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Starting Chemotherapy in February 2023

mommygal
mommygal Member Posts: 5

Hi, folks

I see these topics don't always get started for recent months, but I'll give it a shot.

Started Taxol + Herceptin + Perjeta yesterday, Feb 6. The Perjeta was a last-minute surprise, but there's some anomalous blip in my liver and dear MO is not taking any chances. I was in the hospital ALL DAY, 9 to 5.

They gave me steroids to get the IV party going, and I think I'm still on a bit of a high from that. Bit of a sleepless night and woke up with mild pinkeye (?) - texted the nurse, and she said it's normal.

I need to go pick up some new hair products, but don't want to go out in this weather... waiting a couple days. Then I'm going to cut it short and see what happens.

Comments

  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 92

    Hi mommygal!

    I'll be joining you in chemo next week on February 15th. Quite nervous as everyone seems to have different side effects. I'll be having Taxotere and Cytoxan (TC).

    Congratulations on getting through your first infusion!

  • kathleen103
    kathleen103 Member Posts: 25

    Hi all!

    I'll be joining you in chemo on February 23rd. I just had a Mediport implanted on February 8th. I'll be having Taxotere and Cytoxan (TC) also. I have a prescription for steroids. I cut my hair the day before the mediport implant

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 7,692

    Dear kathleen103,

    Welcome to the BCO community. We are so glad that you reached out to join us. We wish you the very best as you begin chemotherapy. We know that others will be around to welcome you as well. Please PM us if you need any help navigating your way around here. We are here to help.

    The Mods

  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 92

    Hi Kathleen!

    Sorry you had to join us, but good place for support.

    I had my husband chop off my hair short too. I figured short strands falling out would be better than long strands.....

    My docs just gave me a prescription for anti-nausea meds. It seems they all do it differently. They will just give me steroids in the IV as I understand it.

    There is also a Taxotere and Cytoxan thread which you might want to join for specfic things related to that type of chemo.

    I'll let you know how it goes on Wednesday as you will be following me....

  • mommygal
    mommygal Member Posts: 5

    Reporting back - started week two:

    Still have my hair :) though I did cut it quite short and have been playing with styling gel.

    Felt more or less fine all week until day 7, when I suddenly had horrible stomach cramps and a couple bad episodes of diarrhea. Nurse told me it was from Perjeta and to take Imodium right away. Thankfully, it was just that one day.

    The complementary/alternative health volunteers at the hospital sent around a lovely person to give my feet a rub while I was on the drip this week. Might help with symptoms, we'll see.

    More mild stuff: blood spotting on the tissue when I blow my nose, constant nagging feeling that I'm about to have a UTI unless I drink huge amounts, feeling paranoid (?) about being around people who have cold symptoms (like, uh, all my family members).

  • kathleen103
    kathleen103 Member Posts: 25

    Hi Mommygal,

    Thank you for starting this topic. Glad to hear you've had a number of good days. You've reminded me to purchase some Imodium so I'll have it on hand in case I need it. I've gotten just about everything else my healthcare team has mentioned.

    Yes, I've been told that I will need to stay hydrated during chemotherapy. I've been practicing. I keep reminding myself that a hydrated body works better - less strain on internal organs. Hopefully, hydration will help avoid excessively dry skin. I already have dry skin and dry mouth to begin with.

    Paranoid around people - maybe you are just a wise person. I'll be wearing a mask around all family members beginning my first day of chemo because I don't want illness to interfere with my treatment. I'm trying to stock up on things to avoid going to the grocery store. I call myself cautious.

    Hope the foot rub made the drip experience easier.

  • kathleen103
    kathleen103 Member Posts: 25

    Mandy23,

    Thanks for the welcome. Hope you are coping well. I'm keeping a strong positive thought for you.

  • mommygal
    mommygal Member Posts: 5

    Well into week 3 here. My digestion has been iffy most days, but thankfully no more stomach cramps so not too debilitating. My blood count was normal this week (yay), so I've been less paranoid about germs, even with kids home sick from school.

