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Stage 4- Docetaxol (Taxotere) Treatment

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dodgersgirl
dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902

Last week, I started a new-to-me IV Chemo after progression while on Doxil.

I have searched the Stage 4 posts but not finding much so wanted to have a thread to post my “story” to allow a place to ask questions as well as posting experiences, hoping to help others if they move to Docetaxel, too.


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  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    my first Taxotere was last week.

    I was given steroids to take the evening before the IV treatment and then again the day of the IV treatment. (I do recall reading 6 years ago that those not Stage 4 treatments were doing the same thing but at that time, my MO only gave me steroids as part of the pre-med IV packet)

    Took my 2 doses of steroids and then headed to the infusion center.

    Note- due to being a diabetic, I was told to take blood sugar(BS) readings 4 times a day as steroids can mess with blood sugar. I was also prescribed a Humalog Pen to control sugar. (All this is new to me. My diabetes is diet controlled)

    Morning of IV, took BS reading. Highest numbers I have ever had. So, started my morning with my first Humalog hit.

    More steroids in the IV pre-meds along with Benadryl, Pepcid, Zofran, etc).

    IV process took about 3 1/2 hours.

    I iced hands and feet during the Taxotere part.

    All ok at this point.

    Did not sleep that night due to steroids. Sigh. I remember doing this with Taxol.

    2 days later, steroid withdrawal starts. Everything hurts. Joints feel twisted. Headaches come and go. Willing to take naps throughout the day, seeking relief from side effects. Taking Zofran and Compazine, alternating, every 4 hours (even at night). Miserable for 2 1/2 days. BS numbers return to pre-steroids levels. Surprised to discover Taxotere treatment gives me diarrhea when normally Zofran and Compazine makes me constipated. With Taxotere, I am still needing Lomotil even while on Zofran/Compazine

    Last night, sleeping was a fight to attain due to muscle pains. Taking 2 Tylenol every 6 hours.

    Waiting to feel “normal” for a handful of days before treatment #

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,163
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    Hi dodgersgirl,

    I wanted to offer moral support. When I was dx in 2011, taxotere was one of the chemos I had along with cytoxin. I also took the steroids like you. I got zometa at the same time and they put benadryl in with all of that to prevent an allergic reaction I think. It took several hours. I was also given a prescription of Ativan, it was my first time ever having an antianxiety medicine and I really liked it. I was only to take it the few days before and after chemo. It helped. I had a total of six chemo infusions spaced three weeks apart. The first week I always felt crappy, started feeling a bit better the 2nd week and the third week I could do more normal things, then start the chemo again. What kind of schedule are you on?

    Is there a thread in the chemo section for women who’ve recently started chemo? I remember joining the March 2011 chemo thread and appreciated having others to compare notes with. There maybe were ten or so of us and even tho only I and another woman were stage iv and the others lesser stages, I felt like I had a group to commiserate with.

    I hope you start to feel a little better each day. Hang in there.


  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    Divinemrsm— hi! Thanks for the company!

    My treatment plan is once every 3 weeks.

    I did go look thru early stage chemo threads as I participated a lot while doing 20 weeks of A/C and Taxol. Taxol was weekly for 12 weeks.

    I have been advised by MO that Taxotere is a synthetic Taxol so side effects are less harsh. Time will tell.

    I can post that, like you wrote, as I head out of week 1 headed to week 2, side effects are improving. I expect by week 3, to feel my strongest. And will try to set up future doctor appointments for weeks 2 and 3.

    Plus, keeping fingers crossed this TX buys some more time.

    Thanks again for the supp

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    update: still in the 1st week of treatment (once every three weeks). Yesterday was terrible. Nausea and diarrhea all day. Felt awful. Was back on Zofran and Compazine for the day.

    Had bone broth for late lunch. Then on to a simple dinner

    Woke up today still nauseous and still diarrhea. Sigh

    Hoping tomorrow is better.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,163
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    dodgers, sorry you’re having a rough week with after-chemo side effects.

    Compazine was a terrible drug for me. I was given a prescription of it when I was prescribed Verzenio. I took the compazine one morning and could not believe what a terribly bad day I had. I could not get off the sofa. I was scared because I actually thought I was entering a final end stage with mbc, and since I’d also just started Verzenio, I thought V was the culprit. Within a day or two, a light bulb went off in my head and I realized the problem was compazine. I never took it again. Verzenio was not that great for me, but it was the compazine that messed with my head. I stuck with Zofran if needed.

