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Topic: Starting Chemo April 2020

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

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

Posted on: Mar 25, 2020 11:16AM - edited Jun 19, 2020 09:21PM by jelloelloello

jelloelloello wrote:

Hey everyone! I'm starting the group for those of us starting chemotherapy in April 2020 (or the end of March, whatever works for you). Please join in!

I actually don't know my start date yet... I'm waiting to find out if I was approved for a clinical trial, which will determine my treatment plan and start date. The call/email should come this week, so I'm just anxiously waiting for it, but the plan is to start chemo next week. My treatment plan is 5-6 months of chemotherapy (AC-T), mastectomy plus lymph nodes, then radiation.

This is a super weird time to be dealing with cancer and the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, but I think sharing the weirdness, frustrations, questions and positive thoughts with each other will be helpful.

Thanks! Much aloha!

Jess

-------------------------

APRIL 2020 ROLL CALL

Username (name we can call you) - [location] - known or likely start date for chemo

  • ARmom4 (Kelly) - [Arkansas, USA] - 3/27 / 4/17
  • AuthorSpot (Stacey) - [Illinois, USA] - 3/31
  • bazcla (Claud) - [Texas, USA] - 5/14
  • Bon43 (Bonnie) - [Nova Scotia, Canada] - 4/6
  • BostonGal (Allie) - [Massachusetts, USA] - 4/16
  • ByHisGraceTwice ( j ) - [Texas, USA] - 4/1
  • CCgirl (Nan) - [Massachusetts, USA] - 5/4 (but we're keeping her in the April family!)
  • CocoB122 - [Kansas, USA] - 4/?
  • Dawn1027 (Dawn) - end of April
  • Debra1111 (Debra) - 4/15
  • Dup403 - [Alberta, Canada] - 3/31
  • Emmyvan - [New York, USA] - 4/2
  • Faith2020 (Faith) - [Texas, USA] - 4/9
  • HI109 (Emma) - [New York, USA] - 3/31
  • hnsquared (Heather) - [Colorado, USA] - 4/1
  • hog_co-pilot (Les) - 4/30
  • Hurricaneblair (Erin) - [Illinois, USA] - 4/9
  • ipenelope (Katie) - [Minnesota, USA] - 4/20
  • JavaJana (Jana) - [Texas, USA] - 4/8
  • jelloelloello (Jess) - [California, USA] - 4/2
  • Jettie - 3/11 (started in March but there's room for everyone in the April family!)
  • JustyneF (Justyne) - [Illinois, USA] - 4/6
  • LiseC (Lise) - [Florida, USA] - 4/10
  • Molly5678 (Molly) - 4/15
  • Mudstick - 4/22
  • NicoleRod (Nicole) - 4/23
  • Oldest4Sis (Michelle) - [Delaware, USA] - 4/2
  • pennythepest (Penny) - 1/3... then a break... then started again in May
  • pjb61 - [Illinois, USA] - 4/20
  • Shareliz54 - [Nova Scotia, Canada] - 4/24
  • ShellyRM (Shelly) - [California, USA] - 4/22
  • Smitty1963 - 4/24
  • Sueshe55 (Robin) - [Florida, USA] - 5/26
  • Sugar77 (Sherri) - [Mississauga, Canada] - 4/3
  • sunandsea (Vilija) - [California, USA] - 4/30
  • wahoomama87 (Kris) - [Georgia, USA] - 4/10
  • zee72 (Zarin) - [Dubai, UAE] - 4/7

*** NEW! Join our private Facebook group! ***

If you're interested in connecting with us on Facebook, send a PM to wahoomama87 (Kris). Be sure to give her your email address that you use for FB. That's the only way she can "find" you to invite you, since we're not "friends" on there (yet)!

Dx 2/13/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Immunotherapy 4/2/2020 Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 16, 2020 12:50PM - edited Apr 16, 2020 03:55PM by BostonGal

Hello all!

I am writing a general report on my first chemotherapy session.

Oh but first, I want to thank all for all your posts and sharing. My heart is full.

So...yes...yesterday I was terrified. And in fact, I said as someone else said in a post "this is real!" Until I had knowledge of a firm date, I was in denial. But then yesterday, when I got the confirmation that they would start today, I had to conquer my fear.

So let me tell you about my experience.

