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Starting Chemo April 2024 Support Thread

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  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    Hi all! New here and am so glad I found this site. Lots of helpful info! Scheduled to start TCHP on 4/18, every 3 weeks for 6 rounds. Last two pre-chemo tests next week, breast MRI and Echo. Ordered gloves and booties to ice hands and feet. Sweet friend gave me gift bag of chemo goodies. I'm a little anxious about starting chemo. Reading all of the side effects has me on edge. Especially since everyone is different in what their symptoms are. I'm IDC, left side with 2 positive nodes, Grade 3, HR- but HER2+.

  • ginna
    ginna Member Posts: 4
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    Hi
    This is my 2nd bout of breast cancer - first lumpectomy- radiation. Fast forward 18 years. Now I have DCIS and IDC sentinel node negative. I am HER2 positive- I am having 6 round of Chemo. First one was April 1, 2024. It wasn’t bad. But day 5 out nose sore , nausea, headache , mouth dry , can’t taste food. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Next chemo April 22. I am on Docetaxel, Herceptin, Perjeta,and carboplatin. I just hope I can do 6 rounds of this.
    Thank You

    Virginia

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Welcome, @grammie2 and @ginna! it's great to see both of you starting the conversation in the April chemo group! We're here for you, so don't hesitate to reach out if you need any information from our main site or any help navigating the boards!

    Sincerely,

    The Mods

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    @ginna I'm so sorry you are dealing with this again. Are they giving you anti nausea meds? I am trying to read everything I can about chemo and learning tips and tricks. Bought the gloves and booties for feet and hands icing. Actually already purchased a wig and going to get my hair cut and the wig trimmed this week. Planning for the worst and praying for the best. My faith in God is the only thing getting me through this without a total meltdown. I struggled in the very beginning during the mammo and biopsy, but I quicky learned that God is helping me through this and I just need to lean on Him. Each test has been easier mentally I think.

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    Update on MRI. It showed nothing new, only what we already know, praise the Lord!

  • bingobango
    bingobango Member Posts: 1
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    started TCHP chemotherapy regimen on 4/3 for my first round of 6 (every 3 weeks) before surgery. I have right breast cancer stage IIA IDC grade 1 HER+ and also ER/PR positive. Felt fine for 3 days then just excruciating back pain ever since - starting to taper down today (day 6) but still distracting and disrupting. Starting to feel mouth sensitivity and taste changes and the dreaded diarrhea creeping in but hoping that I’ve been through the worst of it now. My first dose was larger and longer so I should have 1 hour less of the targeted therapy next time. Just hoping there is some relief among the pain in between cycles and it doesn’t compound and get worse - a tiny goal to shoot for each time is a big win right now but mostly I just want to be able to sit still and sleep through the night. Jealous of those who said they had 2-3 hard days then they were good to go.


    Is the TCHP regimen considered more intense or harder on the body for the 6 rounds every 3 weeks? I always assumed more frequent dosage and more cycles would be worse but maybe this is a significantly higher concentration and combination of drugs So that’s why it feels compounded over time?

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    @bingobango Sorry to hear about your back! I pray it will ease up and resolve soon! I know she told me today that usually day 3 is when it starts to hit you and generally start feeling better by day 8 or so. I am curious too about your thoughts on the chemo cycles and dosage. Someone on another thread did say that she did the weekly because it was easier on the heart. Maybe the body tolerates it better in lower dosage?? But then the cumulative effect would make sense weekly because you don't have a lot of down time between doses.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    @bingobango - Welcome to the group! Sorry you have to be here, but we're glad you've joined us. It sounds like you've been through a tough time with your first round of chemo, but we're hopeful that things will start to improve for you soon. Good luck! Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    Sincerely,

    The Mods

  • kggenx
    kggenx Member Posts: 24
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    Hi! I’m new here. 51 yrs old. I start TCHP chemo on 4/19/24. St 3 Triple Positive. 6cm tumor in L breast. Bone scan clear. Nothing showing on Abd/chest/pelvic CT scan. Saw surgeon Wed for mediport placement on 4/16. She did say she saw some lymph node involvement into my L armpit.

    Also, I’m an RN & my biggest worry is not being able to work as I’m the main breadwinner & losing my health insurance. Oh & I already had cancer once. Kidney cancer back in 2012. Only needed my right kidney removed. No chemo/radiation necessary then.

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    Hi @kggenx ! I'm fairly new here too, but have found this site to be a blessing! I start TCHP on 4/18, HR-, Her2+, 3cm grade 3 left breast with at least 2 axilliary nodes, PET and MRI clear of additional. I will say a prayer for your job and health. My husband has our insurance through his work, but we def. count on my salary. My boss is being very accommodating and is going to work with me as I go through the chemo. I can work remotely, but I am also the only one in my office the majority of the time. Sorry you have to be here but glad you found this site!! Everyone is so helpful and encouraging!

  • kggenx
    kggenx Member Posts: 24
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    @grammie2 I work bedside acute care in a hospital at the moment. Doing a local agency contract. I’m thinking I’m likely NOT gonna be able to work much longer after my first round of TCHP. I will try. I have 4 days off after the first chemo. I’m concerned about fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, neuropathy pain(I already have neuropathy pain due to chronic lumbar spine issues) and chemo brain. Can’t risk making a mistake at work & losing my RN license. Then there is the issue of immunosuppression due to low blood counts & we all know hospitals are full of germs! LOL


    My husband of 3 years hasn't been working due to our personal preference but he knows he needs to start the job hunt very soon. For medical insurance. We don’t have a mortgage so that is a blessing. I also have a very supportive family as both sets of parents have offered financial support as needed/able.

