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getting ready for second chemo treatment - side effects?

jean m b
Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

hi - my second treatment is on Thursday. Will my side effects increase or decrease compared to the first round. I don't have the names of the drugs but know they start w/ a and c.

always's picture
Posts: 257
Joined: Oct 2009

I have round 2 in 4 hours and 45 minutes. I can't answer from experience. I know from the boards that it is different for everyone. Sometimes there are new symptoms, sometimes they lessen as your body gets used to the process, sometimes they accumulate. It is not a hard clad answer. I do know that we march or crawl our way through and you will too.

Get the chemo nurses to give you the exact names of your treatment. Write it down or have them do it for you. It will help you get information here on the boards and elsewhere. For most of us knowledge is power. It is difficult to remember everything it is all new terminolgy. So write everything down.
I hope all goes well for you tomorrow. I will thinking about you.
Best wishes and prayers

natly15's picture
Posts: 1941
Joined: Sep 2009

If your chemo is A/C it could be adriamycin/cytoxan. Have the nurses give you a write out sheet on your chemo. I just completed by 3rd round of A/C yesterday. Side effects are so different for everyone. Some have nausea, some do not, some are constipated, others have diahrea, some have a drop in white blood cell counts and some drop in red blood cells. Then there are those who have very few side effects. I hope you are one of those ladies. Wishing you the very best tomorrow.

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3602
Joined: May 2009

I didn't take chemo. Just want to send you good luck!

chickad52's picture
Posts: 499
Joined: Jun 2009

Everyone is so different with side effects. With my A/C treatments, it made me very tired and I also had trouble with constipation. Good Luck to you. I will keep you in my prayers. Hugs, Diane

laurissa's picture
Posts: 773
Joined: Sep 2009

My effects were the worst the first time. 2 and 3 were mild. The bone aches are what bothers me. My hair loss started 14 days after starting. That is the most traumatic time, for me it was. I know, it's temporary. I'm on taxatere and cytoxan, steroid pills and a leunasta shot. Hope you do well.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2010

I'm on exactly the same drugs as you are. I've only had 2 treatments out of 4. Like you, my first treatment was the worst. Treatment #2 was easier. My hair loss started day 16. I am struggling now with constipation, fatigue and no taste buds at all. Otherwise, it's not too bad. Since we live to eat at this house, I sure hope my taste buds come back! The neulasta knocked me out the first time, but this time it wasn't bad at all.

brenda247's picture
Posts: 124
Joined: Apr 2009

it all depends on the meds and their side effects and like everyone i have talked too it effects everyone differently.. good luck to you wish you the best!!

prayers & hugs!!

Sam726's picture
Posts: 233
Joined: Sep 2009

I think everyone is different...I dont think mine were any less, but I was more prepared and able to prevent. Therefore, I found the 2nd easier..hope that helps.

Sher43009's picture
Posts: 602
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Jean

I finished 4 rounds of A/C every 2 weeks. Each one was a little different. The first one was the worst then they got better. My sense of smell and taste was off the scale with each one. What tasted good the first time was nauseating the next. The best advise I received was to ALWAYS take your anit-nausea pills--don't wait until your feeling nauseated. My bones also hurt after the nuelasta shot, advil helped with that. The fatigue got worse with each one. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. I was sleeping so much and not drinking that I got dehydrated after the 4th one--not fun. I lost my hair after the 2nd treatment. I had it shaved off and felt better.

You'll be fine and remember to keep your sense of humor.

Posts: 3641
Joined: Aug 2009

From Aug 26, 2009 - Oct 7, 2009 I had 4 doses of A/C. With each one, I got a bit tired-er for 2 -3 days. I never had ANY nausea but I was given several drugs to prevent it. With each dose I had to remember more to remember to eat - I just wasn't hungry (Actually it was Hubby that reminded me often to eat - my Mom was aneoretic and he lived through the end of her 'problems' so he knows well the need to fight to eat.) I had no pain with the Neulasta shot but almost to the minute, 4 hours after the shot I got incredibly sleepy - not tired but sleepy.

Didn't the facility you're going to give you an education session with a nurse and info about the drugs being used and what to expect, what needed immediate medical help , etc.? My first education session was for about an hour before I started A/C and last Thur I had another education session (this one was about 1/2 hour) before I started Taxol.

We are all unique and what one of us goes through (or doesn't go through) is not what someone else will. There are similarities often but not always.


