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Starting Chemo in December 2016

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scaredashell07
scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143

wanted to start this thread for those staring chemo December 2016. I have my MO appointment December 9 and expect to start soon after that. I am assuming I'm going to be on AC and T as that's what they said before surgery

scaredashell - 12/16

Pamlab- 11/29

Sammy3

Nextstorm

Ilsunrise

scgirl50

Hanging in there

Jezika

Myth

Dizzygirl

Cyn55

Bare claws

Stay Mom

Pamela23

ginkoleaf

Mistyeyes

Hopefull2

Shell72

Irishmom

Argynis

Notverybrave

CCNC

Bellas mom too

dcdrogers

«13456730

Comments

  • gmmiph
    gmmiph Member Posts: 662
    edited November 2016
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    Scared,

    Wishing you good luck and sending positive thoughts for you. I am very sure this thread will be filled with nice ladies in no time just like ours in the November group. Do visit our group where you can find helpful tips and info, on what is to expect, and for planning ahead.

    All the best,

    Gmmiph


  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    thanks gmmiph. I am nervous and full of questions for my MO. I will check out the November posts. Hope you're treatment is going well. Love this board

  • gmmiph
    gmmiph Member Posts: 662
    edited November 2016
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    Scared,

    I'm Gina, from Manila.

    As a start, find out from your MO what lab tests you will be undergoing as the results from these, together with your biopsy report and hormonal assays will determine what chemo treatment is best for you. From your sig, i think the usual AC-T will probably be given.

    Next is to find out everything about the chemo drugs and their side effects so that you can more or less expect what's going to happen. Just surf the net for this drugs. Many ladies suffer from Fear of the Unknown which only adds up to unnecessary stress.

    Next, ask your MO about possible treatments for the prevention of these side effects. There are drugs for anti nausea, steroid for pain relief, medicines for constipation or diarrhea, suitable organic shampoo for your scalp, mouth wash like Biotene, baking soda, salt, lidocaine etc. to prevent mouth sores, meds for infection/fever, etc. The main thing is to be proactive and stay ahead of these side effects before they happen. Prevention is better than cure.

    The actual chemo infusion is not that scary. First you need to know if you need to have a port for the chemo drug or if you can just use your vein like the cannula in your hand. I used only the latter. Hydration is very important before, during and after the chemo to flush out the chemo drugs out of your body. Drink lots of water and other liquids. Ask also about Neulasta if youll need it. This is for keeping your blood level counts stabilized as chemo may alter them. Another is Filgrastim which is the generic name for Neupogen, Scilocyte, etc.

    Next is for your appearance. Haircut, makeup, wigs, head scarves, etc.

    Then, plan your nutrition diet. Know what is good and bad for you. You can ask your MO for sample diet plans and you can also surf the net for complementary and holistic medicine diets. A good example is the Meditteranean diet.

    Insurance coverage for all the meds and procedures is another thing especially in your country.

    These are the things you should know among others.

    Be knowledgeable, be strong and have faith.

    Take care,

    gmmiph


  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    thanks so much. Great information. Writing it down now

  • ilsunrise
    ilsunrise Member Posts: 91
    edited November 2016
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    scaredashell07 - It is really scary knowing you have to get chemo. It makes your cancer seem much more "real" and of course will make it visible to so many others around you. I was in a situation where I had to decide whether or not to have chemo. My MO said she discussed my case with a group of colleagues prior to recommending the treatment. Following are the reasons they recommended chemo when I had an Oncotype score is in the middle (23). I have a high KI67 rate (23), lymphovascular invasion, my ER + % 49 (not closer to 100), my PR + % 44 (not closer to 100), and my age (longer life expectancy).

    So, I'm going to have 4 rounds of chemo including Taxotere and Cytoxan, every three weeks. I decided to have it done through IV versus a port. I'm hoping I don't regret that decision.

    I'm just now at the point where I'm trying to plan for my appearance. Today is my first trip to a wig shop. So, we'll see what happens. I'm thinking I might need to get three - so I can be a blond, brunette or redhead depending on my mood!! Anyway, just a thought to try and put some fun in this process.

    gmmiph - Thanks for all the great information about what to expect and how to prepare for chemo. Knowledge is power, and as scary as it is to be facing the cancer battle, knowing what to expect so you can ask the right questions about treatment helps you make better decisions about your care.

  • Pamlamb
    Pamlamb Member Posts: 10
    edited November 2016
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    Hi, I'm just going to throw myself in here because I'm starting chemo November 29th which really puts me more in sync with this December group.

    Scared? Yes. I dread the fact that tocix chemicals will be pushed into my body. Feeling overwhelmed with all the new information I need to process and all the appointments I have comming up. I'm a terrible organizer of schedules and dates. I don't want to deal with any of this at all and wish I could just run and hide away somewhere.

    During my chemo treatments I will be getting an Cyclophosphamide injection and then Doxorubicin (Adriamycin) drip. Then I come back for a Neulasta injection the following day. I hope I've got this right. I will have four rounds of this once every three weeks. Then I will be changing to a different regiment which I can't remember exactly right now. They told me this first initial treatment will be the strongest and from which I am most likely to have the worst and most side effects. SickTired But they keep telling me it's different for everyone and they just can't predict how one will react.

