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Starting chemo June 2021

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  • btwnstars
    btwnstars Member Posts: 81
    edited July 2021
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    LoverofJesus sending hugs on hair! Remember it’s temporary! This too shall pass. And I will b with you in another 2 weeks.

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 166
    edited July 2021
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    I'm counting chemo day as day1. I'm having heartburn. Talked to a cancer survivor who recommended alkaseltzer gold. Haven't actually found it at a store yet. But wanted to pass it on in case anyone else is strugg

  • btwnstars
    btwnstars Member Posts: 81
    edited July 2021
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    Monarch, did doctors prescribe you something for heartburn? I am on omeprazole (which is like prilosec) to take daily throughout treatment. Have to take it on empty stomach in morning before anything else. I actually started it a couple days before treatment. Ask your docs

  • alwaysmec
    alwaysmec Member Posts: 107
    edited July 2021
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    Visiting from the May 2021 group. I have episodes of bad silent reflux (GERD) prior to chemo. Since chemo has started I notice it's the steroids triggering it, so I'll take omeprazole (generic Prilosec) from the first day of a chemo session to about day 6 or 7 when it starts to be more manageable.

    I used to work closely with pharmacists at a pharmaceuticsl benefits company. If you take OTC proton pump inhibitors for too long, it can affect bone density, so I keep it to short periods as needed. It's best to control acid reflux with dietary changes and changes in habits. Chemo would be the exception though. I would take as needed for as long as you need since hopefully treatment is only a few months.. Be mindful that the body can also become reliant on things like alkaseltzer. Sometimes it starts to need it and then overproduces acids when you come off it.

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 166
    edited July 2021
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    AlwaysMeC- thanks for the response. I’ll be sure to mention it at my next appointment. I had chemo a week ago and my diet was all over the place which I’m sure wasn’t helping.

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited July 2021
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    AlwaysMeC - thank you also! I was having the worst heartburn ever that first week after chemo. Tums was not helping at all any even easy to digest foods was sparking it. I will ask the nurse if it’s ok to take it the first week.

    I hope you are doing well!


  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 166
    edited July 2021
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    anyone have a rash? I have a slight rash on my upper chest/collarbone area. It’s not itchy. Not sure if maybe I wasn’t careful in the sun.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
    edited July 2021
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    Just FYI: 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 July 2021
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    Hi Monarch, is your rash around where your port is? If so, it might be a reaction to the antiseptic they use before accessing the port. I developed a sensitivity to chlorhexidine - I was fine the first couple times they used it, then started getting a red, mildly itchy rash. Now they use iodine instead, and also use hypoallergenic bandages instead of the regular ones, and no more rash.

  • btwnstars
    btwnstars Member Posts: 81
    edited July 2021
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    AlwaysMeC - thanks for the info - yes I am not crazy about taking something like that long-term. I am going to ask if I can even stop for the couple days in between treatment cycles.

    Monarch - no rash, but my port area skin is very dry and cracking.

    Hope everyone is hanging in. I am having a hard time coming out of the extra meds side effects. Just feeling woozy, somewhat headache, but slowly improving. I am feeling like trying to reclaim normalcy in between is harder than the actual treatment itself. I am trying to figure out if this has anything to do with coffee, which I avoided during treatment and only have tried a half of cup. It seems to be helping, so could just be that. Thankful to be 1 treatment down and counting the days to October...

  • SRL
    SRL Member Posts: 6
    edited July 2021
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    Hope everyone is doing well. Went in for my 2nd AC treatment, so far so good. The medication for heartburn is making life much better

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited July 2021
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    Good news SRL - glad it is going well! I bought some Prilosec for my infusion next week. I think it will help me out tremendously too!

    Hope everyone is feeling well and has a good weekend!!

  • kotchaj
    kotchaj Member Posts: 214
    edited July 2021
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    Hello! I just had my first AC infusion this past Tuesday. Felt okay the day of infusion, it was around 1 when I had it that day. I didn't sleep much that night due to the steroids given. But I expected that due to how I've reacted to steroids in the past. The next day, day two, I felt off all day. I ended up with my face flushing in the afternoon and a pretty big headache which was decided it was due to the steroids. The second day, I came into work for a half hour, picked up my laptop and went back home. Slept for 3.5 hours, started alternating my two anti nausea meds as it was pretty bad along with a huge headache. Today, I got up, was just a bit queasy, but took my meds and my stomach has now pretty much settled, yay! We have a potluck at work this afternoon which I don't think I can handle, so I'll be staying in my office, while others attend.

    I had a hair appointment last night and had about 5 inches cut off my hair. I have another appointment in two weeks to get my head shaved. I've got my wig ready. I've decided to go completely different with my chemo hair. I've gone long and it is my old natural color before I turned grey. I've spent the last two years growing out my grey and stopped coloring it.

