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Taxoter & Cytoxan first Treatment Monday

LittleBee
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2013

Has anyone taken these drugs?  What can I expect?  Not sure how to prepare myself for this new journey and How I will be feeling.  I know each person is different but are the side effects that bad?  I've never had to take any medication and worried about all this posion going into my body...but I know I must do this in order to get rid of the cancer.  Thanks for any advice!

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2204
Joined: Jun 2010

Dear LittleBee,

I never took Taxotere and therefore can't help you.  18 1/2 years ago I did take Cytoxan with 2 other drugs.  It was doable, I worked while doing chemotherapy.

Don't think of it as poison, think of it as a cancer cell killer.  You will do better with it if you do.  

Wishing you a good journey as you begin this part of your treatment.

Best,

Doris

 

 

LittleBee
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2013

Doris:  Thank you for your advice...I forget I have to think positive about all of this!  I was lucky to have a very kind Oncology Nurse that explained everything and kept me calm on my first day.  Of course, my port did not work and we had to flush it out several times but we finally got it going.  

Happy Valentines Day!  LittleBee 

Gabe N Abby Mom's picture
Gabe N Abby Mom
Posts: 2415
Joined: Sep 2010

I did TAC (Taxotere, Cytoxin, adriamycin), so I'm not lots of help either.  But some things that a general to all chemos...

Drink lots of water.  Start hydrating a day or two before chemo and keep going for at least 3 days after your treatment.  Ask your doc or nurse how much they recommend.  I liked smart water for the electrolytes, and vitamin water for the bit of flavor. 

If your taste buds go wonky, eat whatever appeals to you at the moment.  Even if it is not something you normally eat.  I liked bland foods (plain noodles, baked potatoes, instant mashed potatoes).  My chemo ctartlass said to focus on proteins and calories.  They also recommended carnation instant breakfast (now breakfast essentials), which worked well for me when I had to eat something but nothing appealed.  I also found that the more natural (less processed) a food was the better it tasted.

If you get that metallic taste in your mouth, try plastic ware.  For a dry mouth try biotene toothbpaste and/or rinse.  You can find it at any drugstore/walmart/target.  If you get mouth sores ask your doc for majic mouthwash, prevent the sores with  a sal****er rinse 3-4 times a day.

There's more, but I have to take my daughter to ballet.  I'll try to get back on...I hope the T/C goes smoothly for you.

Hugs,

Linda

LittleBee
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2013

Linda:  Thanks for all the great tips, I need them.  I will try the Smart Water and I am looking for some flavor in water, plain water is getting old and this is only my first week.  My throat is sore and I am chewing on ice chips, I guess this is dry mouth.  And now I am starting to feel something funny on my tounge so I guess that is the metallic taste coming into play.  My first day of Chemo was not as bad as I thought, thanks to a great Oncology Nurse I had.  

Happy Valentines Day!  LittleBee

 

 

 

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

Just wishing you good luck with chemo!

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

I took these two drugs for 5 treatments in 2009, before my lumpectomy and radiation.  As everyone is, I was scared to death of being sick all the time.  I was not.  I did have some side effects like diarrhea after 1st round, mouth sores after second round and once a fever.  But a call to the doctor and he'd prescribe something to get rid of the side effects, and I'd be good.  Never threw up once !   And I worked full time throughout my treatment, only missing the day of chemo and the day after.  

Stay positive.  YOu can do this.  Everyone is different and you might not have any side effects at all.   I'm sure you are much younger than I was when I started treatment, so I know you'll do well.  Good luck.

Judy.

 

LittleBee
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2013

Judy:  Thanks for the encouragement!  Your right so far I have not thrown up but had a little heartburn from some things I ate and drank, of which I learned a good lesson.  Thank goodness for Pepcid.  Did you take a Steriod?  It is really giving me hot flashes and slight headaches but they say it is to be expected.  I chew on ice chips and that seems to cool me down.  Wow thought I was over all of that stuff!  I'm 58 by the way.  I guess your immune system goes down 7 to 10 days after infusion and that is when I have to be careful, staying away from crowds, etc.  Did you feel more fatigued on thoses days?  

Happy Valentines Day, LittleBee

telecomjd
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2013

I'm doing four rounds of TC right now.  I go for round three on Friday.  Woo Hoo!  Almost done.

I've done really well on this treatment.  My tummy gets a little weird for about a week after infusion.  I have not thrown up once.  I have been sleepless for a week or so after infusion from the steroids, but find that Benadryl helps me get through the night.  

I wear socks all of the time to keep my feet warm.  I eat lots of yogurt to replenish gut bacteria that die off from treatment.  I take walks and exercise a little to keep myself going.

I starting losing my hair on Day 17 after treatment.  Now, I'm almost completely bald.  Once my hair started falling out, I had my husband shave my head.  So, you may want to think through what you will do if you experience hair loss.

With the Neulasta (not sure if you're getting those injections), the trick of taking Claritin to mitigate bone pain has worked for me.  It doesn't work for everyone.  I have gotten achy, but it's manageable.

I find that I feel crummy for about a week after infusion, and then I go back to being myself.  

