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Help with side effects of A/C chemotherapy

gayj
Posts: 40
Joined: Jun 2001

I am new to this discussion group. I was diagnosed with a stage II Invasive Lobular Carcinoma over 2 months ago. There was some cancer in the first lymph node so I have just received my second of four chemo treatments (adriamycin & cytoxin). I did have lumpectomy and will receive radiation and tamoxifen. The chemo seems to be creating havoc with my digestive system for 5 or more days after the treatment (I seem to alternate between diahhrea and constipation, lower GI pain, low appetite and a generally "green" feeling). My oncologist recommended Pepcid AC but it just seemed to make me constipated. Has anyone been through something similar and have you found anything that gave you some relief? Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated. - GayJ

kimberjack
Posts: 8
Joined: May 2001

Hi GayJ,
I too was diagosed as Stage II, two lymphs involved. I'll recieve my third A/C this Friday. I found that either the anti-nausea drugs (Kytril) or the chemo constipated me also so now I take a stool softner the day of and 3-4 days after a treatment until my system bounces back and I'm off medications. The first week I also felt a bit green, second week much better and third almost back to normal. I've had litte or no side effects the last two weeks of my second treatment. Actually, my second treatment was better than my first so I found that encouraging that the third round will be as tolerable. Time will tell. Hang in there and feel better. - Eileen

rlowe
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2001

Hi Gay! I am also new to this group and I have had one a/c treatment 2 weeks ago and had the same problem. I take Metamucil twice daily and I still alternate between the two evils!! I just think it is the "nature of this beast" ! I also have a low appetite but I try to eat a type of bran ceral for breakfast. I had no lymph node involvement but had a modified mastectomy with partial reconstruction and just learned last week that I will lose my other breast due to several factors. I have the positive HER-2neu gene and my mom and sister are also breast cancer survivors. I am so grateful to have found this network just this past weekend! I read about it in the TLC catalog that I ordered my wig from. Just lost my hair also this past weekend... I am wearing scarves at this point. I am trying to read all the past messages from all thease incredible ladies on this network! Good luck and hope you feel better soon. Hugs! Rose

cat1switzerland
Posts: 119
Joined: May 2001

Welcome Rose ! I also discovered this site just a few weeks ago. It is a great place to share what works, what doesn't, and to also find support and encouragement. I am a two year cancer survivor, and be reassured : there is a life after operation, chemo and radiation ! And boy oh boy, does life taste good after you've been through this...

Good luck with your treatment and upcoming operation,
And a big hug from Switzerland !

Cathy

rlowe
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2001

Thanks so much for the warm welcome Cathy! This had been such an overwhelming experience for me but it had truly forced me to slow down and focus on taking care of myself!!!
My husband adores Switzerland and he lived there for entire summer(many years ago).
Anyway, thank you for your support and I will not have my surgery until I complete my chemo. I have 3 more rounds to go but will not have to have radiation. I go for labs tomorrow, I pray my counts are up this week! They were low last week and I have tried to just take it easy since then. Hard to do with children at home! I am lucky that I am off work this summer as I am a teacher at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. I am an instructor and Career Development Coord. for 6th thru 12th grades. I was able to return to work after my mastectomy for the last two weeks of school. The students and staff were wonderful to me! I have been teaching there since 1985 and they are truly my "second family". Well, enough rambling about me... take care and have a wonderful day. Hugs, Rose

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Gay,
I found rather eating allot of food I drank ensure and boost for one if not 2 meals a day. Chewing took energy, everything did. Important to drink lots of water to flush sytem constantly. Good HYDRATION important.
Hang in there,
24242TAra

debw
Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2000

I too had Invasive Lobular Carcinoma - Stage IIIA. I received the A/C and was sick, sick, sick. The only thing that gave me relief was not eating anything that made me feel "green". Generally that was everything except canned fruit cocktail and other fruits. I would buy the big cans. After things settled I would eat just small bites of other foods. Let your tummy decide what looks good. After the 4 A/C treatments I had 4 taxol - and my appitite came back normal. I dropped 20 pounds - but wanted to do that for years anyway. Good luck. Debw

debw
Posts: 109
Joined: Dec 2000

After reading the other posts I was reminded that I also drank Ensure. I would buy the best real vanilla ice cream and make a shake with it. It was something I started after the 3rd treatment because I was not eating enough. Debw

cat1switzerland
Posts: 119
Joined: May 2001

Hi GayJ,

When I had my chemo I found Zofren (also called Zofran in some countries) worked the best for me to keep an appetite and not be bothered by nausea. My appetite was reduced, though, but that's OK. I have read that it is often good to not eat much when you are sick : your system has then less work eliminating the toxins. I drank a lot of water, ate ham and yogurts a lot. That's what my body seemed to ask for. The yogurts are natural allies when it comes to diarhea and constipation, so with 3 to 4 yogurts a day, I kept that problem under control.

Good luck with your treatment,
Don't hesitate if you have other questions.

With a big hug from Switzerland,
Cathy

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