Posted by cancertakesflight on May 21, 2019 12:37 am
Welcome to the site and the wonderful world of chemo. I had my chemo in 2011, which is when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The reason, I believe, for the diarrhea is that your liver deals with the toxins in your system and it gets maxed out with the chemo treatments. Since it can't fully process everything, diarrhea is your liver's way of getting the toxins out of your body quickly. So almost think of diarrhea as a good thing. :-)
This taxing of the liver is another reason that each treatment can feel a little worse than the last one. If the liver has not processed all the toxins from one treatment (or is sort of in recovery mode from the last treatment), it has to deal with the new toxins and possibly some toxins from the previous round.
So maybe it would be good to do something nice for your liver. Some green tea might prove helpful. As always, talk to your doctor to see if there is anything you can eat or drink that might help support your liver. It's an under-appreciated organ.
As for the hot flashes, I didn't experience any but it could because chemo will likely, if you are not already, put you into menopause (even temporarily). Like everyone is quick to point out, you should check with your doctor. This is just my theory.
You seem to be doing everything right. Back when I had my chemo, no one told me to drink more fluids. I was trying to avoid drinks while I was having chemo so that I didn't have to wheel the contraption with the IV into the washroom with me. I wish I had known. I didn't drink anything more at home. See, years later, I'm still learning.
Take care of yourself.
Thanks for the tag Cynthia Mac
Posted by Buffythevampire on May 21, 2019 1:20 am
At first I was using a notebook to record things, but now I have changed to a binder. I want to document my chemo cycles and maybe I will be able to be better prepared for the side effects start dates. Fingers crossed anyway.
What I was wondering about the diarrhea part is not that you get it each cycle but whether you will get it more then once in the same cycle? So far it happened just the one day but I took meds to stop it. I have also been drinking hydralite since I had diarrhea. Hoping that hydralite will replace the lost fluids/electrolytes.
Posted by Runner Girl on May 21, 2019 10:40 am
I got the hot flashes with chemo/Herceptin. I was constantly taking my temperature to make sure I wasn't feverish, and I never was. By mid way thru my treatment I quit with the thermometer. My hot flashes continue, but much worse now that I'm on Tamoxifen. I get the night sweats too. I wake up and it's covers off because I'm too hot, then it's covers on because I'm freezing. It's like my internal thermostat has gone crazy. I never had much grief with my natural hot flashes but the ones I get now are spectacular, I turn red - ears, throat, chest, I break out in a sweat and feel like I'm about to spontaneously combust. Not pleasant, but not the worst side effect ever.
As for the diarrhea, I never had a problem. I suffer from IBS-D so I was extremely concerned that the chemo would make my existing issue a bigger problem. Turns out, while I was having chemo my gastro issues normalized and for a while I felt just like a normal person again. I suppose the chemo was making me a bit constipated but with my existing issue it wasn't a real problem. Now that chemo has been over for 6 months my IBS-D is back to it old self, unfortunately.
Wishing you well with the remainder of your treatments.
Runner Girl - Gayle
Posted by TheresaB on May 23, 2019 1:05 pm
Anyway, I have gleamed a lot of information from this thread. Thank you.
Posted by Essjay on May 23, 2019 7:34 pm
Glad things are getting started for you. You will very quickly get into the routine.
best wishes Essjay
Posted by ashcon on May 24, 2019 10:11 am
The "cocktail" you have been prescribed is very common, and is what I was put on as well. Sometimes the Paclitaxel is called "Taxol", making the acronym for your cocktail "ACT".
The doxorubicin is unaffectionately called 'the red devil' as it is a bright red fluid that is administered separately from the cyclophosphomide and is apparently the stuff largely esponsible for the hairloss.
I found the first 4 rounds of AC caused the most nausea for first few days after treatment, which was kept in check with the anti-nausea meds prescribed, along with Ginger Gravol tablets.
With the Taxol, there was (thankfully) no nausea, but the increased steroid meds prescribed to accompany the Taxol caused increase in hunger and energy levels! The fatigue on the Taxol didn't hit until 2-3 days after treatment, when the steroids finally started to wear off!
As Essjay says, you will find your groove. Odd as it may sound, I actually felt sad when treatments came to an end as I felt like the weapons against my cancer were being withdrawn, and I was now becoming vulnerable again. But I understand the body can only take so much of the toxic stuff that chemo is.
What are your plans for dealing with your hair loss? There are some great conversations and tips on this topic on this site. Just use the search engine at top of screen within any Discussion or Group forum.
