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BMS's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2011

I am new to these discussion boards. I was diagnosed with breast cancer back in August. Three masses in one breast - clustered. Have gone through 4 rounds of TCH chemo (once every 3 weeks), then had to stop because of elevate liver enzymes. In the meantime, my MRI should great progress of the shrinking masses and we proceeded to surgery. Last week I had a lumpectomy and the pathology report showed all 11 lymph nodes removed were clean and the last remaining spot of any mass was only 1/8 of an inch. All has been removed.

Now I get to finish my chemo, but differently. Will replace Taxotere with Taxol and do three weekly doses, one week off, then three weekly again. After that, 6weeks of radiation combined with Herceptin every three weeks until September. Whew...it's a lot, but plowing through.

Can anyone tell me of the side effects of the weekly chemo treatments? Are they as bad as the every three week treatments?


Posts: 601
Joined: Mar 2004


I didn't have this kind of treatment but wanted to welcome you to the boards. I'm a two time survivor stage 4 bone mets. Your handling things very well and I wish you well as you continue your treatment, good news with the MRI!


BMS's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks for the welcome. Not looking forward to two more chemo rounds, but I am thinking of it as my "clean sweep." Any stray suckers will be swept away! Gotta have some fun with this, right? My treatments have become "chemotinis!"

mwallace1325's picture
Posts: 806
Joined: Apr 2009

first welcome to the site. i did 12 weekly rounds of taxol, no breaks in between. i had crazy, annoying side effects. my eyes teared all the time (use drops if it happens), i had heartburn and metal taste in my mouth. i was tired all the time (i'd done four rounds of A/C right before). i have dark circles under my eyes naturally, and during treatment i looked like a raccoon (furless of course).

that being said, the treatment is doable. you've gotten great results from what's been done and that after all is what we want.

be good to yourself. don't over do things. also, i've read many posts here from women who had no problems at all from taxol. my onc predicted that i wouldn't and all things considered they were really minor.

let us know how you're doing.


dyaneb123's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: May 2009

Welcome BMS
I only had the every 3 weeks chemo, so can't help, but I wanted to say that we are glad you found us.

woodsygal's picture
Posts: 64
Joined: Jul 2009

I had weekly taxol treatments at the end of my chemo, I couldn't handle the larger dose every two weeks. I had no problems at all. I have heard of taxol causing joint pain, my late friend told me she had to take pain pills. I am so happy that your masses shrunk and no lymph nodes involved! Yippee!! Good luck, I am here for you!! I am doing well!!! Carlie

Posts: 3659
Joined: Aug 2009

I started with 4 A/C every 2 weeks - they weren't that bad at all. Hair left (most but not all), lost all sense of taste and appetite, eyes and nose ran like it was a spigot turned on, was tired 2 days out of the 2 weeks and it wasn't that bad of a tired, I could rest on those days and get relief. The Neulasta wasn't even bad for me - no pain, just went to sleep 2 hours (almost to the minute) for 2 hours after getting it. 2 weeks after last A/C I had a mod. rad. mast. and 3 weeks after that I started 12 weekly Taxol.

The 12 weekly Taxol were another story though - it was NASTY. The rest of hair left, still no taste or appetite and complete and utter exhastion. I lived on the couch or bed only going to the bathroom other than going for the next infusion. Could not sleep - sleeping pills helped. The good thing was that the effect started leaving a week after the last one. The week after the last Taxol I started 25 rads whcih went well - feeling better with each week until after the end - burned bad.

Didn't need Herceptin but have been on Femara for 11 1/2 months with no side effects I know of.

Remember that we are each unique in how we handle what we are going through AND how our body handles it.


CR1954's picture
Posts: 1393
Joined: Jul 2008

First of all, welcome to the board. Very nice to meet you.

I didn't have Taxol, but a cousin to Taxol, called Abraxane. That was after 4 A/C chemo.
Then I had 33 rounds of rads. All of this was after mastectomy and lymph nodes.

I did a year of Herceptin, an infusion every three weeks. I can tell you that it was easy to do. No real side effects from that, so hopefully, you will not have any problems with it.

Best wishes,

smalldoggroomer's picture
Posts: 1181
Joined: May 2010

Hi Bonnie,
I have not had the treatment you are having but I did want to welcome you to the board. I have been through chemo taxotere, carboplatin,herceptin ended Oct 12Th Had surgery Nov 1, right side mastectomy and had six weeks of radiation w/bolas finished that last Saturday Whew.
I wish you all the best with the rest of your treatment. It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things and are in good spirits. But if there is anything we can do to help or just to talk we are here for you. So come often talk lots you now have 4000 sisters LOL
Really it is nice to meet ya Take care Kay

cahjah75's picture
Posts: 2631
Joined: Jun 2010

I just wanted to welcome you to the board. I had Taxotere/Cytoxan every 3 weeks for 6 rounds. Hope someone else has info for you.
{{hugs}} Char

bjmom1's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: Jan 2010

Welcome to the board you going to meet some wonderful people here who is always there to give you support. Good luck on your treatment I hope it willl go smooth for you.


bjmom1's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: Jan 2010

Welcome to the board you going to meet some wonderful people here who is always there to give you support. Good luck on your treatment I hope it willl go smooth for you.


bjmom1's picture
Posts: 152
Joined: Jan 2010

Welcome to the board you going to meet some wonderful people here who is always there to give you support. Good luck on your treatment I hope it willl go smooth for you.


fauxma's picture
Posts: 3581
Joined: Dec 2008

Welcome and sorry you had to come here. Sounds promising that nodes were clean and the tumors shrunk. I didn't do chemo but others will chime in to let you know how they did. I will keep you in my prayers that you do well with the chemo, rads, and herceptin.

pinkkari09's picture
Posts: 878
Joined: Sep 2009

Welcome Bonnie!! As stated, we are all different and this is just my experience with Taxol. After 4 rounds of A/C I was scheduled for 12 weekly rounds of taxol, we stopped at 11 because of the neuropathy (numb hands and feet, nerve pain). As for the other side effects, my eyes watered all the time, I was exhausted, I had the awful metal taste in my mouth, and I couldn't sleep. It's been a year now since I've had it and my neuropathy is still pretty bad, that's the biggest one for me. The metal taste, I recommend plastic silverware and of course lots of ice cream. Be good to yourself, and remember, we all react differently, don't want to scare you yet I know how nice it is to hear others experience. You sound like a true warrior!! Be kind to yourself.

