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Tips for getting through chemotherapy

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  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited September 2017
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    notanisland, thanks so much for sharing. And thank you about theTPBC; I will certainly check it out. Good luck with all that comes in the future. My heart just breaks that so many woman suffer with this disease and suffer so much to get rid of it. Thinking of you, with hugs.

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited September 2017
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    notanisland, thank you for sharing your story, and your suggestion for BCO TN threads. I have been on one. Crossing everything for you too. I sure hope the side effects improve. I am really afraid of them because I am a diabetic. I am supplementing, eating healthy, walking, doing everythingI can to be healthy for treatment. I'll have everyone in my prayers. All the best

  • notanisland
    notanisland Member Posts: 4
    edited September 2017
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    53nancy, Tomorrow I go in for Taxol 11 (then only 1 more treatment to go!). This past week, while neuropathy remained constant, it has not increased. It's at its worst (especially in my fingers) on Days 3 and 4 following treatment, but this time it started subsiding by the morning of Day 5. And best of all, I had none of the fatigue and muscle aches that had accumulated by Taxol 8. I'm pleased that I've been active all of the past 7 days since my last treatment and attribute the improvement to delaying Taxol 9 by a week and possibly to the supplements I've been taking daily for neuropathy - 500 mg B12 and 600 mg alpha lipoic acid. Who knows? If I hadn't taken the supplements maybe my side effects would be worse! I understand the additional worry because of your diabetes, which already is a risk for peripheral neuropathy and circulation concerns - but it sounds like you're doing everything right. Trust your MO and Oncology NP. If they advise longer periods between treatments or a reduced dosage, know that they are experienced and looking out for your best interests. As my Oncology NP is always reminding me - Quality of Life is a priority too!

    I'm thinking of all of you. Prayers and Hugs!

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited September 2017
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    notanisland, thank you. I am sure hoping I can yse supplementation. I read somewhere of someone who took three-four hour baths with epsom salts, lavender oil and baking soda and that help with skin, and used ess oils, a small amount of vodka and water fir mouth sores. I don't see where diffusing could harm. And tes, quality of lifemeans a lot to me. I will have to see what treatment they decide and then make my own decisions. I heed to check out alpha lipoic acid. Hugs and all the best

  • Sciathos
    Sciathos Member Posts: 4
    edited November 2017
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    Hi great to see this post just now thank you - I start chemo Wednesday and feel totally unprepared. I'm oarticularly interested in the top tips so as I can stock up.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,911
    edited November 2017
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    Hi Sciathos, and welcome! We're glad you've found this information helpful, there are lots of resources and tons of support in this community. Best of luck on the start of your treatment!

    The Mods

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited November 2017
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    Hello everyone. After all scans and reports came back negative for cancer, I have decided not to do chemo, but have left the door open to reconsider in future. I start RADS on Nov 20th for 16 treatments over 3 1/2 weeks. Good wishes to everyone here.

  • Dark13
    Dark13 Member Posts: 50
    edited November 2017
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    Yesterday I found out that I have Stage 2B, Tripple Negative Breast Cancer. I am 50yrs old and from the Caribbean. I have already had a mastectomy in Sept 2017 of my left brest 19 nodes were removed (18negative , 1positive). The healing has been fine with no major problems. My suggested treatement is 12 weeks of Chemo (Taxol, Doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide) and 4cycles of radiation. I am terrified of chemo because of what it can do to the other organs. I am here for support and to find out what to expect during the chemo process. I was told the side effects by the doctors but I want to know from survivors and fighters like myself about this process, side effect and other treatments.

    Looking forward to hearing from you all.

    Dark13

  • JuliaJazz
    JuliaJazz Member Posts: 175
    edited November 2017
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    I suggest you read some of the posts in groups such a Starting Chemo in July 9 (or other months).. There are also other groups such as the weekly Taxol group.

