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Topic: SIDE EFFECTS of Adriamycin/Cytoxan*******

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During and After — Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Mar 27, 2009 05:47PM, edited Mar 27, 2009 05:50PM by WLL

WLL wrote:

I just started A/C this morning 3-27-09. I am going to have A/C x4 every three weeks and Taxol x12 weekly after A/C. I feel ok, just a little tired. I have had one treatment of TC, but I had a reaction to the taxotere, so my regieme was changed to A/C. I actually did pretty good on T/C except for the reaction (thick,itchy,painful rash)  and dry mouth, lost my taste and of course hair thinning (it started coming out last weekend). I was able to work. I just hope the side effects of A/C are manageable. Just wondering if anyone else of A/C had side effects?

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Mar 28, 2009 08:06AM soaplady1950 wrote:

i did a/c dec and jan and did remarkably well , i lost my hair in 2 weeks all gone i did not loose my eyelashes or eyebrows but don't  be surprised if you do also hair anywhere else on body will disappear.  i took probiotics during the whole session and still do they kept the good bacteria in my body that is first thing that chemo kills i was not sick at all only tired. i made sure if i felt a little quizzy that i took a nausea pill immediately and i never even got close to being sick. i had my chemo every other week so mine was closer.  main thing is a POSITVE ATTITUDE tell your self i am not going to let this thing get me and it may work for you it did for me      sharon

Dx 10/22/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 28, 2009 09:35AM WLL wrote:

Thats great you did so good on it!!  What was your diagnosis? Where did you get the probiotics? Where you able to work during chemo? Sorry about all the questions. This forum has been great being able to talk with others that has been through this. Thanks so much. Wendy

Dx 1/21/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 28, 2009 02:27PM angie27 wrote:

Hi, Wll

I did AC 4times every 3 weeks and then taxol/herceptin for 12 weeks.

my experience, was the metal taste the tiredness after the 3rd day, oh, and the chemo brain, I also suffer constipation from the steroids and they also kept me up at night.  the taxol gave me black nails and leg cramps, and of course I loss my hair after 15 days, and I mean all hair.  It all started growing back once I started taxol/herceptin.  I am now on herceptin alone and femara.

I wish you luck, and remember "This too shall pass"

God Bless you

"Each day is a gift from God: that's why we call it the present"

Dx 12/18/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Mar 28, 2009 05:06PM WLL wrote:

Hello Angie27,

            Were you able to work during A/C?  I love your quote, I have told many about it. Wendy

Dx 1/21/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 29, 2009 05:12PM WLL wrote:

Day three after my first AC treatment. Doing okay, just have been tired. No nausea which is great. Trying to drink alot of water. I am taking off tomorrow from work, just to give me an extra day to rest. I plan on going back to work on Tuesday. Good-Luck to you all.

Dx 1/21/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 30, 2009 12:33PM, edited Mar 30, 2009 12:51PM by Roya

 I took A/C 4 times every 2 weeks.

Nausea/vomiting for the first 3 days after each treatment.  Weird metallic taste in mouth/ loss of appetite.  The nausea always started the next morning after infusion.

Loss of the hair on my head.  The eyebrows and eyelashes came out later with the Taxol.  I used Revitalash for the lashes and 'Revitalash for the hair' to help regrow my hair.  The hair on my head started to grow back after my 2nd week on Taxol.  But then, after the third week on Taxol, out came the eyelashes and eyebrows.Undecided

Probiotics were available at my local natural foods store.  Drink lots of water during and after the infusion.  No vitamin C or multivites while on A/C since it messes with the effectiveness. 

My nailbeds also turned dk purple.  They say if you keep them in ice water during the infusion it helps minimize that.  A lot of women on the boards also lost some of their nails after they darkened but I did not.  I completed my A/C last September and my nails beds are still dark at the tips.  The darkening, if you get it, will start at the moon of the nail, begin to cover the nail bed and then grow up towards the top of the nail bed.  The pink will begin growing at the moon of the nailbed when it returns.

I took the steroids once. I threw them up and threw them out after that.  Steroids do help you gain a bit of weight but they cut down on the nausea.  They just didn't work for me.

