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Starting Chemo in July 2017

Teese
Teese Member Posts: 355

Hi,

My start date is the 10th and port placement is June 30th. I haven't thought about hats or wigs yet, seem to be dragging my feet. Now that I found my insurance will cover one wig, maybe I'll get going on it.

Have assembled most everything basic that I've read about on here. Bought a Waterpik after reading a post and started using it so I wouldn't have too many new things to deal with. I really like it and will probably continue.

Also started making sure I drink at least 100 oz of water a day so it won't also be new. Thought I drank plenty of water, turns out not so much.

Made appointments for acupuncture and I'm very interested in how that goes, start this Tuesday.

Looking forward to meeting others who start in July, I will be doing 4 dose dense AC 2 weeks apart followed by 4 DD taxol 2 weeks apart also. Can't lie, I'm very anxious about this, just want to get it behind me, as we all feel I know

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Comments

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336

    i was shit scared and nervous at DX Mine was quite serious. Grade 2 and 3 partial stage 3A and 1A. 4/17 positive nodes. Done BMX wo recon done 7 out 8 DD ACT. My SEs were different from others experienced. I think AC was better to deal with than Taxol. Luckily SEs were minimal for me.

    It just dawned on me that if someone or something bitch slap you, you ought to bitchslap back 1000 times harder. You should bitchslap back this BC thing.

    Just my two cents, I see you have several nodes removed. This means you are at risk for Lymphedema. Please ask your insurance company for Flexitouch pump if you have not done so. The pump does wonders for Lymphedema patients. Even if there is copay, you should look into it.


    My chemo strategy sure is diff than others. If you are interested, please I am all ears to make this bitchslapping back easier.


    Mimi


    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      rebamacfan, thanks for the info on the flexitouch pump, do you use one

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336

      yes. Can't live wo it. United Healthcare paid 100%. It is bulky (con) requires daily commitment on my part(con) sleep bettrr (pro) daily use eliminates manual self massge (big pro) I am seriously considering getting non ALND arm where sentinel node is done ( 2 were taken out) of course I will wait what UHC says

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336


      image

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336


      image

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336


      image

      tesse,


      My left arm from this morning after 60 min walk. Started using flxitouch this mid May. I still got to have 1 more DD Taxol (total 8 DD) my 4 bad chemo days I cant do the pump at all



    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336


      image

      My right arm taken a few sec before left arm. There are a lot of variables re Lymphexema. Can you tell which arm had 15 nodes removed while the other arm had only 2 removed?


      Mimi

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      Mimi,

      Wow, Honestly I can't tell. It works wonders!

      Did your lymphedema show up right away? I've been living with this worry since surgery, but so far so good. My BS wouldn't let me go for an evaluation till now and I have my appointment with a physician that specializes in this on Thursday. I'm then starting with a LANA certified therapist. Very anxious to see and start this. Plus I'll talk with the Dr on Thursday about the flexitouch.

      Thanks so much for the heads up. That's what's so great about this forum, I go to my appointments armed with excellent questions for the Drs.


      Tees

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336

      tesse,

      My underarms got heavier right after the first chemo. About 45 days after BMX. I had the similar issue w my BS not wanting to acknowledge LE.

      Mimi

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336

      p.s. My right arm is the bad arm and it sure looks right is leaner and thinner than left arm which is good arm.

      Mimi

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      Mimi

      Hmmm. Never thought about the chemo. Ugh, I was just worrying about mechanical stress on the arm and infection. Great! However thanks for the warning. I have time now to get things in place to deal with it. Thanks again.

      Teese

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336

      tesse,

      United Health care will be paying for left arm sleeve where sentinel nodes are taken out. Yippee

      Mimi

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      Mimi

      Good news! This BC stuff gets expensive

      Just got from my first PT session. No evidence of lymphedema at this time, yay!

      Also had my first acupuncture, went well, hoping to feel the increased energy she mentioned.

      Teese

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336

      Tesse,

      Insurance companies are illogical. If you don't mind telling me who is your insurance company?

      Please rest up in the meantime.

      Mimi

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      tricare

    • JenRuns
      JenRuns Member Posts: 299

      I'll join the club... Starting chemo July 12, assuming I can get the port placed and the little spot on my incision heals up.

      Plan calls for dose-dense A/C (eight weeks, every other week) followed by taxol (12 weeks). Going wig shopping on Tuesday- can't decide whether to do something fun or stick with something similar to what I have now :)

      Nervous about what to expect, but I'm seeing a naturopath so I'm confident he'll help me find ways to manage whatever's coming my way. Also hoping to work throughout treatment... gotta make bank (and keep up my image as a hard ass!)

      Jen

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      Im sorry we have to be here, but I'm relieved to have someone to share this with.

      My big thing right now is to walk and bike everyday as much as I can, eat right and try to get as healthy as possible. I've read so much how chemo fatigue isn't relieved with too much rest, but exercise. Just had my appointment with physical medicine and rehab doc. He pushed daily 30 minute walks during chemo, in 10 minute increments if I have to. I'm game.

      Going to work each day is the same I'd think. So I'll walk and you work. ;

    • JenRuns
      JenRuns Member Posts: 299

      I like that plan, Teese... I was a runner (not doing that much with these TEs) and am an avid walker -- I'm planning to walk in the Komen 3-Day for the Cure in San Diego in November (I'm a seven-time walker and I'll be damned if I miss it this year). A 30-minute daily walk sounds like a great way to stay active.