    I feel that now I've made it through the first treatment, that I can be better prepared for the next one. It's hard not knowing how your body is going to react to it. I feel like I'm a living science experiment that I'm watching. Strange I know, but it helps me get through it.

  • mle42
    mle42 Member Posts: 124
    edited July 2021
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    welcome KotchAJ! I know exactly what you mean, feeling more prepared after experiencing the first treatment. For me, knowing that I REALLY would have good days in between treatments has made all the difference.

    Question for any pre-menopausal ladies - anybody’s cycles stop on AC? How soon? Based on doctors comments I was prepared for the chemo to shut down my periods (which, yay, one less thing to deal with), but woke up this morning with those familiar cramps. Sigh. I’m one week past cycle two treatment right now.

  • Dicon
    Dicon Member Posts: 32
    edited July 2021
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    Worst side effect for me on second infusion of AC was Tachycardia! Heart racing in the morning. It’s normal for your resting heart rate to increase on chemo so Onc wasn’t concerned with that. When I was first diagnosed with BC for the third time I had a panic attack and ended up in ER with tachycardia. Cardiologist put me on beta blockers and said even at 74, my heart is strong just have irregular heart beat called Afib. Then all was well until the second infusion. 5 days later my heart was pounding wildly. After googling Chemo and Tachycardia found a lot of healthy people can have this. Fortunately a prescription for beta blockers will normalize your pulse. I wear a Fitbit and I-watch that monitor my resting heart rate so I see the resting heart rate move up after infusion and then back down, day by day nearly to normal 67 at the end of the second week. Fortunately my cardiologist was familiar with what chemo does to hearts and just increased my dose. It’s something to watch

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 166
    edited July 2021
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    hope everyone is well and enjoying the weekend!

    I just got back from a mini camping trip. I was so glad to be feeling well enough to go. It will be two weeks on Monday since my first infusion. The rash I had was around my collarbone. I don’t have a port. It’s clearing up but I will mention it at my next appointment. My hair has started falling out. Not in big clumps. I wonder how long it will take.

    I’m curious about all the premenopausal women and periods. I’m due for my period in about a week which is right around my next infusion which doesn’t sound fun.

  • SRL
    SRL Member Posts: 6
    edited July 2021
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    Day 17 and my hair is coming out in big clumps.

  • Dicon
    Dicon Member Posts: 32
    edited July 2021
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    I tried Pepto Bismol which helped briefly, Prilosec which has to accumulate over time and gave me diarrhea, can’t use Zantac anymore due to carcinogenic reputation, can’t usePrevacid due to heart palpitation side effects to those with that vulnerability. Finally found one box of Tagamet and one pill before dinner did it for me. Now I can sleep without pain.

    Hope you find one that works for you!

  • Dicon
    Dicon Member Posts: 32
    edited July 2021
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    SRL..

    Me too….16th day and my couch now has more me hair than cat hair

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited July 2021
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    Dicon - didn’t know Prilosec needs to accumulate over time so maybe I should start it a couple of days before chemo? I have my 3rd infusion this Thursday.

    My hair started falling out 14 days after 1st infusion so I went and got it cut. Most is gone now but looks like I might be keeping some? We shall see. I lost a little bit of my eyebrows so far but most still there and still have my eye lashes. BUT I don’t have to shave legs or arm pits anymore!!!

    For the weird feeling on your scalp with the hair falling out - use coconut oil and massage in. It does help. Advice from my oncologist. Get organic - we don’t need anymore toxins in our bodies!

  • monarchandthemilkweed
    monarchandthemilkweed Member Posts: 166
    edited July 2021
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    what’s everyone doing with their hair? Wearing a wig? Caps/hats? Not wearing anything on your head? How does it feel whatever you chose?

    I’m feeling very uncomfortable about losing my hair.

  • Carlsoda
    Carlsoda Member Posts: 120
    edited July 2021
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    Monarch - mostly I wear hats, chemo caps I order off Amazon and scarves. I like scarves the best. I have a wig for when I am out and about. Wig can get hot so bring a hat with you if you want to ditch it!

  • loverofjesus
    loverofjesus Member Posts: 174
    edited July 2021
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    monarch- I have chosen to wear a wig. I picked out two before I started losing hair so that it would be close to my hair color and style. I also have one ordered that is a real hair wig that I can curl and style.

    I just cannot Go bald. That is just me. I have a whole new respect for the ones who can. I have some hair still left but not much at all. Just cannot shave it yet. Can’t bring myself to.

    I love my wigs and they are a little itchy sometimes. But other than that they have not bothered me. I take them off at night of course.

    Like I said it’s just me but I choose a wig.

    I feel like the more normal I can look the more normal I will feel. And I believe attitude helps you heal.

    Hugs to you at whatever you choose. Because everyone is different.

