My tips for chemo...

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JF
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Chemo tomorrow - Wednesday, February 23, 2011 8:54 PM
I start tomorrow and hope I am like Color Me Pink!  I re-read the string on what to expect and feel prepared, and am actually looking forward to getting this phase started and behind me.  It is a relatively short part of treatment and as soon as I have done one, I have one less to go.  Thank you again for keeping me positive. 
Judy
diag 12/2010; lumpectomy and then re-excision to clear margins; 2.8cm; stage IIA; low grade; .85mm micromet; ONCO 15; ER 100%+/P+/HER-; TC x 4 started 2/24/2011; radiation ending on 7/8/11 then aromasin



jojojana
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, February 24, 2011 5:25 AM
Do not go out to eat after your first A/C treatment! You feel good for about 30 minutes to an hour after treatment is over.......your meds may stop working on the drive home and you may never want to eat that food again......EVER.....can't even think about it!  Eat before A/C!!!

Kim
Kim Taylor,  40, KC MO 
DX 10-13-10 IDC Stage II, 1 node tested was + 
Port 10-28-10 
Taxol x 12 DONE!!!!!
 A/C x 4 DONE!!!
Surgery 4-7-11

bev618
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, February 24, 2011 8:38 AM
Good Luck JF on your treatment today - I am going for my second treatment; taxotere/carboplatic/herceptin and I actually did very well after my first round -- I agree with Kim - eat before you go and remember to take your nausea meds - I think they kept me from totally getting sick - only thing that will still happen is the metallic taste after about 3 days is when my started - that is not fun

hugs
Bev
Bev
DX 10/10
Her2+
Lumpectomy 11/10; less than 2cm, clean margins, no lymph nodes
PT Scan NED 11/10
Echocardiogram good 11/10
Port Installed 12/10
Radiation completed 1/11 (clinical trail for one week two times a day)
Chemo Started 1/11 (Taxotere/Carboplatin/Herceptin) 6 COMPLETED 5/11
Hercpetin - 52 weeks (every 3 weeks) 
follow up CT Scan 5/11 - NED
Start Arimidex 5/11




Her Dotness
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, February 24, 2011 8:51 AM
::::::points above to what Kim and Bev said::::::

Keep in mind, they're talking about A/C; however, anyone getting Taxotere & Cytoxan quite likely won't have to worry as much about feeling sick after those. I had more problems the evening of with fatigue and not wanting much of anything to eat. My appetite was normal the day after the first infusion, but then on Day #3, the first of what I call my Three Rotten Days, I wanted nothing much at all to eat and existed on Orgain instant meals after finding out that Ensure tastes disgusting to me. Orgain is nice and light, more like skim milk in texture, and worked well for me. I've already laid in a supply in preparation for upcoming Infusion #2.

A/C is about the least fun cocktail from the BC Bar, from what I hear. TC is a total walk in the park by comparison even though you'll likely have some difficulties such as not wanting to eat much of anything for most of the first week or only being able to eat certain foods. I joke that the Three Rotten Days and the rest of that first week were my soft white and brown foods days. Literally, anything more vividly colored disgusted me even thinking about eating it. Not so fun, since I'm a gourmet cook and typically want variety in my meals in both visual appeal and seasonings. The second week, I was back to normal.

Nice thing about having so little appetite off and on through the first infusion cycle is that I've peeled off about five pounds effortlessly. THAT much I can appreciate about chemo, but I'll admit I wouldn't recommend it as a diet aid. Nuh-UH!

Dot
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

JF
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First day of T/C - Thursday, February 24, 2011 1:50 PM
Thank you to all of you for getting back to me with your post infusion tips.  I can't tell you how much it helps me.  Fortunately I did not have any reaction at all to the steroids and had my best night sleep ever last night.  I also didn't have an allergic reaction to the Tx which I hear happens.  They even gave me a panic button to push if I started to feel flushed or chest pains or hives.,  That scared me so bad the patient next door wanted to come in to calm me down.  But in the end, no allergic reaction.  I tried to do what Dot said and have it be a day about me.  I had reiki, hand massage and foot massage and warm blankets and Man Friend fawning all over me.  As long as I didn't think about what they were putting in my veins I was fine.  Now I wait...I will keep you all posted as it might be helpful for anyone about to go on this regime.  ONE DOWN.  I have a whole stock pile of mushy food ready to be eaten.  A friend brought over beuf borgignon for me for tonight - hopefully I can eat that.  Thank you all again and again.  I know the rough road is still ahead.
Judy
diag 12/2010; lumpectomy and then re-excision to clear margins; 2.8cm; stage IIA; low grade; .85mm micromet; ONCO 15; ER 100%+/P+/HER-; TC x 4 started 2/24/2011; radiation ending on 7/8/11 then aromasin



