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Starting Chemo September 2019

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tmh0921
tmh0921 Member Posts: 519

Hi All,

I haven't seen a September 2019 chemo thread so I thought I'd start one.

I am scheduled for my first treatment on Wednesday 9/4/19. I will be having Cytoxan and Taxotere every 3 weeks for 4 cycles.

Tracy

------------------------------------

8/28/19 - Snaffle53 - AC+T

9/4/19 - tmh0921 - TC

9/4/19 - Ryanrose - AC+T

9/5/19 - LMS458412 - TC

9/5/19 - Monkey0299 - TC

9/6/19 - FTM - TCH

9/6/19 - Cat029 - AC+T

9/9/19 - Turkeypoult - TCHP

9/9/19 - Juniebird - TCHP

9/9/19 - clackie - TCH

9/10/19 - bryna1212 - AC+T

9/10/19 - Eveldon - AC+T

9/10/19 - Dottybird - TC

9/10/19 - Patty66 - TAC

9/12/19 - Gamb - AC+T

9/13/19 - BlueCoconut - TCHP

9/16/19 - aln82 - TC

9/17/19 - AngieB92 - TCHP

9/17/19 - FloridaLiving18 - AC+T

9/18/19 - Brilee76 - TC

9/20/19 - Jacqs - TCHP

9/23/19 - KV99 - TCHP

9/24/19 - Maggie007 -TCHP

9/24/19 - ACchaos - AC+T

9/24/19 - Betann - ?

9/26/19 - Ange743 - AC+T

9/27/19 - ik0106 - THP

9/27/19 - SazzleD - Cytoxan + Ellence

9/27/19 - MexicanMary's Mom - ?

10/1/19 - mandamaybe - AC+T

9/?/19 - CAP0703 - Taxol + Herceptin

9/?/19 - kps918 - TC

9/?/19 - db4ll - Herceptin + to be determined

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Comments

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    I’m going to post in here because it is extremely likely I will be starting chemo next month. My Oncologist promises me a treatment plan by the end of next week. Then, nothing should be in the way of moving forward. By posting, I can make this thread a favorite. I’m pretty sure I will be back

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    Welcome Snaffle

    I just finalized my plan with my oncologist yesterday. Prior to surgery, after my Oncotype test came back at 26, we had discussed chemo but wanted the final pathology to finalize type and duration of chemo.

    I’m ready to get chemo over and done with.

    Tracy

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    I have a consult at Dana Farber this Friday. I think that’s what everything is waiting on

  • bryna1212
    bryna1212 Member Posts: 1
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    I will be starting AC-T (4 cycles AC followed by 12 of Taxol) on Sept 10. Glad to be part of this group (well, maybe not glad, but nice to know it's here!).

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    Welcome Bryna I’m glad we’re here to support each other too.

  • lms458412
    lms458412 Member Posts: 289
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    Hi Tracy, Bryna and Snaffle. Looks like I'm joining you. I thought I would be starting chemo next week, but it will be the first week of September instead.

    The oncologist suggested Cytoxan and Taxotere for 4 cycles. I was convinced she would suggest AC for 4, plus Taxol for 12. But, she feels TC would be a good course and then I can do ovarian suppression with an AI since I'm 100% ER+. I'm taking the weekend to think about it, but it makes sense.

    I had my power port put in this morning. I'm still a little groggy and sore. The worst part for me was the IV! Just hanging out at home drinking some broth now.

    Glad to have some ladies to talk to as we go through this craziness....

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    LMS

    After my pathology report came back with a 3.2 cm tumor, grade 3 (we thought it was closer to 1.9cm, grade 2 at initial biopsy), I was convinced I would be headed the AC+T route as well, but she stuck with her original recommendation of TC. After TC, I'll also be having ovarian suppression and Tamoxifen or AI (depending if they can get me into menopause).

    I'm anxious to get started, but glad to have a week of “normal" before my first chemo on 9/4. Hopefully, I can do something fun with the hubby and kids over Labor Day.

    Hope your port heals quickly

  • lms458412
    lms458412 Member Posts: 289
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    Sounds somewhat similar to my situation. My tumor ended up being the same size as imaging showed, but there was a little one hiding behind it that was sort of attached (spiculated) as the big tumor was trying to spread out, so a little more than expected. My lymph node was pretty big, but all the rest removed were clear.

    She ordered my Oncotype, but said I could get started before the results come back if I'm comfortable with her recommendation. With one node involved, I am definitely doing chemo, and I'd rather start sooner than later.

