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Starting Chemo April 2021

Taralynn
Taralynn Member Posts: 45

Hello and Happy Easter! Thought I’d start an April 2021 chemo thread as I didn’t see one made yet. I technically started 3/31, 4 AC first then 12 rounds of taxol. Surprisingly my side effects have been very minimal so I’m grateful for every hour I feel well. I was so happy to be able to enjoy Easter with my family today.

I used zofran for mild nausea the first few days but haven’t taken any today. Each morning I’ve woken up kind of heavy headed, if that makes sense. Like my head feels like it weighs 100 lbs lol but that wears off pretty quickly. Other than that and some fatigue, things are good for now!

I’m also trying out the DigniCap and hope I have fairly decent results, but we’ll see!

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Comments

  • sailca
    sailca Member Posts: 10

    Hi Taralynn,

    I started TCHP on 3/30. I’m exhausted and food is not my friend. Every burns drom my tongue downDay 7 has been the hardest so far. Hopefully tomorrow is better.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45

    Hoping for a muchbetter day tomorrow Sail! :)

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256

    Thank you Taralynn for starting this thread! Happy to hear of your family time on Easter. I start this Thursday. Both anxious to start killing it & scared. I barely took Tylenol before all this....I start with Carbo + Taxol along with immunotherapy of Keytruda. Plan to ice my feet & hold a frozen bag of ice. Burrrrr...Might take my heated pad. Still undecided on cold cap. I hope none of us have serious side effects. My thoughts are with everyone here! Plz keep us posted on how you all are doing! Happy Easter!

  • emotionalpond
    emotionalpond Member Posts: 31

    Hello all I started on Friday April 2ND... I've been ok... I'm tired today.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45

    mamacure, best of luck to you this week! We got this!! I brought a heated blanket with me and it really helped the shivering I had from the cold capping, I was definitely comfortable and cozy. I’ll be icing hands and feet once I get to taxol so that will be triple the cold, yikes!!

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45

    emotional pond, tired here too! I've been sleepy all day but now it's 12:45am and I can't sleep. Of course!

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256

    Hang in there EmotionalPond, keep us posted on how you are doing. yes, Taralynn, we've got this!! I woke up at 4 am this morning and I haven't even started yet.

    I am not a morning person even. For those of you who started already, are you able to do light cooking? What are you eating?

    I found this video to be very helpful. Talks about cutting out sugar, drinking green tea, being careful about supplements, not just about Turmeric. I started eating tofu & broccoli most days.

    p.s. I also bought some hats, fake ponytail headband and sleeping beanie. I feel more prepared for the hair loss now. I may also get a bucket hat with hair attached later.



  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135

    Just wanted to send healing thoughts your way to the April Chemo starts, I started in March and have had 2 treatments. Honor your body, if you are tired, rest. Take good care of yourself, you will get through this!

  • twyse
    twyse Member Posts: 13

    I will start tomorrow with Abraxane? I have been on Ibrance and famara for over three years. But the past few months my breast tumor became very agressive. We did a double mastectomy and discovered that the cancer mutated and became tnc and it was in both breast. So, I'm a bit nervous as it's been pretty easy for me so far. I guess i should update my info.

  • Carpe-Diem
    Carpe-Diem Member Posts: 31

    Hi Ladies

    I started TC on March 31st. First dose down and three more to go. Hang in there ladies, and hopefully we will push each other through this phase of treatment. I had AC & T in 2014, and as tough as that is, I am having more trouble with TC. This is day 7 from TC #1, and while I can say I feel better than previous days, I have a lot of joint and body aches. I am also a foodie and the fact that nothing tastes good is awful. The folks in March chemo are right -- just try to eat bland foods and whatever you can keep down which gives you some nutrients.

    Taralynn - the day before and the day of chemo and day after steer away from your favorite foods. The awful thing with AC is the heightened sense of smell (at least for me) and then nausea. If you eat stuff you like, you may never try them again. I tried to eat foods that didn't smell like much after I learned my lesson the day of first treatment.

    mamacure - good luck on your first treatment cycle on Thursday. You got this!

