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Knowing and understanding the potential side effects of your treatment(s) can help you get thr...

Knowing and understanding the potential side effects of your treatment(s) can help you get through them.

Posted by ACH2015 on Feb 24, 2019 1:10 pm

What is old is new again. I dug up this older post for both current and newer members.

Posted by ACH2015 on Nov 8, 2017 9:21 am

Hi everyone,

Many people post on this site asking questions about specific Treatments and Side Effects.

Dealing with cancer can be scary and at times overwhelming. I suggest following these simple tips to help you get through your treatments and side effects.

1 - Make sure you understand why the Medical Team is recommending specific treatments, and what it is meant to do for you. What its purpose is.

2 - Discuss and obtain written information about the drug(s) or therapy's potential side effects. I say potential because you may or may not suffer from any or all side effects listed.

3 - Make sure you have contact (phone numbers) information available in order to contact your Oncologist, chemo or radiation clinic with questions or concerns you have during your treatments. Who to contact after hours or on weekends if problems occur you need addressed.

4 - Trust your instincts. Don't be afraid to seek assistance or ask about something that just doesn't seem right or is causing distress. Better safe than sorry. Your medical team would rather answer your questions today than deal with the consequences tomorrow. Advocate for yourself or the one you are caring for.

Many side effects can be minor - but some can be serious or become life threatening. Medical specialists are generally good at advising you when to seek immediate medical assistance regarding serious side effects during your consultations or treatments. But take that step yourself to understand what could be serious. Equally important is to share that information with your spouse, partner,or caregiver(s)

Make a written list including your Name - Health card number  - Specialists Name and Phone Number - Hospital or clinic name and contact information - and most importantly the name of the Treatment and Drugs (include dosages) you have had prescribed to you. Make sure your caregiver, spouse etc... know where it is if it's needed and take it with you if you are seeking emergency assistance or assistance outside of your own hospital or clinic.

If you get into medically difficulty - following these steps could save your life or reduce potential irreversible side effects. Quick response and the ability to share accurate information is critical toward  keeping yourself as healthy as possible during cancer - or any other medical treatments for that matter.

I have included links below from the Canadian Cancer Society that include among st multiple facets and types of cancer, Treatments and Side Effects for you to reference.

This first link is an excellent resource to help you keep information from your medical team(s) current, consistent as well as keeping track of your questions through your cancer experience.

http://www.cancer.ca/~/media/cancer.ca/CW/publications/Questions%20to%20ask/32099-1-NO.pdf

This link will open to multiple CCS resource publications to provide answers to specifics in your case.

http://www.cancer.ca/en/support-and-services/resources/publications/?region=on

Keep Well, understand, and share and compare with others here in what you are going through to give and get the benefits from the site.

ACH2015

Re: Knowing and understanding the potential side effects of your treatment(s) can help you get through them.

Posted by ACH2015 on Apr 23, 2019 9:32 am

Hi Catapple‍ 

Welcome to the site. I took the liberty of posting to you here.

You said in your profile:

"I am 48, married with 2 kids aged 12 and 13. I had breast cancer removed. My next step is chemo. I’m not sure what to write here as I’m overwhelmed with fear of chemo. At this moment this is all I can write as a profile."

I had posted a list of suggestions for making treatments and side effects a little less scary for everyone. You can read the post and the attached links for some helpful information.

I also want to include a link that talks specifically about chemotherapy and other systemic treatments for you:

http://www.cancer.ca/~/media/cancer.ca/CW/publications/Chemo%20and%20other%20drug%20therapies/32055-1-NO.pdf

When you are ready, please let us know a little more about  the cancer type you are dealing with, the treatment schedule and anything else you want to let us know. There are so many people here in the same boat - the same cancer and treatments to help guide you through your experience by sharing knowledge and helpful suggestions learned by those that have walked the path before you.

Keep well, and know you aren't alone. Cancer is scary and it can be less so by looking through and posting with us here on the site.

ACH2015 - Andy.

Re: Knowing and understanding the potential side effects of your treatment(s) can help you get through them.

Posted by Essjay on Apr 23, 2019 12:15 pm

Hi Catapple‍ welcome to the forum. Everyone here is really helpful and supportive, and answer your questions really quickly.

I’m going through breast cancer treatment too, diagnosed July 2018 age 49, triple negative breast cancer, partial mastectomy October 2018 (2 weeks after my 50th birthday), started chemo one week before Christmas (AC-Paclitaxel), dose dense every two weeks. I finished my chemo 3 weeks ago and start radiation in two weeks time.

I found chemo to be not so bad as I expected. I suffered zero nausea and my appetite was good, I maintained good blood results all through. My side effects of AC (Doxyrubicin and cyclophosphamide) were minor (fatigue, memory/concentration problems,  headaches, constipation and diarrhea), but I experienced neuropathy in addition to everything I experienced on AC on Paclitaxel so had reduced dose. I didn’t work through chemo, tried to get outside every day (despite the polar vortex), ate healthily, and kept away from crowds as much as possible (didn’t have a cold all winter - first year ever), and did a lot of resting. The fatigue was the biggest shock to me, as an active never sit down kinda gal!

Three week’s post chemo and I’m starting to feel more alive - I overdid things at the weekend, but I managed some exercise today, and I’m going into the office for a few hours tomorrow. 

As Andy ACH2015‍ says, let us know about your cancer and treatment when you are ready, and keep asking questions.

best wishes

Essjay