chemo choices

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taiga
taiga Member Posts: 75 Member
I was dx. last month with ER+, HER2+ breast cancer. Just coming out of a clinical trial for ovarian cancer, where I had Taxol and Cisplatin IV/IP and Avastin. Been on Avastin all year. BRAC (-), will be getting the BART and meeting with a genetic counselor. Went to St. Louis - Barnes/Wash U for a consultation and they agreed with my local oncologist's recommendation to do chemo + Herceptin first, then surgery. There were 2 options discussed for chemo: a 6 cycle course of Adriamycin, Cytoxan and taxotere along with Herceptin or 8 cycles of Cytoxan, Epirubicin and 5 FU (what is this??) along with Herceptin. Right now I'm on Arimidex.

I was told since it was HER2+, the tumor is over 1 cm (2.5 cm) and I hadn't had any chemo for a year, they recommend the chemo and herceptin first then surgery. As far as the surgery, the doctor in St. Louis seemed to indicate that due to my unusual history, why leave any tissue behind that could cause problems. I got the impression he was leaning towards double masectomy. I have extremely dense breast tissue, like it's probably pointless to do a mammogram on me (just finding that out!). I did great with the chemo for OC, got lots of anti-nausea meds and worked the whole time. I never missed a treatment due to low WBC, but I'm being told that I will get a Neulasta shot after each treatment - not looking forward to that - heard they cause lots of bone pain.

I wasn't a fan of the Avastin. It kept my numbers down, but I've had extreme neck pain and stiffness all year along with shoulder and arm pain. I was so looking forward to getting of it and the pain going away - then I read the side effects of the Arimidex!

Any feedback regarding the chemo choices is appeciated.

Comments

  • missingtexas
    missingtexas Member Posts: 146
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    I can only give input for
    I can only give input for part of this. I am not Her2+. I did have adriamycin, cytoxan and taxotere (6 cycles) with a neulasta shot. I did not have problems with the chemo. I was never sick. I took my meds (steroids and anti-nausea stuff). I also took the compasine every 4 hours (whatever the instructions said) for a few days whether I needed it or not. I was told it's easier to stop it from coming than fix it after it's there. I was a little tired the day of chemo. I really had no other symptoms...and I know everybody is different but that is just my experience. The Neulasta was another story. I had A LOT of pain with that (days 3-5 after I got it). Pain meds seemed to help and a lot of people will tell you claritin will help (it's supposed to be great!) It did seem to decrease each time although not significantly. For me it was on the weekend so I may have been able to work. I do think I could have worked through chemo, but my husband and I were living in different states and had 2 little ones.
    I don't know about Avastin or Arimidex...but I THINK (if I'm wrong, sorry!!) that it's like tamoxifen for post menopausal women?? I do take tamoxifen, and have a lot of back and leg pain from it. Good luck to you!!!
    Dana
  • missingtexas
    missingtexas Member Posts: 146
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    I can only give input for
    I can only give input for part of this. I am not Her2+. I did have adriamycin, cytoxan and taxotere (6 cycles) with a neulasta shot. I did not have problems with the chemo. I was never sick. I took my meds (steroids and anti-nausea stuff). I also took the compasine every 4 hours (whatever the instructions said) for a few days whether I needed it or not. I was told it's easier to stop it from coming than fix it after it's there. I was a little tired the day of chemo. I really had no other symptoms...and I know everybody is different but that is just my experience. The Neulasta was another story. I had A LOT of pain with that (days 3-5 after I got it). Pain meds seemed to help and a lot of people will tell you claritin will help (it's supposed to be great!) It did seem to decrease each time although not significantly. For me it was on the weekend so I may have been able to work. I do think I could have worked through chemo, but my husband and I were living in different states and had 2 little ones.
    I don't know about Avastin or Arimidex...but I THINK (if I'm wrong, sorry!!) that it's like tamoxifen for post menopausal women?? I do take tamoxifen, and have a lot of back and leg pain from it. Good luck to you!!!
    Dana
  • SIROD
    SIROD Member Posts: 2,194 Member
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    Fluorouracil aka 5-FU
    5-Fu (stands for Fluorouracil) it can stand for five f--- u (joke). I had that drug, it's do able.

    Aromatase inhibitors are known for joint and bone pain. I didn't have any pain using Arimidex but Femara (it's cousin) I had awful pain.

    Your plate is quite full, I am so sorry that you have had to deal with a double whammy as they would say.

    My very best to you,

    Doris
  • Nana C.
    Nana C. Member Posts: 108
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    Neck Pain
    I took Avastin for one year and had extreme neck pain and stiffness all year long with shoulder and arm pain! My Dr. was convinced my pain was from Taxoter. I did end up with Disc issues in my neck. I search the internet often and nver found those as side effects for Avastin. That is too weird that we both had the same issues! I took Arimidex for one month after my hysterecomy and went running back to tamifin. MY body did not like Arimidex at all! Praying all goes well for you!

