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Starting chemo July 2014



  • nancy2581
    nancy2581 Member Posts: 407

    I too admire all of you ladies who are going through this while working and raising kids.  I admire you.  For me my daughter is in college and my son will be leaving for college Aug 20.  I am very upset that I will not be able to go with him (too many people, germs that I cannot risk) and say goodbye.  He is my baby.  It will then just be me and hubby - what an odd concept LOL  I've already told hubby when this is all said and done (and hopefully for forever) we are gong to Maui - my favorite.


  • Blownaway
    Blownaway Member Posts: 662

    Feeling much better today and back at work - found the light at the end of the tunnel.  WHAT A HANGOVER - I'LL NEVER DO THAT AGAIN! Still feel like I partied like a rockstar but so happy to get some perspective back. 

    KP - good heavens girl, dont you have enough problems - talking about living large! Get well soon and please stay off that bike!

    Joeys Mommy - Good luck with your treatment and side effects. I HAVE WONDERFUL BOSSES TOO! I sure am killing them on the insurance premiums right now though.

  • nancy2581
    nancy2581 Member Posts: 407

    Hey you guys.  I started a new thread, but thought I'd ask here too.  My doctor is having me do a PET/CT scan, bone scan and echo.  I get the echo, but does everyone do the other two.  Is it just standard? I am at he doctor every day this week starting tomorrow.  Really scared those scans are going to show something I don't know about.


  • JoeysMommy
    JoeysMommy Member Posts: 64

    Hey Nancy,   

    I just had a Echo, bone scan and CT Scan as well...  They do them for a base line... There are obvious risks with having chemo as it could damage your heart muscle so they do these tests to re check again as you go through treatment to look for any changes.  This is what I was told :o

  • magdalene51
    magdalene51 Member Posts: 2,062

    Yes, the echo is to get a baseline on your heart's condition. The PET scan is done to determine if there are cancer cells in other parts of your body. An IV is placed with stuff that can attach itself to any cancer cells which then light up with the scan. It takes about an hour of sitting quietly while the stuff permeates your cells, but the scan doesn't take long. Make sure you follow the prep as the stuff attaches to a sugar molecule so when they tell you no sugar that's why, it can mess up the scan. I didn't have a CT scan, but I had one 3 years ago and they looked at that versus the PET and could see what was preexisting.

  • CoyoteNV
    CoyoteNV Member Posts: 286

    Nancy, I had those tests too.  It's better to know what you are dealing with in entirety.  Scary for sure.  If they come back clear, it is a big relief.  If not, Sad it point the treatment in the correct direction. 

  • dancingdiva
    dancingdiva Member Posts: 317

    Hello ladies,

    I will be joining this wrestling match soon. See onc on Wed.

     Who got a Port, who got a PICC inserted and what's the difference and which is preferred?

    Lots of questions, but would like to inquire with onc on wed.

  • magdalene51
    magdalene51 Member Posts: 2,062

    Aw dancingdiva, I hate that you have to be here. But we will all support each other. 

    I had a port placed 3 weeks post BMX, 3 weeks pre chemo. I hate having this in my body, but it really does beat the alternative. When I was having the placement surgery, the nurse blew out a vein trying to put the IV in and had to call in a phlebotomist. So I'm glad we did it. They didn't give me the Emla Cream until I asked for it so haven't used that yet. I think it will be better than the numbing spray though.

    Keep us updated, I'll put your date in when you have it.

  • sebaroni
    sebaroni Member Posts: 4

    Hi Ladies - Been reading through some of your posts and just want to encourage all of you. I am 10 months post-final chemo and feeling great. You can do it! For those of you not starting yet, keep in mind that chemotherapy has a tendency to mimic the way you felt when you were pregnant. (At least, with A/C/T, for sure) So....if you had rough pregnancies with lots of morning sickness, prepare yourselves accordingly. 

    Stock up on watermelon, too. Chemo will dry you out and I found it to be a life saver. Being that it is summer, you should be able to find it in abundance. 

    Good luck to all of you. Hang in there! In a year, you will be looking back on it and moving on.


  • kpmacmill
    kpmacmill Member Posts: 69

    Thanks for your concern ladies - I got home from the hospital about 2 hours ago. I had a voicemail from the Onc , and now I'm scheduled to start July 16th, so a week later. I get the staples out of my head in a week, so I hope my head will be healed enough to handle the cold caps at that point. Good luck to those starting this week!