    Are you doing cold capping? I wasn't going to with AC + T, but with Taxotere, I am considering it in the hopes of protecting my follicles. My infusion center offers Dignicap. I need to do some research into it, but I may go for it.

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    I considered cold capping, but decided against it. I went out the week before surgery and bought a nice wig, and I’ve ordered an assortment of beanies from Amazon.

    I was torn, but it just seems like a lot of work. My oncologist does offer it though

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    Back home from my appointment at Dana Farber. I got the official diagnosis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I will have chemo first. Four infusions of A/C every other week followed by four infusions of Taxol every other week. Four weeks of rest after chemo. Then surgery (extent to be determined), the 4 to 6 weeks of radiation.

    I expect I will hear from my local Oncologist this afternoon about when the port gets put in and the dates of chemo infusions. For sure these will happen soon

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    Snaffle

    You have occult breast cancer in the axilla?

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    Yes, no primary tumor in the breast

  • lms458412
    lms458412 Member Posts: 289
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    I spoke too soon about the port placement. It hurts more than I expected! The IV was not the worst part. I am super sore. I slept about 14 hours. Hubby has to help me get up when I'm laying down flat. Feel like a truck hit me! I do feel better this morning than yesterday, so hopefully Monday I can get back to normal.

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    I guess technically I should be in the August chemo group as port being placed Wednesday the 28th and first chemo that day as well. But, the August group is so far along. I’m going to stay here as this group is newer.

    I’m a bit surprised that port placement and first chemo are on the same day. But, I wanted to get things started. And that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s going to be four infusions of AC every other week followed by once a week Taxol for 12 weeks.

    I don’t think it’s all hit me yet. Wednesday will be one heck of a wake up call

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    LMS

    I don't understand why they recommend port placement as a separate procedure when they know you're already having surgery shortly before chemo. It makes more sense to me to have it all done at the same time so you only have the one recovery. My oncologist was going to have me go separately for port placement but I asked her if I could just have my surgeon do it. My surgeons were more than happy to place my port while doing my BMX and phase one of reconstruction. I hope you feel better quickly


    Snaffle

    Glad you're staying with us. It does seem shocking that so many have port placement on the same day, or within a day or two of starting chemo. But I'm glad to hear things are moving along for you.

  • lms458412
    lms458412 Member Posts: 289
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    Tracy, I agree that the port should have been put in at the same time as the surgery. My breast surgeon doesn't do ports. I had to have an interventional radiologist do it. Same hospital, different department. But, it would make sense to coordinate. I had no idea I'd need a port until after my surgery, but the surgeon knew. But, what's done is done.

    Glad you're staying with us, Snaffle. We're going to get through this together.

  • prehistoricmom
    prehistoricmom Member Posts: 57
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    Hi all, no chemo for me (as yet) but I wanted to chime in b/c SO MUCH expertise in WIGS! Only white lady wigs, tho, I know next to nothing about wigs for women of color.

    I've had slow-moving alopecia areata, mostly the top of my head, since I was 16 or so. That's when I start to see it in old pictures, anyway. After each baby, the hair loss got a little worse, so I started wearing partials (some will call it a topper or a toupee, but my own hair blends in so it's not a true wig) in 2008.

    Do you have all the money in the world? Then definitely go to Flora in Teaneck, NJ. designbyflora.com the pictures do not do her wigs justice--they are beautiful virgin (and kosher!) hair from Europe. Her husband David is the broker for buying it.

    Do you have less than all of the money in the world and/or live in Texas? Go to Art of Wigs in Dripping Springs, TX, a suburb of Austin. Stephanie does a lot of work for women with trichotillomania but lots for people like me. A true artist & wonderful person. artofwigs.com

    These two women sell wigs of real human hair, so you just use rollers, irons, whatever on them. They last forever if you take good care of them.

    Still less money? Try Wantable Wigs https://www.etsy.com/shop/WantableWigs?ref=pr2018_faveshops on Etsy, affordable and good quality. Anna uses synthetic hair and customizes to make the wigs seem less wiggy. If you feel like going blue, green, purple, rainbow, she's your woman. I wanted something a little more subtle and got a curly angled bob which is lovely. It's not going to last forever, but I'm enjoying it.

    Least money of all? Buy a wig locally and go on youtube to see how to style it to make it look more realistic, if that's your thing. My only negative experience was with the "Wig Lady" in Wichita KS https://www.etsy.com/shop/WantableWigs?ref=pr2018_faveshops my hairdresser at home took one look at it and said, "you got jacked."

