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First Chemotherapy

User
Posted 03 Sep 2019 at 17:17

My husband is facing hist first chemo within the next few weeks.  We would really appreciate any advice on the best way to make him as comfortable as possible. 

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 22:28
Worth mentioning that unless he has any medical condition that means pineapple is not good for him, you could think about buying fresh pineapple, cutting it up into chunks and freezing them. Sucking frozen pineapple during infusions protects the taste buds and helps to reduce mouth soreness and the awful metallic taste. (Mostly, when people lose their appetite during chemo, it is because food tastes awful rather than because they feel ill.) If he cant have pineapple, sucking ice cubes is an alternative
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 03 Sep 2019 at 21:11

Lots of men here have had it, my own man had it last year (10 sessions) and was mostly fine. His hair thinned a bit but he didn’t lose much. He did get flu during one period and was admitted to hospital but recovered just fine. Most of the time he was pretty much ok, some down days but nothing too bad. He allowed himself to sleep when needed and we kept away from people with germs at certain periods (he is very vulnerable to infection anyway and chemo makes that more risky). The infusion itself took around an hour but they warmed the arm up first to make sure you have a good vein and they infuse saline too to prevent damage to the blood vessels during chemo. 

On the whole it wasn’t too bad for us, 

good luck

Devonmaid 

User
Posted 03 Sep 2019 at 21:35
I’d just like to agree with the previous post. I had 6 sessions of docetaxel 4 years ago and I am now on the 7th session of my second course. Some hair loss and mild fatigue were my main side effects. Try to avoid situations where there is a risk of infection. Some people take their temperature each day but I was advised not to do this, unless actually feeling poorly. If he feels queasy, he should take the anti-nausea pills, which are very effective. With a bit of luck you and he will get through this with no major problems, and have confidence: it is a good treatment.
User
Posted 05 Sep 2019 at 06:04

Thank you both very much for this.  I was imagining all sorts of dreadful things!

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 14:14

I had my 4th cycle last week and I'm fine. I've been using the cold cap and kept all my hair so no problems with hair thinning. I have been going on my own as there's no need for support really, I don't mean this in an awful way its just that your there for a couple of hours and all I wanted to do was read magazines, snooze or generally doss. I see a lot of folks running out of conversation and its awkward, or the poor fella wants to sleep and keeps getting talked at etc. ( This is only my observations ). I have had minimal side effects, mostly restless sleep from steroids they give I think, other than that its a breeze.

Its the radiotherapy side effects that I'm not looking forward too!

Don't worry too much

Stal

 

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 20:23

Hi my husband has just completed his 4th cycle and is doing fine, although he is only on 85%.  A bit of hair thinning (he tried the cold cap but didn't like it) and taste buds slightly altered but he is still going walking and playing golf and table tennis. Lyn is right, though, side effects can be serious so I do watch him carefully - he tends to be a bit gung ho about everything. Wishing you both all the best.

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 21:26
Hi Spaull,

Iam on my third session of chemo (6,10 &10 rounds). The very first time was not knowing what happens really and would suggest the McMillan cancer website video which shows what happens. I didn’t find the session to uncomfortable and the nurses are great. Usually in for 3- 31/2 hours so if OH is going by himself bring iPad, book,etc. My OH came with me twice but I told her not to come as I found it easier just looking around me and reading. Just drove home myself. I had the cold cap so it adds to the length of time. I used it because I didn’t want our girls to know what was happening as they were only 7yo and also anyone in my business. Still using it and kept her.

Everyone has different SEs but mine first time was general tirness after 3-4 sessions, bit of sickness and lose of body hair. Otherwise fine.

Good luck

Steven

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User
Posted 03 Sep 2019 at 21:11

Lots of men here have had it, my own man had it last year (10 sessions) and was mostly fine. His hair thinned a bit but he didn’t lose much. He did get flu during one period and was admitted to hospital but recovered just fine. Most of the time he was pretty much ok, some down days but nothing too bad. He allowed himself to sleep when needed and we kept away from people with germs at certain periods (he is very vulnerable to infection anyway and chemo makes that more risky). The infusion itself took around an hour but they warmed the arm up first to make sure you have a good vein and they infuse saline too to prevent damage to the blood vessels during chemo. 

On the whole it wasn’t too bad for us, 

good luck

Devonmaid 

User
Posted 03 Sep 2019 at 21:35
I’d just like to agree with the previous post. I had 6 sessions of docetaxel 4 years ago and I am now on the 7th session of my second course. Some hair loss and mild fatigue were my main side effects. Try to avoid situations where there is a risk of infection. Some people take their temperature each day but I was advised not to do this, unless actually feeling poorly. If he feels queasy, he should take the anti-nausea pills, which are very effective. With a bit of luck you and he will get through this with no major problems, and have confidence: it is a good treatment.
User
Posted 05 Sep 2019 at 06:04

Thank you both very much for this.  I was imagining all sorts of dreadful things!

