Mayo Clinic Connect
I am scared of doing Chemotherapy but already did second opinion and exactly the same treatment with my first doctor was advised. I just need some positive vibes.
It’s important to be knowledgeable about how the treatments work, but I followed the recommended protocol and I’m 10 years cancer free. Stay strong! You’ve got this!!
Liked by Lisa Lucier, Connect Moderator, eiram24
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@pattysurvivot thank you. I’m still not 100% going thru with chemo!! I am really having doubts doing but I know I can do this for my family.
Liked by Lisa Lucier, Connect Moderator
Hello, I was diagnosed HER2+ at the end of April, and I just completed chemo treatment #4 of 6 of the “tough stuff.” Not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy by any means, but after my second treatment, my tumor was no longer able to be felt. So it’s working and it’s worth it. You can do it! Sending thoughts and prayers your way!
@holdingontohope I am happy for you!! My diagnosis was June 6 and haven’t started chemo because it takes time to get an appointment from the referral to sending them my results. I am hoping and praying that I will pass this and feel less effect of the chemo and of course still trying to check out there if I can do some alternative meds but mostly are not covered by insurance. Anyway, wishing all the best for both of us and to everyone suffering Cancer. Im still in lala land and trying to accept this. Take Care now.
Can you give me a little bit of info when you first did your chemo? Did you feel anything while doing it? Was there any pain? What are the side effects to you and how long after the chemo did you feel the side effects? Hope you can reply. Thank you and God Bless!!
Hello, I am in my 5th year of remission. I was stage 3 when diagnosed. It was not an easy road but I am doing well. Yes, there were side effects. I ended upin the ER several times. Please hang in there, you can do it!
@howmomsthink what made you go to the e.r. if you wont mind. I just want to take in all the unexpected so I can be ready. Thank you
I got a port put in (day surgery) soon after my diagnosis, which I would highly recommend as they don’t need to insert an IV in your veins each time you have a treatment. When I get my chemo infusions, there is zero pain. In fact, I feel completely normal the entire time. The chemo drugs (I currently have 4 each treatment) are given one at a time with a break in between a couple of them to make sure there’s no allergic reaction. I eat snacks, drink water and ginger ale, and chat with whoever comes with me that day. Sometimes we order lunch even.
Not sure if they follow the same protocol everywhere, but they give me anti-nausea meds intravenously before each treatment, which helps a lot with the side effects. My infusion takes all day (5-6 hours). Each person responds differently of course, but for me, I didn’t feel any side effects until the third day after the treatment. My mouth became sensitive (softer foods helped), my taste buds were affected (didn’t like the taste of my coffee, which is unheard of), and I felt quite a bit of fatigue. Sleeping helped a lot.
Not sure if you will get the Neulasta shot (mine was a patch that was put on the back of my arm at the end of my chemo treatment and it administered the shot 27 hours later). It stimulates white blood cell production and one of the side effects can be bone/joint pain. My dr. advised me to take a Loratadine tablet (antihistamine/generic form of Claritin) each day, and that helped tremendously with bone pain.
Each person has unique side effects that can vary, but I will say it’s not like what you see in the movies. I have personally had zero nausea, but a few days after my infusions, I just have an overall feeling of being unwell and needing to rest/sleep.
All that to say, there are so many things available to help you manage side effects. I have been able to continue working during my chemo treatments, and have missed just a couple days of work each treatment, mostly to sleep, rest, and heal. My treatments are every 3 weeks. I also bought a wig that I love (similar to my real hair, but even better as my hair is thin—Raquel Welch is the brand).
Like everyone, I was not excited to start chemo. But during that first treatment, I pictured the chemo attacking the cancer cells in my body, and it was empowering to know the fight had begun and I was officially on the road to beating breast cancer. We are so blessed that modem medicine and research have come so far with breast cancer treatment. Herceptin and Perjeta are the two chemo meds I am on that specifically target the HER2 tumors, and they have provided hope for a long life ahead with my family.
Please let me know if you have any other questions. I understand your fear and apprehension as I felt those emotions too. Praying you have peace and clarity as you are making decisions about your treatment plan. Much love to you. Remember you are not alone and you will beat this one step at a time!
Liked by Colleen Young, Connect Director
Hello. I, too, was diagnosed with grade 3, Her2 pos breast tumors in February. Chemo started 3/16. 10 of 12 chemo completed, 3 of 4 perjeta treatments complete and Herceptin ongoing. I had lumpectomy and snb on 7/10. Four nodes removed. There was no evidence of cancer. You got this. Be strong. Take it one day at a time. You will get through this!
Liked by Kanaaz Pereira, Connect Moderator
Hello @ccteeter and @howmomsthink,
Coping with cancer is such a difficult journey, and I'm certain your wonderful words of support show @eiram24, and fellow members, that they don't have to do it alone – thank you, and welcome to Connect!
Here is an article from Mayo Clinic describing details of HER2-positive breast cancer https://www.mayoclinic.org/breast-cancer/expert-answers/faq-20058066
I'd like to invite @martid @shaily to join in with their insights about HER2-positive breast cancer, and also encourage you to go through this discussion on Connect: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/i-have-been-a-survivor-of-her2-first-diagnosed-oct-2012/
@howmomsthink, it sounds like you had significant side effects; may I ask if you could share a few details? @ccteeter, have you experienced side effects from the drugs and chemo? What are the next steps after completing chemo?
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