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Starting 12 weeks of Taxol tomorrow...getting nervous!

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi, ladies,

Well my 3 week break has come to an end! I got a lot of rest, went on vacation, enjoyed time with the kids, and all of the symptoms from the A/C have subsided! As much as I know what to expect with the Taxol, I am still very nervous. It is almost like starting chemo for the first time all over again. Thank goodness I am able to come here to express my fears! I don't want to share too much of my fears with any of my friends or family because they don't fully understand how I am feeling (through no fault of their own). They also don't know what to say so I would rather keep it to myself.

Thanks for letting me vent Pink Ladies!

Dorene

jessiesmom1's picture
jessiesmom1
Posts: 711
Joined: Jun 2010

I had 4 rounds of A/C and then 12 rounds of Taxotere. I personally found the Taxotere rounds to be FAR more difficult than the A/C rounds. I did well with the A/C if I do say so myself. Most (but not all) chemo patients have less difficulty with Taxol/Taxotere. My oncologist was somewhat surprised. In general the side effects are cumulative. There may be more and they might last longer with each successive round. Fatigue is a given. I also vomited and had diarrhea on a daily basis. I absolutely lost the desire to eat and ended up losing 40 pounds. There is something to say about being overweight to start with. My eyes watered virtually 24/7 except when I was sleeping. It has been 20 months since my last chemo and they are still watering. It seems that the Taxotere has damaged my tear ducts. The Taxane class drugs are known for damaging your fingernails and toenails. I lost 8 fingernails and 2 toenails - that is after they became ridged and discolored. They eventually came back in normally and look fine now.

With all that being said, you should know that I never once had to completely skip a round of chemo. I had to postpone 2 rounds by a couple of days to be given IV fluids instead of the chemo infusion. My blood counts never got so low that I had to be given a transfusion or skip a round. I was determined to get it over with as soon as I possibly could. Even my kids (17 and 19 at the time) knew the countdown - 9 of 12, 10 of 12, 11 of 12, DONE!

It is perfectly normal to be nervous. This is a big event. You ARE starting chemo over again, but you WILL get through this and you will post about your success right here. My husband is a chemo survivor himself (colon cancer) so he kind of knew what to expect but my experience with chemo was quite different from his. I think he got tired of the side effects and caregiving so I also tried to keep things to myself sometimes. It is OVER though. Hopefully forever.

IRENE

debi.18's picture
debi.18
Posts: 848
Joined: Jun 2011

I finished 12 rounds of taxol in November. I didn't have AC, only Taxol & Herceptin. It wasn't fun, but doable. I managed to still work all through it, only missed the day of treatments. As you know everyone reacts differently. I lost my hair, lost taste buds, fingernails turned color and lifted (never fell off), exhaustion and leg cramps. You would think I would have lost weight since I couldn't taste anything, but I kept eating hoping I could tast something. Taste came back pretty quick after the treatments were over.

Wishing you all the best - keep us updated on how you are.

Hugs, Debi

pamcb3
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi,
Your story sounds so silmiliar to mine! I sailed through the A/C, had a two week break and then started 12 weekly treatments of the taxotere/taxol, I was told by my doctor and 3 different women I had met with who went through the same course of treatment that I would feel better than when I was on the A/C......not the case just like you. I felt progressively worse... I ended up with fluid around my heart, fluid around my lungs, infiltrations in my lungs and my eyes where flowing like niagra falls! I had to have the plural wall of each lung drained (700cc's of fluid was taken out of each side) I had a bronchoscopy, and the fluid from my right lung came back atypical and reactive, which led to a pet scan, that was clear thank god! The fluid around my heart took care of itself (thank god again!) all the while dragging myself to radiation everyday.....unlike you I had gained weight from chemo even though I was basically just drinking protein drinks and water by the end of chemo. It came off fairly quickly, only to be put on prednisone for 3 mos.....I ended up having to have artificial tear ducts put in, they are called jones tubes. My eyes are 50%better but one of the tubes needs adjusting as it will shift randomly and cause pain. I was told by the eye specialist maybe if I had come sooner when they first started to water to have the tear ducts irrigated I could have avoided this. I have since passed this on to my oncologist, and a friend who is going through the 12 taxols now. My lungs are almost there. I have a new problem now, my oncologist put me on anastrozole as the 5 year hormone therapy regimen. I have been on it for two months and I feel awful.... Weak, tired, bone pain....I thought it may be the after affects from being done with the prednisone but when I looked it up, it is side effects from the anastrozole....I can't wait for my next visit to my oncologist to see if I have any options. He felt this drug was more effective than tamoxifen....I can't seem to catch a break and return to a semi normal existence! I still have pain from my surgery that was almost one year ago (left mastectomy with tram flap reconstruction) I opted for reconstruction at the same time because I wasn't supposed to have radiation, after the surgery is when they discovered more lympnodes....luckily I didn't have any scarring from radiation! That is one thing that did go my way!

