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Chemo starting December 2017

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Swewing
Swewing Member Posts: 27

I was diagnosed less than 2weeks ago with triple negative IDC 1.7cm tumor in right breast, grade 3, stage 1-we think. I’m having a port put in this week and will do a sentinel lymph node biopsy at that time. Dr also ordered a pet scan as there was a spot on my liver, probably a cyst. I’m waiting on insurance approval for genetic testing.

I start chemo AC+T on 12/12. I have a 5 year old and an 8 year old, any recommendations on a good picture book to help them understand chemo?

After chemo, I’ll have surgery. I feel much better now that I know the order of treatments and have a plan. Still in a little bit of shock at how fast this is all moving, but at times it seems to drag on - you know?!?

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  • USASAM
    USASAM Member Posts: 7
    edited November 2017
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    My wife too, she will star chemo this coming Thursday(11/29/20170, she already did double mastectomy on October 26.

    she was diagnosed around august, before the surgery, she was stage 2b with only one node involved. after the surgery, it jumped to stage 3A (6+ NODES) GRADE 3, 3.2 CMX2.5CMX2.5. MIXED IDC/ILC. I'M her husband and i'm scared to death. We have a beautiful 4 years old daughter just stated preschool this year which we never had really to enjoy. please GIVE US a little hope.

    sam.

  • Swewing
    Swewing Member Posts: 27
    edited November 2017
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    I just bought these books from Amazon to help my kids understand what will be going on.

    Mom has Cancer

    Mom and her Polka Dot Boo Boos

    Cancer Hates Kisses

    Nowhere Hair

    I hope they help my kids ask questions and feel like it's ok to talk about. It really helps me feel better to read the posts on here from people who are going through the same thing.

  • castigame
    castigame Member Posts: 336
    edited November 2017
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    USASAM,

    Me and my hubby were there 10 mos ago. Let's start by saying BC patients w little children tend to be more motivated. For example, mom would want to fix children meals and snacks. She would try at least. The result is higher likelihood your wife would eat something when your daughter eats. GI issue wise, I found nutritional drinks such as boosts helpful. The Idea is what she puts in should be more than what she uses or loses.

    I did double mastectomy, life time dosage of 8 dose dense chemos w/o delay(the last one even came in one day early), 30 radiations. And elbow lump removal surgery followed by total hystrectomy all done over 10 calendar months. I tried to walk every day however long or short. Currently I walk 10000 steps per day.


    There will be some really bad days for you as a caregiver. I say that because you won't know what to do when your wife has no energy and walks like a zombie. Make her comfortable as possible. It could be herbal tea or foot message or epsom salt scrub. Lots of trial and errors involved. My personal favorite is epsom salt scrub while listening to my favorite music. She cannot have enough sleep even if that means taking sleep aid such as Ativan.

    Yes, there is a light at the end of this tunnel and all three of you will come out of it. Remember giving up is not an option period.


  • USASAM
    USASAM Member Posts: 7
    edited November 2017
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    Castigame,

    Thank you for the advises. as caregiver i want give my wife the best of me with best way. Some days i feel good and some days i feel down that i couldn't hold my stress. it is hard, when i look at my 4 years old daughter i just cant hold my tears. if i can take that cancer from my wife and put it on me i will do that with out thinking. she need her mom more than me. but that what it is.on December 8 th she will go back to work (teacher at high school) but i dont know how the chemo will affect her.

    castigame, did you work during your chemo, if so how did manage the side effect.

    thank you.

    sam

  • lizabethm
    lizabethm Member Posts: 105
    edited November 2017
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    Sam,

    Chemo affects all of us differently. I pray that her she has minimal side affects as possible. My husband has been my rock and has helped me so much. I have had one chemo and am scheduled for the next one Dec. 6. At one point, I felt like I couldn't handle the side effects from the chemo and my husband kept me encouraged. The first week after chemo was hard for me but then, you wake up and feel better one day-usually around day 7 if you count day 1 as transfusion day.

    We have two kiddos-a bit older than your sweet daughter. We have a daughter, 11, and son, 14. I understand your fear, I have felt that, too. I have to draw near to God and get my strength from Him.

    God bless you.

  • USASAM
    USASAM Member Posts: 7
    edited December 2017
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    LizabethM,

    yesterday was the first day of chemo, and now we are blessed that actually she run 20 minute in treadmill. she had some nausea yesterday but after taking (campazine) she felt better.

    today she had neulesta shot. lets pray she will not have bad reaction.

