Scheduled First Chemo Appt. Today

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I just scheduled my first chemo appointment today for January 5. I am scared to death. I'll be taking Taxotere and Cytoxan. Can anyone share their experience with this cocktail? I understand it is different for everyone, but I have heard that this is one of the more tolerable combos.

Also, any tips on preparing for that dreaded day?

Thanks,
Kathy

Comments

  • cupcake7
    cupcake7 Member Posts: 17
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    your first chemo
    Hi girly girl: Just joined and your my first contact. I am a veteran chemo taker and my first advice is to take a deep breath and relax. Grab a cup of coco or coffee cause you and I are going to become good friends. I remember my first and I was scared to death too. I thought I would start throwing up in the chair...I didn't know....It is a breeze it really is...day 3 now is a different story but you will be home and can deal with it. I will walk you through if you want. First day you will be at wonder...maybe take someone with you to share the experience. Later take a portable DVD player so you can watch movies or a good book if you like to read. Good time to catch up on a letter if you still write.
  • MNGirlyGirl
    MNGirlyGirl Member Posts: 14
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    cupcake7 said:

    your first chemo
    Hi girly girl: Just joined and your my first contact. I am a veteran chemo taker and my first advice is to take a deep breath and relax. Grab a cup of coco or coffee cause you and I are going to become good friends. I remember my first and I was scared to death too. I thought I would start throwing up in the chair...I didn't know....It is a breeze it really is...day 3 now is a different story but you will be home and can deal with it. I will walk you through if you want. First day you will be at wonder...maybe take someone with you to share the experience. Later take a portable DVD player so you can watch movies or a good book if you like to read. Good time to catch up on a letter if you still write.

    Thank you so much Cupcake.
    Thank you so much Cupcake. I just want to hug you. My fiance (will be my husband by then, we get married next week) will be coming with me to the first one. Great idea to take a DVD player. I also have a bunch of books I've been wanting to get to. My biggest worry is that I have some sort of reaction to the drugs. Do you feel it when it is being administered? Did you have a port? I think they are going to try to do without and see how my veins do.
  • pixie2011
    pixie2011 Member Posts: 6
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    Thank you so much Cupcake.
    Thank you so much Cupcake. I just want to hug you. My fiance (will be my husband by then, we get married next week) will be coming with me to the first one. Great idea to take a DVD player. I also have a bunch of books I've been wanting to get to. My biggest worry is that I have some sort of reaction to the drugs. Do you feel it when it is being administered? Did you have a port? I think they are going to try to do without and see how my veins do.

    I feel for you
    I always took a book with me. I had the same cocktail and it was not so bad. I did not have a port - was able to take all treatments through the vein. Did not notice anything while doing the chemo. I did lose my hair and taste but other than than that was not to bad - maybe a little tired. I will be praying for you! You can get through this and you have alot of support right here.

    Good Luck!
  • Rague
    Rague Member Posts: 3,653 Member
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    Thank you so much Cupcake.
    Thank you so much Cupcake. I just want to hug you. My fiance (will be my husband by then, we get married next week) will be coming with me to the first one. Great idea to take a DVD player. I also have a bunch of books I've been wanting to get to. My biggest worry is that I have some sort of reaction to the drugs. Do you feel it when it is being administered? Did you have a port? I think they are going to try to do without and see how my veins do.

    Please be careful!
    I would be very careful about trusting someone whose first post here is tell you tha "it" will guide you through everything. Unfortunately we do get'trolls' here. There are so many here - many for quite a few years that will be happy to give their experiences to you. None of usx have the same cancer (I'm Inflammtory Breast Cancer and DX'd Aug '09).

    Thed Center I went to had all sorts of snackies for you. Each cubicle had cable TV. They had warmed blankies for you if cold and could turn your AC up if you were hot (I was always cold so got 'blankies' and the heat turened up). You had a call button and there was a camera that showed at the Station.

    For me the first infusion I got an "ice cream" head ache. It was slowed down and never had anymore problems while on A/C. On Taxol the first time my BP dropped so it was slowed down and no more issues. With A/C I was given oral Benadryl with no more problems than with oral benadryl I've taken for bee/wasp stings BUT with Taxol they gave it IV and within seconds of it starting I'd go 'nighty night' until about 1/2 hour before it was over.

    I took myself to all my Chemo' - my choice. I didn't want Hubby ot Son there watching the poison go in me. They both had their cells with them and their bosses knew that they'd have to leave IF they got a call - never did.

    Please ask every question you have - there is at least someone who has been there in a similar situtation. But be careful - this is the internet and there are alwazys some who are not what they claim to be.