pamcb3
Posts: 33
Joined: Apr 2012

Hi,
Your story sounds so silmiliar to mine! I sailed through the A/C, had a two week break and then started 12 weekly treatments of the taxotere/taxol, I was told by my doctor and 3 different women I had met with who went through the same course of treatment that I would feel better than when I was on the A/C......not the case just like you. I felt progressively worse... I ended up with fluid around my heart, fluid around my lungs, infiltrations in my lungs and my eyes where flowing like niagra falls! I had to have the plural wall of each lung drained (700cc's of fluid was taken out of each side) I had a bronchoscopy, and the fluid from my right lung came back atypical and reactive, which led to a pet scan, that was clear thank god! The fluid around my heart took care of itself (thank god again!) all the while dragging myself to radiation everyday.....unlike you I had gained weight from chemo even though I was basically just drinking protein drinks and water by the end of chemo. It came off fairly quickly, only to be put on prednisone for 3 mos.....I ended up having to have artificial tear ducts put in, they are called jones tubes. My eyes are 50%better but one of the tubes needs adjusting as it will shift randomly and cause pain. I was told by the eye specialist maybe if I had come sooner when they first started to water to have the tear ducts irrigated I could have avoided this. I have since passed this on to my oncologist, and a friend who is going through the 12 taxols now. My lungs are almost there. I have a new problem now, my oncologist put me on anastrozole as the 5 year hormone therapy regimen. I have been on it for two months and I feel awful.... Weak, tired, bone pain....I thought it may be the after affects from being done with the prednisone but when I looked it up, it is side effects from the anastrozole....I can't wait for my next visit to my oncologist to see if I have any options. He felt this drug was more effective than tamoxifen....I can't seem to catch a break and return to a semi normal existence! I still have pain from my surgery that was almost one year ago (left mastectomy with tram flap reconstruction) I opted for reconstruction at the same time because I wasn't supposed to have radiation, after the surgery is when they discovered more lympnodes....luckily I didn't have any scarring from radiation! That is one thing that did go my way!

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

I meant to say through NO fault of their own! Bad mistake to make! lol! I changed it!

Dorene

Kat11's picture
Kat11
Posts: 1931
Joined: May 2009

For me it was easier than that Red Devil. I still got tired and had to rest, but it was over all a lot easier for me, not as nauseated. I did Taxol with Herceptin. Good luck I hope all goes well for you. If nothing else, your almost done with this part. Hang in there.
Kathy

Pam5
Posts: 232
Joined: Jul 2011

Hi Doreen,

Please know that I will be thinking of you and wishing you the very best. I had taxotere and then abraxane. Anyone of the taxol drugs bothers my lungs. I never had any nausea or or diarrhea. They gave me a shot before my chemo for nausea and then some pretty strong pills to take at night for three days. After the first treatment I didn't seem to need the night pills. Everybody reacts differently. However I would make sure they put a shot of the anti-
nausea pills into my IV.

Hugs

Pam

Tux's picture
Tux
Posts: 541
Joined: Aug 2009

Best wishes as you begin this part of your treatment.
(((Hugs))) and prayers sent your way. Let us know how
it goes!

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi, ladies,

Well, I must say that yesterday was not bad at all! Within 15 minutes of receiving the pre-meds (benedryl, etc) I fell fast asleep with my mouth hanging open!!!

Other than being sleepy, it went well. My anemia has corrected and I feel good. She told me to expect body pain, but I am hoping that I continue to feel like myself!

Thanks ladies!

Dorene

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8255
Joined: Aug 2009

posting from you .. As a former, chemo QUEEN, I know all to well -- how we can go
from feeling good (not, great) one moment, to wanting to crawl into bed for days,
then next.

Our families, friends and loved ones -- do the best the can with what information
they have -- however, they become inundated with information, side efforts and
stories -- that I feel they become emotionally overloaded -- and retain some
information, not all. Self preservation for their sanity, is how I describe this.

.. ============....

If you are having the neulasta shot -- Please ask your Oncologist about taking a benadryl -- or claritin -- which many of us === swear by -- as they help alleviate that 'just run over by a truck' aches and pains - some of us experience from the neulasta shot. I SWEAR
this helps in alleviating the majority of your pain --

It is so important to remain and continue hydration, water - water, and more water. Splash in a little lemonade, cranberry juice -- or prepackaged crystal light, or Lipton Tea. Herbal Tea's also work for a change of pace.

Rest when you can, as some chemo queens have bouts of insomnia ---

Strength, Courage and HOPE for a Cure :)

Vicki Sam

aysemari's picture
aysemari
Posts: 1587
Joined: Dec 2009

As we know the effects of chemo is cumulative. Hopefully it won't
Be too hard on you. Come and went anytime. Get tons and tons of
Rest and stay hydrated. I drank coconut water it did me a world of
Good.

Hugs
Ayse

DebbyM's picture
DebbyM
Posts: 3294
Joined: Oct 2009

Wishing you good luck Dorene and praying for no side effects.

Hugs, Debby

DianeBC's picture
DianeBC
Posts: 3888
Joined: Jun 2009

So glad you got to have this break and a nice vacation. Wishing you the best of luck Dorene.

