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Topic: Starting Chemo April 2021

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

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

Posted on: Apr 4, 2021 06:56PM

Taralynn wrote:

Hello and Happy Easter! Thought I’d start an April 2021 chemo thread as I didn’t see one made yet. I technically started 3/31, 4 AC first then 12 rounds of taxol. Surprisingly my side effects have been very minimal so I’m grateful for every hour I feel well. I was so happy to be able to enjoy Easter with my family today.

I used zofran for mild nausea the first few days but haven’t taken any today. Each morning I’ve woken up kind of heavy headed, if that makes sense. Like my head feels like it weighs 100 lbs lol but that wears off pretty quickly. Other than that and some fatigue, things are good for now!

I’m also trying out the DigniCap and hope I have fairly decent results, but we’ll see!

Mom of 3, Diagnosed at 39. Dx 10/15/2020, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2020 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/31/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 3, 2021 03:19PM pchyen wrote:

Hahlyn. Hope you feel better!

mamacure, hope you are feeling better!

Nicole had a rough few days, feeling a little bit better today, just fatigued a little bit. She worked today (work from home). Hopefully she is rounding the corner as well and get a few good days before next round

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 4, 2021 07:37AM Moderators wrote:

TODAY:

Come be with others just starting or in the process of chemotherapy in a relaxing, confidential and supportive virtual environment. This will be a recurring meeting.

To Register, download the Zoom app and click the link below.

When: Every Tuesday 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting (if you register once you will not need to register for future meetings):

https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvc-uurzgvHNyvhpw-l0KPkwjlKN_KbOeC

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

See you then!

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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May 4, 2021 08:11AM Hahlyn wrote:

Hi Pchyen

Glad to hear Nicole is doing better and was able to work a little. I work from home as well. The work actually helps to keep my mind off things. She should definitely get s few good days before the next round. We all long for the good days.

Here's to minimal side effects for us all and a good few days ahead.

Hahlyn



Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 9/20/2016 Other Surgery 2/26/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary
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May 4, 2021 10:22AM - edited May 4, 2021 10:55AM by pchyen

Thank you Hahlyn. Nicole is feeling better today physically. Emotionally, not as much. Her hair is coming out and she is pretty sad (even though she knows that this is part of the process).

Also, Nicole's right breast (side with cancer)is turning a bit red and swelling a bit. Is anyone experiencing this while on AC/chemo?

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 4, 2021 11:39AM Aram wrote:

pchyen, does she get steroids? I find the 5th to 7th days after chemo, when I am coming off stroids, are draining both physically and mentally.

I did not have any redness or swelling while on AC chemo.

Dx at 40 Dx 2/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 2/5/2021, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 3/10/2021 AC
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May 4, 2021 12:15PM pchyen wrote:

Thank you Aram. Nicole is only getting steroid during chemo day, and just anti-nausea meds after. She had to reduce her dose as she gets very sleepy on it. And she didn’t have to take any today.

Hope someone can chime in on the breast color observation during chemo.

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 4, 2021 12:22PM emotionalpond wrote:

So the second chemo has been much ruffer for me! I'm tired and feel weak. Nothing tastes good and this frustrates me so much!!! I'm starving and nauseated all the time!! I'm on day 6. The first 3 days were good and I was able to work. I'm still at work but really finding it hard to be here today!!!!!!!

Dx 2/8/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 4/2/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 4, 2021 02:56PM Carpe-Diem wrote:

Emotional Pond - Sorry you are feeling so bad. The taste factor thing with TC is just dreadful. I found by eating small portions of bland food, I could get through those days. You got to get something in your stomach. I ate ground turkey which had been fried with some brown rice or avocado. Or I made myself some cold oatmeal - oatmeal with some almond milk in it (you can use apple juice too) and then I added some fruits I could tolerate such as mango, raspberries or shredded apples. I found the easiest way to eat was to eat small portions. And then eat again a few hours later.

Dx 2021 Metaplastic Spindle Cell Triple Negative Dx 12/12/2013, ILC/IDC, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/4/2014 AC Chemotherapy 2/28/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 5/13/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Radiation Therapy 7/1/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/9/2014 Surgery 1/22/2021 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 1/29/2021, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2021 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/31/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 4, 2021 05:00PM Hahlyn wrote:

Pchyen I haven't experienced the swelling or redness. Make sure to reach out to.her MO it may be a side effects to the chemo.