    Susan

    Droit anf typing with it isn't all that great.
  • Texasgirl10
    Texasgirl10 Member Posts: 668
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    Rague said:

    Please be careful!
    I would be very careful about trusting someone whose first post here is tell you tha "it" will guide you through everything. Unfortunately we do get'trolls' here. There are so many here - many for quite a few years that will be happy to give their experiences to you. None of usx have the same cancer (I'm Inflammtory Breast Cancer and DX'd Aug '09).

    Thed Center I went to had all sorts of snackies for you. Each cubicle had cable TV. They had warmed blankies for you if cold and could turn your AC up if you were hot (I was always cold so got 'blankies' and the heat turened up). You had a call button and there was a camera that showed at the Station.

    For me the first infusion I got an "ice cream" head ache. It was slowed down and never had anymore problems while on A/C. On Taxol the first time my BP dropped so it was slowed down and no more issues. With A/C I was given oral Benadryl with no more problems than with oral benadryl I've taken for bee/wasp stings BUT with Taxol they gave it IV and within seconds of it starting I'd go 'nighty night' until about 1/2 hour before it was over.

    I took myself to all my Chemo' - my choice. I didn't want Hubby ot Son there watching the poison go in me. They both had their cells with them and their bosses knew that they'd have to leave IF they got a call - never did.

    Please ask every question you have - there is at least someone who has been there in a similar situtation. But be careful - this is the internet and there are alwazys some who are not what they claim to be.

    Susan

    Droit anf typing with it isn't all that great.

    First Chemo
    I totally understand your fear about the first chemo. Mine was Dec 9, 2010. I was so scared that I actually ran away from the nurse screaming that the Dr had made a mistake. But once the nurse caught me & calmed me down I was fine. I have a port so everything just went right into the port. My husband always took me & we took a " chemo " bag that had a blanket ( they did have blankets there but I wanted my own) snacks, LOTS of bottled water, my nook ( which I never read b/c I couldn't concentrate) and my iPhone :)

    Please be sure to drink LOTS of water to flush out all of the toxins. The only thing I could drink during my chemo was super super cold bottled water. Biotin toothpaste & mouth wash is a wonderful thing while your going through chemo. Plastic wear helps with the rusted metal taste when your eating. And try to get as much rest as possible.

    Please stay strong & know that you can do this & we are all here with you cheering you on & helping you fight & win. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

    Hugs & God Bless,

    Dawne
  • tkangerer
    tkangerer Member Posts: 1
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    Positive Attitude
    Hello Girly Girl! Positive attitude and keeping the faith. I finished chemo in September and the horror stories that I heard before starting chemo petrified me. Everyone handles chemo differently. After a couple of treatments you see a pattern. I will tell you that I never got sick from chemo and I never missed a day of work. The third day after chemo I was tired but I wasn’t going to let it get me. It really is all about keeping a positive attitude and keeping the faith.

    Good luck! Keep us posted.
  • missrenee
    missrenee Member Posts: 2,136 Member
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    tkangerer said:

    Positive Attitude
    Hello Girly Girl! Positive attitude and keeping the faith. I finished chemo in September and the horror stories that I heard before starting chemo petrified me. Everyone handles chemo differently. After a couple of treatments you see a pattern. I will tell you that I never got sick from chemo and I never missed a day of work. The third day after chemo I was tired but I wasn’t going to let it get me. It really is all about keeping a positive attitude and keeping the faith.

    Good luck! Keep us posted.

    I know the fear, Girly Girl
    I was terrified as well. I did my chemo (6 rounds of Taxotere, Cytoxan and Adriamycin) last year. I can only relate my experience--but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I had imagined. I am so afraid of drugs--I think about 20 minutes before I even take an aspirin so the thought of that chemo going directly into my port and into my bloodstream was terrifying. I'm not super religious, but I am spiritual, so I decided to just totally put myself in God's hands. And, you know what--he took care of me. The infusions went very well. A few days later I had periodic diarrhea/constipation (for which there are many remedies), most foods tasted pretty yucky, and I had some bone pain and body aches from the Neulasta shot which I had the day after chemo to raise the white count.

    My hubby came to every chemo. We usually talked, laughed and carried on with the other wonderful people who were in the same boat. I never vomited from the chemo--ever. I was pretty tired out with the last 2 treatments and since it is cummulative, they were a little rougher than the first 4, but all went well. I got through them and you will too. You sound like an upbeat, positive girl and that will help so much.

    When people offer their help--take it. They need to do something--let them feel loved and useful while they nurture you. Rest when you can, eat whatever you can tolerate (my onc. wouldn't let me eat any fruit or veggies raw that couldn't be pealed to try to avoid any food-bourne illnesses)and know you can do this.

