Come join others currently navigating treatment in our weekly Zoom Meetup! Register here: Tuesdays, 1pm ET.
Fill Out Your Profile to share more about you. Learn more...
Webinar: Corrective Breast Reconstruction: Getting the Results You Want Join us July 9, 2024 at 6pm ET. Register here.

Starting chemo June 2021

Options
loverofjesus
loverofjesus Member Posts: 174

Hi everyone. I will begin AC in about two weeks. Just wondering is there anyone else beginning chemo this month? I’m scared and don’t know a lot. I have talked with some of my friends that have had it and they have given some helpful advice. I will be doing chemo before surgery.

If anyone has advice or thoughts on good ways to keep life “normal” during chemo I would love to hear it.

Love you all on here.

«13456711

Comments

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Hi LoverofJesus - I just had my first treatment today (TC). Home now and feeling tired but that’s all far. I think the worst part was the IV (ouchy!). My nurse today said by day 3 I would feel the worse then start to feel better and it’s important to live our normal lives between treatments. I am following all the instructions I was given to the T - since they are the experts!

    Try not to be too scared, put your trust in God he is taking care of you!

    Hugs!!!

  • aram
    aram Member Posts: 320
    edited June 2021
    Options

    LoverOfJesus,

    Everyone is different but there was no way I could have had normal life on AC. I think having such expectation might upset you when the reality is different. There is a thread here on BCO called AC treatment, and that one helped me a lot to know what to expect. In my 3 weeks cycle, I was mostly back to normal and back to work after day 7 or 8. Before that, it was not a normal day by any means and I was in bed or on the sofa for most of the day.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,176
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Chiming in to let you know that TOMORROW is our Zoom virtual meet-up for people going through chemotherapy (caregivers welcome)

    Tuesdays 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Register in advance for this meeting

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

    Hope to see you there!

  • loverofjesus
    loverofjesus Member Posts: 174
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Hi guys. I have a question. What should I expect with my port?

    Specifically: 1. How long does it take to heal?

    2. Is it very noticeable once it is healed? I mean I know you can see the bump but is it obvious?

    3. Is it painful?

    4. How soon after it’s put in can you bathe and stuff??

  • txlorelei
    txlorelei Member Posts: 68
    edited June 2021
    Options

    My port is near my bra strap and entirely covered by my clothes but the bump is pretty small. The scar from the insertion is about 2 inches long and still pretty red 6 weeks later.

    It took about 7-10 days for the surgical glue to come off and then I used the same antibiotic cream as I was using on my mastectomy incision to be on the safe side. I think I showered after 4-5 days.

  • btwnstars
    btwnstars Member Posts: 81
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Looks like I will be joining you here, even tho right now I am scheduled to start June 30th. I'm not sure if I am going to keep that day. I will get port installed in 2 weeks. LoverofJesus, I hope it went well for you.

    A question for anyone, how did you go about choosing which day of the week? and were you working? I am going to see how it goes, but right now I picked Wednesday figuring I could take off Wed thru Fri, then maybe be able to work (from home right now) the off week. If it's too much I will just take time off or get disability.

    I am doing AC+T, four treatments each, dose dense, so 16 weeks total. I have a list a mile long of things I want to do/get before, the threads and tips here have been amazing.

    Carlsoda - here we are again! I hope you did well with your treatment.

    I am really not crazy about all of the supporting meds, esp steroids, but I am just going to take everything as directed and hope I can recover on the back end of this. Are there any complementary therapies anyone has done along with chemo? acupuncture? Or if you've done anything like that is it better to do things during, on the off week or just after its over?

    Appreciate any advice.

  • txlorelei
    txlorelei Member Posts: 68
    edited June 2021
    Options

    When the infusion clinic called me to set up the schedule, they offered me Fridays right off the bat and I accepted.

    I am working full time but mostly from home. With the Taxol I feel the worst the day after (Saturday). We’ll see how I handle the AC side effects when I get there.