I had to get hydration today I was in a bad way just felt dehydrated. Yesterday I saw my breast surgeon and she got one good look at me and I said I think I need some hydration and she had an appt asap. I love her! Thank God she didn't hesitate or tell me to call my MO.

I'm hoping I feel better currently sitting in the chair getting the hydration hopefully this does the trick.

Alos my taste buds are a mess feels kike something is coating my tongue. Carpe I think I will try your idea ground turkey with rice and avocado sounds good. I need to eat otherwise I will remain weak.

Hahlyn

Dx 8/8/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 9/20/2016 Other Surgery 2/26/2017 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary
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May 4, 2021 05:20PM AlwaysMeC wrote:

Hello Aram. I am in the May group, but thought I'd ask a question. I just had my first infusion last Thursday and it was pretty uneventful, however on the second day after stopping steroids I felt really pretty horrible. I knew they affected me early on because just the one 4mg dexamathasone kept me awake and very much much wired the night before. I was only able to sleep 3 to 4 hours at night for the first four days. I read the half life of Dex is 36 to 72 hours which makes sense for when I started having odd symptoms, like agitation, acid reflux, sweating profusely, and restlessness. My husband remarked that it looked like I was withdrawing from a drug dependency. I've asked my MO if we can skip taking the Dex since I did not experience any nausea, and maybe only take it the day of. Have you been noticing a pattern? Do you think the steroid might be making your recovery harder?

Dx 4/2/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH)
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May 4, 2021 06:07PM AlwaysMeC wrote:

i just heard back from the MO. Steroids are needed to prevent a severe fluid retention, so we can't stop taking it. I guess I will have to deal with the effects :(

Dx 4/2/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH)
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May 4, 2021 06:38PM Aram wrote:

AlwaysMeC, I am sorry you went through that. It seems I take a lot more steroids than everyone else. I take dexamethasone for 4 days. During those days I am just completely off both physically and mentally. First day I am done with steroids I am kind of ok, I even worked full day this time. But then I crash, it seems like all energy is gone from my body and I spent the next 2 3 days on the bed/sofa. Not fun at all and I am not looking forward to it to tell you the truth. But I always remind myself it is temporary, it is temporary, it is temporary.... kind of in a loop to get me through those dreadful hours.

Dx at 40 Dx 2/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 2/5/2021, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 3/10/2021 AC
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May 4, 2021 06:40PM - edited May 4, 2021 06:40PM by pchyen

Thanks Hahlyn, will ask MO at our next consult.

Hi AlwaysMeC, Nicole had dexamathasone 1 hour before her AC chemo. That is the only time she took it. No other steroid. She didn't have any issues (knock on wood).

Hi emotionalpond, hope you feel better soon

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 4, 2021 06:46PM AlwaysMeC wrote:

Thank you both pychen and Aram.

Yes, I will have to try to be strong mentally for the next round. I will say that loop with you, it's only temporary.....

Dx 4/2/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (FISH)
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May 4, 2021 07:06PM - edited May 4, 2021 07:07PM by pchyen

Hi Aram, did your MO give you any reason that you are taking steroid for 4 days? Or is it gradual increase with each AC chemo?

Also, I think the WBC boost shot will zap your energy as well

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 4, 2021 07:21PM Aram wrote:

pchyen, I believe it is because I get very nauseous and I told them about my nausea during pregnancy before starting the chemo. I was taking it for four days from first cycle. Even with dexamethasone, and Enem I still get nauseous in the first days so he added olanzapine for nights as well.

Dx at 40 Dx 2/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 2/5/2021, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 3/10/2021 AC
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May 5, 2021 06:33AM - edited May 5, 2021 06:35AM by pchyen

Hi Aram, that makes sense. Have you asked your MO about Zofran ODT (orally disintegrating tablet) to treat nausea and to avoid so many days on steroids? Zofran ODT comes in form of small pilltablet or very small strip and dissolves in your mouth, no water needed.

Nicole was prescribed olanzapine 2.5mg right from the start and that really made her really tired and not herself, she said it messed with her mind. Nicole cut back on the dosage to 1/2(1.25mg) and it was much better, and haven’t needed it since yesterday

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 5, 2021 06:51AM Aram wrote:

Thanks pchyen. I will ask this time. I will see if it is really for nausea.

I don't like the feeling of Olanpazine either. It makes me feel weird. I once even stopped it but nausea hit back hard so I started taking it again. I should ask my MO if I might be able to take a lower dose as well.

