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Starting Chemo February 2021

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  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited May 2021
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    LW422

    AC was a struggle for me also...taste buds were the worst but believe it or not, it was even worse for me on taxol with the taste buds...I kept and still have thrush..I understand your feelings as often on Ac I felt the same...but three more and ur done...I am hoping the second time will be a little easier on you


  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    Hello everyone. I hope you are all hanging in there and getting this done. I think some of you are finishing up chemo and I'm happy about that. I'm feeling OK... not great but not horrible, so I'll take it.

    Yesterday I woke up to tendonitis in my left foot; I can barely hobble around the house. I don't know what caused that; I haven't been wearing lace-up shoes or anything that would irritate those top-of-the-foot tendons. I left a message for my care team to see if I can take an anti-inflammatory for a couple of days and I'm waiting to hear back. So I'm sitting in a recliner with an ice bag on top of my foot. It's always something.

    Have a great week!

  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited June 2021
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    Lw422.

    Hope you are feeling better...for the rest I hope you are having minimal side effects

    Thoughts are with you

  • Jvfireball
    Jvfireball Member Posts: 56
    edited June 2021
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    Hi Ladies,

    Wow, I feel like I fell off the planet. last week i had to cover vacations for some of people who are off aroung the holidays and we got slammed at work so 14-15 hour days all week. Man I was zapped by Friday night.

    But I have continued to pray for and held you all close at heart.

    LW422, I hope you are finding it easier now...I know AC is a rough go...but I am bnehind you all the way.

    Cheers to you all

    Julie

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    Thanks so much, AB45 and Julie. Today was AC #2 so I'm officially HALFWAY DONE!! I feel tired but OK so far tonight, but tomorrow I'm sure the horrors will begin. The MDA pharmacist suggested adding a bag of fluids to my infusion to help keep me hydrated; she said dehydration can cause side effects to be worse. We'll see how this goes.

    I hope everyone else is having a good week and feeling good. I know several of you are done with chemo and moving on but I hope you'll keep in touch and let us know how you are.

  • Jvfireball
    Jvfireball Member Posts: 56
    edited June 2021
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    LW422.....way to go...2 down...plus all your taxol is done too....keep plugging away my friend!!!

    You got this!!

    Julie


  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited June 2021
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    whoooo....hooo. . Half done....only 2 more...cheering you on

  • JN5000
    JN5000 Member Posts: 72
    edited June 2021
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    Congratulations, LW422. If side effects kick in, remember you'll be back in the good days soon!



  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    Hi everyone. Another week of horrors with stupid AC; I don't remember ever feeling so horrible. I'm starting to feel human again but it SUCKS SO BAD. I'm whiny.

  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited June 2021
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    Lw422

    Ac is no joke but you are making it thru...one more?

  • JN5000
    JN5000 Member Posts: 72
    edited June 2021
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    LW422 -- I'm so happy you've made it this far!! Hang onto those good days -- they will always return. AC was hard for me too -- horror is the right word! -- but it has an end and then you'll look back and know you did it. I feel like I can do anything now! I think one thing the harsh toxins of Adriamycin did to me was just mess with me emotionally and mentally. I never felt like myself. But once the toxins started filtering out, I began to feel like myself. I can't' wait till you're done!

    Jennie

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    AB45--I wish. It's TWO more. :crybaby: Number 3 will be June 29. I'm just now starting to feel kind of normal after last week of being in the bed.

    Thanks, Jennie. I don't know of anytime in my life I have felt worse than the week after an AC infusion. That stuff is truly VILE and I have to wonder what it is doing to the healthy cells in my body, and if I'll ever be the same again. I have to fight my way through this but it is so hard.

    My best to anyone else who is still having chemo from our group. Hang in there... we can see the light at the end of this horror show.

  • JN5000
    JN5000 Member Posts: 72
    edited June 2021
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    How's everyone doing? LW422 hopefully you're experiencing some good days. Hang onto those and remember you will have them again.

    I have 3 weekly Taxols left -- that's it. Neuropathy is starting to give me some zingers, like jaw pain, all over skn crawl feeling, stabs in toes -- but it only lasted one day and I'm back to normal and fatigued, which is fine. I feel pretty lucky with my Taxol experience.

    Have a good week!!

    Jennie


  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited June 2021
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    How is everyone doing? Thinking of you all...hope ur coming 2 an end with your chemo journey

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    Jennie--I'm glad your Taxol experience has been fairly easy. I also did well with Taxol, but AC is kicking my butt big time. My 3rd infusion is Tuesday and every time I think of it I swear I get PTSD... anxiety and "anticipatory nausea." I'm just miserable and I hope I can hang on.

    AB45--I'm a basket case. I hope I can hang on for the 2 remaining AC treatments; this is the worst thing I've ever had to endure. So far I have not had to have Neulasta, so I guess that's one good thing.

    I hope everyone else is finishing up chemo and feeling pretty good! This has been a wild ride so far... just think about how long ago we started this mess.

