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1st chemo completed today - piece of cake SO FAR!

PatB01's picture
Posts: 20
Joined: Aug 2010

HHHHHOOOORRRRRAAAAAYYYYYYY. First round of chemo down (5 to go) -- and I feel GREAT. Got my Taxotere, Carbo, and Herceptin. I am so dosed up on steriods I feel like I could go running or dancing. Maybe I'll clean house. The nurse told me I'd probably be up to 2-3 am from all the steriods. I am to take more steriods on Friday and along with anti-nausea drugs. Then on Sat., no more steriods until the next chemo round in 3 weeks, and the anti-nausea drugs are "as needed."

The nurse said the LOW point usually hits the 3rd day after chemo, which for me is this Sunday, and exhibits itself as extreme fatigue. On that day I am to just "give in" to the fatigue -- read, sleep, watch a movie, etc. "Don't push yourself."

I learned that the reason they don't want you to drive yourself this first round is from the Benedryl and anti-nausea drugs - they are not sure how sleepy they will make you. It's not from the chemo drugs themselves, but rather drugs to prevent their side effects and allergic reactions. Well after all the steriods, sleep was/is the farthest thing from my mind. I am Pumped Up right now.

I did get an allergic reaction to the Taxotere, that I learned was very common the first time it is administered. Your body goes "what the heck is this", and raises a fuss. I noticed shortness of breath/shallow breathing within less than 5 minutes of starting the IVm, and then major flushing. My face turned blood red, but by the time that happened, the Taxotere was stopped, and two nurses were there with MORE Benedryl and steriod, and the Onc was checking on the situ!!! After 15 min they restarted the Taxotere IV, and it went just fine. They are not expecting any further reactions to this drug in the future, but will be watching for them anyway.

But after all this excitement, my appointment turned into a 6 hour visit. In the future, it should be about 3.5 - 4 hours. They doubled the drip time on Herceptin this first round due to potential allergic reactions - I had none on that one; so it goes from 2 to 1 hour next time.

Oh yea -- in typical female fashion, I must have packed a 5 pound chemo bag -- blanket, socks, BIG 24 oz water bottle, several magazines and several books (could not decide what I might feel up to reading), Sudoku, snacks, small cooler with more water, iPod, the always present cancer journal, plus my little purse with wallet, glasses, pens/pencils, sun glasses, lipstick and hand lotion.

Well here is what I actually used from all that -- blanket, cancer nutrition/eating magazine, 20 oz water bottle, snack, iPod, journal, reading glasses, sun glasses, highlighter, pen. That's about all I'll take next time. So if any of you know someone about to enter this, this is my "chemo bag list" from now on. The soothing music on the iPod turned into a "must have."

And this concludes my story for this first chemo day. All my worst fears WERE NOT realized. And I contribute that to all you prayer warriors out there. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all your thoughts and prayers. God listens and is so good!

Blessings, love, and thanks again to all of you!!!

Pat (BC survivor -- with only 5 more to go!)

PS. Forgot something -- need to add:
Although God doesn't promise us "no troubles", he does promise to give us what it takes to walk thru the stormy waters. And for me right now, that includes all the encouragement from each of you. Whether you realize it on not -- YOU are the angels God has put here to help me thru this. So when you evetually get your Angel pin for this one, remember I was the first to tell you about it! I am so grateful for YOU.

Heatherbelle's picture
Posts: 1227
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi Pat - I'm so glad to hear you're doing well! I was wondering about you when I was at my Onc office for my blood count & neulasta shot today :) Yes, the first one is a very long visit, mine sped up considerably after the 1st. I feel like I'm missing out on some fun here - everyone else talks about how they get a boost from the steroids & get this energy - but not me!

Posts: 87
Joined: Apr 2010

Pat, I'm so glad your visit went well today. I, too, took a bag full of things to do. I started reading my book and then the lady next to me asked me what kind of cancer I was there for. Needless to say, I never needed my book after that. I ended up talking to whoever was in the chair beside me and a couple of times to people on the other side of the room from me. I met some pretty amazing people in that infusion room. I hope your third day goes well for you and you get some rest.

Praying your journey is smooth,


Marsha Mulvey
Posts: 597
Joined: May 2010

Well Pat, here I am about 23 hours after trying to send you some encouragement very early this morning! Happy to hear your chemo went well, but not surprised. All-in-all, I don't think too many people have drastic reactions. Tomorrow will be my 29th consecutive Friday of treatments, and I've only seen one lady get ill.

