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December 2020 Chemo Starters

donkeywoman
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hope today goes smoothly, Karden. It should feel good to get the first one done. 

And hope you are doing okay, Granny P?

I seem to be very slow to get going, due next Friday... it will be 8 weeks since mastectomy. 

What have you packed in your bag? I can tell I'm anxious,  even small decisions seems difficult,  like what to put in a bag!

Hope everyone can have as good a day as possible 

Karden
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Thanks Julia. I've had my breakfast and steroids, bag packed with things I might need for today. Going to have a shower now and wash my hair whilst I still have it.

Feeling better now and ready to get on with it.

As you say, I will be able to tick off my first day.

Karen x

JuliaS
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Morning Karen

All the best for today, the nurses will be kind and look after you. Drink plenty before and when you get back to help flush the meds through and remember once you are home you can tick one treatment off! ❤️💪❤️

Karden
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi everyone, It's the morning of my first chemo, 10am appointment.

I'm on the ROSCO trial and I have been assigned to start on 4 cycles of TC which consists of Docetaxel, Herceptin, Cyclophosphamide and Pertuzamab

I started taking steroids yesterday, 2 soluble tablets with or after food, 7am and 7pm. They can cause difficulty falling asleep so I was advised to take them 3 or 4 hrs before bedtime to avoid this. I must say that I'm able to fall asleep without any problems but am waking early at around 4-5pm and then my brain goes into overthinking mode and I can't get back to sleep.

I only need to take them for 3 days each cycle starting the day before and they are meant to reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction to the drugs.

Because this is my first chemo, they are spreading it over 2 days so that if I have a reaction, they will know which drug has caused it. The 2 drugs are cyclophosphamide and Pertuzamab so today I am having Docetaxel and Cyclophosphamide and tomorrow the Pertuzamab and Herceptin. If no allergic reaction I will have all 4 in one chemo day for the next 3 cycles.

I'm worried about the possibility of a reaction this first time but will keep my fingers crossed and will report back at the weekend.

Karen

 

Pyewacket
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi all.

@grannyp  Your first session was today - thinking of you!

There's a few others having their first session tomorrow the 10th, I'm sure the chemo process itself will be absolutely fine and hope you have minimal side effects. 

@Woodybird The drains are such a pain i was thrilled to get mine out, but then regretted it as i felt I was just a massive balloon. I'd turn over in bed and the fluid would go from my back to my boob and back again lol. Bit disconcerting! But same as yourself, these things pass and i'm well recovered now just a little  stiffness I need to keep stretching against - 7 weeks after my axillary clearance. Keeping up the stretches etc and things are settling nicely. 

I've had my second 'stab yourself in the stomach with this stuff you need to keep in the fridge' today, bit weird but painless, no problem with the injection site or any side effects thus far. Although while typing this just realised I wasn't given a swab (or don't realise if i have been) to clean the site before the jab. Better delve through my stuff before tomorrows, the infection paranoia they drilled into me last week is passing already. Need to be vigilant, the silliest thing could cause an infection and a hosiptal stay. 

Take care everyone,

Pye xx

 

Woodybird
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

@grannyp  hope it goes well this afternoon, got everything crossed for you x.    

@Pyewacket I start on 16th. I am now 8 weeks post mastectomy, and 6 weeks post node clearance. Recovering well. I had a drain in for the longest time... 6 weeks in all. But the mind and the body are incredible things, even though it is only 2 weeks since it was removed, it seems like such a long time ago! I could/should probably do the arm exercises more frequently than I do, but I've had a bit of breakthrough this week and can lift my arm much higher now. Still not all the way up or out to the side but definitely improving. 

I can understand the benefits of fasting but not sure I'm brave enough to do it for that long.

I saw a couple of you are starting tomorrow - good luck xx

 

 

 

Pyewacket
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hello Woody.

Welcome along, what date is your first round? Have you recovered from surgery OK?

