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February 2012 Chemo

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gonegirl
gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022

I start my chemo in February and I'm scared. Tuesday I go in for pre chemo testing, and January 31 I get the port put in. I'm needle phobic so that's adding to my anxiety. I know the chemo will help me, I'm just scared.



Anyone else out there waiting and scared?

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Comments

  • bffmom
    bffmom Member Posts: 4
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    Hi gritgirl...I met with the MO on Thursday and she is strongly suggesting chemo.  I will be meeting with another MO this week, but I have pretty much resigned myself to the chemo.  So looks like you and I will be heading into this phase together.  My plan is the first chemo on Feb 16th.  The regiment she is putting me on is 4 treatments of Tamotere and Cyotaxin (oops I spell terribly LOL) every three weeks.  Then it is onto the radiation for 6 weeks.  Just to also add a little more spice into my life.....my job, which I love, is having a HUGE system roll-out on Feb 11th and I will be crazy busy the next few weeks prepping for that.  The plus side .......great kids and wonderful friends.  Hope to make some more great friends here that I can cry, vent and be afraid with.  

    And you aren't alone......I am terrified out of my mind. 

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    Bffmom, I try to keep focusing on how the chemo will kill the fast growing cancer beat this thing out of my body. But that's hard to keep my mind on that. As people keep telling me, take it one step at a time, another challenge for me. Maybe I should think ahead past all this when the cancer is out of me.

  • bffmom
    bffmom Member Posts: 4
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    Well Grit...So far I have been just trying to focus on this one step at a time.  I split this journey into 4 stages and I only deal with one.  The first was the diagnosis and then the surgery.  I had a double lumpectomy as the cancer was in both breasts.  Found thru mammo in the right and only because the surgeon insisted on an MRI did we find the cancer in the left.  I opted for the lumpectomys instead of the mastectomy and the surgery went really well.  So I figure .....ok got thru phase 1.  Chemo is going to be phase 2 and I am going to put all my focus and positive thoughts into this phase.  If I try and think to far ahead I start to panic.  Anyway, we will hold each others hand thru the next few months and we will get thru!!!

    So what is your story so far?  I see the IDC diagnosis but what have you had done so far and what is your chemo plan??  Sorry if this is too nosy, let me know if I get too personal.

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    I was diagnosed early january, although the hell started with the need to biopsy and the radiologist saying the lump was "very, very concerning." The biopsy of the left breast and the MRI were shortly after.



    The cancer I have is aggressive and likely stage II. They found more spots in the right breast so those were just biopsied. The plan is do chemo first for 4 months to shrink the tumor in the left breast because it's took close to the pectoral muscle. Then surgery after that, a bilateral mastectomy. I don't want to ever go through this again.



    Thank god your doctor pushed for an MRI for you.

  • bffmom
    bffmom Member Posts: 4
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    You know it is funny, not every doctor insists on the MRI because there is such a tremendous false positives from them.  I however am here to say I was so lucky she required it.  In my case it was a true positive.  I am going to keep my fingers crossed that your chemo shrinks the tumor and it helps.  Its a long sucky road but the only thing we can focus on is....life will suck for awhile but we will get better.  

    I've been lurking on these boards for the last month...not saying anything just absorbing it.  I decided to finally write something when I saw the Feb 2012 as sometimes I feel like I am all by myself doing this.  I have support but I feel like such a baby sometimes when I complain and I feel I am being such a burden on everyone.  

    can you tell I am one of those, suck it all up and don't let them see your pain types LOL.  Oh well, one thing I have learned is that, "Cancer" is not impressed by my tough guy act, and I will break when dealing with it.  Glad to have met someone to talk to while deaing with all this.  Hopefully some others that are starting with the chemo next month will join us too.

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    I was diagnosed early january, although the hell started with the need to biopsy and the radiologist saying the lump was "very, very concerning." The biopsy of the left breast and the MRI were shortly after.



    The cancer I have is aggressive and likely stage II. They found more spots in the right breast so those were just biopsied. The plan is do chemo first for 4 months to shrink the tumor in the left breast because it's took close to the pectoral muscle. Then surgery after that, a bilateral mastectomy. I don't want to ever go through this again.



    Thank god your doctor pushed for an MRI for you.

