• Advice or preparation before starting T&C? (taxotere & cytoxin)

    Asked by Loafer on Saturday, October 6, 2012

    Advice or preparation before starting T&C? (taxotere & cytoxin)

    Will begin chemo in a couple of weeks with 4 rounds of treatment. How have others done on this treatment plan? Side effects and ways to mitigate? Is there a better day of week to schedule to keep working?

    15 Answers from the Community

    15 answers
    • lynn1950's Avatar

      My regimen was a little different - dose dense, 8 rounds of treatment. 4 rounds were adriamycin and cytoxin and the last four rounds were taxotere. Treatments were two weeks apart. Here I am, so I got through it. It's not easy, but you can do it!

      It is really important to keep hydrated. The first side effect was from the steroids given during chemo. The evening following chemo I was "up." You may need something to help you sleep. I have to say that following chemo I always felt fine and usually did a little retail therapy with a friend.

      My chemo was Wednesday afternoon. On Friday, when I got my Neulasta shot, I started fading, and I was down for the count on Saturday and Sunday. Even taking Emend and other anti-nausea pills, I felt pretty yucky and stayed in bed most of the weekend. On Monday I was on the mend and feeling well enough to return to work.

      Do you have a port? You may want a prescription for EMLA, a numbing cream; you apply it to the port area an hour before you port needs to be accessed and it makes that part of the whole shebang painless. I loved my port.

      I brought books to read and tapes to listen to the cancer center. The benedryl that I was given with the taxotere put me to sleep, so I didn't get much done then. The center also had movies available to watch and food and drink. The nurses were wonderful.

      I hope that something here helps you in your journey. xoxoxoxo Lynn

      about 4 years ago
    • karen1956's Avatar

      I did TAC (taxotere, adriamycin and cytoxin).....Take all the pre-meds that they Rx for you...and any anti-nausea meds that you need....drink water and more water.....I had my chemo on Thursday and came home and went to bed....by Monday, I was beginning to function again!!!! I ate whatever I wanted to eat.....I enjoyed watermelon, apples, strawberries (drank smoothies day of chemo), peanut butter on toast and anything that seemed tasty......I always packed a lunch for chemo...had CD's/headphones for music at chemo, but ended up prefering to dose...I had a port and as lynn mentioned I used EMLA creme before I left for the clinic...I had insomnia so onc Rx Ambien....I also took Ativan for anti-nausea and it helped with sleep as well.....I worked during chemo and that helped keep a sense of "normalcy' for me....Friends cooked for us the day I had chemo and the following week.....and others took my youngest daughter for play dates.....So I guess what I'm saying, let people help (i'm not one to generally take help)....be honest with those who want to help with what help you need....This journey is hard, but it is doable!!!! All the best to you....

      about 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      I had mine on Wednesdays. Started feeling effects Friday night or Saturday morning. Saturday and Sunday were the worst, but often still felt crappy on Mondays and diarrhea with stomach cramps was often a problem Monday and Tuesday.

      about 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      these two answers are GREAT.
      i have one thing to add.
      consider taking GLUTAMINE - this can be bought as a powder at natural food stores. swirl a spoonful into water (about 10 g into one cup of water) and DRINK UP. do this three times per day.

      why: a suckeeeee side effect of taxotere is neuropathy. it starts with tingling in your fingers and toes. it can turn to numbness etc... anyway, some people get it real bad. some people don't. glutamine supplementation has been through some clinical trials and reduces the incidence of neuropathy as well as some other side effects (e.g., mouthsores).

      i used it throughout my chemo. i had very little neuropathy. i don't know if i would have had more without it, but i really wanted to reduce the chances that i would develop that problem. the tips of my fingers did feel sort of funny... but i never got what some other people described... one woman told me her cheeks were numb!

      i cleared all of my supplements through my health care team, and the main doc was seriously well educated in this regard. why they don't recommend glutamine as a standard supplement, i don't know... but he was very supportive of using it.

      so, my advice would be to check over any supplements you are considering with your team and that you include glutamine in your list....

      my supplements were selenium, iron, vitamin d, glutamine, and b12.

      best wishes and good luck! may you have maximum efficacy with minimum side effects.

