AC Adriamycin and Cytoxan Breast Cancer Chemo Tips

 

Please check out my online store http://www.hellocourage.com and see items that will help you on your journey including these cute, stylish and affordable chemo caps.  I started my online store to help pay my medical bills and help you find things to make your life easier:

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Okay, I now consider myself an A/C (Adriamycin and Cytoxan) Chemo expert. Four rounds of the stuff makes an expert out of you in a fast hurry!  Some things I learned that I hope you find helpful.  Today I will concentrate on tips for Chemo Days.

Chemo Days

1)  Drink PLENTY of water before and after chemo.  I strive to drink a minimum of 10 – 8 oz glasses the day before chemo, the day of, and many days after.  A/C dehydrates the body.  You want to get the toxins out as quickly as you can.  This definitely decreased my side effects!

2) Make sure you eat a light meal before Chemo.  Oatmeal with fruit works for me.

2)  Wear very comfortable clothing to infusion days.  I wear jogging suits that are lower cut or have front zippers so my port can be easily accessed without danger to the area.  Plus, I see my Oncologist the same day so its always “strip to the waist” to check my surgery site. 

3)  My infusion of A/C takes 2.5 to 3 hours.  It goes by quickly!!  Don’t be alarmed if this seems terribly long.  It isn’t! 

4) Chew ice chips while chemo is being administered.  It cuts down on mouth sores. 

5)  Don’t be terrified when your chemo nurse comes all covered up to administer the chemo drugs – cap, gown, and gloves.  They need to protect themselves, but it is scary to see, especially the first time.

6)  Your first urines will turn red, like the drug.  Don’t get upset.  I was told to make sure to flush the toilet twice, putting the lid down, and sanitize the toilet as you don’t want to endanger anyone.  At home I don’t let anyone else use my toilet.  If that’s not possible for you, make sure you use sanitizing wipes on rim and lid of toilet and clean toilet as often as you can with a bleach-based toilet bowl cleaner.  Wash your hands with soap and water FREQUENTLY.  Sing two rounds of The Birthday Song while scrubbing. 

7)  Take reading material, laptop, or whatever you need to make yourself feel comfortable.   My hospital will loan me a laptop.  I really don’t do anything during chemo.  I can’t seem to concentrate on other things, but maybe you can!

8)  Usually the hospital will provide you with snacks.  My hospital has bagels,  popsicles and other items chemo patients can tolerate.  If not, take your own! 

9) After chemo starts winding down, try to relax.   The first trip is terrifying.  And the fear really builds up as you leave for home because you just don’t know what to expect.  It won’t be as bad as you think.  You will  not have every side effect they have to tell you about, and you will make it!! 

10) I have an hour drive after Chemo.  Make sure you have someone with you.  It is best if someone else drives for you  to make sure you are okay.  My chemo nurse said the anti-nausea drugs make you sleepy – not a good mix with driving.

 


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18 comments

  1. I will be soon in this situation. I’m relax but panic. I hate the idea of loosing my hair…is long and pretty…but I have not choice. Thanks for the tips.

  2. I’m going for my second cycle this Thursday. I drank tons and tons of water during and after but will drink alot more the day before too. I absolutely agree with getting rid of the toxins by drinking lots of water because I’m afraid of liver or kidney damage so I absolutely want to flush it out of my system as soon as possible. I will likely lose my hair too, and to the response above, I had long beautiful hair too of which I went to the salon for color, highlights and touchups every 5weeks, but my Oncologist actually suggested I cut my hair to lessen the trauma of losing it when it starts to fall out. I went from long hair I was so proud of to cutting it shoulder length now. It was as short as I could possibly go for now and it’s actually been easier to do everything with shorter hair. I’ve already got a prescription from my Oncologist for a prothesis Hair wig and will see if my insurance will reimburse it but I’ve found a wig similar to my old hairstyle and length and I’ve got it all ready so that I’m not pressured to buy “any” wig when I actually lose all my hair. The minute my hair starts falling out, I’ve decided to shave it off to save myself from anymore trauma. I’m not looking forwarfd to it but I remind myself daily that the benefits of Chemo outweight the side effects. I’m hoping to accept my bald head when the time comes =)

  3. My hair was on the short side when I was diagnosed. I had it cut even shorter because I knew it was coming out whether I liked it or not. I had it all shaved off after 3 days of it starting to fall out; best thing I ever did. At first I wore bandanas & scarves to cover my head. (hated the stares). Now I am 4 treatments in to my TNBC & I go around bald just about every where, unless my head gets cold.. I work in the front office at a junior high school & you know how kids can be but I don’t care who stares anymore! Embrace the bald!!!!

