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So sick after 2nd round of chemo

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

It has been one week since I had my second round of chemo and yesterday I finished my last of 6 nepogren shots and let be tell you what a nightmare it has been. I have never been so sick in my life or in so much pain before. And I know pain I have been suffering with R.A for five years now.
At one point my onco had to give me Iv fluids to hydrate me because I was so weak I could barely stand up.
I knew chemo wasn't going to be easy but I figured if I can give birth to two kids and suffer with my RA and side effects from my heart problems this wasn't going to be that much different. Boy was I ever wrong this is the worst thing in the world chemo truly sucks!
Everyone keeps telling me that I am strong and will get through this but I don't know if I am that strong I still have four more rounds to go.
Yes I have a wonderful husband and support system of family and friends but guilt is getting to me for all they are doing.
All of you ladies out there who have gone through chemo already and those still going through it I take my pink hat off to you.
You are the strong ones and I hope I can draw some of your strength to get me through my next round.
I go Tuesday to see if my ever low WBC has come back up and I pray it has because I can't take another ounce of bad news.
Thanks for listening to me vent, this site has been such a huge help for me and I feel like I know all of you as close friends and sisters.
I hope you all are able to enjoy this weekend and are all doing well

Hugs Christine

lynn1950's picture
lynn1950
Posts: 2573
Joined: Jun 2008

Dear Christine, You are 1/3 of the way through. Chemo is hard, hard, hard...but you can do it. Have you tried Claritin for the bone pain? If you are feeling nauseous, have you tried zofran? If that doesn't work, ativan may help. I remember the drugs that helped the most also made me drowsy and put me to sleep. If the neupogen isn't working, maybe Neulasta would work better. I hope you are feeling better today. xoxoxox Lynn

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

I take my hat off to you Christine for going thru this! I'm so sorry you are sick. Lynn is right, if you can, try to focus on being one third thru it!

With no chemo, I don't have lots of advice for you, but, I am thinking of you and I know you can do it. Please talk to your onco about helping you more. They have a lot of meds out there to help now and you shouldn't be feeling this bad.

Hugs, Lex

heart-in-hand
Posts: 92
Joined: Sep 2012

Chemo is the worst thing that I have ever gone through. It pumps you full of a drug that is designed to kill (the bad cells with the good unfortunately) and some of us had our butts kicked by it, me included.

The best advice I can give is try to keep the goal in mind...it is getting to the cancer, and try to communicate each thing that is going wrong to the oncologist to try to find something that can help. For instance, I found that a prescription Prilosec took the stomach agony away, and Biotene warded off a lot of the mouth issues, etc. One symptom at a time, try to keep fighting. They say keep calling the onc, but mine was AWOL most of the time, and I had to try to go it alone a lot with the prescriptions they gave me. So,if you can get through to the doctor, that is the way to go. When I finally threatened to kill myself they started listening to me, but it was already too late and I could not handle chemo anymore. If I had had some support from the onc. I may have been able to make it, I don't know.

If we could we would crawl through these cyber lines and help you to make it, and give you the meds you need when you need them and take away your fears! I hope that you will feel better after a day or so now and that you can get through this difficult time in your life.

Gentle hug,
Kay

BlownAway60's picture
BlownAway60
Posts: 833
Joined: Nov 2009

Ask your onc about having a standing order for IV fluids after chemo. I had "D" so bad with chemo that I had to have fluids with every chemo starting the day after and sometimes for up to a week. It helped me. I also took zofran for the nausea.

Sending prayers and gentle hugs,

Donna

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you all for your support, understanding and wonderful advice
My onco has been great with giving meds for the pain, and heartburn my bathroom looks like a drug store lol
I know that the I need to look towards the end result but that road just looks o far away and when I think about having to go through all this again in two weeks I just want to cry. This has been the hardest thing I ever had to do.
You are all angels thank you
Hugs Christine

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

My heart breaks knowing how hard chemo is on you. That road is getting closer and we will all be there with you to celebrate. Keep fighting, take your meds, stay hydrated and come here to vent all you want. We get it!

Hugs, Angie

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4010
Joined: Oct 2009

I am so sorry that you are having to go through chemo--especially with RA. That sucks!

I did get very ill with chemo and did have to have IV fluids after just the first round. The chemo nurse that I had then, Cynthia (an angel), took me aside and suggested some meds to help me get through. They really helped!

My WBC, never high, very gradually came back up to my normal (3-4). There was no neupogen in 1987, so there were times when I had to skip chemo (my WBC was <1). That upset me sooo much!!! My onc just said a low WBC means the drugs are effectively figthing your cancer-that made me feel a little better.

I worked through chemo (excepting that first very bad session) and, even though I was exposed to all manner of icky bugs at the hospital where I work, I never got sick.

