Topic: Lessons learned on chemo
Even though I'm very new here (and very new to CC), I thought I'd share a couple of things we have already learned along the way.
Mom did 3 cycles of Gem/Cis- but we were ready to call it quits after the first treatment- we even ended up getting second half of cycle a day late.
1. Don't get dehydrated- if you do, even local patient first or ER will examine and administer fluids. Even though we thought we were looking for "dehydration symptoms", fluids were needed before then and turned her around. Years back my husband went through chemo for colon cancer- they ended up giving him two bags of fluids before each treatment and it also was the cure to his nausea.
2. They can adjust your meds. First round Emend was given in low dose through IV and pills to take on day 2 &3 at home. They changed to giving a larger dose of emend during treatment (it also save the $385 co-pay for 4 pills per cycle).
3. I think adding steroids were the key (Dexamethasone)- pills taken day of treatment and also at home days 2, 3, and 4. It also boosts the energy level.
4. If the chemo is burning going in, speak up. Having them lower the trip on the bag to make it take 45 minutes rather than 30 minutes cut the burning.
Mom was ready to give up after first week, but hydration and meds, made huge difference (I know everyone is different and I am not a health care provider). By second and third cycle, we were able to cut out zofran and other anti-nausea drugs.
Other thing is make sure you have people ready to go and get whatever food you are craving- it seems like tastes change.
Best wishes to all.