    As Nature Yogi aptly stated, "Honor Your Body" - and listen to it.

  • hahlyn
    hahlyn Member Posts: 128

    Hello Ladies

    I will be starting chemo again 4/8. My first chemo was 9/21/2016 then again after my lumpectomy 2/2017 due to residual cancer. My first chemo was TCHP 2nd was AC 4 cycles and now it will be TC. This go around it was calcification 5mm found in the same breast (left) so I had to have a mastectomy due to radiation before. Although my oncologist says I should do okay on TC I'm not to sure. I looked back at photos from when I was on AC (2drugs) versus the 4 with TCHP and the AC was rough. So needless to say I'm a little shook and afraid of the side effects.

    Anywho just wanted to join this group and wish us all luck and blessings 🤗

    Hahlyn




  • limnogal
    limnogal Member Posts: 100

    All -LimnoGal from the April 2016 chemo group here just dropping in to wish you all the best!

  • hahlyn
    hahlyn Member Posts: 128

    1st TC treatment today...I think the side effects have already started headaches started with the pre meds that started the day before. Now it's the headache and abdominal slight pain and I'm tired. I was hoping to get through a couple days before the side effects kicked in but I guess not. #thissucks.

    Hahlyn

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45

    carpe-diem I’m right across the bridge from you in NJ! Where are you getting treated?

    Hahlyn - sorry you’re not feeling well. I actually had a headache on day 1 also, that led to a migraine that led to nausea that night. I think it was from the meds and just the stress of the day. I was ok after a good night sleep, hope you are the same!

    I had blood work Wednesday to check all my levels and all is good!!. My doctor checks labs the week between treatment 1 and 2, but I shouldn’t have to go back between any other treatments hopefully. Still feeling good, enjoying spring break before the kids go back to school 5 days next week for the first time since March 2020. I’m kind of excited ... lol!

  • Carpe-Diem
    Carpe-Diem Member Posts: 31

    Taralynn - hi there. I’m being treated at Penn in W. Philadelphia. How about yourself?

    Hahlyn - sorry you are feeling awful. I’m on TC and I finally felt better on day 9, and half way normal. They talk about walking and exercising and I'm normally a high energy person but I could not lift myself off the sofa all day long. Take it easy and try to drink lots of fluids and eat something so your stomach is not empty. Smaller portions seem to go down easier.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256

    Hope all April ladies are doing well today.

    I got my port surgery the day before (went smoothly no bruising, discomfort the next day with the needle still in for treatment). Feeling much better now with the needle out!

    Gotta love not having IV pokes!

    I had my first chemo session yesterday, it went much more smoothly than anticipated. I was fairly at peace when started. i went for my usual walk after coming home.

    Chairs have privacy curtains and roomy with a sunny window.

    I was able to drive myself and back, with by DH stopping by towards the end.

    I will have weekly sessions (Taxo,Cabo)+Kitruda then Taxo, Taxo for total of 12 weeks or so.

    I used big fake ice (YETI brand) in a soft cooler for my feet (with thin socks) and held a bag of ice. Next time I will hold a smaller YETI ice for my hands.

    I sucked on ice chips thru out. It was not bad, the icing! Nurse said mostly the Taxo part is for icing so that is only 1 hour of icing.

    So far not many SEs, middle of the night felt a slight acid reflux starting, but took a sip of ice water and was fine.

    Today had a late breakfast of tiny pancake and 1 avocado and a pear. I've been intermittant fasting and lost 10 lbs. already. Mostly eating vegetables and tofu.

    Tummy feeling little sensitive but not bad at all.

    Waiting for the bad nausea & fatigue days to come, but got the drugs ready. Please let me know what meds you guys are taking and when for the SEs.

    Nurse said to take the meds right at the start to keep it at bay.