    Please check in often--with any questions, problems, reports or just to say hi.

    Hugs, Renee
  • AMomNETN
    AMomNETN Member Posts: 242
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    Tips...
    I finished chemo in July 10. I had Taxotere and carboplatin. It isn't quite as scary as we think it will be. My chemo day started with breakfast and as much water as mucch as I could drink. Actually it is a good idea to drink as much water as you can for 2-3 days before. Get there had blood work then off to chemo. I got steriods, aloxi (for nausea) and ativan. Then the fun began. Mine site had soft drinks, snacks, warmed blankets.I'd take a book or computer. My nurses were super nice and took excellent care of all of us. You'll talk to others around you and get to know them. I also ate lemonheads to help with the test in my mouth. You will stay up from the steriods then about the 3rd day it hits you. You will be tired probably just want to sleep. Listen to your body. I had a Neulasta on the Mon. after chemo on Fri. I always felt it was worse than chemo. I hope this helps. Just ask as many questions as you need to. The women here are great. I'm not sure I'd have made it without their experiences. We are all different so you may have some of our side effects, or different ones. I always remember that a lot of women talked about having diarehea and I had to opposite. See all different but the same. Most important things said, listen to your body, and drink drink drink that water.

    Janie
  • GMcD
    GMcD Member Posts: 134
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    AMomNETN said:

    Tips...
    I finished chemo in July 10. I had Taxotere and carboplatin. It isn't quite as scary as we think it will be. My chemo day started with breakfast and as much water as mucch as I could drink. Actually it is a good idea to drink as much water as you can for 2-3 days before. Get there had blood work then off to chemo. I got steriods, aloxi (for nausea) and ativan. Then the fun began. Mine site had soft drinks, snacks, warmed blankets.I'd take a book or computer. My nurses were super nice and took excellent care of all of us. You'll talk to others around you and get to know them. I also ate lemonheads to help with the test in my mouth. You will stay up from the steriods then about the 3rd day it hits you. You will be tired probably just want to sleep. Listen to your body. I had a Neulasta on the Mon. after chemo on Fri. I always felt it was worse than chemo. I hope this helps. Just ask as many questions as you need to. The women here are great. I'm not sure I'd have made it without their experiences. We are all different so you may have some of our side effects, or different ones. I always remember that a lot of women talked about having diarehea and I had to opposite. See all different but the same. Most important things said, listen to your body, and drink drink drink that water.

    Janie

    Hi. I had the same cocktail
    Hi. I had the same cocktail almost 2 yrs ago. I was soooo scared. I think everyone is. I had a port and that was fine. I received Neulasta the day after, and felt just fine until about day 3, so I really can't say if it was the chemo or Neulasta. Even at that, I never had nausea. Had some diarrhea regular as clockwork on day 3 or 4 and had meds for that. All in all, I really did ok. Lost my hair and also had taste issues that got better as time went on. You should come here with each and every question you should have. I thought some of my questions would seem too small, but was never, ever, made to feel that way. Good Luck and Best Wishes on your upcoming wedding.
  • cupcake7
    cupcake7 Member Posts: 17
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    Thank you so much Cupcake.
    Thank you so much Cupcake. I just want to hug you. My fiance (will be my husband by then, we get married next week) will be coming with me to the first one. Great idea to take a DVD player. I also have a bunch of books I've been wanting to get to. My biggest worry is that I have some sort of reaction to the drugs. Do you feel it when it is being administered? Did you have a port? I think they are going to try to do without and see how my veins do.

    Hi Girly Girl: No you won't
    Hi Girly Girl: No you won't feel anything, they will go slow to make sure you are doing ok. If you do have a problem, most don't, then they are right there to make it right. Yes I have a port and posted a picture because someone else ask me. If you are not having a large round, I had 6 months of chemo, you probably won't need one. I'm sorry if I come on first time out the gate, but I wear my heart on my sleeve and jump right in. I remember well how scared I was and after made a promise that if I saw anyone going through that I would reach out to help them not be so afraid. I spent two years at breastcancer.org web sight and it was a lifesaver for me. You will most likely have some meds in the form of steroids. This helps you fight off the results of the chemo for a couple of days, then, for most, the third day you will not feel so well. Be prepared for that. Drink lots of water before hand, but eat a light meal before, nothing sweet, greasy or spicy. The first few times your ONC will see how you are doing and adjust the chemo for you. If you get sick let them know and they can change your medicine. Some swears by zofran, but didn't do anything for me but when I got on Amend it made all the difference and never got sick again for six months. Nausea that is. Tired, yes very much so, but you will begin to see a pattern and you will feel better everyday. Just about the time you are feeling good they hit you again and you begin the same routine. Everyone is different but you will see your pattern. The worst is the unknown, after a few times you will be in here helping some newbie scared to death.
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
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    cupcake7 said:

    Hi Girly Girl: No you won't
    Hi Girly Girl: No you won't feel anything, they will go slow to make sure you are doing ok. If you do have a problem, most don't, then they are right there to make it right. Yes I have a port and posted a picture because someone else ask me. If you are not having a large round, I had 6 months of chemo, you probably won't need one. I'm sorry if I come on first time out the gate, but I wear my heart on my sleeve and jump right in. I remember well how scared I was and after made a promise that if I saw anyone going through that I would reach out to help them not be so afraid. I spent two years at breastcancer.org web sight and it was a lifesaver for me. You will most likely have some meds in the form of steroids. This helps you fight off the results of the chemo for a couple of days, then, for most, the third day you will not feel so well. Be prepared for that. Drink lots of water before hand, but eat a light meal before, nothing sweet, greasy or spicy. The first few times your ONC will see how you are doing and adjust the chemo for you. If you get sick let them know and they can change your medicine. Some swears by zofran, but didn't do anything for me but when I got on Amend it made all the difference and never got sick again for six months. Nausea that is. Tired, yes very much so, but you will begin to see a pattern and you will feel better everyday. Just about the time you are feeling good they hit you again and you begin the same routine. Everyone is different but you will see your pattern. The worst is the unknown, after a few times you will be in here helping some newbie scared to death.

    TO CUPCAKE
    Just a quick note to say I did not think your post was "out of the gate" rather more on the informative caring side. The world is filled with all sorts as is this site, some are more timid and some wear their heart on their sleeve and somehow we all manage to help each other because we have all been down a similar road. Welcome to CSN and thanks for jumping right it, I find it refreshing!

    My Best To You,

    RE
  • cupcake7
    cupcake7 Member Posts: 17
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    RE said:

    TO CUPCAKE
    Just a quick note to say I did not think your post was "out of the gate" rather more on the informative caring side. The world is filled with all sorts as is this site, some are more timid and some wear their heart on their sleeve and somehow we all manage to help each other because we have all been down a similar road. Welcome to CSN and thanks for jumping right it, I find it refreshing!

    My Best To You,

    RE

    thank you RE:
    thanks I did step back wondering if I overstepped by other the other comment. Some people have foot in mouth disease, I have lower left leg in mouth disease most of the time....
  • RE
    RE Member Posts: 4,591 Member
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    Hi Kathy
    First let me say that I am sorry you have a need to be here but I am glad you found us, Oh and cute photo of the doggies! :-) You have already received a ton of great tips, truly is doable, very scary I know but doable and you will get through this and we will be here to listen to your woes, vents and triumphs! I don't have my med papers with me but i am pretty sure I had both of those (along with a few others LOL!) You are going to be scared and that is perfectly normal, please pray or meditate a few moments before going in to relax yourself. Some people like to visit with other patients for me I preferred to listen to music and go to sleep during the treatment. Bring a good book, favorite blanket, crossword book whatever helps to ease your mind and gives you comfort. Be sure to be aware of how you are feeling and if something seems odd to you ask the nurses so they can explain things to you, DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK QUESTIONS! They are usually great at helping you relax a bit.

    Drink a lot of fluids the day of treatment and rest up. I agree you will most likely not feel ill the first day but by the end of the second day or the start of the third you may feel like you have a bad flu. I do not know how many treatments you are scheduled for, I had 6 the first time and had a bit more difficult time rebounding after each treatment. Please be kind to yourself and rest as often as needed, eat when you are feeling hungry and get out in the sunshine from time to time as it is good for the mind.

    I would also suggest keeping a note pad nearby to jot down any concerns you have that you may want to ask your doctor because you are most likely going to get chemo brain during treatment which causes us to be quite forgetful so a note pad is a lifesaver. Be sure to take it with you to your appointments so you do not forget to get answers to your concerns. Also do not hesitate to call your doctor once you are home if you star to feel poorly as there are things they can do to help ease your discomfort.

    Take care and let us know how you are doing,

    RE
  • mrlember
    mrlember Member Posts: 10
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    This has helped me
    Kathy, I am currently on the same treatment regimen as you. I just had treatment number 2 two days ago and so far feel pretty "OK". Maybe a little more tired. I did find it helpful to journal my day to day symptoms after my first treatment. It will help me know what to plan for each time thereafter. I am a bit of a control freak and seem to do better if I know what it coming. Every one responds so differently to their treatment. I feel blessed that I have had only minor side effects. Mostly fatigue, manageable. Some body aches, also manageable.

