Nugget Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I am about to start adriamycin treatments after having several other chemos. Understand this is the strongest form of chemo available and that it has very nasty side effects. Can anyone tell me about this?


  • LesleyH
    LesleyH Member Posts: 370
    I had the usual cocktail of Adriamycin and Cytoxan and it was very difficult. Everyone reacts differently so your experience may not be the same as mine. My hair fell out of course and I was totally dependent on my anti-nausea drugs. I lost a lot of weight. I was also very tired and the effect was cumulative. I had blurred vision and couldn't read so I watched a lot of TV.

    What helped me: acupuncture really helped. I had it immediately before each treatment. I ate a lot of toast and spreadable fruit, baked yams, and frozen fruit shakes. I really hope you have someone to prepare food for you because if I would rather just not have eaten than make something. I had no energy. I had the treatment every two weeks and the side-effects lasted longer and longer after each treatment. They will tell you to drink a lot of fluid. This is absolutely essential. Find something you like to drink and stock up. I drank so much club soda I felt like I was drowning in it and haven't been able to face it since then.

    Please do take care of yourself. I was totally unprepared for how sick I would feel. Your experience may be totally different.

    Best of luck. Please contact me if I can help.


  • KathiM
    KathiM Member Posts: 8,028 Member
    I, like Leslie, had the usual Adriamycin/Cytoxin mix too. Primary hair fell out within 2 weeks, which is TOTALLY NORMAL. Also, I had a tussle with drugs really helped, but ginger ale and candied ginger seem to work some. But, in one of my treatments, gal next to me said she flew thru the AC, maybe only a little touchy tummy. So EVERYONE is different. Unfortunately, the effects are cumulative, so if you start having any symptoms TELL YOUR ONC right away!!!! Great 4, I was sick as a dog, day 5, I was COMPLETELY back to normal!!!! Also, keep VERY well hydrated. I found ice water tasted delish. That's the other thing for me...I knew when effects were leaving....chocolate tasted good again.
    Above all, remember these side effects are TEMPORARY, and they are worth the battle to achieve VICTORY over the monster (cancer)! Sir Winston Churchill said it best "If you are going through hell, don't stop".
    Good luck, hugs
  • Susan956
    Susan956 Member Posts: 510
    Adriamycin was no picnic... But I found that there were pretty good ways to handle it. I took A/C every Tuesday. I was sleepy Tuesday afternoon due the to pre meds they gave me with the A/C. I normally worked on Wed. But on Thursday mornings. I took the two different meds that gave me for nausea. I kept it beside my bed and didn't move for about an hour. I mostly slept until about 1pm on that day. (I was lucky and only lost my lunch once.) Normally by Friday afternoon I felt fairly normal. On my off treatment week I felt fairly normal and worked the whole week. You do get tired. Especially after 2-3 treatments. I was really ready for my 4th treatment to be over. But it was tolerable for me. I have finished all of my treatement and I am back to being me... YIPEEEE... It felt so wonderful to get my energy back.... So when you get really tired...try to think of it as a temporary issue... and before too long your energy will return.... And even you hair will come back. Mine is now about 1" long....

    Take Care... God Bless.

  • rickeylee
    rickeylee Member Posts: 1
    I am 2 years out since my diagnosis. Adriamycin/Cytoxan was my drugs also. My hair fell out 2 weeks to the day of my first treatment. Yes, expected but still hard to swallow for me. My neice shaved my head that day July 3, 2004 to keep from having to deal with it. I was sick as a dog after my first treatment. I was very healthy otherwise, but still was neutrapenic (may be spelled wrong) right off the bat, had to go in the next day for IV fluids. I found that I would be really tired but so restless that I could not be still. I walked the floors so tired that my doctor gave me meds to help me rest better. Thank goodness for my oncologist.

    I was out of work a week after each treatment. I am a person who does not let anything get her down but this stuff knocked the crap out of me. By the end of the week I was back on track and then by the 3rd week it was time to do it all over again. After it was finished I felt so accomplished having gone through this. It was the biggest fight I had ever fought and I won. Good luck to you!! Terry
  • SweetSue
    SweetSue Member Posts: 217
    I had 4 A/C treatments, lost my hair, but everything else was fine, except low blood count and the chemo treatment was postponed a week or so.
  • tlmac
    tlmac Member Posts: 272 Member
    Hi Nugget, I had 4 cycles of AC three years ago. When the hair began to fall out, I shaved my head and threw on a ball cap. The wig I'd bought in advance never made it to my head. My dad took me every 3 weeks and we always stopped at Bob Evans for lunch following my treatment. They gave me a wonderful drug called Anzamet for nausea. It cost $100 a pill but I was given 3 samples with each treatment and that was all I needed. Today they have much cheaper drugs that are just as good. There were days when I didn't feel like eating but I forced soda crackers or toast at least. I was extremely receptive to the anti-nausea meds and never threw up once. It's cumulative so you'll bounce back a little more slowly with each cycle. Listen to your body and rest whenever you feel tired. Also drink plenty of water before and especially after each treatment. It helps to flush the drugs. Chemo was no picnic but, for me, it wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. Best of luck!