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Just started chemo... (my story)

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vikkie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vikkie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2012 at 7:10pm
Hi Nicole,
 
I was diagnosed with TNBC Stage 2a (2 positive axillary lymph nodes) in Feb. 2011 at age 53. My B/Surgeon actually gave me this horrible news a few days before my B/Day - 2/24. Anyway, I completed the standard treatment - surgery, chemo, radiation therapy from April 1st to Nov. 14, 2011. Yes, I lost hair everywhere there was hair on my body - if you know what I mean! You only read/see in the magazines about hair loss on the head, nobody says anything about other body parts. Needless to say, my experience was an eye opener for me, but all in all, it was the LEAST of my worries during treatment. I prayed fervently that every single cancer cell in any corner of my body should be crushed and "fall off" as every strand of hair everywhere was falling off! So Nicole, I wish you well with your treatment and will keep you in my prayers.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bashamk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2012 at 8:30pm
Hi Nicole!
Yes, I lost all my hair. My eyebrows and eyelashes didn't go until 3 weeks after my chemo ended. What a surprise!
I think for me the most surprising thing was losing the hair in my nose. Weird as that sounds! I don't know if it was chemo or what, but I had just a tiny bit of nasal drip ...just a tiny bit. I had to carry a tissue with me all the time to dab at my nose. Wasn't running, just a little wet. Then I figured out the hair was gone, which I guess is what would have kept that from happening. (ok - eeewww) Shocked
I really took advantage of not having to shave my legs!
 
Good luck on your journey, we're here for you.
Kay
 
dx 6/25/09 age 45, IDC TNBC,
stage 1, grade 3, 1.5 cm
Lumpectomy, T/C x 4, 33 rads
Dx Dec 2015 Stage 4 metaplastic
Cell growth on nerves in shoulder to rt arm; mediastinal nodes; Bone; skin mets
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ds21 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ds21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2012 at 8:34pm
Elizabeth Edwards mentioned the loss of nose hair as well, also something that came as a surprise to her because no one mentioned it in advance.

David
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BamaRachel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2012 at 9:23pm
Ditto for the nose hair and all the other hair loss places.  I lost almost all eyebrows and eyelashes except for three or four lashes on bottom.  Really weird looking.  I almost want to pull the stragglies out!!  Hopefully they will grow back.  Putting on eyeliner is tricky with no lashes, but it makes the eyes look much better!!  You will catch on quick!  Good luck. 
DX 7/5/11, TN Invas; Lump w/clear marg., 7/21/11; Stage 2A. Grade 3, 2.6 c; 0/6 nodes; TX 8/22/11 4DD E/C; 4Taxotere; Chemo ended 1/3/12; 33 Radiation Treatments, ended 3/15/12.
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Nicole26 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nicole26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2012 at 9:27pm
Thank you so much for everyone's inputs! How fast does your hair grow back?? (including head and everywhere else?)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Natalie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2012 at 9:33pm
My last treatment was Oct.17,2011 and with in a few weeks i started having peach fuzz on my head. About the middle of December my eye brows and lashes started.
Today? well my lashes and brows still coming in and i have about an inch on top of my head and shorter around the sides.
The hair is super dooper soft and its original color =]
Probably going to get to looking pretty freaky, kinda like Albert Einstein.... LOL
 
TNBC stage1 size 1.8, grade3 no nodes 4/11 Lumpectomy 5/11 4cycles DD A/C 4cycles DD Taxol. Double Mastectomy 12/11 BRCA all neg
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kirby Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 27 2012 at 11:46pm
Nicole,
 
ACS has "Look Good, Feel Better" classes taught by licensed cosmetologist that show you how to do make up, wigs and scarves for women going thru chemo. It is no charge and comes with a very nice make up kit that cosmetic companies have donated their products for.
 
