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March 2011 chemo-lounge



  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468

    Michelle....I wish I could give you a big hug now...sending a "cyber hug".  I am sorry you had to go through this today.  I can't imagine how hard it was.  I am so very sorry.....  I keep telling myself that going through BC is like climbing a big mountain.  Before you get diagnosed, you are just coasting along through beautiful meadows and valleys and enjoying the scenery.  Then you get diagnosed and you see the huge, jagged, cold, ugly and tall mountain before you.  You start climbing because you have to.  You climb your way through the tests, the waiting for results, surgeries, more tests and it's hard.  Then you realize you have barely made any progress up the mountain and it's time for keep climbing.   I keep telling myself that there has to be some beauty in this at some point when I am on the other side of this mountain.  Mountains can be stunning.  I hope that in time I can look back from the other side of this mountain and find that beauty.  I will continue to hope and pray for that as I keep climbing.  Sorry for rambling...I am trying to make sense of this, somehow.  For now I can offer you a "cyber hug" for comfort and "cyber ear" for venting.  You are not alone.....

  • Silia
    Silia Member Posts: 265

    This will be short but I'm loving our lounge.  mdg, my cocktail will be a Cosmo since it sounds as though the AC is going to be red...  I really like that we have us and we have well informed and helpful drop-in guests -- very cool.  Hugs all around...

  • luv2trav
    luv2trav Member Posts: 8

    hi all

    Had my Mugga scan today...last step before i start AC on thursday...have to admit I am getting a bit nervous...I should not have read some of the horror stories...just going to keep reminding myself that others have done this and made it through so i can too.  we can all do this!!!


  • PennyCookson
    PennyCookson Member Posts: 356

    Starting TAC X 6 on March 3rd.  Had my port in yesterday and cut my hair really short in preparation for the boiled egg look.  I'm in Australia and I suspect it'll be way too hot for wigs, but we are well practised at frequenting cocktail lounges  (or pretty much anywhere where an Aussie can get a drink).  - Glad to join the March chemo  lounge.

    I keep telling myself that kids have to go through this so I can.  There are also so many moments of humour in all of this.  I bought a hat that says "Cancer chose the wrong bitch" to wear to chemo.

  • Jules59
    Jules59 Member Posts: 148

    Well, today is my D day, so to speak.  I have to be in Knoxville, one hour away from home, at 9:00 am, so I better get busy.  Wish me luck, ladies, and I will let you all know how it goes.

    Yesterday, my Oncolosist's financial office called to let me now what my co-pays would be.  Even at 20%, all I can say is WOW.  Luckily, I have a stash set back in a health savings account.  Wondering what ladies less fortunate, or without insurance would do? the saying on the hat.

  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468

    LuvtoTrav:  I just started the steroids this morning for chemo tomorrow.....I had to talk myself into taking it.....ugh!  I guess that means the chemo is really going to happen hu?  I bet you feel the same way about the Muga scan...I will let you know how it goes tomorrow from the arctic (as I freeze all in the name of hair).

    Pennycookson:  I have added you to the roll call on the top post.  So glad you joined us for a cocktail....I wish it was for a more fun reason.  I LOVE the hat!  That is too funny!  I will tell my best friend that...she will crack up!  I am glad it is warm there...I am freezing in Detroit right now!  We have a lot of snow. 

    Jules59:  Good luck...that will be me tomorrow.  I will say a prayer for you now in hopes that today goes smoothly and uneventfully and that you feel OK.  I know it will be a long, emotional day.  Hugs!

    Tomorrow is my first "cocktail"....getting nervous!

  • charlottesmama
    charlottesmama Member Posts: 36

    Good morning lounge ladies. Stop by and say hi to the gals at February 2011 Chemo Pals. Many of us are on tx #2 or #3, and most of us are doing really well. Let us know if you need a hand to hold.

    Thank you MDG for the kind thoughts. I feel better already and am out in public right now without my hat. My head is shorn and nearly bald in some places, but I don't care what people think.

