Chemo Concerns

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Still Singin
Still Singin Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hello...I'm wondering if anyone has had the Taxotere/Cytoxan combination?
I had a partial mastectomy Jan. 4 with reconstruction, tumor was 1.5 cm,
nearly 100% estrogen receptive, HER2 negative.

My doctor has suggested 4 doses of Taxotere/Cytoxan - a dose every 3 weeks, 4 times.
I would follow that with radiation and some type of estrogen blocker.

My doctor outlined the typical side effects: hair loss, fatigue, food tasting strange, and to a lesser degree, nausea. He said there are no known connections with heart problems or bone loss problems. I'm more concerned about what I've been reading tonight on several postings (many from 2004-2007) about some pretty dreadful hip, joint, back pain experienced for months and even for a few years after chemo.
But they all seemed to have adriamyacin or taxol in the mix too. So, just wondered if the "Taxotere/Cytoxan Only" combo has solved some of that longer lasting pain?

Comments

  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
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    Hello Singin, glad you found
    Hello Singin, glad you found us but wish you did not have a need to. I had that combination in 97 (six infusions) and I had the normal problems, hair loss, exhaustion, metal taste in mouth (using plastic utensils helps this) mouth ulcers and some bone pain. It all clears up in time and you get to have your life back in time. It is worth the discomfort to get better. I also had adriamyacin when it came back (cancer runs like a bad dream in my family) which when all was said and done my heart was fine. There are meds the doctors give you to help you manage the discomforts that come from chemotherapy. The treatment your doctor has outlined for you sounds like a pretty sensible one that many folks here have been through. I realize this is an extremely frightening time for you and your loved ones but you can get through this and you can get better. This site has a lot of truly wonderful people who will support you and try to answer what questions you might have. It's important to start a list of questions you may have for you doctor (perhaps you could put a note pad by your bed) every time you think of a concern write it down because you will forget your questions when you are with your oncologist. It is also important to have a loved one or trusted friend go with you to your doctors appointment to help you to recall all the information your doctor will have for you, you may even want to ask him to write some of it down for you. I wish you better days ahead!

    ♥ RE ♥
  • pattimc
    pattimc Member Posts: 431
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    Same cocktail
    Hi,

    I had the same cocktail that you are having and the same regimen (rads and tamoxifen). My worst side effect other than feeling lousy for a few days after each infusion was diarreha. It made life difficult for awhile but I was given meds that helped somewhat. I did have joint and muscle aches for about 3 days after each infusion. Again, once the chemo stopped so did my pain.

    Yep, you will lose your hair with this cocktail. Usually about 2 weeks after your first treatment. I kept my eyelashes and eyebrows until about 6 weeks after chemo ended. Then lost them....BUT they are all grown in again and look better than ever!

    Have you considered having a port installed for your infusions? I did and was glad I did. My veins are awful and couldn't image having chemo interveinously.

    Good luck...you'll be done before you know it!
  • MyTurnNow
    MyTurnNow Member Posts: 2,686 Member
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    Welcome, Still Singin. Yes,
    Welcome, Still Singin. Yes, I had this same cocktail and had minimal side effects, mainly some fatigue and bone pain usually by day 3. I believe this was caused by the Nuelasta shot that was given the day after chemo. Are you also getting this shot? It is used to boost the production of white blood cells. Even this pain was not too bad and controlled with extra strength Tylenol. You'll lose your hair, like Patti said, by day 14 or so. I then had rads and am now taking Arimidex. I worked through both chemo and rads. It's all very do-able and we'd do whatever it takes to kill the beast. Continue to post and we'll be here to answer any questions you have or just support you through your treatments. Good luck!!
  • GrandmaJ
    GrandmaJ Member Posts: 209
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    T/C cocktail
    Yep, had the same cocktail. I had a different side effect with each treatment ...and I had five. 6th one was cancelled. Diarrhea was first (controlled with meds), next I had a fever (antibiotics), next two doses gave me some mouth sores (meds and a mouthwash cleared that up)....never had nausea or vomiting. I did not get a port. My veins were good and no problems there. Yes, hair loss. Fatigue set in for me two days after the chemo, but only lasted a day or two. I had envisioned it being 100 times worse than it was. Meds (EMEND) before and after for nausea and vomiting worked wonders. Everyone is different and I know gals who never had any of those side effects, so don't be scared. You will be fine. Keep us posted on your progress.

