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Thread: Mom's 1st chemo treatment

  1. #1
    Regular User
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Roanoke Rapids, NC
    Posts
    26

    Mom's 1st chemo treatment

    Hey everybody! Well my mom had her first chemo treatment this past thursday, May 5th. So far so good. They told her her hair would start clumping out by the 3rd day, but fortunately, none of that yet. She's doing great. She's doing all the things she was before she even started chemo. She feels a little weak at times, but thats it. We are very thankful so far.
    She is having dose dense AC Taxol. 4 weeks of AC and 4 weeks of Taxol. Is it normal to h ave dose dense although she has such an early stage?? She is also doing the Neupogen shots every other day to boost her white blood cell count. They are very expensive. $2,600 for only 2 of them (thats only a 4 day supply) (WHOA)
    Luckily my job has worked with me around my mom's sickness, so I am able to have off whenever I want just to be at home with her in case she needs anything. That makes things so much better.

    Someone please let me know if you have had the dose dense AC Taxol and let me know how everything went.

    Thanks so much
    Danielle
    My mom
    She is 44
    Diagnosed 3/7/05
    Lumpectomy
    Mastectomy 3/29/05
    Lymph node biopsy 3/24/05
    1 cm
    Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
    Stage IIA
    Chemo started 5/5/05
    AC Taxol (dose dense)
    Neupogen shots every other day for 4 months
    ER+

  2. #2
    Top User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Northern AL
    Posts
    625
    Hi Danielle,
    I've never heard of someone losing their hair after the 2nd day. It's normally said about 14 days after the 1st treatment. I didn't start losing mine until the end of my 3rd treatment........ so much for thinking I'd be the 1 in a 100,000 that didn't lose theirs or whatever the odds were with the 3 chemo's I took together.
    Fatigue is a given with chemo. Some work all through treatments, some have accumulative affect and get more tired with each treatment. The day of chemo I felt fine, it was day 2 when it hit me. Everyone reacts differently so it's hard to know.
    Hope she has an easy time of it.
    Hugs
    Nancy
    Nancy
    2/14/02 ILC 43 - 5.5 cm 9+/16 nodes
    Stage IIIA er/pr+ Her2-
    2/02 MRM
    FECx6 radsx33
    Tamoxifen - Arimidex (chemo induced menopause)
    4/03 SM w/bilat. recon.
    9/03 expanders removed
    5/04 repair reconst. disaster
    10/04 Actonel for bone/joint pain from Arimidex
    NED - 5 years
    3/07 Diabetes
    In memory of Kim 12/1/04

  3. #3
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Florida Panhandle
    Posts
    137
    Hi,

    I did dose dense AC and Taxol. They did the AC first...4 treatments every 2 weeks. I had the Neulasta shot the day after. It does the same thing as the Neupogen, I think, but you only need one dose. Anyway, if your mom hasn't been sick yet, then she's doing great. The first treatment I got sick on the 3rd day but they changed my nausea meds and the next treatments were ok. I did get really fatigued on the 3rd day and it lasted for 4-5 days. The 2nd week, I felt great!! I'm doing the Taxol now and it is not giving me any problem at all. I do get rosy cheeks for a couple of days but no other noticeable side effects.

    Good luck to your mom and email if you have any specific questions sgishelly99@aol.com
    Shelly
    Dx Nov 1, 2004 at 40 y/o
    Right MRM, Left Simple Mast. - 12/9/04
    Stage 2A IDC -
    Primary tumor 1cm
    3+ / 14 nodes, ER/PR+, HER2-
    34 rads - finished 5/25
    chemo - AC and Taxol FINISHED 7/6/05
    beginning reconstruction 2/06
    brain mets 4/06 - now stage 4