  • Junebug57
    Junebug57 Member Posts: 5
    edited December 2017
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    USASam,

    I’m sure they told your wife to take Claritin for the Neulasta. It really helped me. Also,for me I found the best nausea relief was Zofran

    I pray for your family. God will see you through this. He did me! I am one year past my last treatment.

    June bug

  • rljes
    rljes Member Posts: 499
    edited December 2017
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    Hi Everyone - I started Nov 28th - Just wanted to drop in and say Hi.  And to besure and take the anti-nausea pills regardless - Keep on top of it.   I believe its the Pre-Med Steroids given the day before the day of and day after that gives one heck of a boost. I was cleaning out my front ditch and clipping evergreens the day before my Chemo coz of the steroids! 
      There is a great site called something like "how to prepare for chemo" - I 'kinda' got carried away and bought out CVS.  I have one of everything since I live alone and want to be prepared. 
      Lots of good advice on previous months - My advice is to find a few that have your treatment and dx, and follow them for a month to see what they go thru.  Really Helped me. 
       Take care, rest.  

  • MOOSAN19
    MOOSAN19 Member Posts: 11
    edited December 2017
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    Hey there...Ive been a member here since 2008 but don't post much... I just lurk and absorb all the info and advice... I'm a mooch!


    I'd thought I'd post because I'm starting Taxol tomorrow.. Got my port today which went fine, mostly, but as soon as he put the catheter in (on the LEFT side) I started getting throat and chest and almost shoulder pains on the RIGHT side.. He thought it was probably referred pain from nerves on the left... And it did get better once he finished, but it's still there.. Right now sitting here I feel it between my collarbone and breast on the right side.. When I breathe I feel it more..

    I am TOTALLY NOT a nervous Nelly and don't complain about much but I'm a little nervous about this..Is my heart freaking out? Is it my lung?? Or like he said just irritated nerves...Bah..

    Anyone else have this issue on the opposite side?

    Well, if it keeps up I'll tell my onc tomorrow and/or call the hospital that put it in..


    I'll try to keep up with the posting on how chemo goes


    Stay strong ladies!! 💪❤️

  • Hope99
    Hope99 Member Posts: 120
    edited December 2017
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    Hello Swewing .Hope you are fine and sorry about your diagnoses.

    I will start Chemo ( FEC-D protocol ) On Monday. 6 cycles before operation as I know from my doctors. I recommend you to read as less as you can from internet. try to collect all your questions on paper and ask your doctor to find out best answers.

    Also I am afraid. I do not have any idea how to prepare well to chemo . my sons try to help me by positive news about survival people around the world and the medicines now is better than 5 years ago . so be ready with no fear to get a good result .

    but I have one question: is that true to start chemo before Surgery ? according to Auxiliary Node biopsy, I have 2 positive involved .

    Hello USASAM, do not worry dear, according to my little knowledge, the chemo will do his work well . The hope is exist.


  • USASAM
    USASAM Member Posts: 7
    edited December 2017
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    hello family,

    one week after first day chemo(November 30 Th), My wife feel good she never had any hard side effects. She is a very strong woman like all you are.

    Hope99, thank you and i hope you doing really well with your treatment.

    Question for all of you, is any body doing another type of treatment, combined with surgery, chemo, radiation etc......(like nutritionist, herbal treatment).

    and what you think about talking to your doctors about it?

    thanks.


    sam

  • Hope99
    Hope99 Member Posts: 120
    edited December 2017
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    USASAM Can I ask you please? you said your wife's diagnoses on August is Stage 2A, the doctor told you that based on what? did she do CT scan, Bone scan and biopsy before identify her stage? as I know, the physical tests not accurate to identify the stages well but some doctors do that . Only CT scan, Bone scan and biopsy OR surgery can do this with high accurate compare with physical test .

    Hope she find, told us about her status, tumor size and receptors status please and the age .

  • mjb1018
    mjb1018 Member Posts: 151
    edited December 2017
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    MOONSAN19....I just wanted to comment on your port placement woes. :) I had mine placed on 11/29. When I woke up, I had a sharp shooting pain in my left shoulder (placed on the left). Over the course of the next days, though this Tuesday, more or less, I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Shoulder pains (both sides) as well as tightness in my chest and it hurt to sneeze or cough. I had zero energy. I felt like I was being a big WUSS...Afterall, port placement was supposed to be "no big deal" and this would be my good week before starting chemo. Anyway, on Monday I called the surgeon because I was concerned about how I felt. Had a chest X-ray and saw her. Everything with the port is A-OK. So, I either had a virus or it just took me longer to bounce back. I tend to live my life full speed ahead, so I think the stress of everything and being forced down for a surgery just got me. 2 days after the port insertion, I had a lymph node biopsy, too...Today, I'm feeling back to normal. Still some shoulder pain, but it was explained that my body was positioned awkwardly for the surgery...and I know I was in a weird position for the lymph node biopsy, too, as I was awake for that (core needle).

