Help! Newbie here.

Goldenguru
Goldenguru Member Posts: 23
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hello. I am so encouraged to have found your discussion board. I could really use some encouragement and support.

I am 46 and was dxed w/ stage 2 breast cancer in August. After a bi-lateral mastectomy (a choice I made over the offered lumpectomy) I began my adriamyocin and cytoxin chemo treatments every two weeks. I have completed 3 - have one left to go. Then I will have 12 weekly treatments of taxol.

Each treatment is leaving me more and more drained physically and emotionally. I have cried a good portion of today - because I'm sort of sick and tired of being sick and tired. :/ Thankfully - I've had NO nausea and vomiting - but lots of other insidious side effects.

I am looking for any (any all) encouragement/wisdom/knowledge that got you all through the insanity called chemotherapy. And when I'm around this bend - I hope to be able to offer encouragement to others just starting out on their journey.

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    Welcome to the club you
    Welcome to the club you never wanted to join...you will find yourself in good company, surrounded by Kindred Spirits who are in various stages of walking the path you now find yourself on.

    Let me say that what you have described is SOOOO normal! The emotional and physical side effects of the Beast Killing Drugs affect most, if not all of us just as you have described them. The cumulative exhaustion of course is physically debilitating, the emotional which is coupled with it can be even more so. Many of the Sisters In Pink here have taken anti-depressants...this is definately classified many times as "situational depression", and rightly so!

    Here's the good news! It truly does reverse itself! I was diagnosed at stage 2B, I had the lumpectomy and lymphnode removal( 3 of 15 were also cancerous) I did the exact same chemo as you ( also no nausea, but emotionally and physically an exhausted mess!)followed by radiation therapy. My cancer was classified Estrogen Positive, so an estrogen inhibiting drug (Arimidex) was prescribed for me for 5 years. I hope it helps you to know that I walk 6 miles 3X a week, Jazzercise 3Xs a week, am doing my 2nd half-marathon Nov 7, have zip-lined, swam with dolphins, taken salsa dancing lessons, was in a ping pong tournament , make love, shop, go out to dinner, laugh and do pretty much what I did before BC. There is truly Life After Cancer, and for many of us, Life During Cancer, as well. I was never an athlete before, so this is nothing I resumed, and I am 14 years older than you are.

    I am telling you all of this not at all to be bragging~ I am still not an athlete, or anything remotely like that! It's just that hopefully you will see from the examples of many of us here on the boards that we do get to the end of treatment, and we are all amazed at what we are able to do! Mimivac always posts a ROLL CALL: WEEKEND PLANS~ if you go there and read what many of us are doing, you will see that you will be joining us sooner than you think!
    Our hearts are all joined along this journey that none of us wanted to take...we are an incredible group of moms, wives, girlfriends, widows, single, jilted, employed, out of work, happy, depressed , fill in the blank souls! A true cross section of society all united in winning the battle against this damnable beast.

    You will get through it~ and now you have us walking with you!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥
  • mlmjt1
    mlmjt1 Member Posts: 537
    Hi goldenguru
    I went thru adriamycin/cytoxin after bilateral mastectomy, then started taxol/herceptin. I am 52 and have been a runner for 19 years and I can honestly say that a/c kicked my butt. I managed to work about 20 to 25 hours per week, but my appetite was sluggish and I was tired all the time. I had to come home and take naps midday. I got very down in the dumps after the 3rd session too. It seemed like I would never feel like myself again.

    I want you to know that I think that compared to a/c taxol/herceptin was a cake walk. I was able to work about 37 to 40 hours per week. I felt achy about 2 days after chemo infusion. I tried ibuprofen 800mg 2 times per day which really didnt help so my oncologist orderred allegra which is an antihistamine and it made all the difference. Some gals use claritin daily for 1 wk. I still felt a little achy but managed to get thru it with no pain meds.

    My taxol/herceptin was every 2 wks. I dont know how it is to get chemo weekly. I did get a little rash on my face the day after chemo but it usually went away the next day.

    Chemo is probably one of the hardest thing you will ever have to do. My best advice is to try to exercise...walk the dog, do some yoga, buy an exercise bike and make yourself do something every day. It makes a difference in the fatigue you will have and it sort of helps you regain a little control. Dont freak out if you are tired or a little winded when you exercise...in the long run, it will really help your stamina.

    Hang in there. Take one week at a time. I really think the worst is over for you.

    Hugs
    Linda T
  • missgogo
    missgogo Member Posts: 58
    Hang in There
    Goldenguru Hang in there. I felt the same way when I was going thru my treatment this past winter. I had the same kind that you have been given. My treatment were on Thurs. and i took Fri off. You have found a good group of people to talk to.

    Good luck.
  • e_hope
    e_hope Member Posts: 370
    goldenguru... welcome.. I
    goldenguru... welcome.. I too am stage 2 and did the double mastectomy.. dx in Feb and I'm 36..


