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warning about TAXOL

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Ladies: 
I noticed that we forgot to mention - drink lots of water before during and after your chemo!  That is the secret....to the madness.  At least that is what I found.. Keep yourself pumped up! You can do it!!
 
We are rooting for you all!  
 
Helen in NS
Diag@57TNBC04/092.5cm Lquad 05/09 TCx4Radsx30CT03/01/10 FU03/31/10ClearBRCA- 01/2011 RTNBC BMX 06/14/2011~2013 clear
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 03 2010 at 10:40pm
Hi unklez..


here are some side effects-

http://breast-cancer.emedtv.com/taxol/taxol-side-effects.html

n Introduction to Taxol Side Effects

As with any medicine, side effects are possible with Taxol® (paclitaxel); however, not everyone who takes the medication will experience problems. In fact, most people tolerate it quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can easily be treated by you or your healthcare provider.
 
(This article covers many, but not all, of the possible side effects with Taxol. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list of Taxol side effects with you.)
 

Common Side Effects of Taxol

Taxol has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials, in which a group of people taking the drug have side effects documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they occur, and how they compare to people not taking this drug.
 
In these studies, the most common Taxol side effects (used alone or in combination with other chemotherapy medications) included:
 
Other common side effects, occurring in 3 to 80 percent of people, included:
 
  • Unusual sensations, such as burning or tingling
  • Low platelets in the blood (see Blood Clotting Problems and Chemotherapy)
  • Mouth sores or sores in the digestive tract (see Mouth and Gum Problems During Chemotherapy)
  • Changes in the heart rhythm seen with an electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)
  • Bleeding
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia).
  • ...........................

    as I have written most women get through Taxol without SEVERE reactions but sometimes not..
    please see Lillie's post above for how her oncologist handled things..

    more on MUGA-
    http:// www.cancer.net/patient/All+About+Cancer/Cancer.Net+Features/Treatments%2C+Tests%2C+and+Procedures/MUGA+Scan%E2%80%94What+to+Expect



    Cancer.net is the American Society of Clinical Oncologists site..

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    MUGA Scan—What to Expect

    A multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan checks to see if your heart is pumping blood properly. Other names for this test include cardiac blood pooling imaging, nuclear heart scan, nuclear ventriculography, and radionuclide ventriculography. Some people with cancer receiving chemotherapy may need to have this test during their cancer treatment. Survivors of childhood cancer who have had radiation therapy to the chest, spine or upper abdomen; a bone marrow/stem cell transplantation, or chemotherapy with anthracyclines may also need a MUGA scan as part of their follow-up care.

    Anthracyclines are a type of chemotherapy that can damage the heart and its ability to pump blood to the rest of your body. Examples of anthracyclines include daunorubicin (Cerubidine, Rubidomycin), doxorubicin (Adriamycin), and epirubicin (Ellence).

    Heart damage from chemotherapy can lead to fluid buildup in your body, causing a condition called congestive heart failure (CHF). People with CHF may experience swollen hands and feet, shortness of breath, dizziness, and an irregular heartbeat.

    Before starting chemotherapy and throughout your treatment, your doctor may want to perform a MUGA scan. A MUGA scan checks for:

  • Your heart’s ability to pump blood to the rest of your body

  • The size of the ventricles (the two lower chambers that hold blood) in the heart

  • Any abnormal movement of blood through the heart

About the procedure

A MUGA scan is much like a computed tomography (CT) scan, and is performed by a nuclear medicine or radiology technician at a hospital. In most cases, the test does not require you to stay in the hospital overnight. During the test, a small amount of a radioactive material, called a tracer, is injected into a vein, usually in your arm. This material is much like a dye and binds to your red blood cells (blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body), making it easier to see how blood moves through your heart. After you have received the tracer, you will lie on a table and the technician will put a gamma camera (a special camera that uses gamma rays together with a tracer) above you and take pictures of your heart.