Otherwise, look in the resource area on this site for tips for doing eye lashes, liner and eyebrows.
kirby

dx Feb. 2001. Age 44
Lumpectomy

2cm. no nodes stage 1 grade 3

4 rnds AC, 35 rads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 12:40am
Nicole,< ="text/" ="" ="/B1D671CF-E532-4481-99AA-19F420D90332etdefender/huidhui.js?0=0&0=0&0=0">

The first time I finished chemo the end of October.  It was a good 4 months before I could go without a scarf or wig.  It was very short, but I had enough to feel comfortable going without a headcover.  Mine came in very curly and lots of white in it.  Not grey hair, but white.   The hairdresser had to color it twice to get it to take.  I had the hardest time controlling the curls.  I'd straighten it and put hairspray on, but just a little humidity and it was back to curls again.  It looked like a real bad perm.  Once it grew out, my hair was back to my normal color and texture.

After reading about the others talking about not shaving, nose hairs, etc. it brought back all those memories.  I forgot about no nose hair!  It was weird not to have any hair on the body, but I sure did enjoy not having to shave.  That was one side effect I hoped would remain.  I guess we can't pick and choose, sigh.




DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nicole26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 1:43am
Thank you everyone for your responses!! it's been really helpful. I'm pretty prepared. I'm not trying to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty sexy. haha. I was actually talking to an old boyfriend tonight venting bc my whole life I've strived and worked hard to look the way I do now. Since I was little I always wanted to just be the girl that walks into the room and turns heads. And I am that girl now, and I feel like everything I worked my entire life for is being stripped from me and it's infuriating! Of course my ex reassured me that I"m "beautiful inside and out" and that everything will grow back. I've talked to a photographer I've worked with in the past who has agreed to work with me during this time. I refuse to not feel sexy again, it's just so hard to be so strong when you feel like your strength is being stripped from you not matter how hard you try.

Kirby, where on the site can u find that make up kit??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wade Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 2:02am
Hi Nicole,

So sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but I'm glad you found the people on this site - they helped me a bunch.

I found my wife's head beautiful when bald. Honest! It was so smooth and - I don't know how to express it exactly, but I found it gorgeous. Anyway, that's my two cents.

I hope your treatment goes well for you, and all your tumors melt away.

Best regards,
Wade
Wife DX 5/2011@52 2.5x3.1cm;6/2011 DD A/C 4x,Abraxane 4x; Lumpectomy, SN biopsy 10/2011; 10/27/2011 NED; Rads start 11-22-2011, Rads fin 1-11-2012; 10-2013 NED; 07-18-2014 NED; 08/07/2015 NED!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nicole26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 3:21am
Wade, thats so sweet and she's a very blessed woman to have you support her! I'm single but I do have one man in my life who's promised to be there for me and assures me I'll always be cute, sexy and beautiful to him. He tells me God takes care of two kinds of people : the good kind, and the crazy kind- and he says I have both covered. haha.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lee21 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 9:52am
Hi Nicole,
I don't know if you had seen this staging page from the American Cancer Society:
http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/breast-cancer-staging

Hopefully you had settled the issue of your stage with your oncologist. If the cancer hasn't spread beyond N2 it is still considered early (up to stage III A).
http://www.cancer.gov/dictionary?cdrid=446564
has the definition for early BC

Locally advanced is stage III breast cancer.
http://ww5.komen.org/breastcancer/locallyadvancedinflammatorybreastcancerstageiii.html



Edited by Lee21 - Jan 28 2012 at 8:05pm
12/9/11 @59,IDC,grade3, TNBC,3cm(MRI),SLNB0,stage IIA, BRCA1 variant
1/30/12 DD AC-T, 6/7/12 Lumpectomy, ypT1b(0.8 cm), 7/9/12 Rads x 30
11/9/12, clinical trial cisplatin/rucaparib, cisplatin-only arm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nicole26 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 11:33am
My onc confirmed I'm still a stage II on wed. thank you!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 123Donna Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 11:40am
Nicole,

Here's a link to the Look Good Feel Better Programs.  There is a place at the bottom of the page to enter your zip code.  It will show you where and when the programs are offered in your area.  The programs may fill up quickly so you want to sign up early.