  • magdalene51
    magdalene51 Member Posts: 2,062

    Hey kp, so glad you're going to be ok and not too much of a delay. I've updated the list to reflect your new date. 

    Still having gut issues. It's verging on diarrhea but since I normally tend toward constipation I don't want to take any Imodium to stop it up. I don't mind the loose stools but the gas pains are awful. I don't know why I'm so rumbly in the tumbly, I can't think of anything I've eaten that would do it. I know that's tmi for normal folks but this is the full disclosure section. 

    Blownaway, hope you continue to feel ok. Suzan, thanks for peeking in and giving us such great encouragement. Can't tell you how many times the past few days I have just moaned "I can't do this anymore! I'm not going to make it!" But of course I am. No other option.

  • mommymel
    mommymel Member Posts: 77

    kp sending lots of positive energy for you.

    Hi ladies my chemo was delayed because my Dr forgot to give me the shot to shut down my ovaries ... Hopefully she will not forget anything else....;(

    I'm so anxious .., I will have to take the shot tomorrow and wait until Monday to get the chemo going..,, can you believe that? I'm really upset about it. So I  guess my treatment will start in the 14 HOPFULLY !

  • ChaosRains
    ChaosRains Member Posts: 90

    I got my port placed today... it kind of throbbed at first, now not so bad but you can definitely feel it pull every time i turn my neck... weird

    Then when i came home and passed out i got a voicemail from my onco nurse... apparently they are trying to schedule things where i will see the onco and start chemo the same day and will call me back first thing in the morning to Let me know if it will still be wednesday or maybe thursday. 

    Hope everyone is having a good night... going to try to sleep

  • jennliza
    jennliza Member Posts: 176

    Nancy2581 - Hmmm, I think I'm jealous that you are getting a bone scan and PETscan....the only thing I got was an Echo....because I have to take Herceptin which is hard on your heart (though reversible). 

    I'm stage not sure if they give petscan's if there isn't node involvement...but I would love one for peace of mind. I think I'm the only one on this thread that is HER2+ is a very aggressive form of cancer and feel paranoid....even though I also had a BMX. I think I am going to ask my ONc why I wasn't tested!

    Is anyone on this thread doing Cold Caps? I ordered mine today....praying I keep most of my hair.

    I start Chemo (Taxotere,Carboplatin and Herceptin) on the 16th...:but first I have to get my eggs removed this thurs or Fri....praying I have a good egg or 2 left.

    Oh...and I asked for a port today...after reading all the posts on here saying it kinder/gentler than an IV. I'm kind of annoyed my Onc didn't advise me well...was like oh you have good veins. Not sure I am going to get it placed before my first treatment. Does anyone know if treatment thru an IV is painful?

  • CoyoteNV
    CoyoteNV Member Posts: 286

    Scared42,  Just a quick note before I crash for the day.  For me, an IV is always painful!  And chemo can be hard on veins.  You might start out pretty good, but end up not so much.  One thing about a port.  They do require maintenance. You have to be careful at the port site for a couple days after infusion  - my dr says no swimming for 2 days.   When your chemo is completed, it requires flushing every 30 days until it is removed.  There are reasons to keep it intact for awhile after chemo is done.  Someone asked about the PICC.  I looked into it.  If what I read is correct, it requires a lot more in no swimming at all, special showering care.  There is information online about the differences. 

    Re: PET.  Insurance limits the number of PET scans they will pay for per cancer incident. Perhaps you onc want to wait and use it as an after treatment assessment tool.  Won't hurt to ask about it.

  • ladytdf
    ladytdf Member Posts: 7

    Hello everyone! I had my first chemo yesterday.  I am on the A-C-T regiment. All was good but did end up with dry mouth. Water and gatarad were/are my friends. I stay on top of my nausea med because I am one that gets nauseous at the drop off a dime. Getting my rest ant will check in later. I hope everyone is doing great or as best as can be on this Roller coaster ride we are on!  Let us hope day 2 goes well. 

  • CoyoteNV
    CoyoteNV Member Posts: 286

    I agree about staying on top of the nausea meds. Last time I tool the 'as needed' approach and was never able to manage it.  This time the nurse suggested I go proactive and take the meds on a schedule and if I'm feeling okay give the credit to the pills.  I'm willing to give it a try.  I don't have a regular out of the house job; there are no children in the house to be cared for; my husband is a very capable and willing caretaker of me, the house, and the farm (animals and all)  If I go to bed and get up only for necessities for the next 5 days, so be it.  We'll see how it goes!