    Now you know everything I know. There's tons more on hair/wigs on youtube than there used to be.

    SO many different ways to feel about hair loss. ANY emotional response is the right one. Shave head. Wear scarf. Tattoo. Don't feel guilty or vain, though, if you want to look a certain way even while fighting a deadly illness. xo



  • lms458412
    lms458412 Member Posts: 289
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    Thanks for the wig info, Prehistoric. If the Dignicap doesn't work, I'll need to get one. I already have some caps for sleeping or when my hair thins out.

    I have a tentative start date of 9/5. That's pending some scans tomorrow. Scared out of my mind that it's spread. Xanax is my friend right now....

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    I signed my consent for chemotherapy today. This is starting to feel real

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    We’ll be thinking about you on Wednesday Snaffle. Please post and share how it goes. I have a feeling we will all be learning from each other’s experiences. Did they give you prescriptions for home to help with side effects? I have 4 already filled and waiting.

    A note for all of us. My oncologist told me if I was having bad side effects that weren’t controlled by my meds to CALL HER. She said don’t assume that that’s just how it is with chemo and suffer through it. There are a lot of things they can do like changing/adding meds for side effects, giving iv fluids or meds, etc.

    We’ve got this ladies

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    I did get prescriptions. Zofran and Compazine. I too was told not to assume severe symptoms are normal. Also told that if I’m feeling dehydrated that I can come in for fluids. All I have to do is call ahead.

    I’m hoping that port placement goes well. It’s going to be a big day no matter how I look at it

  • lms458412
    lms458412 Member Posts: 289
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    Sitting in radiology waiting for my pre-chemo CT and bone scans. Still terrified. Glad to have you all to share this journey with....

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    LMS

    All the testing and waiting for results is the worst. Thinking of you


  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    Thinking of you today as well, LMS

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    Going to Chemotherapy education this afternoon. I’m a nervous wreck. Hope I can keep a handle on things tomorrow. But, I’ve been told Chemo Infusion has the drugs. And they know how to use them. Maybe the lingering sedation from the port procedure will be a good thing. Might I be pleasantly out of it for the entire day

  • lms458412
    lms458412 Member Posts: 289
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    Thanks for the support. Hope to have answers tomorrow. Then they can officially stage me and move forward with the next step in my treatment.

    I hope your education went well, Snaffle. I hope you were out of it enough to feel good, but with it enough to remember the important stuff!!!

  • db4ll
    db4ll Member Posts: 2
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    I will be starting chemo in early September along with Herceptin. I'll be doing weekly chemo for 12 weeks and continuing the Herceptin for the remainder of the year. Not sure which chemo. I have opted to use the cold cap and have heard a lot of positive success with it. Not to rush time, looking forward to Christmas this year! ;) chemo should be behind me at that point.

  • tmh0921
    tmh0921 Member Posts: 519
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    db4ll - Welcome! We’re glad to have you join us.

    LMS - Hoping for normal results on your scans

    Snaffle - I hope you class went well, and your port placement and chemo go well tomorrow

  • dutchiegirl
    dutchiegirl Member Posts: 76
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    Hello! Just wanted to pop in to say that I sooo can relate to a lot of the feelings and fears around chemo. I started dose dense (every two weeks) AC-T in March and finished June 11th. Overall, I would say that this regimen is do-able. AC gave me pretty bad and long-lasting indigestion. I only felt nauseous once but I never threw up. I would get my infusions on Tuesday and, by the weekend, I was tired and felt yucky overall. We had a friend sign us up for Meal Train, and I didn't have to worry about cooking for three nights of every cycle. Taxol was completely different. It gave me all-over bone and muscle aches (this might have been due to my dose-dense regimen). I went on hydromorphone (combined with regular Tylenol) and that really helped. Walking also helped, as did a heating pad and hot bath before bed. I used Vick's Vapo Rub on my legs at night. Thankfully, my husband doesn't have a strong sense of smell!

    I can tell you, 11 weeks after completing chemo, that I have very few - if any - side effects. My energy is returning to normal, my hair is growing back in (very thick and very grey!) and I now have eyebrows and eyelashes! No neuropathy and my nails did surprisingly well. Treat yourself well, rest when you need to, and don't be afraid to ask for help. You WILL get through this!

  • snaffle53
    snaffle53 Member Posts: 107
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    Thanks for the encouragement. Sleep won’t come easy tonight. I will take something to help. I’m tying to remind myself that I am a feisty PITA (pain in the ass). I can do this!!