  • hangryflower
    hangryflower Member Posts: 12
    edited July 2021
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    Hello everyone, I took some time away from the boards leading up to my 2nd infusion. I felt like the old me and it was nice.

    I just had my second infusion on Wednesday, so I'm back to the tiredness and nausea. Like others have said, it's nice knowing it's not always like this, but still no fun. This go around I'm vowing to keep up with any and all remedies to my side effects. Hopefully it will help!

    I am also premenopausal and had my first infusion on the first day of my period. All in all it wasn't bad-- the things you do after chemo (rest, hydrate, take Advil) sort of track with your period.

    Hope everyone has a great week!


  • btwnstars
    btwnstars Member Posts: 81
    edited July 2021
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    Hi all - finally feeling pretty good and gearing up for 2nd infusion this coming Thursday. I can tell I am having a little anxiety about it now, since I know what to expect. Which given some of what I read, I think I did relatively ok, so I need to chill out!

    Monarch - I ended up getting a rash, like 8 days after chemo. It was just spotty red dots around chest area and a little down my back. I barely noticed it at first and it seemed more prominent when getting out of shower, so could be a bit heat related or something too. Not bothering me.

    Carlsoda - yes I think you are supposed to take the heartburn med more regularly. I was having too much of a headache, so I stopped for a few days in between but will start up again a couple days before.

    I have wigs on order. My Mom cut my hair even shorter the other day. Still no significant hair loss, but I am preparing myself. I will probably just wear caps/scarves around the house if my head is cold and use wigs for going out. I just don't want to draw attention to my head! It's been so darn hot and humid here tho, so maybe it will feel good?!

    I have appt with occupational therapy tomorrow to see if I am having mild lymphedema. It seems to be exacerbated by heat/walking/exercise. So hopefully addressing early will help.

    I am also wondering about period....Mine is due like a few days after 2nd infusion, so I will report back with any findings!

    We got this ladies...

  • loverofjesus
    loverofjesus Member Posts: 174
    edited July 2021
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    Hi everyone!! I hope and pray everyone is doing well!

    I have my 3rd infusion tomorrow. I pray I do as well as I have been. My biggest thing is just being really tired on about the 3rd thru rhe 4th day. But other than that I’m doing well. The chemo has already softened my breast so much that I can’t even feel a tumor anymore.

    My hair is all but gone. Which is still very emotional for me. I know I need to shave it but I keep putting it off.

    So far my micro bladed eyebrows are doing great and I’m using latisse on my eyelashes and they are still there. I never had thick ones anyway.

    I am wearing wigs mostly during the day and at night I put on a scarf.and I sleep mostly with nothing. (Which I’m still uncomfortable with having bald spots in front of my hibby. Even though I know he loves me with or without hair.it’s still hard for me)

    Praying you all have a good week!


  • Paki
    Paki Member Posts: 5
    edited July 2021
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    Hello, everyone!

    Continuing on the hair loss topic... It has started for me on day 16 of the 1st chemo treatment. When I brushed, I could see them falling like rain onto the bathroom counter. When washing hair, I got a handful when lathering. It's still quite shocking, even though I thought I had mentally prepared myself for hair loss. 😨

    Questions - from earlier posting, I see people mentioning they are going to shave their head once hair loss starts. Just curious, wouldn't all hair just fall out naturally? So why shaving? Wouldn't that have any risk of getting a nick on the scalp? (my impression was that we should avoid any wounds if possible to prevent infection, as our immune system would be pretty weak during chemo)

    I've decided on opting out of getting a wig, and just wear soft comfy hats. I've started wearing slouchy chemo caps to keep fallen hair contained in the cap, so they don't scatter all over my pillow and couch, or into food. Then use a lint/pet hair roller to remove them from the caps. It's working okay so far.

    I'm going to my 2nd treatment tomorrow. Talk to you all later. Have a great week, ladies! 🍀💗🤞


  • hangryflower
    hangryflower Member Posts: 12
    edited July 2021
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    Hi Paki,

    I can answer ... I had dark, long and curly and was losing hair in clumps versus all at once. (Even now, with my had buzzed close, I'm losing small spikes of hair all over the place.) I felt I looked more sickly with my scalp showing through my long tendrils versus closely shaved.

    I also wanted to control how I went bald. I mentioned before that my husband shaved my head with my kids on the porch- I tried to make it light hearted even though I was so sad and scared. My son got his hair cut at the same 😂

    Just like everything else it all comes down to personal preference.

  • GermanshepherdsR4me
    GermanshepherdsR4me Member Posts: 9
    edited July 2021
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    Hello,

    I started Chemo on 6/22. I originally started with Taxol, (which I was highly allergic to) along with Herceptin and Perjeta. Since I was allergic they changed me to Abraxane and kept with the Herceptin and Perjeta. Is anyone I this group taking these same drugs?



  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
    edited July 2021
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    Just FYI: 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.