...............

unklez, my understanding that the drug used extensively in our community that causes most cardio problems is AC but, to a lesser extent, Taxol can cause problems as well...rare, but I think it makes sense, in some instances, to have the test. Again, women need to be guided by their oncologists and perhaps a cardiologist...and for sure some oncologists may say it is unnecessary..every situation is different..In my opinion, it certainly warrants a conversation with your oncologist...

all the best,

Steve



I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unklez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 03 2010 at 10:44pm
Originally posted by TNBC_in_NS TNBC_in_NS wrote:

Unklez:
The MUGA is a wall motion study of the heart.  They sometimes do that to ensure the heart is in good enough condition for the medications.  My girlfriend had it done with one of her meds, I don't think it was Taxol?  I had the Taxotere and did not have the MUGA so I am not sure why they are talking about that test? 
Hope that helps, Helen in NS

Helen,
Thanks. My understanding is the same as yours that MUGA is used to study the heart. I also know they do it for Adriamycyin because it is a known culprit and causes heart wall motion issues. I'm just not sure why Steve says it should be done for Taxol also. That's why I'm asking him for clarification. Knowing Steve I'm sure he has reasons for saying so, even if this is not common medical practice.



Wife Dx: Jul/09. Age: 37. Size: 3cm. BRCA: -ve. Lumpectomy: Aug/09. Micromet 1/9 node. Chemo Start: Sep/09. E5103. DD ACB-> DD Abraxane (Taxol reaction). Zometa (S0307). Canadian Fraction Rads.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote unklez Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 03 2010 at 10:45pm
Originally posted by steve steve wrote:

.......unklez, my understanding that the drug used extensively in our community that causes most cardio problems is AC but, to a lesser extent, Taxol can cause problems as well...rare, but I think it makes sense, in some instances, to have the test. Again, women need to be guided by their oncologists and perhaps a cardiologist...and for sure some oncologists may say it is unnecessary..every situation is different..In my opinion, it certainly warrants a conversation with your oncologist...


all the best,

Steve


Thanks for clarifying Steve. I knew you had to have a reason....


Wife Dx: Jul/09. Age: 37. Size: 3cm. BRCA: -ve. Lumpectomy: Aug/09. Micromet 1/9 node. Chemo Start: Sep/09. E5103. DD ACB-> DD Abraxane (Taxol reaction). Zometa (S0307). Canadian Fraction Rads.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 04 2010 at 10:54am
Hello Unklez, Steve, Helen, Carol, Brad, Kerry and ALL my other TNBC friends,

"This is a quote from one of my prior posts"
([I had a muga scan to check my heart before any treatments started and another one after the adriamician treatments ended. So they knew my heart was strong enough.])

The main reason I was told for getting the first mugs scan was that "adriamician" can damage the heart. The reason for the second muga scan was to make sure my heart had sustained no damage from the adriamician.

The clinical trial I was in COULD have dictated some of these steps, but what I was trying to say is that "the oncologist knew that my heart was still strong" before I began taxol and stated that fact to me.

I also was older (65) at the time of treatment, with an extensive family history of atrial fib.

You know; sometimes we "pick those nits" to death. As you will notice in my signature, I did NOT have any radiation. I have questioned my oncologist several times about that and I accept it as truth when he says, {Lillian, In "your particular situation" (mastectomy and miniscule involvement in 1 lymph node) it was not necessary.}

Kerry and Brad: You are in my prayers for a positive experience tomorrow with the taxol. Let us know how thing go for you. We all care and are sending you "hugs" "warm fuzzies" and "peace of mind".

Love in Christ,

Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote trip2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 05 2010 at 3:45am
Lillie,
 
You do make sense, thanks for your support to others in need, we so appreciate your kindness,Heart
Stage 2 2003
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Friends,
 
We had a very good day.  We could not of asked for better care.  We know we will face many difficult bumps in our journey, but today was definitely good.  I was so proud of Kerry, she was so brave.  I really could not believe it.  We had to see a financial advisor before treatment,  they always want the money first.  She told me that I was the one that looked uptight and scared. She was right.  It is amazing how much I have learned about my wife that I did not know.  I always thought I was the strong one, but she proved me wrong!  I believe the support and prayers from family and  friends made the difference.  This includes the family and friends on this forum.  We have not met you personally, yet, that is how we feel. 
 
The only side effect so far is Kerry is wide awake and going strong.  She has been working on a cancer policy that we have to file ourselves.  It is a pain and has not helped much so far.  The next treatment
will be 2/12/10.
 