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Oh no Btwnstars - so sorry to see you over here!

    I picked Thursday as I figured I would feel fine on Friday and then have the weekend to recover. My first infusion was rough but after talking to the nurse practitioner - I have plans for the 2nd one later in June. The Taxotere gave me such bad body pains from the back of my skull down to my ankles. This time lots of Advil!! And since I just had my first infusion last week here is some advice for any newbie:

    Start taking stool softeners the day before and have miralax on hand to start when you get home. The constipation is real!

    Keep up on anti nausea meds for a few days then start seeing how you are doing. I was off them by Monday but Wednesday I needed one dose to get over some nausea. Eat lots of small meals through the day. For me the following has been feeling good on my tummy: pretzels, soda crackers, soup, yogurt, rice, chicken (all those “sick” foods our moms gave us when we were kids). They do want us to eat lots of protein - so do the best you can!

    Heart burn has also been bad - but the smaller more frequent meals is helping.

    Water water water. Before, day of and continue after - just drink drink drink. I felt so bloated a few days after chemo but then suddenly it all released and I kept having to go to the bathroom!!

    Rinsing your mouth: I use biotine twice a day (morning and night) and I have a water bottle filled with baking soda and salt water sitting in the bathroom. Every time you go pee, swish as well.

    Buy some candies to suck on for dry mouth. I haven’t found any sugar free options I am happy with as I don’t like artificial sweeteners, but hopefully with the swishing I won’t develop any cavities 😂

    Rest!! I just don’t have the energy to get in my 10,000 steps per day but it is what it is. I at least try to move around as much as I can.

    I also haven’t noticed a metallic taste in my mouth like some people but quite a few of the foods I love just don’t sound good - like coffee. However weak black tea with a little cream and sugar does go down well. At least I can get a little caffeine in me!

    Everyone is so different but I think knowledge is the key to getting through it.

    Does anyone else have any tips to add? My nurse practitioner said the first infusion is the toughest since you don’t know what to expect. She said my next one will be better. Hope she wasn’t bending the truth!

  • suhaja
    suhaja Member Posts: 2
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Hello everyone,

    I too am starting adjuvant chemo (TCHP) at the end of June (probably the 29th), 6 treatments over 18 weeks, so I wanted to jump in here and say hello to everyone. I'm having a port put in the week before on June 23rd. Everything is moving so fast, with so many appointments and tests and trying to work, etc, etc. I am overwhelmed and scared by the thought of chemo, but the waiting and anticipation is so stressful that I just want to get it started. I'm trying to stay in the present and not overthink everything, but that is a challenge. I'm finding the posts in this forum very comforting and helpful, so thank you. I suppose taking this one day at a time is the way to go, right?

    Hugs and blessings.

  • mainejen
    mainejen Member Posts: 148
    edited June 2021
    Options

    hi suhaja, I had my second infusion on Friday and the best advice anyone has given me is “one hour/one minute at a time.” It’s a rough process and each day is different. I was super energetic and healthy before this diagnosis and process so after the first infusion I was in shock due to lack of energy and feeling so sick. Allow yourself to be where you are, take meds to help with side effects and just go step by step. Thinking of it as a giant process is too daunting for me. Getting through this exact moment is all I can do and I keep managing to do it, so that’s the victory. Anyway that’s the best I’ve got. 🌺🙏

  • suhaja
    suhaja Member Posts: 2
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Thank you, MaineJen. One hour/one minute: That makes perfect sense.

    Hang in there. I'll be thinking of you.

  • btwnstars
    btwnstars Member Posts: 81
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Carlsoda - thanks for sharing… I think every little bit of info helps and makes it all less intimidating.

    Suhaja - I feel same on pace… I have to do an echo cardiogram, get blood taken, follow up with PS, pre-admission testing for port, then port. Trying to keep all that straight & just picked up my meds from pharmacy. Holy bottles! And try to work and prepare. It is a lot.