Long story short:  Everyone is different, but I feel like a chemo rock star.  I hope you have a good experience with it, too.  Like I said, I'm in the thick of it right now, so reach out if you need to...

Megan

LittleBee
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2013

Megan:  So glad to hear from you, sounds like we are doing the same things.  I have three more treatments myself.  Good tip on Benadryl.  The Steriod gives me hot flashes and boy what a Red Face I have!  I will try the Yogart, any particular brand?  I tried a Yoga class yesterday and did pretty good.  There were only a few poses that I could not do.  I was wondering about the hair loss because they told me probably after 12 to 15 days it would start falling out.  I cut my hair to prepare me with this situation and my husband would love to shave my head but I'm not sure if I trust him!  You are braver than me, my beautician said she would come in special for me when I am ready.  

I am getting Neulasta, the first one has been okay.  Do you get more bone pain as you get more shots?  How did you feel after day 7?  Any weaker they said some more side effects could occur day 7 to 10 but the Neulasta is suppose to help with that and to just be careful with crowds, etc.   My Chemo nurse was great in explaining everything and keeping me calm that first day!   I'm just trying to keep a good attitude and fight this silly cancer!  

Happy Valentines Day!  LittleBee

 

telecomjd
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi, LittleBee,

On the Greek yogurt, I just get what's on sale.  I think it is really helping with my resiliency.  I also have a high-iron cereal with it for breakfast.  A lot of my Breast Friends (as I call my cancer gal network) had issues with anemia.  I just got back from my doctor's office.  I am just a hair anemic -- very close to normal.  They said my levels were "beautiful."

Sounds like you're drinking a lot of water.  I got some PowerAde, Crystal Light, and Coconut Water to spice things up.

On the hair front, everyone seems a bit different.  For me, once I started losing strands in the double digits, that was enough for me to go to head stubble.  Now, I have what I call "cow head" -- a patch here, a tuft there (like spots on a cow).  I lost a lot of stubble on my second cycle.  It's good to order your wigs, scarves, and hats ahead of time.  I got some great sleeping caps, satin pillowcases, and pre-tied scarves from Amazon.

I have been doing recumbent bike with some weights, combined with walks around my neighborhood.  The exercise makes me feel good.

On Neulasta, during the first chemo cycle, I had the worst pain on about day 5.  For the second cycle, I stayed on Claritin longer and did not have any problems but for a tiny bit of achiness.

I have generally avoided people during my whole chemo experience.  I start having visitors and going out more during week two around the 12 day mark.  If I am out in crowds, I use a lot of hand sanitizer and try to keep space between myself and others.  For instance, if we're at the store, my husband will stand in line and I will mill about.  i also find that I can eat pretty normally in mid- to late cycle.

One other tip:  I called my dentist before I started chemo, and he put me on Prevident to help protect my teeth.  That's where I get a lot of my bone sensitivity.

Round three tomorrow.  Bring it on!

Megan

LittleBee
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Megan!  Its been a few days since I have checked in, Day 5 really hit me hard.  They said because I took my last steriod I was going to crash!  Very week, aching and mouth on fire!  Day 6 and 7 the same thing!  But I am feeling better today, my mouth is still sore and my nose is bleeding a little!  I guess all of that is to be expected!  Im going to try and walk a little bit today, I know it would make me feel better.  I will try the Greek Yogurt because I know it is higher in protein.  You had mentioned your teeth, I did notice pain in my jaw and aching in my teeth.  I have been brushing lightly with baking soda.  Have you been able to keep your weight stable? I did lose 3 pounds this weekend.  What brand is your cereal?  That is a good idea finding something high in iron, since green leafy veggies are out of question!  They hurt my stomach!

I had a friend bring me some soup one day to avoid crowds, I know I need to be careful right now.  But it's good to know that after Day 12 you can get out a little.  I guess that is a good time to eat things that you enjoy!  

I did buy some scarfs and a friend of mine sent me some really soft Vera Bradley hats so I am ready for that adventure.  Everytime I get in the shower I always wonder will it be this time that I lose my hair?  

Good luck with Round 3!  I wish I was that far along!  Hang in There!  I will be thinking of you!

Deb

telecomjd
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2013

Yep.  On Day 5 of my first cycle, I had a lot of pain that led me to an emergency visit with my oncologist.  I ended up extending usage of Claritin, and things got better.

My mouth was a little sore.  I used Biotene and the Prevident that my denist prescribed for me.  On the nose bleeds (which also happened to me), I continued using my Neti pot.  I am very careful to boil the water all of the way, because I want to be absolutely certain that I kill any little bugs living in that water.  

On keeping my weight stable, I count calories using FatSecret.  There is a website, tablet, and cell phone app available.  That way, I can track what I am eating in case I get sick.

On cereal, I eat Trader Joe's Multigrain O's.  But there's lots of options out there, I am sure (I am sure Cheerios or Fiber One or Total make good choices).  The green leafy veggies are something that I reintroduce later in my chemo cycle.  I also have heard wonderful things about drinking Ensure -- loaded with vitamins and iron.

I have been more daring as time has gone on with being around other people.  You will find your groove.  Just take a face mask and hand sanitizer.

