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Topic: Halaven - Day 1

Forum: Stage IV and Metastatic Breast Cancer ONLY — A place for those managing the ups & downs of a Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. Please respect that this forum is for Stage IV members only or those posting on behalf of a Stage IV patient. There is a separate forum for Stage IV Caregivers/Family in "Support and Community Connections".

Posted on: Dec 14, 2010 03:05PM

PJB wrote:

So, I'm the first person on this newly approved chemo at my med center. Lots of people who told me side effects.... They had a fancy dinner put on by the drug company last night so they all would know about it... :) Funny, no one gave ME steak and shrimp.  

Anyway, got hooked up to some saline as usual (altho, my onc's nurse wasn't sure why. She suggested since they charge so much, they had to do something... Apparently, it's unnecessary) The drug itself comes in a little syringe and they put it into the line over 5 minutes. Then, unhook you and you're done. All told, getting hooked up and waiting for pharmacy to get the drug over, etc., took about 30 minutes. 

Main SE's are neuropathy (have it, thanks to Ixempra), drop in blood counts (they say to plan on it next week), hair loss (already have that...), they'll watch liver enzymes (they're up from when I had my last Ixempra, but not too bad and tumor markers are the same... 

So, we'll see... I'll let you guys know what comes up down the road. I'll have it again next week, then a week off. Hopefully, it'll kill cancer like gangbusters.

Thanks for all your good wishes,

Paula 

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Jan 5, 2011 05:03PM jeanne46 wrote:

So, I finally got my Eribulin infusion, which I thought I was going to start last November.  Better late than never?? Waiting for the EKG took a while (just loved it when the tech asked me if I usually have "normal" EKGs. HUH? My onc thinks rads may have caused some blips). The infusion took longer than expected.  First they had trouble finding a vein, then dripped in half a bag of saline, a "push" of Eribulin for 3-4 minutes, then the rest of the saline. My red cell counts continue to be low, but white cells were in normal range.  I'll be interested to see what they are next week.  So far, just sleepy from the long drive. No pre-meds or anti-nausea meds.  I'm the third patient in my onc's clinic to get Eribulin.

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 5, 2011 05:33PM PJB wrote:

Rats. it just ate my post!

 Jeanne, I'm glad you got the treatment done with finally! Hope those blood counts come up for next week and that it's easy on you. 

 I'm glad they don't have to try to use a vein for me. Mine are shot. And you certainly have been through the wringer lately. I hope it's easier next time. 

Annie, I haven't really had a fatigue issue with Halaven as with some others. Then again, I'm taking a Vicodin a day for pain issues left over from last chemo, and it - of all the other energizers I've been prescribed - seems to make me more alert.

Let's go, Halaven girls! I hope it does great things for us. 

Paula 

May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide.

Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 5, 2011 06:15PM jeanne46 wrote:

Wow - never thought of Vicodin as an energizer.  Hmmm - my back muscles on either side of spine, but especially the left where all the cancer is, are killing me lately.  May be left over from rads -  I think I'll try some Vicodin tomorrow morning and see how I do.  The worst, I suppose, is that I sleep half the day away!! Has anyone tried Norco?  Is it basically the same as Vicodin??

Unfortunately I can't get another port.  The last one I had caused a blood clot at the tip of the port tubing in my superior vena cava so my onc wants me to avoid them.  Have used up veins on good arm, now attacking the missing nodes arm!!

Hey - we can be the Halavenites (helluva nite!!). LOL

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 5, 2011 06:19PM BaseballFan wrote:

That's hysterical!!!

Bobbi

Dx 3/14/2009, 6cm+, Stage IV, 11/14 nodes, mets, ER+/PR-, HER2-Hormonal Therapy 03/20/2009 ArimidexSurgery 07/23/2009 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph Node Removal: Sentinel Lymph Node Dissection (Left)Radiation Therapy 09/01/2009 ExternalSurgery 10/01/2009 Lumpectomy (Right)Hormonal Therapy 08/01/2010 FaslodexChemotherapy 09/01/2010 XelodaHormonal Therapy 06/01/2011 AromasinChemotherapy 02/13/2012 XelodaHormonal Therapy 07/24/2012 FaslodexChemotherapy 12/12/2012 TaxolHormonal Therapy 01/26/2013 AromasinTargeted Therapy 01/26/2013 AfinitorChemotherapy 10/01/2013 carboplatin, Gemzar
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Jan 5, 2011 06:28PM PJB wrote:

I like that Jeanne! I think that's a good official name.

