Winter chemo ladies!

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RSBendy
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Re:Winter chemo ladies! - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 5:58 PM
Dear Cheryl, Sue and Marian - May I join you ladies? I started chemo on 9/8 and have 8 sessions, one every 2 weeks.  First 4 are Adrianmycin/Cytoxan with Neulasten shot the next day. Second 4 are Taxol.  I've completed 2 and number 3 is this Friday.  Trying to manage the side effects as best I can.  Took control of the hair loss this past Sunday and had my head shaved. My son joined me and had his head shaved  as well.
During this I am trying to focus on the unexpected beautiful moments. As I just mentioned my son shaved his head to support me.  Two days later he told me that half of his cross country team and both coaches shaved their heads as well.
So ladies while we share our experiences doing chemo, let's also share the "feel good" moments as well.
Ronnie 
"A Pink Warrior"

Diagnosed - 6/7/11
DIEP Flap Procedure, Double Mastectomy - 7/19/11
BRCA I +
Left Breast - 7mm, 1 Sentinal Node - .9mm
Chemo - 
Adriamycin/Cytoxan 4X's every 2 weeks (followed by Neulasta)
1  2  3  4
Taxol 4X's every 2 weeks
5  6  7  8 DONE!
Hormone Therapy (Anastrozol) for 5 years st

cindyanne56
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Re:Winter chemo ladies! - Tuesday, October 04, 2011 10:03 PM
Hi Ronnie..I'm going to be in with you all too..I have had my four rounds of A/C...then mastectomy on 09/02/11.  Now I'm going to have four rounds of Taxol..had the first one on 09/27...3 to go every 3 weeks...just trying to get used to this numbness & tingling in fingers & toes...and the muscle aches have gotten better this week..I took OTC pain meds..  so after this chemo, I'll be doing 6 weeks of rads..5 days a week...had my blood count today and was fine....thank God, so far I haven't ever needed a neulasta shot...just try to eat right.....goodnight for now...getting late..I went back to work last week, so it's getting up early again...
Cindy Ankney Chatsworth,GA

Dora
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Re:Winter chemo ladies! - Wednesday, October 05, 2011 10:26 AM
May I join you ladies too?  I will start chemo on Oct 13...6 rounds of Taxatere/Carboplatin every 3 weeks for 18 weeks and Herceptin for 18 months.  Still dealing with this hand nerve pain due to surgery on Sept 1.  I did Adriamycin/Cytoxin a few years ago and it was very doable so I'm hoping T/C isn't too bad.  Best to all!!
Dora-age 55-Colorado
Rt breast ductal carcinoma (9/06) Stage 1, Grade 2
Lumpectomy 10/13/06 Sentinol Node Biopsy
Nodes neg, clean margins, Oncotype 23; Clinical trial of Radiation 12/06; A/C Chemo X 4 completed 3/07, Tamoxifen started May 07, Arimedex 5/09,Stopped Arimidex 8/28/09,  Aromasin 9/09 , stopped 6/15/11 due to new cancer 
New lump 6/11; Stage 1c, grade 3, New Cancer in left breast; ER+, PR-, HER2+ bilateral mastectomy, tram reconstruction&

marianwolf
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Re:Winter chemo ladies! - Thursday, October 06, 2011 7:09 AM
Hi All,

Just catching up here and cannot for the life of me remember everyones' posts to make comment.

I had a port placed on Tuesday -- without anesthesia.  Instead I endured maybe 10-15? lidocaine injections to numb, each one as painful as the next.  Neck, collar bone area and upper chest.  Had I known how painful -- NOT uncomfortable b/c that is what I am today -- but painful -- I would have demanded at the least, twilight sedation.  

Only good thing about it thus far is I look as if I have a very hot 'n heavy hickey in my neck!

The hours are flying by, the days as well.  Let us write down the days our fellow sisters are having their own chemo (what, commit to memory??? You must be joking!!!)  and continue to pray for one another.

Thank you for hanging in here, those who've gone before and hold that beacon of light.

Love, Marian

Marian 

DX June 20, 2011
IDC, E+P-, HER2-, Ki67 49%
Lumpectomy 7/26/11 & 8/23/11   
Lymph nodes clear!   
BRCA 1-/2-
Stage 1, Grade III 
Oncotype: 36%
Taxotere/Cytoxn 1 2 3 4 12/12/11
33 Rads completed 3/16/12
Start Arimidex 3/17/12    

[link=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/

SKalsta
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Thursday, October 06, 2011 8:11 AM
Yesterday I had my port placed.  And I actually had the pain releiver and the twilight anesthesia.  I felt things going on under the sheet, but I slept for a few minutes and the other time, I was laughing and talking to the nurses and doctor.  I have decided that if I have to go thru this stinky thing called cancer and chemo, I would try to do the best that I can.  So, I have my friends and supporters looking for funky hats.  I have a fruit hat, looking for a 'cat in the hat' hat, some fuzzy furry hats that look like a bad haircut. And even one friend is getting me a boobie hat.  The idea that I am having, is if I can make 1 person smile and say ' she has guts' and not feel sorry for me, then my mission will be accompolished.  Just my crazy personality.
 
