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March 2011 chemo-lounge



  • sundermom
    sundermom Member Posts: 98

    Hey March ladies -

    I'm just popping in from the January board.  I remember how nervous I was at the beginning and reading posts from sisters that had "been there" was a huge reassurance to me as I started my journey. Many of us in the Jan group are at the halfway mark now and chemo is completely doable!!!  I'm a mom of five (all under 11) and have continued to work full time as an elementary principal.  There are meds to combat almost every SE, so don't be afraid to ask.  Let people help you and rest when you need it. 

    I am doing DD AC x 4 (done!!!) followed by DD T x 4.  Feel free to PM me if you want to know more about my experience.


  • PennyCookson
    PennyCookson Member Posts: 356

    lilylady - make a fuss and get your treatment, there are those medical professionals that think they can mess us around because we are vulnerable.  They need to learn we are not vulnerable we are DANGEROUS.

  • maxineo
    maxineo Member Posts: 199

    lilylady: so sorry they are treating you badly. I often wonder if the call us names behind our backs, but keep it up and get the care you need.

    mdg: I hope you are beginning to feel better. Again, it amazes me how differently everyone responds to all of these drugs.  

    Well, they moved up my first chemo by one day, so I am now one day out. I came from the hospital feeling pretty good,but after lying down to rest, I sprung awake with AWFUL nausea. I spent the next 16 hours in bed and only now feel like I can move around a little bit. After neulasta shot today, it sounds like I will still feel pretty miserable. What an adventure.

    On the lighter side, I talked to my daughters about losing my hair and told them the doctor said I would really start losing it after the 2nd treatment.  So, yesterday, after my first treatment, my 7-year-old's first question when she walked in the door "Mom, is your hair loose?"

  • Colodisneylover
    Colodisneylover Member Posts: 183

    MaxineO-I'm glad you checked in today.  I hope you start feeling better.  I am scheduled to get my first chemo at 115 pm today.....I'm anxious to get started.

  • Kymn
    Kymn Member Posts: 887

    what supplies do I need for chemo? yes kkc I am starting the 17 too. I am sick over loosing my hair also :(

  • dizzyakira
    dizzyakira Member Posts: 41

    Hi ladies,

    I'm starting chemo on 3/18. AC x4 every two weeks followed by Taxol x4 every two weeks. I think I'm ok with losing hair, but I'm terrified of feeling sick :~O. I don't drink alcohol, mainly bc I don't like the taste or side effects, but I guess I can pretend this is a frozen margarita with lots of lime and salt.

    @tsundermann: wow, you are one tough lady! Looks like we have a similar diagnosis and treatment, reading your post really helped:) thanks.


  • Jules59
    Jules59 Member Posts: 148


    Claritin is an over the counter allergy medication. The generic is Loratadine.  You can get the generic from many drugs stores:  Walgreen's, CVS, WalMart.  Just don't get the Claritin D, because you don't need the added decongestant.

  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468

    MaxineO:  thanks..I am doing great!  I hit the gym yesterday and today.  I also had physical therapy today.  I finally got some good sleep the last two nights!  I hope the nausea isn't too bad....stay on the meds to fight it off.  I managed no nausea for this round....I hope that lasts.  Just avoid the poop issues I had.  I love your daughter's question about the hair being adorable!  Keep up on the water too to get that chemo out of the body.

    Colodisneylover:  I hope today went well!  You are at chemo now....thinking of you!

    Kymm:  stuff for constipation, bland foods (pasta, mashed potatoes, cream of wheat), heating pad, Aleve (or whatever your doc allows you to take), soup (I made organic chicken and veggie and froze it before), popcycles, jello, juice and yogurt.   I am doing cold caps to keep my hair...I know it may not be an option for you but if you have questions, PM me.  I will know next week if I keep the hair....crossing fingers..... it is suppose to work well with my type of chemo. 

    Dizzyakira: I will add you to the lounge roll call.  Sorry you are joining us but glad you found our lounge for girl time and support (oh and a cocktail - even a virgin one!).   Best of luck....I had my first chemo last week.  You can get through this!  We will do it together!

  • supersally
    supersally Member Posts: 158


    So sorry you had such a rough day!  As someone else said, that is exactly the right time to use the cancer card.  i probably would have been in tears, too. 

