Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Getting Ready for Chemo

Chemo # 3 is Thursday and I've been reading a lot about what I can do to make things go just a little smoother.

I would highly recommend this book, Just Get Me Through This by Deborah A Cohena breast cancer survivor. The information clarified many concerns I've had about chemotherapy. For instance, she suggested eating a  Popsicle or ice chips during the 10 minute infusion of Adriamycin, which will minimize mouth sores. It seems that this drug damages all tissues but won't harm the mouth when the blood vessels are constricted. Now I know WHY the nurse asked if I wanted some crushed ice.

I need to do everything possible to drink at least 64 ounces of fluid EVERY day, not just the first three days after chemo. It seems that when I had that Queasy episode a week after my second chemo it was just dehydration. I actually remember that day at school. The water fountain was being replaced down the hall from my class; I didn't wanted to get water out of the bathroom and didn't make it to the cafeteria. By the time I got home I was feeling nauseous. Then I was awakened at 3 am with painful spasms down my spine; another symptom of dehydration.

The chemo chemicals cause the body to dry up; that includes my skin and eyes. I've been using Alveeno body wash, body oil and lotions along with Burt's Bees facial moisturizers and lip balm for about 4 weeks.
My vision has been blurry and my eyelids feel like sandpaper. Doc said I can use lubricating eye drops.

I've found that sour and spicy foods cut through the bad taste in my mouth which only lasts about a week. We bought cans of frozen lemonade, lemon pudding, lemon drops, a big jar of pickled cauliflower, and a bottle of hot sauce (sounds like pregnancy cravings)!

I used to love drinking a cup of plain hot water (check this post to find out why). But my son recently taught me that if the water is cold and I use a straw I can get it down quickly without the taste buds interrupting my effort.

I also decided I needed something to look forward to as soon as I was feeling better. So I made an appointment for a massage right before we start back to school in January. I'm going to have a pedicure after my 4th chemo. I'm also going to make time to visit with friends.

While I'm recovering this weekend I am planning on coloring Mandala's. I use to do this a few years ago and found it very relaxing. Read this article about how the Creative Process Helps Cancer Survivors With Overall Well-being.

Laughter is the best medicine so I'm going to watch some funny movies on Netflix. 

What movies would you suggest I order?