  4. Thank you. I will be starting my chemo April 30th. I am bookmarking these tips and I know they will help. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Started my chemo on March 29th. Had one round of Cytoxan/Taxotere. Second round had a very bad reaction to Taxotere. Will be starting chemo again on May 1st with Adriamycin/Cytoxan 4 cycles one every two weeks and having anxiety because of the reaction. Hoping I don’t have many side effects. Thanks for the tips, I will certainly keep all of them with me. My hair started to fall out on day 14 after first treatment. Started to get messy so I had it all shaved off. The best thing I ever did. I wear hats but mostly walk around bald.

    • Diane, many people get a reaction to the Taxane drugs like Taxotere and Taxol.
      I hope AC is better for you. You should not have a reaction – totally opposite drugs.
      But it is very scarey! I am so sorry you have to go through this!
      Glad you got the head shave over with…and I am always impressed by women who have
      the confidence to go bald. I didn’t have it. Sending a hug your way. Denise

  6. Great tips! did everyone here do 4 cycles of A/C? How often did people do the dose? every 2 weeks or every weeks? My first dose of A/C was “pushed” thru the medi-port. It took hardly 10 minutes.

    • Hi thanks for writing! Most of us did 4 cycles of A/C – and the majority
      every 2 weeks which is considered dose dense. Some ladies do every 3 weeks!
      Best of luck to you!! Others will respond too!

  7. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely
    right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information!
    Thanks!

  8. I behind 2-5-16 and am scared of the Adriamyacin combo for four weeks. This is my 2nd breast cancer in years. My first one was a different set of chemo. I am 46. Thank you so much for this info. It is what I have been looking for 🙂 Sandra

    • Hi Sandra, I am SO SORRY you have to go through this again. AC is hard, but you will do it!
      My sister just finished chemo in October and just had rads. Saying a prayer for you right now
      that it is better than you think! My best, Denise

  9. I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer and tested positive for HER2 in December 2015. I have to have 6 treatments of 4 drugs (just finished my 3rd). Then surgery. Then 11 treatments of the HER2 drug and radiation. 2016 will be a long year. I was prepared for losing my hair and it fell out rather quickly. What has been the worst is the soreness of my hands, the effects to my skin in sensitive areas and the excessive exhaustion. My treatment days take 8-10 hours right now and are totally draining. My worst days are days 4-7 after treatment and the best days are the 4 days before the next one. I look forward to those. Some helpful things I have found are Udderly Smooth hand Cream with 20% Urea, lotions and body wash from Aveno, PCA skin silkcoat balm for your face and Olay instant hydration for your eyes.
    Thank you for your blog. It is great to have a source for help

    Christy

    • Hi Christy – her2 is a long tough road. Just 4 years ago when I went through it, they were still doing
      surgery first. Now they start chemo right away.
      THANK you for the great tip about the creams and lotions suggestions! Very much appreciated for others!

      Just make sure they are checking your heart frequently…you will make it through even though it feels
      like it will never be over!! Thanks for your KIND WORDS too about my blog!

      Sending my best, Denise

  10. Thank you for this site! I had 3 months of carboplatin and taxol, my breast tumor is gone. (Yippee!) Had my first A/C (of 4 every 2weeks) 8 days ago and thinking I was on the rise after misery on days 4 thru 6.5, I now have this awful throbbing deep bone pain in my spine. Yes, I tried Claritin and Tylenol, but I can’t have ibuprofen because of Crohn’s disease. Can anyone tell me if the pain goes away, or if anything else helps?
    Thank you
    Jessica

    • Hi Jessica – OH WONDERFUL news about TUMOR GONE!! Amazing news!
      Now for A/C…I’ve heard of others with this pain you are speaking of and
      my best suggestion is to be sure to call your Oncologist right away to ask
      what would be best for you. Do not hesitate to call them! Hoping you find relief!

  11. Thank you so much for the great tips ,it is so comforting to knw what to expect and what to do!
    We will make Cancer history with love and faith!

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