Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...

February 2012 Chemo

Options
12467171

Comments

  • lumpynme
    lumpynme Member Posts: 497
    Options

    karen-fldreamer- i've followed you and you are in a tuff spot with your daughters however you are right that boundaries NEED to be set and you are the only one who can do that.not an easy thing......

    i'm here if you want to pm...

    here's a hug

  • Mom2JJ
    Mom2JJ Member Posts: 38
    Options

    All, I had my port implanted today after an anxious day yesterday second-guessing my decision to use a port. The surgery was not the least bit uncomfortable. I am sore on my left side where the port is placed, and the muscles feel really tight, but so far I have not even taken a tylenol. At this point, I am pleased with the port. They left the needle in since my first chemo is tomorrow, which saves me a stick. I hope to have the EMLA cream for the next chemo.



    My cold caps should be arriving within the hour. We are going to give them a try.



    Like others, I am very anxious about chemo. I was almost privately hysterical last night -- and I am the kind of person that is usually never phased by anything. The thought of all of those chemicals coursing through my veins is certainly frightening.



    I'm going to think positive and go for a walk now. We will practice with the cold caps tonight -- and tomorrow morning in for chemo. I'll report afterwards.

  • ali68
    ali68 Member Posts: 644
    Options

    Mom2JJ, you will be fine and having the cold cap will take your mind off the chemo. You will be so busy it will fly by. Everyone feels the same the only thing I'm going to do is an hour before I'm going to take two pain killers and maybe a sinutab tablet for sinus problems after the chemo. It really doesn't hurt just uncomfortable and cold.



    Good luck and keep warm.



    Xx

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
    Options

    Mom2JJ, thanks for the report.  I am ready for my port and am just waiting to finish the darn anitbiotics.  So sometime next week maybe or possible the week after,  but I just want to get started.  this waiting is the pits. 

    Karen-flddreamer- Arent daughters fun?  Mine are kind of the same way.  One lives with me and when she isn't doing her things, (going to nursing school, working, etc) she wants to be there for me.  But she and DH started a project this week of cleaning out the closets and cabinets in the kitchen, I can't stand the mess, and I cna't put it all back or I'd be killing my self reaching and lifting stuff over my head!  yikes.  I know they mean well, but jeeze- I really didn't want to do that right now.  *sigh*  LOL Then, we go to the store, and they drop me off and keep checking to see if I can still walk, LOL - I just will get through this and know they really want to help just don't know what I need, not that I know that right now either!  Oh well, mistakes and everything, we will get through it.  I hope you do to.  (with your sanity intact if possible!  LOL)

  • ymac16
    ymac16 Member Posts: 85
    Options

    Hello all, I'm joining this group after some failed attempts at starting chemo in the last week.  I was supposed to do 4 cylces of Taxotere/Cytoxan but had a severe allergic reation to the Taxotere (sent me into anaphylactic shock) when they started last Thursday.  They were going to substitute Abraxane for the Taxtotere and start me again yesterday, but then insurance balked at covering the Abraxane since its not "standard of care" for early stage breast cancer.  So now, I'm going on 6 cycles of FEC (5-FU/Epirubicin, Cytoxan) starting tomorrow.  UUGGHH!!! What a frustrating road this has been.  I'm hoping all will go well tomorrow as I don't think I can take any more problems and delays!

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
    Options

    Ymac- I feel for you the delays and problems are not fun.  I will pray that all goes well tomorrow for you and that your new Tx will be just what you need.  Take care.

  • christina0001
    christina0001 Member Posts: 449
    Options

    I am also scheduled to start chemo this month. GritGirl - I am also waiting and scared!

    I was supposed to get my port in today, and start chemo on Monday. Unfortunately I got a wicked stomach virus Monday, spend all night vomiting, and had a fever of 101F all day Tuesday. No fever today but I have a headache and my energy level is low.

