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Topic: Starting chemo June 2021

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After —

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

Posted on: Jun 3, 2021 07:59AM

LoverofJesus wrote:

Hi everyone. I will begin AC in about two weeks. Just wondering is there anyone else beginning chemo this month? I’m scared and don’t know a lot. I have talked with some of my friends that have had it and they have given some helpful advice. I will be doing chemo before surgery.

If anyone has advice or thoughts on good ways to keep life “normal” during chemo I would love to hear it.

Love you all on here.

Dx 5/22/2021, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/15/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 3, 2021 02:49PM Carlsoda wrote:

Hi LoverofJesus - I just had my first treatment today (TC). Home now and feeling tired but that’s all far. I think the worst part was the IV (ouchy!). My nurse today said by day 3 I would feel the worse then start to feel better and it’s important to live our normal lives between treatments. I am following all the instructions I was given to the T - since they are the experts!

Try not to be too scared, put your trust in God he is taking care of you!

Hugs!!!

Age: 51 @ diagnosis. Oncotype Result: 16 Dx 4/26/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/4/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 6/20/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/10/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 3/31/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/5/2021 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 6/3/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 3, 2021 04:18PM Aram wrote:

LoverOfJesus,

Everyone is different but there was no way I could have had normal life on AC. I think having such expectation might upset you when the reality is different. There is a thread here on BCO called AC treatment, and that one helped me a lot to know what to expect. In my 3 weeks cycle, I was mostly back to normal and back to work after day 7 or 8. Before that, it was not a normal day by any means and I was in bed or on the sofa for most of the day.

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 3/9/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Targeted Therapy 6/1/2021 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 6/2/2021 Perjeta (pertuzumab)
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Jun 7, 2021 02:36PM Moderators wrote:

Chiming in to let you know that TOMORROW is our Zoom virtual meet-up for people going through chemotherapy (caregivers welcome)

Tuesdays 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting

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

Hope to see you there!

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Jun 7, 2021 09:54PM LoverofJesus wrote:

Hi guys. I have a question. What should I expect with my port?

Specifically: 1. How long does it take to heal?

2. Is it very noticeable once it is healed? I mean I know you can see the bump but is it obvious?

3. Is it painful?

4. How soon after it’s put in can you bathe and stuff??

Dx 5/22/2021, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/15/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 8, 2021 01:52PM TXLorelei wrote:

My port is near my bra strap and entirely covered by my clothes but the bump is pretty small. The scar from the insertion is about 2 inches long and still pretty red 6 weeks later.

It took about 7-10 days for the surgical glue to come off and then I used the same antibiotic cream as I was using on my mastectomy incision to be on the safe side. I think I showered after 4-5 days.

Dx 7/7/2020, LCIS/ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 26/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/11/2020 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 3/31/2021 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 5/20/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 10, 2021 09:20AM BtwnStars wrote:

Looks like I will be joining you here, even tho right now I am scheduled to start June 30th. I'm not sure if I am going to keep that day. I will get port installed in 2 weeks. LoverofJesus, I hope it went well for you.

A question for anyone, how did you go about choosing which day of the week? and were you working? I am going to see how it goes, but right now I picked Wednesday figuring I could take off Wed thru Fri, then maybe be able to work (from home right now) the off week. If it's too much I will just take time off or get disability.

I am doing AC+T, four treatments each, dose dense, so 16 weeks total. I have a list a mile long of things I want to do/get before, the threads and tips here have been amazing.

Carlsoda - here we are again! I hope you did well with your treatment.

I am really not crazy about all of the supporting meds, esp steroids, but I am just going to take everything as directed and hope I can recover on the back end of this. Are there any complementary therapies anyone has done along with chemo? acupuncture? Or if you've done anything like that is it better to do things during, on the off week or just after its over?

Appreciate any advice.

Dx: IDC, Stage 1A, grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 10, 2021 01:43PM TXLorelei wrote:

When the infusion clinic called me to set up the schedule, they offered me Fridays right off the bat and I accepted.

I am working full time but mostly from home. With the Taxol I feel the worst the day after (Saturday). We’ll see how I handle the AC side effects when I get there.

Dx 7/7/2020, LCIS/ILC, Right, 5cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, 26/26 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 8/11/2020 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 3/31/2021 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 5/20/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 10, 2021 06:10PM Carlsoda wrote:

Oh no Btwnstars - so sorry to see you over here!

I picked Thursday as I figured I would feel fine on Friday and then have the weekend to recover. My first infusion was rough but after talking to the nurse practitioner - I have plans for the 2nd one later in June. The Taxotere gave me such bad body pains from the back of my skull down to my ankles. This time lots of Advil!! And since I just had my first infusion last week here is some advice for any newbie:

Start taking stool softeners the day before and have miralax on hand to start when you get home. The constipation is real!

Keep up on anti nausea meds for a few days then start seeing how you are doing. I was off them by Monday but Wednesday I needed one dose to get over some nausea. Eat lots of small meals through the day. For me the following has been feeling good on my tummy: pretzels, soda crackers, soup, yogurt, rice, chicken (all those “sick” foods our moms gave us when we were kids). They do want us to eat lots of protein - so do the best you can!

