it gradually eased off and the last week was better. I became more fatigued for the last few chemos after surgery but I have just finished the six of them plus the surgery and I’ve come out the other side, as you will. It’s amazing what our bodies can adapt to. Remember to pace yourself, drink plenty of water and walk about a bit if you can. If you’ve been assigned a clinical nurse specialist they can answer any questions your concerned about. The chemo your on is a good regime and well tried and tested. We are all in this together you’re not alone, the lovely ladies on this site have been so supportive. Use distraction technique well feeling lousy, I watch comedies and detective series.

Sending you a big hug 🤗 Mish xx

Thank you heart12345, for your reply, it certainly is a bit of shock to the system, am trying to keep my fluids up and rest as much I can I know this is helpful to my body and mind, at moment I'm trying to watch some TV to help past the time take my mind of of things, it really helps having others to help on here to just listen been so kind of others to help so so grateful for this

Hi thereGreat advice from the others and i totally agree rest and drink lots of fluids. I liked sparkling water it seemed to go down better and take the mouth symptoms away a little. Dexamethasone is a steroid that they have given you to take home and the ondansetron is the sickness pill. My husband always says if it makes you feel really ill that shows it’s working well! So try and imagine it killing any stray cancer cells for me that helped to kind of visualise it x. I had some hypnotherapy at the same time as my chemo from the cancer centre at the hospital and they often offer other complementary treatments that might be worth looking into……. Anything that helps a little xx one treatment down now so you can do it!! Good luck xx

Thank you Betty, just the worse experience just battle I'm my head everytime I have a pain I'm trying to imagine lazers shooting the cells to try help me at this time, I don't how strong people are on here have so much respect for everyone

Yes it does! I kept a daily diary and detailed how I was feeling. I saw a pattern emerging, so knew which days I would be at my worst, and which I would be at my best.I could then organise my life to make the most of the good days.

Good luck. You can do this!

Jenny

Thank you Jenny, trying to keep a dairy of everything and hopefully next one will get easier

Hi this was my regime I certainly found the first couple the toughest. As time moved on I was able to see a pattern in how I felt. Week 1 =awful, week 2= a bit better, week 3 = feeling fine. I found that knowing things would follow that routine really helped me..

Thank you Ova whelmed will try to keep focus and tick off each day and get step closer to the endxx

Hi there, How your feeling is lm sure how most of us have felt it used to hit me ld say about 3 days after chemo. I was just totally drained and used to get horrid mouth ulcers that used to last for a few days, but got treatment. And then l picked up again. And although l felt like that through more sessions my body seemed to cope better with it as l went through the sessions. You must rest when you need to l never had any pain as such. Just extreme tiredness but believe me it does get better as you go along and hopefully it does the job it did for me. So if l needed it again ld have it in a heartbeat. Ask them to check you magnesium for some reason they don't alwaysBut that can make you feel even weaker if its low. Tell your nurses how you are, like one of the ladies mentioned it can be adjusted l personally just wanted to get it over with. But even went on holiday just after one if my sessions and although l didnt did much l enjoyed every minute. Just be kind to yourself when your tired lie on the bed sometimes you fall asleep 😴 sometimes you don't but rest chemo toxic its got to be . But its soon over thank goodness

and life gets so much better. Sending love ,hugs & positivity SheilaFxxx

Thank you Sheila, am been in bed for the last two days resting trying to do my body best thing, I know it will help

Just one thing to add , after first one my blood pressure used to drop like a stone , so feeling faint and weak on standing. Get up cautiously will help and should improve . Stomach and gut always volatile, the team can help with this . It will pass , and you CAN do itFeeling for you

Jennifer

Thank you. RANKIJ11 my blood pressure I can feel as dropped I've keep ING an eye on it, and making sure I don't get up to quickly, I will definitely be chatting to nurses to make sure treatment is correct for me next time

