First cycle Chemo Girls - Laurissa, Marilyn, Natly, Pitt and Pat

VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Congrats on your first chemo treatment... I'm finishing my 2nd round TCH, Herc & Herc - 3 week treatment plan -- total of 18 weeks...or 6 cycles.

I've been lurking here on the boards the past week and not posting as often as I would like to offer support and encouragement.

So out with it... I've been suffering from chemo side efforts, big time. I am so unhappy that my onc and his staff never ever outlined the severe symptoms of Chemo .. I found several websites - enter my treatment med's and found out the potential side efforts... UGLY - is all I can say. Personally, I feel onc did not want to scare me up front - for fear that I would have made a run for the nearest office exit. Also, findings are based on clinical trials - and we are individuals. And not part of a clinical trial.

My humble option is that we will suffer from side efforts - the degree will vary depending on our age, if we had children (C-Section's), previous surgeries, and previous cancer diagnosis or treatment. Myself.. Thyroid cancer + rads, and cervical cancer. Our bodies were not created to withstand the horrors of chemo drugs. With this being said - I am so very thankful that in 2009 DRUG are available to keep us ALIVE for years to come. Chemo is now commonly used to shrink tumors, prior to breast cancer surgery - how far have we come -- 10 years ago, breast would have been removed in a blink of an eye.

Yes -- we will lose our scalp hair - option // hats, scarves or wigs

Yes -- eye lashes and eyebrows will be lost by the end of 4th treatment -- sunglass or eyewear will be needed to keep debris from getting into our precious eyes.

Yes -- we will have mouth sores. Many posting here on ACS - breast cancer site to help alleviate pain and sores.

Yes -- I have nose sores & canker sores -- //Q-tip with anti-biotic cream.

Yes -- blurred vision... // rest your eyes - use reading glasses if necessary.

Yes -- Fatigue, lack of energy for life // we are WARRIORS fight breast cancer - -- and FIGHT to the bitter end. Stand in place and walk, move arms... tell you that you will walk up your stair case 5 to 7 times today, tomorrow - 7 to 9 times. .. Not easy to do... Make it a daily game... some days will be more successful than others.

Yes -- The majority of bc WARRIORS will experience constipation... there are 7 postings... pages 4, 6 7 and so on -- with wonderful tips... that DO work .. Believe me... I endured 5 days of constipation... suggestions DID work for me.

Yes -- Some WARRIORS will gain weight due to stress eating and hormones, others will lose weight... Our taste buds have been fried... so nothing tastes as good as looks -- eat healthy... soups, veggies, apple sauce, cottage cheese, yogurt... Watermelon agreed with me, not grapes or applies. ---Fiber, Protein, and Fluids.

Yes -- We look puffy … stay hydrated... water, water... add – apple juice, Pink Lemonade, cystal lite, lipton tea pouches, Hawaiian punch, cranberry juice to plain water. I also take a pitcher of fresh water, add a few orange and cucumber slices or I drop in ½ cup fresh blueberries or crushed strawberries. I also brew tons of herbal teas.

Yes – Many of us will be walking the halls of our homes at 12 midnight, 2 a.m. and early morning... take naps when you can // try lavender (Health food store) not a concentrated spray found at Target or WalMart .. Around your pillow// Relaxation sounds – Ocean, rainforest etc... Seriously, this will help you sleep. I now sleep 6 hours per night, not 8 – but I consider this an accomplishment.

Yes – Chemo brain is real... try reading, puzzles or posting – kind our mind active.

Yes – we might get depressed – We are fight for our lives... Please speak to your doctor; maybe an anti-depressant may help us thru this fight. My onc just wrote a prescription for Effexor XR – to help me.

Yes – Family or friends that once helped us thru on breast cancer fight, have left for greener pastures – does this hurt – Yes – it does. The pain does go away, and God provides another person totally unexpected to replace them.

And always always never forget -- for every side effort – there are many suggested counter treatments offered on our site.

Be kind to ourselves; pat yourself on the back daily.

Lastly, remain in the moment - the here and now.

I thank God daily for our site – otherwise, I would be a basket case stilling walking into walls – trying to process the words told to me on August 14, 2009 - Vicki, you have breast cancer – 2 types -- DCIS – Invasive and Her2 positive. A day I will never forget.



  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    Congratulations to everyone.
    Congratulations to everyone. The first step takes you that much closer to the end! Hang in there.
  • New Flower
    New Flower Member Posts: 4,294
    Vicki good job
    Vicki excellent post, complete summary, good information.
    Yes, oncologists do not tell you about most of the side effects. In best cases they give literature to read.Before my treatments started my oncologist mentioned on;y hair loss. When you pass this point and shaved it is minimal to other serious and very server side effects. When I finished my treatments my oncologist agreed that side effects of Chemo are awful and the Chemo drugs change the chemistry of the brain, the nails will be back to normal within 6 months, induced menopause could be permeant.

    Positive attitude and support from family and friends, from this community your best medicine to combat side effects. Ladies do not feel shy , use it, ask for advice, help!

    Good luck with rest of the treatments
  • elm3544
    elm3544 Member Posts: 748
    Vicki, this is possibly the
    Vicki, this is possibly the best post I have read. Full of inspiration and good sound advice. I finished chemo and begin rads on Monday. I am still exhausted from doing little things. Doing a load of laundry wipes me out. I take it day by day. Thank you for this post, it will be helpful to many.
  • ppurdin
    ppurdin Member Posts: 1,181
    Thanks Vicki for this wonderful post.How very true these words are.unfortuntly I have had most of these side effects also with one chemo treatment.I hate to think what the next one will do.I know I am going to shave this mess of shedding hair in a few days.Like you this is the only side effect really that the Dr. told me.I like it when you tell them of a symptom your having and they look at you like they never heard of it before.And like you I am so thankful for this sight and wonderful people like you that are on it.Thank you.Take care.We will get through this together.(Pat).
  • laurissa
    laurissa Member Posts: 773
    Thank you VickiSam
    What an uplifting message for all of us. You made my day.
  • pitt
    pitt Member Posts: 387
    laurissa said:

    Thank you VickiSam
    What an uplifting message for all of us. You made my day.

    Thank you. All we can do is
    Thank you. All we can do is fight and stay true to ourselves and our families. I hate the side effects too. But each day is better than the one before it.
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    In a Nut shell
    Very good advice. I wish all the least possible side effects. You will get through it and SURVIVE!!
    May God Bless,
  • natly15
    natly15 Member Posts: 1,941
    Thank You Vicki
    Your post says so much to me. I cant thank all of you enough for all this good information. We are warriors, we are walking the walk, and we will survive the bumps, detours, and whatever else we have to face. I'm finding this BC an unbelievable roller coaster, and I'm holding on to my faith, my friends, my family, and this support group. We are wounded healers. Thank you again Vicki for your honesty.
  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565
    What a great pep talk
    So glad that I had a chemo orientation before I got started-I kept my chemo onc there for 40 minutes and it was great!
  • Ritzy
    Ritzy Member Posts: 4,381 Member

    What a great pep talk
    So glad that I had a chemo orientation before I got started-I kept my chemo onc there for 40 minutes and it was great!

    A big congrats to all of you
    A big congrats to all of you on your first chemo!

    Sue :)
  • jnl
    jnl Member Posts: 3,869 Member
    Ritzy said:

    A big congrats to all of you
    A big congrats to all of you on your first chemo!

    Sue :)

    That was great! I am sure that everyone appreciates that! Also, congrats to all of you that are taking or had your first chemo!