• Starting chemo Tuesday

    Asked by Shawnta on Monday, June 16, 2014

    Starting chemo Tuesday

    Adriamycin and Cytoxan. Has anyone had these? I am starting these two Tuesday. My first chemo treatment ever.

    17 Answers from the Community

    17 answers
    • arcountrygirl's Avatar

      I did 4 AC treatments followed by 4 treatments of T. I finished in April so it's pretty recent for me. The nausea meds are great so let your nurses know if you feel sick and they can help. I drank lots of water and I kept working throughout. It's important to keep moving. I had constant heartburn so I ate popsicles and chewed crushed ice. You just have to listen to your body and take care of yourself. I lost my hair the day after my second treatment so you need to try to prepare yourself for that. For me that was the worst. Chemo is tough but it's part of what you have to do to keep cancer away. You had negative nodes and no genetic mutations - that's wonderful. Keep the positives in your mind and know that you are doing everything you can. Good luck.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      Hi, Shawnta -- I get my third infusion of AC on Thursday. Between that, blood work, and consultation, I spend around 4 hours at the cancer center. I described the experience in detail here:
      I wrote this after my first chemo infusion:

      This site has two lists of things to bring to chemo:

      What's helped me has been drinking plenty of water (at least 10 glasses) the day before chemo and then continuing that through the whole chemo cycle. It helps get the toxins out of my system and combats both nausea and dry mouth. Also, my cancer center recommended that I take 10 mg Claritin and 2 tabs of Tylenol (350 or 500 mg, doesn't matter) on the day of chemo and for 4-5 days thereafter to help with side effects from chemo and Neulasta.

      Adriamycin can give you pink pee for a couple of days.

      I was also told to not cross my legs (it was the only instruction in all caps on my chemo teaching sheet) or my ankles, because doing so can worsen edema.

      Bring whatever puts you in a good place mentally. I listen to music. I bring food, but I haven't yet gotten hungry at the center.

      I also track my side effects and report back to my medical team. The ACS has a side effects worksheet at
      http:[email redacted]

      Side effects can vary. I've had constipation, but so far I haven't needed a stool softener and can get by with prune juice and a modified version of this recipe:

      I was plenty nervous before my first infusion, but once I experienced my first cycle I knew better what to expect. I wish you all the best on Tuesday.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar

      I see the side effects worksheet URL has been redacted. It's one of the tools on this page:

      Following up on what arcountrygirl said about heartburn -- that hit me especially after my second infusion, to the point where even swallowing sips of water was painful. My ARNP prescribed Prilosec, which worked wonderfully.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Shawnta's Avatar

      Thank you everyone so much!! I am a little nervous but ready to get started. I did have one lymph node positive but all my scans were clear. And yes they did tell me I would be there about five hrs every time. Thank again!!! Hugs :)

      almost 7 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar

      Though I didn't have AC chemo, I did have TC, and I can tell you that no matter which combination of cocktails you have, every patient is different. As Arcountrygirl noted above, she lost her hair the day after her second infusion; I lost mine between 2 and 3 weeks after my first one. I do recommend ice chips and popsicles for your mouth, and please don't be ashamed to take naps. If my experience is any indication, you might most likely feel the worst of the side effects on your second or third day after chemo. Because we don't know how quickly or slowly your hair might fall out, it would be prudent to start looking into what you are most comfortable with: wigs, hats, scarves, turbans, caps, or unveiled. Be prepared for food tasting different to you and eat anything that you can and want to hold down. If you don't have mouth sores, spicy or salty food willhelp with that awful chemo taste. Because the side effects of chemo can cause many patients to feel blue, please see if you can get into a support group. HUGS and God bless!

      almost 7 years ago
    • suz55's Avatar

      I had 4 AC treatments followed by 12 Taxol. I kept a journal and found my side effects were pretty consistent each time. So I knew exactly how many days my sense of taste was off, when I was most fatigued, etc. I took the anti-nausea meds as prescribed the first cycle, and they worked very well. After that, I was able to adjust a bit since I fortunately did not experience too much nausea. As the others said, drink lots of water and eat whatever appeals to you. Sleep as needed. Best of luck to you!!

      almost 7 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar

      Prayers for a gentle course of chemo for you with minimal side effects. Good luck tomorrow. Take a deep breath and breathe!

      almost 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Good luck with your treatments!

      almost 7 years ago
    • Joanie's Avatar

      Shawnta, I have never met anyone on here that had Adriamycin and Cytoxan like I did. And I had one positive node too. (We have so much in common! HeeHee!) I was told that these are strong drugs and I EXPECTED more pain than I experienced. My biggest advice is to take an anti-nausea drug AS SOON as you feel queasy, don't wait even a minute. I never vomited while on chemo, which surprised my doctors! I'd be interested in how you do... keep in touch. Good luck!

      almost 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar

      From a lot of the postings it seems that you should start the Anti Nausea Pills right at the beginning of chemo and keep taking them.
      Hope it will be a success and you beat back the cancer.

      almost 7 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar

      hey there - i had a hard time with nausea, so i'll definitely echo the comments about the anti-nausea drugs. they work super well.... especially if you take them on schedule.... and don't be shy about telling your health care team about side effects - they'll modify your med list accordingly and help you have as few side effects as possible.

      i wrote a piece about tips for surviving chemo, which can be found here....
      i tried to boil it down to just 5 important things... i hope you find it helpful!

      good luck! sucks that you have to do this, but it is manageable.... i wish you minimal side effects and maximum efficacy!



      almost 7 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar

      I wish you the best on your journey. It'll be over before you know it.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Bug's Avatar

      Hi, Shawnta. I just wanted to wish you the best for tomorrow. I'll be thinking of you and sending prayers. Hugs to you.

      almost 7 years ago
    • charnell's Avatar

      I did 4 AC every other week. Just started my 12 weeks of weekly Taxol. Drinking water was the best thing that I did. Not only drinking the 10 glasses they recommended but even more important drinking it WHILE getting the chemo and getting it flushed out quicker. That is what made the difference. I did have heartburn severe and got a script for that. Very tired and have had other issues but nothing that can't be managed. The Neulasta shots do cause a great deal of achiness and RLS. I was unable to sleep because my legs were jumping so much and also the joint pain. Was offered a sleep aid but didn't want to take any more meds then I am currently taking. I agree with Ejourneys positive attitude is what kicks it. I was also scared the first time and took my laptop and watched a funny video. That is what kept my mind off of being so nervous. Good luck, and you will do just fine. Keep us posted.

      almost 7 years ago
    • leslie48240's Avatar

      shawnta...yes...I had 4 tumors and this mix of chemo got rid of 3 of them in 4 treatments 3 weeks apart. I took meds for nausea and had NONE! Hair was long gone by 10th day...but it did come back. Don't forget to drink losts of water through-out...but especially day before, day of and day after your treatment. It really does help (you do not need the chemo lingering in your organs and going to other cells!) This stuff works...and life goes on...hang in there! hugs!!

      almost 7 years ago
    • marycamp's Avatar

      drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest, I had 4 treatments never got sick but was very tired. Good Luck I wish you the best.

      almost 7 years ago
    • Liha's Avatar

      I had it, along with Atra for leukemia. Zofran was the IV anti nausea meds I took and they helped. I did get sick a couple times, but I had the Cytoxan 24/7 as my induction with a 3 day push in there of Adriamycin. So it was a pretty heavy blast and I had it in the hospital. Hair loss started abt day 20. Took naps when I needed. Best of luck to you!

      almost 7 years ago

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