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AC+T treatment tips

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Hi ladies,

I'll be starting my AC+T chemo treatment this Friday or next Friday and I'm looking for tips and tricks to handle the side effects and the treatment in general. Any advice

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  • SandraDublin
    SandraDublin Member Posts: 16
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    No tips from me but just to say I am also due to start soon, this Tuesday. I had my chemo education class and pre med prescriptions today.

    There are monthly groups on the Chemotherapy forum including an AC specific thread which may help!

    Good luck and fingers crossed we tolerate it well!


  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
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    Kathy and Sandra - I'm sorry no one has replied to your posts and I wish you nothing but the best during your treatment. I did AC&T and am a year and half out from my last infusion.I did four AC and twelve Taxol.

    One of the most important things, I believe, is to rest and make sure you're drinking a lot of water. It was difficult for me because my taste buds were off and water did not taste good making me nauseous, lemon helped me somewhat. I also found ginger ale and popsicles to work for me. The popsicles really helped sooth any mouth sores, for which the MO can recommend a mouthwash, should you get them.

    Constipation could be an issue, make sure you talk to your MO if the issue arises for you.

    The day of my infusions and the day after, I found I was full of energy and ready go. I took advantage of those days to get things done (groceries, errands, taking a longer walk, etc.). By the third day I was slowing down and by the evening of the third day I was not feeling well. The AC was hard on me and I found that I didn't feel good (nauseous and weak) up until about day ten (I did AC every two weeks). I had a few decent days before having to start the cycle over again.

    With Taxol my nausea was less severe and was not as bad as AC, but I still struggled with weakness. Again, this was ME. Everyone is different and there are many members here on BCO that will tell you that it was not terrible. It truly is doable.

    My best advice is to be kind to yourself.

    I hope some of this helps.

  • SandraDublin
    SandraDublin Member Posts: 16
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    Thanks for taking the time to reply Serendipity09. Yes I’ve heard hydration is really important so good to have some tips to cope and here’s hoping I can find something I can stomach also. I’ll kick start the AC thread to see if any others are doing also.

    I hadthe same regime as you, so good to hear is doable as I admit to feeling fairly overwhelmed going into it. I’m sure won’t be easy but we’ll get though it. Hope you are now doing well, can I ask if you had any long term side effects afterwards and how long it took to recover your strength after finishing?

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
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    Hi Sandra!

    Couples other things... your skin may become very dry, I lost my fingerprints. I lathered coconut oil over my entire body daily but especially on my hands. Constipation or just the opposite may become a problem, if it does talk tot o your MO.

    I developed severe neuropathy around week eight or nine of Taxol and unfortunately that stayed with me.

    I never felt the same as I did prior to starting treatment, but it's been one thing after another and my body has not really had a break. However, I started to feel decent about a month after finishing. You'll be able to take cues from your body.

    Do you have to have surgery? Radiation?

    If you fill in your diagnosis information other members will probably more inclined to reply, especially if their diagnosis was/is similar to yours.


  • Gonetruckin
    Gonetruckin Member Posts: 9
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    I’ll echo hydrate and be kind to yourself! Also you may find your gums get super sensitive; my usual soft toothbrush felt like a wire scrub brush. It was hard to find but an ultra soft toothbrush or one for kids can help keep that important routine doable. Also, if your nail beds start to feel a little sore deal with it quickly. I mentioned that to my MO and PT and they shrugged it off. Soaking in lukewarm water with epsom salt twice a day, then a couple drops tea tree oil under each nail really helped. Also, cuticle cream and gummies with biotin and collagen for skin and nails. Nail weirdness takes forever to grow out so worth the trouble. Keep checking the community, I learned more here than from any of the doctors etc. Good luck!

  • SandraDublin
    SandraDublin Member Posts: 16
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    Thanks again both, great advice.

