Topic: Starting Chemo September 2021

Forum: Chemotherapy - Before, During, and After — Regimens, side effects, and support from others going through chemo.

Posted on: Aug 25, 2021 10:25AM

Posted on: Aug 25, 2021 10:25AM

hummingbirdaz wrote:

Thinking perhaps we start a thread for those of us staring at chemo in September. How are you preparing; physically, mentally and emotionally? I know I've been doing research, asking questions, stalking past chemo threads and messaging ladies here. While I am pretty scared, I thought I was mentally prepared. But as I prep to have the port placed tomorrow, things are getting very real and I don't think I'm as prepared as I thought. I've never taken any drugs other than an occasional Ibuprofin and have never used my insurance for anything that isn't routine. The thought of intentionally putting toxins into my body is gut wrenching, not to mention adding more drugs to combat the side effects of the initial drug. It's somewhat overwhelming!

My first infusion (AC+T) is Friday, 9/3 and I'll report back but would love to hear from others and how they are coping.

DX: 7-1-21. IDC 1B/N1/M0 grade 1. HR+ PR+ HER2- Surgery 3/8/2021 Cryotherapy (Left); Cryotherapy (Right); Lumpectomy (Left); Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Dx 7/1/2021, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 13/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 7/4/2021 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Right breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 9/2/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2022
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Aug 26, 2021 04:03PM Cinderella57 wrote:

Is your doctor allowing you to continue to go to work? Mine says I can only work if I can work from home which I can but wish I could go into office.

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Aug 26, 2021 04:47PM 1982m wrote:

Hi Cinderella57,

I’m sorry your joining September club. It sounds like you have a lot to take in just finding out. I found out I needed chemo July 21st and am so anxious to get started.

I work from home but I’m feeling like I don’t want to work. I’m all over the place. I haven’t seen my oncologist yet until I know for sure my final pathology- so they said I would get an appointment pretty soon after my pathology is in since I’m already referred and chemo would start soon after. I’m hoping they write me off work.

Have you considered or looked into cold caping? Maybe that would be the right choice for you if your really worried about hair. There is a weekly Taxol group that’s active that could tell you more about that regime.

Again, sorry you found yourself here.

Dx 7/13/2021, IDC/DCIS, Left, <1, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+, IHC
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Aug 26, 2021 05:28PM Cinderella57 wrote:

I'm thinking about the cold capping but it seems after reading posts that it has mixed results. Seems like a lot of women still lose their hair. I'm going to work from home...doctor's orders but honestly I'm with you. I can't seem to find the energy and focus to WANT to do my job. It feels like having cancer is enough work and I've only just had surgery so far!

Good luck to you. I hope that you get through chemo without too many issues and that it does what it's supposed to do.

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Aug 26, 2021 10:11PM Cactushouse wrote:

I also am starting my Chemo journey on September 7th. Taxol and Herceptin for once a week for 12 weeks and then Herceptin for an additional 40 weeks. Radiation every day for a month once the Taxol is complete. I am nervous, scared and anxious but also can't wait to begin the journey , to get closer to the end of treatment. I don't know what to expect- do most people have some sort of reaction to these drugs? Is hair loss a for sure thing? I am all over the board with emotions- and can't seem to really accept that this is going to happen. Any insights welcome.

cactushouse Dx 7/12/2021, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+, Surgery 8/3/2021 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/7/2021 Taxol (paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 9/7/2021 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Aug 27, 2021 06:04AM swimgal wrote:

Cactushouse, your treatment is identical to mine. Sorry you have to join us, but welcome. Had 6th Taxol treatment yesterday. You may find the weekly Taxol group and cold cap users group (to prevent/minimize hair loss) useful.

Yes, it's hard to wrap your head around all this, but I found this site to be extremely helpful. Remember, one step at a time.

Blessings.