The chemo - I had Adriamycin and Cyclosphosphamide.  Steroids, nausea meds.  And a rough night.  I tossed and turned and could not sleep more than 15 minutes at a time.  Got sick several times and took the #1 nausea pill twice.  Finally at 3:30 - I went back to sleep and slept until 7:00.  I can't take the zofram until tomorrow.  Here I thought the major issue with chemo these days is the fatigue.  Maybe because it was the first treatment, they will need to tweak a few things with me.  But at least, I got finished with 1 treatment.  Now just 7 or 15 more to go.  They are not sure if they want to do the 8 every other week, or 16 with 4 being every other week and 12 weekly.  Still depends on how I am doing. 
 
Yes - let's join together and share our experiences.  Feel free to PM me.
Sue K
Invasive Ductal Carcinona
Diagnosed 7/1/2011
Stage III Grade 2
Tumor Size 6cm
2+/18 nodes
ER+/PR+
HER2 Negative
7/28/2011 - Right Modified Mastectomy w/ lymph nodes removed.  Left Prophylactic Mastectomy
Not a candidate for reconstructive surgery. 
Chemo 5 out 8 completed.
Radiation completed.
Lymphedema and scar tissue issues

mary l
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Thursday, October 06, 2011 9:18 AM
Hi Sue, it sounds like you are doing well so far.  As we all say....it isn't fun but it is do-able and it does kill the cancer.  That's what counts!  Zofran worked well for me if I remembered to take it before I felt nauseated.  I too hated the steroids but I am so sensitive to medications that I had to have it.  My onc put me on a sleeping pill called Trazodone.  I took 1/2 pill and I would at least get a little sleep. 
 
I love your hat idea.  I am so happy for you that you have a lot of fun friends.  I did also and it does help you get through everything.  Please take a picture of you and your friends in your hats.    Are you on facebook?  Quite a few of us are and it is nice because you can put pictures on your site. 
 
Sue, before you know it you will be all finished.  I know it sounds crazy but it really does end and you think Wow, I am all finished!!!  Best wishes,   Mary
 
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

SKalsta
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Thursday, October 06, 2011 1:52 PM
Hi - I am on facebook.  If you want it, send me a PM and I will send to you. 
 
Mary - I sent you a PM with it on there.
<message edited by SKalsta on Thursday, October 06, 2011 2:32 PM>
Sue K
Invasive Ductal Carcinona
Diagnosed 7/1/2011
Stage III Grade 2
Tumor Size 6cm
2+/18 nodes
ER+/PR+
HER2 Negative
7/28/2011 - Right Modified Mastectomy w/ lymph nodes removed.  Left Prophylactic Mastectomy
Not a candidate for reconstructive surgery. 
Chemo 5 out 8 completed.
Radiation completed.
Lymphedema and scar tissue issues

SKalsta
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Saturday, October 08, 2011 4:10 AM
Chemo sure stinks.  I hear that the first time is the worse because they need to regulate the meds.  Well, I had my first on Wed, and I am exhausted.  Up for 1/2 hr, sleep for 1/2 hr.  Sick as can be the first night, and nauseated and/or headache ever since.  The Zofran seems to be working some for nausea but I believe that is causing the headaches.  My BP is low 94/54 and I am on high BP medication.  Needless to say, that is on hold for awhile.  Hoping that the days get a little better before the next round. 
Sue K
Invasive Ductal Carcinona
Diagnosed 7/1/2011
Stage III Grade 2
Tumor Size 6cm
2+/18 nodes
ER+/PR+
HER2 Negative
7/28/2011 - Right Modified Mastectomy w/ lymph nodes removed.  Left Prophylactic Mastectomy
Not a candidate for reconstructive surgery. 
Chemo 5 out 8 completed.
Radiation completed.
Lymphedema and scar tissue issues