Its now Weds AM following my chemo last Fri. Happy to report so far so good still, I feel a bit tired, and have a niggly headache sometimes, although not bad enough to take a tablet for (plus trying to give my liver as much love as i can). No nausea, not had any diarrhea. Had the occassional 'funny taste' in my mouth but it's passed and all my normal food and drink taste fine. Lips a bit dry, but on the other hand with the cold the heating is now on. Keeping skin well moisturised.

You asked about the fasting, obviously NOT something to be done if you have any other health considerations. There is good evidence in vitro and in animal models that it really helps. However clinical trials have been small and inconclusive, though there is postive anecdotal evidence out there.

There is a thread regarding fasting on the forum in case you've not spotted it:

ANYONE ELSE FASTING WHILE ON CHEMO? 

I fasted from bedtime Tuesday until 24 hours after my chemo. So that was 60 hours before and 24 hours after. I'm a big eater so couldn't really imagine being able to do it, but thought i'd give it a try. First day was a breeze, second day a bit tougher feeling a bit weak, but I had a really busy stressful week which didn't help. The hunger doesn't get any worse, it comes and then goes again, rather than ramping up. I tried to just drink water / black tea, but ended up with a tea with milk a few times because I'd forgotten. The only thing I ate were some olives in brine, probably a couple of dozen, each day. They are mainly fat/fibre and you are trying to avoid carbs and protein. The brine also had the bonus of providing some salt, I took an ordinary multi vitamin & mineral tablet each day too.

All the best Woody and everyone,

Pye x

grannyp
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi @Woodybird 

I know just how you feel about being in limbo. Once you know it has to be done, you just want to make a start. 
My first treatment is this afternoon, so I am a week ahead of you. 
Will try to check in regularly to update and try to support everyone going through this. Think we may all need a bit of support even more when Christmas is over and we hit the dark days of January

Wd can do this 😊

Woodybird
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hello All,

I'm starting on 16th. Had mastectomy with node clearance 2 weeks later. This additional surgery has delayed my chemo start a bit, just want to get on with it now as I feel in limbo. Like many others here, I'll be having 3xEC + 3xDocetaxel. Having PICC fitted on the morning of first round, as hospital wants to reduce number of visits where possible. 

Pyewacket : interested to hear about your fast. Please tell us more, for how many hours, complete or only certain foods? Hope you're still feeling well.

Keep going ladies 💪

Woody

Pyewacket
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hello all, thought I'd join this thread and share the trials and tribulations of the coming months,

I was diagnosed in Feb, due to Covid have been on Tamoxifen all summer. Had single mastectomy with immediate implant reconstruction in Sept, axillary node clearance in October. ER+ H-  I'm having 3xEC and 3xDox followed by 3 weeks of radiotherapy, 5 days per week. 

Had my first Chemo on Friday, after a busy week of covid tests, blood tests, seeing the consultant, the pharmacist and having a PICC line fitted (which is fine if anyone has this planned, just a little tender the first day or two after). 

Chemo process itself was no problem, nurses were great, took a while as had to have introductory chat with the nurses, but the process itself was probably only an hour and a half all told. Didn't feel anything and drove myself home again. 

If i drink or eat at my usual breakneck speed I feel a little nauseous, but other than that OK, not had to take the tablets they sent me home with. 

I drank lots as instructed, and first wee was very orange as promised. Continued to drink plenty then had a couple of hours of cystitis type symptoms, no pain but 'got to go NOW' and then feeling like I had no control, bladder not full. Sent me into a panic thinking I'd got a UTI after all the info you get about infections. It did pass after a couple of hours. Now i know about it i'll be going to the loo every half hour next time to keep my bladder as empty as possible to minimise the irritation. Maybe buy some Tena Lady too! 

I was unable to sleep the first night, think it's mentioned the steroids do this, and really broken sleep the second too with random lucid dreams. Lack of sleep made me a bit out of sorts, will ask if they can give me something to help with this for next time. 

Other than the above have been fine, been out for a couple of walks and all as normal really. I did fast for two days before and 1 after the chemo, which wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, and the lack of sickness or diarrhea are enough to make me feel i'll do it again. Be interesting to see if my bloods bounce back well. 

