pre chemo prep

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Hi everyone, so inspiring to read everyone’s experiences. I start chemo on Tuesday carboplatin + paclitaxel + pembro for next 12 weeks. Every week for paclitaxel and every three weeks for the others. Any advice for things I should do, buy, prep pre chemo or during? Appreciate everyone has a different experience 



  • Hello Gemma

    I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis of breast cancer. 

    I also had carboplatin and paclitaxel chemotherapy for my womb cancer last year. I did not have pembro but hopefully someone on here will see this post and will be able to offer advice on it.

    I found chemo tiring and the days at the hospital seemed long but after the first cycle, it did feel easier because I knew what to expect.

    I used the cooling cap to prevent hair loss and that was successful for me. It doesn't work for everyone. One thing I did before chemo started was to organise a wig (I could get an NHS one at my hospital) and I also bought a few scarves to have on stand by.

    For me the first 3 days of each cycle were the ones where I felt most poorly so it helps to have plenty of snacky type foods/light meals on stand by. And plenty of drinks. I found chemo affected my taste buds and I preferred sharper tasting drinks- eg lemonade rather than hot tea. I had a fair amount of nausea and I found those little thin ginger biscuits were good. Lots of comfy clothes too, easy to get on and off. I used to snooze on and off for the first few days so set a small table up by my sofa with everything to hand. My skin got quite dry so a good moisturiser helps and I got a few pampering bits and pieces like gentle shower gels. I got some hand gel so I could keep my hands really clean without having to get up and down. I also had baby wipes next to me to freshen up. 

    I used my tablet a lot and did puzzles on it as didn't have a lot of focus. Downloaded a few games in advance. 

    ! thing to be aware of is that you do lose some immunity during chemo and it is a good idea to let people know so they don't visit you with colds etc. Its a good idea if possible to buy a reliable thermometer and keep a check on your temperature. If you need to phone your team during chemo they normally ask you for your temperature as this can indicate infection.

    Due to using the cold cap I found I got quite cold during chemo so used to take a blanket in from home and it is good to take familiar things with you. 

    I found my nails got into a poor condition due to the chemo so I used a nail conditioner and lots of hand cream. Also lip balm may help as my lips got quite sore. 

    We have a specific Chemotherapy forum on here. I found I used both groups. I will pop a link here for you in case you want to have a look. 

    Chemotherapy forum - Macmillan Online Community

    I hope this helps a bit and wish you well with your treatment. If there is anything else you need, please do ask.



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