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Rash

els19
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 2014

I'm currently in chemo Carbo/Taxol for a recurrence. I had my third chemo a week ago which is really chemo #9 and yesterday started a rash on my chin and lower face. Has anyone else experienced this? I called my doctor and the nurse said to take benydral and keep an eye on it. Benydral does seem to help but does not completely get rid of it. I've never experienced this side effect before. Any ideas to help get rid of it? It's itchy and burns some too.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1479
Joined: Oct 2015

I had a terrible rash from chemo. It started on the left side of my face and by the time it was all over, most of my skin had peeled off. However, it was worse on my left side - weird, huh? I was prescribed something which helped with the itching but didn't stop the skin from peeling. The upside was when I went to the dermatologist last year she remarked how smooth my face was for my age. I told her what had happened and she said it was like getting a free chemical face peel. 

Since then, my face is super sensitive. After wearing a mask for as little as 15 minutes, my eyebrows (what is left of them) start to itch. Then that itch spreads down my face and then one time after I had to wear it for a considerable amount of time, my right arm broke out in hives. I just think some people are really sensitive to medication. Just typing this makes me itch!!

Good luck!!

Love,

Eldri

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I will start Taxol in November, weekly, 12 of them. So I had been checking all over for this rash side effect and I found out Eldri had it.

Most people on this site said their doctors advised the Benadryl. A lot of people have gotten this rash! Some itch, some don't, some hurt.

I read some people have tried the Benadryl, others have tried Aveeno anti-itch, some others tried a Lindi Citrus Face Serum (from a iine for chemo patients?) and everyone was raving about it, but the reviews are from 2013. Don't know if they were just famous back then and now there are others.

Does it itch?

els19
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 2014

Thanks Eldri and Primavera. Yes, it itches. I'm using Benydral and cortisone cream. I think it's from the Carbo. It tends to cause reactions when you pass number 8 chemo. I'm just very sensitive. I had a ton of side effects the first time, just not a face rash. I could use a chemical peel, Eldri. And it's the only way I'll ever get one because I'd rather have wrinkles than pain. Last time I just kept telling myself I had all the side effects because the chemo was working. I'll just look at it that way again. Thanks for the hugs! Sending them back to both of you. 

els19
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 2014

I just ordered the face serum from Lindi. I used their products last time. They have a wonderful soothing balm for cancer patients too. There's a store in the lobby where I have chemo that carries their products. A lot are for breast cancer patients, Primavera. Unfortunately the shop is closed right now because of Covid. But their on line site offers free shipping. Thanks for suggesting it. 

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

For some reason, reading the reviews I started to think they were a thing of the past. I've kept the link just in case.

I never use anything on my face, no creams or lotions or moisturizers, anti-wrinkles, etc. Have used Cetaphil to wash it for years, and minimal makeup. I've never had anything happen on my face, so I'm a bit afraid and that's why I had been checking this site from 2009 on! If I get it, I don't want it to itch.

I read that some people were suggested Zyrteck and that stopped the itching.

Most people blamed Taxol, some blamed the steroids.

I wanted so badly to get a dermatologist involved (I don't have one) before starting treatments, but I got thrown into this so fast I didn't have time. I'm most terrified of the itching, lol.

Molly110
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2019

Primavera, your cancer center may have a dermatologist who specializes in people in chemo and other cancer treatments. Mine did. As it happened, I didn't need one, but it was comforting to know it was available if I did. I never had any skin reactions, but I only had six cycles. Fingers crossed that you don't experience any dermatology problems.

 

Molly

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

Thanks for reminding me of that.

My 4th treatment of the Adriamycin/cyclophosphamide is Nov 3. I'll ask my oncologist then.

I think right after that treatment they'll send me for the echocardiogram to check for heart damage; and I don't know if I'll have one extra week to recover from AC (it's been every two weeks) before I start the weekly Taxol. I just don't want anything to take me away from completing all this.

I think I'll have 12 because maybe because they're lower doses, but weekly? Something like that. I'm also having it all by itself.