Still I'm only a few days in...may be posting tomorrow that it's all gone horribly wrong!

All be best everyone, keep us posted and share the highs and lows. 

Pye x

 

dipitdee
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi All, my first dose of EC went well on Friday. Nurses took great care of me, even if it was all very surreal. Felt pretty much fine if a bit adrenaliney after it although had a major come down after we’d put our little one down to bed on Friday night. Pretty sure it was just a massive emotional relief after all the worrying about it. I’ve had a few side effects. Took the anti-sickness pills but still feeling a wee bit queasy but have been pretty surprised at how much energy I’ve had. Just trying to take it slowly though and take each day as it comes.

Good luck with everyone going this week and hope everyone else is coping as well as can be. One down! Xx

 

Karden
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Welcome to the forum Jayne. My chemo also starts on 10th and the PICC line goes in tomorrow. The tumour is in the right breast and fortunately hasn't spread to the lymph nodes.

It's a scary time right now and I guess, like me, you are feeling anxious as the start of the treatment gets nearer but also wanting to get on with it so that it can start doing it's job.

We're all here to support each other and maybe to talk about anything we don't want to share with family or loved ones.

I wish you well for your treatment and I'm sure others on this forum will all have their words of advice. Karen x

Jet75
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi - I am due to start my chemo this Thursday (10th) it will have been 5 weeks since diagnosis with many tests and scans and now ready to "get going" I've to have a picc line put in in Tuesday.

Unfortunately I am stage 3c, which is breast lump, auxiliary and supraclavicular nodes. Which is a further hurdle to try to overcome.

So I have 3/ 4 cycles of docetaxol followed by 3/4 EC. Hoping they "do their job" I will have a masectomy and auxiliary nodes extraction and finally radiotherapy to the neck nodes.  

Wishing everyone all the best as we start the chemotherapy and hope we can help and share updates to support each other.  - Jayne

 

 

 

donkeywoman
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi Dipitdee, hope the treatment went smoothly and your first night was as okay as possible. Everyone seems very knowledgeable about their treatment,  I think I'm a bit behind... I don't even know what EC is! But maybe I'm not having it.

I'm off for an Echo today,  then nothing until blood test on 16th ready for first chemo on 18th. So hoping to get ready for Christmas next week 🎄

Hope everyone is feeling okay and good luck with treatment next week Grannyp

 

 

 

grannyp
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi @JuliaS 
Good to hear that your first treatment went well and hope you are still feeling ok.

I make a start next Wednesday, 9th. Pre-treatment chat, bloods etc yesterday. Confirmed as 3 x EC & 3 x paclitaxel with Zometa infusion on cycles 1, 3 & 5. Pleased to find that oncologist has accelerated the paclitaxel to 2-weekly rather than 3.  Only downside is that I can’t have the promised port fitted until the 2nd cycle due to low availability of theatre time. So 1st cycle will be via cannula. But on the positive side I was pleased to hear that the hospital gives the single injection after treatment rather than having to inject for 5 or 6 days. And they do the injection at the unit the first time so that they can instruct for the other times. Together with the 3 week time reduction this did make me feel slightly more confident about treatment. Just got to hope that I can get through without too much trauma🤞. At the moment I have good positive vibes and hope I can keep this frame of mind for at least part of the time. 
Good luck to everyone starting next week😊

Karden
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Thanks for the advice Julia. I'm having a PICC line inserted on Monday so I'm making the most of my last few days of freedom and normality.

I'll let you all know how it goes. x

JuliaS
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

All the best for today dipitdee , the nurses will look after you and explain everything and at the end of it you can tick one off as done . XX 

dipitdee
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Glad it went ok JuliaS, I’ve got mine tomorrow, you’ve made me feel a little less scared x

donkeywoman
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Thanks   JuliaS,  good tips, especially remembering to drink lots in the days before. Glad yours wasn't too bad, hope that continues. 