I am a relative newbie too, although had my second cycle of carboplatin and paclitaxel two and a half weeks ago, after 3 cycles of just carboplatin. I have had a horrendous time with every cycle, and never really got back to my baseline before the next one (even though it was 5 weeks gap before the last chemo because of hospitalisation and neutropenia and kidney infection). My main symptoms apart from this were absolute exhaustion and some pain, but the added paclitaxel has given me very bad peripheral neuropathy too, and the added nerve pain that goes with it. Somehow, I've managed to get through it, and I know you will too. I agree that no-one prepared me for what I might feel like (the cancer nurse in April simply said that I might feel 'a bit off' at first - what a b****y understatement!). At one point, after the first paclitaxel was added to the carboplatin, I felt that I could not continue treatment, but I did, and I know you can and will get through this. It seems like pot luck as to who is affected the worse by these drugs, and no-one can predict that. Try to hang in there, rest as much as you can, take the laxatives every day, drink lots of water, and distract yourself as much as you can, would be my advice. The latter I find the most difficult as my brain is like mush now. As others say, the steroid causes insomnia, which amplifies everything. Just when we need a good night's sleep, it's not forthcoming. It's not until the first cycle that you'll know what pattern your reaction/side effects will follow. The next cycle, hopefully it will get a bit easier, and also you'll know what to expect, which, for me at least, somehow makes it more tolerable. Take care.

Thank you Callipygian for your reply, I've been in bed for the the last 3days, have struggled, have spoken to nurse to get advice, am waiting to speak to GP today to get sleeping tablets to try help me with some much needed sleep, i think nobody could prepare you for what can happen in this treatment just shock to the system nothing can prepare you for what effects you can have

I feel for you 😫. It’s not fun. I had severe bone and nerve pain, fast heart beat, peripheral neuropathy. My dose was decreased (AUC) and chemo became almost a breeze after that. I was told to try Claritin and that helped. Just know that all the Teal sisters support you from afar!

My pain in my legs and feet have been horrible, bit like bad growing pains, hopefully I get things sorted next time and be easier for me ido hope so

Hi. Others have given good advice. I found just odensatron wasn’t enough and I took additional anti nausea meds. The stomach pains definitely abate over time. Also they can give you iv hydration if you’re not able to drink a lot of water. I found keeping a journal so valuable. Sending hugs.

Thank you delia2, for replying to me, I've not been sick but have had bad reflux which taste horrible

I have done the 6 cycles carboplatin/paclitaxol. I experienced similarities each cycle. I would suffer insomnia for 3 days after (thanks to dexamethasone), then extreme fatigue and muscle aches from day 4-7, and then started climbing uphill for the last 2 weeks. I felt pretty good after the first cycle, but For some reason suffered the most extreme side effects after the 2nd one…and cycles 3-6 were very tolerable again😊.

After each and every cycle, I would experience what I call “lightning bolt” type of pain in my stomach and lower abdomen from days 4-7 mostly. I just wrapped my head around the idea that this was the chemo killing cancer cells, let the battle continue as that!! 😉

I started at stage 4 (CA125 = 13,061) in January and now consider myself in remission as I had complete or near complete response to chemo…and CA 125 is now 39!!

The chemo may get easier to tolerate, and once you know how you feel on what days after…you can be proactive in heading off the side effects.

Day by day.

Rest, hydrate, and eat as often as you can to fuel your body. Your body will be working hard overtime whilst it’s kicking cancer cells butts!!!😜

You got this!!! ❤️

Trish

AKA: ZENA - Warrior Princess

Hi Tigger91835, the symptoms you had sounds so much like mine, while I was having the stomach pains I tried to imagine a lazers shooting the cancer cellsblasting them, it shocked me how soon this happened felt I wasn't ready for it to star, trying to visualize my body in a fight, glad your in remission and doing ok sending hugs to youxx

All of us are different but I found I was unwell for two days after the first treatment, for three after the second and third, and for four day after the rest. Then I was really, really well for over a fortnight. The emotional trauma and shock of it all was awful after the first session but it got far better as I got used to the routine. I was given sickness pills to take up to three a day. I never waited until I was feeling sick but just took one every morning and never needed any more (for the first few days after the first cycle I took three but don't think it was necessary). However, what I will say is that when you feel tired, have a nap. Don't fight the tiredness or you will feel awful. Occasionally I would be up by 7am as normal and then back in bed by 9-30am for an hour. I just let my body sleep itself better and it seemed to work. All best wishes that you feel as well as I did during my carbo/taxol chemo. Thinking of you x

Thank you for your advice Cumbrainlass5, I'm trying to rest as much as I can even it means I not sleeping, just being still in body and still in my mind too, trying to look after myself as best I can

Good. Take good care of yourself. All best wishes x

Hi, The first was the worst, because I didn’t know what I would get from the many possibilities.

