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Topic: CMF Question

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Jan 24, 2006 06:17AM

MargaretB wrote:

I thought it was better to post this under this forum rather than the starting chemo one, so hope you ladies can answer a question for me. A co-worker is now going through CMF and having a really difficult time. I gather she is on a 14 day regimen of pills; she gets something like 6 Kytril pills for nausea, so she saves them for work days. I have given her the advise I could but it may be different since I was on AC. She still has her hair and has been through two treatments; she wanted to know if she's going to lose it completely, not lose it, or lose just enough that she has to get a wig.

I figured you ladies would have the answers for me.

Margaret
Dx 12/23/04, Bilateral w/tram 3/10/05, DD chemo 5/12/05, finished 6/26/05
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Aug 8, 2006 05:16PM candie1971 wrote:

Straykat
I think I'm gonna try your idea. The "S" is senokot--right?
I have had no problem lately--been drinking lots of fruit juices--with every meal and fruit with each meal too. And then more fruit in between--lol. Maybe I will try colace every day and I also bought aloe vera juice too. Onc said to take a tablespoon a day. The only reason I didnt try it during last treatment cause how I hate to be constipated--but I'm gonna try with next treatment. I will let you know how I do.

I noticed tonight I am losing some hair down there--wow--just falling out.

Hugs and prayers
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 8, 2006 05:29PM b445 wrote:

Candie, You may thin everywhere! I use to have trouble getting the elastic bands around my hair twice, now I can get it around about 4 or 5 times. People who don't know me don't know how much hair I lost. I'm still losing some daily but not as much as I was. I think stress has more to do with it now. I finished CMF in May and only have 3 rad boosts left then I'm done with treatment.

Good luck with your treatment
Smile you will surely make someone day! Dx 4/24/2007, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 9, 2006 01:41AM candie1971 wrote:

Cheryl,
If losing hair means my staying alive..than so be it! Great for you that you only have rads left!! You must feel so good...I cant wait to get to that point.

Good luck to u too.
Hugs and prayers,
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 9, 2006 06:20AM SCMartin wrote:

Cheryl, I'm with Candie. I can't wait to get to the point where I'm done with chemo and starting radiation. Congrats on being almost done with radiation. Candie, you and I will get there, too! Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 9, 2006 05:56PM b445 wrote:

Candie and Susan, try to stay as active as you can through chemo. Towards the end I didn't feel like doing much after I got home from work, so I layed around a lot, not a good idea. need to keep the blood flowing with mild exercise, ie walking in nothing else.

I'll check in on you every now & then, just keep posting how you're doing.

Hugs & prayers
Smile you will surely make someone day! Dx 4/24/2007, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 10, 2006 01:23AM SCMartin wrote:

Thanks Cheryl! Actually the one thing I never miss is my cardio workout on the treadmill. Everyday no matter how I feel I do that. I am such an active person so that is never a problem. I admit, yesterday I had to take a two hour nap and that was something new for me!! Cheryl, how cumulative will this be? I's so hard to plan things not knowing how I will feel. Thanks for all the help and support. Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 10, 2006 05:29PM b445 wrote:

I worked 40 hour weeks for the first 3 months them went to 6 hours a day for 3 days & 8 hours a day for 2 days for the last 3 months. The last month or so was the hardest I think. Everyone said I was a zombie. mostly going through the motions at that point.
But each person is different. I say try to keep things as normal as possible, it helps keep your mind off it.
Hugs & prayers
Smile you will surely make someone day! Dx 4/24/2007, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 11, 2006 01:32AM candie1971 wrote:

Cheryl,
So far I've been ok with working. But the first 2 weeks on was on treatment I was tired. These past 2 weeks (off tx) I have felt back to normal. 2nd roung starts next Wednesday. I have bee walking every luch time--about 20 minutes.I feel it is better than nothing. With cooler weather coming I am sure I will walk more.
I kinda dread the next 2 weeks cause I know I wont feel good but I am hoping I just "get used to it" and I can do more.