    You Cosmo girls: The Adriamycin is Kool-aid red and the nurse will serve it up in a turkey baster! I kid you not. That's exactly what it looks like. Be sure to have a big cup of ice to munch on during that infusion. Supposedly helps prevent mouth sores. I have had none, so maybe that's true. 

    Good luck Jules and anyone else starting today...


  • maxineo
    maxineo Member Posts: 199

    Jeannebean: I am planning to work through chemo (4 treatments A/C and 4 treatments T). We'll see how it goes.

    Charlottesmama: thank you for sharing this. I have never been a real hair-girl, in fact I hate doing my hair and prefer a ponytail, but I am REALLY dreading going bald.  A sign to everyone that I have cancer. I love the way your friend Anne thinks. Very inspiring.

  • christine47
    christine47 Member Posts: 846

    March Girls,

    Good luck on your chemos, before you know you will be part way there.  I thought the 1st was the hardest (just fininished round 3 of 6), anticipation is the worst.  This is a great group and together you will get thru it.

    Christine, I love cosmos!

  • Anniemomofthree
    Anniemomofthree Member Posts: 370

    Love to all you March chemo gals...from a January Chemo gal.  I, too, thought the #1 was the hardest.  Now, I am already done with 3 of 6.  Before you know it, you will be too.  

    Here's to giving thanks...

    March is the beginning of spring, new beginnings and a time to get out and celebrate living!

    Snow should begin melting and flowers are thinking about making an appearance

    Birds are starting to chirp...looking for nesting locations

    Our bodies are awakening from the long winter

    We our so fortunate to have such incredible healthcare right at our fingertips - the best doctors, clinics, medicines to help us restore our bodies 

    Chemo is beginning (or about to begin) and those cells (whether they are there are not) are going to start dying!

    Let's everyone be strong and kick some BC in the butt!


  • supersally
    supersally Member Posts: 158


    Could you please pour me a glass of that nice Pinot Grigio you are drinking?  Looks like I will be joining you ladies in the lounge for four roundsof taxotere and cytoxan.  My start date is likely the week of 3/14 as my port is getting placed on 3/14.  I have a bone scan next Monday to get a baseline there.  What are your opinions on ports - to get or not to get one?

    Jules, what kind of riding do you do?  I have been looking for a fellow equestrienne on these boards but without much luck.  I ride hunter/jumpers and have a warmblood, Thornie.  I ride usually 3-4 times a week for an hour-hour+.  Also, I show probably on average once a month.  My PS said I can jog at 6 wks, so I will be back in the saddle at 6 wks, probably before going back to work.  Not jumping, but at least I can hack.  Good for the body and the soul Wink DH is fighiting me about that a little bit, but I'm pretty determined.  I got on at 4 weeks after rad hyst and 6 wks after ankle surgery (to repair broken ankle from fall off horse) and rode wtih a cast when I had a broken finger (also from riding).  One of my "barn support group" ladies told me she rode all through chemo/rads/surgery, but got tired quickly.  I'm fine wtih that, I just need to be on my horse!  Luckily, he is a nice, "steady eddie" type, so that should be ok.

  • bikenyc
    bikenyc Member Posts: 57

    Looks like it's about that time to stop lurking as I will be diving in for real on March 4. Doing 4  AC every 2 weeks, 4 Taxol every 2 weeks with a side of herceptin.  Continuing Herceptin for a full year and 5 of tamoxifin.  

     I actually feel so good right now (been eating like a nun since my mastectomy 3 weeks ago) it seems weird to be waiting to start feeling sick.  There's been sooooo many appointments.  And also all the normal doctors appointments I never made time for in the past (just had my teeth cleaned).  Just hook me up already. 

