Newbie just started chemo : Hello... - Breast Cancer Haven

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Newbie just started chemo

Jen-j
Jen-j

Hello everyone, I started chemo yesterday. I'm on doxetaxelle and cyclophosphamide. I have to inject lonquex today. I'm a diabetic and use insulin every day but this injection makes me a bit nervous to be honest, I'm just unsure. Is it painful. I'm a newbie, so any help would be much appreciated.

29 Replies
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Hi there, I just want to know that were you allowed to go to a hospital in this pandemic situation?

What was your diagnosis that you are going through chemo and have you discussed with your doctor that you're taking insulin for your diabetes and now afraid of insulin injection? You can also ask how it can affect you while on chemotherapy?

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Iyana271

I had a diognosis of stage 2 invasive breast cancer. I had benign lumps for 5 years but some turned bad. I had a mastectomy 8 weeks ago. I did have to go to hospital cause my treatment is through an IV. 4 cycles. The oncologist knows all my diognosises. I take a steroid tablets day before treatment, day of treatment and day after also an injection of lonquex. I have short acting insulin as well as my normal insulin just in case it is needed. Steroids can mess with your Bsl. Sorry for the long reply

Iyana271
Iyana271 in reply to Jen-j

Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I hope you can complete your treatment without any problems. Stay calm and be positive, take care of yourself.

Best wishes!!

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Iyana271

Thanks Darl.

Hi Jen. So sorry you are having to go through this at all but especially at this time. Just googled the substance and it’s equivalent to Filgrastim, which I did use. It’s to try to boost you and protect you from neutropenia whilst you are at your most vulnerable, a few days after chemo. I had not injected before this but it was nothing to worry about. Not painful. I hope you get in ok with it. Please let us know here how you are doing? X

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Ourmeg

I got the injection done. I'm doing OK, having issues with my temp got upto 37.7 degrees today, it is hovering around 37.4 at the moment. I'm very tired of course. Is it normal for your heart rate to go up every time you stand up?

Margt34
Margt34 in reply to Jen-j

Hi I had BC two and a half years ago and had chemo ,radiotherapy I had FEC -T chemo infused but I had no other health issues I will tell you that the treatment wasn't pleasant Doxetaxelle or Tax as my nurses called it was the treatment that hit me the worst and my temps were always above 37.5 causing lots of problems but I got through it and I'm ok now it's harder for you now with this virus being around so keep well isolated and stay safe the treatment is hard but it works

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Margt34

Thank you for your message. How did you manage to keep your temps down. I have spent too much time in hospital in my life. Lol

Ourmeg
Ourmeg in reply to Jen-j

It's worth asking your BC Nurse or maybe making use of the helplines like Macmillan or Breastcancernow? I've found then very reassuring when anxious about any aspect of treatment. My Chemo ward said not to report temp rises below 38 but your situation could be different. I have to say I was lucky and my temp was always steady. Didn't even rise through sepsis! Do check with a professional but I would say there are so many side effects in chemo and you will become accustomed to the ones you get. It's really horrible and I totally understand you not wanting to go to hospital. Trying to avoid the same just now for a post-op infection. x

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Ourmeg

Oh wow, I hope you are ok. I took my temp with a different themometre, it was 37.1. Yay.

Margt34
Margt34 in reply to Jen-j

Sorry to say everytime my temp spiked I had to inform them as it is the first sign of infection and as yr immune system is low during chemo they are extra careful I had a couple of spells in hospital due to temp spiking and spent 3 days on A&E cos there were no beds due to norovirus keep away from people and sanitise everything that shouldn't be too hard atm as everyones doing it .It is a tough time but it will pass and you will look back and say" I did this".Good luck I wish you all the best xxx

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Ourmeg

Doing better today, good temperature, very tired but I feel OK thanks for your support, it really means alot.

Ourmeg
Ourmeg in reply to Jen-j

That is really good news. We do know our own bodies. I think chemo makes them feel like strangers but you will come to know your body through this phase. Happy Easter!

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Ourmeg

Thank you, same to you, I hope you had a good weekend.

Really sorry that you have to embark upon chemo, its not much fun but do-able. It does sound more complex with your diabetes. The only suggestion is to be kind to yourself. Be ultra careful with hygiene, you definitely do not want to get covid at the moment. I was mortified when I found out I had to take injections, my worst nightmare but I got through it. They are supposed to help get your through the worst bits and I didnt have any severe problems so can only assume they did their job pretty well.

I wish you all the best and send my hugs to you. xxx

May be I have come to this thread too late. As a diabetic steriods were more of a worry than the cancer drug treatment. Being ultra careful on diet blood sugar soared to the high 20s on steroid days, then it tumbles right down low before it stabilises, can be chocolate treat time. It doesnt last. We sleep bad on these treatments, keep munchies for those nights of steroid withdrawl, if it gets low its snacktime. Diabetes gets worse...but hope is there is now with new drugs. Three years after chemo it is better controlled. Tax...they said take strong meds...it only hurts if you try to move about...rest, I said I take too many meds already, not taking more. I ended up covering my pillows with towels and replacing them when wet...never had sweats like those before with soaking wet pillows. But that was the way I was affected, we are individuals. None of us had a virus to shield from, what a double wammy! Take Care. Xx

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Berylynn

I feel the same as you about not taking alot of medication. I have anaphylaxis from Cephlesporin, I am absolutely terrified when ever I go on new medication. I question everything. I'm on insulin so my sugars get a bit high on steroids, had a 21 but went down again. I have had a better day today with temperatures and Bsls. Staying as strong as I can.