    What are you able to do during your down time? I hope each day you improve. Thinking of you!


  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561
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    Hi Dodgersgirl- hope the side effects improve with the next cycles. cycle one of anything is always awful for me. I agree with Devine- compazine doesn't work for me- zofran and ginger do- there are other drugs (Emend) to try . some people do like compazine- only thing that works.

    I forget why you can't take Enhertu? you had pneumonitis in the past? I listened to a lecture based on San Antonio conference that though Enhertu would work on Her 0 as well as Her low-

    I hope you can take a walk and lots of fluids- that always helps me. I am coming off a steroid high also-

    Hugs

  • 7of9
    7of9 Member Posts: 474
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    Stage 3c is listed as up to 9 nodes. I had 10 when I recurred so in all technicality I can post here though I rarely do. I had Taxotere, 4 rounds every 3 weeks. It got bumpy after the first 2 but the pre and post day steroids helped. Having something in your stomach constantly, even if just a few favorite buttery crackers really helps keep nausea at bay. I'm up at night and putting a little something in my stomach made me feel like a contented, plump, sleepy bear or lion and would help me fall back asleep. I was constantly battling Zofran constipation vs my ulcerative colitis. Probiotics with as much light exercise helped tremendously. Ice those feet and hands as much as you can stand. An electric blanket helped keep my core warm. Best wishes, thoughts and prayers!

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    DivineMrsM— I don’t like Compazine, either. In fact refused prescriptions each time MO offered until restarting IV chemo. I usually take Zofran and Compazine for 2 days after IV Chemo to keep nausea and vomiting tucked away. A few days ago those feeling were controlling ME, so I started with Zofran. Usually don’t need to advance beyond 1 pill. This time though was still nearly vomiting so took a Compazine and a Pepto-Bismol. After hours, found some relief after drinking Vernor’s ginger ale and drinking bone broth. Had hoped it was a one day deal but next days was same way. TMI alert: in 2 days had over 20 diarrhea episodes.

    I think I will ask if there is an alternative to Compazine. Thank

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    hello nkb— Enhertu has a black box warning about pneumonitis. Yes, Afinitor pushed me to pneumonitis and a week’s stay in hospital due to hypoxia. I am on oxygen due to SpO2 ranging from 79 - 92 without oxygen. So MO said NO to Enhertu. I am HER2 low though.

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    7of9– thanks for sharing!

    You mentioned keeping some in my tummy regularly. That’s exactly how I got thru A/C chemo back in 2017.

    Here is where I am struggling. With my current treatment, I have to take steroids the day before treatment followed by more steroids day of treatment. MO was correctly concerned how that would impact my blood sugar. I am/was diet controlled diabetic. For Taxotere, I was prescribed a quick acting insulin pen. I have to take blood sugar readings at fasting and before meals. But if I graze, to keep nausea under control, my sugar readings will be elevated and require a shot of insulin—- which I don’t want. So feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Working thru what works. Miserable in this process

    I have found drinking bone broth seems to help with tummy yuckiness while providing some protein so will keep that on hand.

    Thanks agin for sharing

  • mls1
    mls1 Member Posts: 73
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    I am so happy to see this thread. I was feeling like the only person out there taking this chemo. It was kind of lonely

    I started docetaxel beginning of Nov. and just had my 5th cycle 9 days ago. The first cycle was the worst. Days 3 and 4 after infusion I felt like a zombie, everything hurt, thankfully I didn't have any nausea or diarrhea. 2 weeks after, my hair starting falling out in clumps so I shaved my head but otherwise felt pretty good.
    2nd cycle was easier but I still felt like a zombie on days 3 and 4. I spent all day lying on the couch watching tv.

    The biggest issue now is that it seems to take longer for my energy levels to come back.I went to the grocery store todayand it exhausted me………11days ago I was walking 7km

  • mls1
    mls1 Member Posts: 73
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    Oh I forgot to mention, I had a scan done the end of December and the 2 new 1cmtumours in my liver that sprouted up while I was on xeloda were gone and the big tumour shrunk by half from 6cm to 2.8cm

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    mls1— hey, glad you found this thread. I definitely felt like the only person on Taxotere at this time.