Susan--yes--you and I will get to the point of DONE WITH CHEMO--cant wait. I finish in January.

Hugs and prayers,
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 11, 2006 02:17AM SCMartin wrote:

Hi Candie, I've been thinking of you as we're going through this at the same time. How often are your treatments? I get mine every other Monday so it's a dose dense chemo. I will have a total of 8 and I am praying my counts stay up so I can finish on schedule. I only had to take the Kytril twice this last time. I do not get steroids per my request. I did notice fatigue the 3rd day but it didn't last long. I'm with you- I was so nervous the week-end befor because you just know you won't feel well. Come on, we will do this Candie. We don't have a choice and it will end. Lots of hugs and prayers to you. Thanks again Cheryl for all your advice and hope rads are going well. Sould be about done. Well need your advice for that, too!!! Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 11, 2006 06:23PM b445 wrote:

Finished rads tonight! have some pretty burnt and peefling areas but this to shall pass. Hang in there you will be done before you know it!
Gentle hugs & prayers
Smile you will surely make someone day! Dx 4/24/2007, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 12, 2006 01:21AM candie1971 wrote:

Hi Susan,
I am on a 2 week on-2 week off regimen. Two weeks of Cytoxan by mouth..during those 2 weeks each Wed. M&F by IV.
Then two weeks off. I am on the off now. Next Wednesday tx#3 and then tx#4. I will have a total of 12 tx. I will finish in January. Yes, we will do this. Most of the time I am ok but sometimes I just feel yucky about the whole process. Thats why I come here...for support from women who are going thru what I am and can understand me. Thanks for YOUR support. My hugs and prayers go to you too.

CONGRATS Cheryl on finishing your rads. You must be sooo excited!!

Hugs and prayers,
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 12, 2006 02:51AM SCMartin wrote:

Cheryl, Congratulations on being done with radiation!! I am so happy for you and hope you have a celebration planned.It must have been a great feeling to walk out of there. Candie and I will be doing that, too. Candie, I get all three drugs IV every two weeks- nothing oral. Good luck with #3 on Wed. I'm off till the 21st. If my body could take it I swear I'd have it every week just to get through. I know what you mean- I feel wierd about the whole thing, too. Keep in touch. I'm so glad I found this thread. Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 13, 2006 06:26PM candie1971 wrote:

Susan,
A lil nervous about tx#3...especially that I have felt good these past two off weeks...had some loss of hair today...not much.. clumps here and there...my head has felt tingly lately...onc says I shouldn/t lose all of my hair...it creeped me out tho!!!

Hugs and prayers,
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 14, 2006 12:09AM SCMartin wrote:

Candie, OK, if I'm posting at 5AM then I can't sleep. Sometimes I can't shut my mind off so it's easier to just get up. I'm glad you have felt well the past 2 weeks. Let's try to think that it won't get too much tougher as we go on. I'll think of you this week but hopefully it will be like the last two. I stay really active most of the time and I'm back to playing golf since my lumpectomy incision is all healed. I go for a blood count today and I wish they would just give me tx #3 so we can get on with this!! Keep in touch and I'm sending you hugs and prayers, too. Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 14, 2006 01:40PM candie1971 wrote:

Hi
I am going on a pilgrimage to AC to honor Our Lady of the Assumption. You will all be in my prayers at the Mass and procession.

Hugs and prayers,
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 18, 2006 01:47AM SCMartin wrote:

Candie, I've been thinking of you this week as I know it was chemo week for you. I hope you are doing well. Post when you are able to let us know you are OK. Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 18, 2006 06:31PM b445 wrote:

hope you gals are doing well. think of you often
Hugs and prayers
Smile you will surely make someone day! Dx 4/24/2007, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 19, 2006 04:11AM SCMartin wrote:

Cheryl, Thanks for checking on us. My #3 is Monday morning. It will be nice to say 3 down and 5 to go. I will get #4 a few days early because of Labor Day. I asked to get it the Friday before instead of the day after. Hopefully, that will happen. I hope you are doing well and recovering from radiation. I hope Candie is well, too. We'll keep you posted. Thanks again. Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 19, 2006 07:44PM b445 wrote:

The place I went to was open even on the holidaysm so I didn't have to juggle days. That was nice.

