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AC treatment

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  • HopeHeal
    HopeHeal Member Posts: 137
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    LW422, my heart goes out to you. Don't worry about being poisoned. Our bodies have the tremendous capacity to heal and will recover. Hydration and proper nutritional support are important. Mental state makes a difference and it helps to think of the chemo as healing medicines that will save you; Terminology such as "poison" and "damage" can heighten anxiety and cause the body to resist. Talk to your body and tell it to welcome and make room for these lifesaving elixirs. We are doing this to live a hopefully long life, the alternative may be devastating. Try to do things to make yourself relax, distract yourself with something enjoyable and/or funny such as comedy. I was frightened before starting treatment but these are some of the things I did and they helped. I hope this helps and was not too out-there. I also hope your MO addressed the shortness of breath due to likely low RBC.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Hi, Hope. Thanks for the pep-talk; I am sad and depressed and still scared of treatment. After sailing through Taxol I never expected AC to be so horrible. No amount of "positive thinking" works because now I know how it's going to be and my anxiety is through the roof as it gets closer to Tuesday. I truly am just hanging on by a thread with this.

    I am normally a huge water drinker and one thing that is maddening is that now water makes me nauseous; it's impossible to stay hydrated when everything tastes so nasty. We are healthy eaters so I don't worry about nutrition, but I really worry about being dehydrated.

    I also worry about damage to my heart; I had a baseline heart workup before starting AC. The rapid pulse and shortness of breath really scares me. So I'm just a mess. :sad:

  • harley07
    harley07 Member Posts: 288
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    @LW422 - I haven’t gone thru chemo so I have no words of advice. Just want you to know that I’m sending healing thoughtsand warm hugs to you. Hang in there. We’re here for you. 🥰

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Thank you, Harley07. I really hate being such a whiner, but this is kicking my butt. I hope you never have to have chemo because it truly is vile. I appreciate your kindness.

  • pchyen
    pchyen Member Posts: 96
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    Hi LW422, hang in there!

    For hydration drink whatever you can. Try different drinks (even diet pop).

  • redkitty815
    redkitty815 Member Posts: 18
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    i am so sorry you are having such a hard time! Can you talk with a cardiac oncologist about getting a beta blocker to manage the heart rate? My PCP who is also a cardiologist did a blood draw when I finished A.C. and I had elevated Troponin levels. It was a big nothingburger, but because I was starting Herceptin, she wanted to protect my heart as much as possible. It’s just an idea. I got infuser bottles for my water and filled them with fruit. I found melon, grated ginger and lime zest were a tasty combo.
    wishing you luck as you get through this!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Thanks Redkitty815. As it turns out, my MO decided to delay my AC treatment for a week and scheduled me for another echocardiogram. I believe he is concerned about my increased heart rate, too. So I'm waiting on the appointment for the echo and we'll see what happens from here.

  • HopeHeal
    HopeHeal Member Posts: 137
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    LW44, I truly hope your heart is o.k. and that everything goes well with the echo. Similar to what the other posters said I found flavoring water with a bit of juice helped it go down. I could not stand water either on AC, especially ice or anything with ice in it. Tangy juices such as unsweetened cranberry or orange in the water or just alone worked best. Hugs to you.

  • Lizard123
    Lizard123 Member Posts: 17
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    I had a hard time with AC. I found that the flavored Italian Sanpelligrino water called momenti was easier to drink. It does have some sugar but it is not too bad. It is around 35 calories a can. I put ice in it and tried to drink quickly. I still like it so it must be pretty goo

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Did anyone have a reduction in dosage for AC? My MO reduced mine from "60/600" to "50/500" due to my severe SEs. Now I'm wondering if that reduction will mean that I'm not going to get as good an outcome from chemo. :sad: I suppose I should consider that some people can't complete the AC treatment at all, and I'm hoping that this won't make a significant difference. My MO didn't seem to think it would affect the outcome but I still have to wonder. (So when complete I will have had two full doses and two reduced dosage treatments.)

    I had the first reduced dose AC yesterday and today I'm feeling fairly good. It didn't lay me out like the full dose did. I just hope it's "laying out" those cancer cells.

