Carol felt very sick after the first chemotherapy, so the nurses advised her to take the anti-nausea medication for the next round.
The first session is really, I think, the hardest because you don’t really… they try and explain to you what the side effects are and what could happen and what’s going to happen but I think it’s harder than you can imagine the first time. And there’s, I don’t normally take a lot of pills and I think I was taking 6-7 pills, twice/day, plus extras just to keep on top of the nausea and the constipation. There are a lot of side-effects of that first round of chemo.
It was hard to get control of it that first time because you don’t know. It got a little bit easier. So, that was every 3 weeks you had to do that one and it took you a good week to feel kind of normal and a lot of pills. I was taking a lot of pills for that time just to keep going.
Interviewer: So mostly pills to kind of help you with the side-effects of the chemo?
Yeah that’s it exactly, so there were… but then some of the pills that you were taking had side-effects, so you had to take more pills to try and counteract that. If you tried to not have any of the pills it was awful, it was awful.
Interviewer: Did you try that the first time?
I did that the first time. I did it because I’m not a big pill … I don’t like to take a lot of medicine. Then when I went in the second time, I was telling them. They said “Just be honest about what you’re doing, what’s happening, what your symptoms are, because we can’t help you unless you tell us exactly.” So when I told them they said “Okay you’re going to have to let that go and just take the pills because we can help you but only if you take it the way that we’re telling you to take it.” So after that I followed it carefully and it was much, much better.
- Chemotherapy – CarolCarol felt very sick after the first chemotherapy, so the nurses advised her to take the anti-nausea medication for the next round.
- Chimiothérapie – CarolCarol a été très malade après son premier traitement de chimiothérapie. Les infirmières lui ont alors conseillé de prendre les médicaments contre la nausée pour le second traitement.
- Finding and sharing information – CarolCarol stopped searching on the Internet as she found the range of information too wide.
- Understanding the diagnosis – CarolCarol describes how medical breast cancer knowledge has increased but she is not fully reassured; there is still this knowing in her head that it could possible come back.
- Talking to children about cancer – CarolCarol has four children (between 6 and 11 years old). But it was her oldest daughter who was most aware of the possibility of dying.
- Physical activity and diet changes – CarolCarol sometimes found it hard to maintain a healthy diet, especially with kids and while feeling tired.
- Follow-up care and the risk of recurrence – CarolCarol had been told that she would be closely watched for 10 years. She felt this was a long time to live in a state of fearfulness.
- How it affects family and friends – CarolIt is not a big deal for Carol to go out in her local community.