Advice on Taxotere...PLEASE!!

I just had my first Taxotere treatment 10 days ago. Over the last couple of days the skin on my hands have gradually started to itch. Strangely started on my thumb knuckles (!) and has spread across the back of both hands. Is this ‘normal’? It’s driving me NUTS! The hospital gave me some Diprobase cream which I have been using on my hands & feet as much as possible but it does seem to leave a horrible residue which is ok on my feet but doesn’t feel nice on my hands. Does anyone have any suggestions to ease the itching?!

It’s a couple of since I had Taxotere and I remember it caused all sorts of horrid side effect. If you have been given Diprobase the medics know about the itches and aren’t too worried, I would guess. If you dislike Diprobase, you could try something like Udder Cream. I use it on my hands and feet at least a couple of times a day, it might help. You can get it from Amazon (am I allowed to say that, moderators?).

Hope this helps a bit.

Hi Smiffy

I started on TAX 11 days ago after3 lots of FEC and I have noticed my skin starting to suffer. I am using almond oil in the bath and have udder cream for hands which is good and cheap (and yes it’s from Amazon!) My thumb nails also feel odd as if someone is trrying to pull them off. I have terrible pain in my legs and my heels are numb. Can’t wait to get to the end of TAX!
Love Rachel x

Thanks … udder cream… sounds very glamorous… not! Heard from a woman I met at my last chemo that almond oil was good so will give that a go. Agree, Tax seems to be a complete bitch, I was due to have 4 FEC and 4 T but had to switch to Tax after only 2 FEC as I had a bad reaction to Epirubicin (my consultant was worried it was affecting my heart and thought it best not to risk giving me a heart attack on top of all else!)So now I have to get 6 Tax. Originally I thought this was good, I thought hey, hit me with the strong stuff, better chance of a positive response right? Have changed my mind about that!

Hi Smiffy
Lots of ideas on other threads re Tax about trying to prevent nail problems with dark nail polish and frozen peas - are you trying these as well to try to prevent SEs?

Hi Frances
Haven’t heard about the frozen peas, how does that work? Or is it just putting your hands in a bag of them occasionally to relieve the itching?!

Frozen peas? - not sure if they will help with itchy skin but the other main SE of Tax is problems with nails and by sitting with toes and fingers in frozen peas (some hospital do provide ice slippers and mittens, especially in Canada and France) it’s help me to keep my nails intact, if not really healthy looking. Felt silly sitting in chemo ward with the peas etc but nurses were of with it and several others on other threads have written about this too.

Hi Smiffy,
There’s been a study (I’m sure there’s a link somewhere but I’ve no idea where)showing that wearing ice mitts and boots can help to stop or reduce SEs of neuropathy and nail damage. In the US and a couple of centres here they can provide ice mitts. I asked my onc about it, he was very sceptical but said do as you like. Some of us have tried putting hands/ feet in peas or dry ice things. I thought peas were easier and cheaper - I used them for all three of my tax.
I haven’t had neuropathy or much nail damage - am I just lucky or did the peas help? Will never know.
Don’t know what others did, but this is what I did.
I bought 6 1kg packs of peas (the value ones). For my hands I put two packs side by side in an insulated picnic bag ( or you could wrap firmly in towels) to try to keep them both firm and cold. I put one hand between the two bags of peas while chemo being started and the second one in other peas once drug going in. I found a shallow box for my feet, lined with towels, put one bag of peas on base, put my feet on it with second bag over the top of my toes. Occasionally it got a bit uncomfortable so just removed digits for a few seconds. Transported them to hosp in a cool box with plastic milk containers filled with ice (just froze water in containers in the freezer) to keep them cold.
Nobody minded, few funny looks and nurses all asking why I was doing it.
Hope that helps.

Stella xx

Hi Smiffy

Just to add to the discussion, I am now 4 months post 4EC and 4 Tax and was fortunate to have my chemo on a unit that provided the mitts and boots. The regime was to have them on 20 minutes before the drug was administered and continue until complete. Also after the first Tax I had a dreadful mouth - thrush, and I had read on the macmillan website that sucking ice cubes may help - it seemed to make sense for me to give it a try which I did. It didn’t help the lack of taste issue but I didn’t get thrush again and the SE’s were more manageable.

Best wishes with the treatment.

Angela x

Been using the frozen mitts for my hands, and taking my own frozen veg to put my toes on…and so far my hands are absolutely fine after 3 TAX and I only have two slightly bruised-looking big toenails. Might change in the last tax chemo or afterwards, but there’s good research to show that frozen gloves etc stops half of nail problems/other hand problems.
Ann x