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Hey all, I have a close (non-smoking) family member who is


about to begin kemotherapy/radiation. This is all new to us.


What suggestions can can you give and what might you suggest


to help with the effects that the treastment might cause. Thanks


in advance for any help. Blindman

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Cancer chemotherapy and especially radiation is a devestating experience, both mentally and physically. Both can result in extreme nausea and loss of appetite. Chemotherapy almost always entails a combination of drugs determined to be most effective in combating the spread of cancer, and is usually administered in intervals ranging from every 7 days to 21 days for a certain length of time, then re-evaluated for it's effectivness based upon such tests as CAT scans.


Just as some forms of cancer chemotherapy regimins have more side effects than others, some individuals tolerate it better than others. By far the most common side effect is nausea and vomiting, but other side effects such as flu like symptoms, malaise, and leg cramps are common as well. The side effects generally don't manifest immediately but within 2 to 3 days following treatment. Unfortunately, as the side effects diminish, it's often time for another round of treatment.


Many oncology regimens also entail pre-treatment with other drugs prior to receiving the cancer chemotherapy, most commonly high dose steroids started the evening before treatment, and these drugs can be quite intolerable themselves, due to side effects.


The cancer center where your family member is going to receive their treatment should have volumes of printed information on what to expect and what the treatment will entail, but I can't stress enough to have them ask question, Ask Questions, ASK QUESTIONS! The diagnosis is devastating and makes it difficult to focus on any issue other than survival, and repeated information is more likely to be remembered. The local American Cancer Society can also be an invaluable source of information.


Now, to answer your question "What suggestions can you give and what might you suggest to help with the effects the treatment might cause?" the obvious answer on this forum will be marijuana for the side effects of the nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and even the pain caused by the treatment, as well as the positive mental effect it can have.


Anti-nausea medication such as Prochlorperazine (Compazine) or Ondansetron (Zofran) will probably be prescribed, but in my opinion the drowsiness and potential extrapyramidal side effects caused by them makes them inferior to medical marijuana for it's use in fighting the symptoms of nausea resulting from cancer chemotherapy.


Also, cancer chemotherapy devestates the bodies immune system, so don't overlook the need for cleanliness in all things, especially food preparation, with this individual. Don't let them eat raw vegetables, left-over food, or anything from a can that's not cooked and used immediately. Avoid people with any type of cold or other potential respiratory infection, especially, as their chances of catching these illnesses from them is greatly magnified because of the patients compromised immune system, and if they do catch it it can be much harder to cure and recover from.


I again urge you to contact you local American Cancer Society and local support groups for more information and/or seek information on line, there is more information out there for this than probably any other medical condition. Most importantly, I would recommend you urge the indididual to keep a positive and optimistic attitude. In my opinion, the mind is the bodies most powerful weapon for treatment, and a diagnosis of cancer doesn't have to mean a death sentence


Good luck.

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Other than what the doctors will do for the side effects, You can keep a good supply of bland foods & fruit & yogurt. Also plastic silverware, he or she will taste the metal in the regular stuff. Try to refrain from cooking spicy or other smelly foods as this will cause nausea. I found fruit smoothies were good for keeping up with nutritional requirements, as this was difficult.


Nausea........ Imagine having the flue for 3-11 months straight, not the light stuff either...Whatever you would want that's what they'll need.....


The cannibus helps, makes it more tolerable at least & allowed me to eat better, sour diesel worked great for me............


Can't stress enough how important friends & family are. This person will not be themselves at times, at times will need to be alone and at times not. Knowing when those times are will be a challenge...lol..


Most important be the friend you have always been. Any change in that behavior will just re-enforce the thought that something is wrong..............Best of luck to you & your friend;

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JohnB has provided a lot of good advice. When I had chemo I had to stay in the hospital for months at a time. If your family member has to stay in the hospital for any amount of time I would suggest getting them a nice memory foam topper for the bed and some good pillows from home because hospital beds are very uncomfortable I was sleepy a lot while receiving treatment.

For me, I believe my state of mind helped me survive. I always maintained a positive train of thought because negative stress makes it that much harder for your body to heal. I watched funny movies all the time, it helped keep me in a good mood (cannabis can help with this too lol).

Its always nice to get a meal brought to you from somewhere other than the hospital if you can trust the food to be clean.

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