I am proud of your progress.  You'll get there.

Go!  Fight!  Win!

Megan

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

Go Fight Win are excellent words and ones that I will echo to show my support of how brave you are! 

LittleBee
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2013

Megan:  I have been having some really strong days and enjoying every minute of it!  I even went to a early morning Yoga class...Yeah!

But I also noticed that my scalp was real tender yesterday and I am approaching Day 16, Did you scalp get tender before you lost your hair?  I know I am suppose to be prepared for this but your really not!  My next treatment is March 4th!  At least now I know what to expect...You feel really strong and then get knocked back down...like a roller coaster but there is light at the end of the ride!  

I hope you are doing okay!  Be Healthy, Heal, Survive and Thrive!

LittleBee

telecomjd
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2013

I noticed a couple of subtle changes in my scalp before my hair started to fall out.  Luckily, I did not have too much sensitivity.  I have heard from other "Breast Friends" that this was a precursor to their hair falling out.

There is really only so much you can do to prepare.  I had everything lined up, and I still found it to be an emotional experience.  But, I took control of it by deciding to have my husband shave my head when I was ready to do so.  That made me feel good.

I have been going out in my wigs, and they make me feel great.  People who have known me for years express surprise at how close the wigs are to my actual hair, although they are synthetic.  There is life without hair -- don't be afraid of it.

My last treatment is four days after your next one.  Hold strong.  Like you, I am fighting some skin issues/sensitivity right now.  But, we can and will do this!

Fight on!

Megan

Pink Rose
Posts: 495
Joined: Nov 2012

Sending positive thoughts and strength to you LittleBee!

Hugs, Rose

Eleanor1's picture
Eleanor1
Posts: 68
Joined: Sep 2012

Every person is different. Just got done with mine with the same drugs for 4 sessions every 3 weeks,3 weeks ago. At first everything was ok until my 3rd where I developed severe itching and redness, developed a dark masked pigmentation in my face. My onco said it was one of the worst one and she treated me with 2 antihistamines round the clock for 2 weeks so if you feel just a little itching, you need to tell your onco. This was a reactin on the taxoterene. On my 4th, I was premeditated already so I didn't have the same reaction. It seems like I had more reactions on the Taxotere, all my nails turned dark like the other ladies, except for one and two toenails. I am under a dermatologist now for my face and its getting lighter, she said it will probably takes about 4 months before it clears up. I didn't have nausea or diarrhea , I had more constipation and bloating. Taking stool softeners and laxative helped a lot. I had a lot of fatigue, sometimes I get deppress a lot. It's very necessary that you tell all these to your doc so they can give you medications to help you go through this journey. I am still recovering and I still have a long way to go. Radiation starts next month. I am very hopeful, just take one step at a time. Good luck and I wish the best for you.

Eleanor1's picture
Eleanor1
Posts: 68
Joined: Sep 2012

Every person is different. Just got done with mine with the same drugs for 4 sessions every 3 weeks,3 weeks ago. At first everything was ok until my 3rd where I developed severe itching and redness, developed a dark masked pigmentation in my face. My onco said it was one of the worst one and she treated me with 2 antihistamines round the clock for 2 weeks so if you feel just a little itching, you need to tell your onco. This was a reactin on the taxoterene. On my 4th, I was premeditated already so I didn't have the same reaction. It seems like I had more reactions on the Taxotere, all my nails turned dark like the other ladies, except for one and two toenails. I am under a dermatologist now for my face and its getting lighter, she said it will probably takes about 4 months before it clears up. I didn't have nausea or diarrhea , I had more constipation and bloating. Taking stool softeners and laxative helped a lot. I had a lot of fatigue, sometimes I get deppress a lot. It's very necessary that you tell all these to your doc so they can give you medications to help you go through this journey. I am still recovering and I still have a long way to go. Radiation starts next month. I am very hopeful, just take one step at a time. Good luck and I wish the best for you.

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

Eleanor, what you said is so right. Littlebee, just take it one step at a time, one day at a time.  I know it can seem overwhelming, but, just know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we will be there to celebrate with you when you finish.

Keep posting and updating us.

 

 

LittleBee
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2013

Yes, I guess we all react differently.  My Onco said it was probably a delayed reaction to the Taxoter because of my rash and that it was beat red and I wanted to claw my skin.  Benadryl helped me alot but that darn stuff made me sleepy!  My second treatment is March the 4th, the Onco said they are going to give me Steriods longer because of the delayed reaction.  But now I know what to expect and hopefully it doesn't get worse.  

I wish you the best in recovery!  I know I have to remind myself one day at a time!  

Thanks for the encouragement, LittleBee

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

I'm glad the benadryl helped you.  Good luck on the 4th!  Post an update so we know how it goes for you.

Hugs, Debby

Gyalmo
Posts: 1
Joined: Feb 2013

Dear All,

I am also planning to begin four rounds of T/C very soon.  I am so glad to hear the helpful advice by everyone here.  I am scared, mostly of having permanent cognitive damage, or Chemobrain for the rest of my life.  Any suggestions for retaining mental clairty both during and after treatment?

 

 

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