Topic: Starting Chemo in April, May, or June 2022

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

Posted on: Apr 29, 2022 10:44PM - edited Jun 2, 2022 11:41AM by sarahmaude

Posted on: Apr 29, 2022 10:44PM - edited Jun 2, 2022 11:41AM by sarahmaude

sarahmaude wrote:

Starting a thread for anyone starting chemo in April, May, or June 2022

I'll have my first treatment (TC) on 5/4. I'm determined and scared and hopeful for excellent results. I'll be cold capping, my adult daughter will be my assistant. I hope to be able to continue working as much as I can through treatments. I can telework as needed and have ability to flex around appointments.

Anyone else getting started around now?


Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/31/2022 Lumpectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 5/4/2022 Taxotere (docetaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy Left breast
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Jun 29, 2022 06:26PM sarahmaude wrote:

Hi Margecandoit and all,

I’m doing really well. I’ve gone to my office to work yesterday and today. Have avoided large meetings, but enjoyed seeing people in real life. My first days back since March 13, 2020. Most people transitioned to in office days 6 weeks ago, in my earliest chemo days. Final TC treatment is on 7/6. My hair loss is seemingly stable. I have enough I can “pass” for the old me with no head covering on the day I wash my hair. The following days I have a few wide silk headbands that are actually pretty cute. Really happy I did cold capping. This past cycle (and first), I had no bone pain, though I did have a fair amount in cycle 2. Hopefully cycle 4 will be more like cycles 1 and 2. Today my taste is pretty much normal and I’m glad that I’ll be able to enjoy some July 4 foods.

Margecandoit, if I had the ability to choose, I’d absolutely go for a lumpectomy and reduction. Will you need radiation? Statistics say that lumpectomy plus radiation is slightly more favorable to overall survival than mastectomy with or without radiation. I had a lumpectomy and my surgical side is probably a cup size smaller than my non surgical side. I may or may not have surgery to create symmetry once I see my post radiated results. In a bra and regular clothes I look fine, completely normal. My surgical breast looks great, the two just aren’t as matched as I’d like. Due to my blood clot and a plastic surgeon who wouldn’t do an oncoplastic reduction due to him not being happy with my tumor location for his typical surgery, I didn’t have that option. My BSO did use oncoplastic techniques, so I have no divots, and the scar is a scant half circle around the top of my nipple. If I look like this following radiation, I’ll likely call it done. If I shrink anymore, I’ll have to think on it

Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/31/2022 Lumpectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 5/4/2022 Taxotere (docetaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy Left breast
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Jun 29, 2022 07:47PM moosegirl wrote:

Sarah...so great you got back to work and the cold capping has been beneficial!

I'm on for round 2 of AC on Monday. The first round was tough. Though they loaded me up with anti nausea med it wasn't enough. We did get things under control by Wednesday evening ( chemo was on the Monday) I had dexamethazone 12mg plus Akynseo on Chemo day plus prochlorazine As my rescue pill. I was taking that every 5 to 6 hours on the Tuesday but it wasn't doing the trick plus it's a really horrible feeling drug! I called the nurse on Wednesday am and she told me to take it every 4 hours. Still no good so I called the oncologist on call Wed night and he said if I had any of the Dex to take that. It saved my Canadian Bacon! Took it again Thursday morning and by then I was doing ok. No nausea meds needed by Thursday afternoon. So we are going to skip the prochlorozine and stick with the Dexamethazone Day 1 through 5. I would rather be Roided lol!! Definitely tired but can't sleep. The oncologist also said to add gravol when I needed and it would help with the insomnia. This week has progressed nicely with one hiccup...last night woke up with racking pulsating bone pain in my spine. Yikes!!! I had had no side effects from the daily Filgrastin injections so it was quite a shock. I took a couple of Tylenol and a Claritin and it settled. Today has been off and on throbbing but nothing like last night! Thanks for listening...oh also really hungry lol!!!!