     Anniemomofthree...I like your beginning/ending stance.  That's how I'm going to try and think about my hair when it goes.  The last couple years weren't the best (and my hair's about 2 years long I think) so when it goes/I shave it down I'm just going to think about the hair belonging to those years and now I'll get a fresh start.  But went to the best wig place with the nicest people...although they kept calling all of the wigs "girls." But now I've got my "girl" and am having some quality last days with my old hair.  Today it's in Heidi braids. 

     But of course the hair is just something to obsess about while waiting for this all to start...  

  • jenn_h
    jenn_h Member Posts: 21

    My second chemo trip is on Thur 3/3 so I thought I'd stop by here b/c if I knew how much work this cancer thing was going to be I wouldn't have signed on, but since I did I am so happy to have others in the same boat to talk to. This site has been a life saver!

    My first chemo trip was Thur, 2/17. I think it went extremely well. I felt queasy for about 5 days after. Sat and Sun I was very tired. Right now I have to say I feel perfectly "normal" (except for the stupid Picc line I have in my arm). I will be doing 8 treatments, 1 every other week and then a double mastectomy (I am bilateral), then radiation.

    I am a special ed. teacher and am working through chemo. I am taking off every other thur and fri on my chemo weeks.

    My hair, like others, is my biggest "thing" i guess. I got a wig, but every time I look at it I feel nauseous :) I went to Claire's (the trendy teen jewelry and access. place) and bought some very cute scarfs...I am a little more excited about those. Today is day 12 after my first chemo so the hair loss is slowly creeping up on me.  By the way what's a cold cap?

    Anyway, glad to have you all here with me...I'll have an ameretto sour please!

  • ckelly4181
    ckelly4181 Member Posts: 5

    Hi my name is Chris and I start chemo treatments within the next few days.  I just had the port inserted today and it seemed to make the whole process super real for the first time.  For some reason I hadnt thought about the scar that the port would leave, just the other garbage we have to go through.  

    I am starting with 4x treatments of AC, then 8x Taxol, and a year of Herceptin.  Sigh...this is going to be a long year.

     Goodluck everyone!! 

  • ckelly4181
    ckelly4181 Member Posts: 5

    Jenn H... 

    Cold Cap therapy is a ice pack hat which you wear during chemo treatments to prevent hair loss.  It is based on the idea that if you freeze the hair follicles the chemo can't reach them.  It's very controversal and most people don't seem to believe that it's worth it.  It sounds really expensive, as you need dry ice to keep the caps cool and a dozen different caps so you can keep switching them out.  You wear one for 30 minutes then go 30 minutes without and keep repeating for several hours.  

     I just met a woman who is trying it now.  She had her first treatment a week ago, so I'll know soon if it worked for her and let everyone know.  I thought about trying it, but it seemed like too much of a hastle.  I'm going to bite the bullet and go bald. 

  • jenn_h
    jenn_h Member Posts: 21

    Thx ckelly, yeah I'm with you...way too much hassle for me AND I'd have a whole classroom full of children who would be very dissapointed b/c they ask me daily when I'm going to lose my hair...THEY can't wait!

  • Malou
    Malou Member Posts: 8

    I too start in the am on TCx4 but with no cold caps.  I researched the caps but I dye my hair and thought the grey root look was probably going to be worse than the wig.  I am a chardonnay gal myself but right now anything sounds pretty good.  Good luck!

  • Huskerkkc
    Huskerkkc Member Posts: 471

    Hi gals, I don't know exactly when my chemo will start because of a little boulder in the road-I had pneumonia last week and finish my antibiotics tomorrow. Thursday I will see my family doctor to be sure the lungs are clear so I can get the port placed. I have asked to start treatments March 31 but they may say I can't wait that long, so I figured I can be in the group even if I don't start until the last day of the month! Think of all the wisdom I will have from you all by then! 

    I expect to be part of a clinical trial and my "cocktail" is cytoxan and taxol, every two weeks for six cycles. Not sure what the abbreviation is for that? Anybody else on that combo? My drink of choice would probably be an appletini. Such a pretty, jolly rancher green.

    Hugs to all of you who are on the journey...I'll just be a few steps behind!


