• taxotereand cytoxan for chemo what do I need to know

    Asked by 9977 on Friday, February 20, 2015

    taxotereand cytoxan for chemo what do I need to know

    11 Answers from the Community

    11 answers
    • baridirects' Avatar
      baridirects

      I had 6 rounds of that combination of chemo, each round 3 weeks apart. I also had a Neulasta shot after every treatment to keep my white blood cell count as normal as possible. I would say that the toughest part for me was the dehydration - you really have to push fluids. Thanks to a combination of anti-nausea meds, I had very little nausea and no vomiting. There was some bone pain from the Neulasta, some fatigue, and that odd metallic taste in the mouth. Ah, yes, and while you're on anti-nausea meds, you should take stool softeners.

      I lost my hair about 12 days in from the first treatment. Knowing it was going to go, I had it buzz-cut before I started the chemo. Then, when it started to fall, I had it shaved, and used one of those old-fashioned sticky lint rollers on my head to get the rest. I pretty much went bald-headed throughout - it was just too darn hot in Central Florida in the summer to wear wigs.

      Namaste,
      Christine

      over 4 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I had a similar experience, except the chemo made me very sick. I did end up getting transfusions a couple of times. It was rough on me, but everyone is different in how things affect them.
      Your tastes will be way off. I used the Biotene mouthwash and that seemed to help with dry mouth.
      My hair started really falling out on day 14, so I just grabbed a razor and a bowl and shaved the rest off. Losing my hair was very hard on me and I shed a lot of tears. I wore head scarves and hats from the American Cancer Society. I got them at my hospital for free.
      Eat what you can. And using plastic silverware helps too.
      Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • pugmom's Avatar
      pugmom

      I had a similar experience but also lost my large toenails

      over 4 years ago
    • ChildOfGod4570's Avatar
      ChildOfGod4570

      My experience was very similar to that of baridirects' except I wasn't completely bald. Self conscious as I was, I did wear a wig in central Florida in summertime and a "Gilligan" type hat if I wanted to take a dip in the water, for I not only felt self conscious about my baby fuzz; I didn't want my scalp getting sunburned. Popsicles served a two-fold purpose; they combatted the icky chemo taste and helped me stay hydrated. I made popsicles a staple in my home so much so that a friend of mine from church gave me one of those kits where you pour your own juice into the kit and freeze it. I took plenty of naps and reacquainted myself with Little House On The Prairie on the Hallmark Channel when I was too tired to do much of anything else. You will also want to do gentle exercise when your body is up to it. One time when the metallic taste was so horrible, I ate a mint chocolate Klondike bar, and it was the most refreshing thing I had in ages! HUGS and God bless.

      over 4 years ago
    • msesq's Avatar
      msesq

      Ditto to all of the above. In addition I used tea tree oil on nails and toes and didn't have any nail loss or discoloration. I found drinking a Slurpee during infusion best way to keep my taste buds from being affected. Take the nausea meds BEFORE you are sick, it's important to keep ahead of the nausea. Take Claritin D 1 day before, the day of and 3 days after Neulasta shot to reduce the bone pain from the shot. Good luck, chemo is no walk in the park but you can do it.

      over 4 years ago
    • TinaLeigh's Avatar
      TinaLeigh

      Yes I had all the same with my chemo as stated above. It's hard to stay hydratated if you can't go in and get IV fluids to feel better that's what ended up happening to me. I couldn't drink anything nothing tasted right and felt to tired and weak but after getting the IV fluids felt better it helped.

      over 4 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar
      TXHills

      Take the anti-nausea meds as directed, tell your doctor about any side effects or problems that you are having promptly, and rest when you can. Try to get your fluids and eat a little, even if nothing really sounds good. It's actually very doable, but you don't have to suffer. There are lots of tips and tricks to help with side effects, so keep your doc informed, or ask one of the nurses. I mainly had fatigue and got one little yeast infection, with no extra things like Neulasta. I aso did salwater swishes every day and avoided any mouth sores. That helped a lot! Best to you. You can do this. Chemo is WAY better than it was even 10 years ago.

      over 4 years ago
    • Ejourneys' Avatar
      Ejourneys

      I posted this on another thread while I was still undergoing treatment:

      I had 4 rounds of Adriamycin/Cytoxan followed by 12 rounds of Taxol. This is what helped me:

      1. Drinking plenty of water, including the day before chemo. It helps flush the toxins out and helps with some side effects like constipation. I drank at least 10 glasses of water/day, more on infusion days, because chemo can be very dehydrating. I'm practically surgically attached to my water bottle. (I continue to drink a lot of water through radiation treatments.)