Surgery 4/1/2022 Lumpectomy (Right)
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Jun 29, 2022 08:34PM sarahmaude wrote:

Moosegirl, I’ve had pulsating pain in my back and neck each time, and after all my research and talking to my MO, she and I think my pain is from low iron and perhaps exacerbated by slight dehydration. I’m not anemic per se, but she thinks that is causing what I feel. Yours may be actually bone, but typically the GCSF affects our hips and femurs. Regardless, I’m sorry for your pain and nausea. Glad you were able to get it under control. My (unneeded) rescue meds have been prochlorperazine (Compazine) and ondansetron (Zofran). TC is different from AC, and I’ve heard that nausea is more common with AC. Hopefully you will be able to keep it at bay with the dexamethazone.

Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/31/2022 Lumpectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 5/4/2022 Taxotere (docetaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy Left breast
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Jun 29, 2022 11:01PM margecandoit wrote:

Sarahmaude thanks for the info. I will have to have radiation after my lumpectomy. I have large breast so that maybe why my BSO think I need a reduction also. I did have a lumpectomy 2 years ago for a Intraductal papilloma on the same side it’s only slightly smaller so maybe taking more out and radiation will make it even smaller where I look odd. I don’t know I guess I will find out. Mastectomy sounds hard both mentally and physically but worry about reoccurrence could be stressful.

Moosegirl I am having my 4 AC treatment tomorrow I been doing ok with nausea but they been giving me long term nausea med in my IV before treatment and them I take olanzapine for the first 4 nights and alternate Promethazine and ondansetron every 8 hours with dexamerhasome once a day. I know everybody’s different I hope you fine the combo that works for you. I been lucky with Claritin helping with bone pain. Sorry your having that.

IDC Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+, PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/19/2022 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jul 6, 2022 07:23PM sarahmaude wrote:

I completed my last TC treatment today! I’m so relieved to be able to move that “to do” into the done column. I chose not to ring the bell. Mostly because I still have weeks of radiation ahead, and didn’t feel like it was so much of an end as it is a checkpoint. I see the RO on Monday.

The treatment today was very smooth. The nurse was unfazed by my veins and said they were wonderful. She placed the IV successfully on the first try. She was really efficient and we ended up finishing almost an hour earlier than last time. Simple things like having the ice for my hands and feet ready early and paying close attention to the remaining med levels helped us get out. I’ll be changing cold caps until 9 pm or so. I’ll be done at 9:15. Hope to pack them up for return tomorrow. I’m glad I chose to cold cap, but also glad to send them away!

I did find out my calcium level was low on so I will be taking prescription calcium starting today. Not sure what caused that. A good question for the MO. Of course I start reading about hypocalcemia and see that symptoms can be numbness in hands and feet and muscle cramps. I have has some intermittent numbness in my heels and my calves have been on the verge of a charley horse a few times recently. I’ll update here if I find out anything else.

Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/31/2022 Lumpectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 5/4/2022 Taxotere (docetaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy Left breast
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Jul 7, 2022 07:34PM margecandoit wrote:

Sarahmaude Yay!! For completing your chemo. Also glad it went smoothly. I completed AC and start taxol next week. It’s nice to check things off the list. I hope radiation goes well. Would like to here how that goes for you. Hope you are having a great day

IDC Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+, PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/19/2022 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jul 7, 2022 08:07PM kathrynw1thasea wrote:

Sarahmaude: Hooray!! I'm so glad you are finished with chemo. Hope today is going well.

Margecandoit: If they haven't told you about icing your hands and feet during Taxol, ask them about it. My best advice is to remember to wear thick socks and invest in some of the white cotton gloves to wear under the surgical gloves. It gives you just enough of a thermal break to be able to keep your hands and feet in the ice longer with less discomfort. The expensive cooling socks and gloves require at least three sets of the gel packs to get you through the hour long infusion and they cost an arm and a leg. My MO wants me in the ice for 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after the infusion as well, so you have to have access to a freezer or a really great ice chest.

