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Thursday, May 28, 2009 MsMary, Community Member, asks

Q: What are the sides effects of TCH

My treatment region will consist of TCH with 6 treatment.  Wondering if anyone can give me a heads up of what to expect and to let me know what kinds of foods I will be able to stand after the first two treatment.  I just want this to be over with.

Thanks

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Answers (3)
Kate, Community Member
7/ 6/09 1:55pm

Hi msMary,

 

I have the same drugs and will have chemo #4/6 tomorrow. Fatigue, metallic taste in my mouth, some indigestion and heartburn are usual for me. I don't like some of my favorite foods for about a week (like coffee) after chemo. The fatigue for 2-3 days is what affects my normal routine the most. I take Tums dual action or Zantac for the heartburn but have not had much nausea at all. I also have had mild constipation or diarreha but not enough to slow me down. By the middle of week 2, I am back to normal.

 

For the most part, you will be able to do all of your normal activities. Just plan on a day or two as pajama days. Hope this helps. You will do fine and it all goes quicker than you think. I have IBC by the way -how about you?

Kate

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MsMary, Community Member
7/ 6/09 10:58pm

Hello and thanks for the information.  The same here. Just had my second treatment thrusday and this one hit me pretty hard with the fatigue.  Traveling the weekend from VA to Jax then to MS today, Monday didn't help either and then to come home to a dirty house, made things worse.  I had the same symptoms with the first one.  Wasn't too bad, made myself take naps during the day to help me make it throughout the rest of the day.  My doctor prescribed me Nexum and it works better for the week or so and then I go back to my Prisolec.  constipation, we need help for that one.  The first treatment I had diarahee for three days straight nothing yet, usually Tues-Wed-Thurs after week one is the worse one but we will see this week.  And what is IBC? Please keep in contact so I can know how your last two goes.

Mary

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Kate, Community Member
7/ 7/09 4:17pm

Hi Mary,

 

Inflammatory Breast Caner -rare and agressive and always stage IIIB or IV at time of diagnosis. I am estrogen negative but HER2 positive and stage IV (metastisized to L4 on the right side-lower back). I will need herceptin every three weeks for the rest of my life. -The chemo side affects are not so bad and manageable with rest. I take dulcolax forseveral days chemo week and zantac or tums dual action for the hearburn. I had great news today-my follow up PET/CT shows all lymph nodes clear, L4 clear and the left breast good improvement. Best news I have had yet. 2 more chemos to go, then surgery and radiation. Best!

Kate

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MsMary, Community Member
7/ 7/09 8:54pm

That is great news.  Congrads.  I was only diagnoised with early stage I with all my lymph nodes neg.  Just estrogren postitive, HER2 positive, so that is why I have to include the herceptin.  Good luck and God Speed.

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Janet, Community Member
8/24/10 10:36am

Hi Mary,

My name is Janet, and it seems I have the same diagnosis you had, stage 1, IDC, er+, pr+ HER2+, lymph nodes neg. grade 3. I will get TCH for 6 treatments. Can you tell me your outcome. I am anxious about the chances of long term or permanent side effects from the chemo. It seems to be just a precaution for reoccurance. My doctor said my chances of reoccurance will drop from 40-50% down to 10%.  Still, I don't want to come out with organ damage. Anything you can share would be helpful.

Janet

 

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steffie, Community Member
12/31/12 4:34pm

i would love to hear how janet and mary are doing?  I am newly diagnosed, about to start TCH in a week or two, and trying to wrap my head around all of this horror, out of nowhere.  

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
12/31/12 4:49pm

Steffie, just to make sure they see your request, you might want to click on Janet's and Mary's names at the top of their posts (in blue) and send them a private message. I'm sure they can help you prepare for this. You also might want to read our post on TC, and our post on Herceptin; I think both of those will help.