      2. Keeping track of side effects (mine have been mild all told; I hope yours are, too) and communicating them to my medical team. One of my SEs was heartburn; my ARNP prescribed Prilosec, which solved the problem. I gave my team a weekly SE report modeled on the chemo worksheet here:
      http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/physicalsideeffects/toolstomonitortreatment/

      3. I tailored my chemo bag based on the suggestions here:
      https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/be-prepared-22-things-to-bring-to-chemo
      https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/things-to-bring-to-chemo-part-ii

      4. Eating healthy food and exercising have helped me tremendously. (Even taking brief walks throughout the house on infusion day helped. Movement, small bites of food, and small sips of water helped combat nausea.) They boost my immune system and the endorphins from exercise are great for my mood and help fight fatigue. That said, I take naps when I feel the need. I listen to my body and cut myself a lot of slack. I also focus on doing what I love as much as possible and on living in the moment.

      5. To protect my immune system, I stay away from crowds as much as possible, since I don't want to risk coming into contact with anyone who has cold or flu. I also carry hand sanitizer and wash my hands with soap frequently. Additional precautions are in this document:
      http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/treatmenttypes/chemotherapy/understandingchemotherapyaguideforpatientsandfamilies/understanding-chemotherapy-a-guide-toc

      I was plenty nervous before my first infusion -- visiting the chemo bay isn't the same thing as actually sitting in the chair. But after the first time I knew the drill and I also knew how my body reacted. My cancer center gave me a chemo teaching sheet with advice on how to deal with various side effects. Since I had no idea what to expect, I prepared for as much as I could with OTC remedies. I also made sure I had various types of food in the house, since I didn't know what my appetite would be like. Putting lemon juice in my water helped with metallic chemo mouth. Prune juice helped relieve constipation. Ginger tea helped relieve nausea.

      These days they give pre-chemo meds that really help decrease side effects. Don't be afraid to ask questions of your team and let them know about any discomfort. (As my oncologist's assistant told me, "People are afraid they're seen as complaining, but they're not.") Chemo nurses have seen everything and are terrific.

      If you have the choice of whether or not to get a chemo port, I recommend getting the port. It saves much wear and tear on the veins. Mine was inserted two days before my first chemo. I also recommend a pillow to protect the port against friction from seat belts.

      over 4 years ago
    • TXHills' Avatar
      TXHills

      Me again...I was quite nervous during my first infusion, but left there feeling about the same as I did when I went in that morning. You may need to bring your own pillow or blanket, reading material, etc. It can take a few hours, especially the first time. I went walking in the mall afterwards, since I was hyper from the steroids. A day or so later I flew to another state to attend my father's 80th birthday party. Other than being unable to drink and feeling a bit tired, it was fine. Nobody even knew.
      I would consider cutting your hair pretty short before day 15-20 of your first chemo cycle. Your hair will likely start coming out seriously by then. You don't want to leave a trail of hair clumps. Wearing a light cap at night will keep the loose hair corralled so that you don't get itchy from loose hair in your bed. Or, you can shave it all off. Hats and scarves are fine. My wigs were itchy and hot, so I rarely wore them.

      over 4 years ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      One thing to remember when you are bald is that your head can get very cold at night when you sleep. I had a couple of nice fleece hats to wear to bed. It really helped.

      over 4 years ago
    • LindaAnnie's Avatar
      LindaAnnie

      I had that combo of drugs - cytoxan, taxotere, neulasta. Similar problems as listed above with good advice. I lost all my hair (I did not want to shave it. I didn't shed, it came out on controllable hanks) before 2nd infusion. I also lost all my fingernails. No metallic taste, but changed taste. Constipation. Dry mouth. Steroids helped keep joint pain at bay (Anastrozole is a different matter). My biggest problem was fatigue. Good luck to you!

      over 4 years ago

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