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TC chemo side effects

Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2012

So I am brand new to this forum. I had lumpectomy 2/27/12. 1.6 cm clear, but close margins, and one micromatastesis in 1 of 3 nodes. E+, P+, HER2-. Oncotype dx score of 20. I'm strongly recommended to do 33 bouts of radiation because of the surgery results and am ok with that. The chemo was optional given the low percentage point drop in survival, but the general consensus seemed to be that I am young (46) and fit, and would get through it fine, so went for the emotional decision of trying everything. I'm finding my symptoms to be more severe and not so much what others seem to be reporting and I want to quit already. (I just started on the 28th.)

Symptoms I can deal with include the fatigue, back ache, metallic taste, and inability to eat anything dry or sweet. Minimal nausea with all the meds.

What is hardest is the despair. I seem to have lost who I am as a person, this was the worst on Friday, today I can laugh and cry again. Also I can hardly get out of bed in the am, my motor control function is decreased as if I had Parkinson's. I can't stand up straight. (I think partially because my GI system is burning from end to end). My skin hurts, especially my scalp, neck, and back. My surgery arm hurts again even though it was fine. I have to urinate every hour and seems spastic. I can sleep 4 hrs with Ativan.

Have others had these sort of symptoms and if so did you continue, and did it get worse with each cycle? Thank you.

weazer's picture
Posts: 440
Joined: Mar 2010

Hello there, Sorry your going through this, you might get sick and tired but you will be amazed at how much strength you will be able to musster up.
Everyone is different some people breeze through it and then there are others that seem to have a bit more difficulty.
My self I was allergic too my chemo cocktail so I suffered with every little thing...lets put it this way what could go wrong did with me, but that is not the common exsperience.
Invest in some plastic wear for eating your food with it helps a lil for the taste of your food, my scalp hurt also, then I ended up cutting my hair shorter than when it started to fall out I shaved it, unfortunatly most of us have gone through the type of aches and pains, however I think you should mention your concerns to your ONC and see is they can help you.
Take care dear sister, you have come to the right place for support, Great group of girls and guys on here:)
Lots of Hugs coming your way....Karie

tufi000's picture
Posts: 755
Joined: Jun 2005

do not give up on a temporary situation that may save your life. Everyone is different and for me, I reacted less with each treatment, so you never know. But I feel the discomforts worth the ordeal in the increased peace of mind that came with it when it was over and I found myself again. There have been long-term affects for me, but I preferred to evolve and find my new normal than give up the long-term goal.

All the best to you.

New Flower
Posts: 4299
Joined: Aug 2009

I have had 6 infusions with Taxotere/cytoxan. While it is a very hard regimen, most side effects can be manageable with other medications, please ask you doctor on Monday about help.
1% is a big number for me. Good luck

carkris's picture
Posts: 4554
Joined: Aug 2009

I had a bad time with chemo too. However the muscle thing concerns me, I had some stumbling form neuropathy, but that was a quite a way in to treatment. I would be concerned as you just started.

Posts: 4376
Joined: Jun 2009

I'm so sorry that you're having these side effects. Please do talk to your oncologist. There are meds that I am sure could help you.

Good luck,


camul's picture
Posts: 2541
Joined: Dec 2010

I have found that the side effects seem to get less with each treatment on most of the chemo's, not all. Some se are really bad, but I am not ready to take off the gloves.

I was 44 at first dx and chemo was horrible. I worked through it with a trash can next to me. I was stage 1, grade 3, IDC, er & pr positive, her2 -. I truly believe that the aggressive tx gave me 8 1/2 years cancer free. I set goals, went back to school, graduated w/2 degrees, volunteered with end stage patients in hospice. I have been blessed to see both my sons graduate from college, and one marry.

Diagnosed stage iv, mets to bones, skin, and now liver in 2010. Weekly chemo for 15 mo. now. This time being treated for her2+, I was on the fence of - or +, and chemo was not doing anything, so we are trying herceptin to see if it makes a difference. My goal is to be here when they find a cure, or turn this into a chronic disease.

Chemo sucks, but I am certainly worth the fight. So many days I want to say no more, then I look at all the beauty and love of my family and friends and know that I can't give up.

Everyone is different and the choices we make are our own and what works for us. Talk to your onco, they may be able to give you something that makes the se less, or change to a different chemo. Only you can decide what is best for you.

Best wishes,

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