Chemotherapy Side Effects and Relievers
This content is taken directly from the book – The C Card and Me –
Chapter 7 “We’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat (Eh, Medicine Cabinet), Hope this helps~
- Nausea—Ativan (and Mary Jane)
- The runs—Imodium A-D
- To soothe the burning ring of fire—Tucks medicated wipes or Preparation H
- The log jam—MiraLAX (best taken in small doses every day, see recipe below)
- Can’t sleep—Tylenol PM and Benadryl
- Can’t stop sniffling—Claritin or NyQuil to sleep through it
- Flu-like symptoms after getting Neupogen or Neulasta shots—Claritin. Take the night before and for four days following the shot.
- Bloody nose and dry sinuses—saline spray every day
- Bleeding gums—softer toothbrush and gentle paste. They will still bleed but not as much.
- Acid reflux—Zantac or the generic version, Ranitidine.
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) —Drink the cranberry cocktail (see below) at least once a day to keep UTIs at bay and to HYDRATE.
- Sensitivity to sunlight—Always wear sun protection when outside, and avoid the sun whenever you can until at least four weeks after treatment.
- Gas—Gas-X. You’re going to be drawn to spicy foods, so trust me. I tried the generic brand. It’s not even close to as effective, so go for the original. You could also try Beano before you eat.
- Mouth sores/thrush—Biotene. The moment you feel it come on, swish this around your mouth.
- Joint aches (as in, it hurts to stand up and walk) —Velvet Antler. I was hard hit by joint aches for months before a friend suggested velvet antler. I tried a couple different brands after, but to be honest, the one that stood out was www.lurongliving.com. It worked within a couple of short weeks. The pain before was so bad that I kissed the empty bottle before tossing it out.
- Hot flashes—GNC’s Phyto-Estrogen Formula.
You’ll also want a thermometer on hand, if you don’t already. Having a temperature is a sign of infection, and infections are a very bad thing. You can have one and not even know it, so be sure to take your temp on a regular basis when you’re not being seen by the pros. Ask them. They’ll tell you how often to check.
The new cranberry cocktail:
1 32-oz bottle of water (alkaline or mineral are best)
Add ¼ cup or more of just cranberry juice (bitter/unsweetened), or add fresh-squeezed lemon or lime to it.
Add ½ cap of MiraLAX, and shake it up good.
Drink one of these in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening as needed.
I asked the nurses if they had any additional suggestions, and Anita mentioned taking thin slices of ginger root and either sucking on them or putting them in water and drinking that to ease nausea. It makes sense. I’m not a fan of fresh ginger, though. It tastes like soap to me. The thought of it actually makes me a little nauseous, so I’ll be skipping out on that one, but it is a great suggestion. I’m thinking back now to how my mom gave us saltine crackers and ginger ale to soothe our tummies, and I remember liking ginger ale, especially the one she grew up with (Vernors) back in Michigan. It’s funny how that all ties in together.
UPDATE: Bouncing back after 26 cycles (even with months of breaks in between) does get harder and harder. I will say that I’ve discovered a few new things that have helped to keep the balance. I’m listing the exact brand I’m using because they work so well and I don’t know jack about whether another brand would work as well or not:
1. L-Glutamine powder, 1,000 mgs. Take a heaping tablespoon, stir it into a tall glass of water (with a splash of lemonade or whatever your fav juice is) and down the hatch. Once in the morning and again at night before you go to bed. My WBC and Platelets bounced back so much higher since I started doing this. Eight cycles in and I’ve yet to go below 1.5 (and need a booster/neulasta shot)
3. Is just a reiteration that Antler Velvet is the answer to aching joints, not Naproxin, which I switched to out of convenience and it cause a nice little ulcer. Me, an ulcer. Never in my life have I had one. Stupid move on my part, but like I said in the beginning of this thing. I tend to learn the hard way and when I do I promise to share with you~