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I hope it goes away soon; people say it does. Feel better! 

els19
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 2014

Thanks Primavera. I'm already on Zyrtec for allergies so maybe it is helping. I tend to get a lot of these annoying side effects that aren't serious just bothersome. Last time every cycle brought a new surprise. I tried like you're doing to be proactive and keep on top of things. But then a new rare side effect would appear. I finally realized I could not control it. But it's great you're researching and realize the possibilities. It's helpful to be prepared.  Hopefully you will not have these issues. Again I'm lucky they're just annoying, not serious. And the rash seems a bit better this morning. I should get the facial serum on Monday and I'll let you know if it helps. 

els19
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 2014

Primavera, the rash did go away. Things that helped were benydral and cortisone cream. The benydral helped lessen it when it was flared up the worse but then it didn't seem to make a difference. I finally received my Lindi serum and the rash went completely away overnight once I used it. I'm also using their soothing balm on my scalp. I found they do sell a set of sample sizes of their products. I wish I'd ordered it earlier because then I would have had it already in the house. Thanks for letting me know about the Lindi serum!

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I'm going to order that serum. I guess it will be useful even if I don't get that rash.

I'm done with my four AC chemos and I'll start Taxol 11/17. I'm a little bit afraid of it all. I know AC was supposed to be the worst, but I had left the oncologist office when I noticed that my next chemo will take 8 hours. I checked and I saw three names in the list: Taxol, Herceptin and something else that starts with a P and sounds like progesterone. I asked the chemo nurse and she said: oh yes, very long day. You'll get the three drugs and then you'll go back to just having Taxol alone for the other 11 weeks. So I guess I'm having a test trial of everything that day, even if Herceptin was slotted for next year. 

So glad your rash is gone. 

cmb's picture
cmb
Posts: 730
Joined: Jan 2018

Primavera,

Congratulations on being done with the AC treatments! I had four cycles of Adriamycin and Ifex (Ifosfamide). The Ifosfamide is similar to Cyclophosphamide.

I must admit that I felt terrible throughout the entire three months I took those drugs, although my doctor did change up the post treatment medications and added some extra fluid transfusions the week after treatment. I was very glad to be done with that phase.

I didn't find the Paclitaxel/Carboplatin cycles I had first to be that difficult for me, so I hope you have an easy time as well with your next chemo phase.

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I think I read that you had the AC treatments at the end? My first and second one were OK. The third one got me sick and worried. I had the port installed the week after and it was done as surgery, so I had anesthesia. Not sure if because of all that running around getting covid tests, pre-surgery tests and then the port installation, but the next week I was out of breath most of the time and very dizzy. I was afraid to faint in the shower. It went away the next week. I haven't had that yet with this fourth one. My bones hurt last night because of the Neulasta, but other than that, I've been OK.

I have to get an echocardiogram next week.

My hemoglobin keeps on going down steadily. I started with 12.6, went to 11.5 after second, then 10.5 and last Tuesday it was on 9.5. Afraid to see what happens before the Taxol. I hope it didn't go down more.

I think because I didn't have a very hard time with the AC, I'm afraid to have it with Taxol. I'm most afraid to have a bad reaction right at the beginning, only because I don't know what a bad reaction is? I was getting my last AC when a woman showed up to get her chemo and the nurse remembered her from the last time. She said to her: this is your second infusion, right? you were the one who had the bad reaction last time? They closed the curtains and I couldn't hear anything else.

I wasn't as worried when I thought I was getting Taxol and nothing else, but then I saw the rest of the list and the 8 hour slot. It might be 6 hrs for Taxol, and then 2 hrs for the other two.

I wonder if I can bring a bagel with cream cheese to eat for breakfast. I'm dying for one. Smile

els19
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 2014

Wow, that's a long day. My infusion is five hours and that's long enough. I get taxol slowly because I had a reaction to it the first time I had it. Are you going to try icing? It really is working for me and preventing the neuropathy that the taxol caused last time. Sending you hugs and positive thoughts. 

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

Oncologist said they start everyone on Taxol slowly to test for reactions. It's probably 6 hours for that one and then the rest. I wasn't counting on anything other than Taxol, but it looks like I'll get a taste of the others the same day.

