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Stopping chemo early

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

For those of you who had to stop early can you share the reason?

ppurdin's picture
ppurdin
Posts: 935
Joined: Jul 2009

I was alergic to taxoter chemo drug.I broke out in hives even my throat was swelling shut.I had 2 treatments,the first one i was really sick and in alot of pain.8days after the second one I had to go to the emergency roam.I thought I would surley itch to death.Its been three months and i still take allergy pills to stop the itching.They stopped treatment after that one.Of course I had already lost all the hair on my body.I am courious why you are asking.Did they stop yours?(Pat).

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

Wow that is pretty allergic. do they say when you will stop itching? I have weakness in my lower legs, its unclear why so they may stop it . I have had 11 doses. I hope you get better soon.

ppurdin's picture
ppurdin
Posts: 935
Joined: Jul 2009

No they said they could not tell me when or if it would stop.i have other side effects as well.my right foot hurts real bad.my eye sight is terrible since chemo.i think these are the normal side effects.but i haven,t talked to two many that had the allergy problem I had.Wow 11 doses,you will be glad when they stop them.Are you going to take the Cancer pill as well.I will take it for 5yrs.I just started it a few days ago.I Pray for no side effects.I hope your legs are better soon and that it isn,t anything you have to have long term.Take Care.Good Luck.Pat.

scout5000's picture
scout5000
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2009

I had 4 rounds of A/C, then 3 treatments of Taxol. I was supposed to do one more treatment but I was losing my hearing, had neuropathy, and colon was swelling. Doc wouldn't tell me to stop but she implied that I should, but said I had to make the decision myself. Second opinion doc said I did the right thing stopping. Both docs said that they thought I had had enough chemo.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

How did you know your colon was swelling? and why do we have to tell them to stop.? I do have to take tamoxifen then arimedex. and fosomax I think? still have to have radiation. and two day surgeries.

scout5000's picture
scout5000
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2009

While I was having my first Taxol treatment, I started having stomach pain directly behind bellybutton. The pain was constant and got worse each time I had Taxol. I had a PET scan, to see if cancer had spread to abdomen. PET scan showed thickening of the colon, then a colonoscopy after stopping chemo, that was normal. Stomach pain stopped about two months after chemo ended.
My oncologist said she couldn't make the decision to stop. She said if the cancer returned, I might want to blame her for stopping chemo. It's their way of covering their butts, scared of being sued. I think they should step up to the plate and help us make decisions. I wish you health.

natly15's picture
natly15
Posts: 1934
Joined: Sep 2009

I dont think I'm stopping it early but they had stop my infusion today. I was 7 minutes into my 2nd taxol when I had a very sudden allergic reaction. the nurses acted promptly and I'm exhuasted but ok. I've already finished A/C.

My onc came in and examined me and said he'd like to try taxotere in 3 weeks. He said I may have had the reaction to the preservative in taxol, which is different from the preservative in taxotere. After my first taxol infusion I was in bed for 5 days with severe pain all over my body. I'm just wondering if my body can handle any drugs with the beginning name taxo?

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

I know what you mean. taxol was supposed to be a walk in the park and it has not been. as compared to AC. My feeling is they have decided to stop. but i wont know until thursday. I am dissapointed to have made it so far and not finish but in a sense relieved. (today) as well. I have struggled for a long time. I have had bowel issues, pain, rash, but this neuropathy is concerning. I thought I was just generally weak, didnt know until I saw a PT that the leg weakness could be neuropathy and that scares me. This is not easy stuff. I think what the docs dont get is we want info, and good care. not interested in blaming or suing.
Thanks for answering my questions, and Natly sorry about the reaction. seems like alot of people have allegic reactions. What do they premedicate you with.

Sher43009's picture
Sher43009
Posts: 601
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi. I stopped after 1 dose of Taxol. I had already gone through 4 rounds of A/C every 2 weeks. The taxol kicked my butt--my hands and feet swelled up, turned blood red and were pulsating. My fingernails and toenails turned blood red, got blisters on my feet. I passed out once, threw up 3 times, and hurt everywhere. My oncol. gave me the option of stopping saying the taxol is just the icing on the cake and that the most important part is the A/C. The taxol only gives me 3%. He also said to "listen to your heart...it'll tell you what to do. I stopped.

Mama G
Posts: 764
Joined: Nov 2009

Blessed is more like it. I've done 9 Taxols and it has been a walk in the park for me after that horrendous A/C ! But I'm having lower back pain today and am wondering if it has anything to do with the taxol after reading all your replies. I'll see my onc tomorrow before the treatment and see what she says. Only 3 more to go.... I was hoping to get through it with ease, maybe not so lucky after all.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

I think sometimes your body just says enough already. and you have to make choices. I would not have been able to tolerate those side effects either. some very extremem reactions. thank you for letting me know as Ihave been struggling with this. you guys are great.

natly15's picture
natly15
Posts: 1934
Joined: Sep 2009

They gave me benadryl in pill form today, because I had a reaction to the infusion the last time. They also give me steroids prior to the taxol thru my port. I also took emend but nausea seems to be the only problem I've not had with taxol. I asked the onsite pharmacist if they would stop chemo if I react to the taxotere and she said , "dont bank on it there are many other things they can use". I keep on saying that this cancer treatment is a crap shoot.

