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Carolyn

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello!  It's been a while since I posted.   I did have my first chemo treatment last Monday.   It went well as far as the infusion part of it.   I did well that day.   Had to go back to the hospital on Tuesday for a Neulasta shot and will have to do that after each treatment.   Apparently that is the new protocol.   They give that to help keep your blood counts high rather than them dropping and then trying to fix it.  I had a problem with one of the incisions where they had installed the port (there are 2 incisions).    Not to be too graphic, it had opened a bit and bled a little.   They did not like that and sent me back down to the OR where it was put in.   They did a little repair work on it to close it again.   Wednesday is when I started to feel pretty bad.    I was completely zapped of ALL energy for several days.   I did nothing but lay around.   It was hard to eat and get all the fluids that I was supposed to have.    Finally started to ease out of that a bit but then came stomach cramps and diarrhea  (I know.....too much information!!!!!)   That is still going on but has lessened (with Immodium).   So, all in all, I'm making it.    I go back for my 2nd treatment this coming Monday so we'll see how it goes.    Each one done puts me closer to being finished with the 6 so that is what I am keeping in mind!
 
From what I have read and been told, I think the old hair will probably start to go by this weekend or the first of the week.   In the midst of everything else, I had to try to get a wig!  I got it ordered but still have to pick it up and I am going to get my hair cut very short so that when it happens, it won't be as hard.    I am still trying to get these things taken care of.    So, I guess that is about where I stand right now.
 
I have read this board and it seems that my treatment is a little different than what I have read you all had.   I know we are each different but just wanted to see what you think.   I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, approx 2 cm.   I know it is ER+ and Her -.   Actually I don't know about the PR part....I need to ask that.   I have not had surgery.   We are doing chemo first.   I am to have 6 treatments - 1 every 2 weeks.   The chemo is Adryiamicin, Cytoxan and Taxotere.   After that, I am supposed to have surgery.   Do not know what that means - lumpectomy, mastectomy, etc.   That's about all I know right now.   Is this chemo combination a usual one?   Also, I see in your signatures that you know how many lymph nodes, etc........I know I have it in at least 1 node....but how will we know how many if we do chemo first and then surgery?   Maybe it does not matter?   It was in 1 so that's all they needed to know?   Just shooting out some questions as they come to me!   Thanks for all the support you have given me and I hope each and every one of you are doing well!   Take care of yourselves!

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Carolyn
Bailey, Bella, Baxter
My precious pugs!!!
Karen1956

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Reply with quote  #2 
Carolyn - nice to see a post from you.
 
I had TAC chemo (all 3 at the same time) times 6.  They were every 3 weeks.  Also got the Neulasta shot the next day - I did chemo March - July 2006.  I too had diarrhea early on with the chemo and my onc did not want me to take Immodeum.  When I called the nurse said to take it, and then the onc said NO.  but I don't remember why.  As I struggled with nausea and eating, I went for IV hydration for 2 -3 days after each chemo (even drinnking water was gross for the first few days).  I enjoyed fruit - strawberries, watermelon and green apples and strawberrie smoothies from Jamba Juice.  Onc tried to get me to drink ensure etc as I was loosing weight but I refused.  When I told him I would drink a smoothie, he said that they didn't have enough calories, I told him it was more than if I didn't drink one!!!!
Is this too much info - if so I apologize.
 
My hair started to fall out on day 12.  I got a wig when I still had all my hair (it was long - 2 cuts before it fell out), but I hardly ever wore it.  I preferred ball caps or going "naked".
 
I had bilat first, then chemo and then rads and AI's.
 
Congrats on finishing your 1st chemo!!!  That is a milestone.  Keep us posted on how things go and what you find out regarding your surgery. Hugs from Denver, Karen
Calico

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Carolyn,
I had AC and Taxol, almost the same (AC first).
Yayy for one down, right?!!
I also shaved my hair but could not stand a wig, got hotflashes and found it just unbearable, got a baseball hat and that was it.....

Weird gravings the second week (first one was hard and I kept eating thinking it might make me feel better like during my pregnancy lol....food that didn't even apeal to me, weird, I do not eat red meat and yet I graved Filet mignon)
I found it easier to drink water with a splash of lemon, I felt like the water smells funny (yup, a hound dog nose might develop  

The chemo will hopefully take care of anything in your lymph nodes, if there are more pos. nodes, they then take them out when you have your surgery and check and hopefully nothing will be there!
You probably have a choice to go either with lumpectomy or mast, further exams/mammos will tell how successful you chemo was.
Congrats for one down, after your next you are one third through!!!

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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #4 
Only five more!
 I had Adriamycin among many other chemos and it gave me the big D too. I would take a drink of Immodium every morning like it was part of my breakfast. I think the liquid works faster than the pills.
I also changed my diet a bit. Ate a lot of white rice and potatoes and oatmeal in the mornings. It helped.
My hair was coming out more and more and I was a bit freaked. Since I had the wig ready I had them shave my head at the wig place and then they put it on me.  So I left the house with my real hair and came home with the wig. The wig was styled and colored the same as my real hair except it was much prettier hair than my real hair. Everyone thought I went out and had my hair done.  Quite a few thought I had Japanese Straightening done to it because I was Miss Frizz before and smooth and sleek with the wig.
Hot flashes in a wig are the worse. When I would come home I would take it off and put it in the freezer. Then I would put Sea Breeze on my scalp and sit in front of the A/C.  Felt great!

My hair started to grow back when I was on the last part of my chemo. Just fuzz but then the fuzz takes on a color and then it suddenly doesn't look like fuzz anymore but hair. I finished chemo in December. I will post a pic of how long it is now for you in a little bit. I have to take a picture.

The nuelasta used to make me have some pain in my sternum but Tylenol helped.

The fatigue is part of the territory. But remember: This is NOT FOREVER!!
It ends and you get your life back- and your hair too!

I am so sorry about your port - that sounds terrible!

Hang in there - we are here to do the big count down with you!

Hugs,
g


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nosurrender

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Reply with quote  #5 
i forgot- Calico- I craved raw Bisquick the first time I did chemo!

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Adrea

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hello Carolyn - Chemo sucks! But you get through it. I didn't EVER drink soda, but the only thing that tasted good was A & W Root Beer - bottle not can. Everything else tasted like metal, especially water. Trying lemon in the water is probably better for you but I figured I needed what helped me get through chemo. The hair went just as predicted - 12-14 days. I started chemo Dec. 17. We played cards with 7 other couples New Year's Eve. Every time I looked to my left and then right, I had to pick hairs off my chest - had it clipped off Jan. 2. Then had hubby shave my head. You know that it is just hair, but the whole "cancer" thing seems to hit like a ton of bricks when it becomes so VISUAL. My last treatment was March 31 and I now have the fuzz. My 4 year old granddaughter just told me that "your hair is getting straighter and grayer" - out of the mouth of babes!!!!!

Please take care of yourself. Rest when you can. I hope that you have a great support system. We are all here for you. Adrea
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