I am having Adriamycin and Cytoxan first. Later I will have Taxol. I worried about the Adriamycin but my NP told me that they've made the careful decision to administer it first based on the specifics of my situation.

On arrival to the chemotherapy center, I was taken aback at how welcoming all were and how nice the treatment areas are. I chose a seat next to a window with a very nice view. I was tempted to hide in a corner, but made myself take the window seat!

An assistant took all my vital signs and then my chemo nurse came to me and gave me a quick overview of the day in a very easy to understand way. I like that because it eliminated my usual response to stress which is to pepper people with questions.

Here was the procedure:

1. Clean off my port area and put the iv needle in: did not even feel this!

2. Give me some steroid pills and two separate anti-nausea drugs in my iv line.

3. Give me some fluids in my iv to hydrate me. I was relieved that I did not need to pee but the nurse told me it would be no problem getting to the bathroom if I did. She also encouraged me to drink as much as I want during hydration.

4. Push the Adriamycin into the iv line. These were two large syringes full of a very bright red liquid and again, I didn't feel a thing and the nurse and I had a great conversation while she pushed the drug. Only took about 10 minutes or so I think.

5. I believe she then flushed and hydrated me again.

6. Hook the IV to some Cytotoxan (in a bag). That took about one hour to get in.

7. Someone brought lunch to me!!!!!!! Had a nice sandwich, soup and brought the big chocolate cookie,chips and apple home to enjoy later.

8. GO HOME!

I feel tired from anticipation and lack of coffee right now but nothing else really. Had a tiny bit of coffee and the chocolate cookie and will read and nap. I am supposed to drink a lot of liquid to flush out the remnants of the drugs. Adriamycin can turn your pee cherry red for a while and I got that. Feeling very slight cramping in the belly but that's the kind of thing that I might get anyway without the chemo and so I'm not going to make a big deal about this.

The bigger thing to relate is that I was overwhelmed with gratitude and a sense of peace while at the center. Ya'. I have cancer; but...I am SO grateful to have such good, kind, and skillful care!

My best to all!

Allie (aka BostonGal originally)


Dx 1/2020, ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2020 Lymph node removal: Right Surgery Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy
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Apr 16, 2020 03:41PM LiseC wrote:

pjb61 - I'm with you on the eyebrows, I'm more upset about losing them than my hair and I'm not great with makeup, so I'm worried they will strange drawn on. I found something online (I'll try to find the link if you would like), they make “eyebrow wigs". They are basically eyebrows you can glue on with eyelash glue. They are supposed to last for several months if you take care of them. I was considering getting a pair for when I am out and about.

I go in for my second taxol tomorrow morning. Speaking of, is anyone doing taxol before AC? It looks like most start with the AC. It's been a pretty good week with minimal side effects so I'm hoping this round will be similar.

I wanted to share a picture with you all but for some reason it won’t post

Take care!

Lise

Diagnosed at 42, married 13 years and have a 4 year old son Dx 2/23/2020, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/10/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Zoladex (goserelin)
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Apr 16, 2020 06:52PM - edited Apr 17, 2020 07:34AM by JavaJana

Day 9 after chemo #1 and I'm doing ok. Is anyone else feeling like me - like a weirdo I keep waiting for a side effect? I mean, they give us a list a mile long of side effects and what to do, so every little twinge gets me wondering. I really need to find a new hobby 😂.

Seriously, the Neulasta has been the cause of the only significant symptom, bone and joint aches started about 12 hours after the injection, and lasted for almost 3 days, Saturday being the worst. My mouth got tender along with a sore throat over the weekend, but the baking soda gargle has helped and I noticed today I don't seem to have much discomfort now. Food definitely tastes different, and hot temp drinks are uncomfortable. 3-4 episodes of diarrhea about day 7-8, but only needed a few Imodium. This was one of my biggest worries, as they told me it can be a horrible problem from the Perjeta. Other random weird feelings sometimes, but really nothing horrible has happened and I'm very grateful!

I don't feel very fatigued like I did the first few days. I now have a week and a half to be kind of normal until next time, unless some late symptoms pop up. And I really hope each cycle is predictable and the effects aren't cumulative, but I realize that may not be how this goes.