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    I'm sure others will join. I was getting so scared and saw no group for February so started it. One thing I'm learning is there lots of us, so we're not alone. That's a relief. I'm like, the I can handle it kind. I can't handle this by myself, that's for sI'm having to learn to ask for help and take it. And screw shame about whining. If I can't whine about this, then what can I whine about? :-) plus, it's not whining. It's healthy getting it out. Last night I broke down into hard tears and realized I needed to do that.

  • Brandyj26
    Brandyj26 Member Posts: 7
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    Hello ladies, I will be going thru chemo as well soon.  I see the MO again on Wed for more info.  He was going to send it in for an onco test but decided not to wait.  said with my age(37), muscle involvement, node involvement that he wants chemo regardless.  Not sure what my cocktail is atm, he has only said that it will be "standard" chemo.  waiting for the surgeon to call to schedule appt for port placement.  I know I wont be starting chemo before feb 7th as that is my 4 week mark from the lumpectomy. 

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    Brandy, glad you're here with us.  Actually, would be nice for none of us to be here. But it's good to know we can all get support here with each other.  Maybe we can call ourselves the Chemo Calendar Girls since we're all representing February. Smile
  • pejkug3
    pejkug3 Member Posts: 277
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    February 2011 girl chiming in to lend some support and hope to you February 2012 girls.

    I did 6 rounds of TCH (Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin) starting February 24, 2011.  It sucked and I'm glad it's over but it was very doable.  I have four kids at home (14, 12, and twin 7's) and we maintained a pretty normal life.  I felt crappy about 9 days out of each cycle but I just paced myself and prioritized things.  I never had mouth sores, was never nauseated.  But I did have major diarrhea.  Wow.  But I was already predisposed to that sort of problem and my onc said the Taxotere just accentuated it.  I finish up my year of treatment on Thursday...#17 Herceptin.  :)  I also did lumpectomy and 33 rounds fo rads.  (I hated rads far worse than chemo.  Ugh.)

    You guys will get through this.  The road seems long now but it really moves along fast.  Learn all you can and use it to come back and encourage the February 2012 ladies.  Chemo sucks but it wasn't nearly as bad as I had feared.  :)
  • beth1965
    beth1965 Member Posts: 203
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    Hello everyone-from what i understand i will be starting chemo this month. I was diagnosed this week-4 days ago. I have a 9cm tumor that will be removed Feb 2nd having a mysectomy x 2  and of course whatever other cancer they may find hopefully none. Doctor says in 3 weeks i should be ready to start chemo. So if the doctor s right i guess i am part of your Feb. chemo group 

    The diagnosis is still very new to me but i find i have spent a great deal of time the last few days having a pity party for myself. So i can definately relate with what you's are saying.I am the type of person that usually gets over situations fast and moves on but apparently that is not how this situation is going to go.

    pejkug3-thank-you so much for posting here it really does make me feel better when i read posts from people that have gone through this i am sure it helps others too. I like that you are very honest talking about some of the crappy parts but also including the good part saying that it is not as bad as you thought.Thanks again for your honest words for all of us-take care

  • bffmom
    bffmom Member Posts: 4
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    Hello ladies - welcome, glad for the company ....just sad to see that there are so many of us.  Here is a thought that I have been thinking since I was diagnosed.  This disease should be called the "Hurry up and Wait" illness.  Since the day I heard the dreaded words..."you need to have a biopsy", I feel like I am on a speeding train.  It rushes into every station where you have to make instant decisions, while this ominous clock is ticking.  Then.....you wait.  Wait for test results, wait for appointments, wait for healing.  I know it takes time to get better and I understand that, what I can't understans is why everytime there is a decision to be made ....I need to rush thru it.  I'm not complaining but the truth is, when I was diagnosed, I paniced.  The first Dr made me feel that I needed to get this done right away.  It ended up taking almost 2 months before I had my surgery and I Thank God everyday that there was someone in my life who reminded me every minute until the surgery that I had time.  I slowed down, took time to make the right decision for me, spoke to my kids like a normal person, found time to go see my 80 year old dad and let him know and guess what.....the cancer was still there, and I was finally able to be in the right frame of mind to make the right surgical decision for me and got the right Dr to do it.   I don't know, I am not saying everyone should just "lally-gag" and take their time, but you know what, we shouldn't have to rush thru everything.  