    So glad to be here to share with you ladies and wishing everyone good luck.NerdyThumbsUp

  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    welcome you to the group. I added you into our list. We will get through this together.

    I am not sure what to expect. Haven't had my first oncologist appointment. I also don't know what markers mean?? People have said that they get bloodwork for markers. But is that during chemo???

  • Nfullblume
    Nfullblume Member Posts: 2
    edited November 2016
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    Scaredashell, they measure tumor markers on ladies who are doing their chemo prior to surgery. It's a measurement they can get from your blood labs. They can track the size of the tumor and see if it's shrinking that way. Your tumor is pretty similar to mine and we both already did the surgery. So they can't measure those markers on us during chemo. You will learn a lot in a very short period. Kinda like drinking from a fire hose! Lol. Peruse through the October and November boards and you can see experiences from ladies who are going through it right now. It's scary, but it's doable!!

    Rache

  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    thanks nfullblume. Good information. I'll go take a look at the boards

  • Carolg516
    Carolg516 Member Posts: 9
    edited November 2016
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    Hi. I start cmf chemo on 12/01/16. 

  • Innamona12
    Innamona12 Member Posts: 1
    edited November 2016
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    Hi! I will start my chemo on 12.9 . AC---T

  • StayMom
    StayMom Member Posts: 57
    edited November 2016
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    Hi ladies, I'm starting chemo in the next few weeks. I have my first meeting to discuss what drugs, timing etc on Monday. I had a right mastectomy 2.5 weeks ago but hope I can get started before the Christmas holidays otherwise it will most likely start in Jan. But I'll stay here for now! The thought of chemo is daunting. I got through surgery quite well but now im thinking that was the easy part

  • Hanging_in_there
    Hanging_in_there Member Posts: 113
    edited November 2016
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    Hi Ladies,

    I am also going to follow the December group vs. The November group. I start Chemo on 11/28. I am having chemo before surgery. I'm trying to stay calm, would like to join in this group. I had 2 weeks of testing after the diagnosis which found it had not spread to other parts of my body, but an additional 2 weeks of testing was very difficult to endure due to anxiety. I just got photos at a photo studio, so I have some photos before chemo begins.

    I'm also going to try using Penguin Cold Caps, which costs an arm and a leg and has a hundred pages of requirements. I have a little over a week to read and understand them. I never gamble, but decided if I was going to gamble, I was going to gamble to save my hair (or most of it.)


  • ilsunrise
    ilsunrise Member Posts: 91
    edited November 2016
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    StayMom - I agree with you I'm thinking the surgery was probably the easy part too.....sigh.

    I went wig shopping yesterday....found one I ordered since the shop didn't have the right color for me. I hope I like it when it arrives. There is another thread I took a look at that has some lists of

    I think Nfullblume's suggestion of looking through the October and November chemotherapy threads will help answer some questions for us newbies and have a lot of good information.

    There is also another discussion thread that has a list of many things to consider and possibly purchase in preparation for chemo. Here's the link from Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After → Topic: Questions about Preparation in case anyone else wants to check it out. https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/69/topics...

    Welcome everyone. We're going to get through this together!


  • ajbclan
    ajbclan Member Posts: 396
    edited November 2016
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    Hi Everyone- So sorry another board has to be started, but it's a great support, believe me! I'm part of the August chemo board, and we had a lot of the same anxiety, questions, fears, etc. The good news is a lot of ladies on my board are done! Some of us (like me lol) are still plugging away- I just had #5 of #6. My big worry was hair in beginning as well- believe me, you will get beyond that. I wish you all nothing but smooth sailing! One day at a time and with the support of each other.....

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,925
    edited November 2016
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    Welcome, Innamona12! We hope your chemo goes as well as it can. These boards are a great source of support and information, and we hope you find that here!

    The Mods

  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    we are going to have a good strong group I can tell. I am not sure about hair loss or how im going to deal with it I have a wig shop I will do to this week. I was told by my doctor said i would lose my hair 15/16 day after first treatment.

  • gmmiph
    gmmiph Member Posts: 662
    edited November 2016
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    Hi December Chemowarriors,

    I hope you have done your own researches about your respective chemo treatments and side effects. It pays to be well informed and prepared.

    I just wanna add some extra tips which you may need during and afterthe first chemo infusions you will be getting.

    Constant hydration before, during and after chemo is a must.

    If your chemo makes you itchy all over, most probably it is a sign of SE and you have to tell your MO's right away. Usually Claritin or Loratadine makes stops this itchy feeling and othe mild allergies. However, be careful of taking any drugs if you are not sure about their effect on you because your body might react negatively. Always consult you MO's and medical teams if you have problems.

    For headaches, fever and muscle pains, analgesics and steroids can help but not without your MO's prescription. Some say massages and acupuncture help too but be careful.

    For constipation, solid prunes or juice might help but there are other natural food you can take. It is better to eat natural foods to counter any problems you may have but always consult your MO's first.