mary l
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Re:First day of T/C - Thursday, February 24, 2011 2:06 PM
Judy, I was waiting to hear how you made out.  Glad so far everthing is going well for you.  Just keep taking you antinausea pills as directed.  I knew you would do well.  Best Wishes,     Mary L
Diag. Oct 2003 with 6mm mass, IDC grade III ductal carcinoma in-situ, Inflammatory Breast Cancer stage IIIB, Her2+++.   I had A/C followed by Taxotere (only had 2tx as I had heart problems from it); Left Mastectomy followed by 35 rads.  Recurence in 9 months as skin mets to mast. site. tx Carboplatin/Herceptin,  stayed on Herceptin every other week for almost 4 years only stopping when my ejection fraction would get too low. off herceptin & ned 3 years in 2010

Her Dotness
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Re:First day of T/C - Thursday, February 24, 2011 6:20 PM
JF

A friend brought over beuf borgignon for me for tonight - hopefully I can eat that. 

 
Ratfish! Unless you eat dinner as do the French at 9:00 p.m. or later still, that lovely stuff has probably already been eaten.
 
Should have seen this earlier so I could have wangled an invitation to help you and The Man Friend chow down on it and had had time to hop a plane...AS IF, considering that we've had freezing rain all day. I could barely get out of the house much less get to the airport.
 
Sure hope you enjoyed that magnificent dish!
Dot
P.S. I'll settle for the Legal Sea Foods clam chowder we got at Sam's Club. Hope it's as good as their FedExed foodstuffs are. Adore that place!
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

JF
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Re:First day of T/C - Thursday, February 24, 2011 7:10 PM
Well so far on day one (ha) I feel fine, went to the gym and am getting ready for that stew.  I guess I will take my antinausea pills with dinner?  cause I really do feel fine.  I know that the next day or so things will change but it sure is weird to be sitting here all healthy and feeling great and knowing that is of the moment only...Tomorrow is neulasta so I am hoping I am like many others on this site and don't get nasty bone pain.  A friend of mine calls it NewNasty.  Dot if there were a way for me to get some stew to you, I would.  I will put that on the menu for when you host that big survivor dinner when we are all done.  I think Mary suggested that you do that.  I make a mean stew too.  I am thinking of you and hoping you are ready for treatment on Monday. I will be interested in hearing how #2 goes, if it is similar to your #1 treatment. 
Judy
diag 12/2010; lumpectomy and then re-excision to clear margins; 2.8cm; stage IIA; low grade; .85mm micromet; ONCO 15; ER 100%+/P+/HER-; TC x 4 started 2/24/2011; radiation ending on 7/8/11 then aromasin



Her Dotness
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Re:First day of T/C - Thursday, March 03, 2011 5:15 AM
What anti-nausea drugs were you given, Judy? You might have only just-in-case ones like two of mine. In which case, if or when to take them is a no-brainer, huh? 

Early on day after the infusion, Judy, and feeling fine so far. You must be contagious long-distance. hee hee. If so, THANKS! Sure hope that's why I'm feeling so much better day-after than I did with the first infusion. Of course some of feeling better is likely due to having known what to expect. I took my iPhone with the new audiobook I just got, The King's Speech, basis for the Oscar-winning movie, and listened to that between munching on the snacks I'd brought and sleeping blissfully thanks to the Benadryl.

I suspect, though, taking back a bit of the credit I just gave you, that it's due to my chemo nurse's suggesting when I mentioned how I struggled to get rehydrated the first few days after my first infusion that I stay until I got all of the big bag of lactate--the stuff they use to dilute the drugs. That made for a long haul even though she kicked up the drip rate to near max. Took another half hour which made for 5.5 hours altogether. 

What a terrific suggestion! I left feeling very tired and a bit muddle-minded but not perishingly thirsty on the way home as I had the first time. I'm still pushing the fluids but have no indications of dehydration as yet...knock wood. The really bad dehydration didn't hit for me until Horrid Days #3-5 but I was a little dehydrated the first few days no matter how much I drank.

Feeling fine thus far, appetite still good, so am hoping to avoid those few Horrid Days or not have them quite so awful this time. Cross fingees, knock side of wooden head.