    Judy
  • teresa41
    teresa41 Member Posts: 471
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    GrandmaJ said:

    T/C cocktail
    Yep, had the same cocktail. I had a different side effect with each treatment ...and I had five. 6th one was cancelled. Diarrhea was first (controlled with meds), next I had a fever (antibiotics), next two doses gave me some mouth sores (meds and a mouthwash cleared that up)....never had nausea or vomiting. I did not get a port. My veins were good and no problems there. Yes, hair loss. Fatigue set in for me two days after the chemo, but only lasted a day or two. I had envisioned it being 100 times worse than it was. Meds (EMEND) before and after for nausea and vomiting worked wonders. Everyone is different and I know gals who never had any of those side effects, so don't be scared. You will be fine. Keep us posted on your progress.

    Judy

    me to
    i had the same cocktail 4 rounds every three weeks my side affects were hair loss of course , diarea no taste fatigue bloating and heartburn .it all got better after about 4 days . i never had nausea or vomiting i also didnt have a port, i used plastic spoons and forks it helped with the taste i also drank a lot of water. wishing you the best of luck.





    i finished treatments in sep i havent had any hip or joint pain!


    teresa
  • hamish1
    hamish1 Member Posts: 34
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    Taking the same combination
    I had a lumpectomy with one positive lymph gland under my arm.(1 out of 12 positive) so I feel blessed. Had surgery in Nov. 2009. But didn't start chemo until January. I have had 2 treatments so far, and have done great so far, except for the Neulasta shot I have to take the following day after my treatment. I hate having to take that shot so bad, because for about 5 days it knocks me down. I get diarreha, but that is totally stopped with Immodium.Have not had any nausea or vomitting at all. I take Zofran to control that.So far I have not had any bone pain, (thank God).. I do feel tired for those 5 days afterwards, but I can handle that. And food doesn't taste good to me anymore. I did start losing my hair on the 12th day after my first treatment. Now that has been a bumber for me. But I have started trying to get used to wearing wigs and scarves. So the biggest problem for me so far, has been with the Neulasta shot. My daughter is an R.N. at the Cancer Center where I go. (she's been a blessing to me.) and she told me the Oncologist says before I take the 3rd. treatment on the 17th. they will give me Claritin which is supposed to help stop those symtoms.I'm HOPING IT WORKS FOR ME... I'm almost 68 yrs. old,and I just want to get well, so I can be around to keep enjoying my Grandbabies. ha.ha. You'll do fine, and please know I will be praying for you.
  • Maize
    Maize Member Posts: 76
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    hamish1 said:

    Taking the same combination
    I had a lumpectomy with one positive lymph gland under my arm.(1 out of 12 positive) so I feel blessed. Had surgery in Nov. 2009. But didn't start chemo until January. I have had 2 treatments so far, and have done great so far, except for the Neulasta shot I have to take the following day after my treatment. I hate having to take that shot so bad, because for about 5 days it knocks me down. I get diarreha, but that is totally stopped with Immodium.Have not had any nausea or vomitting at all. I take Zofran to control that.So far I have not had any bone pain, (thank God).. I do feel tired for those 5 days afterwards, but I can handle that. And food doesn't taste good to me anymore. I did start losing my hair on the 12th day after my first treatment. Now that has been a bumber for me. But I have started trying to get used to wearing wigs and scarves. So the biggest problem for me so far, has been with the Neulasta shot. My daughter is an R.N. at the Cancer Center where I go. (she's been a blessing to me.) and she told me the Oncologist says before I take the 3rd. treatment on the 17th. they will give me Claritin which is supposed to help stop those symtoms.I'm HOPING IT WORKS FOR ME... I'm almost 68 yrs. old,and I just want to get well, so I can be around to keep enjoying my Grandbabies. ha.ha. You'll do fine, and please know I will be praying for you.