    No nice way to put it... chemo SUCKS!!!!! all you can do is hold on for the ride.. and keep the count down going.. it helps...

    I also did the AC every 2 weeks but I did taxotere 4 treats every 3 weeks instead of the weekly taxol... My oncologist gave me a choice... I have 3 young kids and was hoping with the every 3 week taxotere i would have some good days.. Which i did... but.. i also had some total crappy days..

    The best advice I can give is... rest..rest..rest!!!! if you try to overdo it.. you'll feel it mentally and physically.. also get a journal.. I was not one for keeping a journal but a friend of mine got me one.. and when I was having really bad days or late night insomnia.. I would write in it.. its a nice place to express your feeling as raw as you want them without judgement.

    You will find with this diagnosis that people will want to deny your feeling and when your having a bad day they will tell you how, you have to have a positive attitude... Not really sure why people tell you that.. but they do.. you might have even heard it already..
    My feelings on it is why can't I have a bad day.. why should I be happy about this situation.. because if I am... good god.. what kind of life did I have before this???
    okay I am rambling on...

    Just be good to yourself.. listen to your body.. rest when you need to.. and take advantage of the good days.. surround yourself with positive people.. (i was once told by a fellow survior.. you'll learn who your true friends are.. they are the ones who will still be by your side at the finish line) This is a time to be selfish... I know not a word that is in most womans vocabulary.. but you have to..

    Good luck.. keep posting so we know how you are doing..
  • CHERYL 4
    CHERYL 4 Member Posts: 75 Member
    chenheart said:

    Welcome to the club you
    Welcome to the club you never wanted to join...you will find yourself in good company, surrounded by Kindred Spirits who are in various stages of walking the path you now find yourself on.

    Let me say that what you have described is SOOOO normal! The emotional and physical side effects of the Beast Killing Drugs affect most, if not all of us just as you have described them. The cumulative exhaustion of course is physically debilitating, the emotional which is coupled with it can be even more so. Many of the Sisters In Pink here have taken anti-depressants...this is definately classified many times as "situational depression", and rightly so!

    Here's the good news! It truly does reverse itself! I was diagnosed at stage 2B, I had the lumpectomy and lymphnode removal( 3 of 15 were also cancerous) I did the exact same chemo as you ( also no nausea, but emotionally and physically an exhausted mess!)followed by radiation therapy. My cancer was classified Estrogen Positive, so an estrogen inhibiting drug (Arimidex) was prescribed for me for 5 years. I hope it helps you to know that I walk 6 miles 3X a week, Jazzercise 3Xs a week, am doing my 2nd half-marathon Nov 7, have zip-lined, swam with dolphins, taken salsa dancing lessons, was in a ping pong tournament , make love, shop, go out to dinner, laugh and do pretty much what I did before BC. There is truly Life After Cancer, and for many of us, Life During Cancer, as well. I was never an athlete before, so this is nothing I resumed, and I am 14 years older than you are.

    I am telling you all of this not at all to be bragging~ I am still not an athlete, or anything remotely like that! It's just that hopefully you will see from the examples of many of us here on the boards that we do get to the end of treatment, and we are all amazed at what we are able to do! Mimivac always posts a ROLL CALL: WEEKEND PLANS~ if you go there and read what many of us are doing, you will see that you will be joining us sooner than you think!
    Our hearts are all joined along this journey that none of us wanted to take...we are an incredible group of moms, wives, girlfriends, widows, single, jilted, employed, out of work, happy, depressed , fill in the blank souls! A true cross section of society all united in winning the battle against this damnable beast.

    You will get through it~ and now you have us walking with you!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥

    arimidex
    Chen r u still takin the arimidex? i will be on it 5 yrs in Dec whats next after that ?
  • rjjj
    rjjj Member Posts: 1,822 Member
    chenheart said:

    Welcome to the club you
    Welcome to the club you never wanted to join...you will find yourself in good company, surrounded by Kindred Spirits who are in various stages of walking the path you now find yourself on.

    Let me say that what you have described is SOOOO normal! The emotional and physical side effects of the Beast Killing Drugs affect most, if not all of us just as you have described them. The cumulative exhaustion of course is physically debilitating, the emotional which is coupled with it can be even more so. Many of the Sisters In Pink here have taken anti-depressants...this is definately classified many times as "situational depression", and rightly so!