I was tired a lot and ended up placing my 4 year old in full time day care, which she loved, so I ended up making that a permanent arrangement.  I had found myself falling asleep when I should have been watching her......it just was not a safe situation for her.

I know plenty of women who kept working and did just fine. 

Hope this info helps.

Believe!

Dx 5/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Mar 30, 2009 03:14PM angie27 wrote:

Hi, Wendy:

Yes, I was able to work and I had to work, for me it was hard, because I am self employed, and that same week that I was starting chemo, my secretary left to Japan with her husband who is in the army, for me I will get treatment of Tuesdays, I will drive myself to the treatment, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, I will come to work, I will be fine, until Saturday, I will rest the weekend, until Monday, and back to work on Tuesday.  This happen during AC, then after that with taxol/herceptin, I came to work everyday.  I wanted to be at work, it kept my mind busy. I always try to keep busy all the time and anytime I will think about cancer I always remember a line another cancer patient told me: "No stinky thinking", I also try to remain positive as much as I could.

Please take care, and feel free to come back with any questions.

"Each day is a gift from God: that's why we call it the present"

Dx 12/18/2007, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Mar 30, 2009 08:25PM WLL wrote:

This is my 4th day after 1st treatment of AC. It hit me hard today, nausea and extremely tired. I just hope I feel better tomorrow, because I have to go in to work. That is great Roya and Angie27, that you are both done with your treatments. thanks so much for your information. I really apprehreiate it. I need to ask my onc about the Probiotics, it seems a lot have taken it. Thank you so much. Take care. Wendy

Dx 1/21/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Mar 30, 2009 08:42PM spar2 wrote:

there is meds for that nausea, I had to take several different kinds but they made me sleepy and was unable to work for the first week.  Your taste change, something you may hate now you may love to eat later.  I loved fish before chemo and could not stand it after and I hated beer before chemo and I like the taste now.  weird huh?  Everyone is so different and handle things so different, just make sure you dr. knows if you are having lots of nausea and it is very important to drink lots of water and rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day.  I was exhausted all the time.  I wish you the very best.  God bless you.

www.spar2.multiply.com Lets help make each other's life better

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Mar 30, 2009 09:37PM sherrimo wrote:

I will be starting AC+T in a few weeks.  I'm kinda concerned about weight gain I've been reading about.  I'm not exactly dainty to begin with and more poundage sure isn't going to help.  Maybe now would be a good time to start that exercise program I have been putting off!  Sharon, thanks for the probiotic tip, I will put that on my laundry list of things to buy.  Sherri

Dx 2/24/2009, IDC, 2cm, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 1, 2009 12:25AM pbrohan wrote:

I just did my second A/C yesterday and had my second Neulasta shot today.  I am doing DD A/C X4 and 12X Taxol.Taxol will begin after a break from the A/C, although I don't know how long the break will be yet.  My hair started falling out two days ago and it is REALLY falling out.  I have very thick hair and I can see my scalp which is something I don't think I've ever seen!  I feel very good, actually don't see any difference in much of anything except for the pink pee for a few hours after chemo. Will have to do something about the hair tomorrow as I can't stand cleaning up after myself.  I hope you will be lucky with your treatments.  I have had no nausea, but didn't like the antibiotic the doc gave me when I had my labs 1 week after treatment  (very low WBC).  He gave me Levaquin and it is hard on the tummy if you don't eat. Make sure you eat before you take it if you are prescribed that med!  This is my first time posting, so I hope this will help you a little.  I am seeing a trend here because I have been reading a long time...seems that people who are predisposed to nausea have a harder time with it during chemo.  I have never had motion sickness and have never even been queasy when pregnant, so I wonder if that has something to do with how we respond to chemo?

left mast w/DIEP 2/09 ER/PR+ HER- dx 12/08

Dx 12/16/2008, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 1, 2009 06:49PM WLL wrote:

Hello all, hope everyone is doing good. Today is my 6th day after my first AC. I have more energy today, felt pretty good.  I guess my bad days were 3-5.

