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Red Devil survivors, please

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  • kicks
    kicks Member Posts: 319
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    I did Adriamycin (Red Devil) in 2009 neoadjuvant DD with Cytoxan. It was not bad at all for me. Did not slow me down at all. The adjuvant 12 weekly Taxol was nasty though.

  • lrscott2649
    lrscott2649 Member Posts: 3
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    I survived the Red Devil. It was hell. I was very sick, side effects included nausea, fatique, severe headache, nail discoloration, loss of appetite, hair loss, memory loss. It took me 16 rounds of chemos, lots of tests, patience, and a ton of support and love to get here. I am Currently Taking Taxol And MY Hair Is finally growing back. I have some neuropathy And swelling besides that I'm great.

  • Artista928
    Artista928 Member Posts: 1,458
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    I really hate people using the term red devil. Not all of us do terrible on it. All it did for me was preset my mind to how much hell it's going to be. I'm not saying it was easy but it was no different for me than the C & T I was given. They all sucked equally but was very doable for me. Even my chemo nurses used that term and I had to tell them not to. It made me look for things and expect things that simply didn't happen. Just stressed me out more.

  • kicks
    kicks Member Posts: 319
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    lrscott2649 - you had 16 infusions of Adriamysin?

  • Lula73
    Lula73 Member Posts: 705
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    well, I did 8 rounds of a 4 component chemo that included Adriamycin roughly 30 years ago for treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma. There was a big workup leading up to it with all kinds of warnings, crash cart outside the chemo room, etc. In the end, it gave me a really bad stomach ache for about a week after each treatment-kind of felt like that sick feeling you can get in the pit of your stomach when you're afraid or worried. That was it as far as side effects. I just had a cardiac workup with the bc diagnosis and no damage present that they could find. Bottom line-everyone responds differently to different meds and we will all have different side effects. We do what we have to do to survive and be able to live our life to the fullest

  • denise-g
    denise-g Member Posts: 353
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    Red Devil - watch your heart and have the doctors watch your heart closely.  I had a heart attack during

    Adriamycin that I didn't realize until I was done - I thought it was SEs.   Heart attacks are rare, but heart

    damage is not.  My sister also had A/C chemo and had rapid heart rate.  She is now on heart drugs (as am I)

    and we are both doing well with treatment from our Cardiologists.

    But almost 6 years later, it was all worth it!

  • 7of9
    7of9 Member Posts: 474
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    I thought Taxotere was harder than Adriamycin. The scare of permanent hair loss and neuropathy didn't help either but there were way more aches. Then again, I had radiation before chemo second time around and had 3 broken ribs we weren't aware of til months later. I just took it as temporary pain and got on with it. Was even waterskiing 2 months later. LOVED to shut my husband up about 2 cracked ribs from rollerskating with our son's cubscout group! LOL

    Seriously, "Red Devil" (I wore red on those days, I thought of "Toro! Bring on the bull to kill these cells!") does wipe out any and all fast growing cells. Don't be around anyone who is sick - I got the flu from my aunt and it was nasty as in ER room and fluids nasty.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,052
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    I did AC ten years ago. I kind of felt like I had a mild case of the flu but never threw up or anything. I worked full-time, kept very hydrated, took the anti-nausea medications exactly as prescribed, exercised as much as I could, and let other people do everything else. I did not have any negative long-term side effects and am doing GREAT!

    *everyone, of course, has a different experience; but I wanted to put an encouraging story out there!

  • fayfay84
    fayfay84 Member Posts: 1
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    I had Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma and Hodgkin's Lymphoma after. I was diagnosed back in 05 and went into remission in late October of 07. I'm almost 10 year's in. I absolutely hated adriamycin. All the side affects, including the uncommon, I had. If I even thought about the stuff, I literally threw up. I have heart problems this very day. I also went into early menopause, which wasn't fun. Due to adriamycin, I suffer palpitations and trouble breathing to this day. I didn't start experiencing this until about 5 year's into remission. I drink plenty of water but regardless, I end up needing IV fluids because of dehydration. As I write this now, I'm having palpitations. I'm grateful I'm alive because I went through hell. Adriamycin wasn't the only cause, but it sure wasn't easy on me.

  • Jomama60
    Jomama60 Member Posts: 1
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    I'm a 22-year Survivor of stage 3 breast cancer. I had lymph node involvement and 9 of 15 lymph nodes were positive. I had a lumpectomy and radiation and I did have Adrymycin & Cytoxin treatment. The worst side effects I had from the Adrymycin or horrible horrible mouth sores. Other than that no real side effects.

  • wallan
    wallan Member Posts: 192
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    I am a 13 year survivor of stage 3 breast cancer. I had 2 out of 18 lymph nodes positive and a 7 cm tumor back then. I had a mastectomy, radiation and adriamycin, cyclophospamide and taxol, then 2 years tamoxifen, hysterectomy/oophorectomy and then 3 years aromasin.

