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Starting My Chemo ;/

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

Well Monday is the day that I start my chemo treatments.  I'm not thrilled but I want to hurry up and get this crap over and done with.

 

I had the pleasure of watching a "educational" video yesterday on the subject.  Oh boy :(

No green tea, no leafy veg., limited on certain fruits, if I want to make love with my husband he has to wear a condom?????? Seriously!And I won't be able to have my Merlot for the entire duration of this crap!!!!  I'm just glad that I only have 18 weeks of this **** and a year of herceptin and NO RADIATION!!!

 

Oh and I"m just so freaking miserable with the tightness in my chest, that damn port that seems to want to pop out at any moment and then stick me when my wonderful bra strap rubs on it.

 

Sorry for my rant.... I'm just cranky today and its cold with snow outside, not to mention yesterday was my daughter's birthday was yesterday and we have to plan her birthday around my freaking treatments SUCKSSSSSSS.  

littleangel65
Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 2013

I hope that all goes well for you, I know this whole ordeal is not something we look forward to, but I had a port put in, went through 4 rounds of chemo, getting ready to finish up my herceptin, and I had 33 rounds of raditation.

Maybe I can help some with your port, if you just had it put in, it will get better within the next couple of weeks, and you'll almost not notice it, you will have some probs, but it will get better, you'll learn how to adjust to it.

As far as the chemo goes, your doctor should give you some pre meds prior to your infusion treatments, and some pills to take home, just incase you should get sick, but I was lucky, I never got sick, I was dizzy, tired, and had the metallic taste, but chewing gum seemed to help with that, and it lasted with me for like 10 days after my chemo treatments, then it would go away, until my next chemo treatment.

As far as the condom thing, I had just gotten out of surgery, and I can't help you with that one, I was kinda ashamed of my body, not only did I have my right breast removed, but I had to have my uterus taken out, it was grossly enlarged, but not cancerous, but I was cut across the chest area, not to mention just below my rib cage, to just below my belly button, not a pretty site.   But I survived it, and I have every reason to believe you will to, and its ok to vent, we all need to, it's not knowing that scares us, but sounds like you are a very strong person, and you will do well with your treatments, and kick this cancer.  Hang in there, stay strong.

Linda

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

The port was put in Feb 15 and still a pain in the arse but I just went out and purchased a different sports bra and that made a BIG difference.

My Doctor did give me other meds to help with nausea, I just have to pick it up tomorrow :(

 

I had a hysterecomy in 07 due to cancer but have one ovary left but my surgery was done vaginally. But I cringe when I look at myself in the mirror lately.  It's gotten better but still very frieghtful.

I am alive and enjoy being around my husband.  I don't want to lose that special bond we have.

 

I just can't wait until I can be ME again.

SIROD's picture
SIROD
Posts: 2121
Joined: Jun 2010

Sometimes, we have to rant and I only wish back when I had been diagnosed (1994) with breast cancer there had been a place like this discussion board.   Books were available and magazine articles both scholarly and contemporary but the internet was a few years away for me.  I did attend a local support group until it went defunct.  I finally when online and found a place  but when you posed a question, it took weeks to have a reply and mostly there was no replies.  Cry    Then suddenly, this discussion board became very active.  Did I have questions and I did receive some replies, YES!  Smile

 

Prior to my mastectomy, I had a "minor abdominal hernia surgery" that developed into a staph infection that nearly cost me my life.   I had two surgeries to rectify the problems.  The last one was left open to heal from the inside out.  I had to clean it and pack it with gauze 3 times a day.  I finally took the bandages off on my 2nd round of treatment of chemotherapy four months after the surgery.   

 

I had been badly burned 17 years prior and had scars from the waist down, now add 4 abdominal surgery and a mastectomy with lymph node dissection.  Looking at myself took a lot of courage that first time.   I kept asking myself how I had fallen so far into hell.  Kiss

 

What really bothered me is the "dog ear" that was left near the arm pit.  If your unfamiliar with "dog ear" your lucky.  It's extra skin left behind in case one might want reconstruction in the future.  I was about to have the "dog ear" removed when my first recurrence happened.  A tumor in the armpit that I insist be removed by having a 2nd lymph node dissection on level 2 nodes and some where taking on level 3.  Only now 18 1/2 years later have I developed lymphedema.  I must say that I never wore a sleeve and did fly some very long flights.  Why now, I ask?  No time limit on the condition, can happen right away or years later.  One of the perks!  Wink

 

I had a port put in on the 22nd.  It is a pawerport and I don't like it anymore than I did the one I had in 1994/95.  It will allow contrast dye, blood draws and infusions and since I'm a "Hard Stick" (no veins, one arm) I know it's a blessing.  It is tender still to touch and in no time, it will toughen up.  I use EMLA cream to put on it before I go for anything.  Cream needs to be apply 1 hour before infusion.  I avoid pain if I can prevent it.  Undecided

 

It was 18 1/2 years on Saturday that I knew I had breast cancer, I could see the dimpling and feel the lump.  I made all kinds of excuses before bringing myself to have the mammogram.   I had postponed the mammo while going through the staph infection.  I went, they saw, the doc called and within a week, my breast was gone, within a month I was doing chemo treatments.