I'm hoping and praying y'all have a great weekend with minimal chemo induced nonsense 😘 Jana

ETA: I tried the Claritin starting a few days before my chemo, and until 3 days after. I don't feel it helped with the bone pain, so I probably won't do it again since it gives me a headache anyway. Maybe I'll try benadryl next time since it only makes me sleepy.

Xgeva 9/2/2020. History: 2 Borderline Serous Ovarian Carcinoma TAH/BSO, 0/15 nodes - 2/18/20. Benign Papilloma/ADH Left breast, excisional biopsy 10/11/2016 Dx 10/1/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 10/23/2019, LCIS/DCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Surgery 11/18/2019 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Dx 3/25/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, 0/2 nodes Chemotherapy 4/7/2020 Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 4/7/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 4/8/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy 8/12/2020 Femara (letrozole)
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Apr 16, 2020 07:08PM jelloelloello wrote:

Yay, Allie (BostonGal) on your great first day of chemo! I'm so happy for you that you like the people at the center. To me, it's definitely the people/staff that are more important than even the chemo itself. I love my nurses and totally trust them, so that I'm not even scared about having a bad reaction or any other issue... I just totally know that they will take care of me well, that they've seen it all before, and that they will listen to me and explain things to me.

pjb61: That bit there was actually for you, too! I know you're scared about the big day tomorrow, but you can totally do this. True, you might not really know how you/your body will react, but I'm sure you're in good hands. And you know the basics of how the day will go based on Allie's great walk-through that she wrote above. And I love what Sherri (Sugar77) said, too, about welcoming the chemo into your body- very encouraging. And you know we're all going through it with you and we'll be here for you!! #aparttogether (or whatever those hashtags are that celebrities are using on social media)

My tip: Drink plenty of water/fluids today, too, if you can so that you go in tomorrow well-hydrated. Many people say this has helped them to minimize side effects and I believe it has helped me. And if your nurse is allowed to, ask if you can have the rest of the saline after your treatment is done to help hydrate you. I know you've already heard to drink a lot of fluids on chemo day and the day after: just remember that the chemo drugs are not required to hang out a while in your body to do the work, nor do they work better or stronger if they stay in you longer. Nor do we have to worry about diluting the drugs by drinking so much. They work instantly with their mere presence, so it's totally fine to flush them out as quickly as possible! You can Marie Kondo them with every sip-- thank them for their service and then tell them to get the heck out! lol

JLBinPDX: Thanks so much for your hair inspiration! ....hair-spiration?! haha

And to everyone talking about eyebrows (Sherri, Lise, etc.)... yes, I'm totally with all of you! DUDE, I'm gonna look crazy without eyebrows! I'm definitely more concerned about that than I am about my regular hair. I really hope that my eyebrows hang on and only thin a little, and that I can work some makeup magic (keep in mind that I don't even wear makeup on a regular basis so I also have to learn how to do this so-called magic). But hey, what can I do but wait and see what happens? Cancer has taught me patience and going with the flow. Can't predict what's gonna happen and can't diagnose myself (no matter what I try to figure out on the internet, haha). Nowadays, I don't know what kind of day it'll be when I wake up... just gotta wake up and see!

Today is Thursday and I'm home now from Chemo Day #3, yay! (I'm on weekly infusions of Taxol.) I did sleep hard for a couple hours once I had the Benadryl in. Love drug-induced naps, to be honest. It's like a relaxing time warp. But this time, unlike the previous two sessions, I felt super woozy/groggy afterwards. Still feeling off even after eating a light dinner and walking around doing laundry/cleaning/whatevs for 90-min, so now I'm giving up on my day and laying down in bed. It's only 7pm!

Love all of you!

Dx 2/13/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Immunotherapy 4/2/2020 Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 16, 2020 07:16PM jelloelloello wrote:

Jana: Hey! Glad to hear from you! It's great that you've been having minimal side effects. Me too, and I also have been super scrutinizing myself like a hypochondriac detective, which is ridiculous! Honestly, I should just go about living my regular life until/unless something hits me. I'm hopeful for you that you will continue to feel ok!

Radiating positive vibes to all of you tonight-- to my new friends in this group and to the random casual readers who dropped in. <3

Dx 2/13/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Immunotherapy 4/2/2020 Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 16, 2020 08:03PM hnsquared wrote:

good evening ladies....I love seeing your beautiful faces. I’m going to apologize that when I start typing I can’t remember everyone I want to respond to and I don’t have chemo brain yet.