Glad it's going well for you. Hang in there you're almost half way
Smile you will surely make someone day! Dx 4/24/2007, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 19, 2006 11:42PM candie1971 wrote:

Susan,
Thanks so much for wondering how I am doing. Yes, chemo # 3 was this past Wednesday. I was tired immediately. Onc says that happens sometimes--so I went home instead of my usual going to work. Feeling ok since then. I do have nausea but I wont take the nausea meds cause I cannot do the constipation...I Hate that. So I get thru it...I am tired tho..and oh--I am losing quite a bit of hair. Onc says it may only thin but boy, I am shedding!! No bald spots yets tho. I have been wearing a bandana when I cook cause it is just all over the place.

Here's a tidbit,too. I had a mole under my eye that I have had since birth. I noticed it was gettind dried. Well, the other day it fell off. No scar, no sign of it--gone!!! Guess it's the chemo.

I had an enjoyable day at the feast last Tuesday. I prayed for you and all my bc friends.

Susan, let me know how you are doing, too.

4tx this coming Wed. then 8 more to go!!!

Cheryl, how are you doing...

Hugs and prayers,
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 20, 2006 08:48AM SoCalLisa wrote:

As a former CMFer, I just want to say I am thinking about all of you..hugs, Lisa

Biography: DX 11/2000 LCIS,DCIS,IDC 2B, Grade 1, ER+,PR+ Her2Neg 1 pos node Lumptectomy, CMF chemo X 6 mos, DX 8/2001, IDC same breast--Mastectomy , Left Breast Lumpectomy... Tamoxifen, one year...Armidex, Four years
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Aug 20, 2006 12:07PM SCMartin wrote:

SoCalLisa, Thanks for thinking of us! That is most thoughtful of you. I go for #3 tomorrow morning- I get CMF all IV. I hope I tolerate it as well as #'s 1 and 2. I will have 8 total. Candie, Hang in there- maybe the hair is just thining and then it will subside. My husband just went to Mass and he prays for all of us. My oncology team suggested I stay clear of church as it's a germ factory. I say my prayers at home. I'll let you know how #3goes. Hugs to all of you. Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 20, 2006 01:49PM candie1971 wrote:

SoCalLisa, yes thanks for thinking of us.

Susan, hope all goes well for u tomorrow. I will be thinking of you. Yes, maybe hair is just thinning but it is all over the place. I went to CVS today to pick up presrip. and as I moved around the strand swere falling on my blouse. Yuck!! My girlfriend is coming over tomorrow night to cut it shorter just so the strands are shorter.

Thank your hubby for the prayers.

Hugs and prayers,
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 20, 2006 02:24PM b445 wrote:

Don't know if it's from the CMF I did or not but I'm still losing hair right and left. I had really long, sitting on long, hair in Dec when I started all this I had it cut to just below my shoulders. I donated it of course. It was also very think I could hardly get an elastic hair band around it twice. Now I can put it around about 5 or 6 times. Thinking about a sort hair cut. But son't know what would look good on a heavier person.

Hugs and prayers
Smile you will surely make someone day! Dx 4/24/2007, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 23, 2006 11:24AM SCMartin wrote:

Hello everyone, Just thought I should check in. I had CMF #3 on Monday. A bit more fatiqued this time but thats about it. I asked them to drip the cytoxan in slower and I think it helped with the head fullness. My counts remain high and I will have #4(the halfway mark) on Friday Sept. 1st as long as the WBC stays up. I do have one elevated liver function ensyme but they don't seem too concerned. I hope all are well- Candie-how are you feeling? Cheryl, are you recovered from radiation? Keep in touch and hugs to all. Susan

Dx 6/22/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, PR+, HER2-
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Aug 23, 2006 06:20PM b445 wrote:

remember to drink lots & I mean lots of water!