Dx at 40 Dx 2/5/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 2/5/2021, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 3/10/2021 AC
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May 5, 2021 10:15AM mamacure wrote:

Hi everyone, hope you all are doing okay.

pchyen - ask about the swollen breast in the inflammatory thread, mine hasn't been acting up since the initial diagnosis, but I know that others in the inflammatory thread have experienced it during chemo.

Hopefully it mans the chemo is taking action on it.

I felt so nauseated this last round, I think I better take the full dose (2 tabs on days 2 & 3) of Dexamethasone as prescribed. I was so afraid of constipation again so I only took one pill each day and paid for it.

I was also prescribed ATIVAN and so will try that if it gets bad again. Anyone have bad side effects with ATIVAN? I have to say, the shaved head is much easier to take care of, but venturing out is another thing, even with a hat on. Take care everyone, let us how you are doing.

DX 3/23/21 | IDC LEFT | IBC LEFT | ER-/PR-/HER-2- (FISH) | T4b(inflammatory)N1, overall stage IIIc | Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy April 2021 Taxol, Carbo, Ketruda | Chemo May 2021 Abraxane, Carbo, Keytruda | Integrative Oncology & Accupuncture
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May 5, 2021 11:23AM pchyen wrote:

Hi mamacure, thank you. I have posted in the IBC lounge, hopefully someone will be able to chime in.

Are you taking any laxative with your steroid at the same time?

Ativan(lorazepam) could make you tired and driving is to be avoided.

Hope everyone have a good rest of the week!

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 6, 2021 10:34PM emotionalpond wrote:

can anyone let me know if I should be worried about the line? This is where I did my last chemo.

Dx 2/8/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 4/2/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 7, 2021 04:51PM Cleo42 wrote:

emotionalpond, do you have a nurses line you can call? I am not sure if you should be worried, but that is something I would run by your chemo nurses for sure. My cancer centre has a number I can call to ask about any symptoms/side effects.

Also, hello to everyone. I started chemo on April 26th (paclitaxil and carboplatin for 12 weeks, then 8 weeks of AC). I have had two infusions so far and it has gone pretty smoothly. First week was both drugs, and the carboplatin nausea was only bad on day 3-5 and controlled pretty well with anti-nausea meds and cannabis. I felt almost completely normal on day 6 and 7, which was a surprise. This week has been pretty easy.

I still have my hair but I guess it has only been 12 days. My scalp hurts now, and is itchy and feels bumpy and rashy. I bought a wig and some hats today, and I kind of just want it to happen now to get it over with. My 12 year old son is going to shave his head with me when the time comes. He offered to do it, and I am so touched.


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May 7, 2021 05:04PM Taralynn wrote:

hi all! Haven’t updated in a bit. Or Maybe I have, I’m struggling to remember anything lately.

3 AC’s are complete. With the dignicap, I still have probably 80% of my hair left, which even my nurses seemshocked by. My hair was thick to begin with and it’s thinned evenly so if you didn’t know how puffy it was before, you wouldn’t know I’m going through chemo. So that’s been good, even though I despise the cap itself. I’m super glad to only have one AC left next Wednesday!!!!

I’m taking longer to bounce back this time, biggest problems are fatigue and my appetite. My stomach growls all the time but I stand at my pantry just staring because nothing seems appealing. I feel like I eat nothing but carbs right now. No mouth sores or unpleasant taste, just an aversion to a lot of food. Very first trimester-ish.

Have a great weekend!!

Mom of 3, Diagnosed at 39. Dx 10/15/2020, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 12/14/2020 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 3/31/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 7, 2021 07:57PM - edited May 7, 2021 07:58PM by emotionalpond

Hello all

I went to the Cancer clinic today and found out that I have something called vein flair. I guess this means my veins do not like the chemotherapy. But honestly what veins would haha anyways I now have to get a PICC line for my last two infusions. So I guess I will do that sometime this week before my next infusion.

Dx 2/8/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 4/2/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 9, 2021 06:22AM - edited May 9, 2021 06:23AM by pchyen

Just want to wish all you moms out there a Happy Mother's Day! Hope you all have a wonderful day and get pampered! I am ordering Nicole McDonald's breakfast sandwich and Starbucks skinny caramel macchiato for breakfast today. And got Nicole some MooGoo natural skin care products.

Hi Taralynn, hopefully your appetite comes back soon!

Hi Cleo42, welcome to April 2021 chemo club. Glad your chemo sessions are going well!

