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Starting Chemo in February 2019

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  • Toni_S
    Toni_S Member Posts: 15
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    Mncteach, I was just reading about the use of Claritin for Neulasta bone pain. Glad it worked for you, I hope I get the same results.

  • Mncteach
    Mncteach Member Posts: 241
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    Head shaved and two wigs! Big day for meimageimageimage

  • Lets_do_this
    Lets_do_this Member Posts: 3
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    Mncteach-tough day I’m sure. You look great though and you’re smiling in all three! Attitude is everything

  • Glittertits
    Glittertits Member Posts: 7
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    I’m actually TCHP to

  • Glittertits
    Glittertits Member Posts: 7
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    amf5484-

    Side effects have been varied and odd. Diarrhea started yesterday as did a few mouth sores. My hair is shedding more too.

    Like I said I went into this with an already tanked immune system so I think that’s why stuff is hitting me harder and sooner

    Glad my user name is making people smile!

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
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    glitter - look into fasting briefly prior to chemo... it gooses the immune system...

  • jktampa
    jktampa Member Posts: 6
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    I had my first treatment on Thursday 2/7/19. I have felt pretty good so far. I was expecting to feel much worse. Very nauseated and the nausea medicine makes me dizzy. The thought of food or eating makes me want to vomit. No crazy bone pain or anything else and I haven't noticed anymore hair than usual coming out.

  • samruns
    samruns Member Posts: 18
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    Hi everyone!

    Newbie here...just started chemo this past Tuesday 2/5.

    Was there for 8 hours or so...Perjeta, Taxotere, Herceptin and Carbopatin. Got a neulasta injection on 2/6. Really didn't have many side effects other than being tired and odd aches. That said - I stuck to a strict schedule of Zofran, Claritin, Tylenol. I've also been walking at least 20-30 minutes each day and hydrating like it's my job.

    My nurse said to expect 2 weeks with my hair...already bought a wig so I think I'm prepared. Maybe not mentally, but I've got something to put on my head!

    Heading back into work tomorrow. Hope I don't fall asleep!

  • Mncteach
    Mncteach Member Posts: 241
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    Welcome SamRuns. I had my week and was told 2 weeks too so yesterday took the bull by the horns. I was as prepared as I could and must say I dealt with it much better than expected. It does help to be prepared.

    Good luck with work tomorrow!


  • roflute
    roflute Member Posts: 6
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    Had my first chemo on 2/7 and happy to report that I feel pretty good so far. A little heartburn, a little tired but not too bad. I went home with the neulasta patch and that worked well I guess. No bone pain yet but I am ready with the Claritin and Tylenol. Also have my wig already and some cute beanie caps to wear for when the hair starts coming out. My beautician friend will shave my head when the time comes. Also drinking water like crazy. Hard for me to do in the winter months but a good habit to get into without this disease.

  • roflute
    roflute Member Posts: 6
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    -Mncteach

    I like your wigs and your smile. Thanks for sharing.

    Rosi

  • K8bstn
    K8bstn Member Posts: 1
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    Hi Everyone,

    I started my first of four rounds of TC on January 25th and heading into my second on Friday the 15th. I am wondering when you started taking Claritin for the Nuelasta? I had terrible body aches and bone pain for 5 days following my last round. I would love any tips you may have.

  • Mncteach
    Mncteach Member Posts: 241
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    I wasn’t sure I’d have the Neulasta so I started the night of chemo and took it for the next 3 nights. Many start two to three days in advance. I will be starting Wednesday night (chemo is on Thursday) and taking it through Monday. I had almost zero pain, just some aches

  • samruns
    samruns Member Posts: 18
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    Hey @k8bstn - I started the Claritin on Sunday - 3 days before the Neulasta injection on Wednesday. I'm planning to take it for 8 days straight. Very manageable bone aches/throbbing in conjunction with the Tylenol. My doc told me I could overlap Advil and Tylenol if needed, but I've been ok.

    @Mncteach Thanks for the good wishes! Thanks for sharing your pictures too - you look great and I know it had to be tough. I'm thinking I'll be there in a week or so.

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
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    My MO told me to start claritin 2 days prior to chemo day, and continue for 7 days total.

  • Glittertits
    Glittertits Member Posts: 7
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    Went back to the clinic today for labs, Neupogen if needed and a thyroid ultrasound. ANC was 0.8 so I'm swathed in a mask since I have two public school kids and two direct patient care providers in my house.

    Also mildly anemic so that explains some of the bags under my eyes and fatigue.

    And then yesterday my hair really really started hurting so my BFF went with me to get my head shaved. It's been an evevtful few days!


  • laurencl
    laurencl Member Posts: 203
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    Hi, I’m new here. I was officially diagnosed in January with invasive Ductal carcinoma and should be starting chemo by the end of the month. I’m scared. I see that some of you have been proactive in shopping for wigs, would you recommend that

  • Glittertits
    Glittertits Member Posts: 7
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    I cut my hair shorter just to take control of something I could And then today I shaved my head. The pain of my hair pulling at weakening follicles was an irritation I did not beed

  • Mncteach
    Mncteach Member Posts: 241
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    Laurencl- I am sorry you have to join our group but are glad we can be here to support you. As for wigs, some of it depends on the type of chemo you are having and if you have/want the option of cold capping. I wanted to be prepared for hair loss so I had my wig early. I also shaved my head before it actually fell out as I didn’t want to deal with clumps of hair. It really is personal preference, there is no right or wrong in this whole ordeal

  • samruns
    samruns Member Posts: 18
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    Hi @Laurencl

    It sucks, right? The good news is that a lot of us haven't had the terrible side effects we expected to have. It's not a walk in the park, but it's not as bad as I had imagined either....knock on wood. Yes, had bouts of diarrhea (ugh), food tastes a little funny, and I'm tired with some of the bone pain, but all in all, it's like a bad flu.