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited December 2017
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    Hi Everybody - Day #20/ Round 1

    Havn't posted in a while.  Once I started Chemo, I settled down.  Anticipation was making me c-r-a-z-y!  I had practically have my own CVS store in my closet. If nothing else I am prepared.  

    The one thing that I couldn't control was Mouth Sores.  From day 1 - I swished and rinsed with baking soda/Salt & Biotine.  Brushed my teeth (gently) after eating anything with Biotine or Baking soda.  Even swishing in the middle of the night.  By Day #7 My mouth was full of sores.  Felt like tiny razor cuts inside plus huge sores inside and on my lips and up inside my cheeks showing on the outside.  I was a mess.  Finally called my MO and they prescribed "MARY'S MAGIC MOUTH WASH"   Its a miracle drug.  CVS made it up (its a compound) Insurance only paid partial. Within 24-36 hours - the sores and cuts were gone. (its a concoction of lidacain and antibiotics and other healing components) 

    Other than that - having read this entire thread in preparation - everything is going on track and not so bad. Lost most of my hair on day 17/18 and got shaved yesterday.  I kinda like it. Bought some cute hats to try from Amazon.  Gearing up for Round #2 on Tuesday. 

    I'm on "chemo in Nov" if you want to see what I went thru.  Mostly battling The Big D/ Big C.  Cant find a happy medium. 

    Take care everyone - My advice is to find someone in "Chemo in Aug/Sept" that is taking your treatments, and follow them for the month and get an idea what is going to happen.   But Remember!  EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT.  Everyone reacts differently to chemo and SE's.  EVery Cancer is Different. 

    You can do this ! 

  • CENOK2017
    CENOK2017 Member Posts: 54
    edited January 2018
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    Are any newer tips other than these from eary 2000's.

  • CENOK2017
    CENOK2017 Member Posts: 54
    edited January 2018
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    Will MO give me tips to reduce SE of chemo

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited January 2018
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    cenok2017 - You should have a packet of all the SE's ( or at least most of the SE's ) and how to combat them. the best thing to do is go on the thread "how to pre-pare for Chemo ) but don't go overboard. Have things on had, like Petmo Bismol,  Gax x. turms. Imodium / Laxatives- different types  - Comfort foods.  lots of different creams Aquaphor (comes in genric) Eucerin (generic) and Vit E - (skin and head gets very dry)   Ayr Nasel GEL is a life saver for the nose.  - Don't forget to swish with Baking Soda/salt/water and alternate with Biotene mouthwas all day/night long to keep mouth sores at bay - tho round #1 didn't help - had to use Magic mouth wash Compound.  #2 round not one sore .  Go figure.   Besure to take Ativan with you Compazine the two work in tandem.  Compazine makes some sleepy - not me.  Then there is the Big C and Big D. (diarehha and Constipation) its a balancing act. and don't forget the Claritin for bone pain.  

    Would you CENOK2017 would you be willing to share your regimine and make them public - it helps.  But not necessary if you don't feel compforable.  Some just forget to make it public. 

    MY MO kept telling me I would have ZERO SE's.  He was an idiot.  Finally the Pharm MO had to step in and she told me the truth. Of course your going to have SE - but just remember EVERYONE is different, Every cancer is different, and everyone reacts differently to mediations.

    This is a wonderful sight - take care...  You might join the thread "Starting Chemo in Dec or Jan "  Lots of insite and help :) 

  • CENOK2017
    CENOK2017 Member Posts: 54
    edited January 2018
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    Thank you, rljes. I finally got final diagnosis so made it public. I get my chemo port Tuesday the 16th and a ct scan to see if spread. I pray to God it has not. I did have a bone scan and it was clear. I see my MO on Tuesday 23rd so am hoping to start chemo shortly thereafter....sounds strange to say I am hoping to start chemo, doesn't it? But want to start killing those cancer cells!

    At this point I am undecided about reconstruction after mastectomy.

