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August 2015 Chemo Group

KateB79 Member Posts: 555

Hi Ladies!

I figured it was time to start this thread . . . I hope I'm not overstepping any bounds.

My name is Kate. I'm 36 and fighting high-grade triple-positive BC. I had a mastectomy on July 6 and am scheduled to start TCHP (given that I had aggressive, multifocal tumors--one over 2cm--I'm allowed to have TCHP as adjuvant treatment!) on August 13.

Any other August chemo buddies? Hope to hear from you. We can do this . . . together!





  • Tam-iam
    Tam-iam Member Posts: 55

    Hi KateB. Thanks for starting this thread. I don't have a chemo plan yet, but I meet with the MO on Tuesday to find out. I had a 1.3 cm tumor with macromets in two sentinel nodes. My BS and RO are both expecting that the MO will suggest chemo and I am assuming I'll start this month.

    Suzanne50 -8/3 TC

    Sparklypink - 8/4 TC

    Tai1967 - 8/5 CFT

    MsBrompton - 8/5 Taxol

    Sio - 8/6 AC + T

    JenPam -8/6 AC + T + H

    JenPhil86 - 8/6 TH

    Pavlovsbell - 8/6 AC + T

    Birdysmom - 8/6 TC

    Musosgirl - 8/6 TCH + P

    Sbeddows - 8/7 AC + T

    Justamom - 8/7 AC + T

    Ophelia75 - 8/7 AC + T

    Happygrammy 8/10 TCH + P

    Tippytina90 - 8/10 TC

    AusUSA 8/12 TC

    Bluefrog76 8/12 T + H

    KateB79 - 8/13 TCH + P

    Nsweeney43 - 8/13 AC + T

    RoxGo - 8/14 TC

    Mom2aboy - 8/14 Herceptin + ?

    Tisher - 8/16 AC + T

    SDCA - 8/17 TCHP

    Sloan15 - 8/17 TC

    Knitnpurl - 8/17 AC + T

    Buzz328 - 8/18 AC + T

    SoCalGirl - 8/19 TC

    Lovestrees - 8/19 ?

    Ruska - 9/19 ?

    VickiRides - 8/20 AC + T

    Mamabear - 8/20 AC + T

    Cah21 - 8/20 AC + T

    Radtk018 - 8/21 AC + T

    LJ061197 - 8/24 TCH

    Gooseberry 8/24 TCH

    Prettyblueyes 8/24 AC

    Gingersnapp - 8/26 TCHP

    Tam-iam - 8/27 AC + T

    Tazbear89 - 8/27 AC + T

    Motherofmany - 8/27 Docetaxel and Carboplatin + H

    Bunnybumps - 8/31 AC + T

    Octogirl - 9/2 TC

    Mira845 date pending

    Ravensally date pending

    Tshire (September)

  • sparklypink
    sparklypink Member Posts: 17

    Hi Ladies...I start preventative chemo on August 4th. I think I need to update my profile as this is all a recurrence from DCIS I had 4 years ago. I had about a 10% chance of recurrence and I was the lucky one who fell in the 10%. I am cancer free (no lymph node involvement this time in my Stage 1) but doing preventative chemo (4 treatments) to help prevent another recurrence. Looking forward to sharing ideas, strategies, and hugs as we August ladies get started!

  • sio
    sio Member Posts: 12

    Hi All,

    I start chemo (dose dense AC-Taxol) on August 6. Here's hoping it goes well for all of us.

    Just wondering, did any of you get a port/picc line? My oncologist doesn't think it's necessary.

  • JenPam
    JenPam Member Posts: 163

    Hi everyone! Thanks, Kate, for starting this thread.

    My name is Jenny. I'm 45, and I have high-grade triple-positive BC as well. As you can see from my signature, I had a bilateral mastectomy on July 9 as well as an axillary lymph node dissection (22/25 positive nodes...ugh).

    I'm scheduled to begin chemo this Thursday (August 6). I'll have dose-dense AC for four cycles, two weeks apart, and then I'll have TH weekly for twelve treatments. After that, I'll have radiation for six weeks, and I'll stay on the Herceptin for a year.

    My tumor was only projected to be 2 cm., but as it turns out it was 5.5 cm. I hate when that happens. ;)

    Sio, I'm having a port placed on Wednesday. My oncologist ordered EMLA cream for me to put over the site during infusions, so I'm hoping that after the initial surgical placement, I'll have an easier time with the treatments. If you have any questions about how it goes, just let me know & I'll update you after Wednesday.