    Ok off my soapbox.  Sorry you will find I get worked up sometimes about this DAMN Cancer and my anger gets the best of me.  

    Enjoy the evening.  I am going back to watching my "once upon a time" show and then off to bed.  Speak soon my friends. 

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    Pejkug, thank so much for the words of comfort. That means a lot.

  • Brandyj26
    Brandyj26 Member Posts: 7
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    Just seen my MO.  I will be on AC x 4 then T x 4.  He wants the first treatment to be by next friday.  I have an appt with a surgeon on 1/31 to discuss the port.  I am going wig shopping tomorrow after work, I want everything in place before I start.  I already have my shopping list as to what is recommended to help with SE.

  • Laura5
    Laura5 Member Posts: 419
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    A few months ago, I was where you are. It's not a picnic, but you will get through it. I read the message boards for helpful tips and I used cold caps to keep my hair. Good luck!

  • beth1965
    beth1965 Member Posts: 203
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    What are cold caps?

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,937
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    Hello Ladies!  I was supposed to start chemo in January, but got an infection in my mastectomy site and had to have surgery to have my TE removed, and am on IV antibiotics.  I cant start tx until that is done.  So I will be joing you on your journey this month.  I AM SICK OF the ANXIETY and WAITING.  Ug,.  Sorry. BFF you are so right, Hurry up and wait.

     I  was diagnosed first with dcis in one breast and a spot of it in the left breast as well.  I decided on a BMX and that turned out to be rather smart as they found the invasive 1.6 cm tumor in the left side that never showed on the mammogram or ultrasound.  I couldn't have an MRI as I have a pacemaker. I have one boobette half filled, one big crater on the left where the TE was removed, feel like sh*t, have a nurse come to the house to give me the antibiotic by IV, and am still waiting for the chemo.  I had to have a picc line put in for that, and will still need the port.  I would prefer the port to the pic line anyday- nothing dangles from the port.  It is real similar (I have heard from my doc and nurses ) to my pacemaker placement- that wasnt bad so if you are worried about that, it is one of the easier things.  The picc line was porbably almost the same thing, but it is real annoying to have the darn things dangle, even if I put on the cover they give you it slips down and the dangle anyway!  LOL.   

     Thanks Pejkug, for the hopeful words.  I know I need to hear there is an end.  I will be on TCH as well, sounds pretty much like the tx they want me to have.  TC x 6 nad H for the year.

    So Ladies, please add another member to this club.  Looks like we well all be leaning on each other. But I promise to pick you up if you fall if you can catch me once in a while!  

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    Tomorrow is my first chemo. Port was put in today. Was supposed to be.February but it got moved up. Can I still stay here?

  • Laura5
    Laura5 Member Posts: 419
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    Beth1965, Cold caps are caps filled with some sort of gel that you wear during chemo.  I used Penguin Cold Caps which I believe have the greatest success rate. They have used them in Europe for years, but not many people know about them here. The website is www.msc-worldwide.com .
  • SherylR
    SherylR Member Posts: 3
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    Hi Everybody - I start 4 cycles of TC next Thursday the 2nd.  Looking forward to staying connected and learning from y'all the next few months.  

     Just to chime in on the huge anxiety and endless waiting - UGH! 

    And a good quote from my surgeon:  "You're young, it's cancer, you throw the f***ing book at it!"

    (I'm 44, so somebody calling me young makes me want to do whatever they recommend :)

     

  • Grace-HK
    Grace-HK Member Posts: 10
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    I just had my surgery on Jan 13, discharged 2 days ago and currenly staying home for rest before the chemotherapy starts. I am so worried due to the uncertainly.



    I heard from others that side effect will happen in the next few days? Other days won't feel too bad. Is that true? Please help.

  • dltnhm
    dltnhm Member Posts: 420
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    Signing in to join the February Chemo group!

    I had my left nipple sparing mastectomy, DIEP reconstruction, and node (sentinel biopsy which turned into an axilla excision) on January 10th.

    Met with my medical oncologist today to map out a plan. I am really having a great and speedy recovery from all the surgery.

    Drains: woke with 4 (2 pelvic/abdominal and 2 under arm/breast drains). Had two removed on the 19th and two removed on the 23rd. YAY!!