Its all a bit overwhelming, but next round is much the same reaction as the first. The chemo nurses are there for you at the end of the phone, I also had a district diabetic nurse as a back up to phone daily steroid days. It helps. I had the injection strength lowered and the insulin increased. I was terrified of the unknown when changed from red devil to tax but felt so much better in the head except for high sugars. When you get to the end of treatment, perhaps the world will be out of lockdown. The problem with cancer, your isolating while the world whizzes by as if they dont care. Now we all isolate. I read so many books that year this time I am sewing. Be strong is what the outside says, being in uncontrollable unknown you just go with the flow, a day or hour at a time thankful for reaching each step. From half way I counted down.

There is no special way through, even my meditation tapes or crystal I had no interest in, my botanical painting, any painting the same. The mind needs to rest, its all about healing. It is a pity tv has a focus you need to be distracted from. Just rest, where possible. Take time to heal.

Thank you sooo much, I found your message comforting, I have had some side effects, no nausea thank goodness. My exercise is getting up going to the toilet. I'm in a wheelchair so it takes a lot to do things. I have no interest in my diamond painting at the moment, too much concentration lol. I still have not had any bowel movements, which is a bit of a worry, the nurse said I should go at day 3 or 4, what should I do. I know it's not a nice subject. I'm just going with the flow, taking it as it comes.

Ourmeg
Ourmeg in reply to Jen-j

I know it's hard to concentrate on anything through chemo fog. I found simple colouring in a good pastime. Did the chemo ward give you anything to help with bowel movements?

I have some movicol left from my mastectomy, I have been using that.

Hi everyone, I'm day six after my first round of chemo, I'm in alot of pain, and had a temperature of 37.9 this morning. I really panicked. My hubby told me I need to calm down. I feel better now popping panadol and eating icy poles. I have had a rash also but that has settled down again now. I found it hard not knowing what to expect and not being able to contact my bc nurse. I know I have easy compared to most. I actually spoke to my bc nurse and she said second week is the hardest part, at least I know now so I won't be scared and sad. I so grateful for this group. Thank you all so much for your support.

Ourmeg
Ourmeg in reply to Jen-j

Hi Jen. Sorry to hear you are feeling so unwell. When do you have your next chemo? Hopefully at the end of your injections pretty much for this round? Really important to keep the dialogue with the BC nurse about symptoms. The hospital I was treated at were so responsive if they thought there was anything going on which needed attention. I don't doubt they are all the same. Your first round is horrible because you are so anxious and it's all new to you. Undoubtedly, over time there is a building up of some side effects with each treatment but once the team know how the chemo is affecting you then can alter meds to support you and the most important thing is you will know what to expect and believe it or not ... your anxiety will decrease. I found it was hard to feel like doing anything much while on chemo and we have the added issue of lockdown but try to find ways to pamper yourself a little and things to occupy you. I rediscovered colouring in while on chemo and filled a few colouring books! It's really mindful. We're all here for you so do keep letting us know how you are. X

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Ourmeg

Thanks Meg, I spoke to the oncology unit tonight, I have had a rash since day 3, I reported it, apparently its an allergy to one of my meds but need to figure out what. I have an appointment with my GP on Monday. My lower back pain isn't normal either.

I have had a bad couple of days with pain, better today thank goodness

Hi Jen-j, I just finished my 4th and final round of TC chemo in January. I panicked when I learned I would have to self-administer 5 injections of filgrastim per chemo week. I know you've gotten through the first one, so BRAVA! The shots really don't hurt if you pinch your belly (or arm) and go in at an angle. The bad couple of days with pain you mentioned -- did those days happen to be around day 6 to day 7 of chemo week? Those were my worst days of chemo. Horrible pain emanating from my chest throughout my torso and radiating all the way to my toes and fingers. Pulsating pain. I thought I was having a heart attack. It woke me at 3 am. I thought I was going to pass out. I called urgent care and learned the pain was a combination of the accumulation of chemo drugs in my body and the 5 days of shots. Nothing dangerous, (I never had any fever), but oh, so painful. Once I understood that and could calculate when to expect the pain, I doubled up on a Tylenol dose, and took that dose every 4 hours for the next 12-16 hours. That worked amazingly well and it felt so good to know it couldn't get the best of me. The first time I had that pain I was going to quit all chemo and take my chances. But once I learned to control that pain, I amazed myself and got through it all! I wish you all the best. Don't you love this website? So positive and strengthening.

~Arlene

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to lucydina42

Omg thank you Arlene, yes it was day 6 and 7. I have 3 rounds to go. I have had an allergy to one of my chemo meds, severe rash. The nurse told me to let the specialist about it. I was ready to tell the doctor where to put his chemo. Today has been OK.

Jen-j
Jen-j in reply to Jen-j

I just had my second round yesterday, had my injection today, already started the pain, Dr explained because of my disability and weak bones the pain is made worse..

The rash I have is normal, not allergy. I feel relieved. I know what to expect, so I'm OK. I will start pain killers as soon as I start feeling sore instead of waiting till its bad. I have a sore chest and weird foot burning sensations

No temp so far yay. Staying positive this thing will not beat me. Two rounds to go then hormone blockers.

I would be lost and alone without this website, thank you all so much for your love and support.

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