    Hugs,
    Nana C.
  • taiga
    taiga Member Posts: 75 Member
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    Nana C. said:

    Neck Pain
    I took Avastin for one year and had extreme neck pain and stiffness all year long with shoulder and arm pain! My Dr. was convinced my pain was from Taxoter. I did end up with Disc issues in my neck. I search the internet often and nver found those as side effects for Avastin. That is too weird that we both had the same issues! I took Arimidex for one month after my hysterecomy and went running back to tamifin. MY body did not like Arimidex at all! Praying all goes well for you!

    Hugs,
    Nana C.

    neck and shoulder pain
    There are lots of women on the Inspire discussion board (an OC board) that were on Avastin alone and had those issues. We were all shocked when our doctors just look at us like it's not the Avastin. Hoepfully when all the trials are done, and the data in, they'll add that to the list of side effects. I've been on the Arimidex since 11/21 and so far haven't noticed any increased pain.
  • Lighthouse_7
    Lighthouse_7 Member Posts: 1,566 Member
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    taiga said:

    neck and shoulder pain
    There are lots of women on the Inspire discussion board (an OC board) that were on Avastin alone and had those issues. We were all shocked when our doctors just look at us like it's not the Avastin. Hoepfully when all the trials are done, and the data in, they'll add that to the list of side effects. I've been on the Arimidex since 11/21 and so far haven't noticed any increased pain.

    Hi Taiga,
    I am sorry that

    Hi Taiga,
    I am sorry that you now have to deal with breast cancer. I'm sending lots of positive thoughts and hugs. When I had a question on the ovarian board you were nice enough to answer me about my friend.
    I had Stage 3 b/c but Her-. I chose ACT chemo with the T being Taxol.
    Best of luck with your decision.
    Wanda
  • Alexis F
    Alexis F Member Posts: 3,598
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    taiga said:

    neck and shoulder pain
    There are lots of women on the Inspire discussion board (an OC board) that were on Avastin alone and had those issues. We were all shocked when our doctors just look at us like it's not the Avastin. Hoepfully when all the trials are done, and the data in, they'll add that to the list of side effects. I've been on the Arimidex since 11/21 and so far haven't noticed any increased pain.

    Taiga, I am hoping that you
    Taiga, I am hoping that you will find what is the cause of your pain and get the help that you so deserve.


    Hugs,

    Lex
  • carkris
    carkris Member Posts: 4,553 Member
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    Alexis F said:

    Taiga, I am hoping that you
    Taiga, I am hoping that you will find what is the cause of your pain and get the help that you so deserve.


    Hugs,

    Lex

    I had adriamycin and cytoxin
    I had adriamycin and cytoxin and then 12 cycles of taxol. I agree with everything MT said. I did not have an ok time with chemo but as you have experienced everyone is different. I have also had CMF which for me was more tolerable. did they give you any reason for the choice? also I think this is with taxol but there was some study that said giving it first was considered more effective. I had it the traditional way. I keep hoping as it poisoned my body so much per haps it killed any of those nasty cancer cells floating around too. LOL
  • Double Whammy
    Double Whammy Member Posts: 2,832 Member
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    carkris said:

    I had adriamycin and cytoxin
    I had adriamycin and cytoxin and then 12 cycles of taxol. I agree with everything MT said. I did not have an ok time with chemo but as you have experienced everyone is different. I have also had CMF which for me was more tolerable. did they give you any reason for the choice? also I think this is with taxol but there was some study that said giving it first was considered more effective. I had it the traditional way. I keep hoping as it poisoned my body so much per haps it killed any of those nasty cancer cells floating around too. LOL

    Side effects
    I have NO side effects on Arimidex. Been on it 1 year now. Yahoo.
    I had NO side effects from Neulasta. Zero. Go figure. I was expecting them, but they didn't happen. Yahoo.
    My chemo was 4 cycles of Taxotere and Cytoxin. I had lots of side effects, but only the last cycle was difficult. The rest were just aggravating.

    Good luck with whatever you decided. You know already that this is all doable, but I hate that you have to do it again.

    Suzanne
  • Kristin N
    Kristin N Member Posts: 1,968 Member
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    Side effects
    I have NO side effects on Arimidex. Been on it 1 year now. Yahoo.
    I had NO side effects from Neulasta. Zero. Go figure. I was expecting them, but they didn't happen. Yahoo.
    My chemo was 4 cycles of Taxotere and Cytoxin. I had lots of side effects, but only the last cycle was difficult. The rest were just aggravating.

    Good luck with whatever you decided. You know already that this is all doable, but I hate that you have to do it again.

    Suzanne

    I've not been on Arimidex
    I've not been on Arimidex and hope if you decide to, that you will have no side effects with it. Good luck!