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karendb
@karendb

Posts: 46
Joined: Jan 05, 2019

After breast cancer chemo - Paclitaxel

Posted by @karendb, Sat, Jan 5 10:59am

Hi. I just completed 16 weeks of chemo for breast cancer and am struggling so much just to eat or move around. The weakness is excruciating and I have absolutely no appetite. Can anyone tell me if they suffered from the same issues long after their chemo was completed. I will be starting radiation therapy in a few weeks and need some strength. I am so depressed over this. Am I expecting too much too soon. Please help!

REPLY

So I had 4 rounds of chemo over 12 weeks. The tiredness does go away eventually. I napped and did some physical activity between chemo and radiation. I found some foods that tasted good to me and that is what I ate. If you are not lactose intolerant, I like Carnation Instant breakfast mixed with milk or milk and ice cream. Gets the calories, protein and assorted nutrients into your body. Some people find watermelon tastes good. I still don’t like most salad dressings—Ken’s dressings taste the best. I ate lots of soup and baked potatoes. Some days a BRAT diet worked best—-bananas, applesauce, rice and toast. Small meals eaten every few hours was also helpful.
You will be tired during radiation but not nearly as much as during chemo! Save your energy for doing those things that matter the most to you.
I found it does get better with time. Mary Kay

@marykaym63

So I had 4 rounds of chemo over 12 weeks. The tiredness does go away eventually. I napped and did some physical activity between chemo and radiation. I found some foods that tasted good to me and that is what I ate. If you are not lactose intolerant, I like Carnation Instant breakfast mixed with milk or milk and ice cream. Gets the calories, protein and assorted nutrients into your body. Some people find watermelon tastes good. I still don’t like most salad dressings—Ken’s dressings taste the best. I ate lots of soup and baked potatoes. Some days a BRAT diet worked best—-bananas, applesauce, rice and toast. Small meals eaten every few hours was also helpful.
You will be tired during radiation but not nearly as much as during chemo! Save your energy for doing those things that matter the most to you.
I found it does get better with time. Mary Kay

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Thank you for the ideas. I've tried ensure and protein shakes and since my taste buds are gone, they taste awful. However my husband makes me drink them. Yes, I had 8 treatments, once every 2 weeks, so I feel I didn't really get time to get over one before I was having the next one. The last 4, paclitaxal was really hard. It has caused bad neuropathy in my hands and feet so makes it very hard to walk too. I guess I'm being impatient too. I want the old me back.

@karendb

Thank you for the ideas. I've tried ensure and protein shakes and since my taste buds are gone, they taste awful. However my husband makes me drink them. Yes, I had 8 treatments, once every 2 weeks, so I feel I didn't really get time to get over one before I was having the next one. The last 4, paclitaxal was really hard. It has caused bad neuropathy in my hands and feet so makes it very hard to walk too. I guess I'm being impatient too. I want the old me back.

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Carnation instant breakfast has a better flavor profile than ensure in my opinion. When I worked as a hospital dietitian many people tolerated it better from a flavor perspective than Ensure. I think that protein shakes are hard to tolerate even when you are feeling great!

Hi. I just completed 8 chemo treatments. The last 4 being paclitaxal. Did anyone have a really hard time with this chemo? I'm almost 3 weeks post chemo and still can't eat and am so very weak I can hardly walk.

@karendb

Hi. I just completed 8 chemo treatments. The last 4 being paclitaxal. Did anyone have a really hard time with this chemo? I'm almost 3 weeks post chemo and still can't eat and am so very weak I can hardly walk.

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Hello @karendb, welcome to Connect. I combined your two discussions in the Breast Cancer group so we could bring all the members talking about post-chemotherapy for breast cancer as well as paclitaxal in to one discussion. I would like to invite @janice1106, @bluemeade7, @bjkingape, and @pat417 to this discussion as they have all had rounds of Taxol (another term for paclitaxel) – although for different cancer diagnoses, they may be able to share their experiences with the chemotherapy.

@karendb, if you don't mind sharing, how long did your provider say the chemotherapy affects could last?

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @karendb, welcome to Connect. I combined your two discussions in the Breast Cancer group so we could bring all the members talking about post-chemotherapy for breast cancer as well as paclitaxal in to one discussion. I would like to invite @janice1106, @bluemeade7, @bjkingape, and @pat417 to this discussion as they have all had rounds of Taxol (another term for paclitaxel) – although for different cancer diagnoses, they may be able to share their experiences with the chemotherapy.

@karendb, if you don't mind sharing, how long did your provider say the chemotherapy affects could last?

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Hi. At the chemo clinic they didn't really say. All they said was each person tolerates it differently. And I want to thank you all very very much for replying.mive been feeling so overwhelmed and alone lately.