With mine infusion. They first gave me a bag of steroid and something for Nausea, which stayed with me for the first two days. Then three days of intense muscle pain, which I took Tylenol for.

I would immediately drink water every morning and Orgain, chocolate meal replacement and forced myself to eat chicken noodle soup or anything put in front of me three times a day. Food is medicine. I would have cravings for McDonalds breakfast burrito or even Salads. But eat!!!!

Sleep, nap when you feel like it.

Thank you Miriam57, for your reply, before I started Chemotherapy I made lots of soups and stews put in freezer to make sure I had vegatables and proper food to help fuel me, this I tried to help me take my mind of chemo, I haven't had to think about food prep, this has been so useful, next time I'm going to prepare cooked meals so that I can just concentrate on my recovery and just deal with this treatment

PS. Forgot to say drink plenty of water and weak squash. Also, in a strange way, I quite understood the feeling of rabid animals tearing about in my body. I felt it was the chemo drugs attacking the cancer cells. Try to think of it like that. It makes the first few days easier xx

Thank you I've tried to make sure I'm drinking lots of fluids, as I felt bit dihydrated at times especially in the morning

I have a pulseoximeter. It goes on your finger to measure your heart rate and oxygen. If in the morning when you wake up, your heart rate is above 100. You are dehydrated. So you then drink 8 ounces of water and 8 ounces of Gatorade. Then push your fluids. It doesn’t just have to be water.

Thank u will have alook at what that is and check it out thank you I have just gone and purchased one thank you again

OvacomeSupport profile image
OvacomeSupportAdministrator in reply to OutdoorEscapeelady

Dear OutdoorEscapeelady,

I'm sorry to hear about how tough you are finding chemotherapy. Please discuss this with your team including how you are feeling. They will be able to advise you how to manage your fluids safely and whether you need to be measuring your heart rate.

Please do get in touch if you have any further questions.

Best wishes,

Cathryn

Support Services

Thank you Ova come support, I'm hoping I'll get an appointment with ongology before my next chemo treatment so I can discuss and chat about everything before the next one.

Everyone has given such great advice! I was the same as you never knew anything about chemo and was terrified. It helped me to get through by focusing on the first three sessions if I could get through those I can get through the other three and before you know it you have succeeded! You can do it ! It isn’t the easiest but you will be amazed that you can!

Thank you Summergold2, am grateful for everyone on here, just so glad others cest I canan gi e you advice as I had no idea about this all, I have had a wobble saying I can do another treatment just crazy just a real battle physically and mentally to get through it, I'm trying to focus and take each day and get through this best I can and go again

Hang in there I am on my second reoccurrence in a year and for the first 4 days I am just a mess. My problem is I try to do to much and ignore what my body is telling me. That being said I on the first 4 days I ask how on earth can you keep doing this. Then miraculously I feel great invisible on the 5th day and totally back to normal. Until the next time LOL. For me keeping busy gardening, playing with my horses, chickens, dog and cat keeps my mind off of it. Cooking, canning making jam baking smelling the new magnolia flower, taking a dip in the pool, seeing my husband's face light up when I make him a batch of chocolate chip cookies makes the cancer blues and my troubles with it fade away. Writing on this site and searching for trials and hoping to give strength to just one woman is more than enough satisfaction for me. Right now it is very scary for you, I give you huge kudos for reaching out so early on.......I was unable to do so because of fear and anger....as I think we all do.

ANYTIME you need to vent, share, talk anything all the Teal Ladies are here for you ...............

Big hugs, lots of love and strength

Debbie ................from San Diego CA USA!

Debbie, I like your response. I hate to say it, but it is good to hear from people in similar situations. I am in Palm Coast Florida.

Thank you Miriamn. you are right it does help as family and friends really don't understand what we go through and fear even though they mean and want the best for us. Debbie If you ever want to email me you can private message me.......