JuliaS
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hello donkeywoman

l had my first EC chemo yesterday and it wasn’t actually too bad. I had a cannula which worked well and I was told initially if the cannula was tricky they would do a PICC line next time but it was fine so hopefully can stick with the cannula . I have five more cycles. I was advised to drink plenty in the days leading up to the first cycle so that your veins are nice and plump! Do take your meds when you get home as they will help with the nausea.

Try and make the most of the next couple of weeks and I know it is easier said than done but try not to worry. 
Enjoy your animals, I have a dog and a cat and they are good company. 

donkeywoman
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hello all, I've not really been a 'forum person' (whatever that is!) before, but think that the support and especially the handy tips, may be very helpful over the next few months. I'm due to start chemo on the 18th December - probably Docetaxel and Carbeplatin, along with Trazusomab. 6 cycles over 18 weeks. I've had mastectomy and feel pretty well recovered from that. Like most folk, I'm dreading chemo, not helped by the fact that I am a nurse, but with little knowledge of chemotherapy. I'm trying to enjoy the last couple of weeks, as I feel well, but I also kind of want to get on with it. We are in Tier 3 so, as someone else mentioned, I'm not missing out on much social stuff. The team would like me to have a PICC line, but I'm not keen. I have dogs, donkeys, hens and some land and these are really important to me. I'm concerned that having a line in all the time will stop me hanging out with them as much as I would like, as I'd be worried about it getting knocked or infected. I also feel that I won't ever escape the chemo... Does that sound daft? We've agreed that I will have the first dose with a cannula and then see - I realise I may need one at some point. Any thoughts/experiences gratefully received! Hope everyone is feeling as okay as possible today. 

Karden
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Thank you for these words of encouragement. It sounds as though you have been through a lot and have much good advice to give.

I will use this site for support and will get to know everyone else on here at the same time.

Be positive and stay safe! ❤️

JuliaS
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Thank you so much. X

dipitdee
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

I just googled ‘mountain lion strawberry blonde’ and found the post you mentioned Shi. What a brilliant analogy! 

dipitdee
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Good luck for tomorrow JuliaS. Thinking of you x

Shi
Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Karden  👭❤️ Use all the bcn services ❤️ ask away on the forum too 👭❤️ Step by step you will get through. Dec starters, please find mountain lion by strawberry blond think it’s in hope and inspiration but, it has helped so many of us over the years, 👭👭 keep hold tight of each other, you will run up and down the mountain together 🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️ Respect chemo, it’s easy to get blasé, always ring your team about anything get through safe ❤️ They don’t mind you ringing they would rather you do because it helps them help you ❤️💕💕Shi xx

Karden
Member

December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi, I've just joined this forum after being diagnosed on 11th Nov. I'm starting chemo on 10th Dec and will be part of a clinical trial.

I will have 4 x TC then a lumpectomy.

If all the cancer is gone I will finish off with 5 days of radiotherapy.

If it hasn't then I will have  4 x FEC then radiotherapy.

To say I'm anxious is an understatement. 

Karden
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi, I've just joined this forum after being diagnosed on 11th Nov. I'm starting chemo on 10th Dec and will be part of a clinical trial.

I will have 4 x TC then a lumpectomy.

If all the cancer is gone I will finish off with 5 days of radiotherapy.

If it hasn't then I will have  4 x FEC then radiotherapy.

To say I'm anxious is an understatement. 

grannyp
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi all
Telephone consultation with oncologist today and it looks like I will be starting next week. She thought maybe this week but I needed overnight to think about everything I was told, so next week more likely. 
3 x EC and 3 x docetaxel. Still terrified but I know this gives me the best chance for the future, so will grit my teeth and do my best. 
Good luck to those of you starting this week and look forward to hearing how it goes

dipitdee
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Thanks for that Shi, gives me something to get organised next week x

Shi
Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Burning wee needs antibiotics sorry the text gremlins are really out 🙄💕💕Shi xx

Shi
Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Thermometer ready for home, sorry text gremlins out early today 🙄💕💕Shi xx

