Comfort checklist

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Hi, does anybody happen to know where i may be able to find a checklist of sorts regarding radiotherapy and chemo treatment, it was a list of things to aid with comfort and the like, tips on products etc, any help would be appreciated 

Thanks in advance 

  • Hi  , I didn’t receive anything like this via the hospital etc., prior to treatment but the information & advice from this forum was invaluable & stood me in good stead throughout. A lot of it was really practical advice but stuff that really helped!

    Another member here advised me to begin moisturising my skin that would be affected by the radiotherapy prior to treatment starting which I did, I used a basic non-perfumed moisturiser, an aqueous type cream or E45 will do the job, I don’t know if this had an impact but my skin held up really well right up until the end of treatment. My radiotherapy team supplied a similar cream for me to use In between sessions as soon as I started then as time went on & my skin began to react a little they supplied different types of creams etc.

    Lots of people here swear by the portable bidets, the ones that you fill with water & sit on top of your loo. Epsom salts is another thing I used a lot of during treatment, I’d have a long soak in an Epsom salt bath on an evening, I found this incredibly soothing especially towards the end & the couple of weeks after treatment had finished, you can use these in the portable bidet also to soak if you didn’t want to have a full on bath. 

    I had some really great practical advice such as meal prepping, I batch cooked some meals & put them in the freezer for days when I didn’t feel like cooking, the freezer dump bags are also a great idea, something that you can just defrost & throw in the slow cooker, good nutrition with very little effort (I still do these now lol). I bought ginger tea etc., preempting tummy issues with the chemo but I had no side effects from it at all, my chemo was a short infusion day 1 then oral capecitabine twice daily thereafter. Hopefully someone that has had their chemo via a pump will come along & be able to advise further on that one. I did get a touch of radiation cystitis in week 2/3 of treatment & found cranberry juice good for this. 

    Clothing - again on advise from here I went out & bought some loose fitting harem pants incase things got sore for the daily hospital visits but didn’t need them as I managed to continue wearing my jeans throughout but did wear them a lot during the couple of weeks post treatment.

    Again really practical, transport to & from your daily hospital appointments, in hindsight I probably could have driven myself throughout but there’s a local charity that services the hospital that I received my treatment at that provide transport to & from hospital for anyone receiving chemo, radiotherapy or renal treatments such as dialysis etc., so I made good use of that. 

    Make a watch list on your favourite streaming service, I absolutely rinsed Netflix & Prime! if you’re not keen on tv stock up on reading materials, puzzle books etc., just something to keep you occupied if the fatigue kicks in. I’ve just taken up crocheting & that would have been ideal for days that I had very little energy. 

    I’ve waffled on a bit but trying to think of everything I found useful that was suggested to me in the beginning, I’m sure others will be along with suggestions of things that helped them also. If you’re anything like I was you’ll find once you’ve started your treatment the time will pass a lot quicker than you expect it to. If you’ve any specific questions please just ask. 

    Nicola 

  •    hi, thank you for the advice, i came across a really helpful list someone had put together and pinned it, i found it on my other profile and since coming back on with this one, i cant seem to find it, typical!

    I do have most things covered now, transport is sorted, ive got good friends around me who are doing what they can, im so grateful for everyones understanding and the support im finding on here 

  • Ah that’s a shame, our reactions to this treatment are very individual & although there are some common threads that run through regarding side effects etc., the best advice I could give anyone going into this is take each day at a time, my radiotherapy team were the absolute best at giving tips of what to use for different side effects & provided everything I needed in the way of lotions & potions, my oncologist who I saw every Monday throughout took care of the pain medication side of things. Also in case you’re not already aware & you don’t already you’ll qualify for free prescriptions throughout your cancer journey. Once you’ve filled in the forms the medical exemption certificate will last for the 5 years surveillance period also. I’m so pleased you’ve a good support system around you, don’t be afraid to call on people when needed & remember we’re always here to help however we can. 

    Nicola 

  •   i am going into this very eyes open and ready, i understand we all react differently, that list I came across had a good list of the comfort side of things, i procured a sitz as soon as i knew about them, been a absolute gamechanger, and also implemented epsom soaks which seem to be really helpful, i can remember the obvious like loose fitting clothes and the like but i know there were some smaller bits of advice that for the life of me i cannot remember and at the time thinking 'ahh thats useful'

    I am trying to find a smartwatch that keeps an eye on body temp with alerts, that helps my anxiety more rather than manually checking with a digital thermometer, again, i did come across one but lo and behold, can i find it again!? *note to self *

    Bloody write things down ya klutz lol

  • Happyforager2

    Nicola has given you a really comprehensive reply, and I only have a couple of things to add to that.  Towards the end of treatment, I was getting quite sore and was prescribed heavy-duty pain killers (opioids).  Whilst on chemo/radiation, I invariably had diarrhoea but when that stopped the painkillers caused severe constipation.  If you are very tender that's the last thing you need, so dose up with stool softeners such as Laxido (not laxatives) at the same time to keep things very soft and moving.  I also wore Tena pants for the last couple of weeks and bought disposable sheets for the top of the under sheet.  Everything was fine, things just became a bit 'urgent' on occasion until your bowels settle down.

    The other thing is to keep the team treating you informed of anything you are going through; they are normally more than happy to prescribe dressings/creams/painkillers to help get you through this period.

    I am sure there are other things, I'll come back if I remember!

    Irene xx