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Starting Chemo August 2021

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alynnmac
alynnmac Member Posts: 8

**** Reposted ***

Hello All. I am very glad to have found this website, even though no one really wants to be here…. I was diagnosed at the beginning of June and had a lumpectomy on June 29. My MO submitted for the Oncotype test and I had my follow up appointment today. My score was 46, so I am scheduled to start with my 1st infusion on Thursday,. Aug. 12.

I will have the Cytoxan / Taxotere combo. 4 infusions over 9 weeks. I have my training class on Mon. Aug. 9, and I have no real idea of what to expect. I have read quite a few of the threads regarding this combo and they have been very informative. I have also read the "stickies" at the start of this section.

I guess I just wanted to check in and say hello and that I'm a little afraid of the unknown. Okay, maybe a bit more than a little afraid. And also tosay Thank You All who have come before and have taken the time to share your experiences with those just starting down this path.


Always,

AlynnMac Lynn)

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Comments

  • ab45
    ab45 Member Posts: 153
    edited August 2021
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    Hi

    Sorry you are here but covered in support! I started chemo in Feb and ended this past May..Scared of the unknown for me as well but here are some tips. Stay hydrated at least 64oz of water a day..try to eat a little something before your infusion. I would get some bioten for mouthwash...ur passages may get dry...if you get mouth ulcers...baking soda and water after each infusion may help...try to walk daily if you can...it helps...best of luck..just remember this too shall pass

    YOU GOT THIS WARRIOR

  • pudelpointer
    pudelpointer Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2021
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    Hello!

    I start chemo on Monday. I will be doing 4 cycles of Adriamycin + Cytoxan, followed by 4 cycles of Taxol. This will be over 16 weeks. Hoping to finish by Thanksgiving!

    I have a chemo class today, hopefully I will get some info to help with the side effects of everything. It is a different chemo than anyone else I know has had, so hoping to learn about it more.

    I am nervous, but looking forward to getting things started and moving forward.



  • alynnmac
    alynnmac Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2021
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    AB45: Thank you for your encouraging words! And some great advice. 🙂

    pudelpointer- Good Luck on Monday, I will keep you in my thoughts! How did your chemo class go today?

  • BettyMorgan
    BettyMorgan Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2021
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    Hi,

    I am happy (I think) to see this board.

    I am going to start AC on 8/19 for 4 cycles (every other week) then 12 weeks of Taxol weekly.

    I am nervous but excited to get this started.


  • pudelpointer
    pudelpointer Member Posts: 20
    edited August 2021
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    AlynnMac:. Chemo class went great! I feel a bit better going into it and was able to get a lot of my concerns eased a bit. I know what is ahead of me isn't easy, bit I also know it isn't impossible yet.

    I hope everyone is having a good weekend and your classes coming up are informative!

  • BettyMorgan
    BettyMorgan Member Posts: 7
    edited August 2021
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    May I ask, what is a chemo class

  • alynnmac
    alynnmac Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2021
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    Betty Morgan: a chemo class is kind of like an orientation, where they sit with you and go over all of the ins and outs of your chemo treatment. I had mine today and my PA answered a lot of my questions, as well as giving me a folder with all of the information discussed, In written form. It was a good meeting, and like pudelpoint, it made me not quite as nervous about my treatment that is coming.

    I will pick up my prescription s tomorrow, as well as Claritin. I already have the bioten mouthwash. My wife ordered a large tye die blplnaket for me for treatment days. Guess I'm as ready as I will ever be.

    I will update here as I go along. 1st treatment on this Thursday.

  • alynnmac
    alynnmac Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2021
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    pudelpoint: I hope you a feeling ok today after your first treatment.


  • alynnmac
    alynnmac Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2021
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    Do we have any other August Chemo sisters who would like to join in?

    :-)

  • Jbos
    Jbos Member Posts: 1
    edited August 2021
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    I just got my plan yesterday. Trying to wrap my head around everything. I’ll be doing AC for 4 rounds, every 14days. Then, I’ll be on Taxol weekly for 12 weeks. I’m still trying to decide if I should try cold capping or just go the wig route. There’s so much to process and think about.

    Anybody doing cold capping? My other idea is to find a wig I like and get my hair cut close to that. Then, I can switch to the wig without much difference.

    I’ll take my chemo class next week, so I’ll know more about my specific plan. It’s nice, though, to have this forum.

  • ninetwelve
    ninetwelve Member Posts: 328
    edited August 2021
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    Starting Taxol later this month. Despite my years with cancer, it will be my first IV chemo.