Hi emotionalpond, Wish your vein a fast recovery and good to see your nurse was able to let you know what that was

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 10, 2021 09:09PM - edited May 10, 2021 09:10PM by HopeHeal

I know what you mean Taralyn because wow, this 3rd round of AC knocked out my appetite, which it was starting to do slightly before. Without eating around the infusion I felt weaker, heart rate was up, and it was worrisome because my RBC has lowered. MO team said if I lose too much weight they might prescribe appetite stimulating drugs, which I'm not crazy about because it might antagonize the stomach into something it doesn't want. Luckily I developed somewhat of an appetite from last night to today & I began eating slowly. I find just having what I may crave, no matter how ridiculous it is, helps and also doing something else while eating such as watching a movie mentally helps me accept the food more.

Mamacure, I hear you about venturing out. I have to put something on my head now, a luxury to not have to before. I hope your nausea gets better.

EmotionalPond, I have a port that was placed in my chest, I think the PICC is more temporary. Good luck with the installation.

Welcome to the journey Cleo42.

Pchyen thank you for honoring your wife.

ER weakly positive so being classified as triple negative. Dx 3/1/2021, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/9/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 11, 2021 11:08AM - edited May 11, 2021 11:09AM by mamacure

Hi everyone, good to read all the updates!

Cleo42, is Cannabis helping you? I asked my MO about CBD oil, she wasn't too thrilled.

I am meeting with a Integrative Oncologist this week so will ask about that plus mushroom and Wisconsin Ginseng.

After reading the book "Metabolic Approach to Cancer", I am going on a KETO diet. This book also has a nutrition shake recipe that may help people losing weight.

I lost at least 15 lbs. since early April. After Carbo, nothing sounds good and water tastes horrible. This week I am able to enjoy Peachy Green Tea (iced) made with tea bags by Tazo Teas. Unsweetened.

Lemon has also helped. Hang in there everyone!

DX 3/23/21 | IDC LEFT | IBC LEFT | ER-/PR-/HER-2- (FISH) | T4b(inflammatory)N1, overall stage IIIc | Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy April 2021 Taxol, Carbo, Ketruda | Chemo May 2021 Abraxane, Carbo, Keytruda | Integrative Oncology & Accupuncture
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May 11, 2021 04:11PM HopeHeal wrote:

Good luck with the Keto diet Mamacure, it is something I have considered and am interested to know how it goes for you. The green tea brand sounds great. You're luck your MO is giving you more leeway for weight loss, mine doesn't want me losing more than 10 lbs and I already lost 5.

ER weakly positive so being classified as triple negative. Dx 3/1/2021, DCIS/IDC, Left, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/9/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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May 12, 2021 06:11AM Carpe-Diem wrote:

Taralynn -- Good luck on your chemo infusion today. Woo hoo chapter one is done and over. With AC I found cold food to be easier to eat. So I ate ground turkey fried or cold chicken breast cut up with some greens. Also, I enjoyed lentils as a salad or in brown rice. You got to eat something. Helps with queasiness and keeps you strong. Also I drank cold pressed vegetable juices I made at home so that I could ensure washing all my vegetables and fruits thoroughly.

Dx 2021 Metaplastic Spindle Cell Triple Negative Dx 12/12/2013, ILC/IDC, Left, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 1/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 1/4/2014 AC Chemotherapy 2/28/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 5/13/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap Radiation Therapy 7/1/2014 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 8/9/2014 Surgery 1/22/2021 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 1/29/2021, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 2/26/2021 Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 3/31/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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May 12, 2021 04:42PM - edited May 12, 2021 04:57PM by pchyen

Hi everyone, hope you all are having a good week! Nicole will get her 2nd AC chemo tomorrow. Hoping to be about the same but expect a bit worse than first round.

Nicole saw her MO yesterday for a quick exam. MO was happy with the progress with as the tumor felt softer and no swelling that can be felt in the auxiliary lymph node. The cancer side is still a bit swollen, hoping that will go away after a few rounds of AC.

Nicole had blood work done yesterday, WBC and hemoglobin are good. Monocytes was a bit high (0.9 yesterday, between 0.2-0.8 is normal. Last test was 0.7). Does anyone know if that is normal for monocytes to be a bit high while on chemo?

Peter, Nicole’s Husband. Nicole was diagnosed with IDC April 5, 2021. Dx 3/2021, IDC, Right, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Chemotherapy 4/27/2021 AC + T (Taxol)

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