PBROHAN-- did you not have any fatigue with your first treatment?

SHerrimo--I would not be too concerned about gaining weight. The only time I felt really hungry was when I was on steriods. You need to drink a lot of water, I guess it fills you up, or does me.

Dx 1/21/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 1, 2009 08:19PM Janet0527 wrote:

Thought I'd jump in here - WLL, I'm 2 days ahead of you - I had my first dose dense AC on 3/25.  I felt great on Days 2 and 3, went to work, went out dancing, ate normally, etc.  Then Day 4 I was active in the morning, but slept all afternoon and night.  Day 5 I was tired, but made myself do everything I had planned, and by Day 7 I felt really good again.  Today, Day 8, tired again, but it's been a long day.  I'm taking Emend on Days 2 and 3, and I've had no nausea at all.  My taste buds are out of whack, though.  Generally, I'm working full time, and trying to stay active - I dance (ballroom and salsa) and am hoping to keep that up all through chemo.  I think it's important to keep the body moving, especially when it least wants to do so.  We'll see how long that lasts, lol.  Best of luck with your treatment - I'm doing the AC dose dense (every 2 weeks), so I'll be moving on to Taxol a few weeks before you.

Dx 1/26/09, IDC, 2.3 cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-, L Mastectomy 2/12/09, Oncotype DX 21, AC-T dose dense starting 3/25 (trial E5103), BRCA-2 positive, Future: R mastectomy, oophorectomy, Arimidex

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Apr 1, 2009 11:30PM marshall2000 wrote:

Hi Ladies: New to this site, I usually post with the Chemo march 2009 girls. I started  DD A/C tx on march 12. I can't trend any of my side effects. I really just started getting nauseated the last couple of days, other than that it has just that i have been tired and had a horrible headache over the weekends(my tx are on thursdays). I did notice today that my throat is very dry no matter how much water i drink and food is gbeginning to hurt to swallow. I think i will eat frenchtoast and cream of wheat for the next few months and the heck with how big my butt gets LOL Thanks for all of the excellent advice. Good Luck to All. Michelle

hotnursetrue

Dx 1/27/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 3, 2009 08:32AM Believe1 wrote:

Wow, I am really happy to read how well everyone is doing with their tx.  Mine will start April 10th and I will be doing 4 rounds of the AC, everyother wk, and then 12 rounds of the T, every wk.  It does make me feel so much better reading your stories, because for me I have had this image in my head, and it wasnt a good one.  I have a 5yr, and a 7yr old and with summer around the corner and school being out soon, I want to be able to take the to the beach, to the park, for bike rides and all the other fun things that summer has to offer.  I live in Michigan, so summer is a big deal.lol  I hope I can still live somewhat of a normal life during all this........hair or no hair.

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Apr 9, 2009 08:47PM Bethie1 wrote:

I finished my AC treatment  2 weeks ago, and attitude was half of it!!! I felt fatigue, queasy, but nothing that getting my feet up on couch and soup/crackers couldn't handle.  Yesterday was my 1st session on Taxel (chemo 5), and I was given benadryl to counteract the reaction of the Taxel, and felt jittery inside from my mouth on down my whole body.  They're gonna decrease and/or eliminate benadryl depending what dr says.  KEY:::Hydration is very important day after chemo.   I believe that along with my attitude helped prevent me from throwing up and eased my nausea to slight dry heaves now and again.  As far as hair thing goes, that's up to you.  I didn't want to see my fall out in bigger clumps each day, so my brother shaved it.  I have 2 wigs, 3 turbans, and 3 scarfs.  I tend to wear the turbans in the evening as well as to bed, as the wigs get my neck sweaty during day at  work (I'm able to work all day on days I don't have appointments).  I wear the wigs to bed so my head won't get cold.  Hope this helps.

Dx 12/18/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, 5/24 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 10, 2009 02:01PM BellydancerinNJ wrote:

You're right Bethie, attitude is so very important.  I'm glad you were able to hande the AC decently, hopefully the rest of us will.  I just had my 2nd AC today and I've got my 7th glass of water right here with me.  Good luck with the rest of your treatment and keep us posted on Taxol, as I'm sure many of us will be on it after AC.  I know I will be!