Lise...Jess and I are both doing taxol first. I had #3 yesterday and I am still feeling well. I haven’t had any side effects yet to speak of and I still have hair(for now ). I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop then I remind myself one day at a time. Prior to starting I read lots of threads and the ladies that seemed to have the least amount of side effects consumed lots of water and kept active. I drink at least 90 oz a day and I’m always going to the bathroom😂. I also try to walk several miles daily or do a strength workout. I’m hoping to continue that hoping to not have major weight gains.

I bought a pair of eyebrow wigs😂...I never thought I’d say that. I worry I won’t be able to draw mine on once I take off my glasses without them looking crazy.

Those of you that are doing ACT and dong the AC first I am watching to see how I goes and any tips and tricks to getting through it.

For those who asked port questions...I was put out. Best sleep I have gotten since my diagnosis. For the first couple of days I really noticed I had a foreign object in my body. That has gotten better every day. The tenderness lasted a little over a week. I’ve had it for a little over 2 weeks and it doesn’t bother me. I know it is there but I’m not bothered by it.

I met with a plastic surgeon Tuesday to talk about reconstruction. I have the PALB2 genetic mutation so I run a high risk of getting another breast cancer. I was hoping to do a lumpectomy before I knew that but I don’t want to do this again so I’ll do a bilateral mastectomy to reduce the risk. The plastic surgeon wants to do a direct to implant at the time of the mastectomy. I don’t know anyone personally that has had that done. They have all had expanders. Just curious if anyone has had that or has consulted with a plastic surgeon and how that went. I must say talking about the surgery left me feeling a little overwhelmed. I’m terrified of surgery and it was just a reminder that chemo is only one leg of this journey.

I appreciate all of you and hope all of you are doing well❤️

Heather

Dx 2/20/2020, IDC, Left, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/31/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 9/20/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 11/10/2020 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab)
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Apr 16, 2020 10:39PM sunandsea wrote:

Hi all! I realize I'm late to this board, but hoping you'll welcome me nonetheless. I'm Vilija (VIH-lee-yah), I'm 40 and I live in Santa Cruz, CA. I've been obsessed with gathering research on all things BC (as I'm sure many of you are too), although COVID-19 did force me to make a quick decision about my surgeon and type of surgery (lumpectomy). Outcome was great though, and I just wrapped up a visit today with a 3rd medical oncologist. I'm pleased to say that I finally have an oncologist that I love and trust as well as a chemo game plan. Start date is ASAP (hoping by last week of April). I look forward to sharing with and learning from all of you. Take care.

Dx at 40. Mama to 2 boys ages 13 and 11. Dx 1/31/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/11/2020 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 4/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/3/2020 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/3/2020 Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 9/3/2020 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Apr 17, 2020 03:06AM BostonGal wrote:

Jess,

What great communication skills you have. Thank you.

Note all: My walkthrough of my chemo session is specific to me; others will have different regimens and therefore your sessions will be different.

Also I see I did not get the first hydration and administration of the anti-nausea meds right: they should be reversed. I had quite a bit of hydration before anti-nausea meds were pushed.

Welcome all new members! Greetings all existing members!

WHAT A HOOT: eyebrow wigs! So whimsical- I love it! Ya' I will likely lose ALL my hair including lashes...but I will say this...what I have noticed about bald people including no "eye hair" is that this actually highlights your features so that they can be appreciated especially eyes!

I will get the eye wigs because I have a curiosity about them...and me. It sounds like fun to experiment with the idea of a personal makeover, from the inside out! Outside in! North and south, east and west!

I am thankful to walk with others in this most remarkable journey and send my best wishes,

Allie

Dx 1/2020, ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2020 Lymph node removal: Right Surgery Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy
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Apr 17, 2020 05:52AM AuthorSpot wrote:

Allie— congrats on getting your first chemo down! I do AC first and the side effect that bothers me most is the bladder spasms. I get them very badly the first four days. They gave me a script for pyridium, but even that doesn’t cover them completely. As for the bone pain, did they tell you to take Claritin? I know it sounds odd, but taking a Claritin (yes, it has to be Claritin) the day of the Neulasta shot and two days after. I had hardly any aching. I do get a very bad sore throat about day five and mouth sores. The baking soda rinse is a life saver.