Norco is the same as Vicodin. I swear, I feel better when I take it. I asked my onc if taking one a day made me an addict. He laughed.

  

May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide.

Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 5, 2011 06:56PM jeanne46 wrote:

I think we're all past worrying about being addicts.  I used to wonder about that too. My new motto is better living through chemistry! Naturopaths and integrative medicine specialists would likely disagree, but if you have pain and a pill makes it go away.......duh? 

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 5, 2011 07:44PM cashew wrote:

Vicodin and Norco contain the same ingredients but in different quantities.

Vicodin = hydrocodone bitartrate 5mg + acetaminophen 500mg

Vcidon ES = hydrocodone 7.5mg + acetaminophen 750mg 

Noco = hydrocodone 7.5mg + acetaminophen 325mg

   or  = hydrocodone 10mg + acetaminophen 325mg

Acetaminophen is commonly known as Tylenol

I'v never been one to take more than some ibuprofen but I took 1/2  Vicodin ES last night. The aching in my lower back and hips and thighs was just nagging me right out of sleep.

Hair's nearly gone. Got some cute hats and a nice wig.

I think my taste is coming back and was just due to taking an antibiotic. See my post under the heading Halaven (eribulin). 

Dx 12/14/2010, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 5, 2011 08:18PM jeanne46 wrote:

Thanks for the information. I'll have to check and see what I actually have in terms of mg. strength.

Sorry to hear the hair is nearly gone. But you've got a good attitude and cute hats and a wig will help! Also relieved to hear that your taste buds returned.  I hate that metallic taste that comes with some of the chemos. 

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 6, 2011 02:17PM Annie4 wrote:

So great to have this thread!  I'll be starting next Tuesday.  Hate loosing the hair once again but hey, just hope it works.  How has the gastro issues been?  Are you all eating ok?  Are you interested in eating?  I've lost a lot of weight so hoping that I'll be wanting and able to eat.

 Annie

Dx 10/25/2004, ILC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 02:24PM Annie4 wrote:

Oh also, did you see the article in the Wall Street Journal this week about Halaven?  Interesting.

Dx 10/25/2004, ILC, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 02:44PM PJB wrote:

Cashew, thanks for that information. I'll have to see which strength mine is. I read online (of course) about its ability to cause an elation feeling and that's what gets people hooked! Yoiks. 

Annie, that's an interesting article. Thanks for the suggestion.

I haven't had any PROBLEMS eating, but I haven't really FELT like eating for months now. It's more forcing myself to do it. I think it's just from being so drugged for so long. That and not having a personal chef. :) I have had occasional nausea on Halaven, but not very often.

May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide.

Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 05:29PM Lowrider54 wrote:

I too get 'perked up' on my pain meds - things do seem to have a bit of an opposite effect on me - after 4 doses of Fentynl in my bone biopsy, I was sitting up wide awake - I tried to tell them it only knocks me out when you give me enough but does nothing in the dose for the 'twighlight' state needed for the spinal biopsy - bring on the diladud - all was then well.

Good luck all with the Halaven - I am watching this thread with great interest!  Go go G-Force (as in guinea pigs or prehaps - H Force would be better!)  Thanks for sharing!

Hugs...LowRider 

Smile...it will make people wonder what you are up to...Initial dx 04/99 - CMF; 9/2009 bone mets Arimidex; 6/2010 Faslodex/Xgeva; 8/2011; abdominal wall invaded, ER/PR flipped to TN, Abraxane/Avastin//Xgeva 09/02/2011; 11/2011Xeloda/Avastin/Xgeva.

Dx 9/16/2009, Stage IV, 5/25 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 06:16PM jeanne46 wrote:

I checked my Norco and it was 5mg with 325 mg of acetaminophen.  Maybe that's why 1 doesn't seem to do much! Maybe I'll try 2 next time. Directions says to take 1-2.

Anyway today is Day 2 of first Halaven infusion. I did not sleep well last night.  I think I drank too much green tea at dinner.  I also had some pains in areas where I know there is tumor. Hope it's the Halaven kickin' some cancer butt.  Today I felt okay in the morning, pains are still present but not too bad. This afternoon I started to get some nausea. Not too awful, but did take some ativan which always seems to help mild nausea for me. Frankly, I'm sick of chemo. I should probably try some vicodin for a pick me up - but need to drive somewhere this afternoon. I hope this feeling goes away and I get some "regular" days before next infusion. On Day 9 I get a Neulasta injection which always makes me feel shitty for a day or 3.