    So now the port is scheduled to go in on 2/8 and chemo (TCH) will start on 2/13. I have a bone scan scheduled for tomorrow, and I had an echo and CT scans scheduled for yesterday that I will get done on 2/6.

    Tried to look at wigs on Monday and couldn't do it, broke down crying and had to walk out. I think I am just going to order a couple online. Someone here recommended: http://www.hatswithhair.com/Wig%20Made%20With%20My%20Own%20Hair.aspx and I think I will go ahead and have my hairdresser cut off my hair and send it in, so I can wear my own hair under a hat. I called my insurance today to see if they cover the cost of wigs at all; I am waiting for them to call me back.

    I think I am having a terrible time dealing with this. The only time I feel okay is when I am work and I am too busy to think about myself.

  • ymac16
    ymac16 Member Posts: 85
    Options

    I just went through all the posts on this board.  Very interesting to see some similarities in issues that we are facing!  I too had a CT scan that showed a mass around the abdomen and liver so I had to have a PET Scan to make sure there wasn't additional cancer.  Fortunately, the PET Scan came out clear for cancerous masses - there's a lot of "stuff" in my body but none that were a reason for concern.  Good luck to those of you who are still going through the "discovery" process.  Some other background on me - mass in RB discovered through mammogram last August; after biopsy diagnosed with IDC in September; subsequent MRI showed additional lesions in RB and "something" in LB; biopsy of LB came back as atypical cells; decided to go for a bilateral MX in November, which ended up being wise as atypical cells in LB turned out to be DCIS; cancer spread to 2 lymph nodes so couldn't do immediate rescontruction as planned and now have TEs in place which are just AWFUL!  Now, on to next chapter in this fight.

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
    Options

    More delays- the infectious disease doctor wants to wait a week to start to implant the port and start chemo so not next week either,  *sigh*  So I am now set for port placement (Happy Valentines Day LOL) on 2-14 and chemo on 2-16.  A whole month later than planned.  Oh well, it will come when it comes.  Maybe I will be much better then and able to handle it better.  Yeah, that's what I will tell myself, and maybe it will actually happen!  LOL!

  • faithhopenluv
    faithhopenluv Member Posts: 154
    Options

    Ymac16 and moonflr - sorry for the delays,the waiting is so tough. Barring any crazy setbacks, my first tx is tomorrow. I got the port installed, no pain really but it does stick out a little more than I expected. Maybe it will settle in, maybe I'll get used to it.



    Mom2JJ - I hope your anxiety eases. I'm not quite sure what I'm feeling, I just want it to be over so I have a better idea of what I'm facing. One down means one less to go, and that's what I keep focusing on.



    As far as the whole hair thing, I actually had a good day. My stylist chopped it short over the weekend and when I got into work, my closest friend said 'why'd you do that?'. I got a liitle sensitive, but after spending the afternoon w her it's clear she didn't realize I'm certain it will go. There are so many people receiving other types that don't lose their hair, I forget how little I knew about breast cancer before 11/22 and may have thought the same thing. We did a hat fashion show, she loved all of them on me and on herself. I'm not up to physically wig shopping either. I'm going to try one online.

  • Laura5
    Laura5 Member Posts: 419
    Options
    christina00, I used cold caps and kept my hair. Have you considered them?
  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
    Options

    Hildy, i want to go where you're going. Massage chairs?



    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I had the liver biopsy yesterday and hopefully will know tomorrow or Friday.



    I am very grateful to be starting chemo on Friday. My doc will start me on Taxol and Herceptin once a week and will adjust based on what they find on the liver. I am ok with losing my hair and will do what i can with the side effects. I just want to live and am praying the chemo will shriink the tumor so they can get very clean margins for the bilateral mastectomy.



    This has been a long, scary journey and I'm grateful you all are here.

  • Kate60
    Kate60 Member Posts: 523
    Options

    Hi ladies. I'm technically a January chemo person but I have only had one round of chemo so far, and my next round is 10 Feb but I am also so very new to all of this and the not knowing is the worst part of it all - could I sneak into February please???

