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What's ahead of me?

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gailev View Drop Down
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    Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 5:32am
I am on the 8th day of my 2nd chemo. Today is the first day I have not had nausea--last time it was only 3 days. Does the length of the nausea incease with each treatment? Also I sat between a man and a woman getting chemo and they proceeded to tell me how horrible the taxol is and how horrible I will feel etc. I am trying to just take one day at a time and keep thinking I just have to do this to kill the cancer cell and then hopefully get on with life. I realize the chance of getting another tumor but I am planning to live like that is not going to happen.
Right now all I can seem to think about is what these two people dumped on me. If the treatment is horrible--I need to know so I can start preparing myself and praying about it. I am a woman of deep faith but feel overwhelmed right now.
Can you ladies tell me how you felt? the people that told me this did not have bc --both had liver cancer and were in bad shape but the one man said he would rather die that take Taxol again.
Gail
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cg--- Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 5:50am
Dear Gailey,
 
Please do not let anyone scare you out of treatment. For many Taxol is much easier. If possible get them to give it 12 weekly rather than 4 dose dense.
 
For the pins and needles and numbness that accompanies the Taxol - make sure you start taking vitamin B6.
 
Do not be overwhelmed by treatment fears. I thought of the chemotherapy as "liquid gold"....I wanted to go for every treatment and I did not want anything delayed, reduced....because I thought the chemotherapy was coursing through my body eliminating all those cancer cells.
 
When the liver is affected by disease, especially cancer, the liver cannot filter toxins or metabolize medications properly...so their bodies were compromised because their processing organ (the liver was already not functioning properly) and who knows what other treatments they had done before.
 
Remember, we are always here for you to support you, give advice, or just listen.
 
When I was doing my AC/every 2 weeks. I felt better just before I had to get the next treatment....but that was okay because for the short time I was feeling miserable - I was exchanging that for potential long and healthy life after the treatments.
 
Love,
Connie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote megulla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 6:49am
Gail,
 
I agree, don't let anyone scare you about their bouts with treatment.  Everyone is different.    I didn't have taxol, I had cytoxin and something else,,,so I don't know what the side effects are for you, but I they gave me anti-nausea medication that if taken every 3 - 4 hours really worked.
 
I just thought of having cancer as me having a year of the flu and that with the medication I was on, it would go away.  I still believe that.
 
I think I'm one of the few that never let it get to me.  I just continued in my life as I did before and I believed someone/something was watching over me.  I still believe that too.
 
next time you go for chemo, either ask for a private rom or take a headset and listen to soothing music.
 
someone is watching over you
 
Mary
Mary
*******************
bi-lateral mast 02/12/08
tram-flap reconstr 02/12/08
Chemo every 3 wks 4 rounds Mar - May 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrissieD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 7:06am

Hi gail - I am sorry to read you are having such a tough time with your chemo.  Hang in there.  I reacted differently to each of my AC treatments. I actually felt the worst after my 2nd treatment so hopefully this will be your worst too :)!!

My experience with Taxol (last treatment was 2/23/09)  I received 4 cycles of Taxol dose dense.  I felt worse the day of infusion as I took a lot more decadron and they give decadron and benedryl as a pre-med.  I don't like to take benedryl - spinning head and sleepy is what felt worse.  I was feeling fine by the ride home (it is a really long day at the dr compared with AC so be prepared for that - good books, magazines, lots of snacks and lunch).  I did not experience any nausea at all. I did have a lot of fatigue which lasted the 2 weeks between cycles.  Who knows if this is the Taxol or just the cumulative effects of the treatments.  I continued to get neulasta shots with the Taxol and experienced the pain associated with that for a couple days.  Again this was worse than with neulasta with AC but was manageable with OTC pain meds.  I also had a little bit of neuropathy which did get worse with each treatment.  I am still having neuropathy following my 4th treatment.  I am taking acetyl-l-carnitine for this as prescribed by my naturopath.  B12 helps too!