Thanks to all
 
Brad
   
DX 11/11/09, IDC, <.5cm, 0-2 Nodes, Stage I, Grade 3 TNBC, Lumpectomy 11/27/09, Age 53 Treatment begins 2/5/10, 12 wkly doses Taxol, 4 doses every 2 wks of A C Then 6 wks Rads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 06 2010 at 10:52am
Oh Brad and Kerry,

What wonderful news.... the unknown is scary, but when the time comes we seem to rise to the occasion.

Love In Christ,

Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mrsmurphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2010 at 1:10pm
thanks for the info, even though its after the fact for me... but someone has to be in that 2-4%, right?  I did 4 AC and 4 Taxol, had extreme bone pain, but I was reassured over and over it was from the Neulasta shots I took with the chemo.  Who knows now?  I still have some "achy bones" and slight early arthritis, but would rather that than not have done the treatments.

God Bless,
Mrs. Murphy
33yo mom to 6 dd, diag 6/09, while preg w twins! Grade 3, stage 2 tumor (4cm), 2 pos lymph, triple neg, dble mast 7/09, chemo done Nov 09, radiation done Feb 10! BRCA -, new boobs sched for July!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mrsmurphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2010 at 1:12pm
Oh, also, my heart was tested extensively to see if it would tolerate the amount of chemo given, they actually were very thorough, I hope this has been standard for everyone else!
33yo mom to 6 dd, diag 6/09, while preg w twins! Grade 3, stage 2 tumor (4cm), 2 pos lymph, triple neg, dble mast 7/09, chemo done Nov 09, radiation done Feb 10! BRCA -, new boobs sched for July!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kerry OK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2010 at 3:16pm
mrsmurphy
 
That is exactly what we thought about the 2-4% group.  Our oncologist said Kerry won't take the Neulasta shot until the last 12 week cycle.  The only side effect we have noticed, so far, is her face is very red.  She has surgery Monday to put in the port.  Did you take glutamine supplements?  Her joints had been achy before treatment but feels better now. 
 
Thanks
 
Brad 
DX 11/11/09, IDC, <.5cm, 0-2 Nodes, Stage I, Grade 3 TNBC, Lumpectomy 11/27/09, Age 53 Treatment begins 2/5/10, 12 wkly doses Taxol, 4 doses every 2 wks of A C Then 6 wks Rads
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lillie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 07 2010 at 3:37pm
Hello Kerry and Brad,

Sounds like things are moving right along. I pray you have a very positive experience with your port installment and the use of it.

I also had the red face when I took taxol. It was referred to as "the chemo glow". When the taxol treatments ended my face lost it's glow. It really wasn't a problem because I normally used some cheek blush anyway, but during taxol I didn't need any extra blush.

Just sharing another side effects that is not often mentioned.

Love in Christ,

Lillie
Dx 6/06 age 65,IDC-TNBC
Stage IIb,Gr3,2cm,BRCA-
6/06 L/Mast/w/SNB,1of3 Nodes+
6/06 Axl. 9 nodes-
8/8 thru 11/15 Chemo (Clin-Trial) DD A/Cx4 -- DD taxol+gemzar x4
No Rads.
No RECON - 11/2015-9 yrs NED
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Hi Brad, no, they did not give me any glutamine supplements, but they did give me B6 for the neuropothy (tingling in feet and hands), and that actually worked.  I do now remember I had some face flush, but not much, and I did lose ALL my hair, eyebrows and all my eye lashes too.  Luckily, they were the first to come back, and fast!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mrsmurphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 08 2010 at 12:17pm
Hi Again Brad, I also had the porta-cath surgery, one day, in and out, tell her no worries!  Mine is in my arm, most are in the chest.  It makes things sooo much easier than an IV!
33yo mom to 6 dd, diag 6/09, while preg w twins! Grade 3, stage 2 tumor (4cm), 2 pos lymph, triple neg, dble mast 7/09, chemo done Nov 09, radiation done Feb 10! BRCA -, new boobs sched for July!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Scott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 08 2010 at 10:06pm
Mrsmurphy, how much and how often did you take the B6...it is OTC isn't it?
Thanks, Scott
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mrsmurphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Feb 09 2010 at 11:17am
Hi Scott, yes its OTC, but the pharmacy gave it to me, many carry it, it is Nature's Made and my Dr prescribed 2 tabs (50 mg each) once a day.  It worked for me!  And now I barely have any more numbness or tingling.  Also, be on top of anemia, I was also prescribed iron, but with that came constipation and if you wife had a c-section (which I also did) then get the colace too.