      about 4 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      Hi Loafer, I have had two chemosynthesis of my four of taxotere and cytoxin. I also take the Neulasta shot the day after chemo. The chemo is not bad at all. I lost my 15 days after the first chemo and went to the hairdresser and got a really short crew cut. Not so devastating as being completely bald. This too is coming out after the second chemo but not so hard to take. I have lost some of my taste, things just do not taste the same. I use Biotene toothpaste, mouthwash, and spray for dry mouth, so far no mouth issues. Also, after the second chemo I did have days where I just felt kinda yucky! I have chemo on Thursday and the shot on Friday. To avoid pain from the shot (first one was awful for bone, joint and muscle pain) I take a regular Claritin the morning of chemo, one the morning of the shot and another 12hours later. I do this for five days following the shot. My oncologist did not think it would work since my pain was so bad after the first shot, but it did--not any pain this time. I have not missed a day of work because of chemo and I am 65. I am also taking Arimidex. I think you will be fine. My daughters look at it as being 50% through the process. I do not have to have radiation.

      about 4 years ago
    • Loafer's Avatar

      Thanks all for the advice! This is so overwhelming for me.... I don't currently take an aspirin and can't fathom all of these drugs and supplements. I've only ever had one intravenous drug - Nubane- to take the edge off of a natural delivery - and had a sensitivity to the dosage. Have no idea what side effects I will have with chemo. Appreciate your help and guidance!!

      about 4 years ago
    • DianaL's Avatar

      Loafer, I forgot one important thing about chemo. The day before chemo drink at least 64 ounces of water, fluid. Do not drink much for two hours before chemo, but during try to drink as much as possible and get 64 ounces of fluid that day and the day after. This flushes the chemo out of the kidneys to prevent damage. I try to take that much every day.

      Sleep, even with an aid, is almost impossible the night of chemo. Chemo also makes hot flashes worse for a few days. Make sure to take care of your skin as chemo will make it dry. I use a serum on my face every night and cocoa butter as a body cream. Make sure there is no alcohol in what you use.

      Watch what you eat--fresh fruits, uncooked veggies and lettuce have bacteria and that is your enemy. Any fruit that can be peeled is ok, like banana, watermelon, canalope. Apples, oranges, lemon, need to be washed with the spray from the produce section and then peeled. When i am finished I cannot wait to have a real salad and a hamburger with the works. Just remember raw is not your friend!

      If you are not using an antibacterial soap, start before chemo and use until all treatments are complete! A BC survivor from work told me this!

      Probably way too much information but so far this has worked for me!
      Good luck and God Bless!

      about 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      diana - i never had that no-raw advice given... and i ate salads and raw fruits and veggies all though chemo. i also enjoyed smoothies prepared at jamba juice and at our local food coop. when my infection fighters went really low, i just stayed away from salad bars and similar. but, otherwise, i ate whatever i wanted...

      one thing i will say is that hand hygiene is super important. but, washing your hands all the time is tough on your skin. so, i used that hand foam - the chemo nurses let me take a couple home. the stuff on the chemo floor was soo much better than what you can get at the supermarket because it didn't STINK! i hate all those fragrances... before and after chemo. but that stuff they use on the chemo floor does not have a strong scent, and i used it loads. we also had a foam in policy at home - when the child came home, he had to foam... when i came home, i had to foam... etc... friends came over... they had to foam. i did the same with my office. i only got two colds over the entire fve months of chemo, which is actually AWESOME for minnesota winters! anyway, my point is that the foam is way easier on the hands... and very effective.

      be sure you talk to your health care team about foods and preventing colds and stuff like that. the nurses in particular will have good advice for you....

      good luck!!!!!

      about 4 years ago
    • Myungclas' Avatar

      I found that I was tiredest on days 2 and 3, so,after the first round I switched from Friday to,Thursday. I still felt good enough to work on Fridays (steroids!), dragging over the weekend and Ok on Monday. Take the nausea meds as prescribed. Do NOT wait until you "need" them. And swish with the soda and salt water stuff to avoid mouth sores. You can do this! Everyone here made it through, and you will too. You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. We are praying for an easy time for you.

      about 4 years ago
    • speedy's Avatar

      I had six rounds of chemo , taxotere and cytoxin. I took my treatments on Friday and the Neulasta shot on Monday. The Neulasta is worse than the six rounds of chemo. My legs and feet started swelling after the 3rd round of chemo and they are still swollen 4 weeks after the last treatment. I always made sure I was eating something when I got chemo so the benadryl did not make me sleepy. I worked through chemo and also walked almost every day to keep me going.
      Best wishes!