    The worst treatment really was the tamoxifen for me. I have no heart issues that I know of now. I was only 41 at time of first dx.

    I was dx though with a second breast cancer in Feb this year in other breast .Stage 1, no lymph nodes. Had another mastectomy and am on Arimidex.

    I do believe that the adriamycin really killed the first cancer.

    wallan

  • karentwriter
    karentwriter Member Posts: 113
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    I just finished Round 4 of the only name I can spell and pronounce, the Red Devil. Each round was of it's own animal, but everyone is different too. I didn't do awesome, but not as bad as others either. They monitor your heart and all of your rounds very closely. My doctors also very much monitored me each week to be sure that they could improve any things that weren't going great. I am now about to embark on 12 weeks of Taxol. This is my first diagnosis and I'm doing everything in my power to make it my last, which means closing the gap with these treatments. Meaning getting myself as close to 100% survivability as possible.

    Good luck to all of us going through this horrid time.

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
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    Hang in there, ladies! I completed AC+T four years ago and have had no negative impact from the red devil so far. By the end of AC I was having a hard time climbing a flight of stairs. Just keep moving as much a you can and you will get back to your normal self pretty quickly.

    Best and Happy Holidays!

  • Jollon
    Jollon Member Posts: 1
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    my mother in law had the red devil Chemotherapy she died this morning from leukemia-cancer in the bone marrow her doctor stated it came from her red Devil Chemotherapy she had for breast cancer 25 yesrs

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,052
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    I did AC ten years ago. It wasn't fun but I worked throughout, made a quick recovery, and have had no problems since.

  • karentwriter
    karentwriter Member Posts: 113
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    I finished 4 treatments of red Devil in December and now doing Taxol. The taxol is starting to resemble how I felt on red devil as I near the end of those 12 rounds. I'm so afraid of a recurrence I just want to cry. I mean my odds are supposedly low, but it seems like it's not that low based on conversations here. :(

  • Meg101
    Meg101 Member Posts: 26
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    I recently finished several rounds of the Red Devil. It was a breeze. I was so afraid to start it, but it wasn't bad at all. Ask your MO to prescribe Emend for nausea for the first 3 days, then Zofran for the next few days. I never waited for nausea to hit. I took the meds before I had any symptoms. Stay ahead of the meds and you'll be fine. I had heart issues a few years ago long before I had the Red Devil, but have had no heart problems since. The Red Devil is your friend. I had some fatigue and brain fog, my eyes and nose were runny, I lost my hair, but that's about it. BTW, take the steroids as prescribed. Personally I loved the steroids because they gave me energy. I preferred the Red Devil to Taxotere, but even Taxotere wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Just make sure if you are given any Taxanes for Chemo, that you ice your toes and fingers before and during your infusion. I used CryoMax ice packs because they stay frozen for eight hours. No need to deal with melting ice. I bought them online from Amazon for about $20.00 total. I don't have any neuropathy or finger nail problems. To avoid mouth sores, chew ice during all infusions. Then when you get home, rinse your mouth several times a day with some salt and baking soda. Expect your taste buds to be "off" for about a week. If you still feel tired 2 weeks after chemo, increase your water and protein intake.

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,052
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    Karen, you are Stage I and doing everything that is medically advised, so your odds of never having to deal with this again are EXTREMELY good. Finish up your treatments and then go out and really enjoy your life!

  • cbk
    cbk Member Posts: 323
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    Ruthbru- such amazing inspiration to all of us recently done with chemo and wanting to move on with positive notions. Thank you!

  • ruthbru
    ruthbru Member Posts: 47,052
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    It's a process, and not an easy one; but if I could do it, you can do it too!

  • Blessed69
    Blessed69 Member Posts: 1
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    I took the Red Devil (Adriamycin/ Doxorubicin) along with MOP 35 years ago and was cured but it was not for breast cancer. It was for 4th Stage Hodgkins. The side effects I encountered from the Adriamycin were vomiting for about 24 hours because I could not take the nausea medications available at that time. Also neuropathy in the bottom of my feet. I still have a light case of this to this day. I had no heart problems from it and don't now. I took it every other week for a year. I also wore an ice cap before and after my treatments to prevent hair loss. I never lost my hair. It did get thin but that was it. I understand they have a new trial ice cap now for breast cancer. It sounds very complicated in comparison to the one I wore. As do a lot of the procedures used today. However most are for the best. I have always known God, amazing doctors, treatments, unbelievable Support from friends and family. Along with having a positive attitude and faith. Interconnected with visualization of taking the cancer out of my body. Then having a healed body. Brought about my cure. I know my diagnosis was not for breast cancer. However I pray that my information can give someone peace and hope.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,085
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    Dear Blessed69,

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    The Mods

  • Artista928
    Artista928 Member Posts: 1,458
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    Adriamycin wasn't too bad for me. I went in thinking the worst. All chemo I had upset my stomach, wore me out, caused hairloss, and made me sickly roughly about the same. Shows everyone is different.