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 07:44PM - edited Jun 2, 2022 08:41AM by sarahmaude

Posted on: Apr 29, 2022 07:44PM - edited Jun 2, 2022 08:41AM 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 22, 2022 08:48PM kathrynw1thasea wrote:

Cyndi,

Excellent article! Thank you for sharing it. I’m relieved to see that my MO has me on the recommended antibiotic. It was a real disappointment to hear that I have to skip Taxol this week, but I understand what you mean. Patience and caution are definitely the best advice. I have to remember to pause and breathe.

Hope all is well with you!

Catherin

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 IIB, Grade 3, 5/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 23, 2022 07:51AM - edited Jun 23, 2022 07:54AM by lori615

just started my first treatment yesterday 6/22.. On the TC regimen. 4x 1 per 3wks. Then radiation. Diagnosed with er+,pr+ her2-. Had 3.2 cm tumor removed 4/18/22. Had 3 nodes removed. 2 of which was positive. Margins negative. Mammaprint came back high risk. Index -0.227

Still so nervous about everything. So far I feel ok today. No real side effects. Will have my shot of Neulasta this afternoon. Would love to hear from others in my situation.

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Jun 23, 2022 11:38AM sarahmaude wrote:

Hi Lori 615, glad to meet you, and sorry you had to join our club.

So we are fairly similar. I'm also on the TC x 4 regimen. My tumor (details in signature) was removed via lumpectomy on 3/31. I had OncoType DX testing and had an alarming score of 49. Had my first TC treatment on 5/4 and am finished my third treatment last Wednesday. Every cycle for me has had some of the same milestones. I've been pretty wiped out on Sunday (day 4 post treatment, I'm on a Wednesday schedule). The nadir for Taxotere is around day 7 and Cytoxan is around day 9. Every cycle my white cells and neutrophils have been extremely low for my day 8 blood draw, but the Neulasta shot has brought them way back up by the following week.

My facility recommended Zyrtec twice a day from one day before the Neulasta injection and for the following week. A lot of doctors say Claritin. My first cycle I had zero bone pain. Second cycle I had a moderate amount. This cycle, I've had zero. I don't know they difference. I've done the Zyrtec the same each time. One thing the nurse who administered the injection told me was that if I'm painful this time, I can try adding a benedryl tablet. Apparently, the bone pain is caused by a histamine inflammatory response in our bone marrow. That's why the Zyrtec and Claritin work. I know that you can add benedryl on top of the non-drowsy ones, so I was glad to know I had a backup.

My other most annoying symptom has been mouth changes. On day 3 post treatment, I've woken up with a tongue that feels burned. The first time, I think I lost all of my "sweet" taste buds. I found that tangy or savory flavors were most appealing. All along fruits have been delicious. Peach, blueberry and orange flavors are great. Since then I have my sweet taste back, though I've had other strange taste sensation issues.

They have done a great job premedicating me with anti-nausea and vomiting drugs on chemo day. The steroids and general chemo effects have resulted in a tend to constipation. I take colace (Dulcolax) twice a day and Miralax daily and have not had a major problem. I do know that's something you want to get ahead of. A lot of studies say that colace is ineffective in nursing home patient studies, so I tried several days without it, and I'm pretty sure I noticed more inconsistency in what was passing. I've added it back and actually do think it is helpful for me.

Although some parts of chemo are cumulative (cycles 2 and 3 have led me to have severe fatigue on days 1-4), it is really more like a roller coaster. I've enjoyed feeling almost normal the week preceding the upcoming treatment. I've been unable to actually exercise much, but I have been able to work pretty much full time in between treatments (telework desk job).

I'm cold capping and have retained about 60% of my hair. I started with a lot, so I still look pretty much like me. My big shedding so far spanned day 17-22 or so. Since then, it's really not much worse than normal brushing. Even though I've kept a lot, I will say that losing handfuls of hair was more than a little overwhelming. Whether or not you are keeping your hair, I'd say having a silk or satin pillowcase is helpful.

I'm going back to the Radiation Oncologist (RO) on 7/8. I expect to start radiation treatments the week of 7/25.

Please don't hesitate to ask our little group any questions. And also, a couple of us are in the Thursday Zoom in treatment support group. Here is the link to join that Thursday Zoom In Treatment Signup. There is also a Tuesday group: Tuesday Zoom In Treatment group

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 23, 2022 01:18PM margecandoit wrote:

Lori615 sorry you have found your self here. Sarahmaude always has helpful information. I also had a high mammaprint score -0.423 I haven’t seen another mammaprint score thanks for sharing. Hopefully you will have more good days then bad.

IDC Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+, PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/19/2022 AC + T (Taxol)
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Jun 25, 2022 12:52AM - edited Jun 25, 2022 12:56AM by nynyroc

hello!