I've been dragging my little freezer to the AC infusions. The first time I could only use the booties because I didn't have a port. Same with the second time. Third time I could do it better. But I have to step up the way I do it. It takes a while before I get over to the chemo room and I feel like everything gets warmer with all that waiting time. The freezer keeps things cold, but of course I have to freeze the gels in advance in a real freezer because that tiny freezer will never really freeze anything. 

Yes, icing hands and feet was always my priority. Did your nails turn black at all? I have a faint little black on the base of my nails on the right hand. That's the hand that I didn't ice for two treatments because they were using my veins. I never fussed about my nails at all, keep them short and no nail polish, but I do not want them to separate from their beds. I need to type! My toenails are OK.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1479
Joined: Oct 2015

I was on Taxotere and Carboplatin. I only made it through three chemos but I lost all my fingernails and toenails - the nail on my left big toe fell off TWICE! Now, five years later, my fingernails are not all connected to the nail beds as are my big toe toenails. I wear short acrylic nails because my real nails look awful.

Good luck!! I hope the icing works for you. Neuropathy is the pits!!

Love,

Eldri

Molly110
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2019

Congratulations on being done with the first phase. You'll be okay with Taxol, even if you have a reaction, because the chemo nurse(s) will be really vigilant about it, and they know exactly what to do. Your reaction, if you should have one, will be over before you barely know you're having it. I had a reaction to the second taxol cycle, and the instant my face flushed and my breath caught the room was full of people, each of them efficiently doing something different, and then it was over -- all in just a few seconds. It was over before I could even be scared. For the remaining 4 cycles, they slowed down the infusion and gave me the dexamethasone (the steroid) and benadryl (antihistimine) the day before by pill and even more than usual by IV the day of. The only problem with that was that I needed more mitts and bootie gels because the chemo days were longer. 

 

I think you said you were at Dana Farber? Your treatment team will have so much experience with the taxol that they will not let anything bad happen to you if you do have a reaction. And most people don't, since it's a standard part of how taxol is used to give those premeds and to watch for a reaction once the taxol starts.

With everything you have already handled, I hope you find the new drugs manageable. 

Fingers crossed.

Molly

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I'm in New Jersey. John Theurer Cancer Center. Oncologist did tell me at the very beginning that they do the first one really slow. I was glad to hear because I had heard about the reactions and the reason to slow it down only at this site. I have 12 of those, so I'm bracing myself for that. I have two pairs of booties and two of mitts, and a whole bunch of gels that I try not to carry with me all at once because they're so heavy. I'll have to get them all together for the first infusion. The mitts lose their coldness really fast, and are really big. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but last time, I grabbed the pair of booties I had and put them in my hands and inserted the gels on top and on bottom. They felt a lot better and not so loose.

Molly110
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2019

Primavera, it sounds like you have a solid plan. If the mitts and booties become too much for you at any point, you might want to look into icing, which ranges from holding small bags of ice to having your hands and feet in ice water to other variations. I used the mitts and booties because that's what the research I was familiar with used. In hindsight, I wish I'd known about the icing methods, as my mitts and booties definitely were not cold enough for long enough, although I used several pairs, and I have a lot of neuropathy in my feet (much less in my hands, which were the problem initially). 

I know I've mentioned my sister in law to you before, who was treated for breast cancer. She had even more taxol than you are scheduled for, and she had no neuropathy at all. As far as I can tell, it's unpredictable, so I think it's safest to do everything possible to protect against it. 

 

Fingers crossed for you.

Molly

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I think I'm going to start a new thread because this is a rash thread and I think I hijacked it and then it turned into icing...and now going into coronavirus.

Molly110
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2019

Hi Primavera,

 

Since Els rash is under control, I'll bet she's fine with the "hijack." I've been wondering how you're doing. How is the treatment coming along?

 

Molly

Kaleena's picture
Kaleena
Posts: 2064
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Molly

I had a reaction to taxol.  Yes the nurses are there to take care of you.  After my reaction they sent me home.  I came back in two weeks and they started me on Gemzar instead.  No issues after that.

