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What should I expect from Docetaxel

21 REPLIES 21
Sue C
Community Champion

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi Su

I have the injections days 3 to 7 after TC chemo and they help boast your white blood cells. They are a very fine needle injected into your stomach and you can hardly feel it. They do make my bones ache after, especially my back, but take ibuprofen and it doesn't last long. The only problem I've had with them is getting the district nurse to come out and do them. They seem to think I should do them myself, which I know some can but not me! Have a lovely friend to come over and do it for me! 

Sue x

 

Helen Elizabeth
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hello,

 

Docetaxel, sometimes called Taxotere, is also nicknamed "the batterer" in the unit where I had it. It`s a bit unfair as the most unpleasant side effects that I had, lasted only 4 - 5 days and were manageable. The treatment made my bones ache really badly but I found that Ibuprofen taken regularly over those five days, or co-codemol, helped and allowed me to sleep.   Taxotere also made my toenails go a horrid colour and eventually start to peel away from my toes but they are all grown back now, just 6 months later. It made my hair fall out and my scalp sore, but I used Johnsons Baby Shampoo and that soothed it a bit. I had dry eyes and the doc` gave me pretend tears for a few days each month. I had itchy skin (E45) and a horrid metal taste in my mouth. Everyone will tell you, this last for 7 - 10 days and then just as you start to feel better, you have to get ready for the next lot!  The injection is a microscopic needle, like when you have diabetes and it is so slim, it doesn`t hurt. I decided one month not to have it and immediately became really unwell and had to go to hospital for four days. It inceases your production of white blood cells and is very important for your immunity. At the end of the day though, it is only YOU who can decide. with your doctors and nurses, how to proceed, it`s your body and everyone is different.  I`ve written a blog about my treatment if you want to take a look, it`s on Wordpress and called anightinwithnelly. You will see I have truned all my blogs about cancer into a little book. I hope this helps and wish you love and good health. You will get through this, I promise. xxxxx    

su57
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi Dezdi

 

I'm sorry I can't help you with any advise as your treatment was some time ago but hope you coped well with everything.  I am hoping you can help me.  I have just had my third and last EC chemo yesterday and am due to start docetaxel in 3 weeks with a choice of 3 weekly for 3 sessions or weekly for 9 sessions.  I hope you can help me decide which to go for.  Could you please tell me what you decided, why and what were your side-effects?  I have managed ok with the EC but from what I have read so far the docetaxel sounds worse.  Also, do you have injections if having weekly docetaxel?  I don't like the sound of those and have been told I'd have them for 5 days each time if I went for 3 weekly.  Hope to hear from you.  Thank you.  

 

Su 

Goldfish
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

I've had 4 FEC and just about to have 4th T. For me with T the first 2 days are ok then it goes down hill! Aches and pains seem to last 4 days horrible and can keep me awake but at least it only lasts a while, bad heartburn so take omeprozole for 10 days, bad mouth....like a gorilla had done something in it while I was asleep which is amazing down to my lack of sleep for the first 12 days!!! A bit of bloating also to add to my joy but hey ho no nausea!! Having said that I've still managed to power walk / semi jog and swim, oh and I forgot no taste for about a week or appetite and mega tired it does seem to have go progressively worse but still doable. Still have hair albeit I look like I was in the Chernobyl disaster and have eyebrows ... Eyelashes went on holiday last week..... However lucky me I had to shave my legs today no regrow on head yet....was looking forward to that as I had read also that some peoples hair starts growing back on T ... I suppose mine has just not in the right places😀Xx

amandaLou
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

I had my first treatment last Monday , having had 3 fec. The fec was not nice but I kept notes on how I felt so by the 3rd was ready for what it threw at me. I didn't like it as feeling sick was horrid.

Now this new lot is really taking the biscuit.

On Tuesday I felt really good and was lulled into false sense of, maybe I can cope with this but by Thursday it started to kick in.

2 nights with little sleep and a body that aches all over. 

Please can someone tell me how long the pains etc last in each cycle, as if I know it will last for a week or less I can adjust to that. I'm hoping it wont last the 21 days before the next.

Reading on this forum has been very enlightening so thank you for all the honesty.

yjk
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hello Everyone,

I'm a bit late to this thread but I was hoping someone might have experience of hair regrowth during Docetaxel.  I've just had my 2nd cycle (of 4) last week, following 4 cycles of EC.  I've used the cold cap throughout (although I have lost a huge amount of hair); but frustratingly no signs of regrowth yet and eyebrows have thinned noticeably since starting T.  Has anyone noticed hair regrowth with T or am I being overly optimistic in hoping?!

Yasmin

Pumpkin
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi PurpleClare

 

You said you finished FECT in November and were still having side effects. What kind if you don't mind me asking? I finished my sessions two weeks ago and will be having surgery in a few weeks but just wondered.

