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Feb 6, 2019 04:06PM
This is my first post after lurking for a month or so getting my bearings. I was diagnosed - for official insurance purposes! - on November 15, though I didn't actually find out myself until the Tuesday before Thanksgiving with a telephone call. Bummer for sure. My husband and I were getting together with my parents and two sisters for the holiday, but we decided not to tell anyone until I had a "plan." That was hard, but I knew that they would have so many questions I would be unable to answer at that point, that it would make me feel even worse. When I finally did tell them after seeing the surgeon, I knew I had made the right decision even though I had to tell everyone except one sister over the phone, which was not ideal.
Anyway, fast forward a bit to lumpectomy on December 10. Good news in that the tumor was confirmed to be just a tiny bit bigger than the ultrasound had suggested at 8mm, clear margins, and no lymph node involvement. (Though the lymph node story is a little more complicated overall...) I then had a port installed on January 14, and had my first chemo on January 17 - cytoxan and taxotere. To my surprise, I really had no noticeable side effects at all in the way of nausea, etc., and spent the weekend pretending I didn't have cancer. - jk. However, by my follow up with my MO the following week, I was dehydrated to the point where she thought initially I'd need a fluid infusion right then and there. But I promised solemnly to drink massive amounts of water from then on, and she let me go home.
Side Effect Prevention/Reduction
I credit the lack of nausea and other SEs like bone pain from the Neulasta to taking my nausea meds religiously and to taking Claritin for 3 days after the treatment as recommended by the nurse. I also apparently avoided any neuropathy by keeping my fingernails in an ice bath during the taxotere infusion. This was the MO's suggestion. She had me wear a medium weight pair of surgical gloves so my skin wasn't direct contact with the ice water. It was uncomfortable for the first few minutes, but I took my hands out of the water briefly when it got bad, but eventually I think they just got numb and it didn't bother me the rest of the hour. Having a nice warm blanket and seat warmers in the chair really helped! For the next round, I'm going to try some ice gel slippers for my feet...
Since then, I've experienced some other SEs like a very runny nose - which I found out from reading these posts IS a side effect and not just me! I've also just started noticing my hair coming out. (Looks like I'm right on schedule there with Ruffian188 although I don't know how long ago your first round was.) They are very small hairs, though, because on 1/22 my sister took me out for a ritual buzz cut. (Everyone says I have such a beautiful head?!?!) So now we're planning to get the rest shaved off ASAP. I've indulged in a shopping spree of sorts ordering all kinds of different hats and scarves. I must say, this retail therapy part is fun, though it could get rather expensive so I'm trying to buy things that I can wear even when the hair grows back!
Tomorrow I have my second treatment and I hope it goes as well.
By the way, as to Jenkins00's post about eye-twitching, I have that too!!! Really just started a few days ago. I haven't tried to do anything about it yet because I've had it in the past - pre-BC - and chalked it up to tiredness/lack of sleep based on things I'd read. It may be the same now, or maybe not. Could also be related to the dehydration issue.
If you've gotten this far, I thank and admire you for your long attention span!
Wishing us all better health and hope!
11/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH)
12/9/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel
1/17/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)