Oddly enough one of the gals getting chemo at the infusion center told me taxol was a breeze for her. She assured me it would be much better than a/C. One never knows because we all react so differently.

Carkris some say that after chemo the neuropathy dissipates. We must fight this cancer but the treatments are still barbaric.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

i get benadry , decadron, and pepcid IV and did not have allergic reaction. Can thye give it to you IV or are you meaning you had a reaction to the Iv benadryl. Thats wHAT I WAS PROMISED thhat the taxol would be better but in some ways it wasnt as harsh, but I still had Gi issues etc.... I asked them about the neuropathy going away or worsening and they just cannot say. I said even with one dose? and they could not tell me. all they say is missing one last treatment will not matter. Sometimes I wish I had a crystal ball, but then other times I'm glad I dont.

natly15's picture
natly15
Posts: 1934
Joined: Sep 2009

I had a reaction to the benadryl IV, thats why they gave me the pill today.

Have you decided to not take the last treatment? Heck if its just the icing on the cake, I think I'd take the plain cake, but who knows for sure because I havent considered that option.

No crystal balls when it comes to something so serious as our cancer treatment. I also have strong faith, and if you feel in your heart that stopping may be the way to go, then it would probably be wise to listen to your heart. I feel that I must do my part, but I have a God Who will also do His part in this treatment.

Please let us know of your decision. Hugs to you.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

its really weighing on me lots of tears. I really want to finish but dont want to cause furthur damamge. I am hoping the visit to the PT will help clarify it for me. But according to the nurse I think the docs may have decided. wont know until thurs. i almost feel like i need someone to give me permission I am so conflicted. I just want to say i did everything i could, but will I regret it if the neuropathy gets worse from this.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

its really weighing on me lots of tears. I really want to finish but dont want to cause furthur damamge. I am hoping the visit to the PT will help clarify it for me. But according to the nurse I think the docs may have decided. wont know until thurs. i almost feel like i need someone to give me permission I am so conflicted. I just want to say i did everything i could, but will I regret it if the neuropathy gets worse from this.

Sher43009's picture
Sher43009
Posts: 601
Joined: Nov 2009

Listen to your heart--it'll tell you what to do. That's what my oncol. told me and it worked. I have no regrets that I stopped.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

I definately would have stopped with those symptoms. you guys had some pretty dramatic ones. !!!!!!!!

andreasny53
Posts: 3
Joined: Feb 2010

I agree, your body know when the chemo is doing more harm that good, I stopped after 4 rounds out of six ,pain in my legs was just to much.

1acme
Posts: 77
Joined: Mar 2011

I had 4x A/C (two weeks a part) which was tolerable and my

1st dose of dose-dense TAXOL I had allergic reaction during 3/4 infusion - red face, rash in my face for few days after and terribly itchy skin.
Even my Psoriasis which disappeared on A/C star coming back quickly.
Also 48hr after 1st Taxol dose I had horrible bone pain in my feet/legs to the point that I just drag my feet behind me and holding my self to walls just to manage to go to bathroom. I called Onco first thing morning and they put me on Hydro-Morphine pills 1mg taken every 2hrs. They help a bit, but I was still in severe pain for about 4 days just stay in the bed.

I had developend bad Neuropathy in my feet & fingers. My feet got numb, so I could not get any balance to walk, skin was peeling in huge blisters-like areas. My 3+3 fingers lost feelings completely to the point that I cannot hold even a cup of tea in my hand without dropping it and burning my self.

When I told all those symptoms my Onco he set that they are very common to Taxol, but he was concern about my fingers as it was quite severe after just first Taxol dose. I told him that I NEED my fingers "back" as I work in enforcement and I need my fingers to be able to use firearm for my job (currently off duty during the treatment).

He told me that we may try 2nd dose of Taxol, but schedule it 3 weeks a part so my body have time to recover better. Sounded as a good plan, but with my 2nd dose of TAXOL, just after just 20min in the Taxol dose I wake up with severe sneezing, runny nose, my heart was pounding (pulls 112) and I could not breath (short of breath). My face become purple/red and my eyes were also red. My chemo nurse stopped Taxol infusion ASAP as she set that it looks like my body does not like it and she does not want to risk it to put me on ICU unit if we continued. I was given extra dose of Antihistamine, cold towel on my head and held for observation for about 2hrs. So I manage to get only about 1/4 dose of Taxol in.

Day after I was talking to my Onco about our further strategy and he mention that I may "finish" my chemo as I completed 4x A/C and 1.25 dose of Taxol.