 

I can truthfully say chemo wasn't as bad as I'd feared; it was a slog, for sure, but one foot in front of the other every day got it done. I hope you have the same experience. Best of luck - PJH

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gail, Community Member
1/ 3/11 7:39pm

That's the same diagnosis as me.  Stage one, lymph nodes negative, margins clear.  I'm hormonal receptive, HER2 positive.  I start the TCH regimen this coming thursday, the 6th, with herceptin, and than I'll continue the herceptin every three weeks till the end of 2011.

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MsMary, Community Member
1/ 9/11 8:56pm

Gail

I am sorry that I haven't written you back earlier but I have been busy.  You can follow my blog and see how I handled each treatment.  I can tell you that please take it easy and get some rest after treatment and let your family and friends take care of you.  Use plastic ware instead of silver because of the metallic taste you might get, no fresh fruit or veggies and drink plenty of water to clean your system out faster.  I am here if you have any questions.  My emamil address is msmary729@hotmail.com

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gail, Community Member
1/14/11 10:31pm

Had my first treatment last thursday.  Somewhat of a achiness on my legs from above the knee caps down to the knees.  Seemed to start earlier in the day for two days, and took a tylenol, but not real unbearable.  My main problem this time was my mouth.  A real dry, and sore mouth.  A little bit of quesiness at times, but not enough to throw up.   Seemed to be more in the morning when I got up, and seemed to last about two days.  Do you get the same symptoms on the next treatment?

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MsMary, Community Member
1/14/11 11:30pm

Each treatment is different, from pain to quesiness.  My second treatment was more from me being tired from traveling and not having the energy to do anything.  For the mouth dryness, eat on some peppermints and wash your mouth with some salt water.  the soreness is probably from your white blood count being low.  Eat a lot of protein and juice.  My personal email is msmary 729@hotmail.com if you want to talk.  But please follow my blog on my page, it will give you a better understanding of what to expect, but remember, that we all handle chemo differently.  I can not really remember what happened over a year ago as well as some of the things that happened to me in the last couple of days.  please keep in contact.

Mary

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MsMary, Community Member
7/24/09 9:02am

Hello,

I had my 3rd chemo treatment yesterday, Thursday and everything went well.  I have a question, I have been experencing some throat pain, like muscle spam, but no sore throat.  Did you experience anything like this with your treatment.  My doctor doesn't know what is causing it but it kept me up all night even with pain pills. 

Mary

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KatieK, Community Member
10/22/09 2:08pm

I don't know what causes it, but I have the same tightness in my throat, like it's closing, which gives me more anxiety about the whole thing!  I have some strange feeling it's the neulasta after the chemo...I was dx in may with idc, stage 3, 11/21 nodes positive, triple(er,pr, her2) positive.

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jendoe1997, Community Member
11/ 9/10 11:21pm

Hello I am writing this for my sister who is now in the hospital she has something wrong with her colin it is inflamed and now the onc said she can not continue the TCH, he has never seen this in his 15000 treatments he has done for breast cancer. Has anyone heard of anything. it seems like he don't know what to do. he is going to bring it up at a board meeting this week. She had her first testament wednesday and in the hospital sunday night with extreme pain diarrhea and blood in the stool. She has been in the hospital for 8 days and had one blood transfusion and very low white cell counts. Any info would help I have looked all over the web. the dr explanation after tons of test was the TCH pissed off her colin and it is severly inflamed. Thanks! Jen

 

Jendoe1997@hotmail.com

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
11/10/10 5:32am

  Chemo affects cells that divide rapidly such as cancer cells AND the cells that line our digestive system.  When the doctor said he hasn't seen anything like your sister's problem, he must have meant he has never seen such an extreme reaction because diarrhea is a side effect from chemo that is not unusual.  Your sister may have already had some irritation in her colon that the chemo made worse.  If a gastroenterologist isn't one of the doctors who have looked at her with this hospitalization, she should probably ask to see one.  The doctors at the board meeting will probably represent several specialties, so she should get good advice from that meeting.  If you are working with a local doctor and no concrete suggestions come from that, she might want to consider a consult at a comprehensive cancer center.

