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Jan 24, 2012 10:49 PM mom2twins34 wrote:
Hi Lisa, I also had neoadjuvant chemo. I was told that the reason was two-fold. 1) I was considered inoperable because of the size of the tumor area & because I had chest wall invasion and 2) because of extensive lymph node involvement.
I did dose-dense AC and then Taxol before I had my BMX (followed by more Taxol, rads, herceptin, tamoxifen after surgery). I had a great response to the chemo, but I can definitely relate to your feelings of how rough it is. I know not everyone has the same side effects, but I thought the chemo itself was going to kill me. The fatigue was overwhelming, I had to do daily Neupogen injections because my counts were so poor, and I was very nauseous and vomiting so much that after a few emergency trips I ended up requiring home IV hydration for the length of the treatment. I know you asked about shortness of breath--this was a big one for me. The shortness of breath coupled with a great deal of leg and abdominal swelling actually gave us a congestive heart failure scare--my MOs were almost convinced that I had developed CHF and that we'd have to stop treatment. Thankfully, we learned this wasn't the case, just that this was how my body reacted to the A & C especially, but it was a scary time.
To be perfectly honest, there were days when I didn't think I'd survive the chemo. I only tell you this because I did make it through... And it was a really effective protocol for me & prepared me well for the surgery (I'm hoping it is just as effective for you!). It did take a long time to recuperate (I still struggle with fatigue and chemo brain), but I started to notice a big improvement in side effects even weeks after finishing.
Hang in there... You are almost there... I know it's tough, but we are all here for you...
P.S. You asked if anyone else had hot flashes--yes! And lots of night sweats, too. This also improved for me within a couple of months of finishing chemo.
Diag. 4/13/10, IDC, Grade 3, IIIC, Positive lymph nodes w/extracapsular extension, Supraclavicular node +, er/pr+, Her2+, Neo-adj. chemo, bilat. mastectomy, more chemo, rads. Now: herceptin, tamoxifen