  • Blownaway
    Blownaway Member Posts: 662

    Scared 42 - I too am HER2+,stage 1 (they got it all) and the lymph nodes were clear. I had my first infusion this past Thursday of TCH (there is another board of entirely TCH -HER2+ people on this site). I've received a lot of encouragement on this board  and the other.  Most seem to be concerned about their hair (my hair isnt very pretty - thin straight stringy) so I wont bother with cold caps - a wig will be an improvement. In fact, my oncologist said no way to cold caps or icing the fingers, toes, mouth.  He says that you do not want to block the meds from any part of your body since the cancer can come back anywhere. I was pretty sick for 2-3 days but will get better meds to control the nausea, headaches, wooziness next go round. I bought some Seabands today and I don't care if it is psychological, I think my head is screwed on straighter. Let me know how you are doing - its so nice to have a twin!

  • Blownaway
    Blownaway Member Posts: 662

    Ladytdf - what did you do to stay on top of the nausea? What is/are the name/names of your nausea meds Ill take any suggestions - next go around is July 24 and will sit on the oncologist until he prescribes something that will work.  I too am prone to nausea-I could get seasick in the bathtub!!!!

  • magdalene51
    magdalene51 Member Posts: 2,062

    So thankful I'm not prone to nausea, I did have it the first few days but never threw up. My problem is much lower - really bad gas cramps.

  • Gilmour
    Gilmour Member Posts: 1

    Hello. This is my first post. I will begin chemo on 7/14 (my 40th birthday is 7/13..interesting way to kick off being 40). I am getting a port put in on Friday the 11th. So very nervous. 

  • Mumford
    Mumford Member Posts: 88

    Hi, girls,

    I am on day 6 post first cycle of TC. Not too bad, so far. I would say my worst symptom was pain from the Neulasta (but I've since discovered the Claritin miracle). Now feeling quite good. No nausea. Sore mouth (sensitive to acidic food), some constipation. A little punk at times, but, thank God, very few SE's. 

    Does anyone have any experience with nosebleeds? This occurred today, but I'm putting it up to dry (including inside my poor nose). 

    My head is also itchy....

    Hope you're all coping well...

  • ChaosRains
    ChaosRains Member Posts: 90

    So, my schedule did not change, met with onco today and first round of AC is tomorrow morning at 9:30.  

    Surprisingly, im not nervous-yet.  Just doing some last minute housekeeping and making sure i have everything in order.

    I hope you all are doing well, that symptoms stay to a minimum and you all have a great night

  • magdalene51
    magdalene51 Member Posts: 2,062

    Welcome Gilmour. I've added your name to our list. I hate that you have to be here but you are among friends, ladies who will give encouragement and share our stories and experience. 

    I know what you mean about the birthday thing; my BC journey started with the mammogram and ultrasound I got on my 63rd birthday. I found the lump a couple weeks before that, so the news came as no surprise, but still... On your birthday. That's just low.

    Speaking of low, I've been curled up in a fetal position in bed all day with these awful belly cramps, running back and forth to the toilet and trying to eat. I desperately need a shower but there's no way I have enough energy to even sit on my shower chair for long enough to get clean. I hope all of you are spared this side effect.

  • I have chemo school on July 16 and expect to start chemo the following week.

    FWIW, I am doing this at Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • magdalene51
    magdalene51 Member Posts: 2,062

    Welcome RamblingRose. We call this the club no one wants to join. When you have an actual start date I'll fill it in.

  • kitkatmo...

    I start chemo, I think, week after next. 

    I did radiation in 2005 and worked every single day of my 30 day regime. I was tired, but I was myself mostly. I worked each day from 7-2:30 and then drove down to Boston for the rads. Radiation itself takes very little time, changing your clothes takes longer...but some days there'd be a back up or one machine would go down...and then you are waiting. I didn't bring work to radiation. Made a firm resolution to only do my fun reading there.

    Bottom line, I think chemo is harder than rads.

  • Slappy-Squirrel
    Slappy-Squirrel Member Posts: 199


    I'm so sorry to hear you are having digestive troubles. Have you called your doctor or nurse for ideas?


  • magdalene51
    magdalene51 Member Posts: 2,062

    No Shirley, I just didn't. This wasn't a side effect anyone told me about. Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, but no mention of gut pain. Or gas. At least that I recall.

  • AJ62
    AJ62 Member Posts: 27

    Thank You Magdalene51. 

    I start my Chemo on Monday, July 14th! FINALLY !!!! 

    Thanks for the welcome. I am thankful for this site though. A lot of great info from all of you!