@marykaym63

Carnation instant breakfast has a better flavor profile than ensure in my opinion. When I worked as a hospital dietitian many people tolerated it better from a flavor perspective than Ensure. I think that protein shakes are hard to tolerate even when you are feeling great!

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Yes I must say protein shakes were awful. So my husband put whey powder in the carnation breakfast drink to boost the protein. It was much much better than ensure. Thank you for that. I hadn't tried one till today.

@JustinMcClanahan

Hello @karendb, welcome to Connect. I combined your two discussions in the Breast Cancer group so we could bring all the members talking about post-chemotherapy for breast cancer as well as paclitaxal in to one discussion. I would like to invite @janice1106, @bluemeade7, @bjkingape, and @pat417 to this discussion as they have all had rounds of Taxol (another term for paclitaxel) – although for different cancer diagnoses, they may be able to share their experiences with the chemotherapy.

@karendb, if you don't mind sharing, how long did your provider say the chemotherapy affects could last?

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Thank you for replying. It's so very very appreciated

As people have mentioned, everyone reacts different and people are on different dosages. I did 4 rounds of AC, two weeks between treatments. The fatigue was terrible, I had to delay the last treatment because I was so weak. Now I am on my 5th week of 12 weekly dosages of Paclitaxel and having minimum side effects. I am grateful that side effects have been minimal, but now I am worried that maybe the chemo is not working. I meet with Dr next week and that is one questions I will be asking him.

I have used Carnation Instant breakfast also. I did not like chocolate or vanilla by them self so would mix one chocolate and one vanilla together and added Whey powder to increase protein. To increase calories and change flavor I would add fruit and/or yogurt.

Laurie

@roch

As people have mentioned, everyone reacts different and people are on different dosages. I did 4 rounds of AC, two weeks between treatments. The fatigue was terrible, I had to delay the last treatment because I was so weak. Now I am on my 5th week of 12 weekly dosages of Paclitaxel and having minimum side effects. I am grateful that side effects have been minimal, but now I am worried that maybe the chemo is not working. I meet with Dr next week and that is one questions I will be asking him.

I have used Carnation Instant breakfast also. I did not like chocolate or vanilla by them self so would mix one chocolate and one vanilla together and added Whey powder to increase protein. To increase calories and change flavor I would add fruit and/or yogurt.

Laurie

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Hi again. I see my oncologist in 3 days for my diagnostic ct scan results and am now having panic attacks. Has anyone else had these? How do you control them? They're so awful.

@karendb

Hi again. I see my oncologist in 3 days for my diagnostic ct scan results and am now having panic attacks. Has anyone else had these? How do you control them? They're so awful.

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Hi @karendb, It's very normal and common to feel anxious about upcoming test and test results. In fact, it's been coined as the term "scanxiety". It's not uncommon for people to experience panic attacks. There is a discussion dedicated to how to cope in the Cancer group here:

– Coping with anxiety while waiting https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/coping-with-anxiety-while-waiting/

Thank you so very much. I am having a really bad day today.

Liked by bluemeade7

I surely can relate to you as I'm eighteen months post-8 rounds Taxol chemo and still have lingering symptoms. My Neurologist told me that the Neuropathy, Trigeminal Neuralgia and cognitive impairment are likely permanent. I was recently rediagnosed with another triple-negative tumor and am dreading six more rounds of Taxol. It is very distressing but I try to do lots of self-talk and remind myself that chemo is better than cancer. I am uneducated about the procedure you had done on your scalp but as a person with Trigeminal Neuralgia, I can tell you that not only do I suffer from ear pain, a flare of this can cause pain just about anywhere in your head, face and neck. I will pray for you and hope you find an answer to this question.

@karendb

Hi. I just completed 8 chemo treatments. The last 4 being paclitaxal. Did anyone have a really hard time with this chemo? I'm almost 3 weeks post chemo and still can't eat and am so very weak I can hardly walk.

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I was quite weak following the last chemo infusion and could barely get around. Doctors found my potassium was low and was given supplements which helped. Your taste will come back after a while which will help. I had to undergo a second surgery which found more cancer, but then was started on radiation. Have had 17/30 treatments. Just keep looking forward and try not to dwell on the past. Each day will get better, little by little.

@karendb

Hi. I just completed 8 chemo treatments. The last 4 being paclitaxal. Did anyone have a really hard time with this chemo? I'm almost 3 weeks post chemo and still can't eat and am so very weak I can hardly walk.

Jump to this post

I was quite weak and dizzy as well – doctors did lab and I was potassium deficient. Started me on potassium supplements which helped. Also was iron deficient, but that came back up on its own. Be sure to ask your physician to check your labs. And it also takes a bit of time so baby yourself and know that each day will get a bit better.

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