    Nurse also prescribed "Magic Mouth Wash" since I am prone to mouth sores. My pharmacy is Costco and they are very reasonable.

    Looking forward to the end. Stay strong & positive everyone!


  • hahlyn
    hahlyn Member Posts: 128

    Hey ladies

    Feeling a little better today 1 day after TC. Trying to figure out what I can eat and drink. Seems everything taste sweet. Everything! It's weird. The only thing that taste normal is ice water with lemon. Normally I drink room temperature. I've been trying all day to find food that doesn't taste sweet. I guess I'm going to have to stick to Panera broccoli cheese soup. That worked yesterday.

    Mamacure I also sucked on ice chips during taxotere hoping it wards off mouth sores. I asked my MO for anti nausea meds she is a kind of wait see kind of doc so no nausea meds for me Im scared for the days it shows up.

    Here"s to wishing us all a nice weekend with minimal to no side effects.

  • emotionalpond
    emotionalpond Member Posts: 31

    Hello everyone.

    So my first week of TC and I'm okay. I've had one day of extreme pain which was yesterday Friday I'm guessing from the shot. My mouth get sore and kind of feels funny and dry and fuzzy but other than that I'm okay. I have had a lot of tiredness which I think is normal. I'm also working as well but I've been able to leave early if need be. And now no longer have to take any shots and have two weeks before my next treatment and hopefully I'll feel good for that 2 weeks.

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  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256

    How's everyone doing? Days 3 &4 were very exhausting but still able to drop some stuff off at parents. The lingering nausea is not fun. I had a horrific bout with constipation, nurse said chemo patients can't take enemas or suppositories so I had to drink a bottle of nasty Magnesium Citrate, felt like acid in my stomach. I do not want to go thru that again. Senokot-S did not help but will try taking it it right after treatment or right before. If you ladies have any tips on this, I would be grateful. Prunes & prune juice also did not move things along. Dexamethasone on days 2 & 3 added to the constipation I think. Maybe I'll hold off until I feel like I can't take the nausea anymore before taking it. Feeling much better and finally able to eat (lost 10+ pounds in one week) as I just have a few more days until Taxol. My regiment is Taxol/Carbo/Kitruda - Taxol - Taxol - Taxol x 4. Then AC x 4 every 3 weeks. I feel overwhelmed like Mt. Everest of chemo treatments are ahead of me. I must fight thru it. Hang in there everyone! Please share how you are doing. Thanks for listening.

  • hahlyn
    hahlyn Member Posts: 128

    Hi Mamacure

    I had my treatment TC#1 on 4/8 days 3 and 4 were probably the worse yesterday was a little better and today is as well. Although I am still tired and feel a little spaced out. I'm in southern california and instead of neulasta I have to give myself shots of Zarxio for 5 days that start 2 days after chemo. The shot is what put me over the edge in terms of how I was feeling. Thank God my last one for this cycle is tomorrow! I too have been dealing with constipation I have some stool softeners from my mastectomy surgery I'm going to try those today and if I can drink apple juice I will try that. Right now all drinks with the exception of ice water and lemon taste like syrup and some foods 😫 Hoping to feel better this weekend it's our 16th wedding anniversary.

  • Taralynn
    Taralynn Member Posts: 45

    hi ladies!

    Carpe-diem, I’m being treated in south Jersey but my plastic surgeon is a penn doctor and my former oncologist was until I switched to a smaller practice.

    I had my second round of AC yesterday and woke up feeling good! The day was hard yesterday and I’m getting frustrated with my cold cap. It’s just uncomfortable and I’m considering stopping. It adds 3 hours to my day, and I can’t relax with it on. I sit 6 hours in a tizzy lol. The first round wasn’t bad with it but the 2nd stunk. I’ll give it one more try!