CANCER SUCKS. CHEMO SUCKS. 

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 6, 2011 06:40PM PJB wrote:

Chemo DOES suck. A friend asked me if my son and I wanted to join them on a trip to Hawaii over spring break. Seemed like too good a thing, and for a little bit I started looking into it. Then, duh, I'll be in the middle of a bunch of chemo... argh... Sometimes I forget for a little bit that my life is not mine really. 

Jeanne, hope the queasies go away. Hope the Halaven is in there beating the crap out of those tumors. I've had a couple passing pains, too, but they don't last long and it's only happened a couple times. I do imagine it in there destroying cancer.

My generic Vicodin is 10 mg/325. That's probably why it makes me happy. I can only take it during the day tho. If I take it too late in the evening, I have very druggy dreams and cannot sleep well.  

 Go Halavenites! 

May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide.

Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 08:25PM jeanne46 wrote:

My slightly expired Vicodin is 5-500 (5mg. of hydrocodone and 500 mg of tylenol. I get more tylenol and the same amount of hydrocodone with 2 Vicodin than 2 Norco. Do I sound like an addict yet?

I think I'll try 2 Norco tonight. If that doesn't work, I'll try the Vicodin.  I don't usually like Vicodin, except after surgery and once when I had an acute attack of sciatica. But these new pains are escalating and my tolerance is bottoming out!

Paula, I think you should go to Hawaii if you can. Let the docs work their schedule around your plans. Hawaii sounds heavenly - and quite far from cancerworld. Take your life back, if only for a week.Cool

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 6, 2011 08:54PM cashew wrote:

Jeanne,

I too have had some achey pain feelings in areas where I know there is cancer. I have had similar aches (kind of full swollen feelings) when past various chemotherapies were working. So I agree that it is probably the Halaven doing its wonderful business.  

Neulasta - I hate it. No chemo has made me feel as bad as the Neulasta does.  

Paula,

Go to Hawaii! What better place to enjoy some relaxation. Don't let breast cancer define you! I can tell from your energetic, encouraging posts that there's lots more to you than that.  

Dx 12/14/2010, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 09:12PM susan_02143 wrote:

Paula,

I would go to Hawaii if you can afford it. Unless you are on a trial with rigid quidelines [i.e. every trial], then your doctor should be able to move your treatment dates around. Heck my dates were moved once to avoid both Thanksgiving and Christmas. One change did the trick.

[Sorry to hijack here]

*susan* 

... and its back. May 3, 2010 mets found. Three years hanging with NED on Faslodex.

Dx 6/8/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 6, 2011 09:46PM mamanmidwife wrote:

Paula, if you an afford it please go to hawaii (this from the woman who made the oncologist wait until i did my SCUBA trip to start treatment lol). a chance to be away with your son? take it.

Gigi

Dx 5/7/2010, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 7, 2011 01:13PM PJB wrote:

Hey girls... Ah, Hawaii. Well, onc and I did talk about it on treatment day. I decided I'd rather "work' through spring break with the plan being that I'll get a remission out of this drug (well, I can dream) with the thought of going to London (where my son really wants to go, and I would enjoy) in June. Onc said hopefully get me to a point I can be off drugs for several weeks before and during trip. So that's the secret plan. Don't tell the cancer cells.... I don't want them ruining it for me. :)

May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide.

Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 7, 2011 01:22PM hope4us wrote:

Halaven ladies, here I come. Monday is first treatment. Carbo+Gemzar+Avastin failed me after 5 rounds :=(  Hope this does the trick for all of us.

Dx 12/6/2008, IDC, 3cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 7, 2011 02:19PM jeanne46 wrote:

Mums the word Paula. I hope you dance with NED and then visit William and Kate!

Felling better this morning.  Perhaps this is MY time of day to get things done.

Welcome hope4us to the Halavenite Club!! We rock. 

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 7, 2011 05:12PM susan_02143 wrote:

Well London in June is very nice indeed. Good plan, if you ask me!

*susan* 

... and its back. May 3, 2010 mets found. Three years hanging with NED on Faslodex.

Dx 6/8/2005, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIb, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 7, 2011 07:58PM PJB wrote:

Hmmm.... now thinking maybe Boston. I guess I have plenty of time to think about it. :)

Jeanne, glad you're feeling better. Rock on. 

May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide.

Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 8, 2011 01:44PM PJB wrote:

OK, anyone else sleepy? I don't have the complete zombie fatigue like I had with Ixempra or the half-zombie fatigue I've had on some other chemos. I'm just SLEEPY. I guess I'll try to take a Ritalin. Perhaps it's because I don't get moving enough. You girls have any advice?