User
Posted 05 Sep 2019 at 22:35
Hi my husband had 6 x docetaxol last year and as previous posts he was mostly fine... Hair thinned.. Tired... Had a little bone pain from days 3-7. He managed to work everyday so be it from home. It was nowhere near as bad as we feared.
User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 08:53

Dear Spaull,

My Father had 6 x Docetaxel last year . He suffered from pain , fever atleast for 7 days after that he feels good and doing gardening , washing car etc. . Diet is most important to gain some energy Best of luck

Regards,

Bose

 

 

 

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 14:14

I had my 4th cycle last week and I'm fine. I've been using the cold cap and kept all my hair so no problems with hair thinning. I have been going on my own as there's no need for support really, I don't mean this in an awful way its just that your there for a couple of hours and all I wanted to do was read magazines, snooze or generally doss. I see a lot of folks running out of conversation and its awkward, or the poor fella wants to sleep and keeps getting talked at etc. ( This is only my observations ). I have had minimal side effects, mostly restless sleep from steroids they give I think, other than that its a breeze.

Its the radiotherapy side effects that I'm not looking forward too!

Don't worry too much

Stal

 

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 16:42
My father-in-law's main problem with chemo was that his wife wouldn't let him go to the pub for a few days each month when he was most vulnerable to infection.

Many find chemo not to be as bad as expected. However, do not underestimate the risks associated with chemotherapy; infection can kill because the patient's natural resistance is compromised and many suffer with serious fatigue.

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 20:23

Hi my husband has just completed his 4th cycle and is doing fine, although he is only on 85%.  A bit of hair thinning (he tried the cold cap but didn't like it) and taste buds slightly altered but he is still going walking and playing golf and table tennis. Lyn is right, though, side effects can be serious so I do watch him carefully - he tends to be a bit gung ho about everything. Wishing you both all the best.

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 21:26
Hi Spaull,

Iam on my third session of chemo (6,10 &10 rounds). The very first time was not knowing what happens really and would suggest the McMillan cancer website video which shows what happens. I didn’t find the session to uncomfortable and the nurses are great. Usually in for 3- 31/2 hours so if OH is going by himself bring iPad, book,etc. My OH came with me twice but I told her not to come as I found it easier just looking around me and reading. Just drove home myself. I had the cold cap so it adds to the length of time. I used it because I didn’t want our girls to know what was happening as they were only 7yo and also anyone in my business. Still using it and kept her.

Everyone has different SEs but mine first time was general tirness after 3-4 sessions, bit of sickness and lose of body hair. Otherwise fine.

Good luck

Steven

User
Posted 06 Sep 2019 at 22:28
Worth mentioning that unless he has any medical condition that means pineapple is not good for him, you could think about buying fresh pineapple, cutting it up into chunks and freezing them. Sucking frozen pineapple during infusions protects the taste buds and helps to reduce mouth soreness and the awful metallic taste. (Mostly, when people lose their appetite during chemo, it is because food tastes awful rather than because they feel ill.) If he cant have pineapple, sucking ice cubes is an alternative
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 07 Sep 2019 at 06:16

Again, thank you so much for your replies.  They really have settled us and made us feel positive about the whole thing.  Glad to hear people were driving themselves as we live nowhere near the hospital and Neil works full time (although he has made arrangements to work from home if necessary or not at all).  Thanks for the tip about pineapple! 

User
Posted 20 Dec 2019 at 06:59

The chemo didn't work and we are devastated.  His PSA is 55.  Next appointment will be on the 9th of January and abiraterone is next.  A specialist nurse on this site also recommended asking for a referral to the Royal Marsden.  Neil was really pinning his hopes on the chemo.  He feels absolutely dreadful and I'm not sure how much of this is down to side effects and how much by the news.

  

Edited by member 20 Dec 2019 at 07:03  | Reason: Not specified

User
Posted 20 Dec 2019 at 09:36
Try not to feel devastated - chemo rarely has an impact on prostate cancer by itself but what the Stampede trial has shown is that for many, many men it makes the abiraterone or enzalutimide much more effective. Don't let Neil think it was a waste of time; it probably wasn't.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

User
Posted 21 Dec 2019 at 07:49
Thank you, I hadn't realised this.
User
Posted 21 Dec 2019 at 13:45

Lyn I’ve read your advice about frozen pineapple a couple of times and am wishing now I’d actually tried it. OH just had third cycle of docetaxel  and is finding all food ad drink tastes weird. Is there any reason why the pineapple has to be frozen? Would straightforward pineapple work? Sensitive teeth not very keen on icy things!

User
Posted 21 Dec 2019 at 14:37
Not sure whether normal pineapple would have the same impact - the next best option for people who can't have pineapple is said to be sucking plain ice cubes. I guess it is the mouth version of the cold cap to help prevent hair loss - the cold protects the cells from the worst ravages of the chemo. Maybe the PCUK nurses will know? Or what about cutting the pineapple really small so that he can hold pieces on his tongue without them touching his teeth?
"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards." Soren Kierkegaard

 
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