Lighthouse_7's picture
Posts: 1566
Joined: Jan 2010

Glad you found us. A lot of great guys and gals here. I had 4 rounds of Taxol. I did get a lot of bone pain and hands were numb, but it was doable. ANything to help rid our bodies of the beast.

aysemari's picture
Posts: 1596
Joined: Dec 2009

So sorry to meet you here but glad you found us so you can get
some great advice and unparalleled support.

I had Taxotere and Carbo, main side effects for me were nausea,
vomiting and later on joint problems. But unfortunately everyone's
experience on chemo is very different. I certainly hope it won't be
too hard on you.

I am still on Herceptin, which is not so bad. I just have symptoms
like a slight flu.

Hope to see you post more!


PinkPearl's picture
Posts: 280
Joined: Oct 2010

Glad to meet you. So happy about the shrinking masses... that sounds like wonderful news. I am having T/C for 4 rounds and I think that will be the end of chemo for me (crossed fingers) so no advice but tons of wishes for good luck with your next round.

MyTurnNow's picture
Posts: 2690
Joined: Aug 2009

Bonnie, I also wanted to welcome you to this amazing group of even more amazing individuals. It sounds like you have made great progress in shrinking the masses and clear lymph nodes is awesome. I didn't have the same treatments but felt that whatever was necessary to get to the desired result (NED=No Evidence of Disease), I would do it. Wishing you strength to get through the remainder of treatments. Continue to post as someone is usually here 24/7. Good luck.

BMS's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks for the warm welcome. Feels good to be among those who understand.

I am in good spirits and recovering from the lumpectomy and node removal. Next week I head back to the oncologist to talk about these last 2 chemos. He feels it needs to be done to make sure all the cells are gone. I agree. He also feels doing the smaller, weekly doses rather than the TCH/neulasta once every three weeks like I got before, will be easier on my system and less side effects. I certainly hope so.

Right now my hair has sprouted, but I am guessing it will fall out again when we do these chemos...then I get to do the 30 rads.

So much fun....

Anyone located in the Washington, DC area?

Posts: 311
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi BMS, I'd like to welcome you and send my best wishes to you. I do not live in the DC area anymore, but spent most of my life between NOVA and suburban MD. Where are you located? I miss the area very much.

BMS's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2011

Northern, VA...Centreville. Been here for 25 years and love it. Just was wondering if there were any toher people on the board from the area.


pinkflutterby's picture
Posts: 615
Joined: Jun 2009

Sorry you had to come here but I'm glad you found us. I have had different treatments, the main effect on me has been severe tiredness the few days after treatment. Hoping thats all you have to deal with. Like others have said take it easy, and as my oncologist says, take advantage of the disease and let people help you!!!

Dee's picture
Posts: 40
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi Bonnie and welcome :)

Im new too and the women here have been amazing..so many stories of courage and strength and more wisdom that all the info you can find on the web!!!

I had a masectomy 2 weeks ago and due to start chemo in 3 weeks. My onc said to me that the 3 weekly TEC would be much harder than the weekly T but Im yet to actually do it!! Will keep you posted :)


tgf's picture
Posts: 954
Joined: Mar 2009

I had 12 weeks of taxol ... and had very few problems. In fact I slept through most of the treatments. All of the side effects were totally manageable ... I had rashes and the oncologist sent me to the dermatologist ... and when my hair started falling out on day 15 I called a friend and told her I was on my way over for her to shave my head. After she finished I put on my hat and we went out for dinner.

I know others have a rough time ... and I am very thankful that I didn't because I'm basically a big baby when it comes to being sick ... but my entire "adventure" ... lumpectomy, chemo, radiation ... went just fine. I will admit that the second I heard my diagnosis ... I think my brain/body went into automatic pilot ... and from then on it was sort of a robotic/out-of-body experience. But ... whatever my brain did ... it worked for me. I think if one of the doctors had told me to jump off a bridge ... I probably would have done it. :-)

Take care ... and I wish you smooth sailing through taxol!



beetle25's picture
Posts: 150
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Bonnie:
Welcome to the site but sorry you had to find us. I did not have the same treatment that you have but I know that all the side effects are managable.

Good luck


BMS's picture
Posts: 127
Joined: Feb 2011

Thanks to everyone for the welcome. I am heading to see my onc on Thursday to talk about these last 2 chemo treatments. My hair has just started to groww back and I'm sure will fall out again after we start. Bummer!!

I do have a question for you all...

I had 11 lymph nodes removed during the lumpectomy. At the inciscion site for the node removal, I have a lot of swelling...might even be fluid retention. The drain was in for almost a week and removed after drainage stopped, but now I have this lump. Surgeon's office said to call back in another week if it is still fairly large or becomes painful.

Anyone else experience this?

Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

I didn't have the swelling, but, it could be fluid retention. Good thing you are seeing your oncologist Thursday. Be sure to let him know about it. And, I would probably try to get in to see the surgeon too, maybe do it on Thursday also? Why wait since it is troubling you. Good luck and let us know.

Hugs, Jan

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