    For diarrhea, you can also eat natural food that eases your bum stomach like drinking hot green tea, apples, and others. Maybe you can search the net for other natural remedies. Meds such as Senokot, Sodium bicarbonate, etc will help but with MO approval.

    For mouth sores, maybe you can prevent it by taking a mouthwash mixture of a cup of water, 1/2 tsp baking soda & 1/4 tsp salt every 2 to 3 hours. If mouth sores persist, tell your MO about it. They can prescribe antibiotics and anti-fungal meds for it.

    For diet, try to eat a healthy well-balanced diet, with more emphasis on natural fruits and veggies. Surf the net for anti-mutagenic foods such as brocolli, kale, cabbage, etc. Supplements can be taken depending on each of your conditions and always with approval from your MOs and med teams.

    Remember ladies, the above are just tips. You should always seek professional advice from your MO's and medical teams for proper treatment of your specific conditions.

    Good Luck and May God give each of you, your loved ones and medical teams all the wisdom, guidance and protection for the journeys ahead.

    Regards,

    Gina


  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    thanks Gina!! Great tips. I'm keeping track of them.

    Is there side effects for each drug?? If you're taking taxol versus another are the side effects for that drug specifically?

  • gmmiph
    gmmiph Member Posts: 662
    edited November 2016
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    Scared,

    From my own reading, chemo drugs usually have many similarities as far as side effects are concerned. Usual SEs include headache, nausea, body pain, constipation, diarrhea, body itch, dry eyes, etc. There are medicines given ahead of chemo to prevent nausea and body pains like anti emetic drugs and steroids (placil and dexamethasone, for me as examples). These pre meds sometimes have their own SEs too.

    However there are some serious side effects related to specific chemo drugs like cardio toxicity, kidney and liver malfunctions etc. These SEs are better discussed with your MOs. The pre-chemo lab tests are very important to determine your body condition and are used to determine what type of chemo drugs will suit you.


  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    thanks. I will make sure I get all that info from M

  • Hanging_in_there
    Hanging_in_there Member Posts: 113
    edited November 2016
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    Sadly I haven't had time to be as informed as I wish I were. It has all been so overwhelming that I can only take so much information so fast. I had almost 2 solid weeks of testing which really took their toll emotionally but the good thing is that cancer has not spread to far points of my body, but I had to endure about 6 tests to get that conclusion.

    I got my port today. After it was placed a nurse showed me a real one (outside of the body) and how it looks under the skin and how nurses can tell where to put the needle for adding chemo. I found that very helpful. I can't really see anything on my body because it is covered with glue and on top of that steri strips. No shower for 48 hours. If I had know that ahead of time, I might have washed my hair this morning.

    My neck hurts, first to hold it up and then to turn from side to side, but I have only been out of surgery for 4 hours. Ibuprofen is helping and I think I will have no problem sleeping tonight. It may take several days for the steristrips to come off so I can see the port (they say don't peel them off).

    OK, hope that helps those who will be getting ports soon. I had the option of getting the port the same day as chemo, but I'm glad I didn't. That way I have a week for my port to heal before chemo starts.


  • StayMom
    StayMom Member Posts: 57
    edited November 2016
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    Hope you feel better soon Hanging in there. Hope you have some pain mess and can get some rest. What tests did you have during the 2 weeks?

    My chemo is starting Dec 14. Should be an interesting Christmas! Maybe Santa can bring me a nice hat?! I have some testing to do before including scan, ECG, blood work. I totally forgot to ask a about the port. Is anyone not getting a port? It was not even mentioned so maybe I won't be getting one? I'm on complete info overload!

  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    hang in there- that's all good information. Sorry for all you have endured in the last two weeks. The testing sucks. i am glad for you that the port surgery is done. I won't get a port. They said they do it through iV. Not sure if I can handle that but we shall see. Have my MO appointment week after next and expect to start week before Christmas.

    I got a pet scan... We're there other scans to confirm cancer didn't spread

  • Carolg516
    Carolg516 Member Posts: 9
    edited November 2016
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    am I the only one getting cmf chemo?

  • Pamlamb
    Pamlamb Member Posts: 10
    edited November 2016
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    Hello my ladies. Having my port installed tomorrow and will let you know how it goes. They will be putting me out for the procedure. They told me the whole process will take 1-2 hours. I am by myself now that DH passed away but I have a dear girlfriend who will be taking me staying and bringing me home. So here we go...😳😳

  • scaredashell07
    scaredashell07 Member Posts: 143
    edited November 2016
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    hello pamlab. Good luck and please let us know how you are. Glad you have someone going with you.

  • Twinsmawmaw
    Twinsmawmaw Member Posts: 29
    edited November 2016
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    Good Morning ladies,

    I received my portfolio on Monday, chemo teaching on Tuesday , got my hair cut short Tuesday afternoon, and start chemo monday morning at 8:15. I live in a small town, and have to travel 45 miles one wayou for the chemo!. God's blessings to all of you and Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Twinsmawmaw
    Twinsmawmaw Member Posts: 29
    edited November 2016
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    sorry port placement. .

  • gmmiph
    gmmiph Member Posts: 662
    edited November 2016
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    Happy Thanksgiving

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