    Serendipity09, I’ve gotten loads of creams and lotions gifted from my friends so sounds like they will be put to good use shortly. I’m sorry to hear about the neuropathy, my cousin who’s a GP says it is the most common issue he sees post chemo at his GP practice, he did mention there are some medicines to help but hard to treat. I hope you continue to recover and heal. I’ve gone through UMX to date and have suspected truncal lymphoedema now so already seeing some of the issues I’ll need to live with post treatment. I know it’s all necessary but it does make me sad. Rads and hormones to follow.

    Just to say, I hadall my details saved in my profile but recent updates in last few days seems to have removed them and I’m unable to reenter via the new process, I’ve logged the issue but quite annoying :( Doesn’t seem to affecting you guys.

    GoneTruckin, adding kids tooth brush and Epsom salts to my chemo readiness shopping list, thanks! Feel more in control if I am as prepared as possible!

  • serendipity09
    serendipity09 Member Posts: 769
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    Gonetruckin- yes about the cuticles, however I'm dealing with that now while on Xeloda. My nails did just fine, thankfully during infusions, towards the end they started lifting a bit. My friend's nails turned black, which I was told by MO is common.

    Sandra - sorry, didn't know you were having issues with posting your diagnosis (saw you posted on the glitch thread). This update has been very frustrating.

    Also, another apology as this thread says 60 & older, which I'm not and I should've said it in my first post. I had seen no one responded to the original post and wanted to get the thread bumped with hopes of others chiming in.

  • kathrynw1thasea
    kathrynw1thasea Member Posts: 92
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    Thank you all for responding to my original post. I’ve been a bit off since my second AC infusion. Losing my hair hit me harder than I expected and I took a break. I’m doing 4 cycles of AC and 12 cycles of Taxol as well. So far the nausea is well managed but wanting to eat is a challenge. Things taste funny and it seems the food I love most isn’t recommended. I love Italian food with lots of tomato based sauces and balsamic vinegar.

    I worry about dental care. I’ve spent so much time and money on my teeth to keep TMJ under control, I don’t want to lose the battle now.I found very soft toothbrushes online and have avoided mouth sores so far. Any detailed information would be helpful.

  • juli24
    juli24 Member Posts: 80
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    68 yo, 6 yrs out from diagnosis, did AC & T so can confirm that it is doable - rough I admit. 1st give yourself a pass. Nothing is more important than your treatment right now. Let your friends & family know you need help. Some days you won’t even want to take a shower- so don’t! Who cares- maybe tomorrow. House messy- that is ok. Contact your local cancer centers & charitable organizations. Some offer rides, cleaning service, makeup lessons, donated wigs etc. Call on your church. If they can’t help ask for any recommendations.

    I am currently at the airport waiting for a flight home. I have many more tips & will post when home. Hugs to you all. Jul

  • juli24
    juli24 Member Posts: 80
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    Eating - ask your doc for anti nausea medication. Mine was prescribed before 1st infusion automatically. Can’t remember the name but your doc will know. It comes in regular tablet form & one that dissolves under the tongue for quick absorption (useful if you wait to long to take, nausea has started & keeping a pill down is near impossible). Take the pills early at the first queasy feeling or if you have an issue once take it before you need it. This is my very best advice. Vomiting is awful.

    Food - the infusion nurses called me the “taco lady”…lovingly! Wasn’t supposed to eat spicy food especially with tomato based extra hot sauce. What did I crave? You guessed it! Worse than that - Taco Bell Tacos! Yuck! After chemo nothing tasted good nor did I want anything but those darn tacos. Getting something…anything in your stomach that you can tolerate & want is better than nothing. I later found that very fresh thick sliced Turkey in nibbles went down if eaten slowly or scrambled Eggs. Protein, from any source, is great. So rules are for the good of most but remember what works for you trumps all the rules.

    Hydration is important. BTW, I bought every recommended food/drink recommendation before chemo. Ensure, meal replacement drinks, flavored water, Pedialyte…wasted a whole lot of $$ stocking up on a few items is great but wait to see what works before stocking up. To this day I can’t smell some things without gagging. My favorite “treat drink” was an Icee from 7-11! Or sweetened ice tea.

    Enough for now. Let me know if this is helping or if you have specific ?