    Maria, I love the idea of hooking the bottle of wine up and taking a pic!  I totally get your sense of humor, if we can't laugh about things what good is the sense of humor?  Think I might go wig shopping next week.  My two wig shoppers are not available till then.  Hoping that is enough time with chemo starting on 3/17.

    Yes, I'm a 3/17 girl.  Make mine green, please!  Apple-tini, green beer, mojito, hmmm. Had my bone scan today.  Pretty uneventful.  And then...I went to my office for the first time since my surgery.  My boss is a workaholic, so I think he is expecting me to be there 40 hours a week now that I just "popped" in, while still on short-term disability mind you, to do a couple of things.  I told him I have another surgery Monday (port) and then start chemo Thursday so don't look for me till the next Monday, but it went in one ear and out the other.  AND, by the way bossman, I only work 20-ish hours a week.  I was actually surprised that not too much had built up in my 6 week absence. 

    And another thing, you girls will appreciate this.  My DH told me he talked to his mom, who lives near us, and she offered to keep me company during or after chemo.  Don't get me wrong, she is a very nice person and I really appreciate the offer, but...I don't think I want my MIL for company during something that is already stressful enough.  My mom lives in Indiana, so she can't be here.  I'm hoping BFF1 or BFF2 will be able to come.  When DH had surgery on his thyroid last year I swear my MIL made me sick from anxiety, that or the other sick people at the hospital. 

    Anyway, have a great day ladies!

  • carberry
    carberry Member Posts: 997

    supersally- I sympathize about the mom (who I love dearly) insisted she sit with me during treatment, just in case I had a reaction,  so after 2 treatmnts and no reaction I had to gently tell her I didnt need was hard.. but becauswe I was working I decided to make chemo days a "me" day.   Because it was approx 5 hrs in a lounge chair, I would read or listen to my ipod, scan magazines or text friends, write groc lists.  great downtime for me and making the best of a bad situation.

    Kymn- take activities to keep you occupied,  I always took ice water to drink helps with the mouth problems assoc. with chemo.  Snacks (although my oncol office always offered snacks) Comfy clothing.  I formed a good friendship with another pt.  and we would talk so much the time would fly by. In my onc. office we all sat together, 8 chairs in one rm. so there was always activity to watch and the nurse were fabulous and fun to talk to.  Good luck 

  • maxineo
    maxineo Member Posts: 199

    colodisneylover: Thinking of you today. We'll be on the same schedule from now on.

    Also thinking of you Shansen, AnaM, and cellomomof5!!

    supersally: I can't imagine taking my MIL!!! I hope you were able to back out of that one... I love her and all, but she isn't exactly a ray of sunshine. 

    Not sure why I got the nausea right off the bat. I felt good leaving the hospital, walked around the city, came home, ate, and went to bed. Maybe I'll try to take it easy next time.  Who knows. I do feel better today.

    My onc told the the 3rd day post-chemo is the worst. Does anyone know why? Worst, how? Maybe I just jumped the's hoping.

  • lilylady
    lilylady Member Posts: 478

    Kym-under the Forum Chemotherapy before During and After the first couple of posts have a great shopping list and some tips. I just printed it out before I went to the store (menopause brain) so  I wouldn't forget. Some of it was obvious but I would have missed a few things. Since I won't need hair products for a while i had a whole shelf empty in the bathroom to store it all on. Since I am also a TN-do you know why they picked your particular brew of chemo? I don't know if it was on that chemo supply list but I read one somewhere that suggested buying a large dog bed to keep in the bathroom to curl up on when you are having 1 of those days. God I hope none of us need that. Would probably get a little crowded because I am sure the dog and cat would beat me to it!

    MaxineO-I had knee surgery today and I warned them I am a world champion projectile puker so besides what they put in my IV they put a Scolpamine (SP?) patch on me.I have never seen it listed on any of the chemo things I have read-I wonder if they could use that? 2 weeks ago when I had my other knee done I told them the same thing and they assured me the IV med would cover it. I know 1 nurse that went home to shower--she tried to hold the emesis basin under my chin when I woke up-when she really needed to be back about 3 feet. I had no nausea-didn't have to hang my head out the window on the drive home either.

      Since thee nurses knew I had cancer, from my first visit, they gave me a couple of really cute scrub hats. Not the tight kind= these kind of have a pouf to them like a chef hat. I have added them to my new collection of hair accessories. TRIXIE (my wig) is wearing 1 of them right now.

