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Topic: dealing with steroids

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Oct 30, 2019 01:13PM

Brooklyn1234 wrote:

Hi,


I am doing weekly taxol and am five rounds in out of 12. The dexa has been causing some pretty terrible insomnia. Yesterday was a chemo day and I didn't sleep at all last night. It seems to be getting worse each week. I suspect my body is not fully clearing the steroid in a week's time, and so it's building up week by week. Yesterday they dropped me from 20 mg to 10 mg but I still had my worst night ever. I am taking melatonin and benadryl for sleep. I probably don't drink enough water in the days after chemo so I will do better on that, and I plan to try to get more exercise that produces a sweat, hoping that will help clear it out. But my oncology clinic has been reluctant to prescribe sleeping pills.

Anyone in the same boat? Any tips to share? I live in a place where cannabis is legal but so far small doses of CBD oil haven't done anything.

Thanks!

Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Oct 30, 2019 01:53PM - edited Oct 30, 2019 01:59PM by CBK

Yup those steroids will keep you up at night!! I had a terrible problem with them. Then I crashed about day 3 to 4 I think it was! Ugh 😑

I would think your MO could prescribe something. Mine was a fan of Ativan.

How many mg CBD are you taking and for how long? You may need more or more time for it to build up in the system. It can take a bit to do it's job. I love CBD!!

I truly feel for you, those steroids were tough for me!

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/22/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Oct 30, 2019 02:20PM - edited Oct 30, 2019 02:21PM by Ingerp

My body actually seemed to adapt to the steroid as tx went on. I did always take Zofra for a few days. Mytummy never felt bad but it does make you drowsy. I know it helped me sleep.

Dx 3/11/2016, DCIS, Left, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER-/PR- Surgery 3/23/2016 Lumpectomy Surgery 4/20/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/18/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 3/2/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 3/13/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Targeted Therapy 5/18/2018 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/18/2018 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/20/2018 Whole-breast: Breast
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Oct 30, 2019 04:20PM Brooklyn1234 wrote:

Thanks CBK. I'm only taking about 5 mg of CBD in gummy form. I will go up to 10 tonight and keep increasing up to 20. Will ask my MO for Ativan, that's a great idea!


Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Oct 30, 2019 05:52PM CBK wrote:

Brooklyn-

That’s a really low dose ... so you can def. go up. Looks like you are CBD saavy!

I take CBD raw oil form. Endoca is the brand I use. And I have also used NuLeaf. I’m still tweaking right dosing, but I’m at around 25mg a day. I thought I read somewhere suggested dosing for insomnia was 40mg, but don’t quote me on that!

Some people suggest that the combination of CBD with Ativan could increase effects. I don’t have a problem taking both at times. And my MO is ok with it! I’ve had a very rough time with my friend Arimidex and CBD is the only thing that’s helped me! Sleep, joint pain, hot flashes, better mood, and less anxiety!

Good luck Brooklyn. I really hope you can get some relief! And wishing you luck on finishing off your treatment soon. 🤗

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/22/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Oct 30, 2019 08:09PM Brooklyn1234 wrote:

I will definitely increase it. Wow, didn't even think CBD could help with hot flashes. These were bad before I started chemo, and now have become much worse. I'm really hoping I don't get my period back when this is over -- that would be a major silver lining!

Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Oct 30, 2019 09:01PM CBK wrote:

Brooklyn

I had double whammy peri-menopausal with ovary yank and placed on Arimidex six weeks PFC. Yeouch! I was Brca +

You are lucky you found CBD early in the game! I just found it a few months ago! It’s been such a help beyond.

Stay in touch. And you can always DM me.


Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/22/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Oct 31, 2019 12:47AM Cowgirl13 wrote:

My oncologist regularly prescribes ativan for when you are dealing with the steroids. It really helped and it also helps with nausea.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the Devil says: 'Oh crap! She's up! Dx 5/28/2009, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 6/15/2009 Chemotherapy 8/2/2009 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 12/21/2009 Hormonal Therapy 2/22/2010 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 31, 2019 08:01AM Brooklyn1234 wrote:

Thanks, will do!

(Tripled the CBD dose last night and got SEVEN unbroken hours of sleep!!)

Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Oct 31, 2019 10:30AM CBK wrote:

Brooklyn

That’s awesome! The power of CBD.

I’m sooooo happy you got some relief. May it continue.

Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/22/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/18/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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Oct 31, 2019 11:25AM DogMomRunner wrote:

I took melatonin with the cbd and that helped

You ain't run far enough to say My legs have failed You ain't gone far enough You ain't worked hard enough You ain't run far enough to say It ain't gonna get any better. Nathaniel Rateliff Dx 4/24/2019, DCIS/IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH) Surgery 5/17/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel Targeted Therapy 6/6/2019 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 6/6/2019 Taxol (paclitaxel) Radiation Therapy 9/22/2019 Whole-breast: Breast
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Nov 4, 2019 06:51PM kaaadams wrote:

I felt like I was sitting on a live electric wire on Dexamethasone! Had horrible insomnia too, but slept like a baby about 36 hours after the last dose. I'm taking 8mg twice daily the day before my Taxol/Cytoxan, and the pharmacist told me take the second daily dose at 2-3 pm or it'll keep me up all night. I felt like I may need psych hospitalization by day #5 of it, but that was the last day till next chemo. I get T/C every 3 weeks, so get a break. Let your MO know and prescribe something for sleep and take the Dexa in the AM and, if you need it twice daily, early afternoon. Hope that helps. Exercise too helped me get my daytime ya-yas out. Here's to sleep!

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Nov 8, 2019 06:06AM Brooklyn1234 wrote:

Interesting that some of us get dexa orally and some by transfusion. I wonder what the difference is. For me, it's just the one infusion before taxol, and that has been enough to destroy my sleep. I'm now on 10 mg of timed release melatonin and 1 mg CBD oil, and it isn't working, even several days out from the steroids. I'm actually starting to wonder if it isn't just the steroids. I've got hot flashes and trouble sleeping from menopause and maybe the shock and stress of the diagnosis is also playing into it......plus this week I have been sick with a sore throat and chest congestion. Overall, I am at a real low point right now.

Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Nov 13, 2019 08:50AM Brooklyn1234 wrote:

Update: after nothing worked well enough (10 mg melatonin, benadryl, CBD oil, epsom salt soaks), I finally asked my MO for an ativan perscription. Last night i took 1 mg and I slept for an UNBROKEN 8 hours!!!!

This is the best sleep I've had since diagnosis.

My hesitation all this time was that there are possible links between benzos and dementia, which runs in my family. But then again, chronic lack of sleep is also linked to dementia. And a full night's sleep will help me to exercise, have the energy and gumption to prepare healthy foods, socialize more, and many other things that also fight dementia.

Dx 11/1/2009, 1cm, Stage I, 0/9 nodes, ER-/PR+, HER2+ Dx 9/2019, IDC, Left, 1cm, ER-, HER2+ Chemotherapy Taxol (paclitaxel)

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