  • HopeHeal
    HopeHeal Member Posts: 137
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    LW422, glad you are feeling better. I would be concerned as well and am surprised they did not draw out the treatment to more days, which is usually the case when reducing dosage. For example, with Taxol, I was able to choose the lower dose 1 time/week for 12 weeks sched rather than high dose every 2 weeks for 6 weeks. Perhaps they are waiting to see the response before they add infusions. AC is pretty strong and you may respond well at the dosage they chose.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Hope, as I understand it, there is a lifetime limit of AC and once you get that you can't have any more. I assume that since I was having 4 full doses and I've had 2 of them, the remaining 2 would be on the same schedule to avoid overdose by adding another infusion. I'll just rely on my doctor's expertise... I'm so ready to be done with this. So since I had #3 yesterday, only ONE to go!!! YAY!

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256
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    So happy to hear that you are doing well LW422! I am just getting out of bed after AC #1, this is day 8. I had a very bad time. I’m pretty sure that my onc reduced my AC dose for the first one since I had a hard time with Carbo. I’m going to ask to reduce again for the next one.

    AC is misery compared to Taxol. Maybe even more since I had taxol/carbo first & my body was already beat down. I lost 30# so far Sinceend of April. I couldn’t drink or barely eat nor get out of the bed for over a week. If I got up I had to sit right away. Stuff oozed from eyes, white film covered my mouth. Water, drinks all nasty. Day 5 & 6 I vomited 3x. I think I almost died. I was dehydrated & anemic but didn’t want to go in for IV. I had no energy to go to accupuncture appointment. I have to do this 3 more times. Lord have mercy on me.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Mamacure--bless your heart; I know every horrible feeling that you describe. I honestly didn't think I could do anymore after #2...I was in bed for 2 weeks and never did feel well after that infusion. Just awful. Thankfully my MO gave me an extra week to recover and then lowered my dose, so #3 is unpleasant but NOTHING like the previous one. I just want this to be over and DONE.

    And I agree about Taxol; I'd take Taxol for a year to avoid AC, and I'm not joking.

    I'll be thinking about you and praying that you get some relief from the SEs. Hang in there if you can. Hugs.

  • HopeHeal
    HopeHeal Member Posts: 137
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    Mamacure sorry to hear you are having such a hard time on the AC. You too LW422. I think the chemo received second is more difficult to endure than if received first. I received AC first and didn't have many symptoms. However, Taxol, my 2nd chemo which many find a breeze, is causing me more pain and suffering on a daily basis. Sending you both healing prayers.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256
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    thank you LW422 & Hopeheal! I am doing much better now. After about 9-10 days, I slowly got my strength back and feeling good. I’m able to go to stores and can take small walks. Eating & drinking normally. Mouth still feels chalky at times but not bad. What an improvement from being knocked out. It turns out that my onc wanted to go aggressive & gave me the full dose. Hoping for a reduced amount but we will see. I will take extra zofran next time to avoid vomiting. Really liking every 3 weeks vs every week. Hang in there everyone! Only one more to go for you LW422!!!!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Hey Mamacure! I just answered you over on the IBC thread so I won't repeat myself. I'm so happy that you are feeling better. I'm feeling OK myself but the "mouth taste" thing never goes away. Take care of yourself. XOXO

    HopeHeal--thank you for the positive vibes. I hope you're feeling better, too! Take care and let us know how it's going.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Stick a fork in me; I'm DONE. Got to "ring the bell" today; chemo is finally finished. Well, except for the 2 weeks of SEs coming up.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256
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    Congrats LW422!!!!!!!!! You did it & without Neulasta shots too! Woo hoo! Hang in there until those freakin' SEs subside. 2 more nasty ACs for me. I got 20% dose reduction for #2, Onc said doing 2 reductions is fine. I only vomited once this time, less lethargic but still super sucky. Zofran still made me vomit, so will try something else next time.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Hey again, Mamacure! My last 2 ACs were reduced doses, from 60/600 to 50/500. I have to say it made a world of difference in my SEs, plus they administered fluids along with the infusion. I don't feel great but I definitely don't feel as horrible as with the full doses. Good for you for being halfway done with AC!! Hang on girl, you can do it.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256
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    Thanks LW422, I will get reduced dosage for the remainder 2 ACs too. Also with IV fluids. Little better but still horrid for 8 days.Doc wants me to come in for more fluids but the last thing I want is to go back for that. Good thing insurance approved neulasta onpro so don’t have to go back for that. I somehow survived being severely dehydrated each time. Not able to drink anything. Have you or anyone’s nails have purple tinge? This started with AC.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Hey Mamacure. I'm feeling pretty shaky today; a bit nauseated and light-headed. I was hoping to feel OK this week because I have a long day of appointments at MD Anderson on Wednesday... starting at 7 a.m.! Boy do I dread that, especially if I'm still nauseated and weak.