While your WBC is low I am a firm believer in avoiding crowds, sick people and not shaking hands. When you do shake hands, discreetly use a hand sanitizer as soon as possible (or just wash your hands).

And now, here I am 25 years later! And it is all just a small, bad memory after all these years. Hang in there Christine. I am praying for you and so glad you have a good support system.

Wendy Joy
Posts: 51
Joined: Jan 2012

Start taking Claritin 2 days before getting your shot and keep taking for a few days after you get your chemo. That helped me tremendously with the body aches. Also I took Ativan for extra nausea that the zofran didn't get. And like clockwork 5 days after my chemo I started getting diarhea. Finally got smart and started doing the BRAT (banana, rice, applesauce, toast)on day 5 for a 2 to 3 days. Effexor completely stopped my hot flashes. It is the hardest thing I ever did in my life. Now it is almost 6 months behind me and I feel so good and strong. I even have hair again (very curly)!!! When people ask me how I am doing I say "I feel normal" and that is the best I can hope for. Good luck, you can do it!!!!!

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Thank you for your wonderful advice. I have to check with my dr. About the Claritin cause I have a heart condition and can't take certain things.
I cant wait to feel normal again. Glad to hear that you are done with chemo and are doing well
Hugs Christine

CypressCynthia's picture
CypressCynthia
Posts: 4010
Joined: Oct 2009

Christine, Check with you doctor, but mine said claritin is fine for me. I had a heart attack in 2008. Claritin-D is NOT ok as the decongestant can be a heart stimulant.

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

Not happy to read how miserable you are Christine. I am just so sorry for you. I hope that something written here can help you or your onco can give you something else to ease your side effects.

Hugs, Noel

debsweb18
Posts: 190
Joined: Jun 2012

So sorry you're feeling so bad. I didn't have chemo so I can't imagine. Hope you feel better soon!

Deb

missrenee's picture
missrenee
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

You are officially on my nightly prayer list. I know how hard chemo can be--had 6 rounds of TAC in 2010. It's rough--but you can do this. Please accept any help that is offered to you, rest and relax when you can, use meditation to help you stay strong mentally and know that there are many of us who have been where you are, made it through and are pulling for you.

Love and hugs, Renee

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8314
Joined: Aug 2009

I suffered endlessly from chemo side efforts ---

Just a few suggestions that I found that helped me.

First of all, it is okay to be anxious of the unknown -- Please don't allow this
anxiety to get the best of you. Remember to alert your Onco RN of any unusual
feelings etc .. a list of possible side efforts, which should be presented to
you before your first chemo infusion

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.

If you are getting 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.

Ask for prescriptions for nausea and vomiting -- as well as diarrhea.

Plastic silverware is a must ---
biotin toothpaste and mouthwash is a daily essential
(available at most Target or WalMart)

Food is subjective -- depending on your personal needs and taste buds .. What
taste good or was tolerable 1 week -- changed for me, the very next. I could not
tolerate any foods with sugar, i.e. ketchup, or cola's.

Frequent small snack meals. Whole grains, potatoes, and fruits sit better with
most folks compared to meat, fat, and spicy dishes. Small custards (like egg
custard, corn custard, pumpkin pie custard) might go down easily and provide
protein and needed calories. The old fashioned kind of oatmeal tastes a whole
lot better.

Ginger for your nausea -- many Sisters in PINK swear by Ginger.

To help prevent mouth sores -- suck on ice chips during all chemo treatments.

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

Take goodies to entertain yourself during your infusions -- games, books,
friend, a snack, IPOD, laptop ...

Strength, Courage and Hope.

Vicki Sam

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

I am so grateful to all my pink sister with your wonderful advice, and much needed given strength
Thank you all so very much
Huge Christine

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

I am so very sorry Christine that chemo has hit you so hard. Sending lots of positive thoughts and prayers.

Keep us posted as to how you're feeling. We worry about you.

Hugs, Diane

ksf56's picture
ksf56
Posts: 203
Joined: Apr 2012

I am so sorry you are feeling so miserable! I feel for you - I've been there! I look back and get chills up my spine when I think about it. But I got through it altho I didn't think I would. Don't feel guilt for accepting help - just absorb the love it's given with - it helps you get through all of the treatment. I finished chemo in Jan. 2012 and radiation in March 2012 and I'm in pretty good shape and I'm so happy to be on this side of all that nasty. Always feel free to share how you feel with everyone here - we do understand. Take it one day at a time - see each day as an accomplishment since you got through the day.