  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468

    I just added our new lounge members to the original post along with start dates if they were provided.

    Welcome to all of our new chemo lounge ladies!!! We are glad you are going to hang with us.  Thanks to all the experienced chemo gals for the support and encouragement!  It helps!

    Jules59 started her chemo today..everyone wish her well!  I start tomorrow (drinking a pinot grigio) along with Malou, (drinking a white russian), Pennycookson and Michelle67.  It's going to by busy in the lounge tomorrow!  Silia starts on Thursday this week too with her "cosmo" and so does Bikenyc.   

    The biggest advice I have heard over and over again by people that have already done this is:

    Drink TONS of water until you can drink no more.  Start the day before and do that for 3-4 days after.  Keep moving....if you can walk or exercise a little it will help - just do a little if you can even on the days when you don't feel like it.  Eat well - focus on proteins, foods rich in Iron and Magnesium and lots of nutritious foods.  Take the meds for nausea to ward it off.  Meds can really help many of us so if you don't have meds for nausea, talk to your doctor.  Rest when you need to.  It's OK to rest and take care of yourself.

    I am ready for ready as I can be.  I have my hair saving arsonal all packed with my new prize possession - my electric blanket!  I will try to post an update soon.  Good luck to all of you starting this will be a long week for sure. 

  • specialk
    specialk Member Posts: 9,221

    Hi Ladies, I am part of the Feb 2011 group but I have only had 1 out of 6 TCH so far on 2/17.  The rest of mine will be over the next 3 months with all of you.  I hope you don't mind me dropping in! 

    huskerkkc - You may be receiving Taxotere(Taxol) and Cytoxan - there is a thread for that combination on this site.  Pay close attention to the Taxotere advice of icing your nails, both toe and fingernails, to prevent losing them.  The easiest are bags of frozen peas, start 15 min before and leave on 15 min after the infusion of that drug.  Also try to hold ice in your mouth during that infusion also, and follow the advice to gargle with the salt and baking soda combo to prevent mouth sores.  Mine came about 5 days after infusion from the Taxotere.

    Drink lots of water - but drink things other than water also lest you have an electrolyte problem.  Chicken broth, juice and popsicles are all good.  It is really lots of fluids rather than only water.  Drink during your infusion also.

    Layer your anti-nausea meds if you need to.  They all work differently so if the first one doesn't work go on to the next.  Some work better then others depending on the patient.

    If you are getting Neulasta take some Claritan an hour before your shot and for a couple of days after, if you have cleared it with your onc.

    I'm old school - Seagrams 7 and 7-Up.

    Good luck to all - the anticipation of the first one is the worst - you will find once you are done it wasn't so bad!


  • PennyCookson
    PennyCookson Member Posts: 356

    Good luck all of you starting tomorrow, Maria, Malou and Michelle67, and for Silia and Bikenyc the next day.  I had better take an Aussie Boomerang cocktail into the lounge with me - because I am definitely coming back from this.

    (15 ml Melon Liqueur
    15 ml Kiwi liqueur
    15 ml Half & Half Cream (half cream, half milk)
    Ice Cubes )

  • Jules59
    Jules59 Member Posts: 148

    Okay, so  I thought I'd report in since I had my first TAC infusion yesterday via IV, (no port needed in my case.)  No nausea so far, they gave me a drug for that in my infusion.  Also sent me home with 3 different anti-nausea drugs, 2 oral and one suppository as a last resort.  The only side effects so far are a very dry mouth, sleeplessness, and overwhelming hunger, the last two I attribute to the steroids.  I was so tired last night when I when to bed last night, but was wide awake at 1:30 am.  Tonight, I will take an Ambian.  Today I go for my Nulasta shot.  The nurse did tell me to take Clairiten for bone pain,so I've started that.  She said they didn't know why it works, but it does.