    I get Taxol once a week, with Herceptin and Perjeta every three weeks. After all this I'll be getting radiation and eventually hormone stuff, but that's down the line.

    I need to be more on top of the exercises the OT gave me to do for preventing neuropathy.

    I agree with kathleen103 - things are so much better now than they were in the past, and not only with medical options. At my hospital, in particular, they have a very experienced team all prepared for helping breast cancer patients. I expected to feel rather lost through the beginning of the experience, but that has not happened (except when I couldn't figure out the corridors in the hospital! but only then).

  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 92

    wool

  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 92

    Hi ladies -

    Just bumping this thread up to see how everyone's doing?

    I'm feeling pretty good now and anticipating Infusion #2 on Wednesday.

    Take care.


  • mommygal
    mommygal Member Posts: 5

    Started week 5. Yesterday, the end of week 4, I was (still) having bad diarrhea but THEN I also had some blood down there. My GP is on vacation (she deserves it! no hard feelings) so I went to the ER just to make sure. Fortunately it doesn't seem to be anything to do with Taxol, which is very reassuring. And my blood count was normal.

    Today's infusion went perfectly well. The regular phlebotomist was there (yay, she's so good), so no issues getting the line into me. Regular reflexologist was available, so I got my foot rub. Back home to rest up now.

  • kathleen103
    kathleen103 Member Posts: 25

    mommygal - Sorry to hear that your digestive issues continue. A great phlebotomist truly improves your healthcare experience. Glad she was there. It's great that your infusion went well, and you received a foot rub also. Please rest and hydrate.

    I had digestive issues for a few days, preceded by bone and muscle pain. Both are better now. Infusion #2 is next week. I'm not looking forward to the required bloodwork. My left arm was pretty good for drawing blood but since my BC surgery was on the left side that arm cannot be used. My right arm is a nightmare - phlebotomists used to avoid it. Hope my blood count is normal. I really hate the thought of delaying my next infusion.

  • ohheyitsaj
    ohheyitsaj Member Posts: 5

    Hi everyone -

    I just wanted to add my name to the roster of who started chemo in Feb 2023 (my first session was on Valentines Day!)

    I’m doing dose-dense AC-T. Two sessions down, 6 to go..


  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 92

    ohheyitsaj - Welcome to our group! We're glad you have joined us! Going through chemo can be so challenging, so it is good to have others to 'talk' to about it. So is your chemo regime every 2 weeks or 3 weeks? How's it been going for you? Are you having bad side effects?

    mommygal - Glad to hear your infusion went well on Monday and your favorite phlebotomist was there! It can make such a difference can't it? Nice that you got a foot massage....my clinic doesn't have anything like that! I hope your symptoms are mild as the days have gone by.

    kathleen - Your are following me in infusions. I had infusion #2 yesterday and it went much better than the first one. No major reaction and relieved to be done with it and 'halfway' through my infusions! Today is a couch day, but I feel a lot better on this day than I did after my first infusion.

    Take care everyone!

  • ohheyitsaj
    ohheyitsaj Member Posts: 5

    @mandy23 - thank you! I’m doing dose dense, so every two weeks, and I just did my third infusion yesterday. One more “red devil” and then I’m on to the Taxol, which I’m hoping is easier? Side effects have been pretty rough for 4-5 days each time so far but then I turn a corner and feel back to myself until the next session.

    What has everyone else’s experience been like? Many side effects? Or feeling not too awful

  • mommygal
    mommygal Member Posts: 5

    Hi, all

    I'm halfway through Taxol! Cheer, cheer, cheer!

    Trying to go off gluten, this is something that has been good for my digestion in the past, so who knows?

    @ohheyitsaj - Taxol is quite doable, based on my experience here. I am typically knocked out for the day following my treatment and then more-or-less OK the rest of the week. Have not lost my hair so far. In the past few days it seems to be shedding a bit, so I'm trying to be as gentle as I can with it. I have heard of people who lose their hair on AC and then have it grow back *during* Taxol. Good luck to you in any case!

