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(20 Posts)
Aggy21 Sat 03-Oct-20 17:05:34

My husband has been recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and is starting chemotherapy soon. I’m terrified of the future and trying to take a day at a time and hoping/ knowing we’ll face the challenges ahead as they come. Is there any advice anyone can offer just now eg like things they wish they’d known, ideas of things I could buy just now to make life easier, without scaring me too much with details of side effects. Thank you

GagaJo Sat 03-Oct-20 17:07:16

Find out what taste for him masks the horrible mouth taste / helps the nausea a little. For me it was lemon, but I think it's a personal thing. It is really important, because he will need to be hydrated well but it's hard to keep fluids down if the taste makes the sickness worse.

tanith Sat 03-Oct-20 17:46:25

When my husband had Chemo he was very lucky with hardly any side effects. Some hair loss and tiredness but no sickness, everyone has a different experience.
I went with him for his sessions and kept supplying him with tea and sandwiches, we did crosswords and he dozed while I knitted those sessions can be for many hours and are so boring especially with no company.
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or just a chat.

joannapiano Sat 03-Oct-20 19:01:13

My husband has stage 4 cancer, diagnosed last November. We were quite knowledgeable about chemo as our son in law was diagnosed with multiple myeloma a few months before.
His first bout of chemo was the strongest, it made his blood pressure plummet, but I made sure he lay flat and raised his feet and it gradually improved.
His Oncologist then prescribed 5 further doses, but less strong, and he managed much better.
Try to take things day by day, go for short walks, eat light meals with lots of veg. He did find he had constipation and fruit and veg helped. He was never sick, the treatment is much kinder now.
He lost his hair, but it has all grown back after 4 months.
Our smaller grandkids never even noticed there was much wrong.
He is about to start radiotherapy once a week for 6 weeks.
I find he does like me around most of the time, and I try to stay positive and strong,and we still have lots of laughs!
Nights are the worst, our minds are so full of stuff,and I bought him Nytol, which he took for a week or so.
The blinking’ virus stopped some treatment for a while, so I get impatient with people moaning about lockdown etc. If that was all our family had to worry about , life would be easy!
Good luck with it all.

Grammaretto Sat 03-Oct-20 21:47:58

I am sorry to hear your news. Try not to worry too much and take a day at a time.
My DH was diagnosed 4 years ago and has advanced kidney cancer, The treatment is usually in tablet form which he takes at home though he had infusions for a while.
It isn't fun that's for sure but I come on here for relief. I hate talking about it and am always being asked. How is he? by well meaning friends. I never know what to say. He's still here.

His latest drug means he is very sleepy most of the time and has no appetite. He can't walk far so I go for walks without him but take him for drives and we still find pleasure in small things and our grandchildren, although not being able to see them often is hard.

The covid hasn't affected us too much. His hospital appointments still happen though there are more telephone consultations.

Wishing you strength and hope and all the best.xxxx

Luckygirl Sat 03-Oct-20 21:53:28

I am sorry you have this challenge ahead of you. A close friend of mine has had many sessions of chemo and, apart from the hair loss, she does not seem to be ill with it - no sickness.

kittylester Sat 03-Oct-20 22:01:54

Aggy, I have no experience of this but I am glad you started this thread. And, I hope you come back and talk to us whenever you need to. You will get lots of support as you can see.

harrigran Sun 04-Oct-20 08:40:09

I had six months of chemotherapy, it is not pleasant but they do help with anti nausea drugs.
My sense of taste was altered and I had sore hands and feet but in between sessions I led a fairly normal life.
Not every kind of chemotherapy leads to hair loss, I kept mine.
Best wishes to your DH.