  • Lj061197
    Lj061197 Member Posts: 9

    Hi Ladies

    My name is Lori I'm 48 will be starting my 6 treatments every 3 weeks of Taxotere Carbopltin and Herceptin around August 24th. Haven't had my port placed yet, will be scheduling that this week. I have an appointment with the chemo nurse practinure Aug 11th. We will get through this we are SURVIVORS

  • Bunnybumps
    Bunnybumps Member Posts: 37

    Hello ladies, I'll be starting chemo this month, not sure of the date yet. So far, the plan is AC every two weeks for four doses, then Taxol every two weeks for four doses. MO and I have to review the pathology report, tho, so that may change a bit. I'll be having a port put in since my blood vessels have been judged too small.

    Not sure about the rest of you, but I'm more scared of the chemo than I was for the surgery. I already have several chronic illnesses (Fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, IBS, etc.) that can occur or can be exacerbated by chemo, so I'm pretty nervous about any side effects making what already sucks into something worse. I know it's a "wait and see" situation. I don't mind the "wait," it's the "see" that gets me!

  • gooseberry
    gooseberry Member Posts: 39

    My start date is Aug 24th. It was supposed to be tomorrow (aug 3) but my lumpectomy incision got infected so I had to cancel the first round. To make it easy to schedule they are just making my 2nd round appt my first. So I get 3 more weeks of normal! Hope those little her2 cells are not having a party in there and reproducing. They are probably thinking they are home free, little do they know.. lol...

    I have a port. Its not been a pleasant experience and the incision is all lumpy. I think the doc was inexperienced, as he had another doc over seeing him. I am having the lady check it tomorrow because I am all freaked it will get infected. I made the mistake of talking to people about the lumpectomy infection and they have sufficiently scared me about it. Thats hard to get rid of... what if you go septic because its not all gone... what if it gets to the port and goes directly into your bloodstream... Its an ecoli infection which she said was strange. I am on 2 antibiotics and it looks better so hopefully its all gone. I think I deduced it had to happen in surgery but I don't know for sure and I do not expect them to say it did lol... but thats all I can figure.

    So thats my story lol... just wanting to get it going and all done and over with... went from the beginning of Aug to starting at the end...

    oh and I am doing TCH (taxotere, carboplatin and herceptin) for 6 rounds (every 3 weeks for 18 weeks)

    then Herceptin only for the rest of the year (every 3 weeks)

    then 6 weeks of daily radiation (beginning a month after the 6th round of TCH)

    Then hormone therapy for 5 years...

    What fun....

  • KateB79
    KateB79 Member Posts: 555

    Wow--there are too many of us here already. I mean that in the most positive way, as in, it sucks that we're all here, but good that we're doing this together. Here's to moral support!

    @tam-iam, keep us posted! Let us know what the MO says.

    @sparklypink, I love the idea of sharing strategies. Even just venting, I think, is a strategy. :)

    @sio, I have a port, but I'm doing Herceptin for an entire year, and I think that's part of the reasoning.

    @JenPam, I hear you about the surprises. I had a surprise tumor, hanging out behind the first one. Nothing like a surprise tumor or a "surprise, I'm a bigger tumor!," is there? DEFINITELY keep us posted!

    @lj061197, we are SURVIVORS. I see you're HER2+ too--it looks like there are quite a few of us here.

    @bunnybumps, I totally hear you about the wait and see. Just tell your MO about any and all side effects, and remember that this is temporary and you'll get through it.

    @gooseberry, hang in there. It's a lot to process, and the port isn't the most fun thing in the world, BUT it will make your infusions a lot easier, from what I understand. I'm totally with you in wanting to get it over with.

    I had my chemo class this morning and was impressed--again--by the quality of the cancer center. I really feel like I know more what to expect, just because I saw the infusion room and met a couple of the chemo nurses. They flushed my port (which I'm calling lil' buddy for reasons I can't even explain to myself) and showed me around. Overall, not a bad experience.

    I just wish I knew more, you know? What everyone keeps saying is this: after our first treatment, we know how we're going to respond, in terms of SEs. And then we can manage them accordingly.

    As for me: TCH+P is nothing to scoff at, but it's doable. They're loading me up with steroids (decadron) and anti-nausea meds (Zofran and/or compazine) before and during, and then I'm to take the Zofran for 3-4 days afterwards. I'm going to ice my hands and feet for the TC infusions--I'm a guitar player and a writer and a weightlifter, so I'm doing everything I can to combat neuropathy from the get-go.