    Dressings: abdominal dressing gone as of the 23rd as well ... hip to hip incision (which actually dipped to my public region and replaced a 21 1/2 year old bikini line c-section scar) and belly button healing famously. Double Yay!

    So now the plan is to give my body a little more time to recover from the surgeries .... the vascular connection for my tissue was made through the axilla node incision .. which spared me another breast scar but makes that area more painful than it would be otherwise and needs time to keep everything going well to keep that fat tissue transplant stayin healthy.

     Start Date:

    Chemotherapy should start at the 4-6 post-op week for me: 

    early as 2/7 as late as 2/21

    Regimen

    ACT

    AC - Adriamycin (doxorubicin) & Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide); dose dense; 1 dose every 2 weeks for 4 cycles (8 weeks total)

    followed by

    T - Taxol (paclitaxel); 1 dose for weekly for 12 weeks

    That is .. if I get into the clinical trial NSABP B-47

    This is a randomized study that includes 12 weeks of Herceptin for women with low HER (+1 or +2 on the stain).

    If I get in the trial and if I am part of the group that receives the Herceptin ... then I will take the Taxol on a 12 week regimen.  If I don't get into the trial, then I can take the Taxol on a 4 cycle (8 weeks) regimen. And if I get into the trial but am put in the control group (no Herceptin) then I could always drop out and go with the shorter Taxol regimen. Right now the idea of participating in this trial appeals to me even if I am put in the control group. One way or the other I think that I would be helping my sisters in the fight ... somewhere down the road.

    Read through the side effects of all of the meds again this evening and I am right there with those of you who are scared. I am a healthy woman. I just happen to have CANCER. And this whole journey has to make me sick in order to make me well. So it's some little things and some big things and some big little things that make me wonder ... like on the way home I looked at my husband and said ... "I won't have any hair for Ryan's graduation."  The whole hair thing over all hasn't been bothering me so much as I thought about it ... but having any part of the focus of that day being on my cancer ... rather than on my son ... just brought me to tears. I want to RUN again. And I have to get to my 6 week post-op in order to do that. Then I just wonder how all of this will zap the heck out of me and work against me running through it. But I am determined to get back in those running shoes regardless. Just scary.  The port thing is frightening ... I think because it will be there so long. Just another thing to wonder about .. even if it is under the skin. And since I have positive nodes and had the axilla excision, the whole lymphedema thing has been ever-present. My arm looks fine. I have a 'script for physical therapy but need it cleared with my reconstruction surgeon. I would just like to have more mobility & less pain in that arm before chemo begins.

    Okay ... so I am extremely long-winded.  If any of you made it thus far ... please just know that I am in this with you. And although I just wrote out my long laundry list of fears ... I also have a peace. I know Whose arms I rest in ... Who knows my name ... Who is walking alongside and carrying me through this. For me trusting and praying for the continued faith to get through this no matter what is the key. And I could not possibly do it without the grace of God. I have the mustard seed ... He supplies the rest. And thankfully He is a real God that allows me to not only praise, rejoice, and submit ... but also to vent, and cry, and doubt ... and let Him know how I am really feeling. 

    We're going to get through this girls!!! We're going to make it and come out on the other side even stronger than before we started. Along the way we will probably get kicked around a bit and beaten up ... but we are fighters and we are sisters and we will do this together.

    Thanks for starting this thread. I hope you stay even if you were bumped up to January now.

    I look forward to getting to know you all better.

    Love and hugs!

    Diana   

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    Diana, Phew. I'm glad I can stay. I have purposefully stayed away from reading much on the side affects of chemo because I know how my mind works. I've also spoken to several survivors and they tell me it depends on person to person how they react. I went out and bought stuff to deal with possible side affects (biotene mouthwash, stool softener, immodium but who knows which I'll use.



    I just got the port today and it's not bad. It'll save my arm veins since I hear chemo can be rough on them. Coincientally I read a book about the history of treatment of cancer. It's a thiick read but talks about.how the use of chemo and radiation evolved. I am grateful that these treatments have gotten much better and I am grateful that they have these treatments at all. Most women used to die of breast cancer, now an incredibly high percentage live. I try to keep my focus on how chemo will save my life and do my best to block the side affects out my head. I have had a bad habit of thinking each new twinge is new cancer. As a good friend said to me, "This is going to suck, but you'll live."

