Chemotherapy is a word that strikes fear into most of our hearts. We’ve seen the movies and heard such horrible cases about undergoing this difficult treatment for breast cancer cures that could very well kill us. I underwent chemo for breast cancer and know that, in some cases, the cancer isn’t hard ;it isn’t painful ;it doesn’t make us sick. That’s the case for most of us who have breast cancer, but don’t have distant metastases. But then, they say we need to do chemo and we understandwe’ll feel that.
Although chemo drugs haven’t changed that many, and they’re still terribly hard on our bodies, the management drugs have changed a lot. Chemotherapy, for many of us, isn’t the show-stopper we thought it would be. Of course, each of us is different and the chemo drugs and breast cancer awareness products affect each of us in different ways, but, for the most part, chemo is certainly doable.
My breast cancer was Stage IIIa, with a 5.8 cm tumor, 8 of 10 lymph nodes positive, and I was only 39 years old. That bought me a ticket for the chemo ride. And I was scared out of my wits. But, I realize an online breast cancer support group, at WebMD, and those women told me everything to expect and breast cancer signs. I went through four rounds of adriamycin and cytoxan. Both of them are some pretty stout breast cancer chemo drugs. After that, I did a controversial treatment that involved extremely high doses of cytoxan, taxol, and cisplatin, so I learned quite a bit about surviving chemotherapy.
First of all, I would highly recommend getting a port. This is a line that goes into a vein in your chest, the entrance to which sits just under your skin, right below your collarbone. It requires a quick surgery to put it in but, if you’re having a mastectomy for your breast cancer, you can get the chemo port put in at the same time. If you decide not to do that, you’ll have to get your chemo treatments through your veins and chemo is really hard on your veins. This means that you will, most likely, have to endure multiple attempts for them to find a vein, as time goes by. With the port, it’s already in a vein, so all they have to do is stick the needle into the port to access it. If you find this uncomfortable, there is a cream they can give you called Emla cream. One of the first things I learned was to tell them the moment I was uncomfortable. It’s all fixable. You’ll put the Emla cream on a bit and breast cancer awareness products before you have to have your port accessed and it’ll numb your skin.
Most breast cancer chemotherapy drugs will cause your hair to fall out. This is because chemo kills the fastly dividing cells in your body. Your mucous areas and hair follicles are affected for this reason. That’s why you may have nausea or develop mouth or throat sores. Again, all this sounds scary, but is totally manageable. Since you will probably be losing your hair, which can be quite traumatic, I would recommend going wig or hat shopping and breast cancer clothing before you even get your first chemo. Take a girlfriend with you and be adventurous. Try on different breast cancer products styles, and even colors. If you’ve always wanted to be a blonde, now’s your chance! Make a day of it and have fun with it. Goodness knows, you have to look for that silver lining every chance you get. Also, make sure to have your nausea med prescription filled before you go so you’ll have it waiting for you if you need it at home. You may be pretty tired, afterward, so don’t wait till then to get those meds.