    I am also going to start a Chemo 101 class. Thanks for your helpful tips!

    As soon as I start chemo I will post progress.


    P.S. How many of you go to a MO who just specializes in breast cancer?

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited January 2018
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    Hi CENOK - I'm not sure if my MO specializes in BS.  Good Question.  But I don't like him - I talk to our Pharmcutical (chemo brain - can't spell anymore) MO and she dedicates her time to minimizing Chemo SE's.  She's wonderful.   Just be sure to have a phone number to call MO - Anytime. If anything is unusual don't hesitate to call.  Chemo 101 sounds like a great plan!  

    This is round Chemo #3/ Day 4.  Its accumulative and I've been out of the house once in a month.  Going stir crazy, but just too tired to go anywhere and more afraid of catching the flu, which is running rapid everywhere.   Big C - still can't seem to balance.  Take care, rj

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited January 2018
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    CENOK -  There is a forum thread called "Anyone Else ER-,PR-, HER2+  that is current you might check out.   just look under the menu on left and look at "active Topics" 

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited April 2018
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    Hello everyone. I hope this finds you doing well. I have been following this for some time but haven't been on for a while now. I was waiting to see how my appointment with the oncologist, would go today. Unfortunately, though my tumor markers we're down in February six weeks after completing radiation therapy, they are now up and the C15-3 is in the abnormal range. A repeat chest, abdomen, and pelvic CT scan is being ordered, and this time they are adding a CT scan of the brain. Has anyone experienced this, and how concerned should I be? I was told in February that I only had a 4% chance of reoccurrence and I was cancer free. My oncologist doesn't want to say anything more until she gets results. I may have to wait up to a month for the scans

  • fairchild
    fairchild Member Posts: 138
    edited September 2018
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    Thanks for posting all these tips! I start chemo on Thursday, and I'm really getting nervous about it!

  • 53nancy
    53nancy Member Posts: 295
    edited September 2018
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    Hello, everyone; it has been a very long time since I have checked in with you. It has been a very busy summer with lots of coming and going, and computer breakdowns to add to the mix. I hope that all is well with you and say welcome to new visitors to this forum. All is well here; as of August 18, I am still NED for cancer; my tumor markers were back up to where they were in April, though they were down a bit in June after repeat scans. So, though they were back to April values, the MO has decided that maybe that is "my normal". We will seen what happens when the next scans are done in mid-November; interestingly, I will get those results exactly one year to the day after I started radiation therapy. Though I consider that my cancer "was gone" as of my lumpectomy date in July 2017, the MO goes with October 30 as the "anniversary" as that is the first time she saw me.

    We have had LOTS of damp weather and cold temperatures (at 2C with a "real feel" of -4C here today), which is so unusual for September here and, after a very dry summer where the farmers were mourning the lack of rain for their crops, now they are frustrated with all the rain over the last two weeks which is hindering them from getting their crops off. Unfortunately, there is nothing they can do about it.

    Will let this do for now, and will be back soon; must do some reading to catch up with you. Have a great Fall. Hugs!!!

  • Metro-Urban1
    Metro-Urban1 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2019
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    Thank you. This is my first post. I completed my first.round two weeks ago. I know your suggestions will be helpful.

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited May 2019
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    Hi All -

    Fairchild, the anticipation is much worse than the actual chemo treatment - but as its been said before - EVERYBODY reacts differently to chemo. The medications they give pre-chemo and during will ease most Side Effects. During chemo the worst part was icing my fingers. Then when I got home I felt 'heavy legged' and had to be careful I didn't fall down.  The first chemo treatment I felt Great! I went on a shopping spree to end all sprees.  bought furniture for my den. Then after that the aches and fatigue started.  I was constipated. had to find a balance.  Loosing my hair was like a medal of honor (to me) of course I always had horrible hair.  To Stay on top of the nausea, I took Compazine and Zofran on a regular basis to keep from the nausea. 