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

They'll probably move me to Taxotere. But I have to get other heart damaging drugs at the same time as Taxol; like Hercepting/Perjeta.

They didn't start me on anything yesterday. I got to my appointment with my negative Covid test (my family is fighting it and I just fled my aunt's house where I've been because it's close to hospitals and went back to my boyfriend's miles away from the hospital). Such a tiresome day because of the snow storm.

I got blood instead. I became very anemic and out of breath and my heart was damaged a bit from the adriamycin. They've decided to get me stronger and re-start on the 29th. I've been out of treatment for more than a month now.

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I've been staying with my aunt and her husband near the hospital for all these treatments. Even before I got diagnosed with the breast cancer. 

After the last adryamicin treatment, I got sent for an echocardiogram. My aunt and her husband got really sick at the same time. They went for a Covid test. When I was making an appointment with a cardiologist because the drug did damage my heart, they got a positive. The cardiologist didn't want to do telemedicine. Without cardiologist visit I couldn't continue. 

i took a cab to my boyfriends. Been scared. Sent to quarantine. Can't go back until the 29 with a negative test. 

 

MAbound
Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

It's so scary that people get left hanging during treatment or for other needs because of the virus. I'm also so sorry to hear that your treatment has resulted in heart damage as a side effect. I pray that your relatives recover and that you won't get the virus on top of everything else that you are dealing with. Such scary times we are going through! Hugs to you as go through all of this! Vaccines just can't come fast enough!

Molly110
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2019

I'm so sorry that you have one more thing to deal with, Primavera. I hope your family recover quickly and you don't have the virus. I think many people go through interruptions of treatment and then do fine. Everyone is pulling for you, I know. 

Warm best wishes,

Molly

Maxster
Posts: 89
Joined: Apr 2020

I am sorry to hear about your complications!  What a mess.  This is such a terrible time to be getting treatment.  Hang in there.  I am sure it will work out.

els19
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 2014

Primavera, so sorry to hear you're going through so much. I'm sending prayers, and Only positive thoughts your way. And don't worry about a break in your treatment. It does happen quite often for one reason or another and I personally have a friend who did very well once back on tract. Hopefully this can be a brief respite that lets you take a break and build up more reserve for the next step. And don't worry about hacking this link. The best conversations on this board start out one way and diverge to much more interesting subjects. Try to rest and please keep posting to let us know how you're doing.

ConnieSW
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jun 2012

Once again my words fail me.  I just hope you and your family are ok.

MAbound
Posts: 1153
Joined: Jun 2016

I'm picturing you safe and snug with your boyfriend and praying for your aunt and uncle. Hope all is going ok.

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I can't continue my teatments until I get a negative testing for this virus.

I can't put my boyfriend through this, so I'm going to try to isolate.

My aunt and her husband are OK now.

I'm just all alone with this.

 

BluebirdOne's picture
BluebirdOne
Posts: 455
Joined: Jul 2018

with these issues, but you are not alone here because you have us! Let us know how you are doing and coping. 

xxoo

Denise 

Molly110
Posts: 192
Joined: Oct 2019

Primavera, is the problem that you can't get tested or that you've had a positive test at some point and are waiting until you can get a negative test? Either way, my heart goes out to you. This is not a good time for you to have to be alone. 

Wishing you the very best very soon.

Molly

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

It's been two weeks of fear and the cardiologist I was going to see (damage to my heart from Adriamycin) wouldn't see me through telemedicine. So everything was stopped while I isolated and then took the testing. My family is OK after going through this, although my aunt's husband who was intubated (scary) is out of the tubes this week. While you deal with the fear of getting it yourself, you have to deal with anyone in your family not making it.

Things are so crazy at hospitals that cardiologist is requesting telemedicine today at 3pm.

Then I can continue with the treatment, depending on what the damage has been. 

Take care everyone. I'm hoping there will be less of this virus around even if not everyone will be vaccinated this month or the next one.

els19
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 2014

Primavera, I'm so happy to hear you tested negative and are now back on track. Life certainly throws curves, doesn't it? I hope your aunt and uncle continue to improve and you can continue treatment. Wishing you all the best!