Heart burn has also been bad - but the smaller more frequent meals is helping.

Water water water. Before, day of and continue after - just drink drink drink. I felt so bloated a few days after chemo but then suddenly it all released and I kept having to go to the bathroom!!

Rinsing your mouth: I use biotine twice a day (morning and night) and I have a water bottle filled with baking soda and salt water sitting in the bathroom. Every time you go pee, swish as well.

Buy some candies to suck on for dry mouth. I haven’t found any sugar free options I am happy with as I don’t like artificial sweeteners, but hopefully with the swishing I won’t develop any cavities 😂

Rest!! I just don’t have the energy to get in my 10,000 steps per day but it is what it is. I at least try to move around as much as I can.

I also haven’t noticed a metallic taste in my mouth like some people but quite a few of the foods I love just don’t sound good - like coffee. However weak black tea with a little cream and sugar does go down well. At least I can get a little caffeine in me!

Everyone is so different but I think knowledge is the key to getting through it.

Does anyone else have any tips to add? My nurse practitioner said the first infusion is the toughest since you don’t know what to expect. She said my next one will be better. Hope she wasn’t bending the truth!

Age: 51 @ diagnosis. Oncotype Result: 16 Dx 4/26/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/4/2016 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 6/20/2016 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 8/10/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 3/31/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 5/5/2021 Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 6/3/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 13, 2021 04:18PM suhaja wrote:

Hello everyone,

I too am starting adjuvant chemo (TCHP) at the end of June (probably the 29th), 6 treatments over 18 weeks, so I wanted to jump in here and say hello to everyone. I'm having a port put in the week before on June 23rd. Everything is moving so fast, with so many appointments and tests and trying to work, etc, etc. I am overwhelmed and scared by the thought of chemo, but the waiting and anticipation is so stressful that I just want to get it started. I'm trying to stay in the present and not overthink everything, but that is a challenge. I'm finding the posts in this forum very comforting and helpful, so thank you. I suppose taking this one day at a time is the way to go, right?

Hugs and blessings.

Dx 5/12/2021, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 13, 2021 05:07PM MaineJen wrote:

hi suhaja, I had my second infusion on Friday and the best advice anyone has given me is “one hour/one minute at a time.” It’s a rough process and each day is different. I was super energetic and healthy before this diagnosis and process so after the first infusion I was in shock due to lack of energy and feeling so sick. Allow yourself to be where you are, take meds to help with side effects and just go step by step. Thinking of it as a giant process is too daunting for me. Getting through this exact moment is all I can do and I keep managing to do it, so that’s the victory. Anyway that’s the best I’ve got. 🌺🙏

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Jun 14, 2021 11:02AM suhaja wrote:

Thank you, MaineJen. One hour/one minute: That makes perfect sense.

Hang in there. I'll be thinking of you.

Dx 5/12/2021, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2+
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Jun 14, 2021 07:56PM BtwnStars wrote:

Carlsoda - thanks for sharing… I think every little bit of info helps and makes it all less intimidating.

Suhaja - I feel same on pace… I have to do an echo cardiogram, get blood taken, follow up with PS, pre-admission testing for port, then port. Trying to keep all that straight & just picked up my meds from pharmacy. Holy bottles! And try to work and prepare. It is a lot.

MaineJen - I think that is my biggest fear, trying to prepare for my lack of energy… I’m not really concerned about pain or nausea or anything, more about how I will feel knowing I just have to rest. It was already hard after surgery.

Yes, one minute at a time sometimes

Dx: IDC, Stage 1A, grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 14, 2021 08:05PM - edited Jun 14, 2021 08:05PM by Monarchandthemilkweed

hi ladies. I'm joining you. My first infusion will be June 28th. 4 rounds 3 weeks apart of taxotere and cytoxan. I'm feeling tired and sad. I hate putting my kids through this. But some of you may know my sister was diagnosed about 6 months before me with late stage ovarian cancer. She's been chemo since late fall. So I feel a tiny bit prepared for chemo only because I've been with her for several of her cycles. And she has lots of advice and support to offer

Sarah, Chek2 positive Dx 3/11/2021, IDC, Left, <1cm, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/10/2021 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 6/28/2021 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Jun 15, 2021 07:55AM Moderators wrote:

Hug TODAY: Zoom virtual meet-up for people going through chemotherapy (caregivers welcome)

Tuesdays 1:00-2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Register in advance for this meeting

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

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jun 15, 2021 04:53PM mle42 wrote:

Hi all, for better or worse, I'm joining this club, starting the AC portion of AC-T therapy this Friday. I am a planner by nature, and have found the forums on this site to be enormously helpful in getting prepared - both mentally and stocking up on supplies! The closer my chemo date gets, the more anxious I feel. At the same time..... I can't wait to start poisoning this traitorous lump of flesh. So sorry that you all are here, but am glad to not be alone...

Dx 5/17/2021, IDC, Right, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 6/18/2021 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 15, 2021 09:26PM Moderators wrote:

Welcome, mle42-

We're so sorry you find yourself here, but we hope you find this to be a supportive and encouraging place! You are definitely not alone.

The Mods

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...

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