  • Colodisneylover
    Colodisneylover Member Posts: 183

    Well, one treatment down, seven more to go!  (ACx4 Tx4)

    I think my drink needs to be something strong, how about a shot of Jagermeister? :)

    It really was uneventful.  I sort of felt like I had a buzz during part of the infusion but other than that, nothing crazy. The nurse told me to take the Zofran every 8 hours for three days to stay on top of the nausea.  I am hoping it works. The oncologist said he had never heard of taking Claritin for the bone pain related to the Neulasta shot which is what I've noticed a lot of people on the boards seem to recommend. He said they'd call in a prescription narcotic for that if it gets that bad, but I'm hoping it won't.  My neighbors have food coming for us for several weeks during treatment, so I am thankful my husband doesn't have to worry about cooking too much.  I've got some movies from Netflix to watch, so I'm keeping it low key this weekend. 

  • lorenar
    lorenar Member Posts: 41

    HelloLadies. I am formally a member of the Feb. group, but thought maybe I would have a strawberry daquairi with you ladies. I just had drink # 3 on Monday and have one more to go than herceptin and i BELIEVE Tax, before and after surgery. My wig arrived yesterday after sending the frist one back. Oh man what a scare. My neighbor who is a hairdresser and dear friend is gonna trim it up this weekend. So sorry for you ladies who are not feeling well. Trust me I know it is no fun. It is usually into day 7 or8 before I get back to normal. I go through everything to not sleeping at night to sweating to death.  Today has been a rough day with anxiety for me. Those steroids they give us really do love our bladder. Ha. I think I pee every 10 minutes. I tend to be able to eat 2 things throughout my whole chemo. Thats icecream and salad. Sounds weird I know, but when I cant get any other food down the icrcream still sounds ok with me. It was into day 15 whhen I started losing my hair, I remember gettting the clippers out and going to town myself. I as well as you all cried myself. I could no longer take the itchiness it was causing. I mostly wear scarves around. Trust me ladies we will all one day be helping someone else on this road to recovery. This site has sure been A  blessing for any questions I had. Please ladies do not be in doubt if you need something answered or just to rant on.

  • luv2trav
    luv2trav Member Posts: 8

    Hi all....I am finally able to get back online and check in!   I started my first treatment of A/C on 3/3 and ended up have a severe reaction to the Adriamycin.  That was no fun at all. Finally went back to work on the 8th but didnt start to feel better until today.  No more Adriamycin for me!! Try again next week with different combo... Doing the chemo via vein instead of a port..onc thinks i will be fine.  I told him that as long as I could change my mind, I would try it. So far so good.

    Hoping i will be able to "hang" out in the lounge more


  • Kymn
    Kymn Member Posts: 887

    Good evening all,just put my daughter to bed and am watching my beloved vancouver canucks thats a hockey team for those of you who dont follow lol. And realized how very normal this evening has been. I dont think I had a cancer thought for a whole hour.

    cooldisney its so good to hear from you right away, it eased my worries about my upcoming first treatment on the 17th. I also had someone who prepared a bunch of meals for me in my freezer I felt so touched by that and I swear I am always going to do what I can to help someone else in need. I thought I did before but am so much more aware now.

    lilylady thank you for that tip I will print that list off at work tomorrow and go this weekend and stock up on whatever I need. I am worried about the constipation thing as I already have issues there as is Embarassed

    maxine O I guess we shall all see what days are the hardest on us and just adjust accordingly. I think the last 3 rounds of chemo will be the worst from what I have been reading for me anyhow as I am on FEC for the first 3 then D which is supposed to really knock your socks off.

    I have been reading alot lately about parp inhibitors for us triple neg girls and it sounds very promising that they might have a targeted therapy for us in the very near future that is exciting news.

    supersally oh my that would be interesting having to bring MIL along lol. I actually would be ok just going alone to think and just adjust to it all but DH is insiting on going with me. For the first time I think it will be good but after that I dont know we shall see. sometimes  a girl just needs some down time without having to be strong for someone else or feeling guilty when we arent.

    Ok I need to get my son organized for bed now so am very sorry I didnt get to respond to everyone individually. Hope you all had a nice day with some cancer free moments

    hugs all around oh and a round too Laughing

  • shoema
    shoema Member Posts: 1

    How long does it take to grow back the eyelashes and brows?