Dot
 
[edited once to correct typo. I'm linguistically anal, typical of English teachers, as you may have guessed. ::::::giggling:::::: ]
 
<message edited by Her Dotness on Thursday, March 03, 2011 5:29 AM>
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

Her Dotness
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Simple post-chemo hydration tips - Thursday, March 03, 2011 5:23 AM
Something I learned from the chemo nurse who did my second infusion yesterday,
 
When I mentioned what a struggle I had to get rehydrated after my first infusion, the nurse suggested I stay hooked up after I got all the drugs, and she'd kick up the drip rate on the lactate--the stuff used to dilute the drugs--and run the rest of that into me. The woman sitting across from me said she has that problem, too. This nurse said that in that case, she'd suggest we both stay long enough for the entire big bag of lactate to go in even though that would add at least another half hour to my infusion time. I said, "Let's try it!"

It really seems to have helped--so far! The skin on my inner arms looks smooth and not wrinkly as it does when I'm dehydrated. The "pinch test" hardly shows evidence of a pinch at all and snaps back immediately, another indication I'm sufficiently hydrated.

I was perishingly thirsty on the way home after the first infusion and struggled to get rehydrated for 2-3 days afterward. I almost called my med onc to ask if I could come in for an IV for no other reason than to get me hydrated!

If I'd only known it could be as simple as draining that entire big bag of lactate! Hecky hey! My insurance is paying for the whole bag anyway so might as well use it all since it seems to have solved my dehydration woes. I will definitely ask to stay until that's done for the next two infusions.

Hope these tips may help others,
Dot
 
P.S. Nevertheless, I'm kicking up my water intake similarly to how I did for the first week after my first infusion to be sure I stay well-hydrated. Water or decaf tea only, btw, with some fruit juice for flavoring. A good way to see if you're sufficiently hydrated is to check your pee output, said my nurse. If it's slightly or somewhat more than normal and is pale yellow or green, then that's good. If much more than normal and clear or nearly so, you should back off a bit on the fluids. Much too much can be worse than too little for various organs.
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

Anna Rae
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, March 03, 2011 6:39 AM
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this, all of this! 

I had a BIG birthday party on Saturday and cut my hair on Sunday, my 55th birthday! (it was long, curly and very thick, someone is going to get a fine wig) Monday was Chemo 101 calss, Tuesday - labs, ECG and bone scan.

My Bard Power Port was implanted yesterday. I see my oncologist next Monday morning. During our last visit she said that I may start chemo then... and if not Monday, difinitely another day next week. 
Each proceedure; each day, drives home the reality of what already has and what is about to happen. I'm scared, I'm angry and I try my damnedest to be stay positive. Due to the nature of my job and location of my office, I will not be permitted to work while in chemo, every 2 weeks for 6 months... Luckily I have a plan for how I will this time to good use.

Yesterday my handsome, smiling surgeon told me, "We are treating you head to toe. We are dropping Naplam on you!" I kind of like that visual.


Like Jerry said, What a long, strange trip it's been... 

DCIS Stage 0, Right Side Unilateral Mastectomy -  May 14, 2010
HER2+ BC Stage 3C, Right Side Lymph Nodes - 6 Months Later
End of Tx, June 8, 2012
NED - July 5, 2012

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annaraebamberggilder

Anna Rae

Her Dotness
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, March 03, 2011 6:53 AM
Sounds like you've great docs and a terrific attitude besides, Anna Rae. Both will carry you through all the un-fun that chemo can be. Sounds as though you're going "dose-dense" since the chemo will be every two weeks.

Be assured if you weren't already told this that triple-negs respond much better to chemo than to other treatments and often far more readily than do those of us who decided to get a cancer that had positives.

I'm not thrilled about a daily aromatase inhibitor for FIVE YEARS once I finish rads, but my  med onc said that one is necessary since my ER score was very high indeed. Thus, I refer to the cancer I had as an estrogen drunk. hee hee

Like you, my hair was fairly long and is naturally curly, so I chose to buzz and then shave it off at the first signs it was falling out. Sure has worked well and left me feeling empowered that I DID IT MYSELF. Silly me, huh?

Wishing you a smooth progress through chemo,
Dot
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

Anna Rae
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, March 03, 2011 8:12 AM
Let's hope that this go 'round is triple negative too. Any reason why it wouldn't be? My doc is awaiting additional results from the most recent lymph node biopsy, that's where this little devil revealed itself.