    Side effects have been very minimal for me and hope that continues. I’ve recently started using essential oils and while it may sound silly, when I diffuse Plant Therapy brand Sleep Tight blend at night I sleep great!! I went 2 weeks with crappy horrible sleep from the chemo I assume and this oil just really helps. Never thought I would say that lol

    Planning to rest and hydrate today! Hope everyone is doing well!

  • WC3
    WC3 Member Posts: 658

    Hahlyn:

    I had the same issue as you during chemotherapy with things tasting unpleasantly sweet. I determined that for me, it was actually from the dexamethasone and anti nausea meds. Aloxi seemed to be the worst offender. Zofran to a lesser degree. I discovered that things that were normally too bitter for me tasted fine during chemotherapy and weren't too sweet. For example, as you have discovered, lemon flavored things, but also lime flavored things and certain carbonated beverages.

  • NatureYogi
    NatureYogi Member Posts: 135

    Ladies, for constipation I use natural Cascara Sagrada, Nature's Way brand. Just take one day of chemo or next day, drink plenty of water. Wait a couple days, if no relief, take just one more. It usually does the trick.


  • HopeHeal
    HopeHeal Member Posts: 137

    Hi everyone, nice meeting you all. Thank you for starting this thread Taralynn and it's great you were able to be with your family on Easter.

    I started my chemo toward the beginning of April, which is Doxorubicin & Cytoxen every 2 weeks for 4 rounds, followed by Taxol weekly for 12 rounds. I had one infusion so far and fortunately it has been uneventful except for nausea later on the first day & then the next due to eating some raw vegetables which the nurse later said was not good; Veg should be cooked after chemo as they are too fibrous (I thought the steroids would protect me from that but they didn't :-).) The infusion nurse gave me ice chips to suck on to avoid mouth sores & I had a selection of meds to help with or prevent SE. So, the following days my appetite returned and I was doing well.

    However, now I am having a very painful, sudden, intermittent shooting pain in my lower abdomen which started about 5 days after the infusion. I didn't think much of it because it was only once a day, but not anymore. I have a history of GI issues so I am worried sick, but also wondering if could be something else unrelated, and whether anyone else has experienced shooting/stabbing pains in their abdomen or nearby while on these drugs.

    I wish everyone future smooth infusions.


  • Carpe-Diem
    Carpe-Diem Member Posts: 31

    Good morning ladies -

    I am on Cytoxan and Taxotere (TC) and for me days # 4-8 were just miserable. Then all of a sudden on day #9 I was my old self, and things turned around. Slowly, food started tasting better, and every day, I was a happier person. Weds. is my second treatment day and I am really not looking forward to feeling like crap other than I feel like I know what the journey will be like. I am amazed to read how folks on TC are finding that the TC treatment is affecting their taste buds. For me nothing tasted like anything - sugar or chocolate had no taste; didn't like the taste of citrus and almost everything was tasting flat. The strangest thing ever. I could not even taste bananas or peanut butter.

    Taralynn - I am doing cold cap, but my regiment is different than yours, and somewhat shorter period of time. It definitely adds some additional angst to getting chemo. I did AC & T in 2014, and went completely bald by shaving what was remaining after second dose of AC. Three and a half months later I had hair on my head. So my suggestion is if you are hating the cap, embrace being bald and having zero maintenance with your hair. And, it will grow back. I, also, found AC to be not too bad. I have had more side effects with TC where as the oncologist was saying it is a bit milder treatment but does have more fatigue. I would rather feel like crap for four days and then be fine as opposed to feeling awful for 8 days.

    Wishing you all a good week.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256

    Hi everyone, thanks NatureYogi, I will try that Cascara for constipation and take it day of.

    I had a good weekend, feeling almost normal (some mild stomach aches), good appetite and had some friends visit lifting me up.

    I was very dehydrated from that constipation drink and had to have a big bag of IV fluid with my Taxol last week. Maybe it was that but had almost no side effects with Taxol. Taxol + Cyto weeks are harder and more nauseating. my mood was better too. I am determined to stay positive to get thru this. So good to hear that AC was not so bad for some of you. Because of that constipation dehydration, my white blood cell count was down and so was the blood pressure. Luckily still able to get Taxol and stay on schedule last week (#2).

