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Chemo - what's it actually like?

(4 Posts)
babysaurus Thu 17-Jan-13 12:46:19

Thank you both for your replies. I guess my question was a bit of a silly one as there can be so many answers as there are so many different types. My friend has made the occasional comment about it being awful but nothing specific and your answers have helped.
Good luck with your treatments x

suburbandream Wed 16-Jan-13 07:51:34

I agree with Sabriel, there are so many different types of drugs given and lots of different side effects. I've only had two sessions of chemo so far but seem to have had all the possible side effects! Most patients seem to come into the clinic, get hooked up to their drugs then walk out a few hours later but I've had to stay overnight both times. There are the expected side effects such as the nausea, extreme exhaustion and general listlessness, constipation/diarrohea, then other stuff like sore mouth, pins and needles in hands and feet. With this cold weather I can barely go out as I get terrible pins and needles in my hands to the point where I just can't grip anything, and it makes my throat feel like it will close up. I can't eat or drink anything cold whereas other people seem to suggest icecream etc is good for them. Macmillan have some good leaflets and info on their website on what to expect

Sabriel Tue 15-Jan-13 20:46:37

There are probably a million different answers to this question. Depends on the drugs being used, the frequency of the chemo, how it's administered etc.

My chemo was once a fortnight. I went into hospital as a day patient on the Wednesday, spent 3-4 hours hooked up to a drip administering 2 lots of drugs, then they sent me home attached to a portable pump which delivered the rest of the drug. On Friday I went back to the hospital to be unhooked.

Then the next week I had to go back for bloods so they could check I was well enough to have the next lot.

You don't feel anything during, except that it makes your mouth funny (I stupidly had a packet of crisps straight after the first session - not something I repeated grin ). I found I felt more and more ill as the week went on, then got better in time for the next lot. I was horribly sick after the first session but they adjust your drugs to sort that out. Each cycle I had 1 - 2 days of rotten diarrhea, plus felt really really tired (think early pregnancy kind of tired).

I didn't feel like eating and as time went on I lost all interest in anything that required any effort. I love reading, and ordinarily I would love to just sit around and read. But I found I couldn't concentrate for long enough. Same with the internet or TV. Just got tired of everything.


babysaurus Mon 14-Jan-13 21:32:31

A good friend is having a second bout at chemo as, despite hammering it with the sessions she had at the end of last year, it's now in her liver and brain. It's terminal but she wants to, obviously, last as long as she can.
She tells me bits (I don't ask, but listen if she brings it up) but mainly says its just horrendous and the nights are the worst. I imagine its like the worst kind if stomach bug and then some, but don't really know.
Can anyone who has been through it, tell me please? Also, are some forms far more hArd hitting than others? Am guessing so due to her situation.

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