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Any advice please on tolerating chemo?

User
Posted 18 Aug 2019 at 22:05

Hello,

Thank you if anyone has any good advice you can share with me about how to best tolerate chemotherapy 

My recently diagnosed 76 yr old Dad (PSA 305, Gleason 9, mets in Pelvic Lymph nodes but not organs or bones) starts his round of docetaxel next week

i know that every patient is different, and I have heard of some good advice (sleep when tired, drink lots of water, eat small but often, avoid contact with other people's germs) but thanks for your own personal experiences

He is also very depressed since his diagnosis, and not listening to my advice of considering an antidepressant or counselling (he says I am his counsellor!)

Thank you!

 

User
Posted 18 Aug 2019 at 23:15
The chemo suite advised my father-in-law to chop up fresh pineapple into chunks and freeze them; then take some in a flask to suck on during the infusions. Apparently, it helps protect the mouth, especially the taste buds, and reduces the risk of the horrible metallic taste and mouth ulcers. I have seen on here that quite a lot of chemo departments give this advice, or just to suck on plain ice cubes. Important to note though that if he is on any heart meds or amoxycillin, he needs to check with a doctor before eating loads of pineapple.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 18 Aug 2019 at 23:19

I've spent last 5 weeks at Mount Vernon having radiotherapy. I would usually pop into the Macmillan centre there, mainly to allow time for the litre of water I had to drink to work its way out before heading into a traffic jam on the M25. While in there, I saw the wonderful work their volunteer counselors do for those on chemo and other treatments. If you have such a facility available, I would suggest popping in for a chat before you start treatment, and doing so again when you visit for treatments.

If you said which hospital, someone else would probably say if they have an equivalent facility there.

User
Posted 19 Aug 2019 at 07:01
Hi A171 ,my OH Gary was treated at QA Portsmouth ,he is in good hands there .His PSA was lower than your dads but Gleason the same and also pelvic nodes .i believe they have a Macmillan advice centre there .

Gary was only 55 when he had his chemo so quite a bit younger and luckily sailed through it ,even managing to continue to work everyday . Your dad has to listen to his own body and rest when needed and keep away from infections. As lynn has advised pineapple is good but Gary also gargled with Benzydamine mouth wash that was prescribed by the hospital.

Also Gary only lost body hair with head hair only thinning .

After about 2/3 sessions Gary’s PSA became undetectable,hopefully your dad will get similar results.

Best wishes .

Debby

User
Posted 19 Aug 2019 at 13:27
Hi A171,

I am a bit younger than your dad but have had 2 treatments courses on Chemo. As the others have advised everyone has different SE's in one way or other. They do give you a chemo card which is good to mark up and I always took/recorded my temperature every morning and night in case of infection. First couple of rounds are fine but then tiredness does creep in. I just took catnaps whenever possible. Fingers nails took some ridging but used a boots nail treatment for that.

Your dad's older than me and will affect him differently however my friends dad at 76 has just finished his treatment. She said he was very apprehensive and depressed before starting his treatment and as per older generation didn't like to talk about upcoming treatment. she was with him during the treatment and eventually he did relax and realise he was doing the treatment for the right reason. He did get through it but was very tired and hair did thin but a lot happier now.

Its not til you get the first session over that you realise what is involved. Mine took 3.5 hours so bring lots of reading material/ipad to wind away the hours.

Good luck

steven

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User
Posted 18 Aug 2019 at 23:15
The chemo suite advised my father-in-law to chop up fresh pineapple into chunks and freeze them; then take some in a flask to suck on during the infusions. Apparently, it helps protect the mouth, especially the taste buds, and reduces the risk of the horrible metallic taste and mouth ulcers. I have seen on here that quite a lot of chemo departments give this advice, or just to suck on plain ice cubes. Important to note though that if he is on any heart meds or amoxycillin, he needs to check with a doctor before eating loads of pineapple.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 18 Aug 2019 at 23:19

I've spent last 5 weeks at Mount Vernon having radiotherapy. I would usually pop into the Macmillan centre there, mainly to allow time for the litre of water I had to drink to work its way out before heading into a traffic jam on the M25. While in there, I saw the wonderful work their volunteer counselors do for those on chemo and other treatments. If you have such a facility available, I would suggest popping in for a chat before you start treatment, and doing so again when you visit for treatments.

If you said which hospital, someone else would probably say if they have an equivalent facility there.

User
Posted 18 Aug 2019 at 23:42

Thank you so much.  I'll be buying some pineapple tomorrow!  He's not on any other Meds, and has no co-morbidities.

User
Posted 18 Aug 2019 at 23:46

Thank you.  He's being treated at Portsmouth QA. They offer 'de-mystifying' chemo groups prior to treatment, but my dad is too Stubborn/afraid to even consider going.  Our best experience so far has been from Prostate Cancer UK, and Dad has also called the excellent Nurse support line here.

All the best for your treatment

User
Posted 19 Aug 2019 at 07:01
Hi A171 ,my OH Gary was treated at QA Portsmouth ,he is in good hands there .His PSA was lower than your dads but Gleason the same and also pelvic nodes .i believe they have a Macmillan advice centre there .

Gary was only 55 when he had his chemo so quite a bit younger and luckily sailed through it ,even managing to continue to work everyday . Your dad has to listen to his own body and rest when needed and keep away from infections. As lynn has advised pineapple is good but Gary also gargled with Benzydamine mouth wash that was prescribed by the hospital.

Also Gary only lost body hair with head hair only thinning .

After about 2/3 sessions Gary’s PSA became undetectable,hopefully your dad will get similar results.

Best wishes .

Debby

User
Posted 19 Aug 2019 at 13:27
Hi A171,

I am a bit younger than your dad but have had 2 treatments courses on Chemo. As the others have advised everyone has different SE's in one way or other. They do give you a chemo card which is good to mark up and I always took/recorded my temperature every morning and night in case of infection. First couple of rounds are fine but then tiredness does creep in. I just took catnaps whenever possible. Fingers nails took some ridging but used a boots nail treatment for that.

Your dad's older than me and will affect him differently however my friends dad at 76 has just finished his treatment. She said he was very apprehensive and depressed before starting his treatment and as per older generation didn't like to talk about upcoming treatment. she was with him during the treatment and eventually he did relax and realise he was doing the treatment for the right reason. He did get through it but was very tired and hair did thin but a lot happier now.

Its not til you get the first session over that you realise what is involved. Mine took 3.5 hours so bring lots of reading material/ipad to wind away the hours.

Good luck

steven

User
Posted 19 Aug 2019 at 20:22

Thank you both Debby and Steven for taking the time to share.  It is much appreciated.  Great advice and also given me hope that my dad will have the best outcome that is possible.  My very best to you, Alun

 
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