    Great news on tumor reductions! Terrific news.

    Next week is Taxotere 2 for me. I definitely had issues with nausea. I spent $$$ on something called ReliefBand that I wear on my wrist now when nausea strikes. It’s working for me. Of course, the true test will be the week following my tx. Hoping I can eat better if not as nauseous and maybe that will help me bounce back quicker.

    I did find that bone broth was a good lunch replacement for me as it has protein in it and easy on the tummy.

    How are you blood counts on this treatment

  • mls1
    mls1 Member Posts: 73
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    My blood counts are actually the best they’ve been in 3 years. Ibrance was really hard on them and they never really bounced back much on xeloda.
    Hopefully your nausea will get better, I did lose a couple of lbs after the first cycle but Christmas unfortunately put them back on. I gained 30lbs on xeloda and wouldn’t mind if I lost some weight


  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    had Taxotere treatment 2 this week. MO adjusted my steroids and added Claritin for a few more days to see if that helps some of the side effects.

    Another MO’s nurse told me today to expect fatigue with this treatment so will see if that holds.

    Didn’t sleep last night from steroids. Tonight I see my face has the expected red coloring, also from steroids. Nausea seems under control so far. Hope that continues.

    Blood work good so far. Hope that trend continues but I know the numbers will slowly take a hit.

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,163
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    dodgers, I hope the adjustment with steroids and Claritin helps!


  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    divinemrsm- thanks!

    Nurse practitioner told me to expect fatigue with treatments 2 & 3. Sounds better than 8-12 BMs a day. Optimistic at this point!

  • mls1
    mls1 Member Posts: 73
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    I just had my 6th infusion today. My face is red too from steroids and being wide awake at 2 in the morning is not fun when the rest of the house is sleeping lol.

    Fatigue is getting to be an issue, my legs feel like I’m wading through wet cement. My skin is also dry and my psoriasis is coming back. I was on xeloda for 2 years and was completely psoriasis free………It was wonderful

    I’m told I can expect a break after the 8th infusion so something to look forward t

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    mls1– a break after 8 treatments. That sounds wonderful

    My 2nd Treatment has been very similar to the first session but this time, I haven’t taken Zofran for nausea after the first 3 days. This Relief Band recently purchased is helping a lot with nausea. And drinking bone broth helps.

    If treatment 2 follows like treatment 1, I should start feeing better by Saturday

    Good luck!!

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    I was going to post next week...4/7 is my cancerversary and it will be 16 years, starting year 17....NED as far as we know so far. Had an MRI last year, for something else, and nothing discovered.

  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561
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    Coming out of my fog just in time for a ton of appointments, which I'm not looking forward to at all. Bloodwork the 7th scan the 11th Palliative care the 12. And oncologist on the 18th. Way to much for my liking. I hope you ladies who are doing pt. I hope it helps. It never helped me. How often do you go ???

  • mls1
    mls1 Member Posts: 73
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    plop

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    -4 is way toooo cold, yikes!

    went to Tai Chi at lunch time, walking to church tonight for Wednesday Lent Service. TT

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    had treatment 3 this week. If it follows the previous 2 treatments, tomorrow will start the crappy days.

    Supposed to have scans later this month. Fingers crossed for good scans. Am seeing ALP numbers dropping.

  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561
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    hoping for a better cycle this time and good scans!

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
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    scans this week. If I pass, treatment 4 will be in a few days.

    Taxotere still kicking my butt for the first 10-12 days. Sigh


  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
    edited March 2023
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    Blood work is doing well. Got the ok for the next Taxotere treatment

    Got the results of CT and Bone scan earlier this week. For the first time since MBC diagnosis, scans show tumors shrinking… not just stable but getting smaller. So exciting!

  • divinemrsm
    divinemrsm Member Posts: 6,163
    edited March 2023
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    oh my gosh, dodgersgirl, that is so good to hear. Happy for you!


  • nkb
    nkb Member Posts: 1,561
    edited March 2023
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    Dodgersgirl- I am thrilled to hear this! what a lovely relief!! hope the next dose is kind to you as well.

  • dodgersgirl
    dodgersgirl Member Posts: 1,902
    edited March 2023
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    thanks