Hugs, Diane

ManWithaMission's picture
ManWithaMission
Posts: 497
Joined: Sep 2008

Hello Dorene. I am sorry to hear that you had to take a break from your chemo treatments, but glad you are back to finish them. Yes, it is hard to express your fears to family & friends,because they don't know what to say to you. Or how to react to your feelings and fustrations. That is why you can let those fears out here! Kind of a,"been there, done that" club. This is a great site to "let it all go". Joy, Sorrow, Fears, Good News, Bad News, Fustrations, Loss, Happiness, Love, Hope and more are all here to share.

Keep your left fist up and your chin tucked in and we'll all finish this fight in the end.

Cyber (((HUGS))) and prayers to you, Robert

AngieD's picture
AngieD
Posts: 504
Joined: Sep 2011

So glad to hear your first Taxol went well, Dorene! (I fall asleep every time, too.) I had #4 on Tuesday and still feeling fine--fingers crossed it continues this way. I'm trying to cover as many bases as possible: drinking a lot of water, taking Vit B 6 twice a day to prevent neuropathy, doing saline rinses to prevent mouth/throat sores, putting lotion faithfully on hands and feet. My hemoglobin is gradually coming back up. So far, it's much better that A/C was---sure hope it will be for you also.
Angie

Megan M's picture
Megan M
Posts: 3001
Joined: Dec 2009

Very glad that the taxol went pretty well for you. I am praying that will continue.

You take care and keep us updated,

Megan

susie09's picture
susie09
Posts: 2933
Joined: Jul 2009

Pretty Dorene! I just echo what our friend Robert says and wish you all the best.

How are you doing now?

LoveBabyJesus's picture
LoveBabyJesus
Posts: 1654
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi -- I'm very happy you did well. I pray you continue to do well and that the days go by pretty quickly for you.

Taxol was not hard on me like AC was. The first day was bad, has severe pains (pelvic), and other weird side effects. But that was it. The rest of the treatments were considerably OK. No constipation or nausea! I could eat normal too. Didn't have metal taste. I hope it is even much better for you. Keep us posted please.

Hugs

diansmith's picture
diansmith
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2012

Wanting to send you a best of luck for the new journey with taxol, keep us posted
Cheers

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Praying and hoping that you will tolerate Taxol and have 0 side effects Dorene.

We're all supporting you here BIG time!

Sue :)

diansmith's picture
diansmith
Posts: 25
Joined: Feb 2012

Wanting to send you a best of luck for the new journey with taxol, keep us posted
Cheers

Angie2U's picture
Angie2U
Posts: 2993
Joined: Sep 2009

How are you doing now Dorene? Praying for you.

Hugs, Angie

Kristin N's picture
Kristin N
Posts: 1969
Joined: Mar 2009

So sorry I am late in wishing you the best Dorene. I will be adding you in my prayers.

Jobi's picture
Jobi
Posts: 211
Joined: Jan 2012

Hi, ladies,

Thanks again for the well wishes. I have been okay. Pelvis and back pain are what I have experienced the most, but I am staying in good spirits as much as possible, but it is hard. Wish I could sleep!

Will keep you posted.

Dorene

Ritzy's picture
Ritzy
Posts: 4384
Joined: Aug 2009

Sorry you are still in pain Dorene. Happy to know that your spirits are up! Wishing you a good nights sleep soon!

Keep us updated,

Sue :)

Melaniedoingwell
Posts: 80
Joined: Nov 2011

I had 6 rounds of Taxotere, Carboplatin & Hercpetin. I had the Herceptin every week for 17 weeks then switched to Herceptin every 3 weeks for a full year of it. YAY!! Completely finished on April 19th!

At any rate, I developed what I called Thursdayphobia - my infusion day was Thursday. I would get so anxious each and every Thursday - even when I was only having Herceptin which was not so bad at all that I couldn't sleep, I was just tied up in knots and SOO anxious. My GP had given me a prescription for Xanax, as an anti-anxiety drug. Once my sister and husband convinced me it was really meant to prevent the horrible anxiety I was experiencing I started taking one on Wednesday nights - sometimes Tuesday nights too!! - and amazingly enough I was able to sleep and feel rested before chemo-cocktails. I suggest you might want to look into something like that yourself! Chemo is the pits - and I hear from some people they had no problems with chemo - WHAT!!!!?????

Good luck - fight like a girl.

Melanie

PS - I do not call myself a "cancer survivor" (or as a social worker wanted to impress upon a group of us a "cancer thriver" - that sounds stupid to me!)-- I am a warrior princess. Hope you will be one too!!

e0963986
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2012

Dorene,
My wife also has breast cancer, she just finished a/c and is starting taxol in 2 days, she is an oncology nurse and is still working full time, I know its hard to talk to your family about this horrible disease, but in my opinion your family is your best support, If my wife kept me out of the loop I would be terribly worried, even more then I am now, I feel this is a family crisis and we will fight this together, We wish you the best, this too shall pass. Keep the faith.

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

Ihad a difficult time with chemo overall. However found taxol to be better. I didnt have any allergic reactions, but did get a fever, and a facial rash. overall it was better. so glad it seems to be going well.

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