I know, it's almost too much!  I also posted on another one of the form topics (about pain) the need to get enough protein as they are the building blocks for your cells.  I really believe this all veggie diet can make you weaker and not build your cells strong enough.  You can do this organically, I do organic hard boiled eggs, organic chicken and turkey, that kind of stuff.  But you know, with the Taxol, all she can eat is all she can eat and dont worry too much about it until her appetite is back.

God bless!
Mrs. Murphy

goodness-I REALLY hope I did not get Scott and Steve  mixed up, chemo brain and S names!  If I did, please pass the info to WC!!  LOL!
33yo mom to 6 dd, diag 6/09, while preg w twins! Grade 3, stage 2 tumor (4cm), 2 pos lymph, triple neg, dble mast 7/09, chemo done Nov 09, radiation done Feb 10! BRCA -, new boobs sched for July!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Momof2NJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 02 2010 at 7:15pm
I know this is an old archived post, but I did Cytoxan and Taxotere during my first treatment in 2008.  I did four rounds.  First round went off without a hitch.  The second one, I went into full anaphylaxis...started with burning pain in my lower back, couldn't breathe, I turned a "grayish" color, got immediately nauseous, blood pressure crashed and I blacked out.  Woke up a few mins later after they pushed more benadryl and steroids, got stable and slowed the drip.  Third treatment, I was premedicated and I got a slight reaction, but no where near as bad.  By the 4th and last, we had the premed routine down and everything went fine.
 
I just started AC x 4 on 11/1/10 for a recurrence and will follow with Taxol x 12.  Given my past reaction, I'm kinda freaked.  We will change to Abraxane if something happens.
 
Prior to my taxotere the doc went thru an entire list of allergens and I answered appropriately.  One thing they NEVER asked if I was allergic to was bee stings.  I am severely allergic to bees and carry an Epi-Pen.  Turns out that was likely the culprit in the taxotere reaction although the Taxol may not have the same effect.
 
We shall see.
 
blessings to all,
mary ellen
2008 BRCA 1+ dx stg 1,gr 3 IDC triple neg. BM w/ recon. CT x 4. Prophy TAH 2007. Recurrence 9/13/10. 10/5/10 tumor excised. ACx4, Taxol x3, abraxane x 9. 38 rads. 7/11 NED!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 24 2010 at 9:21am
Thanks for sharing, Mary Ellen..

I realized when I wrote this post over a year ago that a severe reaction to TAXOL is a rare occurrence. Nevertheless, I feel the message is still important and as you indicate it is important that we become advocates for ourselves and try to cover all the bases, as best we can. It can be a stressful, but necessary (at times), task to do so.

I hope all goes well for you...

you and all here are in my prayers,

Steve
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote overwhelmed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Dec 24 2010 at 10:52am
I had six treatments of Taxotere with no reaction and just the usual side effects.  After the forth treatmen, I started to have foot pain that resolved itself at some point during the cycle.  After I had completed chemo, that pain got worse and it continues today.  I ache all over, and now that radiation is done I have some tingling in my left hand (same side as mastectomy). 
 
I am glad I didn't experience the serious reactions that, although rare, can happen.  I also think the Taxols are important drugs for treating TNBC, and am thankful I was able to take it in every cycle.  But, it is a potent drug, and I would imagine that not everyone gets the long term side effects (which I blame on Taxotere, but maybe the Cytoxin contributed). 
 
Thanks, Steve, for the warning and thanks too for letting us know that the aches and pains are normal.  Any ache and pain is scary these days, but mine is all over and not just in one particular spot.  I just feel much older right now than I am.  But, it will get better.
 
Lori
DX ILC TNBC 3/10 at 50, Stage IIb; Grade 3; 5.1 to 7 cm,SNB neg;TC-6 rnds, 30 rads, Avastin-18 rnds, BRAC 1&2-
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SagePatientAdvocates Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 23 2011 at 8:10am
bumping up for braveheart and any others that may have severe reactions to TAXOL.

all the best,

Steve
I am a BRCA1+ grandson, son and father of women affected by breast/oc-my daughter inherited mutation from me, and at 36, was dx 2004 TNBC I am a volunteer patient advocate with SAGE Patient Advocates
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