    MaineJen - I think that is my biggest fear, trying to prepare for my lack of energy… I’m not really concerned about pain or nausea or anything, more about how I will feel knowing I just have to rest. It was already hard after surgery.

    Yes, one minute at a time sometimes

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 155
    edited June 2021
    Options

    hi ladies. I'm joining you. My first infusion will be June 28th. 4 rounds 3 weeks apart of taxotere and cytoxan. I'm feeling tired and sad. I hate putting my kids through this. But some of you may know my sister was diagnosed about 6 months before me with late stage ovarian cancer. She's been chemo since late fall. So I feel a tiny bit prepared for chemo only because I've been with her for several of her cycles. And she has lots of advice and support to offer

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,176
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Hug TODAY: Zoom virtual meet-up for people going through chemotherapy (caregivers welcome)

    Tuesdays 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

    Register in advance for this meeting

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • mle42
    mle42 Member Posts: 124
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Hi all, for better or worse, I'm joining this club, starting the AC portion of AC-T therapy this Friday. I am a planner by nature, and have found the forums on this site to be enormously helpful in getting prepared - both mentally and stocking up on supplies! The closer my chemo date gets, the more anxious I feel. At the same time..... I can't wait to start poisoning this traitorous lump of flesh. So sorry that you all are here, but am glad to not be alone...

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,176
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Welcome, mle42-

    We're so sorry you find yourself here, but we hope you find this to be a supportive and encouraging place! You are definitely not alone.

    The Mods

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Well, hair started falling out exactly 2 weeks from first infusion. Felt like I lost 1/4 of my hair yesterday so went and got a pixie cut. Looks so weird - reminds me of my brother 🤣 at least I won’t have handfuls of long hair in my hands!

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 155
    edited June 2021
    Options

    carlsoda, wow. I’ll be starting chemo soon. I already had sort of short hair but I got mine cut shorter last night in preparation for it falling out. What a strange journey this has all bee

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Agree, strange journey indeed. I just keep focusing on the fact that the chemo is working. Go get those stupid little cancer cells!!

  • hangryflower
    hangryflower Member Posts: 12
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Unfortunately/fortunate to join this group. Just had my first infusion on June 15, and realizing I am in denial about side effects that are creeping up.

    I am not great about prioritizing myself, so this entire journey will be a learning experience.


    looking forward to getting to the other side of this process with you all.

  • loverofjesus
    loverofjesus Member Posts: 174
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Hi Hangry,

    So sorry you find yourself here too. I have decided I’m going to do the very best I can to keep “normal” whatever that is. I had my first treatment of AC on June 16. I was good till that Friday night then I was really tired for a couple of days. But today was much much better.

    I hate this and like you I just want to be on the other side of this whole and healthy.

    I will be praying for you for minimal se.


  • Dicon
    Dicon Member Posts: 32
    edited June 2021
    Options

    I'm 74, third time with BC. First two were lumpectomies then radiation once, this time Mastectomy in May, port implant in June, then Chemo last Friday. Infusion went smoothly on Friday. Saturday and Sunday felt a little tired. No nausea with the medication working. Drank two liters of water/electrolytes and walked 2 miles at 5am cause it's 117 in Arizona. Ate 3 small meals. Not so bad at 2 days post AC #1.

    Today day3, Monday,, it's coming on. Dizzy, brain fog, face swollen maybe from steroids, eyes dried out and mouth very dry. Could not do my 2mi walk, maybe tomorrow.


    I'm older than most of members here so have a lot more I'm balancing but I was a runner for years so I can push through physical challenges. I have osteoporosis, aneurism, meningioma, microscopic colitis, chronic insomnia,hiatal hernia, pinched nerve in my spine, high glucose, atrial fibrillation and more but so far the chemo doesn't feel as bad as many of my younger years hangovers!. We will see what tomorrow brings.

    This forum has helped me a lot. Got the wig and list of goodies. Had I done the radiation after the second lumpectomy instead of opting out, I might not have gotten this a third time or might not have gotten to stage 3.. I also dropped the tomoxifin after 5 years….. should have stayed on it. No chemo.