For everyone getting hungry, it’s most likely the steroids. As you could tell from my picture, I’m not a thin gal to begin with, but I try not to worry about it during chemo week and eat what I crave. The next week when I feel better, I eat healthier.

I’m loving all the pictures! Yay! Let’s share our beautiful attitudes and celebrate our changing bodies. Because this too will pass. ❤️

My nether region hair is falling out. Sorry for TMI, but anyone else? It makes the loose stool times a bit more irritating. ☹️ But natural care Huggins wipes have been a huge help.

Love to all this week. My parents are coming to stay with me this weekend to “help.”

Dx 3/2/2020, IDC, Left, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 17, 2020 05:52AM wahoomama87 wrote:

pjb61 -

Erin and I both are the "natural" people! So this chemo thing is killing me. But I'm doing it. You are I are doing things a little differently, because I am HER2+, but I am also getting Taxotere, and I also have lots of plant allergies. I had no issues during my first infusion (4/10/20) - and they take things really slowly to make sure that you are okay. Sugar77 is right - you get that Benadryl right before - that knocked me on my butt! And I took the oral steroids before and after. Mostly, I'm struggling with the after effects on my digestive system - it's been rough this week. Trying to get that all figured out before the next round.

Kris


Dx 3/23/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 4/10/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 4/10/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 4/10/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 8/24/2020 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Apr 17, 2020 05:55AM Sugar77 wrote:

jelloelloello - regarding brows, you might be surprised. I never lost all my brows and lashes last time. They thinned but not until chemo was done for a month or two. By then my hair was already growing back. Brows and lashes are in a different cycle than hair.

Surgery 9/24/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 10/27/2009, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/6/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 12/5/2019, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/26/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 17, 2020 06:10AM Sugar77 wrote:

Kris - yes, that’s correct, they give the bag of saline before the Taxotere infusion.

Surgery 9/24/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 10/27/2009, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/6/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 12/5/2019, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/26/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 17, 2020 08:27AM - edited Apr 18, 2020 10:34AM by BostonGal

Stacey, all good stuff and not TMI at all! I have been having, speaking of the bladder, little leaks since chemo but I am on both Adriamycin (which gives you cherry koolaid pee for a while) and Cytoxan, various meds, and had a delicious soup made by neighbor that featured onions which can trigger this, heartburn, queasiness, and belly cramps in me anyway...sigh... I believe.

Yes. I started Claritan yesterday and will take it daily to prevent bone symptoms. I had a round of what was thought to be dry eyes and/ or allergies lately and was told I could take it for that too.

I am going to try to get of my backside for a little walk today and that is suppose to help EVERYTHING.

My best wishes,

Allie

MAJOR UPDATE: I gave myself my first Neulasta shot today! I must let you know that this did not hurt at all - more a pressure sensation when I put the needle in and I'll tell you why I think that is in a minute. They taught me how to do this at the cancer center and let me practice with a little belly model and a real (unused and empty practice syringe and needle!

So if you have to do this, I hope to be a reassuring voice. Otherwise, to me, it really would not be a problem to return to the center since I'm so close and nurses can do it without blinking an eye.

SO here's why the nurse thinks it did not hurt. I was instructed to pinch up some belly skin in certain areas (away from the belly button) and keep the skin pinched while putting the needle in and then injecting. I was told I do not need to pinch hard. I then just injected the drug until the plunger was at the end of the syringe and again I did not notice any discomfort. When I took the needle out, there was the tiniest little soreness, but that is it!

The nurses give excellent instructions on this and I found the package insert very helpful too. Easy to follow and understand. They (the nurses and the package insert) give you the whole thing: how to take care of the Neurlasta before you need it, how to prepare your "work area," how to clean your skin, how and where to pinch your skin, how to hold the syringe (NOT BY THE PLUNGER!), how to inject, and how to push the medicine into the pinched area! What a relief to have this over!

One note: the pharmacy gave me slightly different instructions which I checked with the nurse and she said to follow her instructions. I noticed the package insert instructions were the same as the nurse's.