Well since I had been diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer which is very aggressive & fast growing/spreading I refused to "drop-out" from chemo and told him that it is very important for me to finish ALL dose.

He agreed to put me on milder dose of Taxol for another 6-8 weeks once a week and will see how I will tolerate this milder dose. I have to be back in hospital in 2 weeks for my 1st Milder dose of Taxol and I am hoping that my body would tolerate it.

scout5000's picture
scout5000
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2009

It has been 6 months since my last Taxol and the neuropathy has not gotten any better (mine is just numbness in hands and feet, no pain). I have another friend who wanted to stop Taxol and not complete the last of her Taxol treatments due to shooting pain in feet and hands. The doc said that because she had stage 3 she needed to do the final dose. She has been finished for 6 months also and continues to have the same level of pain in feet and hands. She is taking Gabapentin for this, to no avail. We could both have permanent nerve damage. I wanted to tell you this, not to scare you, but so you can add this to your facts. As someone else said, my doc implied that the Taxol was like the icing on the cake after A/C, meaning it's just an added bonus to top off the heavy duty A/C. Hope this helps in your decision making. Good luck.

Rague
Posts: 3311
Joined: Aug 2009

A/C wasn't bad - some mild tiredness for a couple of days. Taxol though has been nasty - total, utter exhaustion more than 1/2 the time. Also no appetite and everything tastes NASTY (with the exception of Dijon, English and Chinese mustards and horseraddish - yummy!) Last week Dr. told me that it was up to me - I could stop the Taxol any time I want now IF I feel I have to as it had done about 85% - 90% of what it could do. Don't intend to stop though no matter how bad it gets - made it through 10 doses now so I'll make it through the last 2 to get the max 'good' from it that I can get. Only 2 more weeks til the worst is over - I'll make. Then on to rads and waht ever that brings.

elm3544's picture
elm3544
Posts: 745
Joined: Jul 2009

I did not have my final dosage of Taxotere because the neuropathy was so severe. My last infusion of Taxotere was in August and I am still dealing with the side effects.

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

well I bit the bullet and just finished it. went with my gut at the final moment. just felt a need to finish it. thank you for your input. For everyone who decided against I am in full support. I did not have such glaringly obviousss symptoms. hope I dont regret it. But its done. !!!!

scout5000's picture
scout5000
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2009

Brilliant!

aztec45's picture
aztec45
Posts: 757
Joined: Jul 2009

Hope you get to feeling better. And concrats on deciding to finish and to sticking with your decision. Hopefully the effects will be mild.

P

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

I still have problems with my hands and feet constipated and eyesight a little funny. I blame the chemo, I dont think it is worse from the last taxol. i am still very exhauasted and totally out of sorts with this. I am waiyting to see what my WBC is going to do so i can have surgery then rads whoo hoo.

GrandmaJ's picture
GrandmaJ
Posts: 209
Joined: Nov 2009

I had chemo first. I was scheduled for 6 chemo treatments of Taxotere and Cytoxan. Oncologist stopped after 5 treatments, stating that the chemo drugs had shrunk the tumor in half and there was not much change after the 5th treatment, so he didn't feel the sixth was necessary. (I danced out of his office that day ) !! Also twice I developed a high fever and had to be put on antibiotics.

Judy
(still digging out of 23 inches of snow !! )

Lynda53's picture
Lynda53
Posts: 210
Joined: Oct 2009

Many of you know I had severe reactions to tax, stopped breathing. It was decided the tax was critical to shrink the beast, and remove more cancer from my skin.
Google Dr Maria (Mariana) Castells. The process I am going thru is called desensitization. Basically: tax is diluted,given in different dosages,it tricks the histamines in your body for the 24 hours for them to recover and give you a reaction. Originally used for insulin reactions.
It is working for me,2 down and 2 to go.
Peace

carkris's picture
carkris
Posts: 4523
Joined: Aug 2009

glad it is working for you do you get any of the reactions? or just not the allergic one?

blondie45
Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2010

I had A/C and then Taxol/herceptin for 12 weeks and then herceptin every 3 weeks until the end of last year. I was supposed to continue on herceptin until July of this year. All of a sudden my ejection fraction just dropped to half of what it was. Seeing a cardiologist now and running some tests to see if I can go back on the herceptin or not.

HootieGirl's picture
HootieGirl
Posts: 85
Joined: Feb 2011

After my 4th month of chemotherapy, my tumor came back. They removed it and the pathology came back that it was the same cancer. They went back in and removed a lot of my pectoral muscle as well as all of the skin around it. I didn't start back on chemotherapy because it hadn't worked, so I just started radiation as soon as I was healed from the surgeries.

ElizabethB's picture
ElizabethB
Posts: 89
Joined: Feb 2011

A/C x4 then toxol x4 and herceptin just had 2 heceptin they had to stop it my heart went to 51 % so they gave me pills to take i need to wait about 2 or 3 months then maybe i will be able to continue herceptin ....well at least by then my rafds will be done good luck with you...xoxxo

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