  • dltnhm
    dltnhm Member Posts: 420
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    Did you get your port in your chest or in your arm? Did I miss that? How was this done? I am imagining under a local ... I can't imagine watching this being done however. Will they be drawing blood from your port as well as putting medicine in through your port? Everything I read says "sometimes they use the port to draw blood". Since I am down to one arm for all blood draws, shots, blood pressure, needle sticks, etc.(now for life) ... I am watching that arm carefully and know the chest port is the only way I can really expect to go with this.

     TOTALLY ASIDE:

    I see that you are from Washington DC.  My youngest (the senior in high school) was born when we lived in Alexandria, VA (1993) and we lived in Woodbridge, VA also from '94-'99. Are you actually living in the district or in VA or MD? Were you around during those years?

    Nice chatting with you!

    Diana

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
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    Everything will be done with the port, blood draws and chemo. I had them put me under conscious sedation but I was a little aware and it hurt about the same as a biopsy, ie the shots hurt the most. It's in my chest just above my right breast and it's only a slight bump.



    I've been in DC since 1999 so I think we missed each other. I live in a row house on they edge of Capitol Hill. I'm seeing Drs. Teal and Kaltman at George Washington University Hospital. So for me, I get on the Metro and pop off and into the hospital for all my treatments. I feel very lucky.



    Where in Illinois do you live? I'm originally from Milwaukee, WI.

  • melly1462
    melly1462 Member Posts: 20
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    Hi ladies.  Lumpectomy Jan. 13th with port placement.  Had the SAVI device implanted yesterday for APBI next week.  Twice a day x5 days and radiation done!!

    I've seen 2 MO's and of course they had differing opinion as to chemo regimen.  One said AC-TH x4, the other said TCH x6.  Whichever I choose, the "H" (Herceptin) is weekly for one year.  Decisions, decisions!!!

    Chemo class today.  Hopefully that will help with some of my fears.  I give myself pep talks and have just about convinced myself I'll have minimal SE's.  When I have a dark day I remind myself this all just a temporary madnes.

    Plans are to start chemo in the next 2 weeks.  We will get through this, we are not alone.  Sending you all strong, healthy vibes!

  • beth1965
    beth1965 Member Posts: 203
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    Laura5 thanks so much for the info i will look into this

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,937
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    Hello, Ladies1  I had my last iv antibiotic today.  I see the onc on Mon and the ps on Tues.  I should know about my port placement then.  I am actually  so looking forward to the port placement as it will mean the wait is finally over, not to mention the darn picc line will be out!  LOL Gritgirl, please stay with us! Although the Jan board girls are great too!.  I just jumped boards because more people will be closer to my treatment this way.  everyone on the Jan boards has already started, and I was supposed too on the 26th.  but being delayed, this is better.  I am glad we are here for each other, and sorry we all have to be here.  Anyone else on THC? TC x6 , The Herceptin will be weekly for 18 weeks, then every 3 wks for a year. Since my mom and aunts died from BC, I am actually glad to be doing chemo.  It gives me a way to fight they never had.  Mom is gone nearly 19 years, and her sisters longer.  She had a BMX and they told her she was free.  Not quite- she passed 7 years later.  So for me this is big- I am doing chemo, they didn't know her2 at that time, so chemo here I come.  Sorry for rambling.But scared as I am I am ready to do it.  Take care all!

  • fredntan
    fredntan Member Posts: 237
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    Hi just wanted to chime in too. Im from the oct group.



    I was so scared. Cried when I got into the chemotherapy place. Just the thought of chemotherapy scared the crap out of me.



    But guess what it wasnt so bad.



    I did 4 rounds of AC every other week. I had some side effects. But nothing like I imagined.

    I now have just five more taxols.

    I feel good. I walk 2.4 mile a day. I feel strong now. You can do this!

  • faithhopenluv
    faithhopenluv Member Posts: 154
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    Moonflwr and gritgirl  - I'm kind of between boards as well (moonflwr we've sorta met in the Jan board).  I start chemo 2/2 but had been reading the Jan thread because I knew I was close and wasn't sure if it would be Jan or Feb, and then I have been reading this thread once it popped up.  I'm thinking they have helped me alot to prepare and if I can I'll share what I know with the Feb group since I will be one of the first so I have a connection to both. 

    Fredntan and all the others that popin to say it is doable THANK YOU!!