    I wanna have a bilat mastectomy after 6 rounds, I may very well be out of work for the remainder of the year as surgery wouldn’t be until October. I have large breasts to begin with.

    Haven’t had any genetic testing yet. No family hx of breast cancer on either side.

    Never did I ever think I’d have cancer a 2nd time☹️

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    @kggenx I'm so sorry but sounds like you are being smart and proactive about a nurse's responsibility and the germy environment. I've worried about my job in regards to the "chemo brain". I'm an assistant to a financial advisor. I've told him to be upfront and straight with me if he feels I should "take a break" for a few months. I do have short term disability insurance but it is about half of my normal salary.

    I have no family history of cancer of any kind. My dad did have some precancerous colon spots and they removed a few inches of his colon. That was over 20 years ago and he is 87.

    So thankful to have people to talk to that are going through this.

  • kggenx
    kggenx Member Posts: 24
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    @grammie2

    I was paying for STD at my last job but had to leave in March due to my mental health regarding my former boss. She had it out for me.

    i shall also start to apply for remote nursing jobs I can do at home.

    I am also going to look into applying for SSI Disability as I have plenty of credit having worked since age 16.

    One good thing? The cancer center told me I could bring my doggie, a 1 yr old PooChon(poodle-bishon frise mix) with me to chemo. He looks just like a Teddy bear & his name is Teddy. But I call him Toodles😁

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    @kggenx We welcome you warmly here, though sorry you find yourself needing this. Sounds like you have alot of great support, but know we're here for you!!

    Also, we want to let you know we offer very supportive, moderated Virtual Community Meetups. There are a number of different groups and times, so if you're interested, please check them out here: Virtual Community Meetups.

    Sending gentle hugs!

    Your Mods

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    @kggenx That is so awesome that you get to take your pup!!!!

  • kggenx
    kggenx Member Posts: 24
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    this is my Teddy aka Toodles

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    @kggenx That is the sweetest face!!!!

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    Well folks. Thursday is the first treatment. I read through the packet from my onc and now feeling edgy and dreading this. I know the chances of the severe reactions are low, but. And all of the precautions during treatment to prevent infections and treating the se's. This stinks y'all! LOL

  • kggenx
    kggenx Member Posts: 24
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  • lbn2222
    lbn2222 Member Posts: 40
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    Hi everyone - I'm new here too. Start 4 cycles of TC on Friday. Planning to cold cap and to work as much as possible during treatment. I'm fortunate that I can work remotely and my colleagues are incredibly supportive. I was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts in December and had a double mastectomy with flat closure in February. Throughout everything, I have never felt sick. Now worried that chemo is going to turn me into a sick person. Trying to stay positive but it is sometimes hard!

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    @ibn2222 glad you found this site! Sorry you are going through this too! My chemo starts tomorrow. TCHP (I'm HR- but Her2+. Praying for mild SE's for you. This group is very supportive and informative. I ask so many questions though, they may be ready to delete me! JK 🤣

  • kggenx
    kggenx Member Posts: 24
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    I also start chemo on Friday! Had my mediport put in yesterday. I’m doing 6 rounds of TCHP first then surgery. I’m thinking DMX & I basically told my MO that at our first meeting. Good luck! We GOT this!

  • kggenx
    kggenx Member Posts: 24
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    this is what Teddy thinks about breast cancer. I made him that scarf from a piece of fabric I got at the Dollar Tree🩷🩷🩷

  • grammie2
    grammie2 Member Posts: 124
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    @kggenx I'm with Teddy on that one. Cute blankie!

  • kggenx
    kggenx Member Posts: 24
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    @grammie2 MY MIL made me the blankie with fleece I bought at JoAnn Fabrics. It’s a no sew kind.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Hi @lbn2222, We're so very sorry for the reasons that bring you here, but we're really glad you've found us. We're all here to support you through your chemo and beyond! Let us know if you have any questions and how we can best support you!

    Everyone, we are here for you and sending good vibes for your treatment. Please continue supporting and encouraging each other here — you've got this!

    —The Mods

  • lbn2222
    lbn2222 Member Posts: 40
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    @grammie2 and @kggenx Thank you! Will be thinking positive thoughts for you as well on Thursday and Friday and going forward!

  • sonia007
    sonia007 Member Posts: 1
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    Hello 👋🏽. I just had my first round of four TC doses last Tuesday the 9th. I was fine until about Thursday at noon and it was terrible until Sunday afternoon. Mostly joint and bone pain. Nausea meds worked and ibuprofen worked to a point. I’m wary of taking so much ibuprofen so I got some full spectrum THC/CBD gummies which helped immensely.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Welcome, @sonia007! We're sorry your find yourself here, but we hope this place can be a source of support for you.

    Also, we want to let you know we offer very supportive, moderated Virtual Community Meetups. There are a number of different groups and times, so if you're interested, please check them out here: Virtual Community Meetups.

    We’re here for you,

    The Mods


  • melanieh77
    melanieh77 Member Posts: 6
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    Hi! I’m Melanie. I’m new here. I started chemo on 4/2. Weekly Taxol (and Herceptin) for 12 rounds. So I’m 3 down and 9 to go. I shaved my head last week to avoid it coming out in clumps. I’m struggling with my looks and feeling comfortable in this new life.
    I’ll have DMX in beginning of August. I have multifocal (2 sites in one breast) triple positive IDC. I found both tumors on my own in the end of 2023 after a clear mammogram in July. It’s been such a rollercoaster of emotions. I know you all get it.
    Thanks for this forum. ❤️

    Here’s me and my hubby. This was a day after I shaved my head. I don’t even recognize myself.