How can i face more chemo?

I had my first chemo session two weeks ago. I have felt so drained and unable to be on top of things in the house, I wonder how I will ever get through the next five sessions and sometimes think I would rather die. My husband has Parkinson's and a persistent bad back so is limited. Friends in the village are kind and helpful, but there's a limit to what I can ask. Planning and getting meals is the worst thing for me, I find it hard to get my head round that. I need some encouragement please!

12 Replies

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  • Dear Maddy

    Speak to your doctor or social services to ask if you are elligible for Meals on Wheels which I think are delivered daily and ready to eat, although with all the current cut-backs the service may no longer operate in your area and I know they have tightened up the criteria so much you have to be near enough completely immobile to qualify. But it doesn't hurt to ask.

    If no luck with that there are several companies that deliver weekly supplies of frozen meals. I dont suppose I am allowed to mention their names on this site but I'm sure your local surgery, library or maybe Macmillan would be able to help and some of the companies do advertise in the papers or maybe in publications such as the Saga magazine.

    I hope this helps a bit

    All the best

    Patsy

  • Dear Maddy

    It does get better I promise you.. I was the same as you and I just thought about 5 more sessions and I wanted to give up too... I remember crying like a baby at my final session as I had made it.. it felt like such a marathon. I had Carboplatin.. not sure what you are having.. I have a dog which I had to be careful with and I used to walk (or wheeze) to a local park and let her run around while I stood still and that was me done for the day.

    Like Patsy says there are people that can help...

    Just realise you are not alone and that all of us women who have been or who are going through this are with you all the way..

    Gilly x

  • I had my first chemo session 6 days ago and I dread the second round. Thanks for the encouraging words. I have breast cancer and my treatment is called FEC.

  • For what it's worth, of the four chemo combos I've had, FEC was by far the most unpleasant....this may not be a comfort!

    But, so far at least, I've had no recurrence of my breast cancer. 

    So good luck with it. Tomato juice, watercress soup were my life-savers.....

    All the best with it. Do you have ovarian as well?

  • No I don't , thank God.  I'm having 6 rounds of Chemo, one every three weeks.  Thanks for your reply, I'm happy you have had no reoccurrence. 

  • Dear Maddy

    Though it doesn't seem like it now - you will survive the chemo so just concentrate on the practicals. There will be good/better days towards the end of each cycle so use those to plan food shopping and meals. Don't be afraid to ask those friends for more help, it's likely that they would be quite hurt to think that there's a limit to what you can ask and they will be only too pleased to help. How many times do we all answer the question 'can I do anything to help?' with 'No thanks it's fine' instead of 'If you're off to the supermarket could you pick up a loaf for me please'

    Hugs and good wishes. Janbeegee xx

  • Dear Maddy

    I understand exactly how you feel. I've just had 3 sessions and have been distressed at how cumulative the effect has been. My mindset has changed though despite how bad it makes me feel; instead of thinking of it being 'poison', I now visualise it as the SAS going into attack the bad guys! (mine resemble the little green soldiers in Toy Story!) It helps me enormously and I also think that if chemo makes me feel bad, then it's making the cancer cells feel a hell of a lot worse!

    Energy is difficult. I try and prepare for chemo now and (for example), made a huge vegetable and lentil lasagne ('cos I get terrible constipation from the steroids - not a vegetarian!) and will ensure I have 'cook chill' foods ready in the freezer with pleasant tasting soft drinks and ginger beer in the fridge! (any kind of healthy treats that I fancy) Nausea I've found is helped by having a few small snacks handy ie yoghurt covered nuts and raisins, dried apricots. Have you thought about shopping online? I've found that enormously helpful

    For the chemo flashes, buy yourself a cheap inflatable camping pillow and a tiny funnel. Fill the pillow with water and keep it in the fridge until bedtime. I put it on my pillow with a towel over the top and can sleep!

    Keep positive!

    Helen

  • Hi Maddy

    I thought I would just reinforce what the others had said. The first chemo is the worst - I couldn't believe how tired I felt and didn't think I would get through it. But I did get good days and developed coping mechanisms. They seemed to emerge naturally after I got over the shock of chemo. I did plan ahead for meals - some cooked and frozen, some bought ready made. And friends really do want to help. Talk to them about the difficulties and I am sure you will find practical offers made. I know that in our village when people have had long bouts of illness a group of neighbours have picked up the ironing, made sure that the shopping was done and have dropped off casseroles etc as needed.

    I hate the first few days after chemo when my head feels full of cotton wool and concentration is impossible - but now I know that it will happen I can relax and live with it knowing that it will pass. Dozing and listening to the radio gets me through the worse days.

    With best wishes and hugs - we will be thinking of you. Angela xx

  • Hi Maddy

    The first lot of chemo is always the worst so press on and believe it will work. After my first 6 sessions of chemo I had 3 years in remission. I have since had 2 more lots of 6 and 8 sessions respectively. You do get down but it does get better. It is good to focus on something like a hobby even if you only plant one plant or do one row of knitting or whatever your hobby is it helps.

    All the very best.

    Clematis

    p.s. I am still here 7 years on (the doctors predicted much less so ignore them!)

  • Dear Maddy

    I echo the thoughts of others that the first dose of chemotherapy is the worst. You have entered unknown territory and it feels very scary and unreal.

    For those of us who have been through chemotherapy, it is both challenging and bewildering at times.

    After the first dose, you will gain a better understanding of the necessary strategies that help you to cope. Sometimes these are just simple things, but knowing what to expect and being prepared is the key.

    I admit that at times I felt more sacared of the chemotherapy than I did of the cancer and although that sounds irrational, perhaps there are others who will understand these feelings. I found that by round 3, the half way point, I could see the end goal and that helped me persist with the process.

    Best wishes

    Isabelle

  • Hi Maddy,

    I had my second dose of chemo last week, and I do know how you feel, but honestly, the second one isn't as bad as you think it will be. I kept a diary during my first cycle, so I can look at it, and see it does get better. Also, you get more familiar with the process, which gives you confidence.

    It's worth talking to your Oncologist at your next visit, as they can adjust the dose, as he said to me, everyone reacts differently, and they don't know how you'll react until you've had it.

    Please don't give up, I'm now a third of the way through, and you will be too after your next dose.

    Lots of love, Sally.

  • Many htanks Sally and also to all you other ladies who have taken time and care in responding to me. Very much appreciated.

    I have post-op CAT scan this evening, hope that's a good result.

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