donnapetry
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Saturday, October 08, 2011 8:12 AM
Sue - I too am on BP meds and the chemo plays with my BP all the time. I stop taking my meds the day of chemo and I watch my BP all week till I see it going back up, then I start back on my meds. I am also a diabetic and have to adjust my insulin during chemo too. Its like a playing game, but you have to do what works for you.
My first chemo took me down for 2 days but I was back to normal by day 6, however, each treatment is different. It seems that the more treatments the longer it takes for you to bounce back. I am happy to say my last chemo is this Thursday.
Good luck and keep us updated.
DCIS, IDC Diag 4/12/11
Left Mastectomy 3 nodes positive removed 5/26/11
Stage 2, Triple positive (ER 80%, PR 70%, Her2 +3)
Chemo 6/30/11 Carboplatin/Taxotere/Herceptin Completed chemo 10/13/11
BRCA 1 & 2 Negative 
Herceptin for 1 year - completed 5/10/12
Arimidex for 5 years starting 11/3/11
Right simple Masectomy 11/29/12
Take one day at a time and always try to find something positive out of the negative!

Tricia Keegan
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Saturday, October 08, 2011 8:37 AM
Donna we'll have the 'nanner's at the ready for you on Thursday!!!
 
Sue, your side effects were a lot like my own as I recall, just keep one foot in front of the other and see that light at the end of the tunnel!
 
Dora, I just noticed you said Herceptin for 18 months rather than the usual 12???   I had'nt heard they had changed the protocol on this but do wish you well!
 
I can't view the rest of the posts here but wanted to send good wishes to everyone here on chemo, not at all pleasant for any of us but you will get to the end and be so pleased and proud you did!!Pals
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

marianwolf
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Saturday, October 08, 2011 3:39 PM
Cindyann, Cristen, Dora, Sue K, Ronnie and Cheyrl -- I hope to meet each of you in person someday -- when we are on the other side (or at least, moving towards it) of chemo.  I've met and bonded with NotMe who lives in the area (Atlanta GA) and she's offered to bring by some eats, knowing what goes down easier.  

It's amazing how much good comes from something really bad, like cancer.  Good friends, reunited friends and most especially (for me) being reunited with my daughter and finding in her a warm, loving woman. I hope ya'll are having a wonderful weekend.



Marian 

DX June 20, 2011
IDC, E+P-, HER2-, Ki67 49%
Lumpectomy 7/26/11 & 8/23/11   
Lymph nodes clear!   
BRCA 1-/2-
Stage 1, Grade III 
Oncotype: 36%
Taxotere/Cytoxn 1 2 3 4 12/12/11
33 Rads completed 3/16/12
Start Arimidex 3/17/12    

[link=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/

Tricia Keegan
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Saturday, October 08, 2011 3:56 PM
Marian,

I meant to say earlier on reading your post I can't imagine having a port placed without  anesthesia but glad you got through it okay.  I had a local for removing it which was fine but definatly needed the full sedation for insertion!!!:)  xx
<message edited by Tricia Keegan on Saturday, October 08, 2011 4:56 PM>
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

RSBendy
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Saturday, October 08, 2011 4:26 PM
Hi Ladies!
Completed my 3rd treatment on Friday and had my shot this afternoon. So far so good.  You find each round what works and what precautions to take the next time.
I saw an article about alternative medicines in this month's Readers Digest about a doctor from Memorial Sloane Kettering (NYC) recommending that taking a supplement called alpha lipoic acid (ALA) may help for the nerve damage effects such as pain, tingling and numbness.  I asked my oncologist about it and she had no objections.  I start Taxal week 5 and understand that numbness is a possible side effect. Figure it couldn't hurt.
Ronnie 
"A Pink Warrior"

Diagnosed - 6/7/11
DIEP Flap Procedure, Double Mastectomy - 7/19/11
BRCA I +
Left Breast - 7mm, 1 Sentinal Node - .9mm
Chemo - 
Adriamycin/Cytoxan 4X's every 2 weeks (followed by Neulasta)
1  2  3  4
Taxol 4X's every 2 weeks
5  6  7  8 DONE!
Hormone Therapy (Anastrozol) for 5 years st

Tricia Keegan
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Saturday, October 08, 2011 5:05 PM
Hi Ronnie,

Glad you're getting through it slowly but surely and you were right to check with your onc first on any supplements and hope this helps you:)
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

SKalsta
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Sunday, October 09, 2011 2:46 AM
Please tell me chemo gets better.  My first treatment and this is rough.  I mean really rough.  Day 4 for me was worse than any other day.  I was violantly sick all day.  I finally called the doctor at 6pm and asked him what to do.  The vomiting and nausea was more than I could handle.  The Zofran was giving me severe headaches that then caused more nausea.  Finally told me to take the Zofran, the Compazine, Dexamethasone (steroid I have on hand for and A/S flare-up), 2 extra strength tylenol.  That helped for about 6 hours.  And I just took it again.  We will see.  I know staying hydrated is important, but when nothing stays down - what do you do.  Been trying ice chips, popsicles and jello. 
 
