Chemo tips.

I will be beginning chemo next week. Treatment plan is AC 4x biweekly then taxol weekly for 12 weeks. Any tips would be appreciated.

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  • juls4juls4 Community Member
    Just left you a tip in the other topic too. One thing my doctors didn't tell me was that low grade fevers (below 100.4) can be common and can happen just by overexerting yourself. I spent a day in the sun on a boat with healthy people and then spent all night with a fever of 99 which felt like a fever of 104. I had hot flashes and chills and just felt miserable for hours while I checked my temp every 20 min. It would sometimes hover right at 100.3 or 100.4 without going over and it was extremely stressful wondering if I had an infection. Just know that low grade fevers are not going to kill you. No need to worry until you pass that 100.4 mark. Making meals ahead of time or asking for prepared meals is really helpful. My parents stayed with me for a few days after every chemo and cooked all my meals. It's not that you CAN'T cook, you just may not want to. If you get the neulasta shot, consider taking Claritin the day before, day of, and day after. It seemed to work for me to stave off bone pain. For head scarves, I recommend the pre-tied/elastic ones. They are so easy to throw on, I think they're worth the extra cost. See if there is a Look Good Feel Better (lookgoodfeelbetter.org/)program in your area, you get lots of free makeup and a tutorial for using it. And make the most of your good days, which will probably be your off week from chemo. Fill those days with fun things and treat yourself to good food while your appetite is back. Good luck!
  • Hi! I had the exact same chemo regimen! It lasted five months. Here are some tips. I think you may have started this week? I'm hoping you still are checking comments here.

    General chemo tips:
    - Stay out of the sun. I see that juls4 mentioned that in her comments, too. I spent a day at the pool with my son when I was feeling good, and I paid for it with a fever and sickness for about two days afterward.
    - Pack a big bag for chemo day and put whatever you want in it: snacks, books, electronics, etc. Even if you can't carry it in yourself and don't have anyone with you, there is bound to be someone inside who will help. The waiting room of my cancer center was full of couples and families who were happy to help out. And it's important you feel prepared when you are in that chair for half a day or more.
    - If you get the Neulasta on-body injector, get it on your tummy rather than your arm, where it can pop out. Mine did, and I had to come back to the cancer center the next day and wait half a day for the shot.
    - Hydrate. I always felt better the more water I drank.
    - Stay active if you can. I decided to take four months off work and just give my body the space it needed to tolerate these drugs. I walked during the day but going one lap around the local track was a HUGE DEAL on most days. I learned to celebrate those little things.
    - Take the time you need. When I went back to work I still had five Taxols to do, and I was just not ready. I immediately got sick and also developed lymphedema. Don't underestimate the rest your body needs.

    Specific to Taxol:
    - Add an ice pack to your chemo day bag. I got hot flashes during Taxol infusion and they lasted for an hour or two. I would wrap one flexible ice pack around my neck and put another on top of my head and it helped so much.
    - If you get bone pain call for pain medication. Don't be a hero. I was in tears after the first Taxol infusion and the pain was shooting up both legs into my knees for a week solid. Painkillers were the only thing that helped. You need to be comfortable.

    You can do this!! It feels like forever, and when you're just starting, the weeks loom in front of you like they are never-ending, but if you rest yourself and be gentle with your body you will get through this and the drugs will do their job! :-)