    Here's the good news! It truly does reverse itself! I was diagnosed at stage 2B, I had the lumpectomy and lymphnode removal( 3 of 15 were also cancerous) I did the exact same chemo as you ( also no nausea, but emotionally and physically an exhausted mess!)followed by radiation therapy. My cancer was classified Estrogen Positive, so an estrogen inhibiting drug (Arimidex) was prescribed for me for 5 years. I hope it helps you to know that I walk 6 miles 3X a week, Jazzercise 3Xs a week, am doing my 2nd half-marathon Nov 7, have zip-lined, swam with dolphins, taken salsa dancing lessons, was in a ping pong tournament , make love, shop, go out to dinner, laugh and do pretty much what I did before BC. There is truly Life After Cancer, and for many of us, Life During Cancer, as well. I was never an athlete before, so this is nothing I resumed, and I am 14 years older than you are.

    I am telling you all of this not at all to be bragging~ I am still not an athlete, or anything remotely like that! It's just that hopefully you will see from the examples of many of us here on the boards that we do get to the end of treatment, and we are all amazed at what we are able to do! Mimivac always posts a ROLL CALL: WEEKEND PLANS~ if you go there and read what many of us are doing, you will see that you will be joining us sooner than you think!
    Our hearts are all joined along this journey that none of us wanted to take...we are an incredible group of moms, wives, girlfriends, widows, single, jilted, employed, out of work, happy, depressed , fill in the blank souls! A true cross section of society all united in winning the battle against this damnable beast.

    You will get through it~ and now you have us walking with you!

    Hugs,
    Chen♥

    oh yes Chen
    is really tying to minimize what she does and what she is on these boards...actually she is priceless, and a survivor who helped me through it and is still helping hundreds (thousands) of her sisters in pink!! As I am also doing following in those huge steps she takes! listen carefully and I agree with everything said. I pray for you and God Bless. Jackie
  • Tux
    Tux Member Posts: 544
    Welcome, goldenguru, to this
    Welcome, goldenguru, to this discussion board. You have been given the advice of many wonderful warriors in the posts above. The only other things that I would add is that it will get better--try to hold on to that--and accept help from others.

    Hugs & prayers sent your way....
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    CHERYL 4 said:

    arimidex
    Chen r u still takin the arimidex? i will be on it 5 yrs in Dec whats next after that ?

    I finished my Arimidex in
    I finished my Arimidex in February--so now I am just flyin by the seat of my pants trying to pretend I never was visited by the beast! I am not always successful but evidently, my health odometer is re-set back to zero! I feel fine, and am energetic ( tho I must admit that a full night's sleep is part of my waaaaay distant past!). I still see my onco doc 2X a year and have labs drawn, but lately I am wondering why I am even under his care. I think I will ask next time! As in, do I have to have labs drawn every 6 months forever? Doesn't seem right, somehow! LOL

    Hugs,
    Chen♥
  • chenheart
    chenheart Member Posts: 5,159
    rjjj said:

    oh yes Chen
    is really tying to minimize what she does and what she is on these boards...actually she is priceless, and a survivor who helped me through it and is still helping hundreds (thousands) of her sisters in pink!! As I am also doing following in those huge steps she takes! listen carefully and I agree with everything said. I pray for you and God Bless. Jackie

    I love you Jackie...more
    I love you Jackie...more than you can even imagine. You make my ♥ smile

    Hugs,
    Chen♥
  • outdoorgirl
    outdoorgirl Member Posts: 1,565
    rjjj said:

    oh yes Chen
    is really tying to minimize what she does and what she is on these boards...actually she is priceless, and a survivor who helped me through it and is still helping hundreds (thousands) of her sisters in pink!! As I am also doing following in those huge steps she takes! listen carefully and I agree with everything said. I pray for you and God Bless. Jackie

    Claudia,
    I too can always feel your cyber hugs through your words for everyone. Thanks for being so warm-hearted!
  • laurissa
    laurissa Member Posts: 773
    Goldenguru
    You'll be so glad you found this forum as I am. I'm also newly diagnosed in September. My 2nd round is coming up on Monday and hope its not worse than the first. I don't have the nausea either, just cramping. Hope you feel better soon. This too shall pass.
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
    I had 4 cycles of A/C and 4
    I had 4 cycles of A/C and 4 cycles of Taxotere one every three weeks. I got very sick but I did complete treatment. Hang in there. I had treatment in 2003/2004 and now can barely remember it. Hugs.
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
    Just wanted to welcome you,
    Just wanted to welcome you, Goldenguru. I don't have any additional advice to offer but you've come to the right place. There is plenty of advice, support, and knowledge here.
  • mimivac
    mimivac Member Posts: 2,143
    Welcome, Goldenguru
    OK, none of my posts are posting. I've now written two to you, Goldenguru, that got lost. Testing, testing...


    Mimi
  • Goldenguru
    Goldenguru Member Posts: 23
    mimivac said:

    Welcome, Goldenguru
    OK, none of my posts are posting. I've now written two to you, Goldenguru, that got lost. Testing, testing...


    Mimi

    I'm having the same
    I'm having the same frustration w/ posts. Hope they fix it soon!