Chemo side effects - how sudden?

TraciInLA
TraciInLA Member Posts: 1,994 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hoping some of you can give me some guidance here...

I will start chemo (Cytoxan/Taxotere) next week. My oncologist is astoundingly confident and reassuring that I'll tolerate it well and be able to keep working, which I intend to do.

I have a sedate desk job, but my office is an hour's bus ride from home. I'm finding my biggest fear (well, at least for today -- my fears rotate on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis :-) is that I'll feel okay to go to work, get to work, then side effects will kick in all of a sudden and I won't be able to get myself home.

Am I overreacting here? Do side effects come on suddenly and unpredictably, or will I likely be able to gauge them a little better, so that I'll know whether or not to stay home on a particular day?

Any input most welcome and appreciated!

Traci

Comments

  • tjhay
    tjhay Member Posts: 655
    how sudden
    Its hard to say how sudden the side effects will hit you, or if at all. As a suggesion maybe you should see if you can arrange to do your treatment in the afternoon like on a Friday so that you have the weekend off to recover.
    tjhay

    P.S. remember we are all here for you, and you can do this
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    You could take the day of
    You could take the day of chemo treatment off and see how it goes. It affects everyone differently.
  • Noel
    Noel Member Posts: 3,095 Member
    Marcia527 said:

    You could take the day of
    You could take the day of chemo treatment off and see how it goes. It affects everyone differently.

    Marcia probably has the best
    Marcia probably has the best idea if you can do it. Take the day off when you have chemo. That way, if you do have side effects, you will be at home and not at work worrying about it.

    Good luck next week!

    Hugs, Noel
  • Christmas Girl
    Christmas Girl Member Posts: 3,682 Member
    Everyone is affected differently...
    For example, and my chemo was different than yours - I tended to "crash" 48 hours after actual treatment. Some feel side effects almost immediately. And, for some it gets easier. For others, side effects are cumulative (i.e., become more intense as treatments progress).

    As has already been suggested - maybe schedule your very first treatment on a Friday and take that day off from work. So, you'll also have the weekend to see how it goes for you, and maybe to recover. And, arrange back-up transportation home from work, in case you need it. You mentioned a bus - are cabs/taxis also available? Or, a family/friend/neighbor able to pick you up, if necessary?

    Best wishes that you'll do very well with chemo, as your onc predicts.
  • elm3544
    elm3544 Member Posts: 748
    I am also on cytoxin and
    I am also on cytoxin and taxotere. My doctor told me I would feel like cleaning house and going to work. For me the first treatment caused me to feel confused and emotional at work. I work in a call center and could not concentrate on my job. I stayed a whole hour and a half and went home! The neulasta shot hit me early too the same day I got it as opposed to 3 days later as I was told. I had my second treatment Monday and the side effects kicked in even sooner and more intense than the first time. But I have read on earlier posts that others have gone to work every day with no problems! I hope you do well on this and remember taking care of yourself is most important!
  • susie09
    susie09 Member Posts: 2,930
    elm3544 said:

    I am also on cytoxin and
    I am also on cytoxin and taxotere. My doctor told me I would feel like cleaning house and going to work. For me the first treatment caused me to feel confused and emotional at work. I work in a call center and could not concentrate on my job. I stayed a whole hour and a half and went home! The neulasta shot hit me early too the same day I got it as opposed to 3 days later as I was told. I had my second treatment Monday and the side effects kicked in even sooner and more intense than the first time. But I have read on earlier posts that others have gone to work every day with no problems! I hope you do well on this and remember taking care of yourself is most important!

    Maybe, you should take the
    Maybe, you should take the day off for the first one at least. And, try to schedule it for a Friday, so that you have the weekend to rest. Everyone reacts differently. Some people continue to work and some can't do anything but lay on the couch. So, just wait and see how you do. Noone is the same. Good luck!
  • Kylez
    Kylez Member Posts: 3,761 Member
    susie09 said:

    Maybe, you should take the
    Maybe, you should take the day off for the first one at least. And, try to schedule it for a Friday, so that you have the weekend to rest. Everyone reacts differently. Some people continue to work and some can't do anything but lay on the couch. So, just wait and see how you do. Noone is the same. Good luck!

    Your oncologist isn't going
    Your oncologist isn't going to really know how you will feel. Everyone tolerates chemo differently. If you can, take the day off from work for your first treatment and see how you do. Good luck!
  • ohilly
    ohilly Member Posts: 441
    you'll be okay
    Everyone's experience may be different, but if your experience is anything like mine, you should be fine: I had four treatments of Cytoxan/Taxotere every 3 weeks. The only side effects I had were a bad taste in my mouth (which went away after the chemo) and hair loss. I did not feel nauseous at all or even tired, and worked the whole time.

    Feel free to pm me if you have other questions.

