Sunday, May 31, 2009

Breast Cancer Treatment With Chemotherapy

I found this interesting article entitled ... Breast Cancer Treatment with Chemotherapy. I've just touched on some of the many points in the article but if you'd like to read the whole thing, please feel free to follow the link.

For Breast Cancer, chemotherapy can be used in three different ways to fight the disease. Firstly, chemo can be given after surgery and radiation to prevent it from cancer from coming back as there is a chance the cancer may have spread through the lymphatic system. Secondly, chemo may be given to shrink a tumor before it can be surgically removed. And thirdly, chemo is given to metastatic patients to kill cancer cells and help them live longer. This is my category.

There are many common chemotherapy drugs used to treat breast cancer but I've only listed the two that I've been treated with:
I had six treatments of FEC back in 2000 after surgery and radiation. I've lost track of how many treatments I've had of Taxotere since August of 2008.

Generally, cycles of chemo are every 2-4 weeks and but can varies quite a bit. When on FEC my cycle was supposed to be every three weeks but ended up being every four weeks as my white blood cells would not recover in time ... so chemo had to be postponed. With the Taxotere, my cycle is three weeks.

Chemotherapy generally goes in via a vein. My six chemo treatments in 2000 pretty well destroyed or damaged any good IV veins in my left arm therefore in August of 2008 when I started chemo again, a CVC - central line was inserted on my chest wall. That worked for about eight months until I got an infection. Now I have a PICC line in my arm.

There are numerous side effects of chemo. Some of which include; hair loss, fatigue, nausea, weight gain and many more. Side effects vary quite a bit with the chemo you are on and based on my experience are cumulative.

With chemo there are a few danger signs to watch for with the main one being a high fever and chills. This is usually indicative of an infection. My thermometer is always within reaching distance.

With CT scans every six weeks, we can monitor my progress and see how the battle is going. Up to this point, I'd have to say I'm happy with the results ... we are shrinking some of the many tumors and have prevented any others from growing.


Anonymous said...

Good job! You shrink those bastards! You are one tough woman to go through all that you have and still maintain a positive attitude!

Great, informative post.

Have a good weekend - I am out for a walk and some picture taking - I love this city in the summer time!

Deb said...

You are certainly a true inspiration for others Daria! Great blog and soooo many followers. Keep up the good work!

Lesa said...

Fight On! xo

Sara Williams said...

Chemo is so hard but whenever I feel like compaining I think Yes, those cancer cells are being nuked!

Oh and thanks for your help with uploading videos, it worked! I did it!

SweetAnnee said...

Daria dear
I had Taxotere and Carboplatin

I too have mets..
I did pretty good through chemo..
but the Whole Brain Radiation KICKED my butt!!

Hope you're doing well.. Glad you liked
the hummingbird pictures..

smiles, Deena

Renee said...

You are working hard Daria. Working very hard.