PS - REMEMBER to drink lots of liquid!

Sicilia929's picture
Posts: 8
Joined: Sep 2009

Everyone truly is different. I was on Taxotere/Cytoxan and I tolerated round one like a champ. No problem whatsoever. Headache and fever for about 8 days afterwards and my hair started falling out about 17 days out. I lost 99.9%...did not lose eyebrows or lashes.
Prior to session 2...I mentally prepared myself starting on Monday for Friday's appointment. Second chemo session I went into anaphylactic shock almost as soon as the Taxotere hit my system. Five nurses came from nowhere, stopped the Taxotere, pushed Benadryl and then flushed out my system with a saline (I believe) IV bag. That was Friday, Oct.23.

The next Monday I saw the doctor and he told me they could 'desensitize' me to be able to tolerate the Taxotere but I opted out. It wasn't an easy decision to say the least, but the right one for me. I won't go into my reasons as everyone has to come to their own decisions. I am now done with chemo and starting my first radiation treatment at 4:00 today.

I am sure you will do just fine. My nurse had told me prior to the 2nd session that they call it the "easy" one...because you know what to expect and the accumulative effects haven't happened yet. Well, that wasn't the case for me but I understand I am in a minority of about 9%.
Good luck and God bless.

weazer's picture
Posts: 440
Joined: Mar 2010

I had a very difficult time, My side efects were off the chart!
And my second one was the same as Sicilias, I went into anaphylactic shock and had to stop my treatment that day.
I saw my onc after that, and mind you, I was in tears, because he had told me most people could continue to work and go about there buisness with minor side efects, Not in my case whatever could of gone wrong did.
I was at the point where I just thought that I could'nt go any further but we were able to manage with shots in my stomach for five days after my treatments(Neupogin) spelling? and many different scripts for the different side efects that I had.
I felt that I had to keep going no matter what because of the type of cancer that I had (Triple negative).
I really thought that my onc had to be some kind of sadist, but I truly Thank God for him and that he was able to help me and I am Greatful to him and the wonderful nurses that would take care of me.
Most people do go through it with no problems, I hope you are one of them God Bless and keep your head to the sky....Karie

Hi ladies...Sorry I did'nt read the date on this post before I posted : )

Cat64's picture
Posts: 1192
Joined: Aug 2009

Good Luck on your first Chemo today. That one is always hard because you don't know what to expect. As the ladies have said, everyone is truly different. My first one wasn't as bad as the 2nd and I didn't have the same side effects. I definetely got ALOT more tired after the 2nd. Let us know what more you find out and how you're doing. Hope your s/e are minimal!
♥ Cathy

scout5000's picture
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2009

I too had Adriamycin/cytoxan. For me the first was the worst. After that, the doc added Amend, another anti-nausea drug. It helped me to know what to expect. If you are having bad side-effects tell your nurse or doc and they may be able to add different meds. Sometimes I had to think that I just had to get through the next hour, and I did. You will too. Best wishes. Scout

Posts: 137
Joined: May 2010

Sometimes constipated, sometiesm diarhea, always something new, but for me always neaseated. Just drink A LOT of water several days before (I'm talking 2 or 3 quarts) and several days after. It really helps. If you can't stand water, add a little flavor from powder drink mixes, whatever you like. Just drink, drink, drink.

Posts: 3641
Joined: Aug 2009

The OP is almost a year old.

TxRn64's picture
Posts: 26
Joined: Aug 2010


I think as everyone else says we all have different side effects. I will have my 3rd cycle on Wed. and so far side effects are: Constipation after 1st cycle, a little diarreha after 2nd cycle, hair loss at day 17 but it's not falling out as much any more (I still have hair), my eyes just started tearing up a little a few days ago. Two days after each cycle I start feeling week and am up and down for about 2 1/2 days. I'm never really sleepy on those days just week and sick to my stomach. For the most part my energy level is very high and I'm just as active as I've always been. I take Vit. B6 and B12 and think that's one reason my energy level remains good. I do have terrible taste buds but not every day. I take Zinc (per a study I read about) for that but not sure if it helps or not, I just know that some days I can taste everything, and others I taste little, or nothing. Some days I get nauseated when I start getting hungry, once I eat I'm good again. So far I think my side effects are pretty minimal but I know once the chemo starts accumulating I may have increased or more side effects.

Good luck! I hope your side effects remain minimal!


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