I just had my first TC treatment yesterday. Will have 3 more, every 3 weeks. Diagnosed 5/17. Stage 2b grade 2, mixed ductal/lobular features, lymph nodes affected. Chemo first, surgery, radiation and then hormone therapy. So far nothing too exciting, except the steroids are keeping me up and active! I'm tired, but can't sleep. Also waiting for symptoms to start. I had a little stomach cramping and tingling in my mouth and lips. I had Covid in May and still can't taste or smell anything. Thank you for your support. Not sure what I'd do without this community.

Chemotherapy 6/24/2022 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx IDC, Right, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy Surgery Radiation Therapy Right breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 25, 2022 08:13AM - edited Jun 25, 2022 07:14PM by sun-shine

Hi Nynyroc,

Did you put some ice cubes in your mouth when you did the chemo infusion? I kept chewing ice cubes when I did my chemo treatments. It worked. I didn't have any mouth and lip issues.

I also rinsed my tooth brush and other mouth cleaning tools with boiled water daily during chemo period for preventing mouth infection.

Hope you don't have so many side effects. Take care!

If someone is interested in cold caps and hair shedding, here is my story: I used Penguin Cold caps and managed to save about 30-35% hair in the end. My hair stoped shedding 1 month after chemo. New hair started to grow 2 months after the treatment. I am 4.5 months after the treatment. My new hair is about 1 inch long and it mixed with my saved long hair. Now my hair looks thick, not bad. I have some grey hair (old hair) and don't suppose to dye it within 6 months after the treatment (Penguin cold cap instruction). So I wear a hat to work. It works fine.

I am glad that I chose to use cold caps.

Another thing I'd like to mention here is skin sensitivity to sun. Our skin is very sensitive to sun when we do chemo. I got some unusual sunburn after attended an outdoor event for 3-4 hours even 2 months after the treatment. Please cover yourself with hat and long sleeve shirt etc. when go outside.

Hope everyone is doing well and recovery well!

Best wishes,

Surgery 10/29/2021 Mastectomy (Left): Simple Hormonal Therapy 3/26/2022 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Chemotherapy 3/31/2022 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 25, 2022 12:39PM sarahmaude wrote:

Welcome to our chemo club nynyroc! I also enjoyed a steroid energy boost my first round I think some people keep getting that burst ; I didn’t. When I mentioned my fatigue, my MO said just to go with it. She said that if I had a longer regimen she could add stimulants, but since I’m almost done, we’d leave things alone.

When I started on 5/4, the end seemed both near and far away. Now, with 11 days to my final infusion, I’m both excited it’s so close to finishing, and I’m already dreading those days of fatigue and low blood counts. I’ve been in the severely neutropenia range all three cycles, but have bounced back fever free each time as well

I agree with sun-shine on the ice chips. I’ve done them during the Taxotere infusion the second and third cycles. That along with the Penguin cold capping, and hands and feet on ice is a lot of ice. I may try the ice chips during Cytoxan for round 4.

I’ve pretty much just stayed out of the sun as I know our skin is so much more sensitive. That, and our heat indexes have been over 100 degrees lately. Ugh.

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 26, 2022 02:54PM lori615 wrote:

thank you everyone for your stories. This is all new to me and quite overwhelming. My 3rd and 4th day post treatment for my first time has been hard. Alot of bone pain. Almost feels like sharp knives poking you. Am taking Claritin once a day. My scalp hurts too, and I'm getting headaches. Also taking Tylenol and Advil off and on. Extremely tired. But I guess is just part of it. Tried to work, but ended up coming right back home. Thanks for y'alls stories. Helps alot!

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Jun 29, 2022 01:13AM kathrynw1thasea wrote:

lori615, hang in there! It gets less overwhelming. I think the first cycle is pretty daunting for everyone. I’m not on TC, but I’ve been through 4 AC treatments and 5 of 12 Taxol treatments. While the physical side effects will probably vary, the anxiety of not knowing what to expect is soon to be behind you. These ladies will have great advice for you.

I’ll second Sarahmaude’s recommendation for the Thursday zoom group. We are usually a small enough group that we get quite a bit of discussion in and there is always useful advice. If nothing else, you really feel (well, I feel) comforted by the camaraderie. Everyone is very supportive of each other.

Hope to see you there!

Catherine.

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 IIB, Grade 3, 5/27 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 29, 2022 01:05PM margecandoit wrote:

Hi all just checking in to see how everyone is doing. I have had a ruff couple weeks and finally today I am feeling better. Just in time to have my last infusion on my first set of treatment tomorrow. I guess this is how it goes. I did get good news the spots on my lungs are benign so that a big relieve. Now I have a couple months to think about surgery and which one I want to do. Any thoughts? Dr is thinking I should do a lumpectomy and a breast reduction. Not sure how I feel about that. I am slow to process stuff so it’s good I have some time. Hope everyone is doing well and making it though the best they can.

IDC Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, ER+, PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 5/19/2022 AC + T (Taxol)

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