SuzyEB
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi Dezdi, fully agree with Purpleclare. Be aware of Tax trots. They can be very hard on your body. Have Immodium ready and don't dither about taking it if needed. If it doesn't help speak with your dr. Make sure you rest as the chemo is cumulative and it takes a few weeks to get over it.
Hope it all goes well. xx
Scarf lady
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi everyone. I had my second Docetaxel with cyclophosphamide today.  Once the cannula was in (I have really duff veins but have refused a line in so I must accept the problems).  All went well.  I felt dizzy after about 10 minutes but it wore off.  Much to my amazement my bloods were mostly up on my initial readings so that was really encouraging.  I saw my consultant and he suggested a non-prescription medicine for bloated stomach called Simeticon so I shall get some of that.  And I coped with the mouth issues last time with regular mouth wash and some toothpaste called bioXtra which my chemist bought in for me. With a softer toothbrush that really helped.  So, let's see what the next week or so hold but I shall carry on with a daily walk and a rest along with a daily spoonful of Manuka honey (read about that on another forum somewhere). I have to have six sessions of this so I am realising that I have had a third of them.  Next time halfway through. Good luck to everyone.  Keep positive.

Purpleclare
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Dezdi,

I had 3 x FEC and 3 x T which ended on 13th November. You are more than welcome to have a spin around my blog at purpleclare.wordpress.com which I started so I didn't have to keep repeating myself to all my friends and family!

I suffered with FEC but found T very tolerable. I worked throughout my chemo with only a few days off here and there and went to reduced hours for a little while when I was bad.

The numb hands and feet have got a little worse and my nails are sore and lifting on my left hand. I do ache most days which I know is residual side effects.

I hate the saying but everyone is different, I was very apprehensive going into the docetaxol as although I physically couldn't have done another session of FEC I didn't know what to expect with docetaxol and it is always the fear of the Unknown which is worse.

Watch out for the Tax trots if you haven't suffered the constipation. It can give you a very bad back as well.

Hope you are getting on ok.

Purple

sunshine22
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Thank you all, good to know I'm not abnormal. Day 7 and aches really kicked in but hot water bottle quite soothing and deep breathes. I think my husband thought I was in labour again during the night. does anyone know how long the aches last for?
AnnDaw
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi Dezdi had 1st docetaxel last wednesday. Was fine until Friday then felt really tired. Saturday evening I started with the aching bones. My finger nails feel tender my mouth also dry and tender and I can't taste anything. I find I can cope with the aches and pains so far with paracetamol. I must say I found fec easier and I hope this treatment doesn't leave long term effects as this does concern me a bit. How have you been are you ok? Two more to go so can see the end in sight.xx

Pumpkin
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi Dezdi

I was warned about the mouth effects on the forum and saw a lady at the hospital in absolute agony waiting for hours to get emergency antibiotics (Nystan drops) and mouthwash (Difflam). As my first treatment was two days before  Christmas (how evil) I asked my consultant to give them to me in advance as I didn't want to have to try and get meds around Xmas. I definitely needed them and they helped. I've even lost a crowned tooth which just dropped out eating bread. It does pass but everything tastes horrible for best part of a week. Call your chemo hotline and try to get something either from the hospital or your GP whichever is easiest. Let me know how you get on. Ginger tea or biscuits can also help with the tastebuds.

 

Amongst other things I'm also dealing with darkened veins on my hand from the chemo. Looks like a bad burn on about two inches of my vein. Don't like it because apart from direct family and work I haven't told anyone else about the BC so I'm hoping it goes away soon.

Dezdi
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hey ladies.
I had my first Decetaxol on wednesday. I felt okay after but after 3days my body started to hurt. I coped really well with FEC but this one is hard now. I feel like my mouth swollen my teeth hurt and i cant eat because it hurt so much. And everything taste so bad. Is there any advice for it? I took painkiller but doesnt help.
Many thanks.
Pumpkin
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hello again.

 

One thing I forgot to mention which was strange. With the FECT I lost my hair but with T I lost my always thin eyebrows and lower eyelashes. Luckily eyebrow makeup has come a long way and MAC eyeliner and eyeliner gel has made up for it.

 

Good luck for your upcoming sessions.

Scarf lady
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi.  Just coming to the end of my first Docetaxel.  I had FEC 7years ago and tolerated it quite well.  This has been very different.  I had 4 awful days (day 3 to 6) when I wasn't sure if i had diarrhoea or constipation!  It was really uncomfortable.  Since then I think I have had every side effect mentioned but only mildly or for a day or so.  Thrush, yes for 3 days, nausea a bit (try chrysalis end ginger), no taste buds for the middle week, muscle pain for one day, tingly hands off and on and hair loss which began at the end of the second week.  Last time I just let the hair fall out but this time I had it shaved off pretty quickly and that was the best decision. It wasn't so distressing and certainly less messy.

i agree that I have felt the cold more but by the start of the third week I felt quite well again, which is about the same as with FEC.  I think the answer is to get rest when you feel you need it, take gentle exercise and try and eat as well as you can.