    I had 4 mammograms that never showed the cancer.. I tell my friends to be sure to get ultrasound if you have dense breasts.

    I'm optimistic, despite all my issues, I think I will be fine. What makes me feel good for an hour is a brisk 2mi walk with my headphones tuned to rocking 70's or 80's. I hope I can do it tomorrow.



  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Hi Hangry - fellow Minnesotan! I can totally understand - it does get real fast sadly. Even prepping it doesn’t quite feel real until you arrive for your infusion. Hope your first one wasn’t too bad!


    Hi Dicon - there are no what if’s with cancer. This is my second time around and I did everything right the first time - still came back. But we need to keep moving forward even if it is chemo 🤔 Glad you have been able to get out and get some miles in. I have been tired and hungry all the time for the last two weeks (once I got over the nausea) I hope this doesn’t keeps up as I will be gaining weight and then I will be in trouble with my oncologist! 😂

    Hope everyone is doing okay - my hair is falling out all over the place. Glad I got it cut short

  • barbojoy
    barbojoy Member Posts: 47
    edited June 2021
    Options

    thanks for sharing @carlsod - I’m just following along and this will be helpful.

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 155
    edited June 2021
    Options

    hi ladies! Thanks to everyone who shares their stories here. I read them all! Wishing everyone well!

    Is anyone NOT getting a port. My dr doesn’t think I need one and I hope he’s right!

  • Dicon
    Dicon Member Posts: 32
    edited June 2021
    Options

    you are right it might have come back anyway. recurrence is an odds thing according my Onc. For stage 3 cure with receptors she says 10% for surgery and radiation, 20% for chemo, another 10% for hormone blockers. Estimate is 40-50% for all. I thought surgery and radiation would be more than 10% but maybe advanced stage skews the numbers.

    I did walk 2.4 mi at 5am, very slowly, however. Helps manage the stress. I guess I'll be losing the hair soon too, maybe just let the local barber chop away

    Hang in there, we will get through it!

  • mle42
    mle42 Member Posts: 124
    edited June 2021
    Options

    hi all, 4 days after my first AC treatment, and…… yeah, this sucks. Very thankful that the meds have successfully kept nausea under control, and I am not experiencing bone pain from neulasta, but I’m have never been this tired in my life. I’m 40 and active - I never just sit. Always doing something with my hands. The past few days I haven’t even had the desire to pick up my knitting, which is usually my constant companion! I figured I would be a champ at walking every day. Nope. Doesn’t help that it’s been in the 90s. Hoping I turn the corner on this cycle soon, because I can dreading four straight months of this.

  • loverofjesus
    loverofjesus Member Posts: 174
    edited June 2021
    Options

    mle42. I’m sorry you’re going through this. But let me tell you what helped me.

    I. I had infusion on Wednesday by satI had steroids let down so bad I was exhausted. So here is what I did.

    A. Upped lemon water intake by like a lot!!!! Went for a short low key walk just to move I think I might have walked 15 minutes with my hubby

    B. Took an epsom salt bath to detox for about 25min with 2 1/2 cups of epsom salt.
    c. Found a safe diuretic, and took it one night to help flush my body.
    by Saturday i felt better and I slept all night

    Sunday I was completely back to normal energy. No residual effects at all. It might not work for everyone cause I know everyone is different. But this all made me feel like a new person.

    I was shocked that it all worked. But it won’t hurt to try it.
    Hope you feel better soon

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Monarch - I don’t have a port. First one was no problem at all - she easily found a good vein!

  • Dicon
    Dicon Member Posts: 32
    edited June 2021
    Options

    Mle42……Yeah, the fatigue makes us feel helpless, very frustrating. Last night I could not sleep at all, just gave myself permission to rest after my walk this am. I’m told we will feel better in a few days with the fluids, protein etc. I like the salt bath suggestion. I didn’t realize that there would be a steriod letdown, I think I’m experiencing that.