Saturday, February 19, 2011

Chemo Primer Tips

If you are going to go for the first cycle of chemotherapy, you can have lots of questions and concerns. Here are some tips on what to do in order to have a good experience and avoid problems later.

Two or three hours before infusion, eat light and make your choices high fiber. Chemo drugs tend to slow peristalsis (processes of digestion and bowel), so that whatever you eat may be in your digestion for more time than usual and will dry out. Eat a high fiber snack helps, since fiber helps retain moisture in the bowels. Drink plenty of water or sports drink (and avoid caffiene) to increase your electrolytes. Stay hydrated helps your cells chemo drugs through the process faster.

Before each round of chemo, you will have a blood test called a complete blood count: CBC. This will show the counts for your red and white blood cells, in comparison with healthy counts. If the counts are too low, you might not be sure having chemo. Ask the nurse to see the results of the CBC and explain them to you. Request a copy and keep it with the records in your notebook.

Each infusion chemotherapy includes a mix of drugs. Some are actually cancer-killing drugs, other medications that help the side effects of allieviate. Ask questions about all the medicines:

What is this? What are the side effects can have? What is this desire? As against this? Who do I call if I have problems with this? How you can help kill cancer cells?

Chemo drugs are very drying to the tissues of your body, and the drug will travel to each cell that you have. Right after the infusion drink 8 ounces of water every hour until bedtime. Avoid caffiene, who is also drying and may lead to feel worse. Another advantage of this very clean drinking water is that will help your body to process and chemo drugs flush out your system before, so that you can begin to recover soon, too.

After you've had your first infusion, it can feel quite well for you drive home, but if not, you will have a support person-a chemo buddy-go with her drive, take notes and to stay home with you. This person can help you keep track of taking medications after chemo, drink plenty of fluids, noting any reactions they may have and be emotionally supportive if you need that. Your support person could also bring along a movie or a good book to read to you.

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