Mudcat Café message #2934344 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #129864   Message #2934344
Posted By: LilyFestre
24-Jun-10 - 10:15 PM
Thread Name: BS: alison needs your good thoughts
Subject: RE: BS: alison needs your good thoughts
Hi Alison,

    I just finished 6 cycles of chemo. Whew. I can imagine it's not easy to watch and truth be told, it's not easy to go through. One thing to keep in mind is that the body is an AMAZING AMAZING thing.....the chemo knocks you down but the body will struggle as best it can to get back up. Each chemo combination is different so I don't know exactly what he will go through but you will find that it's pretty similar each time. I was told that the only thing that gets worse is the feeling of being tired...that increases with each treatment. It's a definite adjustment for him and for you.

    Sometimes it felt like the part of me that is ME would go away for a few days....lost in the chemo fog I suppose but I ALWAYS ALWAYS knew that my husband was here for me and that he was doing his best to understand and help me maintain as much NORMAL in my life as I could manage. He never has been (and still isn't) frustrated with me when I just could NOT do something even though it made extra work for him.

    Tips to make things easier: Chemo gives your taste buds a run for their money making things taste horrible. Sour candy....really sour candy (I preferred sour Jolly Ranchers) seem to get some of that chemo taste out of my mouth. Plan ahead as much as you can. I don't know how much time you have between treatments but mine were 3 weeks apart. I'd spend a week preparing for what I KNEW would be coming with the chemo aftermath. In a way, getting ready helped me deal a bit better with things as I felt like I had some control. Talk to as many people as you can or that he can. You will find people in the chemo centers are like members of a very exclusive club....one that wants to see each other through and will share secrets to managing the daily icks of chemo. ALWAYS call the chemo center if he is in pain or nauseous. My oncologists told me there was no reason for me to be in pain (although I sometimes was because I didn't want to be drugged out of my gourd ALL the time...it was a choice I made....be aware of what was going on in my life and be in pain or take pain meds and be in space...both have their place in my opinion). I had Zofran for nasuea and for me, it was an AMAZING drug that killed the nausea in it's tracks. I never did throw up. Let's see...what else. Ummmm....get in all the protein he can manage. Greek yogurt is very high in protein without having to eat a ton of food if he just doesn't feel like eating. It's like 15 grams in a cup or so. Also, both of you should be washing your hands obsessively. Ask his doctor what days his immune system is most fragile...there is a pattern and they can really tell you which day it will be. For me, it was days seven through ten after each treatment. I was and still am ridiculous about washing my hands....haven't had communion at church for almost six months...I just can't take that risk.

I'm sure there's more. THE BIGGEST thing for me was KNOWING that my husband and mom would be there for me no matter what....I cried A LOT and they would listen or hug me...not try to talk me out of it...they just were there. Sometimes I just needed Pete to curl himself around me...there were times where I felt like I couldn't have him close enough....I felt safe with his arms around me and maybe that will be the same in your relationship too. Chemo and all the medical things floating around him are scary...there's no way around it. I also found a LOT of support here. I wrote a lot and tried to take in what people had to share.

One of the best pieces of advice I got was from a friend who has stage four colon cancer. She said this to me one day when I was boo hooing. Look. You have 3 options. You can go through this and be happy and do your best to find fun along the way. You can go through this and be miserable and resist it one hundred percent of the time OR you can do nothing and die. What's your pick? It's blunt, I know and for that I'm sorry....but for me, I needed to hear that, I needed the reality of it and I needed it spelled out to me in those simple terms.

PM me anytime and know that I am keeping you both in my prayers.

Lots of love,

Michelle