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Newly Diagnosed and overwhelmed



  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 837
    Dear @Penny001,

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • kitkatbkitkatb Member Posts: 442
    HI @Penny001 Sorry you have to be on this site but as everyone has mentioned it is a great place to get the support from people who have been there and understand how you feel.  Do you know what chemo regime you will be on at all yet. I was on TC  chemo. Have you got a start date as yet.   xo
  • Penny001Penny001 Ceentral Coast NswMember Posts: 19
    hi @kitkatb i start on 26th with 4 fortnigh x ac then 12 of something else weekly
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,606
    Hi @Penny001 The drugs will get you through IF you need them. Many don’t. Once you have started treatment it actually feels like a weight has lifted. I didn’t take drugs before chemo but as @Sister says, take what is offered, it is only for a short time and makes things very doable. Big hugs.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,906
    Hi Penny. I was petrified before I started chemo. I had memories of my mother's in 1986, and other horror stories that had lodged in my mind. Humans are wired to remember bad news as a protective function, so you never remember the good ones. I had a massive panic attack for 45 minutes two nights before my first infusion. I pulled up my big girl undies nice and high and got myself there for the first infusion.

    The horror stories didn't come true. Like the vast majority I had a range of grotty but largely manageable side effects. These days chemo is doable. Be kind and gentle to yourself, come here for advice and whinges whenever you want, exercise everyday (it reduces the severity of the side effects) and keep your eyes on the prize, a cancer free life. Deep breaths Penny, hang in there. K xox
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,606
    It'll probably be 12 x Paclitaxel @Penny001 .  
  • Penny001Penny001 Ceentral Coast NswMember Posts: 19
    thats the one
  • Penny001Penny001 Ceentral Coast NswMember Posts: 19
    does anyone want to share there experience with that please
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,161
    We all react differently to treatment - here's hoping you are one that just sails through!  
    as @kmakm said above The horror stories didn't come true.

    Be kind to yourself
  • Penny001Penny001 Ceentral Coast NswMember Posts: 19
    do they have drugs to conteract if i have a bad reaction
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 4,161
    Have you had your tour of the Chemo unit?  All will be explained there and what to take et cetera if you have a bad reaction
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 635
    @Penny001, I found the paclitaxel much easier than the AC chemo. The fact that is was weekly, rather than every three weeks was a bit of a nuisance, but at least it was over quicker. I was given medication to take before the infusion and also some to take home with me to be taken after. I had no problems with these. I did start developing peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet, which starts out as a sort of tingling and numbness. Much like when the local anaesthetic given by a dentist starts wearing off. However, I do have other significant medical issues aside from the cancer, so the symptoms I had might well have been worse due to these other factors. If this starts happening to you (and remember not everyone has problems), mention it to your team, and they will take the appropriate action. To be honest, the chemo infusions, both the AC and Paclitaxel, were not in themselves a huge problem for me. I have a port in my upper chest as my veins are shot from multiple blood tests over the past twenty years or so, due to being on blood thinners. This meant that there was no "Hunt the Vein" for me and my main problem was boredom. That's why I took my own tea bags, coffee, (hospital stuff is crappy), my kindle and my knitting.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,606
    You know the chemo you are going to have so I assume that you've had the consult with the oncologist.  He/she, or the onc nurses should have gone through many things with you including what to do if you have a bad reaction and whether to organise a port (well worth doing).  If this hasn't happened, or if you just can't remember, call the clinic or your breast care nurse on Monday and discuss it.

    AC is tougher but it's only 4 doses and you get time to recover from it.  Taxol is not as tough but you don't get as much recovery time and it's 12 doses so most of us are pretty tired by the end of it.  You will be offered some meds to control things such as nausea - these might be enough.  If they're not cutting it, you can ask for different or stronger.  Four days into my first AC, I was prescribed Ativan for nausea and Somac (later, Nexium) for reflux.  These did the trick.  You will also be monitored at each appointment and if your body is struggling with the chemo drugs, the dosage may be altered, or you may be given a break to recover more.  My indications always remained just over the concerning level so my treatment was not altered.

    Please don't be too scared about it.  It's natural to be anxious but statistically, you're unlikely to be one of those who has a bad reaction and if you do happen to fall into that group, the oncologist will deal with it.  The rest is just a drudge to get through.  And who knows, you may be one of the lucky ones who gets through without a problem.
  • Penny001Penny001 Ceentral Coast NswMember Posts: 19
    THank you, i no its a wait and see i just cant seem to calm my anxiety regarding it
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,906
    Hi Penny. Try downloading Headspace or Smiling Mind onto your phone and have a crack at some of their exercises. I did this at the beginning and it did help. It puts a distance between you and your thoughts, and that calms you down at bit.

    Distract with TV or a movie, get into the kitchen and cook. It's hard to think of anything else when you're following a new recipe.

    Hang in there, K xox
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