Dx 1/2020, ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2020 Lymph node removal: Right Surgery Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy
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Apr 17, 2020 11:29AM Hurricaneblair wrote:

Jana....I definitely can relate to the waiting for the next symptom or “hey, what’s this?” Sort of waiting on the edge of my seat for something else, something worse. I will admit that I have not felt as bad as I thought I would. Days 4-5 after chemo would be what I characterize as my worst days so far, but they were not nearly as bad as I anticipated...tired, brain fog, weird taste/feel in my mouth. Days 6–8, I have woken up feeling a lot more like myself...with just a few minor annoyances.

On the American Cancer Society shopping page...www.tlc.org...some of their items are on sale today....picked up some skull cap type hats, a halo wig for wearing with hats, etc.

Hope you all have a nice weekend without any complications! Erin

Dx 3/25/2020, ILC/IDC, Right, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Targeted Therapy 4/9/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 4/9/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 17, 2020 12:45PM jelloelloello wrote:

Quick welcome message to Vilija (sunandsea)! Just wanted to say we're glad you joined us. I added you to our Roll Call list at the top! This is a great group with lots of open, positive, funny and sweet people. It's cool that you were able to quickly get your lumpectomy done and now are ready for chemo. I hope you can start soon! But if for any reason you end up not starting in April, I hope you still hang out with us-- there's no real rule about it just 'cuz we're the April group, haha :)

-jess

Dx 2/13/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Immunotherapy 4/2/2020 Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 17, 2020 01:15PM jelloelloello wrote:

Thanks, Stacey (AuthorSpot) and everyone else, for your candid stories about side effects, especially the hair and bathroom ones! I honestly need this so much. The other day I had a normal poop after like a week of diarrhea, and I cheered for myself like when you potty train a toddler.

And we've all been talking about how we are vigilantly watching for symptoms... I feel like I'm constantly playing the, "Is it chemo?" game! Like, my throat hurts... ugh,chemo. My scalp is itchy... ugh, chemo. My lower back is sore... ugh, chemo. On Wednesday, I was sluggish and grumpy, kinda crampy and sore, just feeling like laying around doing nothing, and I was like, (shaking fist in the air) "ugh, chemo sucks" ...but it turns out my period was starting and I honestly just totally forgot that it even exists! hahaha

Dx 2/13/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Immunotherapy 4/2/2020 Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 17, 2020 02:51PM - edited Apr 17, 2020 02:51PM by Gogomb

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Apr 17, 2020 03:17PM Sugar77 wrote:

Jess - be prepared, chemo could temporarily stop your period or end it altogether. I was 45 and had one a month and half after my first infusion and then never got it again. That was 10 years ago.

Surgery 9/24/2009 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 10/27/2009, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/6/2009 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 12/5/2019, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/26/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Apr 17, 2020 03:44PM jelloelloello wrote:

Thanks, Sherri. Yeah, I remember my oncologist telling me about possible early menopause and then in my head, I just kinda wrote it off already! But nope, here we go again!

Also- I’m glad to hear that I might not lose my eyebrows, that it’s not all connected at the same time as head hair loss. Fingers crossed!

Ridiculous thought of the day: Wish we could choose which things we lose and which thingswe keep from cancer. I’ll gladly lose periods, body hair, some weight and, of course, the tumor! But I’d like to keep head hair, eyebrows & eyelashes, feeling in my hands & feet, my appetite, and my sanity!

Dx 2/13/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Immunotherapy 4/2/2020 Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 17, 2020 06:01PM Bon43 wrote:

haha Jess. That made me laugh. I was thinking the same thing the other day!!

Bonnie Dx 3/10/2020, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IIB, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 4/6/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Apr 17, 2020 06:40PM Dawn1027 wrote:

Hello,

I am happy to see a group for newbies! I am terrified and have so many questions and look forward to going through this part of our journey together. I will be starting chemo this month. I am having my port placed on April 22nd. I have IDC ER/PR+ HER2-. My Onologist is waiting on my Mammaprint to determine type of chemo. I was diagnosed on 02/08/2019, started Anastrazole in April 2019, and recently had a left breast partial mastectomy and 5 lymph nodes removed on 03/19/2020. My pathology came back with clear margins and micrometastasis in 1 lymph node.

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Apr 17, 2020 09:40PM jelloelloello wrote:

Hey Dawn- welcome to our group! I'll add you to our Roll Call at the top. This group is a good mix of total newbies and some people who've been through chemo and/or other treatments before, so you'll get lots of good info and support. And a super big congrats on the successful mastectomy and lymph node removal!