    I have a hard time drinking, too, but I found I can tolerate ice water pretty well. Room temp water makes me gag, so how strange is that? I can also tolerate chicken bouillon, so I drink a cup of that with extra water at least once a day. (It's pretty salty so the extra water helps.)

    I have not had any nail discoloration but I know a lot of people do. I think it's pretty common and the nails recover when chemo is done. The discoloration grows out eventually... kind of like our hair!!

  • fredntan
    fredntan Member Posts: 237
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    hi all

    I'm a RN living with MBC since 2013.

    I had AC two seperate times.

    The first was in 2011. 4 rounds..the usual horrid experience.

    Then in 2013/2014 I received my lifetime max of AC. This time it was way more doable.

    I was at Arlington Cancer Center in Texas. It's now been bought out by Texas oncology. My former oncologist Dr Karel Dicke is retired. But the way he have what he called "support" made all the difference. While on his program...we came in every day for nausea meds, fluids, antibiotics. It made the world of difference. There was no toilet hugging. I could eat. His treatment of going every day was extreme....but frankly it was needed. If you are unable to keep fluids down and or eat....your oncology practice needs to bring you in for hydration.

    Carry on...

  • HopeHeal
    HopeHeal Member Posts: 137
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    FredNTan, It sounds very innovative. Thank you for posting this useful info. Why must the patients come in though in lieu of getting an Rx for home? Glad it is going well for you.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    Fredntan--I thought one round of AC was the lifetime maximum? I didn't know a person could have it twice.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256
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    Yeah, I can’t fathom having AC more than once! I will try chicken broth the next round, I can tolerate warm broth better than cold drinks. Bone broth was also highly recommended. I try to avoid sugar but better to drink lemonade than nothing at all I think. The last vomiting was triggered by flossing. I won’t be doing that next time. Gag. I do think there is a connection between dental health & overall health though. My goals is to have extreme dental health after my treatments are done. I got my teeth cleaned right before starting but need a crown and worried that will mess me up. So I wait. My nails are okay but the purple tinge is from deep within like my insides are bruised. It’s where the nails start, purple moons. Strange. Thanks everyone. Hope your pre-op appointments went well LW422.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    I'm feeling pretty gaggy today; made the mistake of eating a piece of sausage for breakfast. Ick.

    My pre-op appointments are tomorrow, starting at 7 a.m. (SIX appointments...yikes.) I hope I'm not feeling pukey tomorrow.

  • gb2115
    gb2115 Member Posts: 553
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    Has anyone else experienced random hemorrhoids during AC? I just had my second round of AC. First round, one popped up the next day, no straining or anything like that. It deflated before session 2. But it swelled up again like clockwork hours after getting my second AC. I hadn't even gone to the bathroom so I can't blame it on the usual constipation or diarrhea (which I don't have). I'm careful not to strain when I go because of pelvic organ prolapse.

    I wonder if the chemo does something to blood flow to cause this to happen. Or stress? I do have problems with pelvic muscle tension.


  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,399
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    gb2115--I haven't had hemorrhoids but I do notice that veins on my arms, hands, and legs are much more prominent while on AC. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that AC affects blood flow.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256
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    You’re a trooper LW422! Great job going to your pre op appointments!
    No hemorrhoids yet but constipation with each round, sometimes followed by diarrhea. Not fun. Latest AC SE for me is itching. Upper body.Not enough to take Benadryl but annoying. Lots of weird things happening with the body ugh.