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jendoe1997, Community Member
11/10/10 10:38am

she has had all kinds of test and working with gastroenterologist. She had irritation before and chemo made it worse. They say she should not be on TCH anymore, What the question is is has anyone ever had this conditon before and what treatment did they get. My sister has stage 2 breast cancer Her2+. She asked me to resuch (I havnt found anyone with this problem) so instead of resarch I am asking...just incase their is someone out their who knows of this.

thanks for responing I am going to contact the comp cancer center in Maryland at JHU.

 

She is now at Greater Baltimore Washington Medical they are great so far but I am looking for more answers.

 

Thanks agian! 

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
11/10/10 5:21pm

Because your sister's reaction to this chemo is not typical, you may have trouble finding research information.  The important thing is to get her oncologist and gastroenterologist talking to each other and to come up with the best treatment plan.  Since your sister is pleased with her current hospital, a consultation with Hopkins might be the best way to go.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
11/10/10 6:26pm

I agree with PHyllis, Jen. In cases where there's an unusual reaction to chemo, or a rare side effect, a consultation at a Comprehensive Cancer Center is definitely called for. Sounds like you have that all lined up. At this point, there's not a whole lot more you can do. We all need to be empowered patients, do our homework and be as educated about our condition as we can; but in the case of your sister, with something no one has seen before, then we just have to go with the system as best we can - which, at JHU, should be pretty darned good. Best of luck to you both - PJH

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Kate, Community Member
7/25/09 7:25pm

HI Mary,

Been out of town. No, I haven't, but if you don't get rid of it soon you could see and ENT doctor for advice. Everything that happens seems like cancer to me too. I had a rash under both breasts this week and totally lost it. Called my onc and she said since it was on both sides at the same time it was probably just a heat rash and to use Gold Bond powder -and I did and it is going away. I did have a sore tongue and gums after round 4 but it only lasted 3 days. Round 5 is this Tuesday. Keep in touch and best to you.

Kate

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MsMary, Community Member
7/26/09 9:44am

Hello,

How often are you receiving your herceptin, my new doctor wants me to get it weekly between my chemo treatments until my last chemo treatment on 24 sept then I will start with the herceptin alone with getting it every 3 weeks.  He said that the books requires me to get it weekly until i finish up my chemo but i think that is too much on my heart, any advice.

Mary

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Kate, Community Member
7/26/09 12:10pm

I get taxotere, carboplatin and herceptin every three weeks -nothing in between. I have been told that I will get the herceptin every three weeks forever -guess because I am stage 4 at dx.  You probably have had a MUGA scan for your heart - I did- and I don't know when it will be repeated but have been told to expect it.  I was a regular exerciser before this happened but only occasional since (too tired chemo week and then I have been traveling when I feel well). When I do exercise, I have not noticed any problems- I can still do aerobics for an hour without a problem-walk 5 miles as often as I can and weight lift here and there.  I was never really worried about my heart since I was a regular exercise person for years ( instructor at our local YMCA too until this cancer). 

I haven't heard about anyone getting weekly between chemo. Have you joined ibc.org? You can ask the question there and get tons of answers quickly. It's been a good source of support and information for me.

Best,
Kate

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MsMary, Community Member
7/26/09 8:16pm

I also receive the same thing every three weeks for 6 treatments/3 more to go but the doctor wants to do the herceptin weekly until I finish up the chemo and then every three weeks until June 10.  Good luck and thanks

Mary

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Val, Community Member
3/12/10 3:18pm
Hi Kate and Mary ... just googled side effects from the TCH cocktail. I have HER2 positive breast cancer as well. Early stage. Recovering from surgery and start my chemo next week ... sounds like you ladies are a good 1/2 year ahead of me ... as of your last post it sounds as if all was going well (or as well as can be expected) Any updates? Val Reply
MsMary, Community Member
3/23/10 6:47pm

Hi Val,

Sorry I didn't email you earlier but I was out to sea.  I am in the Navy.  Yes, I finished my treatment September 23, 2009 and I am still doing the Herceptin until June 2010, only 5 more to go.  This webpage is the best out there.  The ladies are there at a beacon call to answer any question that they have the answer to.  They help me to go through my treatment and listened when I whinn and gave me great advice to follow. 

