taxol and herceptin

bellaluna Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hi: I am new to this page. I've never before joined a discussion group. The long and the short of it is, I have just begun weekly (3 weeks) Taxol and then a year of Herceptin. At age 47, I was originally diagnosed with DCIS in '02 and had a lumpetctomy,then mastectomy. Another lumpectomy on other breast in '04 (I asked the surgeon to remove the breast, but he was reluctant, saying I didn't have a family history). This past January, surprise, I was diagnosed with a new breast cancer and had a mastectomy. This diagnosis, high-grade DCIS with micro-invasion and estro/prog 1, Her2neu. Initially, was told no need for chemo, but then had one of those 'interesting' pathology cases where two major medical centers recommended Taxol and Herceptin. It's been a dance, these long years, but who's life isn't.

I mostly thought I'd check in, too, to see about side effects. I just finished week 2 and was bone tired for two days. My scalp has begun to itch like crazy. Otherwise, I have to say I was so relieved by my initial good response to the chemo/Herceptin. Just wondering about the skin itching stuff. I took a benadryl tonight but with two active kids and wanting to have a 'life', I'd rather not keep doing this. Also, get a port in Tuesday.
Thank you!!!


  • tommaseena
    tommaseena Member Posts: 1,769
    welcome bellaluna
    I welcome you to this group of people who are caring and supportive--none of us want to be here but we are a great group of people.

    I was diagnosed with DCIS with invasion 12/8/08-had double mastectomy 2/2/09-Path report estro/prog negative HER2+. I had 4 rounds of A/C and have had 3 of 12 treatments of Taxol w/Herceptin and then will have one year of Herceptin(every three weeks).
    I have a almost 6 year old boy-so I know about not taking anything.

    The itching part could be your hair follicles-because when I was receiving the AC my scalp would itch and then my hair fell out. Since I don't have the hair my scalp still itches sometimes but not too bad. I lotion mine right up--I shine--make sure people are wearing sunglasses.

    I would talk with your doctor--it could be a side effect.

    Welcome to the board,
  • CR1954
    CR1954 Member Posts: 1,390 Member
    Welcome bellaluna, although I'm sorry for your dx.

    The itching could be from your hair getting ready to fall out, but it could also be an allergic reaction to the Taxol.
    Make sure that you let your onc know about the itching.

  • Christmas Girl
    Christmas Girl Member Posts: 3,682 Member
    Warm welcome, bellaluna!
    Though sorry for the reason you're here. You've chosen the perfect group (the first for me, too) - amazing folks with open hearts.

    Visit often. No questions are off limits. No thoughts that cannot be expressed.

    Best wishes to you.

    Kind regards, Susan
  • tgf
    tgf Member Posts: 950 Member

    Warm welcome, bellaluna!
    Though sorry for the reason you're here. You've chosen the perfect group (the first for me, too) - amazing folks with open hearts.

    Visit often. No questions are off limits. No thoughts that cannot be expressed.

    Best wishes to you.

    Kind regards, Susan

    Hi Bellaluna...

    I just had my 11th of 12 weekly taxol/herceptin treatments last Friday. I can honestly say it was a total breeze ... until week 8 when I sort of "hit the wall" with exhaustion. Up to that point the only side effects I'd had were very minor ... and totally manageable. I had skin rashes (itching on the back) then dryness on my hands etc. etc. I'd been told that with taxol/herceptin I would NOT lose all of my hair but it WOULD get thinner. In my silly mind ... "thinner" meant a few hairs here and a few hairs there. But ... just in case I'd bought a hat ... to be prepared. From what I'd been reading on the posts here ... it seemed that most people who were going to lose their hair lost it between day 13-20 ... so ... low and behold on day 15 I ran my fingers through my hair and ... surprise ... my hair was thinning alright. In hunks. :-) Anyway ... after running my hands through my hair a few times I realized I couldn't go on with hair flying all over the place and I needed to take control so I called a friend and she shaved my head. It's been a relief ... really. There's been some itching and burning ... but the dermatologist gave me some foamy stuff to put on and it really helped.

    There's been absolutely NO nausea ... altough there I have had some real problems with constipation. Right now ... my main "complaint" is the exhaustion. I think I could sleep 28 hours a day if I could. But ... I can't. I still work full time ... and try to cope. Chemo brain has been a problem for me ... unable to concentrate etc. but the people at work have been very patient and understanding. After all ... I'm 65 ... and the I'm entitled to be a bit flakey ... huh?

    Well ... gotta go take another nap ... z z z z z z z z

  • dmdudra
    dmdudra Member Posts: 50
    Hi and welcome.. I am glad to say I have been done with the A/C treatment and I am now done with treatment #10 with 2 more to go on the taxol.. My head did itch when I started the A/C but does not now with the taxol.. in fact my hair is growing back.. yay.. my head did does itch when I wear my wig.. I have a 14 yr old and an 8 yr old at home and I understand about the wanting an active life of which I have this treatment has not slowed me down at all but when I get sick I am down..I agree ask your doctor..take care and I wish you luck
  • Kristin N
    Kristin N Member Posts: 1,968 Member
    Welcome bellaluna! I am
    Welcome bellaluna! I am sorry that you have to be here as a result of bc, but, this place is amazing. Ask any question and the wonderful people here will reply to you. Good luck!
  • phoenixrising
    phoenixrising Member Posts: 1,508
    Welcome Bellaluna
    I'd like to compliment you on your name, "beautiful moon", I love it. Sorry you have to be here. Nothing like BC to set you back on your butt but all the lovely ladies here will help you through it all. I haven't done Herceptin so I can't help you out there but my hair came back in on taxotere. I don't remember any itching with it but I did have scalp problems with the FEC. I don't know how often you need to take Benadryl. If it's once a day perhaps taking it at night would be better for your daytime energy and also help you sleep. Just a thought. Best of luck to you.