  4. #4
    Senior User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    103
    Hi Danielle,
    Glad to hear Your Mom is doing well, I hope it continues. I agree with Nancy , it affects everyone differently. With the A/C it's the adriamicyn that makes your hair come out ,its red in color. Does she have a wig or scarves or hats? Even knowing it's going to happen ,doesn't really make it any easier for most anyway.Alot of people cut their hair really short when it first starts coming out ,for some they have woke up to most of their hair on the pillow -it's still difficult to deal with-but it goes with the territory,we're still living!
    I'm a little surprised they are already giving her something to boost her white cell count,though I know everyone is different, If I remember correctly,for myself , it was after my second treatment that they gave me Nuelasta(sp). I was given that twiced after 2nd and 3rd treatment.
    Tell her to listen to her body,when fatigued rest,try and eat more fresh veggies and fruit-and to drink alot of water especially the day of treatment and the next day too,that way she will flush out her system -those chemicals are not something you want lingering in your kindneys nor bladder.
    I'm so glad you are able to arrange your schedule . Your Mother is very lucky to have you.Don't forget to take care of yourself too! Care Givers get tired too.Stay strong and God Bless You!
    Sue
    Age-48
    DX-8/29/2003
    Stage 1 - ER/PR-,HER2-NU+3
    Infilterating Ductal Carcinoma,Grade 3.
    Modified Radical Mastectomy/Left-side
    4 Rounds of A/C-completed 1/2004

  5. #5
    Top User
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Northern AL
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    625
    That's another thing that oncos have different views on. I never got any of those shots. I had my labs done 1 week after my 1st chemo, then 2 weeks and then 3 weeks, which was also the time for another chemo. They saw when my counts bottomed out and when they started rebounding. I was then checked 2 weeks after chemo and 3 weeks, which again, prior to the next treatment. My white count always rebounded on it's own, so I never had to get the shots. Some onco's give it regardless and as part of the routine and others give it only if needed.

    Sue is so right about the hair. My mastectomy when 1st dx and then the simple mastectomy I opted for due to stage, age and kind of BC never bothered me. I'm boobless and doing good. I guess I connected the breast with cancer and I have never missed them, just like I haven't missed the cancer, but my hair. That was the hardest thing for me by far. I had always had long hair and even though I had it cut twice to try and prepare myself, you can't. For me, when it started coming out, I started coming apart. It wasn't long before I accepted it, but when it 1st happens, that seems to be the toughest part. Your hair is part of your identity I guess and it seems cruel for the cancer to take that away from us while we're fighting the beast.

    It didn't help me at the time, but it really does come back. Mine is as long as it was before chemo. I need to get it cut, but.............. lol

    She's doing great!!
    Nancy
    2/14/02 ILC 43 - 5.5 cm 9+/16 nodes
    Stage IIIA er/pr+ Her2-
    2/02 MRM
    FECx6 radsx33
    Tamoxifen - Arimidex (chemo induced menopause)
    4/03 SM w/bilat. recon.
    9/03 expanders removed
    5/04 repair reconst. disaster
    10/04 Actonel for bone/joint pain from Arimidex
    NED - 5 years
    3/07 Diabetes
    In memory of Kim 12/1/04

  6. #6
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    60
    Hi, Danielle. Glad to hear your mom is doing well. I, too, did dose dense but A/C and Taxotere (synthetic form of Taxol). My hair came out after the 2nd treatment. I also did the shot to boost the WBC. Usually the first treatment is indicative of how she'll do so sounds like so good so far. We're all here as you need us and sounds like your mom is in good hands. Our thoughts are with you.

    Marion
    Age: 48
    Dx 10/14/04
    lumpectomy 10/26
    1.6 cm
    Stage IIA
    SN biopsy 10/29
    1/14 nodes +
    4 A/C
    30 Rads
    Taxotere complete
    Tamoxifen for 5 years

  7. #7
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    71
    With my onc, if you have dose dense, you get neupogen shots as a matter of course. I had 7 after each chemo, starting the Monday after my Friday chemo. My shite blood counts were good throughout, I didn't ahve to avoid crowds, and I never even got the sniffles. My doc will only give neulasta (that's the one shot for WBC) if there is 3 weeks in between chemo treatments.

    I think that dose dense has become the preferred chemo protocol, because the studies have shown better survival rates. And frankly, that's the one I would choose if I had a choice. DD takes 4 months for the full 8 treatments, the every 3 weeks takes 6 months. Who wants to be bald and somewhat out of commission for another 2 months?