With prayers and hugs!
Karen

Kylez's picture
Kylez
Posts: 3765
Joined: May 2009

I am so sorry. Sending lots of hugs!

mom62
Posts: 601
Joined: Mar 2004

Christine,

I'm sorry you are having such a hard time with your chemo. I'm sorry I don't know what kind you are on so I don't have much advice for that. I have RA myself and was suffering two years before I got cancer. I did 4 A/C 4 Taxol and nuprogen shots. I ended up being very anemic and had to have procrit shots as well. I want to let you know that you will get through this and you will come out on the other side. I found counting down to the last chemo helpful. I also found planning something special for the end like a weekend away was helpful too. Guilt is part of it as well. People cooking meals, taking care of your kids etc., but you need to take the help and realize everyone loves you. Don't feel bad about it they wouldn't do it if they didn't want to. Try to watch something funny to lift your spirits a little. We are always here for you if you want to vent.

((hugs))
Terry

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3604
Joined: May 2009

Are you feeling any better Christine? I pray that you are.

Hugs, Lex

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Finally starting to feel better just in time for my next round lol
Thanks Lex
Hugs Christine

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

It's good to read that you're feeling better Christine!

Nymeria12
Posts: 3
Joined: Oct 2012

Hang in there Christine, all the advice I have read is wonderful and will help you.

You will be surprised at how tough you are. I started out with 4 AC and am now down to 2 more Taxol. When all is said and done, I will have had 16 chemo treatments. It has been so hard but I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and am now trying to prepare myself for the next phase, radiation.

If you have friends and family near, reach out to them and ask for their help. My friends would cook meals and freeze them for me so I did not have to have worry about cooking but more importantly, did not have to deal with the smell. They were also constantly bringing over little treats like popsicles, pudding, anything that they could to get me to eat.

It is hard to ask for help but I could not have gotten this far without a support system in place. Sending my thoughts and prayers your way and hoping you can manage the side effects.

Noel's picture
Noel
Posts: 3101
Joined: Apr 2009

Looking for an update Christine. I pray that you will come on and say you're feeling a lot better.

Hugs, Noel

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Noel,

I am finally starting to feel better. I go today for bloodwork and hope my numbers are up so I won't need any more shots.
Thank you so much for your prayers and concern
Hugs Christine

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

Good luck with your blood work and I hope you will feel better!

♥ Kristin ♥

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

16 rounds of chemo you are my hero! I will think of you and your strength and courage when ever I feel like giving up
Thank you for the prayers
Hugs Christine

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5426
Joined: Oct 2010

I have no experience with chemo but just wanted to say " I am thinking of you"

Denise

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

How did your bloodwork turn out? Also, how are you feeling?

Leeza

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Hi Leeza,
My blood count is good, just barely but still good enough not to need anymore shots.
I am so tired all the time the littlest thing I go puts me on the couch for the rest of the day, it's very frustrating I go Thursday 10/18 for my third round and I am really dreading it!
How about you? What treatment are you in and how have you been feeling?
Thanks for checking up on me I really appreciate it
Hugs Christine

jnl's picture
jnl
Posts: 3873
Joined: May 2009

Good to read that your blood count was good Christine so you won't need any more shots. I am sorry you are so tired, but, you do need lots of rest, so, rest as often as you can. I know you are frustrated. How many more treatments do you have? I am wishing you good luck on Thursday. Let us know how you are feeling.

I am doing good! I am out of treatment Christine. I had a lumpectomy followed by radiation. I was very fortunate and didn't need chemo. My heart goes out to all of you sisters that have chemo as part of your treatment.

You take care and continue to rest!

Hugs, Leeza

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

I have 4 more rounds 6 in total. So after Thursday I will be half way there.
Really glad to hear that you are out of treatment and didn't need chemo It must be good to have that all behind you and getting back to normal, I am looking fiorward to that I have to do 35 rounds of radiation after chemo is done. I am hoping to be all done with treatment by the beginning of April.
It is a beautiful day out today I hope you are enjoying it!
Thanks again for all your support!
Hugs Christine

kacee999
Posts: 109
Joined: Oct 2012

By round 3 I pretty much had the whole thing down. I knew almost to the hour how long I would feel "normal" before the incredible fatigue set in. I knew when the "dreams" would start and when the pain would come and how much it was and how long it would last. I just lived hour to hour through it knowing I would go into another "phase" after such and such as time went on. I am like an animal when sick...I go under a bush and stay until I get better. I disappeared into my bedroom and stayed when it got bad. Didn't want cajoling or food or service or any talking. I knew exactly when my WBC would plummet to zero and how I needed to hide from public then. All I can say is ACCEPT it. Know the worse you feel, the more that nasty stuff is killing all those cancer beasties in your system. And yes, it does get progressively worse as it goes on and the toxins build up in your system. But know it is doing its JOB. Good luck!