I will be doing that, too, after chemo, and I'm super nervous because I've never had surgery before. I've never even been admitted to a hospital in my life-- never even sprained an ankle, never had tonsils removed, never gave birth (no kids) or anything at all! The biopsy I did in February to find out I have cancer was my first ever procedure. And now two months later, here I am a frequent flyer, walking into the hospital cancer center every week like a PRO. I know the fastest way to the labs for my blood draw, what to tell the check in desk, how to fill out the newly required forms about coronavirus, and how to ask my chemo nurses for my preferred placement (left forearm) for my IV, if possible (no port, yet, but hoping to get it next week). I'm a whole different person now! I'm also suddenly the cancer expert with my friends and family, even though I literally just started learning all this two months ago, haha

Like how Allie (BostonGal) is now the self-injection pro for her Neulasta shots, we all are learning quickly to adjust to the millions of new things thrown at us, and I'm so proud of all of us! Even if we're scared, we just take a deep breath and do it. That's what a warrior is, and that's who we all are now. : )

Dx 2/13/2020, IDC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Immunotherapy 4/2/2020 Chemotherapy 4/2/2020 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 18, 2020 07:29AM sunandsea wrote:

Tx for the warm welcome and roll call addition jelloelloello!

I am so grateful to everyone for sharing what their experience has been like for their first few sessions. Really helps me wrap my head around things.

Sugar77 - I'm so sorry to hear that you're back for another go around. BUT, reading your calm and determined words shows me that you're more than up for the task. It also gives me strength to do the job of healing myself.

Jelloelloello and JustyneF - I love hearing that you both looked into and ended up enrolling in I-SPY2. I had emailed Dr. Laura Essermam (she emailed me back asap - fan girl moment) and had met with Dr. Ewing at UCSF to learn more about the trial. I was on the path to signing up when COVID-19 really started taking off and I made the difficult decision to scrap the trial in favor of surgery ASAP (which of course excludes me from the trial). I was heartbroken, but seeing that the 2 of you still managed to enroll is awesome! I know you will be receiving the best of care (cutting edge stuff...plus helping future cancer pts!)

I spent much of yesterday debating whether to cold cap. I had never even bothered considering it since I have short hair and going bald doesn't really phase me. That said, my onc mentioned the possibility of permanent alopecia with TC and I freaked out. Odds are low of course, but still! In the end, I've come to the decision *not* to cold cap. The Dignicap isn't available at my preferred center and the manual options aren't really options to me given that we can't have visitors and I will have no one to help me. Plus, I really don't want to spend any more time than I have to in the clinic. COVID-19 strikes again! Instead, I'm going to focus my time in these next few months on doing me best to protect myself from covid, continue my diet, moving my body regularly, reading up on the radiation and endocrine therapy to come, and even trying to work a little. Oh! And be present for my kids the best that I can. Phew! That's a lot.

Seeing you ladies do just that gives me hope. Hugs 🌈


Dx at 40. Mama to 2 boys ages 13 and 11. Dx 1/31/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 3/11/2020 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 4/30/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 8/3/2020 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/3/2020 Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 9/3/2020 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Apr 18, 2020 07:53AM ByHisGraceTwice wrote:

Happy Saturday Everyone

Please forgive me for making a suggestion y’all probably already know. Authorspot, when you mentioned Huggies Natural, I thought about it. I learned the hard way with a $600 plumbing bill.

When my GrandChuckles were potty training, I used flushable baby wipes. They’re flushable, but they’re also stay-in-the-pipe-able. The plumber said no baby wipe should be flushed, not even the flushable ones.

Thanks everyone for sharing how things are going. Update on me: I’m one week past my lastest round of radiation treatments and feeling stronger every day. Gastro issues almost over. Pain in my Lumbar spine where the Mets are is much better. Won’t be taking my second infusion on Wednesday because I’m seeing my new medical oncologist on Thursday.

I’m a happy woman!

Dx 11/18/2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC) Surgery 1/30/2017 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 11/18/2019, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (FISH) Radiation Therapy 11/18/2019 External: Bone Dx 3/13/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone Radiation Therapy 3/18/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 4/1/2020 Targeted Therapy 5/7/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 5/19/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel)
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Apr 18, 2020 09:37AM ARmom4 wrote:

Hi all! I'm Kelly. I'm switching over to the April chemo thread. I attempted Taxol first in March but after 2 severe reactions and a week break, I started Taxotere yesterday. Success! No reaction so on we go. So far my only side effect is body aches and a little heartburn.