    I did very well with my chemo. Mostly, I was just tired, very few other side effects. Day 3 after AC was a lost day for me, and a slow one after Taxol. So if she is past that time, she will probably do great! Her hair should start to fall out Day 14 or so, and become ridiculous by Day 17.

    Good luck to your mom!
    Rachel
    Age 50 at diagnosis, Stage IIIA
    IDC grade 1, DCIS grade 2
    LB Mastectomy, Expander Recon 3/3/2004
    Dose Dense Chemo completed 07/01/04
    Radiation completed 09/02/04
    Silicone Implant 11/22/04, removed 7/05 due to infection (dental cleaning), replaced 12/05. Reduction RB for symmetry 04/06
    Tamoxifen 10/04-10/06, Arimidex 10/06 on

  8. #8
    Experienced User
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    Mar 2005
    Location
    Shelby Twp., Michigan
    Posts
    79
    Hi Danielle,
    Glad to hear your mom is doing so well. I to have been told hairloss starts about day 14. Wishing you and your mom the best of luck.
    I had first chemo treatment on Wed. 5/11. Followed by Neulasta shot the next day. I however experienced some nausea and vomitting Thursday. Today, Friday, I chose to stay home from work to recupe a bit...seem to be okay so far.
    Does anyone know if swimming whether it be pool, hottub,or lake is totally off limits?? Will need to check with onc on this. (I do have a port if this makes any difference.)
    God Bless and be well...
    Jill
    Dx 3-17-05,breast cancer
    40 yrs young, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, 2.5cm
    ER+/PR+, Her-2/neu Negative, Grade and Stage 2
    1 Sentinel node pos. 17 neg., chemo AC/Taxol ,
    rad.tx

  9. #9
    Experienced User
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    Nov 2004
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    71
    Jill,

    About swimming... its not the chemo that would stop you from swimming, but the healing of your incisions.

    My docs let me swim in a swimming pool after my incision from the mastectomy was healed somewhat - I cannot remember exactly when that was, although I think about 2 -4 weeks. He also told me that after exchange surgery for the silicone implant, 2 weeks. I think it will be the state of the incision for the port that makes the difference for you, so check with your doc. Sorry I can't be more help!

    Since you had some nausea and vomiting, I suggest you talk to your doc about changing your meds - there are alot of alternatives out there. I used Emend and Anzimat (sp?) and had no nausea at all, although I'm probably just lucky . If you react the same way I did, you should start to slow down a bit tonight (Friday, day 2 after AC), and have a really slow day on Saturday - my day 3 was pretty much a useless day for me. I would have been fine by Sunday, day 4.

    You should also be on the lookout for constipation or diarrhea just about now (I'm sorry, I find that sooo weird, that you can either be constipated or have the runs!). I spend alot of my first Day 3 curled up in a ball, very unhappy, until I realized that I was constipated (duh!), took Sennekot at night and was fine the next morning.

    Good luck! One down, only 7 to go!

    Rachel
    Rachel
    Age 50 at diagnosis, Stage IIIA
    IDC grade 1, DCIS grade 2
    LB Mastectomy, Expander Recon 3/3/2004
    Dose Dense Chemo completed 07/01/04
    Radiation completed 09/02/04
    Silicone Implant 11/22/04, removed 7/05 due to infection (dental cleaning), replaced 12/05. Reduction RB for symmetry 04/06
    Tamoxifen 10/04-10/06, Arimidex 10/06 on

  10. #10
    Experienced User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Shelby Twp., Michigan
    Posts
    79
    Rachel,
    Thanks for all the encouraging words!!! Sure does help. Today is Day 3 for me and I am feeling fine. SO, looks like Day 2 may be my bad day (if its only one day this will not be so bad).
    Thanks again
    God Bless and be well..
    Jill
    Dx 3-17-05,breast cancer
    40 yrs young, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, 2.5cm
    ER+/PR+, Her-2/neu Negative, Grade and Stage 2
    1 Sentinel node pos. 17 neg., chemo AC/Taxol ,
    rad.tx

 

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