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Topic: The 8 week window to begin chemo?

Forum: Triple Negative — Share with others who have ER-/PR-/HER2- breast cancer.

Posted on: Dec 3, 2012 12:47AM

Nanc620 wrote:

Hello all,

I'm curious if anyone know exactly why they give us the 8 week window to begin chemo?  My surgery was performed on Oct. 22, 2012.  I'm seeing my second opinion onc later this week...I really want to get through the holidays before beginning this next part of my journey.  I have resolved the "losing my hair" issues as best as possible, I have trust in my medical team and just need to know where this "window" comes from...I'm an atypical TN gal.  59, caucasian with no known history of breast cancer in our family.  Still debating the BRCA testing, per my nurse navigator I don't fall in the "suggested parameters" for genetic testing, I do however have 6 more months to get it before the magiccut-off of age 60.

So many questions tonight...sending you all much love and even more blessings.

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Posts 1 - 12 (12 total)

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Dec 3, 2012 03:38AM yellowdoglady wrote:

I think it's not a magic window at all, but if you want the full benefit of treatment, get to it and do not hesitate.  I had my surgery on December 17.  I started chemo on January 6.  Holidays are for healthy people.  I think you should get to it and get it done.  Four years later I am here.  I hope you are too. 

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Dec 3, 2012 05:07AM patti3796 wrote:

Never heard of the eight week window...my doctor had me start as soon as I was healed from surgery.

Dx 7/25/2012, DCIS, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+Surgery 06/15/2004 Lumpectomy (Right)Surgery 07/10/2004 Lumpectomy (Right)Chemotherapy 08/01/2004 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolRadiation Therapy 11/01/2004 ExternalHormonal Therapy 01/25/2005 ArimidexSurgery 08/30/2012 Lumpectomy (Left)
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Dec 3, 2012 09:30AM Luah wrote:

There is a study that showed women starting chemo 13+ weeks following surgery did not have as good a prognosis as women who started within 12 weeks. It is not a hard and fast cut-off - there were 2 groups studied and that's the cut-off they arbitrarily chose to use as a comparison.

That said, TN tends to be aggressive and fast-growing, so it makes sense that starting chemo sooner than later will have a positive effect. I know it sucks to start during the holiday season (my first chemo was Dec. 8th and the second Dec. 22nd), but on the other hand, you may have plenty of family around to help, and it can take your mind off things. I remember that Xmas 3 years ago - it really wasn't so bad. Good luck to you. 

We've been through some things together/With trunks of memories still to come/Long may you run (Neil Young). Lx, ALND, 4 DD AC &12 weekly Taxol, 31 rads, completed Jul 10

Dx 9/14/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIb, Grade 3, 1/14 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2012 03:49PM Mumtobe wrote:

I had chemo-surgery-and I'm in the middle of my second bout of treatment. After I had surgery there was a 6 wk healing time and I started back on chemo in the 7th week. Had a baby in the middle of that aswell so I do not understand why you'd be given a longer period. If you feel well enough to start chemo then I would be asking my oncologist to get me going sooner. The sooner you start, the sooner you finish. Best of luck x

Dx 6/21/2012, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-Radiation Therapy ExternalChemotherapy 06/29/2012 Adriamycin, Cytoxan, TaxolSurgery 09/24/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Radiation Therapy 02/25/2013 ExternalRadiation Therapy 02/27/2013 External
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Dec 3, 2012 04:35PM carlads wrote:

Well Ladies,

This will be my last post for a few days.  Surgery tomorrow BMX.  I decided to wait for reconstruction until Chemo is done.  You are all such a great inspiration and my family and friends have been wonderful!

Mumtobe- chemo, surgery,baby, chemo.  You are a strong amazing woman, and a great role model for us.

Everyone take care I will be back soon,

Carla

Dx 11/7/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 12/04/2012 Mastectomy (Left); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Right)Chemotherapy 01/11/2013 Cytoxan, Taxotere
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Dec 3, 2012 06:23PM anamerty wrote:

i just figured out that i started my chemo 46 days after my bmx im triple neg and wonder if i should have had my chemo earlier its bad enough knowing that tn is a crap shoot without the added worry that chemo should have been started sooner

Dx 1/25/1999, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+Dx 8/3/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage Ia, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 01/25/1999 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Axillary Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 03/01/1999 ExternalSurgery 08/27/2012 Mastectomy (Both); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Right)Chemotherapy 10/15/2012 Cytoxan, Taxotere
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Dec 3, 2012 07:07PM Ann360 wrote:

I was told that you need 6-8 weeks of healing and recovery time after your surgery, then you should start chemo.  I had my surgery on 9/28 and started chemo on 11/16, just over 6 weeks later.  That gave me 2 weeks to recuperate, 3 weeks to welcome a new grandson, and a week to have second opinions on my return home. Fortunately, I was feeling pretty good by Thanksgiving.  I'm due a second infusion on 12/05 and have the third infusion a day or two after Christmas.  Then one more, and then radiation.  I have to clarify how much of a break there should be between infusion and radiation; I've heard everything from 2 weeks to a month.

