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Tips for getting through chemo

Hey guys, so just had a double mastectomy, and am scheduled to start chemo week after next (just waiting to get a date to have my port put in now…)

Does anyone have any tips for getting through it the best way possible, and/or what it was like if you’ve gone through it?

It’s 4 rounds of dose dense A/C and 4 rounds of DD Taxol… if that makes a difference.

oncologist has called in lots of anti-nausea meds, and the required “intro to chemo class” I took yesterday has, at least, reassured me I’ll make it through, and that it may not be quite as bad as the movies or my teenage reading of Lurlene McDaniel books have made it seem… but I’m still a little nervous (of course)


also, I’m laughing because as a “New Topic” I’m getting a “Your Topic is Similar To” bar on the right, and the number one recommended similar topic is: “Getting a Mule Companion” so… yeah…



Doxyrubicin is harsh. Taxol causes joint pain.

My advice would be to take time off work and not schedule anything that needs doing over this period. Typically you have several bad days and then slowly recover a bit. You will lose your hair. It won’t really start growing until you are done Taxol. Get a bunch of scarves or hats now.

When I realized I was going to be off work for a year with surgery and chemo I said, ok a year of horses. I put my horse on field board. On doxy I could manage a visit every 2 weeks just before my next dose. On taxol I was able to ride, missing just 3 or 4 days after the dose. Now all I remember about that year is discovering new trails and riding. I think having some level of physical exercise and fun during this is important.

The chemo also isn’t that long. 4 doses of doxy is 2 months.

I found that marijuana oil really helped the doxy nausea. But there’s a very narrow margin. Two drops helped the nausea. Three drops and I was away with the fairies. Not in itself unpleasant but not my intention (I was listening to music and feeling the colors and patterns not actual hallucinations). I only did that twice.

You will get through this.

Make sure you have easy to eat food etc


I’ve been through it twice for Hodgkin’s, so my experiences may be different than yours. My taste buds really changed, so be prepared for that. I also thought I smelled…like a chemical metallic smell. No one else seemed to notice, even when I asked. If you have long hair, you may want to cut it so it’s not so shocking when it comes out. Joint pain was very real for me, too. Look into grapefruit juice… I vaguely remember there are some chemos which are helped by it and others you should stay far away from it while on it. Don’t be shy about telling your doctor or nurse about side affects. I had an intense burning in my crotch ( like sitting on a patch of nettles) I suffered with a few times before I got over my embarrassment and asked for help. Hang in there!!!:pray:


Speaking from my sister’s experience… fatigue is real, so take it easy on yourself. Listen to your body. Bone pain was probably the worst side effect during treatment. Hard candy helped with weird taste from chemicals. Let people help you - take the offered meal or the ride to and from.

Wishing you a very positive outcome!


You will feel more or less under the weather until after the Taxol is done. Don’t plan to do anything except rest, eat as well as you can, get outside as well as you can. My hospital did not allow me to drive home from chemo so I either had a friend or taxi. Get grocery delivery.

Depending on your cancer type you might have a follow up with Herceptin which is technically a “biologic” and not chemo therapy. It doesn’t have the side effects of doxy or taxol but it can cause long term brain fog even after you are off it, so keep that in mind when you return to work.


Continue to work with your team. The infusion center likely has many experienced staff members who will help.

Ginger is known to help with nausea. Ginger tea and candies along with candied ginger may help. If you are in an herb friendly state do ask.

Did they give you a copy of Breast Cancer Treatment Book by Kneece? Exceptional resource

Be sure to ask about herb supplement, medications and food that may be contraindicated with your meds. I take a medication where grapefruit is contraindicated. Let your team know what supplements you use or are interested in.


My suggestion based off my husband’s treatment is: Even if you don’t anticipate needing to smoke a joint, go ahead and get prepared. When you’re vomiting all over and desperate at midnight is not the time to try to conduct your first drug deal in over a decade and texting your friends who you think are most likely to have some on hand and roll you a joint in the middle of the night isn’t terribly efficient. The edibles don’t work fast enough so they aren’t a suitable substitute, unfortunately. I assume with it being legal in most states that you can go find a professional pot sommelier to assist with the right setup.

Also would order some disposable Emesis bags off Amazon to stash all over. Even though bowls give you a larger landing space, you might never want to use that bowl again afterward.

Hang in there. You got this.


I’ve never had chemo but have been close to people that have. I’d say that one of the best things you can do is have the right attitude. Chemo is rough and I admire people that battle through. One successful attitude that I’ve seen is “turning into the skid”.

A friend who was 38 when diagnosed with breast cancer and two kids. She knew she was going to lose her hair. When she did she had a collection of wigs and bandanas on hand. Most of them were not of the replacement for her natural hair type. They were often bright colors and wild styles. Her bandanas were the same.

Another woman I know and just completed chemo was kind of the same. Her favorite was a black bandana with skulls on it.


My best friend was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma in 2002. She went through aggressive chemo and some other IV drug treatments that I don’t recall the names of. She was in a high profile job and didn’t want her employees to know, so I took her to her appointments as she wouldn’t feel well enough to drive afterwards. She never lost her hair, although she didn’t feel well after treatment. She was deemed cancer-free after many months and tests. Almost 2 years later, some familiar symptoms started to return and she procrastinated to set up another followup with her oncologist, until I really pushed. Yes, the lymphoma had returned. Once again chemo and other drug therapy rounds were scheduled. She still kept her shoulder length hair and after months of treatments, she was again given the all clear. I think that was '04 or '05 and she has remained cancer free ever since.

She was very determined to keep most of her schedule and not let on to her co-workers or family (her father had died from Lymphoma about 8 years before her diagnosis). Her elderly mother would have crumbled to know her daughter had it, so we kept it from her as well. Talk about stress!! She only told a handful of her closest friends. Maybe her determination to fight and not let on helped her stay strong? I don’t know…I think everyone’s experience is different - mentally and physically. I would not wish cancer on my worst enemy!


No advice, but I want to send lots of jingles and healing thoughts your way. You’ve got this!


Jingles & AO ~ ((hugs)) laced with strength & comfort during your medical recovery ~