Tips for coping with Chemo

From wigs to water - a forum to discuss anything concerning chemotherapy treatments - tips, questions, advice, experiences, etc

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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:47 am

Tips for coping with Chemo

Postby Ginnyg » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:06 am

Hi - I have just finished my treatment totally - hooray! It has been nearly a year since I was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Stage 2 breast cancer and as I found a swelling under my arm they decided to put me on chemo first, one to reduce the swelling and two to make sure of no spread. This was classed as a primary cancer even though it had spread to my underarm lymph nodes. After almost 6 weeks of tests of all kinds I started my chemo. I will say I thought the first one was a doddle and I thought this is going to be alright, but, remember like most medicines, this is accumulative and as time went on I got more and more side effects - all doable though! What I would recommend, as everyone's SE's will be different and different severity, is to keep a diary, this was a godsend as I could refer back each cycle and know what to do and how to cope. Also, at the bottom of each page I kept a food diary, very important to eat well. I cut out all toxins, including chocolate, alcohol, crisps, white bread etc etc (I got most information off the internet) and my nurse said to me to try Spirulina, a nautrual product, in fact an algae from the sea in tablet form, which boosts your immune system - I swear by them now and my husband also takes them, very important to keep those white blood cell levels up ! I was treated at Montpellier teaching hospital and I found the staff there to be wonderful and kind. Losing my hair I would say was the most distressing but if you can mentally atune to this and be prepared with a wig or two, and just accept that for a few months this will change your appearance, (I did make the effort to put make-up on every day) then I promise things just start to get better. In fact my hair started to grow back even before the end of my chemo, very fine and different in colour, but at least it was hair!
This is just a short overview of my time on chemo (I had 3 x FEC and 4 x Taxotere) but if anyone wants to know more then I hope I can help because I have it all written down in my diary! I went on to have a lumpectomy and 35 radiotherapy sessions! Good luck to all and remember that light at the end of the tunnel is there! Love Ginny x

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