  • Huskerkkc
    Huskerkkc Member Posts: 471

    mdg-my date has changed from March 31 to March 17, so I'll be joining the St. Paddy's Day chemo crew. Sounds like there are quite a few of us. 

    supersally-I get my port Monday too. What a club we are in, huh!

    Will go do my chemo shopping this weekend. Still need to figure out the hair thing. I really need a hair cut now, but seems silly when it is going to be gone in 2-3 weeks. I'm going to call my friend that cuts hair. She said she would come over. I'm in such a small town that a trip to the salon will involve talking to everybody! 

    With the date settled, I feel like I can finally move forward and get this damn thing over with! 

  • AnaM
    AnaM Member Posts: 24

    Thanks, ladies, for all the good wishes. THEY ARE ALL RECIPROCATED! I had my first drink issues with the Cytoxan, went down good on 55 minutes after the Zofran and Decadron drip...but the Taxotere!!!!!!!!!!! Not 15 drops had gone down when I had an ugly reaction..tightness in my chest, difficulty breathing and a shooting pain in my lower back area where the ovaries used to be. I could not stand it. Dr. ordered a good dose of Benadryl to be administered over 15 minutes, wait 10 minutes after that, and re-start Taxotere REAL SLOW........I did better and thankfully was able to finish the treatment. But it was scary, so I suppose I will be given that Benadryl the rest of the course.

    It is true that the anticipation is worse than the actual event...thankfully because they started me with the Cytoxan which went down so good ! Now I will be dreading the Taxotere.

    I have not felt awful, just a little bit of yucky feeling and my cheeks are flushed and hot, which I have had before with other chemos. Hopefully I can get some much needed sleep now that the anticipation anxiety is over.

    Thanks again, my March chemo buddies. Ana Maria

  • cellomomof5
    cellomomof5 Member Posts: 49
    Well, Day #1 of AC is over.

    I'm looking at print this morning, which is an encouraging sign.  All went fine at Dana-Farber yesterday: I was in at 7:15 and out at 2:00.  I went home and fell asleep, only to wake up before five feeling nauseous, headachey and miserable. 

    ( I have now typed those last three words no less that twelve times to get them right: chemo has gone right to brain cells.  I told Larry he'd better fully enjoy the fact that this would be the only time in his life where he would be smarter than I am.)

    I popped all the magical drugs they gave me to combat the nausea, and they did shit.  So after vomiting up three attempts to eat (crackers, popsicles), and lying on the bed moaning with my eyes closed for several hours praciticing Ujiyi breathing (scared the dog), we gave up and called my poor pregnant oncologist fellow at 10 p.m.

    Her plan of medical kitchen sink attack worked (ativan, extra decadron and more ativan four hours later with compazine as needed), and I was able to sleep.  I'm less nauseous this morning.  Nursing a bowl of oatmeal and staring askance at my blessed morning latte, which doesn't taste good any more.  On to the next line of symptoms!

    Hope all is going well with other cocktails.  I'm craving the day when I can have a large margarita on the rocks with salt (Patron)...
    Oh, and the bigs kids have all emailed to ask when I'm getting the medical marijuana card...
  • Anniemomofthree
    Anniemomofthree Member Posts: 370

    Karen - hang in there!  I am going in for TCH #4 on Monday. The biggest lesson for me was learning that you can overlap ALL those drugs.  Do not let yourself be that sick! So glad that you called...

    Hang in there!


  • Anniemomofthree
    Anniemomofthree Member Posts: 370

    Hey - had anyone tried the medical marijuana?  I have to laugh...I have not see THAT thread.  Maybe we need it?  LOL!!!

  • cellomomof5
    cellomomof5 Member Posts: 49

    Yes - Annie - I thought I had thought of everything, but had forgotten to ask if I could take both compazine and ativan.  So I waited through six hours of useless compazine misery, before calling to get the go ahead to take ativan and more decadron.  Made all the difference, and now I know...



  • maxineo
    maxineo Member Posts: 199

    cellomomof5: Your reaction to first AC sounds exactly like mine except I didn't vomit (wished I could).  The good news (so far) is that I am feeling better each day.  I am still sticking to oatmeal, rice, and saltines, pretty much, although I had a banana this morning, and it tasted good!

    lilylady: I will ask about the nausea patch next time. I have never been a vomit-er, so that nausea just sits like a rock in my stomach. Blech!