    Ohilly
  • Kristin N
    Kristin N Member Posts: 1,968 Member
    ohilly said:

    you'll be okay
    Everyone's experience may be different, but if your experience is anything like mine, you should be fine: I had four treatments of Cytoxan/Taxotere every 3 weeks. The only side effects I had were a bad taste in my mouth (which went away after the chemo) and hair loss. I did not feel nauseous at all or even tired, and worked the whole time.

    Feel free to pm me if you have other questions.

    Ohilly

    It seems that most had the
    It seems that most had the side effects within the second treatment or so. But, I also think that everyone is different. Just take it one day at a time!

    Good luck!
  • survivorbc09
    survivorbc09 Member Posts: 4,374 Member
    Kristin N said:

    It seems that most had the
    It seems that most had the side effects within the second treatment or so. But, I also think that everyone is different. Just take it one day at a time!

    Good luck!

    I pray that you have no side
    I pray that you have no side effects. Some do as you see, and, some don't.
  • MAJW
    MAJW Member Posts: 2,510 Member
    Chemo
    Traci,
    Try not to be afraid......easier said than done, I know! I am on the exact same "chemo cocktail." I have my 3rd of 4 this Monday, July 27. I was terrified for my first infusion, but I must say it, for me wasn't bad at all. I have not had the first bit of nausea, due to great anti nausea drugs, pills at home starting the day before chemo, then for the first 15-20 minutes of chemo they pump me full of more anti nausea drugs and benadryl, then they wait about 15 minutes for those to kick in before starting the "big guns." What got me the first time was the Neulasta injection, the next day. It kicked my butt, bone pain and muscle spasms. But it didn't bother me the second time nearly as bad.....some discomfort but that's about it. I did have "chemo revenge" but Immodium stopped that and my oncologist told me to take that at the first sign of diahhrea from now on so as not to become dehydrated. I drank enough water and gatorade to float a battleship and I do think that helped a lot. I didn't have much of an appetite, nothing tasted good or right for about 5 days....But I more than make up for it once the taste buds return! So try to eat, even if you don't feel like it. I eat a lot of soups...oh and EAT before you chemo infusions....They say eat something that will stick with you. I eat a bagel and oatmeal and they feed me during my infusion, even fed my husband!
    I hope this has helped ease some fears.....everyone is different......If you have any more questions I would be happy to help, if I can.

    I wish you well
  • cathlinberreth01
    cathlinberreth01 Member Posts: 38
    MAJW said:

    Chemo
    Traci,
    Try not to be afraid......easier said than done, I know! I am on the exact same "chemo cocktail." I have my 3rd of 4 this Monday, July 27. I was terrified for my first infusion, but I must say it, for me wasn't bad at all. I have not had the first bit of nausea, due to great anti nausea drugs, pills at home starting the day before chemo, then for the first 15-20 minutes of chemo they pump me full of more anti nausea drugs and benadryl, then they wait about 15 minutes for those to kick in before starting the "big guns." What got me the first time was the Neulasta injection, the next day. It kicked my butt, bone pain and muscle spasms. But it didn't bother me the second time nearly as bad.....some discomfort but that's about it. I did have "chemo revenge" but Immodium stopped that and my oncologist told me to take that at the first sign of diahhrea from now on so as not to become dehydrated. I drank enough water and gatorade to float a battleship and I do think that helped a lot. I didn't have much of an appetite, nothing tasted good or right for about 5 days....But I more than make up for it once the taste buds return! So try to eat, even if you don't feel like it. I eat a lot of soups...oh and EAT before you chemo infusions....They say eat something that will stick with you. I eat a bagel and oatmeal and they feed me during my infusion, even fed my husband!
    I hope this has helped ease some fears.....everyone is different......If you have any more questions I would be happy to help, if I can.

    I wish you well

    chemo
    I worked 6 hours the day after my first chemo and 6 hours the day after that but I took the third day off. I told my employer to be flexible those first few days after chemo and they have been great. I have mild nausea, sore throat and major fatigue.

    Today I have been home and I feel like a cat or a toddler. I do okay, feel up to doing little things, and then I get tired and go lie down and take a nap. I napped almost 3 hours this morning and took a 2 (45 minute) naps this afternoon.

    Everyone is correct in that you won't know how it affects YOU until you do it.
  • faithandprayer
    faithandprayer Member Posts: 177
    Good Luck
    Sorry Traci,
    I'm on different chemo - in both varieties, mine hit about 1 1/2 days after chemo.
    I noticed that when I go in well rested w/lots of fluids & rest after, allowing it to do it's thing, I feel better in the days to follow. If I'm too active for a day, I suffer & try to catch up the entire cycle - fatigue is a major factor to watch for - be careful while working & listen to your body!

    I'm wishing & praying for the best for you as you begin!
    KC