Starting Herceptin + Taxotere tomorrow. What's it like?

Starting Herceptin + Taxotere tomorrow. What’s it like?

Starting Herceptin + Taxotere tomorrow. What’s it like? Hi Ladies,

I’m starting Herceptin and Taxotere tomorrow at Christies and I’m apprehensive about what happens. I know it’s going to be a long day and I’ve felt very clostrophobic when I’ve been for the other chemo’s so I’m starting to feel panicky now at the thought of being “trapped” in that room all day.

I aim to get there as early as possible. Can anyone describe the proceedure to me? Are the drugs given like the other chemo’s? Which one will be given first? How long do they wait before they give the second drug? Do any side effects show whilst you are being given the drug or afterwards? Generally, how long do you stay at the hospital for this first dose?

Any suggestions for what you can do afterwards to fill in the hours before you are allowed home? Do you feel ok to read or eat or go for a walk outside or do you feel very tired?

I feel a bit stupid asking so many questions but it feels like I’m starting chemo for the first time but with new drugs, new nasty side effects and a big leap into the unknown again. I don’t mean to sound negative but “forewarned is forearmed” or whatever the expression is!

Also, my MUGA result was 68% - is this ok?

I took 4 steroids earlier and have another 4 to take later so now I’m off to do as much housework as possible in case I feel rough next week!

Love to everyone

Jibby X

Hi Jibby
I am also having my treatment at Christies
I have had 3x EC and 3 x EC+Herceptin finished 15 rads and now having 18 cycles of Herceptin every three wks
Side effects were the same for me as i was having 3 different types of treatment so didn’t know which one to blame
You will go up onto Ward 5 for your treatment it is pleasant you are not in a confined space like the chemo suite.You cannot go outside as the nurses moniter you for four hours after chemo has finished so you will have your meals on the ward. I have had no side effects after the Herceptin on its own just tired on the first day
my Muga result was also 68% in sept 06 I dont know the result from the one i had Tuesday hopefully still 68%
Hope my info has helped let us know how you get on
Take Care Linda x

Message for Lindab Hi Linda,

Thanks for replying to my post - you were the only lady to do so!

Anyway, I needn’t have got so worked up about things because everything went ok. I got there at 9.00am and had my bloods taken. My white blood cell count had risen from 1.2 to 6.2. I was very surprised about this as it was higher than when I started chemo and it has been gradually falling throughout. I must be doing something right but I don’t know what! I was scared I might need an injection but someone posted that these injections increase the risk of leukemia! More worries!.

I had the Herceptin first without any problems. Someone came round offering complimentary foot massages so my OH and myself had one. It did the trick because my blood pressure came down and it also helped pass the time. Then lunch. Then I had the Taxotere which luckily I had no side effects from apart from a wind-like pain around my heart 10 mins into treatment which lasted a minute or two. I didn’t mention it because it could have been indigestion because I had to rush my lunch because they were waiting to get me hooked up and the food was going cold.By the time the Tax was finished and they had given me something to flush out the vein I only had to wait about an hour before being allowed to leave around 3.30pm. This was really good news because we missed the rush-hour and my son had phoned to say he was coming home for the weekend to help because he knew how worried I had been.

I’ve had no problems yet apart from rattling with steroids which are making me hyper and unable to sleep. I’m not really bothered about this. It’s the other possible nasty side effects of the Tax which scare me. Have you had any? Which 3 treatments were you given at the same time? Also, please let me know your new MUGA score.

I know I’ve rambled on a bit but it’s so good to be able to talk to someone who understands.

Hope you are well and take care

Jibby x

Hello Jibby. Glad to see that you got on OK. I didn’t reply before as I had my Taxotere separately before starting Herceptin so didn’t know how they would do the two on the same day.

I also had a high white blood count on all 3 of my Taxotere days and I was quite worried about it but on the last one the nurse said it was because of the steroids I had been given to take the day before.

I hope you’re still free of side effects. I did have side effects fron the Taxotere but they didn’t start until about 4 days after.

I started Herceptin last week and had muscle stiffness in my legs and a slight runny nose but both of those are getting less now.

Take care

Hi Jibby.your post really scared me cos I had gcsf injections with every chemo as a preventative and no one mentioned leulaemia how big is the risk? horace

Message for Horace Hi Horace,

I don’t know how big the risk is. I posted a question on page 5 and a lady called ChristineMH mentioned it. I’ve not done any research into it yet but I must admit it’s frightened me a bit. If you find out anything will you let me know?

I have read your posts and I hope you are feeling better.

Jibby X

Message for Anthi Hi Anthi

I’m glad you told me about the high white blood count. It was a mystery to me. The nurses couldn’t give me an answer so I put it down to my mum praying for me(!) or lots of home made soups to nourish the blood and fruit for Vit C. I read that the thymus gland is responsible for a healthy immune system and you need lots of Vit A for that and Vit C to increase production of white blood cells. Although, the chemo nurse told me that you can’t eat anything to boost your white count.

At the moment I’m still ok but I think this could be the lull before the storm. Taxotere sounds very hard. What side effects did you start with? Also, what was your MUGA score? Mine was 68%. Is this ok?

Jibby X

Hi Jibby
glad your treatment went ok all the that worry and once we get to hospital we calm down and get on with it dont we.
I have not had taxotere but had the EC the same as you with herceptin for the last three.cycles
I couldn’t take steroids they made me very agitated
I am under DR Welch and have my treatment on tuesdays I will let you know my Muga score when I get it.I had a Heart Bypass in 1992 so i am hoping the chemo and herceptin haven’t caused me any problems.
Take Care LInda

Dear Jibby and Horace I have been following this thread and would like to suggest that if you need any further information regarding the concerns you have expressed, please feel free to contact our team of nurses via the ‘Ask the Nurse’ service. You can email your queries and the team will be able to provide you with the information you require, this service is available under the ‘Support for you’ tab at the top of this page.

Alternatively, please feel free to contact our freephone confidential helpline on 0808 800 6000 which is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-2pm.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Kind regards
Forum Host
Breast Cancer Care

Hello again Jibby

I had an echocardiogram not a MUGA so I can’t answer that question I’m sorry.

My worst Taxotere side effects were a nasty itchy rash on my neck, very painful stomach and guts plus depression. Also I had slight muscle pains in my legs and I wasn’t able to walk very far or quickly for several days. Other people had much worse muscle pains which apparently is a fairly common side effect.

However, try not to worry about it as you may not get any side effects at all. If you do then just remember they will pass eventually. Taxotere is supposed to be just about the best chemo there is so it’s worth it.

Take care
Love Anthi