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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Sep 5, 2021 02:37PM hummingbirdaz wrote:

Thanks ME!

I'm day 3 post first chemo and have been religiously following directions as told. The infusion nurse is the best to get advice from, IMO. The difference between what the oncologist told me and reality was worlds apart, so I'm listening to her now! They scheduled me for 5 hours of infusion but it took less that 2, nurse said to start on Claritan immediately, not wait until the Neulasta patch injects, and that I should get some THC and use it as well as the drugs for nausea.

So...no nausea yet...but anticipating for later today/tomorrow. I did sleep 11.5 hours last night and napped yesterday, too. I never nap. Hoping the sleep and the keto diet and THC keep me on the lesser side of side effects.

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 5, 2021 03:09PM moderators wrote:

Welcome, AnnMarie318 and JHam. We're so sorry you find yourselves here, but we hope this community can be a source of support for you as you continue down this road. You are certainly not alone!

The Mods

To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
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Sep 5, 2021 06:37PM Brooks_Fountains wrote:

Hey everyone! Second-time poster. I am starting chemo on 9/9, and getting my port placed on 9/8.

HummingbirdAZ and JHam, it looks like we're doing the same kind of treatment, AC-T. I understand the anxiety at having such intense drugs being put into your system -- the way I am dealing with it is telling myself that there are so many scientific studies backing the good outcomes of these regimens. And that this won't be forever, that by this time next year I'll be feeling back to my old self. JHam, I'm glad you're not experiencing too much nausea! I am definitely anxious about that.

I'm preparing by getting comfy things like good audiobooks, soft sheets, and healthy (bland) foods to eat. And starting a good hydration regimen.

AnnMarie318, I too feel triggered by this whole experience -- my mom had metastatic breast cancer, and seeing her go through it when I was a kid was so scary. I'm trying to give myself a lot of space for that trauma, and sending a lot of compassion to myself during daily mindful meditation. Anyway, I am so sorry you had to see your mom go through this, and that you have your own experience with cancer too.

I need to schedule an appointment to get my hair cut -- I've had my hair short before, so it won't be a huge deal, but I'm not looking forward to the awkward re-growth period! I'm not doing anything for my eyebrows/lashes, I imagine I might experiment with penciling them in. Allure's "survivor's guide to breast cancer" has some good tips on getting through treatment, beauty-wise.

I am sending good vibes to you all starting chemo this month. I'll be checking in. <3

“Said the river: imagine everything you can imagine, then keep on going.” ― Mary Oliver Dx 8/13/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 5, 2021 08:16PM NatureYogi wrote:

Hello Ladies, Stopping in to give you all hope and encouragement! I'm 10 weeks post chemo and 6 weeks post mastectomy and I'm feeling and doing well. Eyelashes and eyebrows come back quick, my hair coming in, still short, but it is there. I know you all can do this, it sucks, but visualize the chemo killing off the cancer. There were days I wanted to quit, but I kept going. Drink plenty of water and rest as needed, the body heals itself when you are sleeping.

AnnMarie318-You asked if surgery was a option for triple negative, I am triple negative and I had a mastectomy with lymph node removal and doing well. I am waiting for my radiation date and how many weeks I'll get.

You've got this! Sending healing thoughts your way......


Dx 2/11/2021, IBC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 3/10/2021 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 7/23/2021 Lymph node removal: Right; Mastectomy: Right
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Sep 6, 2021 08:52AM swimgal wrote:

Good morning! I wanted to share a little something I've been doing that has helped me emotionally during my infusion treatments. I take/wear something that lifts me up. One week it might be a shirt one of my sisters gave me, a water bottle one of my nieces gave me, my mom's rosary, etc. It has helped brighten my infusion days, so maybe it will work for you too. Happy

Dx 6/10/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 6, 2021 07:00PM spades2525 wrote:

Hello everyone! This is my first post. I was diagnosed with invasive lobular carcinoma at the end of June and it has been a total whirlwind since then. I've had a mastectomy and now I will be starting the AC - T treatment on September 17. I am surrounded by very supportive family and friends, but amazingly this journey still feels so incredibly lonely. I am doing my best to prepare for the start of treatment…creating a comfort bag, ordering a wig, staying active etc . I have decided to cut my hair before it starts to fall out… to give me some control over the process, but it will be highly emotional for me. I have long hair and always have … I am very attached to it. I have decided to donate my hair in hopes that it helps me to know that my hair will live on lol. I know it will also help to stay connected to a community of women working through all the same emotions! So thank you in advance

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Sep 7, 2021 10:10AM hummingbirdaz wrote:

Hi Spades,

Sorry you find yourself here, but it is a good place to be, given the circumstances. The ladies on this site are very helpful and compassionate and we are all going through similar things unexpectedly. You'll find lots of information and support! You are lucky to have so much support at home and it sounds like you are doing all the right things. Keep watching and reading and keep us posted on how things are going for you!

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 7, 2021 11:15AM moderators wrote:

In case you want to join us today (and every Tuesday!)


Join us for the discussion every Tuesday from 1-2pm ET. Register ahead of the meeting to receive access details via email the day of the meeting.

To send a PM to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/my/...
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Sep 8, 2021 08:26AM swimgal wrote:

Hi, Spades2525. Glad you found this site. It is such a wealth of information and support. Have you considered/looked into cold capping to save your hair? I'm using the Dignicap and have had 7 Taxol treatments and no noticeable hair loss.

I would definitely recommend using the cold gloves and socks during your chemo infusions to prevent neuropathy. I've been using them from the beginning and I'm so happy I have had zero neuropathy. My Taxol infusion is 60 minutes and I take two sets of gloves and socks with me and switch them half way through the Taxol. You can get these on Amazon. Let me know if you would like any more info or recommendations on which ones I like.

I'll keep you in my prayers along with everyone here.

Blessings!

Dx 6/10/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 9, 2021 05:37AM oldladyblue wrote:

Hi Hummingbird, thanks for the welcome. I was feeling lonely this morning, you are the first person to answer me by name despite other posts I made since I joined the site, and you did it over a week ago. Sorry I didn't notice. I guess I've been too busy feeling sorry for myself to see what's in front of me. I have to do a muga scan on Monday to see if my heart can take one kind of chemo being considered, I got scared when my Dr. told me that it can cause heart failure. I'm still scared. I've tried to live so healthily for decades: vitamins, good food, little drinking, no smoking, etc.

Hi to all other ladies on this thread. Sorry we are all in this "club", but I'm glad to have some company, and some details and recommendations of what is coming. No one around me offline seems to be any different, or is even talking to me of cancer.

JHam thanks for your first post, glad you had little nausea with your first chemo.

Mithz glad you will start treatment soon, I'm sorry your cancer is growing rapidly.

MeandJax, oh my second round of chemo. When you say "kick the nausea ahead of time", what do you mean? I hate the idea of nausea coming and would like to prevent it as much as possible. Is that Jax in your photo? So cute.

AnnMarie318 I feel the same as you, I don't want to do any of this treatment but am following everything my doctors recommend. I was diagnosed in June so this all seems in slo-mo to me.

4kids4dogs, I am getting genetic counseling next week by phone from the VA in Salt Lake UT. I had the oncotypeDX test and scored 28, medium high risk of recurrence. My mom, grandma and dad all died of cancers, though none had known breast cancer.

Hummingbird, how did your first chemo drip go? Hoping it went well. You haven't posted since the 3rd so I am wondering how you are.

DebbieM1958, your first treatment is today, I'm sure you're nervous. I hope it goes well.

K-Gobby, I didn't realize it was going to be 4 hours more or less for each chemo treatment. Sigh. Seems a long time to sit. Can you get up and move during the 4 hours or is it not possible to walk. My hips won't like sitting for 4 hours.

1982M, it took almost 3 weeks for my pathology, waiting was awful. Surgery was July 28th and I still don't have a worked out treatment plan.


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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