    Supersally,  I have 3 Tennessee Walkers and a Peruvian horse, so it's all gaited horses for me.  When, I'm healthy, I ride 5- 25 hours a week.  I used to raise and train show horses.  At one time I had 30, but now that the horse business is so bad, I don't have anymore broodmares, although I do have one stallion.  It is all trail riding for me.  My husband and I love to travel with the horses, and this summer, we had hoped to go to Montana and Wyoming.  Maybe next year?

    Good luck to all who are starting chemo this week.

  • kriskat
    kriskat Member Posts: 116

    Count me as part of this group. I start TCH on 3/14/11. Having this thread certainly helps! Not the party any of us hoped for!

  • Colodisneylover
    Colodisneylover Member Posts: 183

    Good wishes to everyone who is starting treatment today!  I am thinking of you all.

  • Silia
    Silia Member Posts: 265

    Thanks for the good wishes.  Frenetic this week in prep for 1st chemo on Friday (nervous energy mostly...)  It is awesome that we have real-time support and anecdotes even though there will be differences among us.  I'm especially happy to have some of the new posters chime in.  God bless us everyone!

  • MIchelle67
    MIchelle67 Member Posts: 42

    Hi there all - stopping in for a Corona with lime and some last minute courage today. Wink

    Tomorrow's the big day. On my calendar, it's marked as "C-day" the "C" being for chemo, not cancer - because that's everyday, for now. LOL.

    I'm nervous but take strength from all the great, generous women who've offered tips and advice. I'm going shopping today for all the helpful OTC stuff: Claratin, Colace, ibuprofen, popsicles, juices, bags of frozen peas, etc. This makes me feel like I'm controlling something, contributing something. And it takes my mind off of it, sort of.

    At 2pm I have an appt. with my local office of the Am. Cancer Society for a wig fitting. I have no idea what will happen. I assume they'll measure my head. I'm schedule to attend their Look Good Feel Better class on Monday 3/7 at which I'll get a free wig. Hoping I feel up to going to that.

    I'm planning on shaving my head next Saturday, since I hear my hair will start falling out around day 14 post-first chemo. As you might be able to tell from my pic, I've had some crazy punk-rock hairdos over the years, so I'm guessing some people might think I've done it for fashion rather than illness. 

    I may just encourage that notion by decorating my bald head with some realistic looking temporary tattoos! Wink

    I'm strong. I can do this. The first one's the scariest. {I keep saying this to myself}

    Good luck to mdg and Malou - I'm thinking of you at this moment. Jules59: I hope you're feeling good. Let us know how you are girls, please.

  • supersally
    supersally Member Posts: 158

    Good luck starting this week all.  As you said, we are strong, we can do this.  I just think to myself sometimes that things could suck even worse than this.  Love the temp tattoo idea, you should definitely do it.  I'm worried about wearing a wig in TX in July.  The down side of the lovely, 72 degree, sunny weather we have today is 95+ and humid in the summer.  I don't know aobut the wig.  I look great in hats, so maybe I'll go with that.  A whole new accessory to shop for - yeah!  DH will not be surprised. 

    My port surgery is 3/14.  Going to call onc's office today and - gulp - get my start date.

  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468

    Hey ladies....sitting in the chemo chair now.  I am down with my infusion and am now just finishing a few more hours of the cold caps.  It was uneventful.  I took the ativan and that has kept me calm.  I am feeling a bit tired from that and the benydryl.  We are having a good time - as good as you can at chemo I guess.  I am glad it's over. As far as the cold caps.  It has not been that bad at all.  The first few minutes of each cap are some adjusting, but then it passes and you are fine.  I know I can do this...only 3 more sessions.  My pinot grigio was just fine this morning. 

    I hope all of our girls this week have an easy time too!

  • Colodisneylover
    Colodisneylover Member Posts: 183

    Thanks for the update, mdg. I've been thinking of you this afternoon and wondered how it was going.

  • supersally
    supersally Member Posts: 158


    Glad it went ok.  Keep us posted on the next few days about how you are doing.