Dx 6/10/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Aug 27, 2021 10:04AM hummingbirdaz wrote:

Morning Everyone. I had my port surgery yesterday and feel pretty sore today-more than I thought. I now have 5 incisions to wreck any future swimsuit competition! I also got my confirmed chemo appointment for next Friday. 5.5 hours in the chemo chair???? OMG. I'm even doing the labs and oncologist appointment the day prior, so that means every chemo day is pretty much all day going forward.

My daughter gave me a vitamix to use while going through the chemo so I can try to stay on my keto diet. I'm not sure if it will help to drink smoothies instead of eating real food but if anyone has suggestions of what to prepare without sugar, would love to hear them!

DX: 7-1-21. IDC 1B/N1/M0 grade 1. HR+ PR+ HER2- Surgery 3/8/2021 Cryotherapy (Left); Cryotherapy (Right); Lumpectomy (Left); Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Dx 7/1/2021, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 13/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 7/4/2021 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Right breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 9/2/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2022
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Aug 29, 2021 04:26PM Forever_fitt wrote:

Two (2) questions for DigniCap users only:

  1. I have my DigniCap kit and have tried on the cap without the liner. I was planning on using wired earbuds to listen to movies on my iPad (and not disturb the other patients). (Everyone says that Netflix saves the day during their sessions, and I assume that each patient doesn't blast the volume on their personal device or the TV in front of their chair). The buckles on the DigniCap are inconveniently placed over the earholes, and the buckles may put undue pressure on the earbuds (even though my earbuds have very soft cushions). If you are a DigniCap user, how did you listen? (Or did you use closed-caption). I've heard that the refrigeration machine can be loud and annoying, so that's why I'm approaching it this way.

2. Can I use dry shampoo while going thru chemo while using Dignicap? If yes, would the use of dry shampoo count as one of the 2 allowable washings per week?

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Sep 1, 2021 06:38AM oldladyblue wrote:

I am assuming that I will be starting chemo this month. Sobering thought, as I've been a fan of health food stores, vitamins, avoiding medicines, avoiding toxins, eating sensibly, little alcohol, etc. for most of my life. Now, it seems odd for me to be fending off well-wishers in my life who say I shouldn't do chemo, but something alternative, so I don't poison myself. I know they mean well, but I think it's best for me to follow the doctors' advice. Thank you to those on this thread for posting so I don't feel so alone.

Surgery 7/1/2021 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/8/2021 Other Radiation Therapy 1/4/2022 Whole breast: Left breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 3/10/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Dx IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 1, 2021 11:37AM hummingbirdaz wrote:

I hear you, oldladyblue! I've never taken any medication in my life so this deep dive into big pharma has thrown me for a loop. I very much feel out of control but also feel like you, that I need to do this (at least once). I guess the alternate ideas might come into play if chemo does not work....hang in there and just concentrate on what you need to do to get back to normal.

DX: 7-1-21. IDC 1B/N1/M0 grade 1. HR+ PR+ HER2- Surgery 3/8/2021 Cryotherapy (Left); Cryotherapy (Right); Lumpectomy (Left); Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Prophylactic mastectomy (Left); Prophylactic mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left); Reconstruction (Right) Dx 7/1/2021, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 13/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 7/4/2021 Whole breast, Radiation boost: Right breast, Lymph nodes Chemotherapy 9/2/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2022
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Sep 2, 2021 02:29AM wc3 wrote:

HummingbirdAZ:

I wasn't initially thrilled about the idea of putting toxins in my body either but most of your healthy cells can tolerate the chemotherapy better than the cancer cells. Once my chemotherapy got underway, I felt a lot less anxious. I envisioned the cancer cells dying and felt like I had some control over the situation.

Chemotherapy wasn't fun but more tolerable than I envisioned it would be.

Pathologic complete response (pCR) to chemotherapy. Dx 2018, IDC, Left, 3cm, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 6/1/2018 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 11/15/2018 Lymph node removal; Lymph node removal (Left): Sentinel; Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left); Mastectomy (Right); Reconstruction (Left): Tissue Expander; Reconstruction (Right): Tissue Expander Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole), Zoladex (goserelin) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy Herceptin (trastuzumab) Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Reconstruction (Left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (Right): Silicone implant

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