I had my first chemo today. It took 5 hours! I was unprepared to spend quite that length of time in the chemo chair. This was partly because I had no idea how long it would take, and partly because I wanted to get my monthly zometa at the same time (why get stuck twice?).
After the zometa (30 minutes), the nurse gave me an anti-nausea med called zofran (30 minutes), then leucovorin
(1 hour), then 5 FU "push" (a few minutes) then more leucovorin (another hour plus). I just took another zofran now before bed as I am feeling a bit queasy.
Dr G has recommended vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 100 mg daily. It turns out this is available over the counter, not as a prescription med, and hence not covered by insurance. I have no idea how expensive it might be. The copay for the zofran tablets was $50. But it is supposed to prevent hand/foot syndrome, and because of my lymphedema I am anxious to avoid this at all costs.
I see the naturopath on Wednesday and am sure he will have other recommendations.
Rik bought some Immodium for me in case I develop diarrhea. And Dr G also recommended ativan for nausea etc.
All the information the nurse gave me came from ChemoCare.com, a program of the Scott Hamilton CARES initiative. It seems very comprehensive and geared to the patient, not too technical. I learned a lot that I had forgotten in the ten years since my first round of chemo.