    Metro-Urban - sorry your going thru this, but welcome. Like I said to Fairchild - my suggestion is to take your nausea Rx on a regular basis to keep ahead of the nausea.  I didn't want to see if I got nauseas - I may of not needed the Rx, but I didn't want to find out the hard way and play catch-up. Your prob either going to get Diarrhea or be constipated.  Its a balancing act.   

    You might want to find a thread that is "MAY Chemo" that is more active. Best of luck!   Hi 53Nancy! 

  • vidal1993
    vidal1993 Member Posts: 60
    edited November 2019
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    My wife just started chemotherapy on the FEC-D regimen. She had her first infusion on Friday the 15th, and will have 5 more over 3 week intervals. She was exhausted the first few days after the infusion, and complained of nausea and constipation. She has both breast cancer and thyroid cancer. She is ER/PR positive, HER2 negative.

    She was much better yesterday and today however.

    How much worse will the chemo it get as we go along in terms of tiredness?

    When will her hair start falling out?

    Any recommendations for reducing anxiety/depression? We have 2 young daughters almost 7 and 5. We have been preparing them about the hair loss.

    Thanks in advance for all who reply.

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited December 2019
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    Hi Vidal1993 - I'm so sorry to hear of your wife's dx.

    I would suggest you find a thread "Chemo starting Dec 2019" and get into a group that is more active. But Welcome here!

    when I was dx, I cut my hair very short in prep. 2 weeks after my first chemo treatment, my hair started falling out. I went to my hair dresser and had my head shaved. (my hair follicles were painful) so this just made sense to me. I wore all kinds of beanie hats.

    My Mo suggested Effexor for depression (I can't take anti depressants) chemo is accumulative, I became more tired as time went by. BUT, as I have said in previous posts - Everyone reacts differently to Side Effects/Treatments/

    My suggestion is to keep up with Anti Nausea medications to prevent and to access daily constipation and diarrhea. It can get out of control very easily. And Walk! Its painful, but the more active one is, the easier it is to handle.

    Best of luck - Hope you find a good active thread for supporting your wife.

  • vidal1993
    vidal1993 Member Posts: 60
    edited December 2019
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    Thanks for your suggestion of getting on the Dec. 2019 chemo thread. I will check in there too.

    My wife had her 2nd infusion last Friday. Her hair is out now; we cut it and our daughters participated. They seem to be managing well, although we usually don't talk about mommy's cancer. I am afraid to talk about it because I am not good at hiding my emotions.

    My wife hates how she looks now that she is nearly bald; I reassure her as much as I can that has not changed how I feel about her. And it hasn't.

    I think she is feeling a bit depressed and angry these days. We already know that she will have another surgery after chemo is done--an axillary dissection. She is at Stage 2, Grade 3.

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited December 2019
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    Hi Vidal1993, I would suggest your wife picking out some cute hats, beanies and scarfs. I live alone, don't have children, and didn't have reconstruction, so I'm sorry I'm not much help. Like I said before - find Chemo in Dec - usually they are a close net group that you can rely on for years. I still keep in touch with my group from June 2017. Best of Luck! Your a good man!

  • vidal1993
    vidal1993 Member Posts: 60
    edited December 2019
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    Thank you Rjles. Hope you enjoy the holiday season--the hats, etc. are a great gift idea. I may join up with the Dec. chemo group--but right now focusing on discussions with other caregivers.

    Thanks again.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,911
    edited December 2019
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  • Bsjones
    Bsjones Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2020
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    how much vitamin C do you take

  • Bsjones
    Bsjones Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2020
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    how long were you on the different chemos? Did your hair start growing back when only on Herceptin? What is you best advice for someone just diagnosed with Triple positive

  • Bsjones
    Bsjones Member Posts: 5
    edited May 2020
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    how long were you on chemo? Were you just on the one general and one targeted drug? How bad were the side affects. I’m triple positive also