    The weird thing with Taxol is that the drug is dissolved in ethanol; the patient leaflet says it's about one shot. So if the drip is quick enough I start feeling, uh, *floaty*. My friend who came along with me for the day this week had a really good time with me!

  • kathleen103
    kathleen103 Member Posts: 25

    ohheyitsaj - Welcome.

    mommygal - Congratulations on making it halfway through Taxol.

    I think I'm doing well with the side effects I have encountered. I don't sleep well on the night after an infusion - that's why I am posting this late at night. I had infusion #2 and can't sleep. The same thing happened with round # 1. I'm having mental fatigue or brain fog so I'm making mistakes as I key in this post. I'm doing TC every three weeks for four rounds. Taxotere can be harsh, so again they started off gradually: 50% of normal drip-rate for 15 minutes before moving on to the full drip rate (skipping the 75% rate they used as an intermediate step during round #1). A blood clot had to be dissolved from my mediport before the infusion started. Chemo can dry you out. So, I've been using a humidifier to resolve dry nose and throat issues. I also used a saline nasal spray a few times. I try my best to drink 2 to 3 liters of water a day. My experience with bone and muscle pain was brief. It kind of came out of nowhere on the evening of Day 7 and disappeared 30 hours later. Next diarrhea came and went with some help from Imodium. I settled into at least 10 days that felt quite normal before round #2 yesterday. I am expecting physical fatigue to join the mental fatigue any moment now.

  • kathleen103
    kathleen103 Member Posts: 25
    edited April 2023

    I had infusion #3 last Thursday (Taxotere and Cytoxan). Everything was fine while I was at the infusion center. But the side effects started about five hours after I arrived at home. Days 1 - 5 were harder than with the first two rounds. I stayed in bed a lot. Today is Day 6. I was able to work 8 hours from home. What a difference a day makes!!! I'm expecting my iffy digestion days in a couple of days. I handle the diarrhea with Imodium, followed by 18 hours of clear fluids including fat-free chicken bone broth, followed by BRAT: adding bananas, rice (white), applesauce, and toast (white). After years of eating whole grains, my delicate tummy needs a couple days of white rice and bread. I've been using white sourdough bread. It has a lower glycemic index which is good for me. Next comes very plain chicken/fish (baked or broiled) and cooked carrots, green beans, mushrooms, and potatoes. At last, I can eat normally again. Please stay hydrated. It really helps. Report any problems to your healthcare providers so they can help you. Looking forward to the day when we can all be weeks/months past our final chemo infusion.

    Dx: 11/23/2022, IDC, left, 1.2 cm, Stage 1B, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, Triple negative.

    Surgery: 12/22/2022, Mastectomy (Left); Sentinel node removal (Left): 2

  • kathleen103
    kathleen103 Member Posts: 25

    Just checking in to record that I had some neurological issues with my feet after infusion #3. My oncologist delayed infusion #4 by a week and lowered the Taxotere dosage. I'm feeling pretty good on Day 3 of my final chemo infusion. I rang the bell a couple of days ago. Anyone who reads this please stay hydrated and discuss any concerns with your health care provider. In 2023, there is a lot of help and support available. The nurses at my infusion center are amazing. Wishing everyone uneventful chemo days. Thank you.

  • kathleen103
    kathleen103 Member Posts: 25

    Hi all,

    I'm 6 months PFC now. I did hit an all-time low on May 19, 2023, but on November 4, 2023, I was feeling so much better. My stamina is improving every week. I had my first mammogram post-treatment on October 30 and there was no evidence of disease. We can win!

  • mandy23
    mandy23 Member Posts: 92

    Hi @kathleen103 !

    Good to hear you are feeling better and so far NED!

    I'm also doing well….wishing my hair would cooperate and grow a bit faster, but health-wise doing ok.

    Yep…really nice to have those chemo days in the past….