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 9, 2021 07:13AM DebbieM1958 wrote:

H AnnMarie, I was diagnosed in June 2021 and start my Chemo today - Round 1 - also like you 6 sessions 3 weeks apart followed by masectomy on the right in Jan 2022. I am getting a 4 med cocktail of Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin and Perjeta. I do expect I will lose my hair apparently but they say it will grow back better than before so that's a bonus. Super nervous about everything but ready to get going and put this behind me. I had my port put in last Thursday and it was not a problem - they put you out (twilight) and I didnt know a thing about it. A little tender around the area but today, a week later, it is good to go and I hardly know it's there. Had my heart scan (MFUG) a few weeks ago and that was also not too scary but took about an hour of lying very still on a narrow bed thing while the machine did its magic. I just pictured my favorite things in my head and it really helped, then it was over. So many unknowns ahead but I am trying to have a super positive attitude as many people I know have got through this and come out fine on the other side. I hope to be one of those. So sorry about your Mom, I know the feeling. Never thought I would be on a group like this with BC but I am sure we will all do better for the interaction and comfort from so many others going through the same journey. Best of luck to you and everyone here. I'll update when I've had session 1 and a few days have passed.

Dx 7/30/2021, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 1/21/2022 Mastectomy: Left, Right Targeted Therapy 1/21/2022 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 9, 2021 07:22AM DebbieM1958 wrote:

Hi Oldladyblue - yes, Day 1 today!!! Super nervous but ready to get this treatment going so it will be done and over with at some point. I am told my my nurse that my first session of infusion with be 8 hours - ugh.. 4 meds (Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin and Perjeta) and they want to observe between each one to make sure I respond well). My husband (my rock) can be there for a short while for the first session but no more visitors after that due to Covid. I am armed with books, tablet, notepads, snacks, drinks etc and hope the day goes by quickly. I plan to try and watch the US Open Tennis semi finals if the reception is OK. That should take care of a chunk of time. Future sessions they say will be 5 - 6 hours. They told me I can get up and walk around in the room with my IV pole, walk to the restroom etc. So I was glad about that. My knees would not want to sit for 8 hours straight.

Re.Eyebrows - my daughter got me two things off Amazon - Eyebrow stencil stickers that you add with a brush. Both were less than $25. I will try them and see when the time comes. I am not too worried about the eyelashes but I think no eyebrows would bother me. Not very good with makeup so let's see if I end up looking like Collette Reardon on that SNL skit! Haha. I also got one of those baseball hat things with hair extensions from the sides for about $30 off Amazon. Not quite the same color as mine but it will work at a pinch.

Dx 7/30/2021, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 1/21/2022 Mastectomy: Left, Right Targeted Therapy 1/21/2022 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 9, 2021 07:26AM DebbieM1958 wrote:

Hi Hummingbird - how was your first chemo session? I am having mine today and would love to hear any feedback you have. I have anti nausea meds to take (Zofran and Compazine if needed) ahead of time to get ahead of it. Did that work for you? Hope everything went well for you.

Dx 7/30/2021, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 1/21/2022 Mastectomy: Left, Right Targeted Therapy 1/21/2022 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 9, 2021 09:58AM mindthief wrote:

DebbieM, good luck today! I'm dreading the loss of my eyebrows as well, but afraid all the options will make me look like a cartoon villain. Let us know how the stencils work.

Brooks_fountains, good luck to you too! I'll be one day behind you - starting AC-T tomorrow. Are you doing dose dense or standard spacing? I'm so sorry for what you went through with your mom. My biggest worry through this whole process is how it will affect my kids. I love what you said about sending compassion to yourself. I'm generally a person to stuff down my emotions and forge ahead, but I am trying hard to take a more honest and caring approach with myself now.

oldladyblue, I was also diagnosed at the end of June and had surgery in July, so I know what you mean about things moving in slo-mo. I hope the muga scan goes well and you get your plan in place soon.

Hummingbird, how are you feeling almost a week out?

1982, did you get your pathology report back yet? Hoping it was good news for you and you have a plan now.

Spades2525, JHam, Mithz, and anyone else I missed, welcome to the group!

I see my oncologist today for blood work and confirmation of my protocol. Fingers crossed nothing goes wrong at this point and we can start tomorrow as planned. I'm nervous but also ready to get on with things.

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Sep 9, 2021 10:37AM hummingbirdaz wrote:

Morning Ladies!


Sorry for ghosting but I've pretty much been sleeping for the last few days....I felt fine after my Friday morning infusion until about late Sunday evening when an overwhelming tiredness came upon me. Since then, I've been sleeping 10-12 hours at night and even taking a couple naps during the day. When I was awake, I felt exhausted so have been very non-productive. I listened to the onco nurse's instructions and followed the meds regime to the letter, taking the steroids and Claritan, plus drinking a ton of water. I never needed the nausea drugs! I did burp like an old man for a couple days, though, which one can only think of as funny.

I feel like I turned a corner last evening and suddenly had a bit of energy. Another long sleep last night but feel pretty close to normal today, so far anyway. I did experience some bone pain--mainly in the rib cage--and some constipation, but those could also have been from not moving much. I might try to go for a drive today to get out of the house. We have a mini heat wave in Phoenix for the next week--up around 110--so not going to risk walking.

