It's almost impossible to say what side effects any one person will experience but I don't believe the length of the treatment has much to do with it. There are usually many side effects associated with each drug BUT not everyone will experience the same ones or to the same degree. If you are interested in all the side effects from your drugs you might visit the following website where all Chemo drugs are listed along with their actions and side effects. Chemocare.com
Chemocare.com is a good site.www.cancer4caring.com is another nice site.
You will experience side effects including hair loss.
Neuropathy is one side affect of Taxotere. Vit B can help with that, have some ready. Neurotin can also help, but you have to get it from your doctor after symptoms start.
Your white blood cells with go down after your first treatment. Do everything you can to prevent infection, including washing door knobs. They don't want you to lose weight, so have high calorie, high protein foods, like nuts handy. Walking helps bring the bone marrow back around, which helps the blood cells recover.
With you having 4 treatments, does that mean that you are having surgery after that, than more chemo? Taxotere is good for shrinking tumors which allow smaller amounts of tissue removal.
Don't be surprised either if you gain weight. I was so convinced that I would lose weight from chemo, (like the way it is demonstrated in the movies), I was so embarrassed when I kept on gaining weight, as if I did nothing but eat in-between sessions. I was sure I was the only one. Then later I found out that this was the case for more women undergoing this type of chemo at this stage than not.
I wish I had known. ( I had what you will get plus Adryamycin)
I had no problems with nausea, but I did have swelling of my lower legs and also face from the Taxol. (which is similar to Taxotere but perhaps known to cause less of the neuropathy problems, and which does not mean you will get them)
You may also get a fungus infection, especially 'thrush' which means it is in your mouth. For myself, the thrush was perhaps the worst part as I felt terrible in all of my body from it. So, just in case you notice that, be sure to call for some medicine.
Otherwise, mostly tired. The first 2 days I felt great after treatment from the Decadron (steroid) they pre-medicate you with in the IV, then followed by total tiredness. The third week was the easiest, kind of like getting a break.
Over all, for most of us the chemo is bearable/tolerable and no longer as it used to be for patients and who spent much of their time vomiting. but for nausea and vomiting they now have great medications to prevent this in most cases.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
PS: Allow people to help when they ask, like shop for you, or run errants, or watch kids, whatever. It's good for both involved parties as usually friends, family and neighbors really want to help you, even need to. (Of course not if someone is really annoying to you, I meant generally) KAT
ok. so now I just got my results from the Oncotype DX test. My number is 21. So the scenario is er+pr+, HER2-, no lymph node involvement, and ODX 21. I am still considering the chemo regimen of Taxotere and Cytoxan because I really dont' want to think about recurrence. Anyone have suggestions/comments about this?
There is really no clear evidence to guide someone with your score one way or the other.
As you may be aware, the OncotypeDX Recurrence Score is categorized into one of three groups: low, intermediate, or high risk. For example, if a tumor has a Recurrence Score over 31, a high-risk score, this means there's a greater chance that the breast cancer will return. If a tumor gets a Recurrence Score of 18 or less, a low-risk score, this signals a lower chance that the breast cancer will return. If the Recurrence Score is 19 to 30 then the recurrence risk is intermediate.
Using the Recurrence Score as a measure of risk, researchers now acknowledge a correlation between the score and the type of cancer treatment that is required. For example, with a low Recurrence Score, hormone therapy alone may successfully treat the woman's cancer. Alternately, a high Recurrence Score indicates a greater chance of the breast cancer returning, so the patient may benefit from adjuvant systemic therapy, including chemotherapy.
Unfortunately, there is no information about the best treatment of a breast cancer patient who has an intermediate Recurrence Score. There is an ongoing clinical trial known as the TAILORx trial in which persons with an intermediate Recurrence Scores are place on either chemotherapy or hormone therapy on a random basis to determine the outcome and thus appropriate treatment of this group of breast cancer patients.
Since your score falls in the intermediate range, where a researched-supported answer is not yet available, I guess it depends on how risk-averse you are... (I tend to follow a "Better safe than sorry" philosophy, but that's just one viewpoint.)
Another possibility would be to ask your oncologist to put all of your information into the Adjuvant! Online tool and see what that suggests...
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