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#46947 06-07-2006 04:49 PM
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smitty Offline OP
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If you had a person just beginning their chemo and radiation treatment what five suggestions would you give that person for them to get through it with the least amount of side effects?

#46948 06-07-2006 05:16 PM
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smitty,
1. Your positive attitude has every thing to do with your successful treatment.

2. One treatment at a time. Tell yourself I will be fine. This is just a minor setback

3. Communication with your Dr. is of the upmost importance. Let that person know how you are and what you are feeling

4. Think positive and treat yourself to something special. Do it often

5. Remember you are not alone in this experience. Many of us have been through it and have survived. So will you. Keep posting and let us share our experiences with you so you know that you are not ALONE


Hacklene
#46949 06-08-2006 06:28 AM
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Keep yer chin up bub! It's gonna get bad. Expect it. Do whatever it takes to feel ok in that moment to just get through to the next & pretty soon it's all over & progressively gets better. I do not belive in sugar coating. The chemo & radiation we're one of the worst experiences of my life. That being said, I AM ALIVE & CANCER FREE TODAY!!! Pay the price & revell in it! Just keep the attitude that you will do whatever it takes to kill the cancer so you can have a life back & go for it! Keep yourself nourished & hydrated, force it! Apply the radiogel diligintly to the burned skin. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!


dx 2/11/04 scca bot T3 IU 2B MO poorly differentiated, margins ok, 3/16 modest, jaw split, over half of tongue removed, free flap from left forearm - finished chemo & rad treatment 5/20/04
#46950 06-08-2006 10:00 AM
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Smitty,

1. Don't miss any appointments and do everything your doctors say, especially with the pain meds. USE THE PAIN MEDS.

2. If you have a PEG, make sure to drink water all day, sip it constantly to keep your swallowing function in shape.

3. Don't try to be brave and tough, when you're tired take a nap. When you're sad, cry. Express your emotions.

4. Do NOT sit in the house! Take a walk EVERY day, no matter how poorly you may feel.

5. Put a calender on the refrigerator, cross off each day when you come home from treatment, and take one day at a time. It will pass quickly.


SCC Left Mandible. Jaw replaced with bone from leg. Neck disection, 37 radiation treatments. Recurrence 8-28-07, stage 2, tongue. One third of tongue removed 10-4-07. 5-23-08 chemo started for tumor behind swallowing passage, Our good friend and much loved OCF member Minnie has been lost to the disease (RIP 10-29-08). We will all miss her greatly.
#46951 06-08-2006 02:31 PM
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Hi Smitty,
1) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - 2-3 liters per day
2) Let your doctors and nurses know what is really going on with you on how you are feeling physically and emotionally - do not be hesitant to take medication for anxiety, ativan is good for that
3) Get the good anti-nausea drugs and be proactive in using them - zofran worked well for my husband with compazine suppositories for break through
4) Pain medications are critical - my husband hated the short term meds because they made him loopey but found that the long acting duragesic patch did not have those side effects and controlled his pain well
5) baking soda and salt swish to rinse your mouth, magic mouthwash or lidocaine solution or gel for mouth sores
Don't forget to keep up the daily flouride and mouth care, and try to stay positive. Remember that we all have bad days and if that happens sleep it off and try again tomorrow.
Best wishes to you - Jack finished his radiation 4 weeks ago and had his last cisplatin chemo today.
Regards JoAnne


JoAnne - Caregiver to husband, cancer rt. tonsil, mets to soft palate, BOT, 7 lymph nodes - T3N2BM0, stage 4. Robotic assisted surgery, radical neck dissection 2/06; 30 IMTX treatments and 4 cycles of cisplatin completed June 06.
#46952 06-08-2006 02:54 PM
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The only things I can add to the above excellent suggestions are to try and reach out to others you may encounter along the way, give them a kind word, help them in some way, share your experience or suggestions of things that may have helped you. This will make you feel better.
In addition to crossing days off on a calendar as minniea suggested, I had my husband do that (not until he was almost halfway through, though!) and also had him start a list of things he wanted to do as soon as he was through with treatments and feeling up to it - some were very simple things, like eating fresh cantaloupe and watermelon.
Basically, keep from becoming too depressed, which for many, my husband included, requires taking an anti-depressant. This really helped.

I have seen this quote many times on this site - "It's do-able" - and at the beginning of my husband's journey, I had serious doubts about that, but if you look back and realize you made it through the day before and are about to make it through to the next, before long, you will be waking up to the last day of treatments!
Wishing you the best,
Michele


Michele, caregiver to husband, Jesse, SCC diagnosed 1/5/06 unknown primary, lf neck mass >6 cm. Chemo (Cisplatin 2x; Carboplatin & Taxol 2x) & XRT radiation 39X ending 4/4/06. Rad neck dissection 8.5 hrs 4/13/06. 30 HBO treatments Fall 2006.
#46953 06-08-2006 06:08 PM
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Here's my short list:

1. Take detailed notes, or better yet bring a note taker with you.

2. Keep a daily log of your food, fluids, medication and response/adverse effects.

3. Call the doctor, advice nurse or go to the ER if your temperature exceeds 100.5 degrees.

4. Get anti-anxiety meds if you are freaked out by the mask.

5. Take it one day at a time. Stay in the "now". It didn't pass quickly for me - it was the longest 6 months in my life - but keep focused on life after treatment.

Do all of the other stuff people told you.


Gary Allsebrook
***********************************
Dx 11/22/02, SCC, 6 x 3 cm Polypoid tumor, rt tonsil, Stage III/IVA, T3N0M0 G1/2
Tx 1/28/03 - 3/19/03, Cisplatin ct x2, IMRT, bilateral, with boost, x35(69.96Gy)
________________________________________________________
"You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes" (James 4:14 NIV)
#46954 06-09-2006 08:51 AM
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I agree with everything eveyone says. ALSO.

Take your nausea meds regularly whether you need them or not. I had little trouble with nausea becasue I took them from day one. It makes the treatment much easier to cope wiht.

Steve


SCC, base of tongue, 2 lymph nodes, stage 3/4. 35 X's IMRT radiation, chemo: Cisplatin x 2, 5FU x2, & Taxol x2. Hooray, after 3 years I'm in still in remission.
#46955 06-09-2006 12:14 PM
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jc Offline
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Thank you all so much for your suggestions. You're great!

#46956 06-10-2006 04:19 AM
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Smitty,
I'll add about organizing your support network:
Get a special friend to:

-email all your relatives friends with health updates, and forward questions to that person who can field and answer questions.

- assess your needs (work, children, elderly care, homecare: cooking, cleaning...) and field the phonecalls from all the people who want to help. Tell people who say: What can I do?...to call this friend. People want to help, they don't know what to do that's constructive. Remember, when you accept someones help, you are giving back at the same moment by allowing them to rise up one rung on their ladder of righteousness. Don't have the feeling you will have to return a lot of favors.

-make regular trips to the library for books on tape. You will have long miserable nights. A good book on tape can help you forget the pain.

-make sure the primary caregiver is alleviated from as many responsiblities as possible so that their energy is focussed on caring for you in that personal way that no one else can do.

-What I wanted more than anything during my treatment months was not the flowers, gift baskets...but that I wasn't being forgotten. Sometimes there is nothing others can do but send you a good joke in a card. The funniest one I ever got was: "Now that you are having radiation, your husband can say he's married to a really hot babe!'

-Very few people thought about making a donation in my honor (so much more important than the $50 flower arrangement). Consider getting people to come to the OCF site and donate!

Eva



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