    Good to hear about overlapping the meds. I had been taking one at a time to see which one worked, but none seemed to do much. Maybe I need more overlapping.

    Somewhere I was reading a thread about the medical marijuana. Maybe stage IV forum. Would we have to change the name of our lounge? Hee Hee.

  • Anniemomofthree
    Anniemomofthree Member Posts: 370

    Learned the hard way about the meds.  Apparently the ativan, compazine and zofran all target different things, and thus the overlap is recommended (from my onco).  My onco said that I was TOO sick from chemo.  Then he got serious and pulled the Emend and decadron from his back pocket for #2 and #3. Had minimal SEs.  Too bad it was trial and error on #1.  No fears, now, for rounds 4,5,6...

    Good luck!

  • carberry
    carberry Member Posts: 997

    cellomomof5..did they give you an iv of an antinausea med?  that was the first iv bag they did before all the chemo drugs, never got sick till day 3 post chemo and it wasnt nausea just achy flu-like symptoms, but the decadron also helped alot with these.  we thought thats why my smptoms didnt show up till day 3,,,crashing coming off we tapered my steroid for 5 days post chemo to help with that and it worked like a charm.  It just takes time to figure out what works best for you...unfortunately by the time I figured it out I was done with chemo.  Good luck to all you ladies, dont get discouraged, it will go faster than you think.

  • Anniemomofthree
    Anniemomofthree Member Posts: 370
    Oh, yes, the tapering of the key, learned that on round #3. Funny how chemo makes us forget.  Or, is that a blessing!  Smile
  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468

    Supersally: I am LOL at the MIL thing.  OMG....there is NO way my MIL would accompany me anywhere.  She can't stand me (which only started a year ago...for whatever reason after I have been really good to her for 8 years......whatever) so now we don't really see each other.  I told my DH right from the start that I would not be welcoming any help from her during this.  My husband knows better than to even go there! 

    Lilylady:  I like the name "Trixie".  It seems kind of sassy!   Too cute!  Do you talk to her too? (just sarcastically curious...???)

    Colodisneylover:  Jaigermeister will knock you out for sure.  I will get the bottle ready.  We will wake you up when all of the chemo's are over.  We won't tell you what you did or take photos of your Jager experience (spoken like a true lush from experience....) and I will not let you attempt to smoke a cigarette either  (I have to draw the line somewhere when a friend is drunk) but I will let you pick up a cute, younger guy (he hee!....lord this is bringing me back to my single bar hopping days which was a looooong time ago!).  I hope you are doing ok and don't have a "hangover" from the first drink!

    Lorenar:  Welcome to the lounge!  Pull up a chair and have a cockail even though you are a few ahead of us.  You can hang with us anytime...we have good company and strong ladies and drinks in this bar! 

    Luvtotrav:  I am sorry your cocktail wasn't good...we can get you something else!  Seriously, I hope you are feeling better.  That's scary.  What are you going to order up next time???

    AnaM:  bummer about the reaction.  I hope all goes smoothly in the coming days and you feel good.  I am 9 days post chemo #1 and feeling like me!  Hang in there!

    Cellomomof5:  I am so sorry you felt so bad.  I am glad you called the doc anyway and got some help.  That was the right thing to do....How are you now?  Are things going better?  I am sending "healthy vibes your way".  I wish I was closer...I would have held your hair during the puking (spoken like a true lush again...).  I am LOL at the drug card...too funny! 

    Anniemomof3:  Good luck on #4!  We are sitting at the bar waiting for you!

  • Sitting in the chemo chair as I write this. So far so good. Both chemo (ac) is in being loaded up with anti nausea drugs too. All set with the wig and scarves and have a prescription of emend, chlorperazine and zofran. Potential vomiting takes on new meaning when you may be trying to heave with your Tupperware breast expanders in. I am hoping the weekend goes well. I have a dinner party Saturday and acupuncture and Monday I have a neulasta shot so I'll let you know how it's going.

  • mdg
    mdg Member Posts: 1,468

    Good luck Stephanie.....thinking of you and wishing "no puking".  I call them "coconuts" but I like the Tuperware name too!  I had no puking...maybe you will be just as lucky.  :)