Fiddly Bits and Tricks for AC-T Chemo

Dearest Liver,

I learned a new word while at chemo today: fiddly bits. My new favorite chemo nurse, Caroline, said it to me in passing and I can’t stop trying to use it in sentences. She wasn’t even my chemo nurse today, but I still talk to her because she cracks me up. It’s a really fun word, I’m going to try and make it part of my vocabulary.

I was sitting across from a really nice lady who was in her second AC treatment (AC-T are types of chemo that are commonly used for breast cancer: A is Adriamycin, C is Cytoxan, T is for Taxol) and I found myself doing what I always do, giving pointers, little tricks to avoid side effects, and talking to her about pre-screening for lymphedema. It reminded me that the main reason I wanted to start a blog was to share information.

So here are some helpful hints for patients receiving AC-T. (There will be many posts to come about lymphedema.)

  1. Usually patients getting AC-T will lose their hair. Mine fell out the day after my second treatment of AC 9 years ago. When it does fall out your head tends to hurt from the hair follicles being inflamed. Rub Preparation H on your scalp. It makes the inflammation goes down and soothes your head.
  2. In my opinion, the thought of losing my hair was worse than actually losing it. I bought a crazy expensive wig and then never wanted to wear it after I buzzed my hair and the rest of it fell out. Buzz cutting it was also super helpful for me as it made me stop seeing clumps of hair fall out.
  3. When they push the Adriamycin, try to suck or chew on ice cubes. It’s supposed to help reduce the mouth sores.
  4. Use a very gentle cream like Jason’s vitamin E cream when your skin gets red and painful. It’s cooling and gentle and will help when even your soft sheets seem to hurt when you touch them. (I think that aloe would probably work the same way.)
  5. SMOKE/EAT/CONSUME POT! It’s honestly the best thing I ever did. There is this really hard to explain side effect that makes you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Between the chemos and the billion drugs they give you to try and avoid side effects, you will feel disgusting and full of chemicals. This is where pot comes into play! It’s natural and will actually make you feel more normal again. Especially now with all of the medical marijuana out there. Try something super high in CBD and lower in THC. It will give you the body effects or feeling more comfortable, less painful and even hungry without adding any psychotropic or typical “stoned” cloudy head symptoms. You already have enough of that!
  6. Try to stay away from things with lots of scent. For some reason chemo makes your sense of smell stronger and even the smells of things you like can make you sick.

My chemo brain is about to set in, so that’s all I have for today. I’ll add more points as I think of them!

Love and kisses,


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