    I am on FEC x 4 then Rads then Herceptin x 12, then something else for 5 years. I

    So far my side effects from chemo have been quite manageable - I have to say, I was expecting the worst so for me I have been surprised that it really is do-able. I did feel bad around days 3 and 4 but not sick, just a sort of far out mental foggy feeling which was not pleasant. I certainly wouldn't have been able to drive a car or do anything like that, but I was also incredibly fatigued and slept for about 18 hours except for going to the loo etc. This last week I have been buzzing with energy and feeling really really great - just like normal, except that the fatigue will suddenly hit from nowhere and be quite severe. Luckily the cure for that is to sleep, and I mean I haven't slept so deeply since I was a teenager, so my body is really in repair mode and doing it's job in recovering.

    So I am day 14 now after my first infusion. My hair is really starting to shed big time. This is a hard thing to comprehend and I have wigs, buffs everything at the ready, but I don't think you can ever be ready to loose your hair. I was convinced that I would be one of the rare exceptions who doesn't loose their hair to chemo - wrong. This for me, is the hardest part of Chemo, but... it will grow back I am assured, it is all about time. I'm sure it won't happen as fast as I would like it too, but it does grow back and one day this will all just be another chapter in my lifes journal that I will be able to close the lid on.

  • Grace-HK
    Grace-HK Member Posts: 10
    Options

    AussieKate - you are so strong. I haven't started my chemo yet but will happen in the next few weeks. Losing hairs is my biggest worry and I don't know how I can face myself. I have already brought a wig and hats which give me a little comfort.



    We will end this journey very soon!

  • rachelvk
    rachelvk Member Posts: 564
    Options

    Hi all. Good luck to all the women starting this week.

    I thought I had rebounded from #3, but got my battery pulled out today at work for a while. I'm feeling better now and hope to make it to PT and work tomorrow as planned.

    Christina - This is a really hard time, and the hair loss hits us hard. They do good things with hats with hair from what I've seen, so I hope you find some things that really work.

    Given all the things chemo and cancer throws at us, I've managed to look at the hair loss as perhaps the least upsetting thing. We know it will happen, we pretty much know when (the 'starting date' seems to be predictably day 14 - 16), and there are options that we can try. I'm not saying it's easy, but once I looked at myself in the mirror, with my hair stuffed under a hat, and realized I think I have a pretty face, I figured I could beat that part of it. Wigs can be tough to find, but take the time to find a salon/store/breast cancer center that has a good selection and good staff, and you'll hopefully find something that says you. I've been trying out being a redhead. There are also some great ways to wear hats - and definitely go with big fancy earrings. Nothing makes you look more beautiful. 

  • JudyP
    JudyP Member Posts: 35
    Options

    Hi everyone!

     Yesterday morning I felt ok, but by afternoon I guess the steroid buzz was wearing off and I was wearing out!  I went for a walk (it was 60 here) and then basically laid around the rest of the day.  Tired and achy, but not too bad.  I took Tykenol pm (rec. by nurse) but still did not sleep well.  Nap today, hopefully.

    Reading all of your posts of fear, anger, thoughts are very helpful.  I think we all have similar moments.  This is a scary thing.  I try to think of all of the brave people that have already done this and come through ok and I know I can do it too.

    It's hard to be patient with family when they are trying to be helpful but don't know what to do.  I sometimes think that if one more person looks at me in that way I will scream, but I know that I could be standing on the other side. 

     Hang in there! 

    Judy

  • christina0001
    christina0001 Member Posts: 449
    Options

    faithhopenluv - I have coworkers who also are having a hard time understanding that I will lose my hair. Two oncologists have assured me I will. We have a coworker at work who is taking an oral type of chemo for skin cancer, and her naturally thick, curly hair has not noticeably changed at all, although she says it has thinned a little. I think that is why they keep telling me to not be so negative, maybe I will keep my hair. And I keep saying no, if two oncologists are assuring me it is going to come out, then I'm sure it will.