As many have said, you are not alone in this. We are here with you every step of the way.
Be good to yourself this weekend!
Posted by TheresaB on May 29, 2019 12:50 pm
I am starting my chemo tomorrow. Nervous as all heck but I have to do this. 🌞
Posted by luvcurling on Jun 13, 2019 3:47 pm
Those of you that are just starting your chemo make sure you discuss with your team any and all side effects that may happen. It really is helpful to understand everything that might be possible - I did a "happy" dance for every side effect that I didn't get! Do tell your team about the side effects you have, as they can often make a difference with them.
I had my setup CT yesterday in preparation for radiotherapy - I have three dot size permanent tattoos now, but can only find two of them - as long the the radiation techs can find them that's all that matters, right? Radiation will start in about 4 weeks or when they can schedule me in; it'll be nice to have this time to recover. I'll be getting 20 treatments.
Luvcurling - Colleen 🐶🥌🤗
Posted by Lianne_adminCCS on Jun 13, 2019 4:05 pm
Congratulations on completing your chemo! Always great to tick another treatment off the list. And thank you for sharing some chemo tips for others.
As to the tattoos - the tech that did mine told me if I looked REAL carefully, that one was a dragon lol
2 years after treatment I got my first "real" tattoo as I didn't want those 3 dots to be my tattoo legacy 😉
Enjoy this break from treatment and do some things that you really enjoy! Then try to get some rest because as you have probably heard, radiation can be quite fatiguing for a lot of people.
Posted by Buffythevampire on Jun 13, 2019 10:34 pm
Posted by Essjay on Jun 14, 2019 8:18 am
Good luck with the radiation. I found the planning session hard because I have neuropathy in my hands and I was uncomfortable and it took some time. However, the techs came up with a plan for my hands and by session 2 we had things worked out. Fatigue is an issue for me. I am returning to work gently - I did some work around radiation because the clinic is 5 minutes from my office, but I’m finding I can’t push it. That’s ok - I want to get back to the gym regularly too. It’s all about getting all aspects of my life back.
Posted by Buffythevampire on Jun 24, 2019 10:35 pm
Did anyone get a chemo port and do you have any regrets?
Can you drive too and from the day you get your port installed?
How do you care for the port?
Can you shower with it?
Will it delay my future breast surgeries?
Posted by Aries on Jun 24, 2019 10:53 pm
The port can used for IV infusions and for contrasts for scans.
If you have a lot of needles ahead of you and the port can be used for all of that, I would highly recommend it just for ease and pain reduction. I don't really feel the port of the infusion.
I hope this helps - good luck and keep us posted!
Posted by luvcurling on Jun 25, 2019 12:02 am
My major vein in my left arm was also burned from my chemo - after #2. It's never going to be the same and still causes pain with some movement. After a careful exam of my arm and all possible veins in the arm (I can only use my left arm because I had axilla node dissection on the other arm) it was a discussion about a PICC line or an IVAD (port); due to my activity level I choose the IVAD as it's totally under the skin and it requires flushing once a month if it's not being used that often. Honestly, this was a great decision for me; I received my last three chemo treatments with it and at least I only had one needle prick (the slight pain from it subsides very quickly) each time versus 2 or 3 and being stressed out that they wouldn't be able to find a vein.
Likely every cancer centre will have their own guidelines for driving there and home, care of the site and showering, so I won't give advice on that, but yes you will be able to shower freely (based on their advice) and do most activities after the first few days - my centre suggested light activities for the first few days - driving was okay. I would suggest you give your surgeon a call about it interfering with the rest of his treatment -get the answers right from him.
From my perspective, a port is the way to go. Good luck with your decision!
Posted by Essjay on Jun 25, 2019 8:09 am
It was inserted under conscious sedation, although I don’t know how conscious I was as I remember absolutely nothing. I had to have a driver and someone at home for 24 hours. I actually did some work from home after, and felt fine.
i was really glad to have the port. It looked a bit grim on me because I have almost no adipose tissue, but it was easy for the nurses to access and there was no messing around trying to find a vein. I could do all my normal activities including pushing weights which I did until the chemo wiped me out too much. I totally recommend one. I was given lidocaine to rub on it before treatments, but I didn’t need it...
I had had mine removed ten days ago, despite being advised to keep it a while. I needed it out to feel like my treatment is done and I’m into the recovery from treatment. It helps me mentally get into the mindset of being positive about my cancer and not thinking about a recurrence.