Thursday, December 31, 2009

More on Round 7

I forgot to post about the nausea I had yesterday, which was new for me during the chemo infusion. During chemo I get an Emmend pill, and Zofran and Decadron through my port. The Emmend doesn't actually start helping til a few days later, but the other 2 should work right away.
When the nurses access my port the first thing they do is wipe it with alcohol, then flush it with saline. The saline gives me a horrible taste in my mouth, which often starts the stomach feeling a bit queasy. If I plug my nose I can't taste it. Putting a tea bag up to the nose also helps, and someone else mentioned sucking on a lemon drop. I just do the nose plug thing--works very well.
Lately the smell of the alcohol has really been bothering me, because I now associate it with chemo. So yesterday it really started my stomach feeling yucky, and no matter what I ate (eating sometimes helps with nausea), it just got worse. I had some compazine tablets in my purse so I asked the nurse if it was ok if I took one,and she said yes. She talked to me for a bit and asked if I had Lorazapam (sp?) (brand name Ativan). I do have some, but it was at home. She told me to take it before I come in next time, or even half a dose if it makes me too sleepy. Ativan helps with nausea, but it also helps to calm you down. We think the nausea started because of my association with the alcohol, not from the actual chemo. In other words, it was a psychological reaction. The nurse said its quite common after many chemo treatments.
Next time I will take the Ativan before going, and I will try plugging my nose for the alcohol smell, like I do with the saline. The compazine worked, thankfully, and I haven't had any nausea since.
Feeling pretty good so far today. The pump ALWAYS annoys me. Had a lot of leg, foot and hand cramping yesterday, should of seen me trying to walk! Its much better today. Had to turn up the furnace a little because my fingers were tingling from the cold! Its supposed to be really cold here the next few days, but I probably won't go out til next Wed. anyways. Unless we go out for supper tonight. After today I'll slowly be feeling worse and worse, until next Wed, when hopefully I'll start coming out of the fog and fatigue and start feeling better.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I pray that everyone has a prosperous and HEALTHY New Year!! (myself included!) And stay warm!! AND--please celebrate responsibly tonight. If you must drink away from home, bring a designated driver or take a cab! Don't risk your life and that of others. And plan ahead to stay warm on the way home. In our area the windchills will be 10 to 20 degrees BELOW zero!

Love and Blessings!!


  1. EVERYONE's hands and feet freeze and tingle in your house since you always keep it sub-zero! I'll bet you turned the heat all the way up to 60 degrees, didn't you?!?

    Love you and I'm praying for a healthy 2010 for you and your whole family.


  2. Nausea is such a big problem. It sounds like you've found a few strategies to combat it.
    Keep experimenting until you find what works. Ron threw up once at Chemo and they had to give him something through is port to get it under control. There was another time he threw up in the car on the trip home. So, he always keeps a bucket handy now. Fun, huh? Happy New Year. I'm wishing you the best.

  3. Ativan is the best - that's what they always gave me. They gave it to me before chemo on the first day (maybe all, who knows). They actually administered it through my port, and it works wonders. And, the association with alcohol? Yeah, I still have that. The smell of antiseptic or alcohol makes me immediately nauseous. Definitely try the Ativan - it makes me super sleepy, but it helps SO MUCH! Good luck, and here's to a better 2010 for us all!

  4. Compazine really didn't help with my nausea and Zofran gives me migraines. The one thing which did work was Ativan and I took it every day a couple times a day during chemo week and the week after.

    I hate the alcohol taste and smell when the nurse accesses my port. Oops, I should call to schedule my eight week port access flush on Monday. Forgot all about that. Was so danged happy not to have to be going to the cancer center for chemo or visits that I forgot about port maintenance.

    My mom is having surgery on Tuesday at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD for uterine and/or endometrial cancer. We found out about her cancer on December 15. Such a shocker! I've been sick with a sinus and head cold for the last week that I doubt I will be able to travel for her surgery. She suggested I get well and come to take care of her once she gets home from the hospital as my dad will have to go back to work.

    Well, hon, you are fast approaching number eight chemo treatment and you will be done! Yipee! Hooray! That will be cause for real celebration!

    Here's to a happy and healthy 2010 for all of us!

  5. I used to have to flush my catheter with heparin ... and I could taste, smell, feel it ... yuk!

    Hope you're feeling better.