Shi
Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Wear comfy cloths and top that you can get the sleeve up easy too if you are having cannula infusion, they could get you to put your arm in bucket of warm water, this helps before they put cannula in. Take a bag for your meds that they will give you to take home, if you are cold capping take blanket and scarf to help with keeping you warm ❤️ Have your there ready at home and keep check in temp. It can also help if you write down when you’ve taken your meds too, you can get chemo brain and it just helps refer back of what you’ve already taken, I also noted temp along chemo journey too. If your wee burns but no temp phone rapid response chemo can cause uti it will need a unit just a bit of cranberry juice, if you get thrush mouth or down below again antibiotics 👍 keep drinking lots of fluids and have some senokot and anosol to hand too the steroids can really give you botty block, sorry if tmi, but best to be prepared 👍 get yourselves strapped into the chemo rollercoaster, hang onto each other and you’ll share, bounce, 🤣🤣😢😢😁😁💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻Through chemo together 👍👍👍you got this ❤️❤️💕💕Shi xx

dipitdee
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi All,

I’m also starting chemo this month. First round due on 4th December. I’m having EC x 2 or 3 followed by Docetaxel x 2 or 4. I’m also having trastuzumab and pertuzumab with the docetaxel. I think I’ve just about accepted that this is all really happening and am keen to just get started with treatment. Not looking forward to side effects but hopefully we can help each other through it. Has anyone had any good tips for what to take with them for first chemo or how to prepare for it?

JuliaS
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hello Dargy

You are having the same treatment as me but I start on the 2nd. I agree,  sooner it gets started sooner it will be over! 

Dargy
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hello,

Starting chemo Weds 9th Dec 

Ec x 3 or 4 followed by Docetaxel x 3

I’m nervous but thinking the sooner I board the chemo train the sooner I’ll be able to get off! x

JuliaS
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Thank you! Good to know you are there! 

JuliaS
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi grannyp

hope you hear soon. I find the waiting the hardest although I might change my mind on that once I have started chemo. 

grannyp
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi guys

I am expecting to start chemo some time in December. I don't even have a confirmed oncologist appointment yet but I was told that they will aim to get started this side of Christmas. So I will be watching this thread with interest and will join in once I have my dates and treatment plan. 

Good luck to all those who are about to start on this part of the rollercoaster. I am sure many of you are as terrified as I am!

Shi
Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

hi Julia s ❤️ Sorry you find yourself here, ask away with any questions on the threads, use the number on here if you want to speak to nurse or use the someone like me option, bcn will help and support you with kindness and care each step ❤️💕💕Shi xx

JuliaS
Member

Re: December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hello. Glad to find this thread as I start chemo on 2nd December. Will appreciate sharing any tips and encouragement to help us through it. 

Mai7
Community Champion

December 2020 Chemo Starters

Hi 

 

This thread is for anyone due to start chemotherapy in December 2020.  I’m sure others will be here soon but please introduce yourself and you can all help one another through this phase of your treatment.  If you have any questions please post away on here and others in the community will watch over you whilst you are getting started.  Once you are into it you'll be pretty good at helping each other.  You can also ask the nurses on this forum if you have any concerns.  In the meantime, the top tip is always to stay well hydrated throughout chemo, aiming for 2 litres of water per day and get a thermometer and check your temperature every day.

 

Here is the BCN guide on chemo:

https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/going-through-treatment-breast-...

 

Here’s an excellent article for anyone concerned about hairloss. That’s pretty much everyone starting chemo: https://pinklotus.com/powerup/breastcancer101/chemo-hair-loss-and-menopause-hair-too/

 

Here are some apps which can help to keep you on track: 

https://breastcancernow.org/information-support/support-you/becca

 

https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/owise-breast-cancer/

 

https://www.careology.health/

 

I finished my chemo in October 2017 and doing very well again now.  Here is my story which has some chemo tips on how I coped which were collectively shared from others who had gone through the same from this forum:

http://lifeafterlola.com/

If you decide to set up a private group its good to stay on here also during treatment as I know from experience there are some people who watch but don't immediately pluck up the courage to join in.  Your conversations can be a real comfort to others.