ConnieSW
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jun 2012

I am so glad for you and your family. Good luck with resuming therapy.

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

Well, cardiologist said yesterday damage was irreversible and put me on two beta blockers. But damage is still leaving me in the normal range of heart function. 

But I told him I was anemic and out of breath and also that my next treatment which was supposed to be just Taxol for 12 weeks, somehow included a test drive of the next heart-killing drug (Herceptin) and also Perjetta. It was going to be an 8-hour chemo day. I told him I'm terrified of getting it all in one day, so he said he was going to recommend against it now that we know Adriamycin damaged my heart. I was not supposed to get Herceptin till next year, every three weeks.

They just called me from the cancer center and I resume treatment this Thursday. I asked nurse and my list of drugs is still the same as before, but it's probably because oncologist hasn't checked recommendations yet. Wish me luck! I'm already afraid of Taxol.

And thank you for the support.

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

On that Thursday when I went for chemo, they gave me blood because I was in no shape to get chemo. Hemoglobin was so low.

Then we waited till yesterday to resume treatment. I could breathe again after the blood transfusions. So yesterday we went through with the Taxol, Perjeta and Herceptin (with caution from cardiologist).

They started with the Taxol at slow speed and since no allergic reaction happen ed, they moved it up and I ended up having it in 1.5 hr. at full speed.

I was there from 8:40am (lab work/oncologist, infusions/check of blood pressure, temperature, etc.) till 7pm. I wonder how much longer it would have been with slow settings.

I had Perjeta next and then Herceptin at the end. I won't know what they did to my (already) damaged heart, but I'm sure I'll have an echocardiogram soon. They told me to stay in my chair after Herceptin for an hour and a half for observation. Everything was OK. My cousin kept her phone close at night while we slept in case of any problems with these.

I feel great today and have nothing else to report about Taxol, but I know I still need 11 more of these, interspersed with Perjeta/Herceptin every three weeks.

That blood really helped. I had failed to notice how much in a bad shape I was after AC treatments. Then the two months running away from covid also helped me recover a bit.

Sadly, my uncle died yesterday. I was getting the updates of the news from his daughter right when I was having the bad-for-your-heart drugs, while my sister was telling me I shouldn't be stressing because nothing I could do about it.

Next week I get Taxol all by itself, but they're starting slow again, just in case. Short visit, though; no other drugs.

ConnieSW
Posts: 1576
Joined: Jun 2012

That was a long day. 

I am sorry about your uncle.  Was it from the COVID complications?

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

He was the one who got sick first, then gave it to my aunt. But she got it mild. We really thought it was a cold. I ran to the CVS on the corner and bought Cold Eeze that used to get my colds gone in a day or two. She had a few of those and her coughing stopped. He continued with the coughing. Said those lozenges gave him a dry mouth and I think he went on to pneumonia and got taken to the hospital. Two months there. He was OK last week. That morning, his blood pressure kept on going up. I think they said it went up to 300 and so it ended.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1802
Joined: Jun 2015

So sorry for your loss Primavera. 

That really was a long day for you. Make sure to rest when you need to. I suspect you feel good today due to the steroids. Don't be too concerned if you hit a fatigue stage sometime tomorrow. It is normal and gets better over time. I hope you continue to tolerate the treatments and get through everything without further damage to your heart.

Thanks for the update. We are here for you.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 227
Joined: Mar 2019

I had forgotten about those. So yes, today I ate double of everything, I did a lot and waiting to see what hits me tomorrow. I don't think I have a lot of time to recover now because it's weekly treatments from now on for 3 months. Was it you who changed the weekly treatments to every 3 weeks? I can't do that or I would have a day like yesterday every time. Thanks for the hugs.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1802
Joined: Jun 2015

Yes, that was me that went from weekly to the standard every 3 weeks. Great memory! My steroid high lasted 1.5 days post treatment day. Almost to the hour every time. You will know it is coming. It feels like something pulled the energy plug out of your body. You will get into a routine fairly quickly. And, I know you will get through this. Take care.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

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