To everyone: I looked over at my quilt design wall and saw a "sign" that I pinned up back in 2020 when the first covid quarantine was a couple of month old. It seems very relevant to where my chemo brain today and thought I'd share the laugh with y'all.

"For those who have lost track, today is Blursday the fortyteenth of Maprilay."

Hope that made you smile!

Surgery 2/15/2022 Lumpectomy (Left); Lymph node removal (Left): Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 3/25/2022 AC + T (Taxol) Dx IDC: Papillary/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, 5/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Whole breast: Left breast, Lymph nodes Targeted Therapy 8/19/2022 Verzenio Hormonal Therapy 8/19/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 8, 2022 02:04PM michpdx wrote:

Hello, I have been lurking on these boards for a while but this is my first post.

I will be starting chemo next week (TCx4) and did not see a new thread for July+.

I had a lumpectomy 5-17-22 to remove a tumor in my right breast that was ER+/PR+, HER2-, ended up with an oncotype score of 24, which was kind of a grey area as far as decision-making goes. They told me distant recurrence about 12% without chemo 5% with chemo, so I decided to go for it rather than regret not doing it down the road. I will follow the chemo with radiation (20 treatments) and then anastrozole along with lupron injections.

I really appreciate all of you sharing your experiences, it really helps me feel prepared for whatever might happen. I'm most worried about neuropathy, and all the food issues (I love food!) but I already cut my hair into a pixie cut. Really just hoping for no complications/infections with the chemo.


Surgery 5/17/2022 Lumpectomy (Right); Lymph node removal (Right): Sentinel Radiation Therapy Right breast Hormonal Therapy Chemotherapy Taxotere (docetaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide)
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Jul 9, 2022 11:15AM margecandoit wrote:

kathrynw1thasea thanks for the info. I haven’t been told anything about icing hands and feet.I was just told of possible allergic reaction on the first treatment.

Michpdx welcome to the group. I don’t know much about TC but I am sure other have pointer.

Hope all are doing well.

IDC Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+, PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/19/2022 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jul 9, 2022 03:12PM sarahmaude wrote:

Hi michpdx, I just finished my final TCx4 treatment this week. While it certainly isn’t fun, I tolerated the treatment well. My biggest issues were fatigue in cycles 2-4, changes in taste, a burned tongue feeling, and low WBC counts.

For neuropathy, my suggestion is to ask if they will provide icing during your Taxotere infusion for hands and feet. You can also use frozen peas or ice gloves. I ended up using the ice basins. So far, I’ve escaped neuropathy. At my facility they provide a wash basin they fill with 2 bags of ice. They cover the bags with disposable pillowcases, and you keep your feet/hands in between the bags during the Taxotere. I wore socks on my hands and feet for a barrier to the cold. It was very cold, but so far, no neuropathy and no lost or damaged nails. The thing with TC that I appreciate is that I’ve been pretty okay with food and taste issues about 14 days past each treatment. I’ve actually gained a few pounds. The steroids and Akynzeo have completely blocked nausea and vomiting for me throughout treatment. I have had to be mindful of constipation. Miralax has been the best help along with staying hydrated.

I also had good results in treatments 2-4 keeping ice chips in my mouth during Taxotere. The change in taste and burned tongue feeling was much better when I did this. It takes having a friend or family member feeding the ice chips if you are icing hands and feet.

I also had Nyvepria (like Neulasta) injections each cycle. I was surprised that I still had very low WBC counts each cycle at nadir, but the Nyvepria brought me back to good levels each time. If you get these injections you can and should take Claritin or Zyrtec starting the day before and continuing for the next 7 days to hold off bone pain created by inflammation in created by the action to stimulate WBC recovery.

I hope your treatment goes smoothly. It will pass faster than you think! I’ll keep coming here to check in even though my chemo treatments are done, I’m still recovering from last cycle, and want to make sure I can help others as much as possible.

Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2022 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 3/31/2022 Lumpectomy (Left) Chemotherapy 5/4/2022 Taxotere (docetaxel), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) Dx IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR-, HER2- Radiation Therapy Left breast

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