What it's like to go through chemo?
It'll depend on what type of cancer you have, how the chemo is delivered (orally or through IV), and the medications you're taking. Side effects may include: Fatigue and hair loss. Digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, appetite changes, nausea, and vomiting.
Can you feel good during chemo?
You may feel unwell during and shortly after each treatment but recover quickly between treatments. You may be able to get back to your usual activities as you begin to feel better. As well as feeling unwell physically, it's not unusual for people to feel up and down emotionally.
How does the first round of chemo make you feel?
The most commonly reported side effect after receiving chemotherapy is fatigue. 7 Give yourself time for extra rest and sleep in the days after a session. Tell your healthcare provider if your fatigue begins to affect your ability to function or complete basic tasks, like bathing.
Do you feel anything during chemo?
Patients often feel lightheaded, sleepy or numbed as these drugs function much like sedatives. Many take advantage of this effect to sleep through the remaining hours of drug delivery. Many patients experience a low-level warmth or mild burning sensation during chemotherapy.
What to expect when you're going through chemo?
Side effects vary and my include aches and pains, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and the dreaded hair loss. With some drugs, you could have mouth sores and loss of appetite, taste, smell, or all three. It's pretty tough, but your hope that chemo will do its job helps you get up and go for treatment.
What to Expect During Chemotherapy
What should you not do during chemotherapy?
9 things to avoid during chemotherapy treatment
- Contact with body fluids after treatment. ...
- Overextending yourself. ...
- Infections. ...
- Large meals. ...
- Raw or undercooked foods. ...
- Hard, acidic, or spicy foods. ...
- Frequent or heavy alcohol consumption. ...
How many hours does chemo take?
The length of time for chemotherapy regimens can range from 5 minutes to 8 or more hours. It all depends on the chemotherapy. Throughout the chemotherapy, your nurse will come in and check your vitals and make sure you aren't reacting to the medications.
Why does chemo hurt so much?
Chemotherapy drugs target rapidly-growing cancer cells. But they also target the healthy, fast-growing cells of the body. These cells include hair follicles and cells that line the mouth and intestines. This may result in pain or swelling in the mouth, known as oral mucositis.
How painful is a chemo port?
3. Does it hurt? Not typically, but when it is accessed for chemo or a blood draw, the initial poke does sting a bit (similar to an IV poke in your arm). Over-the-counter or doctor-prescribed numbing creams can help ease the discomfort.
Is getting chemo painful?
The actual chemotherapy process is usually painless. Some chemo drugs may cause a slight burning as they enter your vein, but this is usually minor and tends to ease as the infusion progresses. If the IV in your hand or wrist, you may feel the burning sensation moving up your arm.
How do I prepare my home for chemo?
Stay healthy and strong.
- Take it easy.
- Don't compare your body to how it was before chemotherapy.
- Drink lots of water.
- Go for a walk every day, if possible.
- Try to eat something. ...
- Read the provided handouts regarding chemotherapy and its side effects.
- Try acupuncture to help alleviate pain and nausea.
How quickly do you lose your hair with chemo?
Hair usually begins falling out two to four weeks after you start treatment. It could fall out very quickly in clumps or gradually. You'll likely notice accumulations of loose hair on your pillow, in your hairbrush or comb, or in your sink or shower drain. Your scalp may feel tender.
How many days after chemo Do you feel sick?
Acute nausea and vomiting happens within a few minutes to a few hours after you get chemo. It is usually worst during the first 4 to 6 hours after treatment and goes away within 24 hours. Delayed nausea and vomiting usually does not start until 24 hours or more after you get chemo. It can last for several days.
Does chemo make you smell?
The problem is probably due to the effects of chemotherapy on the delicate cells in the nasopharynx which trigger our sense of smell. These are temporarily damaged by certain chemotherapy drugs.
Can I drive myself to chemo?
Have a friend or family member drive you to your first treatment. Most people can drive themselves to and from chemotherapy sessions. But the first time you may find that the medications make you sleepy or cause other side effects that make driving difficult.
Does chemo make you lose weight?
Chemotherapy may directly or indirectly cause weight gain or weight loss. Slight fluctuations (a few pounds) in your weight, after chemotherapy, either up or down, are not dangerous. However, significant chemotherapy weight loss or weight gain may affect your health and/or your ability to tolerate your treatments.
How many rounds of chemo is normal?
During a course of treatment, you usually have around 4 to 8 cycles of treatment. A cycle is the time between one round of treatment until the start of the next. After each round of treatment you have a break, to allow your body to recover.
How do you sleep with a chemo port?
If your port is on the right side of your chest, sleep on your left side, or vice versa. You'll want to avoid sleeping on your stomach, at least at first, since you might feel pain at the port site. Try not to sleep with your arm raised on the side of your body that has the port since that could pull on the port.
Can you shower with a port?
For most people, a port's pretty simple to live with. Once your incision heals, you can shower, swim, and do anything else you feel up to doing. You don't need a bandage on your port when you're not using it, and there's no dressing to change.
Which is harder on the body chemo or radiation?
Since radiation therapy is focused on one area of your body, you may experience fewer side effects than with chemotherapy. However, it may still affect healthy cells in your body.
Do you need someone to drive you home after chemotherapy?
In most cases, your healthcare provider will ask you to get a ride home after your first session to see how you will tolerate the chemo. If you feel well the first time around, you may be advised that it's okay to drive home for future sessions.
Why do oncologists push chemo?
An oncologist may recommend chemotherapy before and/or after another treatment. For example, in a patient with breast cancer, chemotherapy may be used before surgery, to try to shrink the tumor. The same patient may benefit from chemotherapy after surgery to try to destroy remaining cancer cells.
What is the fastest way to recover from chemotherapy?
Here's what they had to say.
- Get some rest. ...
- Stay hydrated. ...
- Eat when you can. ...
- Create a sense of normalcy in your routine. ...
- Look to your support and care teams to have your back through treatment. ...
- Keep things around that bring you comfort. ...
- Stay ahead of your nausea. ...
- Stay positive.
Why do you have to flush the toilet twice after chemo?
Small amounts of chemotherapy are present in your body fluids and body waste. If any part of your body is exposed to any body fluids or wastes, wash the exposed area with soap and water. People in your household may use the same toilet as you, as long as you flush all waste down the toilet twice with the lid down.
Why can't chemo patients have ice?
You are being treated for cancer with a chemotherapy medication called Oxaliplatin. This medication has an unusual side effect called “cold dysesthesia”. This means that different parts of your body may be very sensitive to cold – cold drinks, cold food, and cool or cold outdoor temperatures.