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Hello! My sister will be starting chemo very soon (28 year old, brain tumor, radiotherapy finished in Feb). What can I do? What do I need to do? Tip and advice please to make the whole experience less sh***y.
Which chemo is she taking?
Some people do not suffer too many side effects. The worst may be nausea lack of apetite and fatigue.
Best thing you can do for her is be there to reassure her and make sure she eats well with healthy meals and drinks lots of water to flush out.
The other important advice is watch out for any sign of infection ie:high temperature etc as SEPSIS is a real threat to her life. If she or you suspect fever do not give paracetamol as that may mask illness and progress to a danger level. If she has an infection she must have blood test and antibiotics within an hour. I would take her to A&E immediately and explain she is on chemo. Medics will respond quickly.
Hope this helps x
Thank you for your advice, I believe it's called pcv chemo. Hopefully she won't suffer too much, she appeared to cope really well with her radiotherapy. She's worried about losing what's left of her hair but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Tell your sister that she probably won't lose her hair and I'd she does its not permanent. It'll grow back x
I've passed on your message. Do you have experience with chemo? Do you know when (if) she's likely to feel/be sick and how long for?
U could try posting in the Chemotherapy group re your questions above
Good idea, will do!
I think the answer here is - everybody is different.
I was surprised how well I coped - i Had Paclitaxel, Carboplatin and Avastin - which according to everything I read was very aggressive and I could look forward to a raft of side effects. However, I tolerated it quite well. Would suggest a stock up of Immodium and anti sickness pills. They work wonders.
Fatigue is a big issue - especially after radiotherapy.
Tell your Sister not to worry about not doing anything. Some days the most I did was to have a shower and get dressed.
As for hair loss - not all chemo causes hair loss - and there is always the cold cap which can help prevent hair loss. I just had my head shaved before I started, and it does grow back fairly quickly.
Hope everything goes well.
Thank you for your reply Jo. She finished Radiotherapy in February and other than hair loss she didn't suffer too much with side effects. All the best xxx
Yes my son 35yr old was also on PCV and within a couple of days he was nauseous and just didn't want to eat anything and he tried taking the anti sickness drugs the hospital gave him but didn't work for him. The GP then gave him a prescription for different one and he was much better.
So if one doesn't work make sure they know about it (the cancer nurse or doctor ) they will offer an alternative.
Once the new sickness tablet took effect his apetite returned slowly.
Another good tip is to suck on ice pops or lollipops from freezer as chemo can give you weird taste in your mouth.
Hope this helps please ask away for anything else you think of. X
Ok that's great advice, I hadn't even thought about ice lollies, they'll help keep her hydrated as well. I shall tell her to be vocal about the sickness tablets if they don't work.
Best wishes x
I think you have been given some good notes here.
Just one thing though. I had radio and chemo and as with most of us here I lost hair. I just cut all mine off but being a bloke that is probably easier to cope with. When my hair first grew back it was much darker than normal but it went back to normal over a short time. A problem for me is that in the area around my scar the hair has never grown back as thickly as it once was. Again for me that is no big deal but your sister may need to change her hair do a bit. I also find that my skin is numb around my scar.
All the best. Let us know how things are going.
Thanks Richard, you're all far braver than I think I would be and I'm so appreciative of any tips anyone can share. The hair she lost due to radiotherapy has started to grow back and like yours it's much darker. She has an appointment on Thursday and then chemo start next Monday. We're keeping everything crossed, I'll keep you all posted.
Best wishes xx
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