    My normal white count is fairly low already so worried I have to get shots. I asked about that Neulasta On Pro patch that I can put on my arm, hope my insurance covers it. i don't think I can give myself shots in the stomach.

    I also started using Jason Brand tea tree oil for nails from Amazon.

    Thinking & praying for all of you here, stay positive, we can get through this chemo!

    Please keep us posted on how you all are doing!

  • HopeHeal
    HopeHeal Member Posts: 137

    Mamacure, it's nice to hear you are tolerating the Taxol, as mine starts in May/June. I hope you can get the WBC issue under control. I didn't know hydration was related to WBC, so thanks for that. The Neulasta patch is not so scary, I had it and the nurse put it on my abdomen and it just injected by itself when it was time, then I peeled it off later. It was kind of cute. I had to take a med to counter any bone pain the Neulasta might cause, and so far I have had none.

    Constipation is a major challenge during chemo and can be there at every turn - from the anti-nausea meds, to low-fiber diets imposed on us by GI SE. I contacted my team and the MO suggested my abdominal pains might be from constipation if I was experiencing that and to put a heating pad on it. There was no constipation when the pains were occurring so I self-diagnosed a chemo gut irritation and put myself on a low residue diet. So far my body has responded positively. I learned the hard way that I can't have my regular diet as chemo is apparently hard on the GI tract and things like raw foods are harder to digest. So now I am over-cooking and/or grinding everything.

    CarpeDiem, I hope your taste returns soon. It must be tough not to be able to enjoy your food. Water strangely became unpalatable to me after my first infusion and I had always been a water person. Juice went down much more easily. One thing I can advise is to avoid eating the fruit pineapple; juicing it is o.k. but chewing it increase oral contact and it's enzymes can really irritate our mouths already prone to chemo sores. I had some the other day and my mouth broke out in sores for 2 days! I remedied with organic mouthwashes which really helped.

    We've definitely lost control of our diets and it takes a lot of planning to get some good menus into place, which means more tasks added to our already-busy agendas.

    Mamacure, the video you posted was amazing. Did not know UCSF had integrative onco.

  • mamacure
    mamacure Member Posts: 256

    Thanks HopeHeal, that video really helped me so glad you liked it. Also check out "The C-Word" on Netflix and associated book called Anti Cancer. I went to my accupuncturist today and it felt good. One spot was tender but she said that means it's responding. It's supposed to help with nausea and energy/immune levels. She also did something called mox herb heated near the needles to improve WBC. I will see her every week a few days after my infusion.

    Carpe-Diem, at the beginning I imagined the worst, feeling crappy everyday, but having some good days are a pleasant surprise. Water is starting to taste not as good, so may try sparkling water. Also drinking watered down unsweetened cranberry juice. Everything with ice. Also, tons of green tea.

    Still feeling good today, very thankful. Walking everyday really helps. Thursdays are my infusion days and I rest through the weekend, then work from home Mon - Wed. So far manageable. Only had 2 infusions so far, my mouth is good, no sores or tenderness, nails in check (https://www.amazon.com/JASON-Purifying-Saver-Ounce...), hands are dry so using lots of lotion. Port is almost healed so looking forward to a real shower soon. Stay strong everyone!! Keep us posted on how you all are doing.


  • Flyballmom
    Flyballmom Member Posts: 1

    Hello to the group. I will be starting some treatment April 26th. Doing a clinical trial so I'm starting with a dose of cemiplimab. 3 weeks then another dose and starting 12 doses of taxol then AC for 4 doses. Got my port placed last Friday and doing good with that so far. I go this Friday to meet with the nurse and get my chemo training. I guess I'll learn about this icing of feet?? Gotta read about that. Anxious to just get started.