What to Expect at First Chemo Treatment

Updated on July 05, 2008
K.F. asks from West Covina, CA
7 answers

Help... I am starting Chemo today and am very worried. I don't know what to expect and am very scared. I will be taking emend, zofran and compazine pills as well as Neupegen injections. Any info you can give me would be greatly appreciated. :)

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answers from Las Vegas on

Hi K.,
I hope the chemo treatments are going well. I went through that last year, so I know what you're going through. Feel free to email me if you want to talk to someone about your age (also with 2 children) who has been there and done that. (____@____.com). One thing I discovered as I was having trouble staying hydrated was alkaline water. It is so much easier to drink, and hydrates your body much more efficiently. Also, cancer can only exist in an acidic environment (opposite of alkaline) I'm not trying to sell you anything, but since we have a water treatment company I was able to hook up with some suppliers of alkaline water ionizers with a decent price.
Anyway...hang in there. I found that watermelon tasted wonderful (one of the few things that actually did taste good during the chemo) as well as mandarin oranges and cottage cheese. I know this is hard to do, but if you can get some exercise on the good days (even just walking) it will help in the long run. That's one thing I wasn't very good about, and after it was all done, I realized how out of shape I had become in just 6 months or so! Also, don't feel bad about the "chemo brain" . . . your short-term memory will come back and you will feel normal again!

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hello, K.,
I had chemo last year for breast cancer, and I am all done with everything and doing well. I had different medicines than you, but I was really scared, too, at first. I had wonderful nurses and doctors in Long Beach. The 1st treatment wasn't bad at all. They wouldn't let me drive, so I always had someone with me, and sometimes they just dropped me off and picked me up 3-4 hours later. I would take a snack, and drink lots of water for hydration. I guess this is the day after you started, so maybe I'm giving too much information. I hope you had an easy time with it. It got harder for me as the treatments progressed, but with the new advancements in medicine, I never got sick at all. Just had pains in my legs and very tired. I hope for the very best for you and if I can help with any other questions, I'll be here for you. Take care,

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answers from San Diego on

Hey K., I don't know what you should expect, but trust God, and if you ever just want to talk, I'm hear and I will pray for a full recovery. J. ____@____.com

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answers from Los Angeles on

Dear K.;

it's been 2 days - How are you feeling?

First of all I want to tell you that I had Breast Cancer - diagnosed at 42 (5 1/2 years ago) and I am doing very well. There are great outcomes- so stay as positive as you can. I would be happy to tell you about my chemo, radiation and surgery, so feel free to contact me directly. I will tell you that I had adriamycin & taxotere - I never threw up (thank you zofran!!).

If your taste buds are all out of wack, treat yourself to something sweet. Cold fruit & popcicles were very refreshing when everything (including water) tasted like dirt. Day 3 is usually when I hit the wall, so get help if you can with the kids.

Be well, M.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, K.,

I wrote to you a while ago. I hope that chemotherapy goes well. Let me know if I can help.

Lynne E

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answers from Los Angeles on


Get in touch with Michelle's Place, they are located in Murrieta, CA which I know isn't real close to you, but I'm sure they could help you over the phone. Here is their website: http://www.michellesplace.org/

I'll keep you in my thoughts,

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answers from Los Angeles on

K., STAY STRONG and allow others in. You are in a wonderful community of fabulous women who would love to help - just ask us for it when you need it.

Every person is different and will react differently, so although it is scary, try to think of this as a step to healing and take it one treatment at a time.
Your kids will give you strength you never knew you had.
Although it's a different type of cancer, my dad (58) just went for his 12th round of CHEMO!!!!! He felt stronger his first few rounds and not sick at all. He still has not lost any hair (although it has thinned a bit) and these last rounds he has felt a little weak, tired and nauseous right after treatment, but the rest of the month continues on running after his 2 1/2 year old grandson. It has all been worth it! Keep cool - don't get overheated and maybe run the air or fan when you take a shower. If you are uncomfortable, speak with your Dr. Quality of life is important and they should have solutions to insure your comfort. This is your life so make sure you communicate your needs.

Enjoy every moment with your kids and let them help and love you. Enjoying life to the fullest with those you love will for sure bring you the highest quality of life - maybe even more so than prior to treatment. Life is funny that way, but sometimes before these awaking moments we miss things.

Congrats on your first steps to wellness!!!!! Do something special for yourself to celebrate today. Your family must be very proud of you for being so brave!

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