      about 4 years ago
    • Gibby's Avatar

      I did fine on the first 3, but the forth one did me in, I could have been given a larger dose or had a reaction, but I developed neuropathy in my hands and feet. For this there is no cure...

      about 4 years ago
    • Monica's Avatar

      I was diagnosed at the age of 41, with HER2+ and estrogen+ right breast lobular with positive on the lymph nodes under my right arm. The oncologists where not sure if I was stage 2 or 3. I was started on the chemo drugs you are on plus Herceptin and one other. I was pre-medicated with all kinds of meds, which made me gain almost 10 lbs every time I went in for chemo (every 3 weeks). The first chemo knocked me off my feet 2 days after it was given. I was vomiting, diarrhea, and had no appetite. I did however go to Costco and stocked up on propel water. This will help flush the chemo out of your kidneys. I was always drinking water. The only thing that I could eat was vanilla ice cream. It numbed the sores in my mouth and my throat. It lessoned the metalic taste I got in my mouth. I would start feeling better a few days before chemo, and than the cycle would continue. After my 3rd or 4th chemo, I became anemic, so they skipped a week. I had a total of 6 chemo, and just rececntly finished Herceptin. Sometimes I would get a migraine headache, because it messes up your hormones. I would not take any supplements without talking to your dr first. Some of these supplements can interact with your treatment, and make it not work. I have been just taking everything day by day, it is the only way I could stay positive and get through everything. Most side effects hit you a day or 2 afterward. Everyone is different, just remain positive.

      about 4 years ago
    • ButterBean's Avatar

      I had taxotere and cysplatin in 3 rounds.I had mine on Fridays, but didn't start feeling bad until Monday or Tuesday...then I missed a couple of days. I assumed I would feel bad, with nausea, etc immediately afterwards, but it seemed to take 2-3 days to really hit me. If I have to do the chemo again, I'll know this and will schedule treatments probably mid-week in order to avoid missing work. I never had nausea or vomiting, to my surprise, only a little queasiness once because I had the treatment on an empty stomach; I did have diarhea and started the Immodium right away. Mainly mouth sores and yeast overgrowth, and dehydration. I was scheduduled for 4 rounds but I dehydrated so badly, even drinking a gallon of water & gatorade every day. My doc and I mutually agreed that a 4th round could be canceled...my BP would drop to 70/50 or lower before I passed out and woke up in ER. Also, my hands began to get sore and the skin on my hands seemed to thicken, then cracked and peeled. I was told this was neuropathay, but later read it was probably another side-effect of the drugs. I already had neuropathy from diabetes, and it worsened. Hope you cruise thru your treatments!

      about 4 years ago
    • jvbaseballmom2's Avatar

      I worked while I was having my chemo treatments. I would have the chemo on Wednesday afternoon, and by Friday afternoon, I would start feeling achy. I planned to stay close to home on Saturday and Sunday as I knew I wouldn't feel great those two days. By Monday, I was able to go back to work, although sometimes Monday was a little rough, so I knew not to over schedule myself at work on Mondays. I fought taking pain medication; however, the doctor convinced me the last few treatments, and it really did help me with the achiness and ability to sleep better. I also found that certain foods tasted good, and certain foods did not taste good. For me, cheetos and watermelon were comfort foods during chemo that always tasted good.

      about 4 years ago
    • sonson's Avatar

      I'm having the same type of chemo as you. Have had two rounds so far. The second to third day is when the fatigue should hit you. It's like nothing I've ever experienced before. Just standing to cook or putting on makeup is such a chore. So I make sure to have my chemo on Wednesday so that by Saturday I'm at home and can stay in bed if I feel like it and I do feel like it. My taste has totally changed and it's really hard for me to want to eat. I have to force myself to eat small meals like they tell you to do. It's also hard to make myself drink enough fluids, but I try to do that as well. I had read somewhere that some people gain weight during chemo, but I really don't see how they can gain weight. I think I lose like five pounds each time I have a treatment. Make sure you gargle and rinse with warm salt water every single day once chemo starts just to keep those mouth sores at bay. It makes eating and drinking that much harder once you get those. By the third week (I have my chemo treatments every three weeks) I feel normal enough to exercise again. But then it starts all over again. Once you make it through that first week you should be alright. It's that first week that really hits you hard. I have a feeling that once I finally get my taste buds back I'm going to be eating everything in sight! Might as well enjoy this little weight loss while I can!

      about 4 years ago

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