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Dec 3, 2012 10:04PM RaiderDee wrote:

The 8 week window is optimal but not set in stone.  I had my BMX with TE's on July 30th. I eventually got a mrsa infection in the left TE and had it removed on Sept. 11th.  I had to wait til all of the antibiotics had a chance to completely knock out the infection before they knocked out my immune system with chemo.  I eventually started chemo on October 22nd.  I also had to spend Christmas Eve in the infusion room.  Not fun or even remotely how I would have liked to spend the Holidays but I did. That all took place in 09 and I'm still around to laugh at the crappiest Christmas Eve I ever had. Good luck and keep your chin up.

EVERY month is breast cancer awareness month once you have it.

Dx 5/18/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 3, 2012 10:14PM Nanc620 wrote:

Thanks so much for your answers. I have complete confidence in my surgeon and oncology team.  When I asked my surgeon he said that he prefers 8 weeks healing time...so that puts me at 12/22.  They have me on the schedule for the week between Christmas and New Year's.  I am finding it interesting how my breast tissue is "shifting" where the lumpectomy was done...I'm was also happy to hear that I may have random pain for up to a year...

Carlads, wishing you well and quick healing.  

blessing to wach of us...and again thanks.

" If tomorrow never comes will they know how much I loved them?"

Dx 10/2/2012, IDC, 4cm, Stage II, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 4, 2012 11:10AM, edited Dec 4, 2012 11:11AM by InspiredbyDolce

My Oncologist told me originally that after surgery, I would have chemo about 4 weeks later, due to healing time.  But once he found out I was TNBC, he was chomping at the bit to get my port in and get me started - he only waited as long as he did because he was double-checking all my test results for additional verification.  I had the port in and chemo started 48 hours later.  It was a little rough, as the spot was somewhat raw.  I pre-medicated with a Percoset ... that helped the pain and helped me stay relaxed.

My BC diagnosis was on Tuesday 12/27/11. The following week on Wednesday 1/4/12, I had a BMX.  I had the port put in on 1/31/12, and first round of chemo started on 2/2/12 - Ground Hog's Day.  Hair fell out on Valentine's Day.  

My chemo was started 29 days after surgery.

Have a wig plan in place if you are going to wear one.  I was not prepared for how fast it would happen.  My Onc said it would, but since I didn't have many side effects of chemo, I was slow-rolling the purchase of a wig.  Then I had to spring into action and go find a wig while my hair was shedding everywhere.  It was crazy - have a wig plan in place!  :o)

Wishing you all a great week!

Debra

After breast cancer, it's Plan B (as follows): Low-fat, low sugar, fish, veggies, whole grains, fruits, water, green tea; 8 hours vigorous exercise weekly; and Metformin. If you would like info about Metformin to discuss with your Onc, please PM me.

Dx 12/27/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 01/04/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 02/02/2012 Cytoxan, TaxotereSurgery 05/30/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Dec 5, 2012 08:31PM satxruth wrote:

Nanc, I had UMX with DIEP reconstruction on 11/15/12. I just met my Onc this week and she's starting me within three weeks, that puts me at about 6wks. My port goes in on Tues. They definitely have a sense of urgency about TN, but then so do I. I've already ordered some wigs. Waiting for my surgery felt like forever. I'm so thankful to now be on the other side of it and just ready to get started on knocking out this next phase!

Dx 10/2/2012, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 11/15/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction: DIEP flap (Right)
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Dec 6, 2012 08:25AM, edited Dec 6, 2012 08:47AM by InspiredbyDolce

Hey Everyone,

I just came across this article.  The first half talks about prelim results of a trial adding a certain mTor Inhibitor.  

But the real exciting thing, is the 2nd half of the article, talking about the vaccination.  

Look at this:  ..."The disease-free rate among the triple-negative breast cancer patients in the vaccine group was 83.3% compared to 47.6% in the control group—a 68% risk reduction. Due to the small patient population, the results are not yet statistically significant."...

http://www.cancernetwork.com/conference-reports/asco2012/breast-cancer-symposium/content/article/10165/2103122

It also said they recommend patients asking if they can go into this trial.  

What do you all think?  That is an incredible difference!

Have a great day my friends!

Debra

After breast cancer, it's Plan B (as follows): Low-fat, low sugar, fish, veggies, whole grains, fruits, water, green tea; 8 hours vigorous exercise weekly; and Metformin. If you would like info about Metformin to discuss with your Onc, please PM me.

Dx 12/27/2011, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-Surgery 01/04/2012 Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic Mastectomy (Left); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Chemotherapy 02/02/2012 Cytoxan, TaxotereSurgery 05/30/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)