I had hair down my back now it's 1/2 inch long. I'll buzz it to the scalp after 1st tx, before it starts falling out. This is where I do have control and I intend to exert my control at every possible opportunity. 

On the 27th, I told my son to put on some Hendrix and CRANK IT UP! My husband to got the clippers. We assembled in the backyard, my family stood in front of me smiling as the shearing commenced. My nephew and cousin documented the event, and posted a 10 minute video on FB. My hair is enroute to Locks of Love.
Like Jerry said, What a long, strange trip it's been... 

DCIS Stage 0, Right Side Unilateral Mastectomy -  May 14, 2010
HER2+ BC Stage 3C, Right Side Lymph Nodes - 6 Months Later
End of Tx, June 8, 2012
NED - July 5, 2012

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annaraebamberggilder

Anna Rae

Her Dotness
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, March 03, 2011 8:36 AM
Anna Rae


Let's hope that this go 'round is triple negative too. Any reason why it wouldn't be?

 
Ooops! I've a bad case of post-infusion chemo brain obviously. Didn't even notice that you indicated you're awaiting details on this one and that the other sig details pertain to your previous cancer. Duh, me!
 
Unfortunately, not to alarm you, this one could have quite different characteristics if it's another type of bc entirely or it might be a recurrence that is also triple-neg. No way to tell until the path report, I don't think.
 
Wishing you one that will respond quickly and well to treatment in any case, that's for sure,
Dot
dx 11/29/10 DCIS/IDC
1/5/11 lumpectomy, SLND 2+, ALND - 
T1c, clean margins!
er +/pr + (My little nasty was an estrogen drunk, said my med onc.) HER2 -
Chemo: TC Done 4/30/11 
Rads:  Done 6/30/11 
Arimidex 7/11-? 

Tricia Keegan
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:26 PM
Anna,

Do you know your hormone or her2 details yet???
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

Debbie52
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, March 18, 2011 10:14 AM
My mother has breast cancer and the doctors may not remove the cancer.  First because of her bad heart and another doctor said because it is too expensive.  Reading your letter has helped me because if they do let her have cheo I know what to expect.

colormepink
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Monday, March 21, 2011 11:20 AM
Debbie, we are all here for you if you need us.  God Bless you and your Mother.

Anna Rae
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Monday, March 21, 2011 5:10 PM
Tricia, 

HER2 +. Herceptin infused weekly for 52 weeks, started 2 Fridays ago...
Late response but I just noticed this, no surprose there!

Like Jerry said, What a long, strange trip it's been... 

DCIS Stage 0, Right Side Unilateral Mastectomy -  May 14, 2010
HER2+ BC Stage 3C, Right Side Lymph Nodes - 6 Months Later
End of Tx, June 8, 2012
NED - July 5, 2012

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/annaraebamberggilder

Anna Rae

Tricia Keegan
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Saturday, April 30, 2011 5:01 PM
Sorry Anna that I'm so late seeing this message but thats good news!!!!!

The year goes by far more quickly than you'd expect and the side effects should be minimal:) xx

Hope you're doing well since your last post?
Tricia Keegan...From Ireland Dx July '05 IDC 3/9 nodes pos..triple positive..a/c x 4..Taxol/herceptin x 12
Herceptin 1yr ..rads x35 oophorectomy Aug '06
Currently taking Arimidex /Zometa 1 x yearly
Carepage- survivortricia

diane squirlz
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, July 29, 2011 9:21 PM
sorry to put this here ~ i've tried the search option multiple times but got no results.
 
my HER2/neu came back as equivocol on my original bx.  it was then sent for FISH testing.  this also came back as equivocol.  the onc told me she would immediately test the tissue taken during my mastectomy.....THIS would give us answers.  once again it came back as equivocol.  (the onc nurse told me my onc has never had this situation before and would be contacting colleagues and doing research on how to handle my situation.)
 
any advice?  (or can you aim me in the right direction to find the answers here?)  i see my onc monday and i'd like to have some further knowledge going into the appt.
Dx'd IDC 5/14/11  age 47 
ER/PR+  HER2/neu -   BRCA -       
Double Mastectomy w/ reconstruction 7/8/11 (hbot x 10)\Right Lymphectomy 7/15/11    2 of 25 nodes +
Stage IIB 
Sx 8/17/11 infection, right (hbot x 12)
Chemo:  A/C followed Taxol (8/15-12/12/11) 
More surgery approx 3/1/12 
Radiation afterwards, tamo

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