    A friend of mine who is an oncological nurse practitioner said Perjeta can cause uncontrollable diarrhea, but that all of the other stuff usually causes constipation, and maybe they'll balance out. . . . Fun times. AGAIN with the not knowing.

    Here's something for all of us to consider: I did some reading about preventing fatigue, and it turns out that American (panax) ginseng has gone through quite a few clinical trials and is really promising. My MO said it's fine with her if I take it, so I'm going to. Here's a link, if you're interested:

    I'm getting a mohawk this week, since it's all coming out anyway. Anyone else have plans for fun or interesting haircuts? Anyone doing cold-capping?

    TCH for 6 rounds, every 3 weeks, accompanied by Perjeta for the first four rounds.

    Followed by Herceptin until next August, every 3 weeks.

    And then Tamoxifen for 5-10 years.

    It sucks, but it's doable.




  • Jenphil86
    Jenphil86 Member Posts: 10

    Hello Ladies, I start chemo on Thursday August 6th and I'm very nervous. I still can't believe it's happening. I will be doing 12 weeks of Taxol/Herceptin followed by herceptin every 3 weeks for 9 months. I had my port placed last Friday and still a little sore. I'm going to try cold capping. I'm 47 and have 3 kids.

    Agree with Kate....let's fight this together.

  • VickiRides
    VickiRides Member Posts: 163

    Hello, Ladies.

    I will be starting chemo on August 20. AC every two weeks for 4 cycles, then T 12 weeks. I am having a port placed on August 10th. I am nervous, hoping for the best, and eager to get rid of this cancer!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,657

    Welcome to all the Newbies, Jenphil86, VickiRides, KateB79. We are so glad you have found each other here.

    Please know we are routing for all of you, and will be following your progress.

    Hang in there!!

    Medicating From the Mods

  • Lj061197
    Lj061197 Member Posts: 9

    Kate you me me lol referring to your port as your Lil buddy. I'm having a rough day, Needed the laugh thanks.

  • RoxGo
    RoxGo Member Posts: 5

    Hello Ladies!

    I'll be starting 4 rounds of cytoxin/taxotere on 8/14. I won't be having a port placed. I'm going to give the penguin cold caps a try. I'm nervous, but ready to get chemo going so I can have this behind me.

    I'm 31 years old and have 2 boys and a supportive husband, family, and friends. I am glad I found this board and look forward to supporting one another while we kick Cancers butt! Happy

  • Bunnybumps
    Bunnybumps Member Posts: 37

    Kate: Haha I love that - Lil Buddy! I still refer to my cancer as the Beasty, even though the tumor is removed now. I'll probably find a nickname after my port is installed - 8/19. Chemo should start the week of 8/24. I can agree with many here that I still don't quite believe this is happening.

  • JenPam
    JenPam Member Posts: 163

    I won't be using the cold cap because I'm concerned about the small risk of chemo not circulating effectively in the brain area. I'm at high risk for brain mets given my node status and grade/stage, so in my case I believe the cold cap isn't the right option. I'm going to be having my head shaved at a wig shop on August 18, and I already purchased my wig. When the stylist cuts my hair, she's going to preserve the lower sections and sew them into a headband that I can wear under a hat. It should be interesting to have my real hair...but only a portion of it!

    I'm torn on icing my fingers/toes. I am loath to do anything that might restrict the full circulation of the chemo meds, but of course I'm worried about neuropathy. I have a couple of days to figure it out & will keep analyzing all of my options.

    Does anyone else have an awesome cancer notebook? I have OCD and might be a wee bit too organized...but I have to say my notebook is a thing of beauty. It's got eight sections (pathology reports, meds, summaries, etc.) and oddly makes me very happy. My kids keep laughing at me lugging the thing around.

    Speaking of kids...I have four of them. My oldest daughter turns 29 this month; she isn't my biological daughter, but I raised her from the time she was 2 years and a few months. Then I have boy/girl twins who are 21, and a daughter who's 17. I'm glad my youngest just got her driver's license two weeks ago, because now I can opt of errands if I'm wiped out during chemo. :D

  • sbeddows
    sbeddows Member Posts: 7

    Hey all.....starting on 7th here. Neoadjuvant AC-T. I think I am the only neo here.... I just want to do something to at least try to get rid of this! I guess it might be easier for me to do the chemo mentally as so far I have had nothing.....I often wonder if they should have at least done some surgery first :( anyhooooooo. is chopped off in prep and I am ready to see this nasty little thing shrivel up like a raisin! !!!! :D

    Keep strong ladies!!!

