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Starting Chemo July and August 2024 Support Thread

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  • catarina_fm
    catarina_fm Member Posts: 11
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    Hello everyone! My name is Catarina and at the age of 38 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 3, HER2+, with several positive lymph nodes. The PET came back clean, but it was done over a month ago and I haven't started chemotherapy yet, and I'm very afraid that the situation has gotten worse in the meantime, as the tumor grows from week to week.

    I'm starting chemotherapy next week (3rd July) and the day before they will put the PICC on me. I will do 4 cycles of AC every 3 weeks plus 4 cycles of docetaxel associated with double anti HER2 blockade (also every 3 weeks). I'm quite apprehensive... anyone else here starting in July?

    Wishing you all good luck and lots of strength!

  • jeremary08
    jeremary08 Member Posts: 3
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    My name is Mary and I'm 53 years old. I recently underwent a lumpectomy, but my ONCA score was too high to skip chemotherapy. I'm scheduled to begin July 17 and have no idea what to expect. I've been out of the country and just got home, so I'll be asking my dr. lots of questions between now and then. One of my big ones is about using a cold cap. Has anyone tried that or are you planning to try it?

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Hi @jeremary08, and welcome to Breastcancer.org!

    We're so very sorry for the reasons that bring you here, but we're really glad you've found us, decided to join, and post. You're sure to find our amazing community a wonderful source of advice, information, encouragement, and support — we're all here for you!

    While you wait for others to join you and @catarina_fm here, we wanted to share some links for you that you might find helpful:

    Thread:

    And this page from our site: https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment-side-effects/hair-loss/cold-caps-scalp-cooling

    As well as these podcast episodes:

    https://www.breastcancer.org/podcast/cold-caps-basics

    https://www.breastcancer.org/podcast/coldcaps-patient-perspective

    https://www.breastcancer.org/podcast/scalp-cooling-preserve-hair

    https://www.breastcancer.org/podcast/paxman-scalp-cooling-patient-assistance

    We hope this helps. Let us know if there's anything else we can do to support you!

    —The Mods

  • catarina_fm
    catarina_fm Member Posts: 11
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    Hi @jeremary08 and everyone! I'm going to start my first dose of AC today. I'm apprehensive, but on the other hand, I'm anxious to start, because the tumor is already so big that I have pain in my breast and armpit. As for the cold cap, I won't use it. I've always had long, curly hair, down to the middle of my back, but in Portugal it's not customary to use it and there's no guarantee of results. @jeremary08, good luck, I hope it works out well for you if you use it! Anyone else starting chemotherapy this month? Good luck to us!

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Best of luck with your first dose of AC today, @catarina_fm! We'll be thinking of you! 🤗

    The Mods

  • jeremary08
    jeremary08 Member Posts: 3
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    Good luck today Catarina! I hope all goes well for you. Sending hugs from the US.

  • catarina_fm
    catarina_fm Member Posts: 11
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    Hi everyone :) firstly, I wanted to wish @jeremary08 good luck for her first session. I hope it all goes well!

    My first session (AC chemo) was 2 weeks ago, the first 3 or 4 days were difficult, I was already feeling discouraged, but the truth is that it passes and at the moment I feel great. I've been walking a few miles every day and my appetite has returned. My side effects were nausea (a lot, worst part for me) and tiredness. My hair started falling out today, tomorrow I'm going to shave it and buy a wig.
    I know that the effects of the treatments are cumulative, but the fact that I noticed that I improved after a few days already cheers me up a little. Anyone else who started treatment this month?
    Greetings to all!

  • jeremary08
    jeremary08 Member Posts: 3
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    Thank you Catarina! I’m typing this from my chair while getting my infusion. I’m on TC chemo, once every 3 weeks. I did decide to cold cap and so far it’s tolerable. The first 2-5 minutes of a fresh cap are tough, but my chair is heated and we brought an electric blanket so I’m cozy. We’re getting the cap change routine down too. Despite this, I will be fine if I lose my hair. My goal is to prevent the permanent hair loss that can occur with Taxotere. The next couple of weeks will be interesting for sure. Thanks for the update!

  • catarina_fm
    catarina_fm Member Posts: 11
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    @jeremary08 don't despair if you feel bad tomorrow... you'll be better in no time 😉 I hope your hair stays intact! I've been reading about cold caps and there are a lot of cases where the hair stays healthy. I don't have that possibility here; tomorrow I'll say goodbye to my hair. We must think that this is just a bad phase and that we will be fine soon 😊 Lots of positive energy for you! Kisses and be well!

  • catarina_fm
    catarina_fm Member Posts: 11
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    Hello! It seems like not many of us are starting treatment in July.

    @jeremary08 how are you feeling? I hope you are feeling better now 😊

    This Wednesday I'm going to receive my second cycle of AC.
    Best wishes and take care! 🌷