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

I am going Thursday for round three and dreading it cause I know what is to come. But you are right it is doing its job and I need to just take it day by day and get through it.
Thanks :)

Blondiemomma's picture
Blondiemomma
Posts: 41
Joined: Apr 2012

You've already gotten such good advice and I don't know that I have anything worth adding but I'll tell how it went for me.

No one told me what chemo was going to do to me. I asked later and was told that we have different "cocktails" and everyone reacts differently. I was told mine was a "kinder" cocktail than some. Well, my pink hat is off to all those receiving the worst because I found I was a big weenie.

I got my first dose on a Tuesday along with a ton of steroids which wore off by Friday. I got up for work not feeling great but not that badly. By 9:00 I was not feeling good at all. Ten o'clock saw me feeling really bad. By 11:00, I was headed home. At 12:00, I was afraid I was going to die. By 12:30, I was wishing I would hurry up and die but was afraid I wouldn't. I felt like I had eaten, digested, and pooped glass shards. My guts felt like they were about to explode and I kept wondering how bad it would get before it was over. But recede, it did.

Needless to say, I was not thrilled to go in for the next but when I told my oncologist how it went, he loaded me up with prescriptions for every complaint. I knew from experience that I did not want to have anything in my belly come Day 3. My cocktail is known to be constipating so Day 1 after chemo, I took Milk of Magnesia, need it or not. Day 2, I didn't eat much and gathered my arsenal of medicinal friends at the bedside. Day 3, I didn't get out of bed.

I knew the pain was coming but also knowing that there is a limit and an end helped me to weather the waves of misery. I gave birth in the 70's and was a Lamaze fan. There was one trick that helps me to this day. When I know there will be pain, I relax my face and don't fight it. I soften my forehead and loosen my jaw. Sounds silly, but it works.

After Neulasta, my hips hurt so badly for days. I found that sitting on my microwave-heated-some-kind-of-grain pad helped as much as a pain pill. But, be careful with electric heating pads. You can do skin damage.

Do whatever works for you, you can get through this. My pink hat is off to you.

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

I didn't need chemo or radiation.Stage 0 DCIS. BUT my sister was dx in July.She had her second round of chemo Friday.I called her last night and she was running a slight fever and chilling.Her first treatment she did fine.If her temp gets up to 101 the doctor said to call him. She didn't sleep at all the night of her chemo but the fever and fatigue hit bad last night.I guess this goes along with the chemo treatment but it has to be scary.As someone else said their doctor told them their chemo was kinda.That was what my sister was told but she finding out different now.We all react different.

I'm like you on one other thing.I dehydrate fast.Just the last 6 weeks I had bronchitis.I am just getting over it.I have a call to my doctor.I think I am depleted of all nutrients.I am weak, dizzy and more nervous from being so sick.I can't get down as I lose weight very very fast.Doctor or nurse is suppose to call me. I know I'll hear tomorrow.With my body chemistry I think I will need some vitamin therapy.

Best wishes to you on the last few treatment.My sister has 2 more to go.She'll probably just get over this and time for another round.

Lynn Smith

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Glad you didn't need chemo, but sorry to hear about your sister and the hard time she is having with the chemo. Tell her to try some tyenol pm before bed I fine that it helps me sleep during my chemo rounds. My doctor told me that each round I will feel worst and worst as it builds up in my body so let your sister know that it is normal and that the best thing is for her to drink lots of fluids and rest when she feels tired.
Sorry to hear that you dehydrate fast, I know that when I am sick the last thing I feel like doing is drinking but try ices next time maybe that will help.
Good luck with the dr tomorrow I hope you feel better soon. Let me know what the dr said and if you are feeling any better.
Best if luck to you and your sister
Hugs Christine

kacee999
Posts: 109
Joined: Oct 2012

The worst thing about chemo for me (aside from the terrible dreams and the taste in my mouth) was the bone and muscular pain. That's from the Neulasta and from the Levoquin, if they are giving you that. I think the Adriamycin also contributed. I'd been living on hydrocodone all this time with minimal results. I didn't get relief until 4 months after chemo stopped when I went to a rheumatologist and he gave me Lyrica for the pain. It's for Fibromyalgia. It is a miracle drug...for me. Relief within 12 hours and I've been almost pain free since. I wonder if you could request this DURING chemo. Might ask. Can't hurt (sorry, bad pun).

Ctine70's picture
Ctine70
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2012

Lyrica is a very good drug and glad you were able to find relief from the bone pain it is the worst thing I every experience.
Unfortunately my onco made me stop all my meds for R.A before I started chemo so I have that pain added on to the pains of the shots.
Looking forward to being done with chemo and going back on my RA meds

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