Chemotherapy - Clementine_P

Drug or Chemo Therapy Associated with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma . Posted on August 13, 2011 View this journey (13 Experiences)

I was scheduled to have 4 rounds of Adriamycin and Cytoxan every other week and then 4 rounds of Taxol every other week for a total of 8 rounds of chemo for 16 weeks. In the end, I ended up having 4 rounds of AC, 2 rounds of Taxol, and then one round of Taxotere. I started developing neuropathy after 2 rounds of Taxol and my oncologist and I thought it better to switch at that point, since we feared permanent damage. I am a very active person and still on the young side (41 at the time) so, I feared that permanent problems due to neuropathy could curtail my lifestyle.

I must say that while chemotherapy was no fun at all, it wasn't nearly as bad as I had imagined. It was scary and I am a worrier so that certainly didn't help. Luckily for me, my father is a retired cancer researcher. He was always there for me to ease my mind and to give me my Neulasta shots. He was a godsend.

The A/C went smoothly. Aside from the typical low blood counts, I didn't get nausea and/or many of the other side effects that many complain of. I did get the mouth sores which were very uncomfortable. My oncologist prescribed "Magic Mouthwash" which numbed my mouth and throat. It helped.

My hair started falling out on day 15 or so. Even though I knew it was going to happen, I still felt very emotional about it. Seeing myself for the first time with a shaved head was traumatic to say the least. As time passed, however, the shock of it wore off and I got more and more used to it. I never liked my wig and so wore it only infrequently. Instead I wore a baseball hat with fake hair coming out of the sides and back and pre-knotted head scarves from 4women.com. Once my hair had returned in the tinest amount, I ditched all the head coverings all together. I just wanted to move forward.

I had to get a few Neulasta shots. After the first one I experienced a lot of bone pain. I would describe it as severe pain. I used Vicodin as prescribed by my oncologist and it definitely helped a lot. I never had the pain again after the first shot.

Chemo does impact your daily life. Each person gets their own array of side effects. I think it is important to remember that the side effects are manageable. Talk to your oncologist. Try to approach your treatment as a partnership. Your input and feedback will make the whole process go smoother. Also, try to remember that chemo, while not fun, is very likely saving your life. I am not pretending that I was a Pollyanna during chemo, but I do think that having a positive attitude can help you get through each day.

Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree

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