Donna
DX IDC TNBC 6/09 age 49, Stage 1,Grade 3, 1.5cm,0/5Nodes,KI-67 48%,BRCA-,6/09bi-mx, recon, T/C X4(9/09)
11/10 Recur IM node, Gem,Carb,Iniparib 12/10,MRI NED 2/11,IMRT Radsx40,CT NED11/13,MRI NED3/15

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote faithful Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 3:55pm
Thanks for your response. I had my beautician shave my hair off a week after my first chemo. It was to stressful for me. I would wake up each morning look at my pillow, and run to the mirror pulling my hair to see if any would fall. I have a wig that looks like my natural hair and style. No one even knows. Thank God I have been able to work full time. I receive my treatments on fri so that I can have the weekend to rest post treatment. What I have found to help me with strength is eatting lots of fruits and veg, drinking lots of fluids. I also take flaxseed, D#, calcium, fishoil, vitamins Alive womens energy it is full of minerals fruits, veg sold at walgreens. First ask your oncologist if safe prior to taking.
 
Good Luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote indy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 28 2012 at 6:16pm
Hi Nicole,

I am very sorry this has happened to you.  It is a journey and for each of us different.  I am now in the middle of chemo having completed ac and now on third taxol.  The group is right, take your anti nausea meds and you will feel better.  Give yourself breaks as much as you can, this time is for you.  Sleeping for a few hours after work helps me, just not too long so I am not up all night. 


Strangely, since my hair is a problem, wigs make me look better than my real hair.  My husband loves my head though which is nice.  The underlying issue is still there though, we have TNBC.  During AC I took claritin with aleve everyday to counteract the neulasta shot.  I only developed a problem with one foot which now in taxol seems to be getting better. 

With a friend, I joined a weekly support group which has been a godsend, we have all ages of women in there, some new like me and others 12 year survivors.  I get the most from the long term ladies as they have so much wisdom to share.  They have learned to live with whatever comes their way and happy to be alive! Just a point, it seems all treatment centers have some kind of support group monthly or weekly, you do not have to go for treatment there to belong.  Being in Ft Lauderdale, many of the women only visit here in the winter and are treated elsewhere.

 Take advantage of all that is offered to you.  It is encouraging to be with people at least occasionally going through cancer.  If you do not like a group, give it one more try before quitting.  This online group has been the only one I can really get good info on TNBC and I am grateful to them all.  Best wishes, Joan
Diagnosed 9/2011 at 58 TNBC node neg lumpectomy chemo X4 AC chemo X12 Tax, rad 30 treatment starting 11/14 all genetic tests negative
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nmunoz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jan 29 2012 at 11:20am
Hi Nicole,

I just found this thread and I have already posted in the young women's one. I was also diagnosed at a young age and it was a little over 3 years ago. Right around this time of the year 3 years ago I was bald and in the middle of chemo treatment. I lost my hair about two weeks after starting chemo (A/C first for 4 rounds and then taxol for another 4 rounds) and I wore a wig for a while. My hair began to grow again while I was on Taxol (a week or so after I finished the AC- 9 weeks after starting treatment) and at the beginning of May 2008 I stopped wearing my wig because my hair was already about 1 cm long and I loved the buzz cut look. I received a lot of compliments when my hair was really short. Curiously enough, my eyelashes and eyebrows fell when my hair began to grow... but I did find that easier to handle as makeup is a blessing. They grew back not long after I finished Taxol. My hair used to be between straight and a little wavy and after chemo it came out curly; with really nice curls and I actually love it. My eyelashes never came out as thick or long a before though.

I didn't have a lot of side effects while on chemo and actually it wasn't too bad. Ask your doctor about the Emend as they gave it to me along with the Zofran infusion prior to every chemo treatment. I didn't feel nausea during treatment so I guess that combination worked for me. Also the doctor made me drink a lot of liquids from the night before chemo through the day following chemo and I did so and that may have helped too.

I noticed that you live in New Orleans. I will be going there on the 24th of February to attend the C4YW - an annual conference for young women affected by breast cancer (http://www.c4yw.org/) Maybe you want to check it out. Also PM if maybe you want to meet and talk. I was lucky to be able to talk to a couple of BC survivors early on my journey and I found those conversation very helpful so I'm here if you want to talk.

Best of luck!

Natalia

Edited by nmunoz - Jan 29 2012 at 11:23am
Natalia, 38 years

Dx TNBC 10/22/08, BRCA1+

Double Mx 11/20/08 with Recon.

3/37 nodes

Rads 7 weeks done 8/09

ACx4 every 2 weeks and Tx12 weeks. Avastin e/3 weeksx10 (Clinical Trial) Done Dec/09
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