    I meet my oncologist today, so suspect chemo will start very soon. Question for those who have already started chemo...what kinds of tests did you have before starting Chemo? Bloodwork, heart, PET scan, MRI...stuff like that. :) I'm ready to get this show on the road!

    **Edited to say I met with my MO. He's amazing and I'm so comfy and confident with him. The only test for me prior to first treatment is echocardiogram. My target start date is 12/15.**

  • USASAM
    USASAM Member Posts: 7
    edited December 2017
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    Hope99

    After the biopsy it was stage 2b, with one node involved, and 2 cm tumor. then she did ct scan and the results were negative. but after the surgery the pathology report was 6/16 nodes positive and the tumor was 3.2 cm.2.5cm.2.5cm so the stage become 3a.

    er, pr positive

    her2 negative

    grade3.


  • ejean
    ejean Member Posts: 10
    edited December 2017
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    hello December group. I'm sad we're all here yet glad for the company. I'm getting the port placed next week and dread that even more than the chemo - but maybe it's just that it's the next step looming over my head. I'll start on the 18th for 6 rounds and then it's on onto herceptin for a very long time. Wishing you all strength and good luck.

  • Hope99
    Hope99 Member Posts: 120
    edited December 2017
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    Hello USASAM

    How much time between biopsy result and surgery ? Did she feel pain under arms? jump from one nodes to six its not normal ! something wrong !

  • Laura644
    Laura644 Member Posts: 24
    edited December 2017
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    Hi everyone, this is my first time posting. I am getting ready for chemotherapy to start on December 22. 4 AC + 4 T. I'm having a port installed on December 21. I wasn't worried about it until I started reading some of the posts. We bought our plane tickets to visit family in Nicaragua this upcoming February (12 days) before I was diagnosed. We have trip insurance But I'm really hoping we don't have to use it. I'm hoping the side effects won't be so bad. My oncologist seems to think we can time the treatment so I can make the trip assuming I don't have any allergic reactions. I wonder if others have had allergies to the meds?

    Also, I'm just getting my bearings after surgery and helping my children ages 6 and 12 to cope when my roller coaster is down. I'm wondering if you go alone to chemo? Bring spouse? Friend?

    My right breast (reconstructed using free flap from abdomen) is definitely larger than left breast. Plastic surgeon tells me she does that to allow for shrinking from radiation and will do a revision 6 months later. I think it is causing muscles in shoulder blade to spasm.

  • Swewing
    Swewing Member Posts: 27
    edited December 2017
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    mjb1018 -Reading your post was like reading my own thoughts! I had port placement and sentinel lymph node biopsy surgery on 12/1 and I felt like I had been hit by a truck! I felt like a wuss. When I woke up from surgery I had horrible shooting pain near my nipple where they had injected the radioactive dye. Then I found out (after puking most of the night) that I am severely intolerant of narcotics. I didn't eat or drink much all weekend and then tried to go to work on Monday. I only lasted an hour and a half. Then I read online about drinking electrolytes and flushing out your system. I felt so much better after downing 2 Gatorades! I start chemo on 12/12

    As for your question about tests, I started with blood work and chest x-ray. Then had a breast mri, that was horrible for me, I had a panic attack. During the mri, doc saw a cyst on my liver so ordered a pet scan. Also had an echocardiogram. Oh and ordered genetic testing but that hasn’t happened yet

  • mjb1018
    mjb1018 Member Posts: 151
    edited December 2017
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    Swewing-I have a pretty high pain tolerance and am generally a laid back, easy going patient. I think it just head tripped me since I felt so awful. Thinking, oh geez, how in the heck will I handle chemo if I'm such a wuss now! I'm feeling so much better now! I haven't had sentinel node biopsy yet, just core needle. I'm sure that made it harder for you. Best of luck to you on Tuesday.

  • diveslikeagirl
    diveslikeagirl Member Posts: 69
    edited December 2017
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    Hello EJean. Looks like you and I are on parallel tracks and we're both in Chicago.  My chemo + Herceptin starts December 22 (port on the 20th).  Like you, I'm nervous about the port because it feels like a point of no return and this whole thing is real.  

    My tumor grade and HER2 status changed after my surgery, so I'm still trying to get my head square with the whipsaw change from simple lumpectomy/SNB plus radiation, to 6 cycles of chemo, Herceptin in the weeks between, radiation after that and Herceptin for the rest of the year.  My dear surgeon tried to joke that his 2018 Christmas gift to me would be my port removal, but inside, my heart was dropping.  