Thank you, it just helps that everyone on here understand what is happening, I feel sometime family friends mean we'll but it dosnt help sometimes

This site is awesome and supportive of us all....let alone how informative AND connects us all around the world THANK YOU OVACOME SUPPORT

Yes it certainly has helped me so much, I woukd have been so lost

Poor you. I think the first is the worst because, in addition to the heartache of a recent diagnosis, you have no idea when and if the physical symptoms will end. At least on the subsequent ones I knew that I had a tough week followed by two pretty good ones. My least nauseous chemo was when I had some acupuncture beforehand so it's worth considering. The best thing is to hunker down, watch some trash series, have a good book on the go and know that better times are coming, which make it all worth it.

Sending love and strength your way. xxx

Thank you Riverflo, love the name, friends tv series as helped me to escape for awhile when I've been able to feel like watching something, it's certainly been a rollorcoster ride alot to deal with in a short time

Yes. What matters is they work. You can sink into the fatigue it will last about a week. Nausea is controlled by meds. Neuropathy you can try glutamine powder and homeopathic meds. I have had over 6 years 76 Chemo infusions plus several surgeries. Focus on inner strength laugh alot pet your animals watch escapist telly hugs from paris

Ruebacelle so much respect to you sending hugs to you

Sometimes Chemo is cumulative though

Best thing you can do is develop your routine

Know when and what to take for constipation

Be proactive with anti nausea meds

Try ice pops lemon , cold grapes, anything that helps with the nausea

Join groups or get counseling for the emotional side cause it’s tough

For sleep don’t force it but there are integrative medicines that can help

For Neuropathy PLEASE during chemotherapy ICE your hands and feet

Get old socks cut off the toes , put on the socks

Get old knit gloves cut off the fingertips

Put on the gloves

Ask for bags of ice and put your hands and feet in the ice during the chemo

I iced for all 6 carbo /taxol 3.5hr treatments and was good

I’m now on ENHERTU maintenance chemo as I recurred unfortunately

every 3 weeks and still Ice even though it’s only a half hour treatment

Read up on your particular cancer

I know Dr GOogle isn’t the best but learning and reading and asking questions will help you feel more in control

You will get through it

Stay strong

Margaret

Sashay2020 profile image
Sashay2020 in reply to Supermary

My daughter found frozen booties and a frozen pad for my hands on line for me. I think they helped minimize the neuropathy in my feet and hands. chemo got tougher for me after my third session and thereafter. The chemo nurse said it was cumulative and for me it was. But my oncologist prescribed meds that helped me though it and I never experienced nausea. Sashay

Sashay2020 thank you for your reply I will have a look at frozen booties to help my pain will try anything to help it

Thank you Margaret for your lovely reply , I will look at this and try find what works I'm want this to be the best I can be, just want this to be done and I can move forward

Which dose of taxol are your on and how often? I have not had much complaint about taxol and going into my month 6 tomorrow morning. With that said, yes a bit a neuropathy in my toes but other than the day of infusion I feel really good. When I get the xgeva shot once a month (tomorrow), I feel a bit more in symptoms. Maybe it is the other drug. I have not had that as of yet.

Blms hi don't know what dose I'm, I will ask next time, didn't think to ask that question, your mind just can't take everything in at times, hopefully they might beable to adjust it or something and be easier next time

I agree with all the excellent advice the other ladies have given you.With my first round of chemo a friend who had already had treatment suggested acupuncture for the neuropathy. When I had diff iculty swallowing I spoke with my GP and also mentioned the stomach pain and he put me on gabapentin oxypro and paracetamol 3 times a day plus emseprozol and for the constipation octocyl docusate lactulose and senna. It all made a big difference to the pain and relief to the constipation. I have had two rounds of 6 chemos. The effects are cumulative the fatigue too. Day 1-4 was bad I never slept first night so did not try. If you can get the pain sorted I was told by my GP I should never be inpain they can sort it adjusting dosages. I still take all these meds now but apart from fatigue life is good there is light at the end of the tunnel andcns nurse will be your best friend. Good luck your doing well.

Thank you Iwillbeatit, great advice I will diffantly ask more questions, to get this less horrible experience to better one, just can't deal with another treatment like this one,just the worse thing I've ever experienced, just going to try sort best way forward for next bit

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