Paula 

May 2004, Stage 2 IDC. Recurrence in 2005. On Femara til mets diagnosis in Feb 2009. On Faslodex 8/11. Brain mets in April 2012. Progression in liver 6/12. On to Etoposide.

Dx mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 9, 2011 12:32AM jeanne46 wrote:

You may be sleepy, but you've also been working, yes?  I could NEVER do that now. Sometimes (like today) I wake up at 9am. As far as being sleepy goes, the last few days I've had the opposite problem. Not sleeping well at night. It's hard to get to sleep and I toss and turn and wake up frequently during the night. Weird dreams too. That's on top of 5mg. of clonazepam and melatonin. Maybe I need to double up on the clonazepam!!! I always worry about being addicted, which is a joke.

My other advice, which I don't follow very often, is to take a walk every day. Exercise really helps, but for some reason I find it easier to sit on the couch!! 

My last bit of advice is to go to London and Boston and Hawaii!!!!!

Rock on dear sister/friend. 

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 11, 2011 10:30AM janetwit wrote:

Sleepy too, but my main issues is acid reflux.  I had day 2 last Wed. Nausea started on Friday then the acid reflux.  Really bad.  I've had it before on other chemo's but nothing I take now seems to work.  Anyone else with this issue or suggestions.  Wishing you all well.  

Dx 11/7/2005, DCIS, 3cm, Stage IV, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 11, 2011 11:08AM Leanneh wrote:

Sleepy describes me perfectly. I go to bed at 9pm, get up at 7am, and nap 2 or 3 hours a day. Basically I sleep half the day away:) Today is treatment day for me. This will be treatment 3 of Halaven. Ladies, I know this question has been asked, but I can't find it in the postings. How many of you have lost your hair on Halaven? I just noticed this morning, my hair is starting to come out:( Not huge clumps or anything, just lots of hair coming out when I brush. I was hoping to keep my hair this time. Oh Well.

Leanneh

Dx 8/28/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Jan 11, 2011 11:57AM jeanne46 wrote:

I've had acid reflux (or something that feels like that) for a while. Now I take xantac twice daily (one at night and one in the morning) and reglan during the day if it gets more bothersome. I also chew Maalox for a quick respite (it doesn't last too long).

Janetwit, in terms of hair loss......does treatment three mean the beginning of cycle 2?  In other words has it taken your hair a month to start falling out a bit?  Drats.  Hopefully it will just thin. I'm obsessed with not having to lose my hair again.............It's only an 1 1/2 - 2 inches long, but really filled in. Paula, how's your hair doing?? What about the rest of you on Halaven?

Yesterday (Monday) I felt the best I've experienced in 4-5 months.  Almost like normal (whatever that is). Perhaps my body is finally shaking off the effects of Taxotere, Ixempra and radiation. I went to my dance aerobics class, came home and finished the laundry, did some other "housey" stuff, had a meeting about a shower fix project, made dinner and did ironing. WOW.  A first for me!  Of course I get my second infusion tomorrow. What I'm dreading most is the Neulasta injection on Thursday. That stuff really makes me feel yucky.

How many of you Halavenites get Neulasta injections on a regular basis?  (Like after every second infusion on Day 9.)

Hugs to all.  I'm actually going to take my dog for a walk!! 

Dx 12/05, Stage IV, Grade 3 ER-/PR-Her2- YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS THE ONLY OPTION YOU HAVE. -anonymous

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Jan 11, 2011 12:23PM HopeToMakeIt wrote:

Hi...

I have been reading this topic closely but have not yet posted. I started Halaven on dec 29 and had my second dose on Jan 7. This is my week off and my hair is coming out in large clumps.. my onc had told me that I will probably just have some thinning but at this rate i think it is all coming out....Also, i am feeling very sleepy and have flu like symptoms.. dont know if it is the side effect of Halaven or I have caught something that is going around.... Hoping that Halaven works for all of us!!

Dx 10/15/2010, Stage IV, 1/11 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jan 11, 2011 01:26PM Leanneh wrote:

Hi Jeanne46, Yes I am actually on day 1 of cycle 2 for my Halaven, so it has taken me about a month for the hair loss to start. I'll keep everyone posted whether it all falls out or just thins. At the rate its going, I think I will lose it all:( Good thing I kept my wig and all the scarves from last year!

Leanneh

Dx 8/28/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/0 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-

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