    Laura5 - I read a little about cold caps but my major worry is that if I bought them, used them, and they were not successful, it would just be another loss to cope with. The thought of watching my hair fall out breaks my heart. I just feel like emotionally I am not doing well and I will be less hurt if I just shave it all off before it falls out and wear wigs and hats for a year or so.

    Gritgirl - good luck tomorrow!!! Be sure to let us know how it goes!!!

    rachelvk - hello, I am also a native Jersey girl. I like the suggestion about earrings, and I may treat myself to a couple new pairs this weekend. I usually wear tiny ones.

    JudyP - that look is awful. So far I get it more at my medical appointments than from family and friends though. It's awful. In fact I was convinced I had cancer a week before they confirmed it, just based on getting those looks.

    I'm worried about sleeping too. I guess the steroids keep people awake? My chemo onc offered to prescribe me a sleep aid but I turned it down for now. Maybe I should have taken it? I did not want to be groggy from a sleeping pill.

  • faithhopenluv
    faithhopenluv Member Posts: 154
    Options

    YAY'!!!!!!! 1st one is done!!! And here is my new math...I have 3 more A/C to go, then I will worry about the 1st taxol, then I'm thinking the last Taxol really won't count since I will be so excited that it closer to over. It really wasn't bad at all. Nothing hurt or even felt funny, I'm drinking a ton of water, and hoping the next few days aren't too bad.



    Christina - that's exactly it, i know they mean well. Even my sweetie, I told him a few times before he heard it from mo, but after that he's on board that it will happen and it will be ok. He loves all my hats and I told him he gets to pick out an alter ego wig. Thats my thing w the cold caps too, worrying about if they would work, and even I did keep my hair I would have to be so careful with it and no highlights, skip washing etc... It's a difficult decision, but we are all beautiful and we can do this. One little step at a time.



    My best to everyone..if you are starting soon or thinking about it, we can do this!....Ann

  • dltnhm
    dltnhm Member Posts: 420
    Options

    Spine xray came out negative.

    Still awaiting the results of the MRI on my liver. Yesterday was a good day, but that MRI seemed the longest yet.

    Perhaps it was because it took two sticks to get the IV. I HATE needles.

    Perhaps it was because they played some really ethereal goofy music through it all.

    Perhaps it was because I actually fell asleep during my previous breast MRI and a large portion of my bone scan. In this one I needed to stay awake so I could keep inhaling, exhaling, holding my breath and stop breathing over and over and over again. It was almost comical ;-) how many images they were taking. At least I know they are being thoroughly thorough. And they even gave me a dvd of my own to take with me.

    So the countdown begins ... I imagine I will hear from my MO by the end of the day today. If it's negative then I can get the rest of this pre-chemo testing completed, get a port, and begin.

    In the meantime, I walked at the mall today and met up with a girlfriend who just learned that she needs to have a double mastectomy. We are in this together.

    Hope you are all 'seeing' some sunshine in your day today. Look for the rainbows. They will appear.

    Blessings,

    Diana

  • gonegirl
    gonegirl Member Posts: 1,022
    Options

    I feel devastated. I just heard from my MO and the cancer has spread to the my liver with no lymph node enlargement. I am now Stage IV metastatic to the liver. She tells me many people live many years like this.  I am just so sad. I was hoping to beat this cancer and go on with my life and adopt a child after this (I've always wanted children).

    Now I'll spend the rest of my days treating my cancer, never knowing when I'll go. Life is just so, so unfair.

  • ali68
    ali68 Member Posts: 644
    Options

    Gritgirl I'm sorry for your shit news but honey please don't give up. You say you want children could you adopt? Thinking of you and sending love and hugs.



