There are tons of chemo treatment plans, so I'll be giving tips and tricks for the plan I had.
I did 4 rounds of AC and 4 rounds of taxol.
Side effects may include...
Everywhere. Not only the hair on your head, but hair on your legs, arms, armpits, eyelashes, brows, nose hair, you name it! Losing my nose hair was the strangest thing. Runny nose for dayyssss. Ugh. So annoying. At least you'll save money on razors, hair appts., etc.
Tips: I was prepared for this and it was still really difficult. Losing your hair SUCKS! Cry it out, grieve the loss, and move on. Get through it and start growing back your beautiful hair.
Products: I bought wigs and never wore them. I wore head wraps every day and loved them.
Here are my favorite head wraps
Think of the Pepto jingle "Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea", just add in "vomiting, puking, hugging the toilet" and that about covers it.
Tips: I had two different anti-nausea meds that I would alternate. Ask your doc for both.
I had bone pain so severe, it made me actually cry at one point, and I'm not a sissy. The immune-boosting injection I had made my bones hurt so bad. Once I started on the taxol treatments, it got worse.
Night sweats / hot flashes - sucks big time.
Menopause - Yep. Chemo sends you into early menopause, so that's cool. 👎
Emotional meltdowns - as expected with any kind of life changing news.
Rash and allergic reactions - with the 2nd half of chemo treatment (Taxol), they give you IV Benadryl because so many people have bad reactions. I was one of them.
Taste bud changes - everything tasted like dirt. Water even tasted bad. This eventually got better.
Neuropathy - numbness in your fingers and toes. This was pretty gnarly. I still have tingling in my fingertips occasionally.
The support system is SO important. It's really hard to know what to say,
what to do, and even the right gifts to buy for someone going through cancer.
Hopefully this helps.
What do I say?
These are some things people said to me that made me feel better.
"I'm so sorry." - as small and simple as this is, it really made me feel loved.