Again, just personal experience - my days of fatigue have always been on Sundays and sometimes lasted about half the day on Mondays. (24 - 36 hours) The steroids didn't just cause me to stay up later than usual, I only slept about 60-90 minutes. After 2 full weeks of that, my doc ordered the dose of Decadron cut in half. This was still enough to help my body accept the chemo and immediately allowed me to sleep about 4 hours straight.
Perhaps some "food for thought" for you!

As far as actual side effects go, I hope you have none. I had many, but they're do-able. The aches and pains associated with chemo usually show up within a day. Other things like neuropathy takes 2-3 weeks to show up. It wasn't until after my ninth week that I suddenly developed a rash.

Here's hoping you'll be able to rest tonight. Is your chemo scheduled weekly? Let us know how it's going day by day. Wishing you well.


smalldoggroomer's picture
Posts: 1184
Joined: May 2010

I am so happy that it went well for you. I don't think it is ever as bad as we think it will be. The third day is when I go down to. I just don't plan much for the week of chemo. If you do have trouble sleeping with the steroids. I take a Tylenol pm. when I take the steroids and that lets me sleep. This will be over soon only 5 to go. Take care Kay. If you need anything we are just a holler away!!

Mama G
Posts: 763
Joined: Nov 2009

I wish EVERYONE who writes with fear on here about their first chemo could read this one!!!
Hope Sunday goes well for you. AND when I couldn't sleep after the steroids I took a benedryl at about 2am and that helped a lot. I would suggest taking the anti nausea pill on Sat. night or Sun morning BEFORE you feel sick. Can't hurt!

Boppy_of_6's picture
Posts: 1138
Joined: Apr 2010

So glad the first one is over! It really helped me to be done with that first treatment then you kind of know what to expect. God Bless
(((Hugs))) Janice

Angie2U's picture
Posts: 2992
Joined: Sep 2009

Congrats Pat! Happy that it went so well for you! Praying they all do from now on!

cavediver's picture
Posts: 607
Joined: Apr 2010

Glad all went well for you...sounds like you are organized for this and will do well. I keep you in my prayers and hope your side effects will be minimal. Keep us posted on how you are doing. Hugs

Jean 0609's picture
Jean 0609
Posts: 2462
Joined: Jun 2010

So happy things went well for you with your first chemo. I also had a "crash" day on the third day after chemo. It sounds like you are prepared. Just don't make any plans. It usually just lasted one day for me, except for my last one in August. It really kicked my a**. I had my chemo on Wednesday, had my crash day on Saturday. However, didn't begin to get my energy back until Tuesday. No sickness, just tired. Hope all continues to go well with you. Hugs, Jean

missrenee's picture
Posts: 2137
Joined: Apr 2010

That first one is so scary, but you nailed it! Hope your side effects are minimal and tolerable. Be sure to pamper yourself and let others help you.

Hugs, Renee

cookie97's picture
Posts: 200
Joined: Jul 2010

Happy to hear the first treatment went well. See all that anxiety was for nothing... Yeah couldn't have convinced me of it either. I didn't pack a lot I brought an army of people with me. I think that was actually worse. I finally found errands for them all to run so that I could have some peace and quiet.
You'll be amazed at how quickly the time goes by and your done with chemo. I just finished my 6th round last Friday and I'm amazed.
Hope things go well for you in your continuing treatment.

Peace and Love,

greyhoundluvr's picture
Posts: 402
Joined: Apr 2010

Good news that everything is going so well. It sounds like your onc is right on target for what a lot of us saw. I had my chemos on Friday and Neulasta on Sunday. I would start getting tired and foggy on Sunday afternoon and the fog would start lifting on Tuesday. I never really felt bad - just not the brightest bulb in the closet. Keep taking care of yourself and I hope this stays easy for you (I have a friend who got through her chemo with absolutely no side effects:)

cahjah75's picture
Posts: 2631
Joined: Jun 2010

your first chemo went smoothly. The unknown is what makes us nervous. I didn't have any reaction from the Benadryl after 2 treatments so I'm driving myself next time. I bring a book, my lunch and whatever crochet progect I'm working on, and of course my water! I too had a steroid high and was awake til 3 am and slept for 6 hours 2 nights in a row. My chemo is on Tuesday's and Neulasta on Wednesday. On Friday night I crash and sleep most of the weekend with my extra strength Tylenol for the bone aches. Keeping such a positive attitude will get you through this will ease.
{{hugs}} Char

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