My treatment wasn't bad until the third, fifth and the sixth, I think.  Try to do as much as you can.  Do not let it get the best of you, rest when you need to, but try to stay exercising.  Do not give it.  Some days will be harder than other but I hung in there for my family.  Eat ginger snacks, get ice cubes when you begin your treatment as they give you the drips, get some vegetable laxatives to take daily, this will help with constipation in which you will have from the chemo.  Also take your stool softners, have your doctor prescribe you some.  eat alot of fruits and vegetables and drink alot of water and juices.  I did half water and half juice.  Everything you eat and drink a couple of days after treatment will taste bad.  You will get to the point where you will not want to eat or drink anything because it has no taste to you, but force yourself to eat and drink.  Please let others help you and do not try to do it all on your own, like I did.  Rest if you must, I worked too hard while I was going through treatment because I didn't want to sit around and have to face reality that I had cancer.  Yes, you will loose your hair about two/three weeks after your first treatment.  That was worse than the fact of me loosing my breast.  While I still had hair, it gave me a sense of security false, in trying not to face the fact again.  I am here for you and if you want to talk, please call me at 228-493-2987. I would love to be your friend while you go through this and you will be in my prayers.  Pray and keep the faith. I have come to the conclusion that this happened to me for a reason.  I was the one always on the go, never had time for myself and my family, worked too much and never enjoyed life.  In the last year, I have had more fun with my family and kids than I had in a long time.  my email address is msmary729@hotmail.com

 

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Val, Community Member
3/25/10 8:52am

Hi Mary,

Thanks so much for the Emails ... been reading your blog ... and very helpful.  Day 9 after round one and feeling better everyday ... but I know I'm just getting started.  Experiencing very similar things and you're posts are so helpful. Sometimes it comforting to know that what you are feeling is to be expected. What ever happened with the throat thing?  Have to say that's been my biggest annoyance so far.  I don't have a sore throat, but it aches all the time ... no sores and definitely doing my gargling religiously, but it feels like someone karate chopped me in the neck!

Again, many thanks for your advice!!!

Val

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MsMary, Community Member
3/25/10 10:49pm

Hi Val,

The throat thing is from the chemo.  I had to take some pain medicine to help with the pain in the throat.  That will go away soon as you finish your chemo.  You can ask your doctor for some muscle relaxers, it is from muscle spasm. 

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Val, Community Member
3/25/10 8:54am

Hi Mary,

Thanks so much for the Emails ... been reading your blog ... and very helpful.  Day 9 after round one and feeling better everyday ... but I know I'm just getting started.  Experiencing very similar things and you're posts are so helpful. Sometimes it comforting to know that what you are feeling is to be expected. What ever happened with the throat thing?  Have to say that's been my biggest annoyance so far.  I don't have a sore throat, but it aches all the time ... no sores and definitely doing my gargling religiously, but it feels like someone karate chopped me in the neck!

Again, many thanks for your advice!!!

Val

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MsMary, Community Member
3/29/10 9:04pm

Hey Val,

Did you talk to your doctor about your throat? You will need to take some pain pills for a couple of days until it get undercontrol.  How are you feeling?