    The bad news is the hair loss. I am continuing to work through treatment and need (want actually) to look as much like myself as possible. I got some recommendations on wig shops and went out before I started treatment. If a shop or person makes you uncomfortable, take off the wig and go somewhere else. The first place I went to was a nightmare. It's kinda funny now, but at the time, I was furious. I found another place that specializes in hairloss and the women were AMAZING. I tried on a zillion wigs and finally found something that made me feel good. Ask your onc for a prescription for a "cranial prosthesis" - my insurance company (theoretically - still need to file the claim) will cover the cost of the wig. Make sure they measure your head too. The first place told me there's only one size (not true) and the 2nd place special ordered a large wig for me. I've got a big head :D

    I went back to work on Monday (started chemo last Tuesday) and came down with a little cold already. Working from home as much as possible going forward. So strange to be "weak" when normally I never get sick :/

  • laurencl
    laurencl Member Posts: 203
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    I agree! I didn’t even feel sick until got diagnosed. I went in a nice wig shop today and started to cry. I wish I could stop doing that! The wigs actually look pretty nice and the lady was lovely. I will go back next week. I just want to keep looking like me.Getting my hair cut tonight, not ready to shave yet. Port goes in next week. I wish I could get angry. I’m still so sad.

  • Gonnabeatthis
    Gonnabeatthis Member Posts: 57
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    I agree! I never felt sick even after I was diagnosed (November, 2018). Once I had surgery (January 2019) I had a physical reminder and felt like I had breast cancer. I start chemo next week and I suspect I will feel sick once I start, at least that's what I'm told and expecting. I'm hoping for the best. I don't want to look sick to the outside world and don't want to be treated differently. Not sure if I will get a wig or not but if I can find one that looks good I will, if not, scarves and hats!

    We're maintaining a positive attitude and choose to laugh and live each day to the fullest! I'm blessed with a wonderful husband, great friends and family!

    Good luck everyone

  • santabarbarian
    santabarbarian Member Posts: 2,310
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    Re looking sick to the outside world-- I had the same feeling. I wanted to be able to be private. But I did not like having a wig, so I went with comfy smurf-type cotton caps. I had some hair sticking out the bottom, but they definitely signal "I am cancer patient."

    On the bright side, being obviously in chemo, strangers were often SO NICE. Like when I was waiting at an airport baggage carousel, and a college kid nearby asked could she help me with my bag? Or when an electrician wiring a light fixture told me about his caner and treatment a few years prior, and how he beat the odds, and encouraged me. Or the handyman who said he would pray for me. When we are in that vulnerable position, it brings out a lot of goodness and sweetness in others. That can be a beautiful silver lining of this experience.

    And my cap ID'd me to a young oncologist I ran into while working out about 1/2 way through chemo (going up and down a huge set of stairs in my town). We struck up a conversation and I was able to be a great advertisement for some of the complimentary therapies I did and open his mind to their value. Not a lot of bald ladies on the stairs....

    Also, there comes a time in chemo when you WANT people to know you are sick, so they stop expecting you to handle stuff you don't feel like handling. If you look too good to the outside world people can underestimate how difficult the chemo is. My own sister underestimated my degree of distress because I looked like I was handling everything (which I was, relatively speaking) and she was sort of clueless to the reality of exhaustion and stress I was going through.

    Chemo is a time for us to RECEIVE... to let people help us and care for us. Most of us let our family and close friends in... but beanies and scarves enlist the outside world to treat us gently too.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,057
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    Dear Gonnabeatthis,

    Welcome to the BCO community. We appreciate your reaching out to our members and sharing your story. Good luck to you as you start chemotherapy. Keep us all posted on how things go. We hope you will stay active here and benefit from the shared experiences of everyone.

    The Mods

  • Mncteach
    Mncteach Member Posts: 241
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    Hello everybody, having my Valentines chemo. I don’t know if it’s the day or what but I am a hot mess. Can’t seem to stop the tears. They are giving me Ativan this time because of my anxiety. Hopefully that will help. Hoping everyone is doing ok and round 2 will be better than round one was for me

  • notdefined
    notdefined Member Posts: 267
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    Hey there.  I am joining your group as well.  I will be getting my first treatment today in the late afternoon. 

    Mncteach-sending virtual hugs.  

  • Mncteach
    Mncteach Member Posts: 241
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    Update on Valentine's Day chemo.... everything was going ok until they went to push the chemo meds. Felt a burning sensation. Had to stop, flush, and have a dye study to make sure nothing was cracked. The nurse thinks I may just be feeling more movement of the catheter since swelling has gone down ( had 1st treatment day after port surgery). So now have to go again tomorrow and actually have chemo.

    They actually found a narrowing of the catheter line which may be part of my issue. Have to have something called a cath flow.... not sure how it works have lots of questions for tomorrow, so I get that at 8 and chemo at 11.

  • samruns
    samruns Member Posts: 18
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    @mncteach - ugh! That doesn't sound like fun at ALL. Hoping that tomorrow goes much more smoothly - great nurses, easy port access and no pain or weird sensations! Sending a big virtual hug your way!

    @notdefined - how did it go? Hoping you're feeling well.


  • Gonnabeatthis
    Gonnabeatthis Member Posts: 57
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    Sending positive thoughts to you!


  • Starbrite711
    Starbrite711 Member Posts: 1
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    I don't know how all this works but I started ac 2/12 and it's still kicking my butt.