  • Meisum
    Meisum Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2021
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    Hi all - I'm scheduled to start chemo 8/19. 4 rounds of Cytoxan and Taxotere. It's a little iffy at this point because I still have some wound healing issues - basically a hole at the T of the mastectomy incisions that refuses to heal up. Docs want to push ahead with chemo anyway because my surgery was June 18 and chemo was already delayed due to a hematoma, then an infected tissue expander, then a second surgery to remove the expander and they don't want to delay any more. But the area around the wound is looking red, so maybe it is infected and that might make a difference. I'm seeing the doctor later today

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,081
    edited August 2021
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    Meisum, welcome to Breastcancer.org! We're sorry for what you're here, but glad you found us. We hope that you find the support and information that you came here for. Good luck today, and please, come back to let us know what the doctor says. We're looking forward to hearing more from you soon!

    Sincerely,

    The Mods

  • mindthief
    mindthief Member Posts: 62
    edited August 2021
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    Hi everyone, I've been lurking for a few weeks since my diagnosis and thought it was time to jump in. I had a succesful lumpectomy on July 14 and will meet with my oncologist for the first time on Tuesday to discuss chemo and hopefully get started soon. My pathology report has some pretty aggressive features, so I'm expecting to do a full course of AC + T but we'll see what she recommends.

    AlynnMac, good luck today! I hope everything goes smoothly.

  • alynnmac
    alynnmac Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2021
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    Well, it has been a long, tiring day, but overall, it wasn't too bad. My biggest complaints (all pretty minor, in my opinion) so far: I'm pretty tired/sleepy. I think that stems from not sleeping very well last night due to nerves, and sitting all day in the chemo chair without moving around much. My taste seems "off", or diminished. Not totally gone and not a metallic taste. And the Taxotere seems to have irritated the vein and is a little tender, but not bad at all.

    I hope that you all that are staring soon don't have any major side effects. I'm onguard for what the next several days bring, and will keep this thread updated with my experience, as I am able.

    Hang Tough!

  • Meisum
    Meisum Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2021
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    AlynnMac: so glad to hear things went more or less smoothly. I hope that continues!

    My doctor gave the go ahead for me to start TC in a week as planned. I’m nervous!

  • alynnmac
    alynnmac Member Posts: 8
    edited August 2021
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    Meisum:

    Good luck next week, as well!

    I didn't feel any worse this morning, so I went to work. I'm still about the same, and able to try to be productive. I will go home early, in time for the Neulasta OnPro to kick off, then sleep and rest over the weekend. I have heard that the heavier side effects can start to kick in on days 3-5 after, so I am trying to be be as prepared as I can. Not a real fan of the “unknown"!

    Best of luck to you, and keep us updated on how things go for you, please!

  • K-Gobby
    K-Gobby Member Posts: 144
    edited August 2021
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    Hi all. My first infusion is today. I had thought i was starting out with 4 infusions over 12 weeks of Taxol. Surprise, as 2 days ago I was told through a genetic test of 56 genes I volunteered for with a Lab brought to me by the COH, that I carry the BRCA2 gene. I will now be getting 12 infusions in 12 weeks of Taxol and Carboplatin. Wow, in 2 days all changed. I will be meeting next week with my surgical Oncologist to talk again about my mastectomy. Now though, we have added the gynecologist as I will need at least my ovaries out. With the fact I never had kids, I period ended 20 years ago, I believe letting those go will bring me to tears, but not devistation. They were not used as intended. So today, it is the infusion only to focus on.

    One other thing, in my original plan, I was supposed to get neulasta, but it was the only decline so far from my insurance company. The health fellow said i did not need it. So, the doctor said there are injections she can use if my white cell count drops a lot.

    I get my hair cut Monday morning. To a short dew after long hair of 40 years. I too want a short wig or two. I was going to try the cold cap, but new as i got close to today I would decide. With my 12 infusions, not likely 12 cold caps would be worth it.

  • jullyn
    jullyn Member Posts: 40
    edited August 2021
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    Hello -- I wish someone would pinch me and wake me up from my nightmare. Not going to happen so here goes. Met with my oncologist Friday and we will be starting chemo the 26th. I am getting TCHP . 6 treatments, 21 days apart. Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin, and Perjecta. He told me up front I will be sick, I will lose my hair and Diaherra, diaherra, diaherra. Said he wanted to be totally honest. But hey if that's what it takes. I can't say I am not scared, because I am. I go for my port this afternoon. THAT makes it real! Anyone else starting with this regimen?

  • jullyn
    jullyn Member Posts: 40
    edited August 2021
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    Those of you who started this week, how are doing? Think I g of you!

  • Meisum
    Meisum Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2021
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    Day 1 of TC chemo was today. It wasn’t too bad, but really I am really having a hard time with the steroids. Upset stomach, blurry vision, and barely slept an hour last night. Oh and appetite is all over the place from wanting fast food burgers to eating seems like a strange, yucky thing. I am taking 16 mg of dexamethasone the day before and day of, then 8 mg tomorrow. The actual Chemo drugs just made me super tired and spacy. I did cold mitts and booties during the Taxotere and sucked ice the whole time.

    AlynnMac: how are you doing? Things still going well?

