Chemo Tips & Tricks to Help Make Treatment a Little Better

(A beloved family member is starting their chemo journey.  I am re-posting this for him and his family in the hopes they might find some useful information.)

1. For mouth pain-Buy Biotene toothpaste and mouthwash (it’s made for dry mouth sufferers). Using these items helps the mouth pain and helps keep your mouth a little moister. Walgreen’s sells it.

2. For dry skin-Chemo dries out your body quite a bit. Switch to a moisturizing soap like Aveeno. Cetaphil lotion is non-irritating, non-greasy and quick absorbing (my dermatologist recommended these).

3. Adriamycin – The Adriamycin pretty much guarantees hair loss. Mine started falling out on day 14 after my first treatment.

4. For nosebleeds-After about 5 treatments, my mucous starting getting a little bloody, especially in the morning. My Oncologist said to use a saline spray to moisten the nasal passages, but this didn’t work very well for me. I bought a case of the small kid size Gatorades and drank one a day. Problem solved.

5. Nausea – If you get nauseated during a treatment, ask the nurse to slow down the drip (Decadron). Adding 15 minutes to the drip really reduced the discomfort. They didn’t tell me this until about treatment #9.

6. For hip pain-If you’re white cells drop and you have to get Neupogen shots, they can cause a great deal of discomfort. My hips and legs hurt so bad after the shots, Vicodin wouldn’t help. I know this sounds weird, but take an anti-histamine. The pain is caused by a histamine reaction and most of your white cells are produced in your hip region. One Zyrtec later, everything was fine.

7. Numbing Cream – If you don’t have it already, ask for Lidocaine Cream. Apply to your port area 2-3 hours before chemo and cover with Saran Wrap to allow better absorption without messing up your clothes. This numbs the injection site. Also works well for celebratory tatoo when cancer free!

8. For the ladies (Especially if you’re amply endowed) – Before having your port inserted, invest in a sports bra. The weight of your breast can cause the scar to widen because of the pulling during the healing process. I learned this the hard way. When I had my port removed, I explained this to the surgeon and he cut the scar tissue away so I could start with a fresh wound. He found it amusing, but said he had never thought of that (he looked about 20 years old). I explained to him that he only sees us lying down and wouldn’t realize they were D cups when they spread out.:-)

9. Weight Gain – If you gain >15% of your body weight and are not having difficulty with nausea, ask your doctor to decrease your Decadron a little.

10. Nausea – One of my readers used Prilosec to help alleviate nausea during treatment.

11. Tylenol – If you aren’t already given it, ask for Tylenol at the beginning of treatment.  It helps the discomfort of treatment and any headaches from chemo.

If you have any tips and tricks to share, I’d love to hear them and add them to the list. Click on the comments link below and submit them. Please let me know if you found these tips helpful.

Let’s talk fleas…

This year I opted not to use the usual on the neck flea prevention aids unless I actually saw fleas.  I did treat the yard as I usually do.  We have a lot of Ivy ground cover and cool shade so I don’t think I could get away with not treating the yard at least once.

Every night at bedtime my Poms (and a Min-pin) get a Brewers Yeast w/Garlic tablet (1,000 tablets are $11 for cats and dogs).  I’ve been using it for almost 2 years and they think it’s a treat. In addition to containing some beneficial nutrients, it is said to repel fleas because they do not like the scent.

I also use cornstarch and Lavender powder between baths.  The cornstarch, in addition to deodorizing and being soothing to the skin, is also thought to suffocate any fleas that come in contact with it.  Lavender is another aroma fleas (and other flying insects) don’t like and also makes the Poms smell fresh.

We also take in rescues and after an initial bath with a flea soap, I have used the same methods on them.

So far this year we have not seen any fleas on our dogs, the rescues or in the house.

What do you do to control fleas on your pets?

52 Week Money Challenge – Save $1,400 in 2013 painlessly

I am trying this out on our Christmas Club Account this year.
I just set a reminder on my calendar for every Monday to transfer funds.  
Now we’ll just have to decide what to splurge our new-found $1,400 on at the end of the year…

A Budget Garden Tote (or perhaps a craft tote?)

I wanted a tote to carry my gardening accessories around out back with me.  I was using a bucket, but it wasn’t very organized.

I couldn’t find anything in the stores and everything online was too pricey or not what I was looking for.  I was wandering around the house looking for something I could use when Viola!; a diaper bag!

My solution was a mini diaper bag.  The exterior bottle pockets hold my hand tools perfectly!  Not to mention there are hundreds of diaper bags out there to choose from.  It also wipes clean with just a damp cloth.

Problem Solved!

9 Tips to Maintain Your Laptop Or Notebook

9 Tips to Maintain Your Laptop Or Notebook

Many people often make mistakes in maintaining a laptop, so the laptop gets damaged. Here are tips on maintaining a laptop or notebook:

1. Do not put the notebook on a soft surface like a chair made of foam, bed and carpet. Because, it will inhibit the flow of air at the bottom of the notebook, and can cause overheating.

2. If you download software from the Internet, do not be careless. Use genuine software from the l notebook. However, if you want to use the software from the Internet, make sure you scan with antivirus software.

3. Do not put the notebook on the floor, because your kids can step on the notebook. In addition, it will be quick dirty with dust.

4. Use an electric stabilizer. You must use a stabilizer if you use the notebook without the battery, it can prevent the occurrence of voltage instability.

5. Do not place any objects between the keyboard and laptop screen. Put objects between the keyboard and laptop screen is very dangerous, because the risk of scratches on the screen. Obviously, you do not want to replace a laptop screen that just scratched.

6. You must be careful to bring a laptop with a bag. Laptop bag is not just any bag. Use, specifically bags for laptops, so the other objects do not scratch certain parts on laptops.

7. Do not put a drink around the laptop. This is dangerous, because the laptop is very sensitive to the liquid, if the liquid spilled into the keyboard, it can cause serious damage.

8. Never try to disassemble a laptop. This is a very unwise action. Laptops are not like a radio or tape recorder. Many parts of the laptop are very small, using precision machinery. If you are careless, then your laptop could be damaged.

9. Do not put your laptop in hot areas like the sun at noon.


Dear 16-year-old-me,

With the Winter skies fading away and Spring right around the corner, I thought it was a good time to re-share this video with you as a reminder that as you head out into the sun, please remember to protect yourself now, against cancer later.

You don’t have to be in the sun everyday to develop melanoma.  Cloudy days and tanning beds can be even more dangerous because people are under the misguided belief that they are safe because they are not in the sun.

Share this with your friends and family:

The Best Swimsuits for All Body Types

With summer fast approaching, please take a look at this gallery to find your perfect suit type.  Some are ridiculously priced (>$300) but most are reasonable (Old Navy $30).  Suits are set to hit stores May 1, so get there soon to get the best pick for this season.

The Best Swimsuits for All Body Types – Flattering Bathing Suits Real Simple