The burns from rads are healing niceky. I still have to work on range of motion in the mornings but am doing much better!

Hugs & Prayers
Smile you will surely make someone day! Dx 4/24/2007, 6cm+, Stage IV, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, mets, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Aug 24, 2006 01:12AM candie1971 wrote:

Susan
Had tx#4 yesterday (8 more to go) . I too asked them to put the 5FU and M in slower. Felt tired after. Cut my hair shorter on Monday--looks better- still fallin out tho--just looks thinner no baldness--my blood work is fine..
I didnt go to work afterward..hubby and I went to jersey shore for lunch--he thought i needed a treat rather than work--felt good to do that.

Cheryl
Glad to know u are doing ok. This ts the water tastes HORRIBLE.. i have been flavoring it with everything i can think of and forcing it in me. No matter what I do it still tastes like a sewer--lol

Hugs and prayers,
Candie
Good friends are like stars....you don't always see them but you know they are always there. Dx 5/26/2006, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 24, 2006 03:22AM danzar wrote:

Thanks a million for the brilliant synopsis - I am starting CMF next Friday and have printed your advice. Were you able to continue excercising?? Big worry is this chemo brain - I am in a travel agency and may end up booking people to Timbuktoo!!! Help please
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Aug 24, 2006 04:58AM kats wrote:

danzar,
Stryakat gave you some good heads up as to what your CMF chemo experience may/maynot be like. So much will depend on what CMF regimen you are on. Remember these are just our individual experiences, not everyone's experience will be exactly the same.
Here's a link to a site that describes the different regimens/schedules. http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk/Treatments/Chemotherapy/Combinationregimes/CMFregime#2544

For me I began with regimen/schedule D then when I swithced Oncologists he changed my regimen/schedule to A. My Oncologist called the regimen I did the day1/day8. It was a long regimen, 6 months with a total of 12 infusions.

Here my experience with CMF:

Nausea: mild
Vomiting: none
Hair loss: yes, ~60%. (I had a this much hair loss because of my high Cytoxan dosage). Used Nioxin hair products to give hair fullness.
Mouth sores: yes, from the 5-FU. Used Biotene toothpaste and mouthwash (it's antibacterial) also went through tube after tube of baby oral gel.
Constipation: yes, from the Kytril (anti-nausea med) given before each infusion and from the Compazine (anti-nausea med for at home use). It took me awhile to figure out how to combat constipation Remedy: began using a stool softener 2 days before my infusion and continued for 3-4 days post infusion, longer if I needed to take Compazine.
Watery eyes: yes, from the 5-FU. The 5-FU causes dry eye so your eyes produce excessive tears. Oncologist recommendation: use artifical tears several times a day (seems weird I know but it did help)
Low WBC's: yes, Neupogen injections given. WBC's finally stabilized 10 months after I completed chemo.
Elevated Liver Enzymes: yes, caused by the Methotrexate. After the 6th infusion the Methotrexate was eliminated from my regimen so I wouldn't end up with permanent liver damage (my Liver Enzyme levels increased to 6 times the normal level). My Cytoxan dosage was increased to compensate.
Heartburn: yes. Tums became a regular part of my diet.
Insomnia: yes, but only for a day or two post infusion, a bit longer if I took the Compazine.
Appetite: decreased for the first few days post infusion & when I had mouth sores.
Weight gain: yes, due to lack of energy/fatigue & no exercising.
Fatigue: yes, this was my biggest problem. It was accumulative. Felt okay for the first 3 months (6 infusions) the last 3 months I had a lot of fatigue.

I wish you the best.

kats
Mary "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson Dx 5/7/2003, ILC, 1cm, Stage I, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 24, 2006 05:37AM danzar wrote:

Thanx Kats - Will report back after my first treatment next
Friday the 1st Sep. Until then just trying to learn as much as I can from everyone else's experiences - I have got loads of good tips - thanx to all the wonderful women who have taken the trouble to put their experiences on the site

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