Tell me it gets better and that they can regulate the meds to make it a little smoother.  Otherwise, I am not sure I can do this.  I have a high pain tolerance, but vomiting and nausea - not so much!
 
Sorry to be so down - but when you feel like this, you wonder.
 
Sue K
Invasive Ductal Carcinona
Diagnosed 7/1/2011
Stage III Grade 2
Tumor Size 6cm
2+/18 nodes
ER+/PR+
HER2 Negative
7/28/2011 - Right Modified Mastectomy w/ lymph nodes removed.  Left Prophylactic Mastectomy
Not a candidate for reconstructive surgery. 
Chemo 5 out 8 completed.
Radiation completed.
Lymphedema and scar tissue issues

Tricia Keegan
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Sunday, October 09, 2011 7:11 AM
Sue,

Vomiting is never normal during chemo and while it may take some time to find the correct anti nausea meds for you keep asking to switch until they do!!

Also you may know this already but take them even if you don't need them as its easier to prevent nausea than stop once it begins.  The meds you mention worked well for me and although I felt queasy there was never vomiting.  I also just ate small snacks little and often which my onc said was fine and to eat whatever felt good and I could keep down.
Once you get the correct meds and take them as prescribed (even when feeling good) it really should get much easier for you. :)
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

SKalsta
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:45 PM
Here is an update - doing much better.  Getting stronger and stronger each day.  Little less fatigued, nausea almost gone.  Still taking the compazine but looks like the others can hold off a little.  Appetite is getting better.  Ate fried chicken (took off the breading).  But something about that tastes good to me.  Keeping up with the fluids.  So all in all, on an upward swing.  The weekend was a rough one though. 

Thanks for all the good wishes.
 
One question - anyone notices eyes having a hard time focusing?  I am near sighted and my glasses are too strong on and too weak off.  And up close (don't usually wear glasses to read) is weird.  Just had eyes checked in June and everything was fine until this week. 
<message edited by SKalsta on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 2:47 PM>
Sue K
Invasive Ductal Carcinona
Diagnosed 7/1/2011
Stage III Grade 2
Tumor Size 6cm
2+/18 nodes
ER+/PR+
HER2 Negative
7/28/2011 - Right Modified Mastectomy w/ lymph nodes removed.  Left Prophylactic Mastectomy
Not a candidate for reconstructive surgery. 
Chemo 5 out 8 completed.
Radiation completed.
Lymphedema and scar tissue issues

Tricia Keegan
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 3:41 PM
Yes Sue, this is a common issue with chemo and they recommend not changing your glasses until finished all meds!!!

My eye sight also got worse during and even after chemo!

Glad to read the nausea has settled down and just eat whatever you fancy at this stage and can keep down!
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

marianwolf
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Thursday, October 13, 2011 10:02 AM
Another update.  First treatment yesterday with only 3 more to go.
No problems yet.  Drinking 2 - 3 liters a day of water, that is.  Am going into the internist's and urgent care for my 4 days of neupogen.  I thought there was only one day of this.  Has anyone heard of 4 days in a row?

Anyway, I'm doing 2 loads of laundry to get it out of the way in case I get the nasties.  I'm taking the anti-nausea meds religiously and upped my dose of Imodium, just in case.

It's been a whirlwind so far and I don't know that I'm doing all that well with time management -- ok, I'm not -- the quality of my life however, is so much better.  I have tons of support, my family around me and I'm enjoying spending time with people I've not seen or heard from in ages.

Just a quick hello and the question above about neupogen shots as well as what do I expect from here?  I'm going to pack in as much errands and chores for today while I have no side effects going on.

Love and missed you all!  Marian

Marian 

DX June 20, 2011
IDC, E+P-, HER2-, Ki67 49%
Lumpectomy 7/26/11 & 8/23/11   
Lymph nodes clear!   
BRCA 1-/2-
Stage 1, Grade III 
Oncotype: 36%
Taxotere/Cytoxn 1 2 3 4 12/12/11
33 Rads completed 3/16/12
Start Arimidex 3/17/12    

[link=http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/

Tricia Keegan
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Re:FEC x 3; Taxotere x 3 ?? - Thursday, October 13, 2011 11:05 AM
Marian,

If you get the Neulasta shot as I did its given once 24 hours after chemo usually but Neupogen is for five days I thought but maybe they've changed the dosage to four!
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

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