  • Amary2021
    Amary2021 Member Posts: 37
    edited June 2021
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    Hello everyone, I am new to the site. I finished my 4th AC 2 weeks ago and due to start taxol next week - first of 12 weekly treatments.

    I wanted to ask if anyone managed to feel ok enough to walk home from hospital after their taxol infusion? There is a hospital nearby that I could possibly get my taxol treatments and it's 10 minutes' walk.

    I was driven home from another hospital after my AC treatments by my husband or friend, and I was completely knocked out to talk, let alone consider a leisurely walk.

    Thanks for your input and wish you all the best with your treatments.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,091
    edited June 2021
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    Amary - Welcome to the BCO community. We'd like to suggest that you post also in the Weekly Taxol group, where you can ask others about their experiences with this specific drug, and get suggestions for navigating treatment.

    Also, it may help others to know your story and answer your questions if you fill out your Profile (top right corner of your screen) with your diagnosis and treatment information. Here's some guidance on this:

    https://community.breastcancer.org/help#entering_d...

    We hope this helps! Please keep us posted on how you're doing. We are here for you!

    Warm wishes,

    The Mods

  • JN5000
    JN5000 Member Posts: 72
    edited June 2021
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    LW442 - have you been given anything or do you want anything for your anxiety and anticipatory nausea. I'm sure I mentioned I was given Ativan. It really helped. I took it the morning of AC, too, so that I would have it working on me during the infusion. I still take Ativan to help with sleeping when I have restless legs or pinching from neuropathy, or the night before an infusion. The AC experience and trauma of that has created anxiety for Taxol infusions even though that experience has been much better.

    I will be thinking about you on Tuesday. Maybe even getting an extra liter the day after the infusion could help -- I do that with Taxol and I wish I had done it with AC, just to help wash toxins out. It was also very hard for me to find something I could drink with AC - liquids made me nauseated so it was always a struggle to stay hydrated. I didn't always succeed. I pre-emptory iv fluids would've been helpful.

    Just trying to find helpful hints!!Amary2021: Everyone's experience is so different. After Taxol, I'm wiped out by the Bendryl so I am asleep. I also have minor hallucinations from the Benadryl so a short walk home, even, for me would be very difficult. I would definitely wait til you have your first Taxol before you decide to walk home, just so you know what you're getting into.

    Taxol has been okay, but not a walk in the park. I actually can't wait for a real actual walk in the park -- I will stop to smell every single flower, etc. Can't wait. It will come for all of us.

    Jennie



  • Amary2021
    Amary2021 Member Posts: 37
    edited June 2021
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    Thank you for the warm welcome! Sure, I can share also on the Weekly Taxol Group.

    For my AC treatments, I experienced extreme nausea and vomiting for the first 2 cycles. On the third cycle, I got Emend (a very strong anti-nausea tablet). Though it stopped me from actually vomiting, I still felt the "gag effect" and kept going to the toilet, but didn't find any relief as the nausea meds kept me from vomiting. I was nursing my huge migraine for 9 hours when I thought of chewing on a coin-size piece of fresh ginger and slept. I woke up 2 hours afterwards and felt that my migraine was gone. I then figured that if I had chewed on ginger earlier, I would have suffered less.

    Armed with this knowledge, I brought a bag of sliced, fresh ginger pieces with me to my 4th AC chemo and started chewing on one as soon as the pre-meds infusion began at 10AM. I chewed on ginger every hour until midnight and I can successfully say that I didn't feel the need to vomit at all!! I still had a small migraine, my tummy was in pain, and I literally could feel the meds going through my whole body (slowing every moving cell), but I was so proud that I could talk to my friend who was with me. I'd say it was the "best" AC chemo experience out of the 4. The first 3 chemo were with my husband and I could not hold a proper conversation with him at all during the first 12-14 hours after chemo.

    So ginger has been my little miracle with its anti-inflammatory properties!!

    @JN5000: Thanks for the tip! I will keep in mind. I hope you enjoy that walk in the park soon!



  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    Hello Amary2021 and welcome. I had 12 Taxol weekly treatments before AC, and I have to say that for me, Taxol was very easy. I always felt fine the day of infusion and would have had no problem with a 10-minute walk. Are there places along the way where you might sit down if you need to? For some who begin Taxol after AC, the first Taxol is a little more difficult... maybe because they are still having some AC side effects but I don't know that for certain.

    Good luck, and thanks for sharing your chemo experience.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    Hi Jennie. Thanks for your support, as usual. I apologize for whining but I am just beaten down by AC. I don't have Ativan but I do have an anti-anxiety Rx for Clonazepam that helps calm me down. I haven't taken any of that since the first crazy month after I was diagnosed, so maybe I'll take one and see if it helps.

    I did get extra fluids at my last AC but I couldn't tell any difference in SEs. In fact, I felt worse for longer after that infusion. I also find it very hard to get enough liquids after AC; everything just tastes so horrible and water makes me gag. I suppose I just need to suck it up and stop whining; this is something I have to do and thankfully will never have to do again.