Caroline

Chemo: 4AC & 4T finished 7/3/09

Dx 2/18/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, ER-/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 10, 2009 07:47PM, edited Apr 10, 2009 07:49PM by ddlatt

i had AC every two weeks for two months, and now i am on taxol (every two weeks, two months).i had kytril in my IV, and kytril pills and compazine pills at home for nausea. i never threw up. i started with zofran, but it made me really dizzy and they switched me to kytril. the first AC treatment, i had no side effects. the second treatment, i felt queasy and stayed queasy the whole two months. by the third AC i had a metallic taste on my lips and food tasted awful. i lost the hair on my head two weeks after the first AC, leg and underarm hair after the second AC, and all the nose hairs after third AC. that was difficult--i had a runny and/or bloody nose for a month. the neulasta shots make my body very sore for several days. i felt generally awful the whole time i was on AC. that changed for the better once i started taxol. (i have kytril and benadryl in the IV, so i sleep through most of the 6-hr infusion). haven't needed any anti-nausea pills at home. no more queasiness! taste buds came back! but i have severe neuropathy in hands and feet, but am taking aramax (hydroxyzine) every four hours every day, and that helps a lot. i have also had serious bone pain with taxol, but lortab and ibuprohen has helped. for me, taxol is a million times better than AC. let us know how you're doing!

DX age 54. IDC. Stage 1, 1.2cm tumor 1 millimeter from chest wall. Had ultrasound, MRI, core-needle biopsy. Sentinel node biopsy (nodes clear) and double mastectomy 11/20/08, no reconstruction. AC/ Taxol, 35 tomotherapy radiation treatments.

Dx 10/3/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 10, 2009 08:51PM mariemarie wrote:

Believe1, I am also in Michigan, with young kids, and starting AC next week. Where in Michigan are you? My biggest worry (out of the 5 biggest worries!) is being able to work as I am the breadwinner. The AC doesn't seem too bad, being every other week. Not sure how to fit work in when the Taxol starts though, every week, plus MD appointments, labs, etc. etc. etc.

Dx 2/3/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Apr 12, 2009 08:12PM, edited Apr 12, 2009 08:20PM by lollys

I am just wondering if any one has had to have blood transfusions at all with there A/C-T treatments-- I am supposed to start treatment on 4/20 and will be getting a port tomorrow--just scared of all the side effects that have been told to me including anemia and since they cant use epogen(procrit) anymore just wondering how often this problem occurs- or if it happened to anyone out there??thanks Laura--grade 2 multifocal infiltrating mammary ca with 2 positive nodes er/pr+ her2 neg--double mastectomy

Dx 2/27/2009, ILC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/30 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 12, 2009 09:03PM WLL wrote:

I am having my 2nd A/C treatment this Friday. I have felt very good, I do take zofran everyday (ask your Dr. about taking it daily).  If I dont take it I notice a big difference. I have been able to work, except the Monday after chemo treatment on the previous Friday. My SE have been feeling very tired 3-5 days after treatment. It is going to be different than what you think, it is very doable. Good-Luck and try not to worry. Wendy

Dx 1/21/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 14, 2009 09:33AM, edited Apr 14, 2009 09:34AM by lollys

Just wondering how everyone is doing on their AC-T treatments so far I had my port but in yesterday and start chemo next week so I am a bit behind everyone--how is the port working for those of you who have one----hope to hear good thinkgs!! Laura--Thank you Wendy for your encouragement!!