    K-Gobby: sorry to hear about the changes! How did your first infusion go?

    Jullyn: I know what you mean about the nightmare! I wish that I could also wake up from the last 5 months. At least your doctor is being upfront with you. I feel like my health care providers downplayed a lot of stuff. I found out about a lot of horrible things last minute and almost panicked and cancelled chemo.

  • jullyn
    jullyn Member Posts: 40
    edited August 2021
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    I got the date for my pet scan. It is this Wednesday. I am filled with so much dread about it. Honestly at this point it concerns me more than the chemo. I am so afraid there will be cancer in other areas.

    How's everyone doing that started last week?

    Meisum? How are you doing today?

    K-Gobby you are a few days past since your first treatment. Getting by ok?

    AllynMac? Doing ok?

    Mindthief, how was your appointment Tuesday? Did you get a treatment plan?

    Its Friday. I hope everyone had a comfortable weekend.

  • mindthief
    mindthief Member Posts: 62
    edited August 2021
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    Jullyn: Good luck with your PET scan! I had to have a CT, MRI and bone scan all in one day, right after my biopsy to rule out the breast tumour actually being a metastasis from somewhere else. It was incredibly nerve wracking but fortunately everything came back clean. I hope you get the same result and going through the anxiety now will ultimately give you some comfort knowing it hasn't spread. Thanks for asking about my appointment. It went well in the sense that my oncologist seems very thorough, willing to answer questions and consider alternatives. Less well in the sense that my start date has been pushed back to September. My diagnosis (IDC with neuroendocrine differentiation) is rare, aggressive and poorly understood, and there was some debate by the tumour board about the best protocol. My oncologist wants to get a second opinion and possibly rerun pathology through Princess Margaret, the major cancer centre in Toronto. I also have to see a hematologist and get an echo done before we can proceed. For now we agreed on dose dense AC+T (same protocol as pudelpointer).

    Meisum: ugh, I'm dreading the steroids! I talked to my MO about reducing them to the minimum safe amount and she agreed because I have a prior history of avascular necrosis, but said they really can't reduce it by that much for the taxol part. I hope you feel better today.

    K-Gobby: I'm sorry about the BRAC gene and the extra treatment that will involve. The hardest part of all this is how things can change so rapidly. I can get through just about anything if I know what to expect, but I don't deal well with moving targets.

    I hope everyone else is hanging in there.

    I guess I should move to the September thread but I don't think it exists yet! I might hang around here for a bit in the meantime, if no one minds, especially because it's nice to see two other people who are ER+/PR-.

  • NotAsCalmAsILook
    NotAsCalmAsILook Member Posts: 133
    edited August 2021
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    hey y’all. My chemo is over but I figured I’d pop in and see how you’re doing.

    It’s normal to be nervous about it, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Chemo was no fun, but the chemo nursing staff are the bomb! They’ve got your back. They’ll explain everything in terms you can understand, joke with you, care for you, and bring you something to eat or drink. Don’t underestimate the power of a heated blanket to bring you comfort

    You’re not alone.

  • jullyn
    jullyn Member Posts: 40
    edited August 2021
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    Sunday. How is everyone doing?

    Anyone do the the weekly Zoom meeting for chemo?

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,081
    edited August 2021
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  • Kiri_the_kat
    Kiri_the_kat Member Posts: 2
    edited August 2021
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    Hi Friends,

    Brand new here, and scheduled for my first chemo infusion tomorrow. A/C for the first four treatments, followed by T for another four treatments, scheduled over the next four months. I was had a biopsy July 8, lumpectomy July 24. Clean margins on the tumor, and no cancer in the lymph node, and we were hoping I could get by with just radiation. Unfortunately oncotype came back quite high, so here I am. Hoping to find and give support to others on the same journey as I am.

  • AMG2
    AMG2 Member Posts: 90
    edited August 2021
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    Hi Kiri, Welcome to this forum, and I'm sorry for what has brought you here. My own experience: this place is incredibly supportive and nurturing, and I hope it is that way for you. My very, very best and virtual hugs to you tomorrow. I'm starting Sept 1, but with Taxol +herceptin, and not at all looking forward to it. Hang in there, and we will try to get through this together. If you're up to it, please let us know how you're doing.

  • Meisum
    Meisum Member Posts: 4
    edited August 2021
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    Hi all - Day 6 post 1st infusion. Things seemed to be going well at first. But now by Day 6, I’m pretty miserable. Some side effects are probably from the zarxio shots; I have my last shot tomorrow, so looking forward to that being over. I guess I hoped it wouldn’t be that bad since I’m younger and in decent shape (and this being cycle 1. But wow, the fatigue and struggle to eat or drink is humbling. I am hoping things will be better in a few days.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,081
    edited August 2021
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    Kiri_the_kat, we're glad you've found this group. Welcome! Please keep us all posted as to how things go for you, and let us know if we can be of help.

    Best,

    The Mods