DebbieM--good luck today, I'll be thinking of you! They infused anti-nausea meds for an hour prior to the chemo drugs on me, which may have been key, not sure. YOU CAN DO THIS! Report back when you feel up to it.

OldLadyBlue--keep taking the vitamins and supplements if you can. Both my natropathic oncologist and doctor said to do that. Maybe it made a difference? I also got some THC tincture and take the smallest dose at bedtime, also recommended by several medical folks (natropath, anesthesiologist, onco nurse, etc) If not legal in your area, you can get a medical card and most stores give a discount to cancer patients.

Good luck everyone this week and thanks for the continued support. Love to all!

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 9, 2021 02:02PM Cactushouse wrote:

I had my first treatment on Tuesday and after the pre-meds was given the Herceptin, no side effects. Then the Taxol and again no side effects. I was more woozie from the dose of benadryl they did by drip. I woke up around 3:00 am with a slight headache and decided to use meditation to go back to sleep rather than taking any aspirin- enough drugs in body. Was able to go back to sleep till 6:00. Slight headache most of Wednesday morning, no nausea but I have a red rash on my checks and forehead. Still here on Thursday but not as pronounced. Nurse thought it was a reaction to the Taxol? I was wondering if anyone has experienced that reaction or was it from the infusion of Dexamethasone (steroid)? Would I expect this type of reaction each time? Thanks for all the support this sight brings.

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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Sep 9, 2021 03:16PM spades2525 wrote:

Hi Swimgal- if you could send the information regarding gloves and socks, that would be amazing. The AC combo is the first part of my treatment and my oncologist did not feel a coldcap would save my hair so I've moved on to working on acceptance. Kinda.

Mindthief - the impact on the kids is one of the hardest things to manage I find. Good thoughts to you for tomorrow

I was also dx in June, surgery in July and chemo in September… feels like long slow process but at times I have been grateful for the time to process and prepare.

DebbieM - hope today was ok. You sound prepared! I look forward to hearing how the eyebrow experiment goes :)

Oldladyblue- I hope as the day has gone on, you are feeling less lonely. This is such a difficult time! I totally get the fear .. hopefully this community will be helpful inmanaging it!




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Sep 9, 2021 07:28PM swimgal wrote:

Spades2525: Here are the links for the cold gloves and socks. The gloves are pretty much a one size fits all. I have a bigger hand and they were fine. I don't even use the thumb cutout area. I just put my whole hand in the middle. I wear a women's size 9 shoe and the socks fit good, but not much extra room, so maybe adjust the size of socks accordingly.

My Taxol infusion is an hour long and I will take my hands out of the gloves a couple times during that hour for maybe two or three minutes to give them a break. You'll feel if your hands are getting too cold. I don't seem to have to do that with the socks, but everyone is different.

Sending good wishes and positive thoughts as you begin your chemo treatment. One at a time. You've got this!

Please let me know if you have any other questions.


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B082HG964H/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003L4WONS/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


Dx 6/10/2021, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Sep 9, 2021 09:07PM DebbieM1958 wrote:

Well I survived Infusion Day 1 with my 4 meds (Herceptin, Perjeta, Carboplatin and Taxotere). It went by much quicker than I expected, although it was 7.5 hours. The time seemed to fly though, there were always nurses coming by, my phone was blowing up with texts of good wishes and thoughts from family and friends - very much appreciated. I had a slight reaction after the Herceptin which was just a scratchy throat and feeling like I had to keep clearing my throat. They gave me 50 mg of benadryl and it took care of it right away. No other side effects of the others and it went smoothly. I got a port last week and it was a breeze to do the infusion through that. A quick painless poke through the skin above the port and everything went through that. Loved it. Definitely beats an IV every time. I am hoping for minimal side effects over the next few days. I used the cold gloves and footsies (also from Amazon) for the Taxotere part of the infusion. They were not super freezing, I had been told to wear thin socks and thin cotton gloves underneath them. Hard to do anything with your hands for that hour while the meds are going in, so I just put my head back and dozed. It was all pretty easy and seamless.

HummingbirdAZ -glad you are feeling better. 110 , wow. We had that last week here in Sacramento. Ugh. That's all I can say. Heat and smoke from the fires not far away.

Spades 2525 and Mindthief - yes, will report back on the eyebrows - hahaha.....it won't be pretty I'm sure!!!!

CactusHouse - I will let you know if I get a rash too. So far nothing.

I feel empowered (slightly) that I have got this one infusion behind me and can cross it off my calendar. It wasn't bad at all. Best of luck to everyone about to start. You will do fine I'm sure. The nurses are wonderful and a great source of info if you have questions.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend ahead.




Dx 7/30/2021, IDC, Right, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 1/21/2022 Mastectomy: Left, Right Targeted Therapy 1/21/2022 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Sep 9, 2021 09:37PM oldladyblue wrote:

Thank you ladies for your answering posts to me and advice to others. I do feel more hopeful, less scared and no longer as lonely knowing that you are out there posting and being helpful. I was feeling sort of lost in space or something in my head, caught in between real and unreal. I will find out on Wednesday what my future recommendations are for chemo, until then I will be reading and thinking of you brave fighters!


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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