    I am ready
    I begin chemo 2/17. I fail to record the name of the drugs I will be given. I am ready to get this started. I had surgery 12/8/9-a lumpectomy. 2 sentinel nodes had traces of cancer, the 9 ancillary nodes were clear. I did not want to hve more lymph nodes removed as I fail they would be clear and the risk was not worth it. I finally relented and had the surgery 1/11/10. all nodes were clear. My treatment was delayed. I am in pain from the surgery to remove the nodes, but it gets better every day. I appreciate this thread as it helps prepare me. I am ready to get this started. I will deal with whatever. Thanks, every one.
  • cindycflynn
    cindycflynn Member Posts: 1,132 Member
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    Same cocktail
    And almost the exact same treatment plan overall as it sounds like you're having.

    I just had my 3rd of 4 treatments last weeka and have most of the same side effects noted in your post and by others. I actually had constipation instead of diarrhea, but have learned to control that pretty well also. I am also getting the Neulasta shot after each treatment, and have had minimal pain from that. I usually only have to take Tylenol once or twice the day after the shot and I'm good to go.

    I've been taking a couple of days off for each treatment (having treatments on Wednesday and going back to work the following Monday) but working full-time other than that. I had 2 weeks off for my surgery and will probably take another week around or right after my radiation. My job is not very physical, however. If it were, I'd probably be taking more time off than that.

    As others have said, it is all very doable, and you won't really know how your individual reaction will be until you get into it.

    One thing I would highly recommend is to get in as good shape physically before this starts as you can. I have a good friend who is also getting this same cocktail and she is having even fewer side effects than I am. Even though she's older than I, she has been a fitness instructor and is in excellent condition. I really think it makes a difference in having the power to fight this beast.

    Please come back and ask whatever questions you have, share your concerns, fears, and successes. Welcome to the club nobody wants to belong to.

    Take care,
    Cindy
  • Still Singin
    Still Singin Member Posts: 2
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    RE said:

    Hello Singin, glad you found
    Hello Singin, glad you found us but wish you did not have a need to. I had that combination in 97 (six infusions) and I had the normal problems, hair loss, exhaustion, metal taste in mouth (using plastic utensils helps this) mouth ulcers and some bone pain. It all clears up in time and you get to have your life back in time. It is worth the discomfort to get better. I also had adriamyacin when it came back (cancer runs like a bad dream in my family) which when all was said and done my heart was fine. There are meds the doctors give you to help you manage the discomforts that come from chemotherapy. The treatment your doctor has outlined for you sounds like a pretty sensible one that many folks here have been through. I realize this is an extremely frightening time for you and your loved ones but you can get through this and you can get better. This site has a lot of truly wonderful people who will support you and try to answer what questions you might have. It's important to start a list of questions you may have for you doctor (perhaps you could put a note pad by your bed) every time you think of a concern write it down because you will forget your questions when you are with your oncologist. It is also important to have a loved one or trusted friend go with you to your doctors appointment to help you to recall all the information your doctor will have for you, you may even want to ask him to write some of it down for you. I wish you better days ahead!

    ♥ RE ♥

    Chemo concerns
    Heartfelt thanks to each of you who replied to my request for info on Taxotere and Cytoxan!
    It relieved me to read each of your comments (imagine, being relieved to read about diarrhea and hair loss)...but I think you know what I mean. I have been concerned about rather dreadful side effects like unmanageable and recurring pain, bone loss problems, etc. and it was a relief to read that the side effects seem to be pretty manageable and not too wretched.

    I have been blessed with many small miracles along this journey already, and I'm praying that my heart will stay open to more blessings along the way. Thank you so much for your prayers, your encouragement, and wisdom - all are just what I needed!

    Just wondering, too...are there foods that can help with the lower white blood counts? Hope that's not a silly question, just hoping there might be a way to hold off that shot!

    Blessings to each of you ladies...I loved the comment about welcoming me to the club that no one wants to belong to...ain't that the truth!!??

    Thank you for sharing with me...

    Still Singin...and hope you are too!