Dx 2/27/2009, ILC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 2/30 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 14, 2009 01:19PM, edited Apr 14, 2009 02:16PM by BetsyBuzz

Hi all... I start my first AC treatment in four hours, every other week for two months then T for another two months. I'm a little nervous, but feeling positive as my port is finally starting to feel better. Wish me luck! This post has really helped. Thanks

Lumpectomy 2009, Chemo AC/T, Rads, Tamox 3yrs, Endometrial CA 2011,TLH

Dx 2/24/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 14, 2009 01:27PM, edited Apr 14, 2009 01:28PM by Lainey64

I did 4x dose dense A/C every 2 weeks.  It sucked but my SE's weren't that bad.  My hair started to fall out around the 17th day.  I took Emend the first 3 days after each TX so I didn't have any nausea during that time.  After the Emend I would take Zofran at night for any nausea.  By the 3rd TX I was pretty much queasy the entire time but luckily I never threw up.  Also by the 3rd TX I was tired all the time and wasn't able to eat too many things.  I mostly ate Taco Bell, McDonalds and cheese pizza.  I had only a few mouth sores but Biotene mouthwash seemed to help with that.  I was able to work through TX but definitely ready for a nap by the time I got home! 

Betsy, after the A/C are you doing Taxol?  I found that the Taxol was much more tolerable than the A/C.  Good luck!!

Good luck ladies.  It's not fun but I know you can do it!

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elainepaulsen

Dx 10/16/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 2/36 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 14, 2009 02:23PM, edited Apr 14, 2009 02:24PM by BetsyBuzz

Yes...I will switch to Taxol in mid June. I've also heard the 4th TX is the worst out of the series. Did you work daily through AC too? They told me hair loss would be from day 14 to 21. I'm planning to buzz cut my hair just before my 2nd TX, so I can slow adjust to my new reality.

Lumpectomy 2009, Chemo AC/T, Rads, Tamox 3yrs, Endometrial CA 2011,TLH

Dx 2/24/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 14, 2009 02:56PM Lainey64 wrote:

I worked through the A/C and the T.  My hair starting coming out in small clumps just around the 2nd TX so that weekend my boyfriend buzzed my head.  I had it cut into a pixie just before I started chemo so it was already short. 

Although the Taxol was easier because there was no nausea, I did have some pretty bad body aches.  I learned after the 1st TX to start taking Motrin before the pain actually started.  Staying ahead of it was the key.  Fortunately the aches go away 4-5 days after TX. 

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elainepaulsen

Dx 10/16/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 2/36 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 14, 2009 05:17PM BellydancerinNJ wrote:

Right on cue, my hair started coming out the weekend of my 2nd treatment, which was this past one.  I chopped it yesterday and will have it buzzed off when I pick up my wig from my salon either today or tomorrow.  I went to work today with one of my headscarves and got such great reactions.  I'm a middle/high school teacher so kids thought it was just an accessory or some new style.  I said I was going for the French peasant look, since we're reading A Tale of Two Cities in one class! I had told them when I was diagnosed that I'm dealing with a "long term serious medical issue" so they know not to ask questions.  This first unveiling was tough but I'm glad it's over.

Chemo: 4AC & 4T finished 7/3/09

Dx 2/18/2009, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIa, Grade 3, ER-/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 14, 2009 06:44PM WLL wrote:

Hello all, hope everyone is doing great. I am going for my 2nd A/C treatment this Friday. I have been feeling very good, so just enjoying it. I felt bad after my 1st treatment day 3-5. I just hope this treatment is better, I was very tired. I actually started on T/C, but had a reaction to the taxotere,so they switched my treatment to A/C. So this is actually my third treatment. I did lose alot of my hair, but not all of it, just very thin. I still have eyelashes and eyebrows--hope I keep them. I have three more treatments of A/C and then 12 weeks of Taxol weekly.

BELLYDANCERINNJ--- How have you SE been since your 2nd treatment? Hope you are doing good.

LAINEY64--Did you have the Nuelasta shot after your Taxol treatment?

Dx 1/21/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 14, 2009 06:49PM WLL wrote:

LOLLYS-- I have a port and it is not bad, I forget I even have one. The only thing is that sometimes I feel little sore on that side under my armpit and little down my inside arm. I am going to ask the Dr. about it. Good-Luck

Dx 1/21/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIa, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+
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Apr 14, 2009 07:16PM, edited Apr 14, 2009 07:17PM by Lainey64

WLL - Yes, I had the Nuelasta the day after each treatment.  I didn't have any problems with it. 

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elainepaulsen

Dx 10/16/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 2/36 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-

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