  • Amary2021
    Amary2021 Member Posts: 37
    edited June 2021
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    Hello LW422,

    Thanks for the welcome and tips on the walk back from chemo. My friend will drive me home this time as I was reading also on the blog that Benadryl makes one sleepy and groggy. You are right, perhaps for the first taxol, I'll observe my reactions and go from there.

    Just read about your AC experience too and I am sorry for that. I also felt physical pain in my tummy when I force myself to drink 4 x times my normal water consumption immediately after the AC infusions. Like gagging as you say, but it gets better after a few days. I always think my biggest enemy is malnutrition in the case of chemo, not necessarily the side effects, though nasty.

    The days after my first 2 AC chemo, I used to eat bland crackers and chicken stock (bouillon dissolved in water). I snacked like that every 2 hours just to get something in. I find that I could tolerate (and taste) salty food, as compared to sweet for example. I also snacked on roasted corn (salted), a handful of nuts (walnuts, almonds, dried cranberries). Try to drink liquids with electrolytes if you can. I know Gatorade has lots of sugar, but I drank a bottle every other day. Other great drinks with electrolytes: coconut water, mixed fresh juices. I continued chewing on fresh ginger as it is a natural anti-inflammatory. I ate lots of papaya and prunes to combat the dehydration and constipation that follows days after my AC chemo.

    Take care.


  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    Amary2021-- I hope your first Taxol goes well this week. I never got Benedryl with my Taxol infusion so no drowsiness for me. I can't imagine chewing on ginger... OMG. I have tried a small piece of ginger and it burned my mouth and tasted horrible, lol. Glad it works for you, though.


  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited June 2021
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    I got up at 5 a.m. to be at MDA at 7 for blood work and an appointment with my MO. My blood work was pretty good so I still haven't needed Neulasta...yay. I mentioned my shortness of breath and increased heart rate, and my MO decided to postpone my AC treatment for a week. I didn't know whether to be glad or disappointed at another delay... I really want to get DONE with this.

    He scheduled me for another echo-cardiogram this week; I assume he wants to make sure that the AC isn't damaging my heart. So it's always something. I wonder what will happen if the echo shows any changes to my heart...??

    Hope everyone is doing well; I assume most of you have wrapped up chemo and moved on but it would be nice to hear how you are doing.

  • Jvfireball
    Jvfireball Member Posts: 56
    edited June 2021
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    Good Afternoon All,

    Sorry I have been off the radar again, my God children came to town and so I took a week plus off from work and thus no computer and access to you all.

    I have missed reading about what's going on and have appreciated the catch up for the past 20 minutes or so.

    A lot of hard stuff, LW422, hang in there., You have been so encouraging to so many, you got this!!

    JN5000 you are so close too!!! Hang in there you got this.

    My update, they had to pause my radiation after treatment #20 because the burns were getting to severe and blistering and peeled. took five days off and started again this past Monday. Two more days and I will be done. Praise the Lord!!!

    Continue to pray for you all, for "all of us"!!!

    Blessings and cheers

    Julie


  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited July 2021
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    There's that pretty smile... hey Julie! So good to hear from you and I'm sorry you are suffering with radiation burns. I'm glad you will be done with that soon.

    I talked to the SO's office this afternoon and have my tentative surgery date... YIKES. Looks like August 23 is "uni-boob day," my unofficial start to being lopsided. I'm just glad to know that things are moving along, though it has seemed a snail's pace.

    I hope everyone is doing well no matter what stage of treatment you are. Check in and let all the "Class of February 2021" know how it's going. Hugs to everyone.

  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited July 2021
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    Hello

    Glad to see some updates, so glad to hear from everyone...Prayers for all of us is appreciated..well my Chemo ended at the last part of May...I am experiencing joint pain still. Not sure when or if this will ever go away...I start radation next week...I have positional vertigo so I had some difficulty already when I went for mapping...but GOD is still good!! Sending positive vibes

  • Amary2021
    Amary2021 Member Posts: 37
    edited July 2021
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    Hi LW422,

    First taxol went well, thank you. They infused me with anti-nausea and anti-vomiting meds, which made me nauseous (strange) so I requested not to have them next time.

    Another alternative to fresh ginger pieces: ginger shots. I found them in the fresh juice aisle and they are sometimes mixed with thyme, orange and honey, so more tolerated than pure ginger. :)

    Take care, everyone.

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited July 2021
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    Hey AB45; good to hear from you. Sorry you are still having joint pain and I hope that resolves soon. Good luck with the radiation; you are on the home stretch now!

  • lw422
    lw422 Member Posts: 1,403
    edited July 2021
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    Amary21--I'm glad your first Taxol went well; I had a very easy time of it on Taxol. (Wish I could have stayed on Taxol and not have to have AC!!) Are you icing your hands and feet? I iced and also sucked on ice chips during the Taxol infusion; I never had any signs of neuropathy or changes in my nails... so I'm not sure if it was the icing but I don't regret doing it.

    I think ginger ale is as far as I can go with the ginger thing!! Thanks for your suggestions, though.