  • Peabrain
    Peabrain Member Posts: 34

    Hello, from July's group!

    Definitely check out some of the earlier chemo month threads for things no one tells you, invaluable.

    For example, mouth rinse recipe: 1 quart water, 1/2 t baking soda, dash of salt. Gargle to clear your mouth of that weird metal taste and to deal proactively with mouth sores.

    And other fun tips.

    Don't feel that you can't post on the earlier threads if you have questions. We're all in this together. Best of luck to everyone

  • sparklypink
    sparklypink Member Posts: 17

    Hello all!

    Pea brain: thanks for your post. I have been reading the past months threads since my experiences started today It was very helpful!

    August ladies: my chemo session was very tolerable, just some temporary fogginess from the Benadryl. No other side effects today but I'm having some trouble falling asleep even though I took some sleep medication. Neulasta shot tomorrow. Does anyone else have the little box that self send the medication into you? It's kind of cool.

    My understanding is that my side effects probably won't kick in until two days after today and then for about six more days. Is that what you hear?


  • buzz328
    buzz328 Member Posts: 17

    Hi - I'm 44, married with 3 children (21, 17, & 12.) I'm having my port placed Friday and my first chemo on August 18th. I'll be having 8 weeks of AC (every other week) and then weekly Taxol for 12 weeks. I was wondering what to expect with the port placement. Those of you you have already had one placed, how did you feel that day?

  • Bunnybumps
    Bunnybumps Member Posts: 37

    Change of plan: port on 8/26, chemo starting 8/31 (AC).

    sbeddows: What size is your tumor (if you don't mind my asking)? Sometimes if it's over a certain size, the doctors will try to shrink it before surgery.

  • KateB79
    KateB79 Member Posts: 555

    @buuz238 (and @bunnybumps), I had my port placed when I had the mastectomy, but a friend of mine had hers done before any surgeries, and she said it was no big deal whatosever. They put her into twilight, numbed the area, and inserted it.

    My own experience was that there was some bruising around it (it's about three inches below my right collarbone, and positioned so that I can still wear a V-neck shirt without it being exposed), and it was tender to the touch for about a week, so I avoided touching it or sleeping on that side. For another two weeks or so, it felt a little strange in there--you know, just because something new was inside my body--but that has since subsided. I went to have it flushed on Monday, and I'm glad, already, to have it; it really will save the veins!

    In short, your procedure is a minor outpatient procedure, and it shouldn't be too bad. If they give you painkillers, you might want to take one, at least at night, for the first couple of nights :)


  • Bunnybumps
    Bunnybumps Member Posts: 37

    Thanks Kate, that's pretty much how the doctor explained it. I'm recovering well from the BMX, DIEP and Free TRAM (post surgery 2 weeks and 2 days), so I imagine I can handle a port!

  • Tam-iam
    Tam-iam Member Posts: 55

    Thanks, Peabrain, for the tip about mouth wash. I've been following the July thread. A lot of great info there!

    Sbeddows - I'm sure there will be more neoadjunvant people joining, too. Seems like that is becoming more standard all the time. I was reading something that indicated that there is a trend for doing neo even for smaller tumors by some doctors.

    Sparklypink - So glad your first treatment went well. Fingers crossed for minimal SEs for you!

    Sio, JenPhil and Jen Pam - Good luck tomorrow. You can do this!

    Gooseberry - So sorry you had an infection, but I love your great attitude about enjoying your reprieve. Sending healing thoughts your way! I'll probably be starting within a few days of your new start date.

    Kate - I love that you named your port "lil' buddy." It reminds me of naming our pool sweep. I assumed we were the only ones that did that, but then found out when we took it in for repair that everyone does. They asked me, "what's its name?" as soon as I walked in with it.

    RoxGo - Good luck with the cold caps. I'll be looking forward to hearing how it goes. I was really tempted, but don't think I could stand the cold.

    We met with my MO yesterday and we liked him. He wants to do 4 rounds of AC every two weeks, followed by 12 weekly rounds of Taxol. I still have a lot of bruising so he wants to wait two weeks to see me again, then I'll start. In the meantime I'm supposed to get a PET scan, heart scan and port placement, so I should be ready to start right after my next appointment with the MO.

