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Topic: Stopping Chemo early for TNBC

Forum: Triple-Negative Breast Cancer —

Share with others who have ER-/PR-/HER2- breast cancer.

Posted on: Apr 23, 2020 02:02PM - edited Apr 23, 2020 02:37PM by Pippy0907

Pippy0907 wrote:

I am 32 yrs old, I was Dx with stage 1B grade 3 triple negative breast cancer back in February. I have had 4 rounds of A/C and 1 dose of taxol. The A/C was extremely tough on me. I received my first taxol infusion last Wednesday. Besides some bone pain and fatigue I didn't feel that bad. I had high hopes I could get through the 12 doses. Sunday I started to feel a cough come on, chest tightness and fever. I had 2 covid tests done and an xray. The tests were negative and the xray looked fine.

My oncologist sent me to the ER on Tues. because of my trouble breathing during excursion. They saw mild pneumonitis on the CT.

all the blood work came back fine. They kept me in the hospital overnight to get IV antibiotics and be monitored. I got out of the hopspital yesterday. I am taking oral antibiotics too. I am really worried that the Taxol caused this and that if I continue treatment it will get worse. With Covid going around I don't want to end up back in the hopsital. (The things I had to deal with in the ER were traumatizing).

My oncologist is firm in her belief that this is not from taxol and that it is rare that this would happen after 1 dose. She stands by her Dx of pneumonia. I am questioning continuing chemo. My mass was 1.6 cm before A/C no node involvement. It has shrunk by feel and I have an ulteasound and mammogram scheduled for monday. Has anyone stopped chemo and just went for surgery early?

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Apr 23, 2020 02:24PM - edited Apr 23, 2020 02:26PM by MountainMia

I had 4x AC, no taxol, because I'd reacted to Taxotere. (My original plan was 4x taxotere and cytoxan, not adriamycin and cytoxan.) I had my chemo AFTER surgery, not before. About 2 weeks after my last AC, I had knee-buckling fatigue, with shortness of breath on even mild exertion. It was the AC. It was normal, though difficult, and lasted with varying intensity for about 3 weeks.

It's possible you are dealing with similar fatigue, maybe isn't pneumonia at all, since your xray was fine.

Ultimately, you are the one who gets to make decisions about your treatment. I'm NOT recommending you go my route, without taxol. I'm just saying, it's an option and you and your MO could discuss it.

EDITED to add, I don't keep my stats on my tagline anymore, but my characteristics were much like yours. 1.5 cm IDC tumor with DCIS, no nodes involved, grade 3. I was 58 on diagnosis, otherwise in very good health.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.
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Apr 23, 2020 04:08PM Maryjv wrote:

Hello-I am 34 years old...I was able to complete the 4 AC rounds but unfortunately was only able to complete 3 weekly doses of taxol before my MO stopped the treatment related to neuropathy, nose bleeds, low counts, bleeding hemmorids, trouble breathing, dry cough and other debilitating side effects. Definitely not encouraging you to stop taxol but just sharing my story. I also am TN, 1.8cm, no node involvement and had a complete response to chemo! I did have a CT scan prior to taxol which showed the tumor was no longer measurable. Hoping your scans show great response! I Would have continued treatment but I had a bad experience to taxol since week 1 and my MO told me that AC was 90% of the treatment and taxol was “icing on the cake.” Hoping you feel better side effects have all resolved at this point, had DMX on March 26th.
Dx 11/22/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 12/30/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 3/27/2020 Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 8/27/2020 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Apr 24, 2020 09:03PM Rentintin10 wrote:

My first post and really my first time to talk with other BC women. I'm 3 weeks post surgery for TN BC.

For a brief moment I was told no chemo. Margins were clear as we're lymph nodes. My surgeon felt that with this virus that the risk were to high. Then came the hematologist/oncologist. He told me that the gene testing was grade 3 aggressive TN. I am 64 years and not in good health. They don't seem to beworried about that at all. I've been battling pancreatitis for the last 6 months. However I am scheduled to begin chemo around the first of May. I have been reading your stories and I have to say, I am terrified.

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Apr 24, 2020 11:24PM Trishyla wrote:

Don't be afraid, Rentintin. Chemo is tough, but very doable. It's nothing like what you might have seen in movies or on tv. Most people are able to go on with their day to day lives (such as they are right now). Many are even able to work full time and take care of young children.

It will very likely be tougher for you with your other health issues, but triple negative breast cancer is nothing to mess around with. It is very aggressive and surgery and chemo are the only tools to fight it.

Make sure you have good communication with your oncologist. Let them know immediately if you have any side effects. They have a lot of medications available to alleviate them.

You can do this, Rentintin. Come here as often as you need to. The support here is amazing.

Good luck.


Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/6/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/4/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Chemotherapy 8/4/2017 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Apr 24, 2020 11:24PM MountainMia wrote:

Rentintin, I'm sorry you are here. It's a scary time in the world, and for you personally, and the timing makes everything harder. I'm glad you reached out and posted. You have very good news, with no nodes involved. That's really important! But chemo is almost always recommended for TNBC.

You said you're terrified, and I completely get that. For different people, that means different things. Are you able to describe what scares you most? Did the MO (medical oncologist) tell you what chemo plan he is recommending? The people here (almost all women, but also some men) will help you understand better what's being said, and what you might expect, and help you form questions to ask. Feel free to ask for that help. We all need it sometimes, and this is the right place.

The rain comes and the rain goes, but the mountain remains. I am the mountain.

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