Gymstagran Sun 04-Oct-20 08:47:17

My daughter had chemotherapy. We found that everybody experienced it differently. Try to get him to rest the day after his first dose, trust the nurses and ask for help when you and he needs it. My best wishes go to you both.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sun 04-Oct-20 08:47:47

Fatigue can be a problem so pace yourselves. If your hands get sore or clumsy pop shirts over your head and put away with enough buttons done up to help getting dressed each morning. A good healthy diet to try to prevent constipation is helpful and don't forget plenty of fluids. Try to keep a positive outlook.

dragonfly46 Sun 04-Oct-20 09:00:08

I was given steroids before treatment so found the effects of chemo did not kick in for a day or two after. The steroids can make you constipated so be prepared.
It depends on the chemo as to how he will feel. The first one I had made me tired but the second knocked me out so I slept a lot.
There is a lovely cordial - ginger and lemongrass which helped my taste buds and kept me hydrated. Pineapple is good if his mouth gets dry.
I finished chemo in February so PM me if you would like more info.

silverlining48 Sun 04-Oct-20 09:05:24

My tip? See the dentist before treatment starts as it can play havoc with teeth.

InnocentBystander Sun 04-Oct-20 12:47:32

Be absolutely scrupulous about any chance of infections because the chemo seriously weakens the immune system. My wife has had two courses and during the second one she developed neutropaenic sepsis. She was very unwell indeed and had to be infused with IV antibiotics in a positive pressure room to keep all further pathogens at bay. She is well now but drugs such as docetaxel really do lay the immune system low. Good Luck with the treatment; the NHS is superb with serious conditions like this.

Aggy21 Sun 04-Oct-20 12:48:40

Thank you so much everyone for all the helpful tips and observations. And I might message some of you in the future. I know it seems to affect different people in different ways. He’s to get a portacath inserted in 10 days or so. I managed to persuade him to go for a short walk with me And he felt the better for it. A day at a time. What a lovely community we have here. Family and friends are great but this kind of outlet is so helpful. Thank you all

GagaJo Sun 04-Oct-20 14:37:42


My tip? See the dentist before treatment starts as it can play havoc with teeth.

Certainly can. I had dental treatment in the middle of chemo and developed terrible toothache. Fortunately I had a young and enthusiastic dentist who went away and looked it up. Side effect of chemo. Gradually went away on its own.

Oldbat1 Sun 04-Oct-20 15:19:39

Husband has had chemo a seven years ago and will probably need more again pretty soon. He still has trouble with his feet he says it is like walking on sharp pebbles plus he has needed hearing aids since the chemo. Everyone reacts differently though. Good luck.

Sar53 Sun 04-Oct-20 15:34:12

My husband had six months of chemo 2015/2016. He lost body hair and the hair on his head did not grow in that time. He was very lucky in having private healthcare through his job, so had all his treatment in a private hospital. He had masses of anti sickness medication and seemed to get through the treatment very well.
Everyone is different and chemo will affect them in different ways. I wish you and your husband well. It's not easy watching someone you love going through the treatment xx

Stret Sun 04-Oct-20 15:42:26

Hello Aggy21
I am brand new to this & was looking for another topic
I had Chemo & radiotherapy 2 years ago
I had hair loss right after 1st Chemo
I found muscle wastage right away & lost all strength & weight.
I needed a lot of sleep after Chemo infact it came on immediately & no one could wake me for 4 days
Everyone treatment & patient is different
My main concern was mouth care l had a lot of thrush so keep an eye out.
There were many happy times during treatment. These days were filled with laughter
Wishing you both very well

Georgesgran Tue 06-Oct-20 01:59:01

My DH was diagnosed with Stage 4 on Christmas Eve 2015 and given 3 months to live. It was an incorrect diagnosis and he started RCHOP chemo in February 16. At 65 he was extremely fit and that’s been a lifesaver. Since then he’s had a further 4 courses of chemo and 3 serious bouts of Sepsis when he almost died and other issues too. Immune system plummets, but other than losing his hair, some sickness and now permanent peripheral neuropathy-he didn’t have the usual side effects suffered by others.

As others say - everyone is different. He continues to confuse his Consultants as his cancer seems to be ‘unique’.
More treatment again tomorrow.

I wish you and your DH all the best in what lies ahead. XX

NannaLyn Wed 07-Oct-20 21:18:04


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