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dee, Community Member
1/17/11 6:58am

Hi msmary, your blog has been helpful to me.  I am about to get round 4 tch and

have done extremely well until now.  I have having chest pains and bad pains

running down my right arms. I wil call my doctor today.  I sailed through the first

three treatments with more fatigue during the 3rd.  I am so worried about damage to my heart.  I have had two electocardiograms with the last being just

last week.  I too lost all my hair during the third week.  I am stage 2 invasive her2 positive having to have 6 treatments of tch and then herceptin for 6 months.  I am so scared and wonder why me.  I have always been very active with walking 3 days a week as well as gym work out 3 days a week, gardening and caring for my own lawn.  Can you shine any light on chest pains?

benzgirl2@cox.net

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
1/17/11 7:16am

There is no answer to the Why Me? question.  Good health habits can reduce breast cancer and heart health risks, but they don't eliminate them.  Herceptin sometimes causes heart problems in women whose hearts had previously been strong.  Anxiety and an arthritic condition of the ribs called costochondritis are among the other conditions that cause chest pain, so your current pain may not be your heart at all.  The doctor may want to do another MUGA scan because that is the type of test that shows the kind of heart damage that Herceptin is most likely to cause.  When you see a doctor today, have a serious talk about the risks and benefits of Herceptin for you.  You might need to continue with just the TC part of your treatments to preserve your heart health.  A joint consult with the oncologist and cardiologist might be a good idea.  If you are still having chest pain when you read this, call the doctor immediately.  You may need to go to the emergency room if the office is not open.  Chest pain needs prompt evaluation.  I hope you get good news.

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PHYLB, Community Member
5/13/11 10:39pm

I have her2 pos and 1 positive lymph node-stage II.  Next week I start TCH-6 treaments, 1 every 3 weeks-Herceptin is every week for 52 weeks.

I am concered with the water retntion they keep talking about- a possible weight gain of 5 pounds in one day-  Have you ever heard of that? 

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Mary, Community Member
5/14/11 1:27am
Hello Weight gain is common with the treatment. I gained twenty pounds while having six treatments and a year later with stress an additional thirty. Talk to your doc but it might just be the treatment and watch what you are eating but eat to maintain your strength. Please follow my blog to give you an idea of what to expect but remember we all handle it differently but pay close attention to tingling and pain in arms and feet. Let your doc know immediately. Please feel free to contact me again. Mary Reply
PHYLB, Community Member
5/14/11 4:25pm

How do I follow your blogs?  Not to swift at the computer.

 

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PHYLB, Community Member
5/19/11 7:27pm

Just had my 1st TCH treatment today.  So far so good.  Haven't had any side effects yet and feel great.  Hope this continues, but I fear it won't.  When do side effects start happening?  

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
5/19/11 9:50pm

How soon you will see side effects varies depending on the drug and the patient.  Usually you will have some short-term side effects in the first 48 hours.  Blood counts will usually drop over the course of a couple of weeks, so any side effects related to low blood counts like fatigue will usually occur in a week or two and then gradually get better by the time of the next treatment.  Others may not show up for weeks or maybe even not until treatment is over.

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Elaine, Community Member
3/30/10 8:28am

When do you start to lose your hair following TCH infusion?

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
3/30/10 10:53am

Usually 2 to 3 weeks, Elaine. Best of luck - so many of us have been there... Once it goes, it's a lot easier - it's the anticipation that's so tough. Good luck, and stay in touch here - we can help. PJH

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MsMary, Community Member
4/ 2/10 7:16pm

Hi Elaine,

My hair started to shed about two weeks after my first treatment.  I went and had it cut short but that did not help.  I think about week three, I had to get it shaved.  Loosing my hair was worse than the doctor telling me that I had cancer because I finally realized that I had cancer.  Take it easy, enjoy your wigs, I have about 8 now and I love wearing them all.  I did not mind not having to wake up early to comb my hair or shave my legs.  You will most likely loose your eye lashes, brows, hair everywhere.  My menstruate stopped after my first treatment also.  Still not back so I will have to get a premenopause test done in June to see if my medication will have to be changed.  Please follow my old bloggs, it will help you out a lot and give you something to look forward to.  Please rest and take care of you and let your friends and family do what they  want to for you.  do not push yourself.  You deserve it.  I can also be reached at msmary729@hotmail.com or 2284932987 if you want to talk one on one.  Happy Easter to you all..

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By MsMary, Community Member— Last Modified: 03/07/14, First Published: 05/28/09