    So grateful to have this support here.  I've got family and friends who are rallying around, but they're never going to understand like our fellow travelers.  

    Hugs to all

  • Emalyn
    Emalyn Member Posts: 20
    edited December 2017
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    My targeted therapy plus chemo begins in three days.   Right now, I feel physically healthy, though anxious.  It seems now like on Dec 12, I will be getting the flu.  I am trying to have as positive a frame of mind as I can muster.  My children are independent adults. I have a baby grandchild.  Being a bit older than many of you helps me cope.  My children got to grow up with mom.  Still, this is plenty traumatic.  Big cyber hugs to all of you.

    Emalyn 

  • Laura644
    Laura644 Member Posts: 24
    edited December 2017
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    hi Emalyn, I will be thinking about you on Tuesday. Let us know how you are doing. I start next Friday and it seems like with every passing day I feel like I'm mentally getting ready ( and nervous ) . Today was the first day I felt really "normal" after surgery. Yesterday I did some yoga and that felt really good to relieve stress. We got a great book called the cancer fighting kitchen. In Philadelphia there's a organization called Unite For Her. I went their wellness seminar; they gave this book out for free and a whole goody bag of products. My husband is a good cook and he made sweet potatoes with kale and Ginger. It was so delicious. We also like the recipe for kale and carrots.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,216
    edited December 2017
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    Hi Emalyn-

    We want to welcome you to our community! We hope you find this to be a source of support as you begin your treatment. Sending you gentle hugs and best wishes!

    The Mods

  • Wooliz
    Wooliz Member Posts: 1
    edited December 2017
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    New to site.Still deciding if I should undertake chemo. I was diagnosed in October with Stage 1, Grade 3 IDC. Had my Lumpectomy in November and the tumour was much larger than anticipated so now upgraded to Stage 2A. In light of the increase in size the Oncologist recommends chemotherapy even though the lymph nodes were not infected. I don't know what to do. The thought of Chemo scares me so much. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,216
    edited December 2017
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    Hi Wooliz,

    Welcome to the community, we do hope that you find the boards helpful while you make sense of your diagnosis and treatment options,

    As well as this thread, you may also find the forum below helpful for discussing treatment options:

    IDC Forum

    Wishing you well


  • Emalyn
    Emalyn Member Posts: 20
    edited December 2017
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    Laura644

    Knowing you are there and thinking about me helps enormously.  Thanks.  

    Emalyn

  • Emalyn
    Emalyn Member Posts: 20
    edited December 2017
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    Moderators:

    Appreciate your welcome, gentle hugs and good wishes!

    Emalyn 

  • USASAM
    USASAM Member Posts: 7
    edited December 2017
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    Hi Hope99,

    Between biopsy result and surgery I think it was MONTH and half and she never felt any pain under arm. She was scheduled for surgery the October 11 for 1 breast MASTECTOMY and after we decide to

    do double we end up for October 26. Any way now she going for 4 round of dense chemo (AC) AND 12 of T.

    She did the first chemo on November 30, and she is scheduled for December 14 for the 2nd one.

    After the first one she was tired for 3 to 4 days but after that she felt better. she even went back to work last Friday (high school teacher). I don't no were she get the energy from, what I know is that I'm

    happy to have her in my life, she is my hero. I will be on her side until the we beat this beast.


    good luck ladies.


  • PauletteK
    PauletteK Member Posts: 1,279
    edited December 2017
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    Hi ladies, sorry to see all of you here. I belong to July and August chemo group, I have finished chemo a little more than 4 weeks ago. This journey is tough but it is doable. Be strong and read the other threads if you have questions, many of us went through the path you are going through.

    I have done AC USASam, she might feel fatigue on her third infusion, meanwhile she might get constripation or diarrhea. It is a balance act for GI issue. Her taste buds will change and put some lemon in the water that will help. Make sure to drink enough water each day, it helps her GI and wash out the chemo in her bladder. Also walking helps fatigue so do some exercise each day that would help. Many people complained about bone pains so that is something you need to deal with. Take Claritin for the white blood cell shot.

    As I said, check July and August chemo threads we have plenty of info there. Good luck ladies, as we said, there is light at the end of the tunnel. 💪💪💪


  • mjb1018
    mjb1018 Member Posts: 151
    edited December 2017
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    Best wishes to Emalyn and Swewing today! I think you are both starting Chemo today...Hugs. :) I'm right behind you...