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      Perfect, we're separated in our chemo by just 2 days, so let's keep this momentum going.

      Teese

    • KimE
      KimE Member Posts: 34

      Hi Everyone, I start chemo (TC) on July 12th every three weeks for four sessions. I'm not sure what to expect. I had a bmx on June 2nd without reconstruction since at the time they thought that I might need radiation but thankfully I don't.

      Good luck to everyone starting their treatment.

      Kim

    • JenRuns
      JenRuns Member Posts: 299

      Hi Kim... I start the same day... different course of treatment, but the same uncertainty.

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      Kim, two weeks from now we'll have this wait almost over. I don't want to do this but we have no choice and I'm anxious to just get this show on the road. The sooner I start, blah blah blah.

      How are you gals healing from surgery? My right armpit is still tender but finally got my mastectomy bras yesterday and the prosthesis fits great and feels surprisingly normalish. I hope to have reconstruction when this is all done.

      Theresa

    • JenRuns
      JenRuns Member Posts: 299

      I'm doing relatively well... I have TEs and my ribs are sore, and there are just days everything is "tight". I can shave my right armpit, but my left is still too tight... have to have my husband take a whack at it with the electric razor tonight! (That's one spot I won't mind losing my hair!!

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      Jen, I have to say I've thought of that a time or two, just my luck all my hair will fall out BUT my right underarm. LOL

      I also am a bit tight, my BS was adamant I take it easy to give my lymph system every chance to recover. However now I have a bit of PT to get it fully functional.

      I'm getting my port Friday and I don't anticipate any problems. I did read a good hint here in one of the chemo threads. Trace your bra strap on your chest so they know where to put the port so it won't end up under a strap.

      Theresa

    • JenRuns
      JenRuns Member Posts: 299

      oh, good suggestion. My port goes in Thursday.

    • purplestargazer
      purplestargazer Member Posts: 31

      Joining your club. I start chemo on 7/10 - AC 4 rounds; then T - 4 rounds. I get my port on 7/7. I'm very, very nervous and have been collecting coping tips, in an attempt to feel more empowered going into this.

    • castigame
      castigame Member Posts: 336

      hello,

      Just my two cents. I have done 4DD AC and 3 out of 4 DD Taxol. Right after #2 DD AC, as you know your hair will be gone. I am hosting Snead O'Connor look so nothing I can contribute to my sisters

      However, re the browning and reddening of hands and feetwhichbecame prominent between #2 AC and #3. I did an experiment which was filling my socks w handful of epsom salts. Tried to distribute the contents while wearing socks. Did epsom salt scrub. Which means my feet w salt filled were not emersed in the water until I start rinsing. When i got dried. Both of my feet were soft and milky w tint of pink. Just to make sure i scratched and pinched both feet. I felt all of them. I still have browning left in my hands so I will do the similar experiment. Will keep you posted.

      Mimi

    • Teese
      Teese Member Posts: 355

      Jen, please post if feeling up to it Thursday evening how it went. I will do the same for those of you that are next.

      Purplestargazer - glad you joined. I know it's tough, I'm very nervous too. I try hard to think about the prep like you, to keep my mind wandering off to things I can't control. I also start on the 10th, mine is later in the afternoon and I live about 2 hours away, so I'll report how it went later that night. If you feel up to it I'd love to hear about your day.

      Mimi - is this like a epsom salt dry scrub? I'm not sure I get what it is. So you put the salts in the sock and did you scrub your feet like a pumice type thing? Then rinse? I bought a large bag of epsom salt and have it on the side of the tub, have read all kinds of uses for it here.

      Also, your feet and hands brown up a bit. I hadn't heard that. Sigh! Ok this stuff sucks!

      Theresa

    • dodgersgirl
      dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902

      to those of you starting chemo in July, hope you don't mind a post from the April chemo group:

      For most people the infusion itself is a non-event and the pre-meds you get will help you for a couple of days so enjoy that time.

      When you get home from a chemo infusion, take your prescribed anti-nausea meds as your MO said to take them, don't wait until you feel nauseated. Drink LOTS of water to flush out the chemo. If you have AC chemo, your urine will be pink on treatment day. Eat something every 2-3 hours to keep the nauseousness away. Walk when you can, it helps your mood and your body. My MO said room temp water was less likely to make me nauseous than cold. That worked during AC but by Taxol, I couldn't stand drinking warm water so switched to cold water. You may find sleeping tough right after chemo because of the steroids. If you are getting Neulasta, take a Claritin the day of chemo and a few days after to help mitigate bone pain. (I also took a Tylenol 30 mins before Neulasta box did it's thing). I also rinsed my mouth with water, salt, and baking soda after eating and didn't have any mouth sores. Don't know if the rinse helped or if eating ice chips during adriamycin did the trick but I was lucky to avoid mouth sores.

      When I was queasy, I ate something, drank hot ginger tea or diet ginger ale. And on my bad days, I wore Sea Bands. Eat what your body will tolerate. If that's oatmeal and apples, then eat that. I had lots of chicken noodle so

      For me, my "bad" days after AC were days 3-5. I slept a lot (naps) during those off days. Also the point where your white blood count is the lowest is around days 7-10. Those are the days you need to not be exposed to too many people as you could get sick.

      You guys can do this. There will be bad days but there will be days you feel great, too. One day at a time.

    • JenRuns
      JenRuns Member Posts: 299

      thanks so much Dodgersgirl! I've got a list of suggestions and added this...