    The actual infusions are uneventful for me. My oncologist gives me a pretreatment infusion with steroids, zofran and benadryl. I pretty much sleep thru the chemo and then go home and nap. My husband is there for support.

    Anxiety is normal. I think you will feel better knowing what to expect after your first treatment is done. Until then, deep breath and know we are all here to support you!

    Michelle
  • VickiSam
    VickiSam Member Posts: 9,079 Member
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    mrlember said:

    This has helped me
    Kathy, I am currently on the same treatment regimen as you. I just had treatment number 2 two days ago and so far feel pretty "OK". Maybe a little more tired. I did find it helpful to journal my day to day symptoms after my first treatment. It will help me know what to plan for each time thereafter. I am a bit of a control freak and seem to do better if I know what it coming. Every one responds so differently to their treatment. I feel blessed that I have had only minor side effects. Mostly fatigue, manageable. Some body aches, also manageable.

    The actual infusions are uneventful for me. My oncologist gives me a pretreatment infusion with steroids, zofran and benadryl. I pretty much sleep thru the chemo and then go home and nap. My husband is there for support.

    Anxiety is normal. I think you will feel better knowing what to expect after your first treatment is done. Until then, deep breath and know we are all here to support you!

    Michelle

    Michelle .. is right on track with suggesting that
    you journal all side efforts, times of nausea, fatigue, and sleep patterns. Please also keep your Oncologist on speed dial -- call if anything doesn't seem right, or feel right. Take all questions or concerns with you -- and ask to see your Oncologist after or before each treatment.

    Plastic stem ware helps with that metallic taste some of us Chemo Queens suffer from --

    Baking soda helps with mouth sores, so I brushed my teeth daily using baking soda. Biotene mouth wash (alcohol free) also came in handy when my mouth needed soothing.

    Cotton caps worn at night to help with the cold weather. I also found comfort wearing them to bed.

    Hydrate before, during and after each and every treatment. It helps to add, lemonade, cranberry juice anything to water. Lipton or Crystal light supplement aids also do the trick!

    Strength, Courage and Hope.

    Vicki Sam
  • Angie2U
    Angie2U Member Posts: 2,991
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    First Chemo
    I totally understand your fear about the first chemo. Mine was Dec 9, 2010. I was so scared that I actually ran away from the nurse screaming that the Dr had made a mistake. But once the nurse caught me & calmed me down I was fine. I have a port so everything just went right into the port. My husband always took me & we took a " chemo " bag that had a blanket ( they did have blankets there but I wanted my own) snacks, LOTS of bottled water, my nook ( which I never read b/c I couldn't concentrate) and my iPhone :)

    Please be sure to drink LOTS of water to flush out all of the toxins. The only thing I could drink during my chemo was super super cold bottled water. Biotin toothpaste & mouth wash is a wonderful thing while your going through chemo. Plastic wear helps with the rusted metal taste when your eating. And try to get as much rest as possible.

    Please stay strong & know that you can do this & we are all here with you cheering you on & helping you fight & win. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding.

    Hugs & God Bless,

    Dawne

    I hope that your first chemo
    I hope that your first chemo went well for you and that you have no side effects!

    Hugs, Angie
  • MNGirlyGirl
    MNGirlyGirl Member Posts: 14
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    Great Advice
    Thank you all for your words of encouragement and advice/tips. It really has calmed me down. At least I know I'm not going to explode when they start the IV!! ;) And I love the term, Chemo Queen! I think waiting until Jan. 5 is going to be the hard part. Did anyone lose their fingernails? I've heard of that happening.

    Also, I went and found a great wig this weekend. It looks very real and is very light weight. I also bought a nice cotton hat for sleeping or just wearing around the house,a pretty scarf, and a fun winter hat. The woman who owns the store is a breast cancer survivor and started the store because she found a lack of resources when she was going through the process. She spent 2 hours with me showing me different options, giving me tips and showing me fun ways to wrap scarves. Plus, she gave me reassurance that this is do-able.

    Can't thank you all enough.
    Hugs, Kathy
  • MNGirlyGirl
    MNGirlyGirl Member Posts: 14
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    cupcake7 said:

    thank you RE:
    thanks I did step back wondering if I overstepped by other the other comment. Some people have foot in mouth disease, I have lower left leg in mouth disease most of the time....

    Cupcake, I appreciated your
    Cupcake, I appreciated your note and I love that you wear your heart on your sleeve. :)