Best of luck to you. 
39 from MA, Mom(8.5 and 6),
Lumpectomy IDC 1.5cm Stage I, Grade 3
ACx4 Taxolx4 dose dense started 11/17; Bi-lateral Mastectomy with expanders scheduled for 3/24/09
God is carrying me through !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote krisa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 7:06am
mary
what a great outlook!

chemo is different for everyone....A/C was fatiguing, mentally and physically for a week and then gradually I would feel better just in time for the next infusion.  after my first infusion i was depressed!!  i got off the extra steroids and turned my thinking around and the weeks went smoother.  Taxol ended up being fatiguing for me, plus the neuropathy, nail problems and my hair that did notf all off my body with AC, did with Taxol.  A year ago, I was having my fourth AC infusion---seems so long ago.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gailev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 7:36am

I feel better. Your encouragment helped plus the trial nurse from the oncologist office just called to check up on me. She told me pretty much the same things you have said. My Taxol will be once a week x 12, which you and she indicated should be easier. She said there should be less nausea and the body aches can be handled by OTC meds. She also suggested that I bring a headset and not sit by those folks again if they are there. I am usually a very upbeat person ecouraging others--I think having someone on each side drilling me with this negative stuff plus feeling so sick the last few days has been working on my mind.

Gail

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 7:40am
Gail,
 
As others have suggested, get another seat for chemo, and don't listen to these people, for as we have said a million times...it is different for everyone. Lori's 1st, 3rd, and 5th chemo were the worst. It is cumulative, and that is probably the reason that many feel increasingly worse over the treatments.
 
Plug your ears Gail, or wear a headset as suggested. Lori always felt somewhat better about the 9th day after chemo, and I have read that many times here on the site. Hang in there sweetie, and just keep crossing them off the calendar.
Hugs,
 
 
 


Edited by Nancy - Mar 05 2009 at 8:22am
Nancy
DD Lori dx TNBC June 13,2007
Lumpectomy due to incorrect dx of a cyst
mastectomy July 6 2007
chemo ACT all 3 every 3 weeks 6 tx Aug-Nov
28 rads ended Jan 2008
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cduvall1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 8:09am
My 2nd AC was also the worst.  My white blood cell count fell very low.  I had no energy.  It was not an easy time.  I had Taxol 12x.  It was not nearly as hard on me though I did have a bit of peripheral neuropathy and weird tast buds.  You will get through this.  It is not easy, but time has a way of moving us through these challenges.
 
As for the others in the chemo "corral" they too are facing a serious life-threatening situation.  It would be better if you did not sit near them.  The ipod idea is a good one.   Or, fake sleep. 
 
Blessings to you! 
Carol
dx 3/08 age 63, invasive metaplastic carcinoma, 2cm, node neg, grade 3, stage I, lumpectomy 5/08,AC 4x, Taxol 12x weekly, radiation 5wk, NED 4/29/09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote boatergirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 3:52pm

Hang in there Gail. You will get through this in your own way. I have just finished my A/C and wil start Taxol next Friday. My WBC's were the worst after my 2nd A/C. They droped to 700., but I actually felt the worst after my third. I think that part of that was the stress I had going on in my family at the time though.

As for the Taxol I have heard from many that it is not as bad with regard to the nausea and fatigue. I will know soon enough. I am going in with that belief so hopefully that wil help.

Stay strong and try not to listen to naysayers. If your chemo suite is anything like where I go that is easier said then done as it is close quarters. It is shame there is no privacy.

DX.11/2008, IDC,TN
Stage1, Grade3, 0/2SN
Lumpectomy 12/8/2008
ACx4,Taxolx4 starting 1/16/09, Rads to follow
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote josie33 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 4:34pm
My sister just finished 4 dose dense A/C and is scheduled to start 1st of 4 dose dense Taxol tomorrow.