 

My then oncologist "forgot to order radiation".   On March 17, 1995, I began Tamoxifen.  I have only been treated with hormonal drug therapies.  After the first recurrence, within a year the discovery of 2 rib lesions were found.   I was NEAD (no evidence of active disease) until 2008.  Finally in February 2013, I'm really out of hormonal drug therapies.  

 

I'm with you ladies, Sun Whitey and Blazintrails in the chemo joint.  Learning all over again.  

 

 Best to all of us in treatment.  Cool

 

Doris

 

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

Wow have you have been through a lot Doris and God Bless you for all your journey's My heart and prayers go out to you for all yosur strength and courage.

 

I hope I'm as strong as you.

 

 

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

Wow have you have been through a lot Doris and God Bless you for all your journey's My heart and prayers go out to you for all yosur strength and courage.

 

I hope I'm as strong as you.

 

 

bkelli2000's picture
bkelli2000
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2013

I know how you feel my first round of chemo was 3 weeks ago. The port hurt so bad for 2 days they minimize the pain when they explain the procedure. It itches and it creeps me out to much to scratch it.  I am new at this too but I thought I would tell you my worst side affect was costipation it was absolutley horrible. unbearable !! I would suggest you get a stool softner asap just in case. I wont get into the gruesome things that happened to me for something that can be easily prevented. I  had a few other issues but the chemo was not as bad as I thought. I hope you take the chemo ok and your white blood cells stay up that is when my pain staarted. I did not know about the condoms noone told me that. I wish you much luck.....Kelli

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi Kelly,

Thank you for your advice :)  I'm aleady grossed out about touching the port but on the good news is that I purchased a different sports bra that doesn't rub against it as much.  That other bra was just horrible!

 

I don't know what to expect about chemo but I just know I have to go through with all this in order to get to the positive side.

 

Good luck with your treatments too :)

 

Thank you again

Sun Whitey
Posts: 36
Joined: Jan 2013

I'll be with you.  I start in 4 weeks.  I'll be learning right alongside with you.  All my good wishes, prayers, hugs and love are being sent to you blazintrails....you can do this.  I believe in you.

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

My thoughs and prayers are with you during your treatments and this nasty C thing.

 

Lots of (((HUGS))) to you also :)

 

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

Wishing you good luck tomorrow with your chemo.  I hope you have no side effects.

Hugs, Noel

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you Noel

So far so good.  Little dizzy and lots of heart burn (with meds and tums)  but ok so far. 

telecomjd
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2013

Having just finished chemo on Friday, and working through my (hopefully) last round of side effects now, here are a couple of tips that I found helpful:

  • Hydrate constantly.  Mix it up with water, Powerade, Crystal Light, coconut water or whatever.  But push those toxins out.
  • Stool softener.  It's disgusting, but it's better than feeling like you're going to pass out every time you have to go to the bathroom.
  • Satin pillowcases.  They're comfy on your head and less abrasive when hair starts coming out (if that happens to you).
  • Sleeping caps.  Same reason.  They keep your head warm and seem to reduce friction.  Plus, they catch hair so you don't need to vacuum your pillow every morning.
  • Warm socks.  I have been wearing socks throughout my treatment to protect my feet.  I opt for SmartWool.  I only take them off to shower.  I have no idea if they helped, but I did not have neuropathy issues.  (It also helped that I take daily walks and continue to workout a bit, methinks).
  • Eyebrow/lash gel.  Someone recommended a gel from Brian Joseph's website to me.  I purchased some, and it appears to have slowed down the process of losing my eyelashes and eyebrows.  Again, I have no idea if it actually worked or not.  But, it seemed okay for me.
  • Yogurt.  I've been eating yogurt daily to replenish gut bacteria killed off by the chemo.
  • Cereal.  I also consume high-in-iron cereal to combat anemia.
  • Non-alcoholic beer.  This lets me pretend that I am having a drink without inducing any guilt.  Some European brands are pretty decent.  And, why drink a nice glass of wine or quality beer if you can't taste it right anyway?

Again, who knows what actually was effective and what was not.  I have skated through this pretty healthy, and I hope you will, too.  Just remember that you will be better prepared for round two -- you'll know your side effects, and you'll have all of the tools on hand to combat them.

Fingers crossed for a successful treatment...

M

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you Telecomjd for all your advice. 

I hope I'm as lucky as you and skate through with minimun bumps..  So far so good but day one after treatment.  Little dizzy and lots of heart burn even with meds and tums. 

 

Got to run.  Have to do injection in 15 minutes :0

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

I hope chemo wasn't as bad as you expected.  Please be sure and talk with your doc if you have any trouble with any side effect.  There are solutions for almost any s/e, and in many cases there are several options.  Also come here and ask, not every doctor knows everything.  Or there might be a creative solution from one of our kindred.  Good luck.

Hugs,

Linda
 

blazintrails's picture
blazintrails
Posts: 52
Joined: Feb 2013

Hi Linda,

 

So far my blood pressure went Very low and they hooked me up to more liquids which brought me back up to 100/70.  Today I'm sore but ok.  I just feel acky.  Hopefully this will pass and that is all to expect would be nice. 

telecomjd
Posts: 66
Joined: Jan 2013

The blood pressure stuff is awful.  I ended up eating a lot of high-sodium foods to make myself feel better.  It's kind of disgusting, but it seemed to work.  Just do your best to muscle through.  The yuckiest stuff passes after the first handful of days.  Crossing fingers that the worst is almost over.

M

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