Love reading all the tips and stories. I see you guys post a lot. I need to catch up!

Diagnosed age 35. ATM gene mutation.Severe reaction to Taxol and Taxotere. Herceptin and Tamoxifen now. Dx 1/3/2020, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (DUAL) Surgery 2/11/2020 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Targeted Therapy 3/27/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 3/27/2020 Taxol (paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 4/17/2020 Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 5/29/2020 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 7/1/2020 Prophylactic ovary removal
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Apr 18, 2020 10:46AM BostonGal wrote:

Hi all,

I am lifted up by your posts. Thank you. You are all extraordinary.

I am having more heartburn than I usually get (I'm prone to it) and that alone is making me a little queasy. So far managing with Rolaids without the Compazine.

The bladder leaks continue and are maddening when I get up in the morning. Nurse knows about this. I am just going to have to set my cell phone alarm to get up periodically before my bladder starts nagging me. Better to be dry than cry!

I've been prone to that too and so I think it's not unusual given the amount of drugs and chemicals that have been pumped into me since Thursday yikes!...Plus all the anxiety. There's an old saying btw: if it burns the stomach, it will burn the bladder...please don't take anything I say as medical advice. Always, always talk to your medical team!

Good news: I was able to eat with more enthusiasm today. No BM since Thursday and so will up the liquids if that is at all possible and will take a little more Colace.

Fondly,

Allie

Dx 1/2020, ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2020 Lymph node removal: Right Surgery Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy
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Apr 18, 2020 02:41PM wahoomama87 wrote:

Jess - I laughed at you comment about choosing what we keep and what we don't - because I have had that EXACT conversation with myself, too! I would gladly lose my hair for no digestive side effects, no neuropathy, no heart issues with the Herceptin/Perjeta. It's funny what starts to matter.

Allie - I have never dealt with heartburn, and I have had it something FIERCE this first week after chemo. It's finally going away (I hit one week yesterday) and the biggest thing I discovered is that I need to keep food in my system all the time. So I'm eating every 3 hours - just a small amount. As long as I don't let my stomach get too empty, it stays away.

Vilija - Welcome! I also made the decision not to try the cold capping. I am using the cold mitts on my hands and feet to try and prevent any neuropathy from the Taxotere, but I really didn't care if I lost my hair. That seemed way less onerous than dealing with the cold cap.

Reporting in at the end of week one - by Thursday, I actually felt pretty normal, energy wise. Today was a pretty regular day around the house, so that felt good. I'm still sleeping pretty well and my appetite is good. I was still struggling with intermittent diarrhea up through this morning, and I finally caved and took an Immodium. I hate using that, but I'm hoping I am turning the corner there.

So all in all - things are looking up for weeks 2 and 3 - until I head back into the belly of the chemo best on May 1st! I have my mid-cycle lab appointment on Monday, so hoping my numbers look good.

Erin - how are you feeling?

Kris


Dx 3/23/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Chemotherapy 4/10/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 4/10/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 4/10/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 8/24/2020 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left
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Apr 18, 2020 08:32PM Faith2020 wrote:

Faith2020, FallasTexas, 4/9/20

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Apr 18, 2020 10:44PM ipenelope wrote:

Opps, chemo starts 04/20

Katie💗 Diagnosed stage IIB at 42, diagnosed stage 4 mets to left lung age 44 Dx 9/12/2018, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 12/20/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 6/13/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy 6/22/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 11/21/2019 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting Dx 2/24/2020, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to lungs, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/18/2020 Chemotherapy 4/20/2020 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Chemotherapy 10/12/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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Apr 19, 2020 06:23AM BostonGal wrote:

Kris,

Bless you for your advice. I think my GI track

is starting to come back online. I had a cup of coffee today and did about five or so minutes of gentle dance moves in the kitchen much to the enjoyment of my cat who rolled around on the dryer making happy paws at me. I will try to do this several times a day. Also... lots of water.

I cherish you all and send my gratitude and best wishes...

Allie

Dx 1/2020, ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, 4/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/31/2020 Lymph node removal: Right Surgery Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy

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