Start the steroids for the second session tomorrow. Here's hoping!

Pumpkin
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hiya

I'm about to have my third batch of Docetaxel after having had three FEC. The FEC really made me tired with headaches for the first week and yes I lost my hair gradually over the weeks. I tried the cold cap at the first session and as I started losing hair before my second session I decided against using it and to be honest it's not a nice experience when FEC takes about four hours anyway. I've bought some really good lace front wigs which are fixed with wig glue at the front so I can wear my wigs to bed and don't have to worry about wigs falling off on these windy days. Some people call Docetaxel Mr T as it comes with a punch. For me I haven't had the severe body pains but for the first week I have severe constipation and a burning sensation in my lower stomach and my tabs don't help much. I've had the thrush too and sore throat and neck. The tips of my toes and fingers are numb and sensitive to heat and cold for about 10 days of each treatment but I was advised to paint my nails to keep them strong (they've started to turn grey) and that does seem to protect my nails. Gloves are a must for washing. Anyone else feels the cold more? I wear sheepskin boots and slippers and thermals under clothes indoors.

Dezdi
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hey ladies,

 

Thank you very much for your answer. I had my first Docetaxel yestarday. I am good so far but I still taking the steroid so will see tomorrow how I will fee. How are you Anna Daw. I hope you feel good too. 

I am sorry to hear  that Debs said that you didn't feel wel but at least your  hair started to grow I hope mine too, Did you use cold caps? My oncologist said I will lose more.  

I have depression too but because I am on Zoladex as well and because of that. I was reading about nail lost, did you experinced somehting like that? What kind of bad stomach did you have? only pains or diarrhea and vomiting too?

Does anybody take  any vitamins? I don't know I am allowed but I am taking Zink and Vitamin B I always ferget to ask my oncologist.

 

Good luck ladies and Anna Daw tell me how you feel after your first Decetaxel.

 

 

anngc
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi I'm half way through 4 lots of Docetaxel & Cylophsphamide, 3rd one next week. I have been lucky up to now with the side effects. Oral thrush for a couple of days. I do get very tired & lethargic for a number of days. The last week of the cycle I am more or less back to normal. Hope this helps. xx

Debs30
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi Ladies

 

I am from the August 2015 thread. I have had 4 Fec and so far 3 Docetaxel, 1 more docetaxel to go.

 

I coped very well with the Fec , only feeling sick for a week and then no side effects at all. I did lose my hair after the 1st 14 days . My hair started to grow back after the Fec and so far has continued to grow back while I'm on the docetaxel. The only hair I have lost more of during the docetaxel are my eye lashes.

 

I will be totally honest I have found the docetaxel really hard going . I have had oral thrush , bad stomach, aches and pains, sore lips and mild depression none of which I had on the Fec. Just be prepared...mouth wash, baby toothbrush, moisturising cream and as soon as any symptoms of thrush or stomach pains appear make sure you ring your chemo unit and get tablets etc. This being said just rest as much as you can , I spend the first week after the docetaxel in bed sleeping on and off all the time .

 

We are all different and some women cope better with the docetaxel than the Fec but I found the Fec a lot easier on me . There is absolutely no way I could have worked or can work whilist  on the docetaxel . My energy levels are still at zero when I have the next lot after 3 weeks.

 

Good luck ladiesxxx

 

Debs

 

 

AnnDaw
Member

Re: What should I expect from Docetaxel

Hi Dezdi im same as you finished FEC and have 1st docetaxel tomorrow and very apprehensive about it. I haven't used cold cap so no hair for me lol. I've read 1 or 2 posts saying hair started to come back when on this regime so living in hope. I'm also concerned about the side effects of this one as well.Ive coped ok on the FEC but T may be tougher soon to find out hey  Let me know how you get on and I will let you know after tomorrow ok. When is your 1st session? Xx

Dezdi
Member

What should I expect from Docetaxel

I have finished 3 FEC and now will start the T could enyone tell me what can I expect? I read the forum and somebody wrote that her hair started to grow during Decetaxol treatment. I have heard that I will loos my hair. I am using cool cup and still have my hair. My oncologist told me it is worse and will lose more hair. Is it true? and what about the steroid what they give me to take it. It says a lot of side effects wich are really scary. Somebody experienced anything? I am still working. is it really different? I read about the tiredness and a joint ache. Is anybody still working with Decetaxol treatment? 

Thanks