For the first 2 rounds of A/C she felt pretty sick on the second through fourth days after her Neulasta shot--severe bone pain, nausea, in bed throughout.... Before her  third A/C, her doctor let her skip her Neulasta shot (bad move!) because her WBC was very high--the result was no bone pain, but nausea for two weeks (and she had to delay round 3 of A/C by 3 days because her WBC was too low).  She was braced to feel terrible following her final A/C, because she had heard about the cumulative effects of chemo, and had to take Neulasta again, and -- go figure-!- she had virtually no side effects!  So, that was my very long way of saying it is not necessarily going to be increasingly more difficult for you each time. 

As for Taxol, of course the women who have had it wll be able to share their personal expreriences, but my sister's doctors told her there are very few if any GI side effects (e.g. nausea) and it normally is tolerated much better than A/C.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NancyJane Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 4:51pm
Gail and others just starting chemo, I am almost done with ACx4, Tx12.  I had almost no side effects from the AC.  I had no nausia, fatigue, malaise, etc.. I did experience some constipation, a GI dr. prescribed miralax and fiber pills and I felt better in 24 hours.  I missed no work, took up running and have lost 30 pounds.  I feel better now than I did before diagnosis.
 
Taxol has been a little harder than AC, but still good.  I have had no nausia ( I take no nausia drugs other than the pre meds infused before the taxol), or fatigue.  Again, I have not missed any work.  I have had progressively growing peripheral neuropathy.  Around round 4 I started feeling tingling in my toes.  By round 5 or 6 I started feeling it in my fingers and my lumpectomy, axillary node disection site.  By round 10 of the taxol I was getting nervous about the chances of permanent neuropathy.  Consequently, we reduced my dose by 20%.  Today was round 11 and I am feeling better.  I still have some tingling in my toes but my fingers have improved quite a bit.  Now, one round left and I feel like overall this has been faily easy, physically, as far as side effects are concerned.
 
My big problem has been my port.  My port would not give a blood return most of the four AC rounds.  My second round of AC started at 8:30 am and I did not leave until 9:00 pm because of my port.  The nurses had troubel acessing it (they were not in it on that day and I experienced an acute burning sensation as they dripped saline).  This led to a port study around 2:00 in the afternoon.  This involved mutiple sticks with no emla cream - fairly painful.  Ultimately only one side of the port was considered viable as the other side was filled with dried blood.
 
I had a new port put in after AC and before starting my 12 rounds of T.  The new port worked much better and the nurses were very good at making sure it was properly flushed. I think I am just a person whos blood clots a great deal in the port.  I needed more heparin (10 cc instead of 5 to keep it clean).  Don't give up if you do have port problems.  It is worth fighting for.
 
The main thing I would like people to know is that all of us react differently to chemo.  Do not think that you will experience what someone else experienced.  Just be prepared for the worse (I had all the nausia meds filled and took them religiously for the AC rounds.  When my Onc saw how well I was handling chemo, he told me I probably don't need the post nausia meds, one week I just forgot to take them and realized, I don't need them).  Try to be patient and just respect your body.  I filled the miracle mouth wash script and have not used it once, but if I needed it I was ready and you can bet I would have used it.  Oh, I forgot, I did get some heartburn, bought some prylosac and take it now and have not had any hearburn since about the third week of AC.
 
Good luck to you.
41yr dx 7/25/08
Lumpectomy and ax node disection (38 nodes, all clean!) 8/12/08
T2 grd 3, N0, TN IDC
BRCA1+
ACx4,Tx12 10/08-3/09
prophylactic hyst, ooph,mast & one-step recon 3/30/09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nancy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 05 2009 at 5:00pm
Lynn and Josie,
 
Here are a few links for the side effects. This (Taxotere) is what caused Lori's neuropothy, and the nail changes. She stil has numbness in the feet from it and her last treatment was November 2007. Of course she had ACT all 3 every treatment.
Hugs,
Nancy
 
 
 
 
 
Nancy
DD Lori dx TNBC June 13,2007
Lumpectomy due to incorrect dx of a cyst
mastectomy July 6 2007
chemo ACT all 3 every 3 weeks 6 tx Aug-Nov
28 rads ended Jan 2008
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