    Xx

  • faithhopenluv
    faithhopenluv Member Posts: 154
    Options

    I'm so sorry Gritgirl. There are many people that are able to keep it at bay and live long and happily, I really hope you are in that group, Everyone here and elsewhere is hoping for a true cure. Hugs to you

  • ymac16
    ymac16 Member Posts: 85
    Options

    I'm so sorry Gritgirl. But Ali68 is right, don't give up! There are treatments that will let you live a long, full life with this plus staying positive truly helps. I know it's difficult right now to have any kind of positive attitude, but I hope with time it will come. Do you have any support to help you deal with this?

  • thoughtful
    thoughtful Member Posts: 1
    Options

    Hi all,





    i am also signing for the Feb 2012 group! My chemo (TAC regime) will start on Valentines Day...so romantic...I had a mastectomy and reconstruction with tissue expanders two weeks ago. I am suffering with my arm, as I cannot move it properly and still got a lot of discomfort around the wound...soooo, I am not yet recovered from the surgery and I am absolutely terrified with the fact that chemo is starting so soon....sigh....





    Male

  • lumpynme
    lumpynme Member Posts: 497
    Options

    gritgirl......you can have a pity party and we'll come but you CANNOT give up!!!!!!!!!!!

    you can vent you can whine you can cry you can feel like shit (not that i want you to) but you CANNOT give up...........

    ok gosh that was easy for me to say........i'm sending prayers for strength and a bunch of hugs.....

  • Laura5
    Laura5 Member Posts: 419
    Options

    Gritgirl, Wow, what sucky news, but do not give up. You are in my prayers.

    Christina00, I will pm you.

  • dltnhm
    dltnhm Member Posts: 420
    Options

    Gritgirl ...  you hang in there ... I mean it.  I know that must sound easy coming from someone on the inside/outside ... but you hold on tight to HOPE. Just hold on to the tiniest sliver of hope. One thing I keep reading is that gals can be staged IV and live really long and others can be staged I and for some reason this cancer thing gets a hold of them and they don't (and the same for every stage in-between). I am not trying to frighten anyone else in the community that might have a low stage ... but those stages mean different things for different people. And EACH one of us is an INDIVIDUAL and our cancer is INDIVIDUAL based on a lot of different factors even if we are similar in other arenas.

    So I echo what others are writing to you this evening. Do NOT give up.  You fight. I have people in northern Virginia and the DC area who will help you through this. I mean it. I will call them up and enlist their help for you ... in any way you need it. I am pulling for you and praying for you and I will not stop.

    Feel a great big hug across the miles from Illinois to DC. 

    Love,

    Diana

  • mthrdee
    mthrdee Member Posts: 68
    Options

    gritgirl - thinking and praying for you!!!!  just remember that every year things with cancer that were never thought of the year before come forward and we get offered easier and/or better treatments then those who came before us.  You must hold onto hope that you are going to beat this!!!  I have found in this life you must believe and that faith will carry you thru many obstacles!!  One step at a time. 

    (((Hugs))) 

  • FLDREAMER
    FLDREAMER Member Posts: 136
    Options

    gritgirl:  I'm so sorry to hear of your news.  I agree with the other posts.  Vent to us all you wish, say whatever you want, we're here to listen.  All your feelings are legit and valid.  Don't let anyone negate them.   But also, DONT give up hope.  We're here for you in anyway we can.  

    I feel as though I know you and am saddened at your news.   Hugs to you from the middle of Illinois! 

  • rachelvk
    rachelvk Member Posts: 564
    Options

    gritgirl - I am so sorry. I know it sounds easy for all of us to say it, but I think we all realize that we could be the next one to post what you just did. Give it all you can. There are so many great women on this board dealing with mets and I'm sure they will be a source of inspiration and support for you.

    As for having children, that is one dream that cancer can steal from many of us. If you really want to make a difference in the life of a child, I am certain that you will find some way to do that.