  • VickiRides
    VickiRides Member Posts: 163

    @buuz238 -- I will be just a day or two behind you. My port placement is on Monday and chemo starts 8/20.

    @JenPam -- My binder is a thing of beauty! Had to go to Staples yesterday for more pockets and paper holders. It's silly, but it gives me a sense of control.

    Good luck, everyone! Be good to yourselves.

  • Jenphil86
    Jenphil86 Member Posts: 10

    I had my port placement last Friday at 7:30 and released from hospital by 10:30. It was tender the first couple of days and I had discomfort turning my head. I will be taking herceptin for a year, so it was a must for me.

    Sparklypink--good job getting through your first chemo session. I start tomorrow and am very nervous. Do you have any tips for things to put in chemo bag, or snacks, drinks etc. nervous!

    Thanks everyone for your posts. All information is helpful and I feel like I'm not alone.

  • mira845
    mira845 Member Posts: 23

    Hi all...don't know if I belong here yet. I see my MO tomorrow to learn my fate. She said chemo and rads will be in my future when I saw her at the follow up BS appointment a few weeks ago.

    I'm just so anxious about this I'm making myself sick. I'm trying so hard not to think about it. It feels like even with all the pain, and dealing with drains from surgery it was like a vacation and tomorrow will be my return to hell.

    Sorry to be so dramatic but everybody around me in real life has their happy faces on saying don't worry, it will all be fine. Happy, happy, happy!

    I'm in the twilight zone.

  • KateB79
    KateB79 Member Posts: 555

    Mira845, welcome to the twilight zone. It's okay. Everything you're feeling is okay. I think most of us have ups and downs, and no one looks forward to chemo. Remember to breathe. Before my DX, I was a super-Type-A, high-achieving nutjob and, though some might still call me a nutjob, I gotta say . . . slowing down has been good for me. Breathing deeply, doing yoga (which I never thought I'd do), and seeing a therapist have all been helpful.

    Honestly--and I know this doesn't help right now, but maybe on some level it does--it probably will be fine, in the end. We just have to get there! And you're in the right place. Welcome to the August chemo group. Even if you start in September, we're here for you. You can vent here; this is a safe space. :)


  • mira845
    mira845 Member Posts: 23

    thank you Kate! That helps. A lot!

    I don't like being g a crying whiny baby in front of my family...they think I'm the strong one...ha!

    Reading all these posts all come across as so strong.

    I hope everyone going thru treatment this month does it with as much ease as possible!

  • sparklypink
    sparklypink Member Posts: 17

    Jenphil86: You can do this! I did a different chemo protocol (no port...infusion of TC instead) so I don't know if it will be the same experience, BUT, check if your location will supply you with snacks...mine did and they were healthy but with taste - I think eating lightly was good for my system. And they want you to drink a lot of water - so I stuck with that. I did bring my laptop to keep my mind moving and not just spacing out on TV. Keep us updated how it goes!

  • JenPam
    JenPam Member Posts: 163

    I'm also a type A personality who's going to have a tough time slowing down. I find it helps to lose it occasionally and then I generally feel better afterward. I find that the more I hear "happy happy happy think positive!" from people the more contrary I get, because it annoys me if/when people fail to acknowledge that I have a pretty sucky diagnosis. It's not that I need them to engage in doom and gloom, but don't look at me and tell me not to talk/think about end-of-life issues when it's impossible not to (and quite likely advantageous to practice some mental preparation).

    Having said that, I'm an optimistic person and I've generally handled this with humor and a lot of support from family & friends. But I reserve the right to wallow when I need to without condemnation! So Mira, you have my permission to cry and whine. ;)

    I had my port placed today. I don't want to scare off anyone, but it was...markedly unpleasant, more so than I'd anticipated. I'd stayed up all night to be extra tired, but I still didn't have any sense of "twilight" or mild sedation whatsoever. The nurses said my situation was unusual, so please don't worry--but I was very uncomfortable and am glad to have the surgery behind me. I just took my second Percocet since this morning, and I'm pretty sore in my neck. Like many others here, I'm on dose-dense AC every two weeks for four treatments, and then Taxol and Herceptin weekly for 12 weeks. After that, I remain on Herceptin up to one year, so the port is sure to be of great benefit to me.

    Hello and hugs to new posters!