My Taxotere Experience/Diary

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schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/8/2018 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I can remember even as a little kid hearing or seeing on television about people having chemotherapy and it seems it was always presented a very scary thing to fear. The truth is, the idea scared me worse than my surgery, radiation, and ADT had. Reading the stories of others here and the generous encouragement I’ve received through email from some of these Healing Well guys really comforted me. I’m hoping that posting a diary of my experience will pay this forward to future guys who face starting Taxotere.

Quick background. I’m scheduled for four infusions of Taxotere as elective, adjuvant therapy for my initial treatment for prostate cancer. To make it just a bit more challenging, I decided to get it a bit far away from home. Despite the travel requirement, this was what I felt was best for me because I feel very comfortable with the doctor and staff I’m working with at a smaller, more personalized medicine-type clinic.

Tuesday, March 6th (The night before)

After working on Tuesday, my wife and I hopped on a plane and landed at LAX late that night. I drastically changed my diet when I was diagnosed and haven’t eaten red meat or French fries in about a year and a half. Aside from the combo pizza at Costco, In-N-Out Burger is one of the things I’ve definitely missed. I decided the start of chemo deserved a treat so an In-N-Out cheeseburger and French fries were much enjoyed before checking into the hotel for the night. It won’t be a habit, and I blame Cyclone_ISU for giving me the idea in his write up about going to his favorite eatery for a treat on his infusion days!

Day 1 (1st infusion). Wednesday March 7th.

Much ado about nothing. Really, fearing infusion day was a waste of worry. I got to the office and reclined on a very comfortable chair. Getting the IV needle put in is never really pleasant but that was the extent of anything remotely painful and even that is fairly painless. Next came IV infusions of about 45 minutes of pre-chemo drugs – a steroid, an antacid, Benadryl, and an anti-nausea medication. A little drowsiness came from the Benadryl but it didn’t last long. After a trip to the bathroom (drinking water like a fish thanks to recommendations from Cyclone), the nurse brought out a cup of ice cubes, two Elasta-Gel hand mittens and two Elasta-Gel frozen booties for my feet. I put them on, grabbed an ice cube for my mouth and the one hour infusion of the Taxotere began. The frozen booties stayed on the entire time, but I had to take my fingers out of the mittens for a couple of minutes every ten minutes or so to warm them up a bit as they really got uncomfortably cold. Two things I learned here – 1. The Elasta-Gel products stayed very cold for the entire one-hour infusion, they didn’t need to get replaced due to warm up as I’ve read others had experienced with some ice mitts. 2. Worries of boredom in the chair weren’t needed. Having to replenish the ice cubes for your mouth, taking your hands in and out of the gloves, a couple minutes of closing your eyes, and the time blew by quickly.

When the Taxotere bag was empty, the nurse brought out a Neulasta on body auto injector. I’ve seen all the commercials where they show it on people’s upper arm so I was a bit surprised when the nurse told me that it was going on my stomach. She said that putting it on the stomach is better so that I can see it easier. You have to check the blinking light on it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t turn from green to red because red indicates a problem. Anyway, she stuck it on and in a couple of minutes it activated with a loud click which made me jump (sounded much like the prostate biopsy needle click) but unlike a biopsy needle for me, it was painless. The nurse explained that the needle is inserted at activation and remains in until after the drug is auto administered at a later time so I don’t have to worry about a needle prick later. After this, I was all set. Met with the doctor, got all my follow up instructions and out the door. Appointment started at 8:30, done about 11:45. My plane back home boarded at 2:30 so we had time to grab lunch at Wahoo’s Fish Tacos (another, much healthier fare favorite) before heading to the airport.

A couple of notes on the Neulasta on body auto injector. If you get it on your stomach as I did, take seat belts into consideration when the nurse is placing it. Next time, I will ask that it be placed a little higher because the seat belt in the car and on the plane bumped up against it. If you are flying, going through the TSA checkpoint with a liquid filled, electronic device with a flashing LED light strapped to your stomach gets their attention. Luckily, the TSA guys were very professional and understanding when you mention chemo. I did have to lift up my shirt and get my hands swabbed for bomb residue but it was fairly quick and a minuscule hassle.

Day 2 (Thursday, March 8th)

I had already taken today off work as I wasn’t sure what to expect. I slept in a bit but woke up feeling good. I went out and fired up my snow blower and cleared my driveway and sidewalks of a big snow from last night to remind myself that the tiny taste of 70 degree weather I experienced in LA is a long way away from us here in Cleveland. After posting this, I’m going to go to the gym to work out since as I’m still feeling good. I’m just a bit nervous about what happens when the Neulasta unit works it magic tonight about 5 PM, and as I understand it, the ugly chemo crash days are looking over my shoulder so I’m going to enjoy this good day while I can.
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016

Post Edited (schoolpsych) : 3/8/2018 1:50:00 PM (GMT-7)


Faustmann
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2014
Total Posts : 500
   Posted 3/8/2018 3:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the informative post. I'm looking at chemo in my future and this will help. Please keep posting.
Age 67
Dx 1/2011 at age 60, PSA 6.4 at Dx, G9, LARP 2/11
PSA 1.1 4/11 , Lupron
7 wks EBRT ending 6/11
PSA 0 from 6/11 to 1/13
1/13 End Lupron
6/13 PSA 0.07, 9/13 PSA 2.0
Bone mets L2, ribs, pelvic?
Back on Lupron
1/14 PSA 1.0, 4/14 - 3.9, 8/14 - 9.66
8/18/14 Zytiga+Pred ,Xgeva, Lupron
1/15 PSA 4.2, 4/15 3.88
2/16 5.47 3/16 2.11
Xtandi 3/10/16
4/1/16 0.7
nadir ? 0.46
latest 1.36
Provenge 9/12/16

mr bill
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 709
   Posted 3/8/2018 3:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Schoolpsych,,

Good post. I am certain everyone will who is anticipating chemo will get something out of reading it. Between Cyclone's post, Taxotere thread, and your diary folks should have a good idea of what to expect. It goes a long way for those who are just a little wary.
Age 67 @ dx 2010. NW Pa. age 73
BPH since 1996 3 neg biopsies
8/9/10 PSA 10 w/finasteride, gleason 9, bone scan negative
9/8/10 RP. 9 nodes 2 positive seminal & vas deferens +
PSA 12 wk <.03, ART 01 - 03/11. PSA undetectable until 1/15/15. 19.0 -12/15/16.
Lupron/Casodex 1/17 SA 1.98 in month. 6 rounds Taxotere started 1/17. Start Zytiga , Prednisone 6/17, PSA .79-9/17; .55 12/17; .42 2/18

Michael_T
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 3065
   Posted 3/8/2018 4:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Very informative post and helpful for the community here. While I can't add anything of value to the chemo discussion, I would like to suggest you order your In-N-Out fries "animal style," as long as you're treating yourself. Just make sure ask them for an extra fork.

BTW, I'm familiar with Neulasta and I can imagine how that would get the TSA's attention. Glad to hear they handled it professionally.

Good luck with the coming days!
Age 57, Diagnosed at 51
PSA 9.6, Gleason: 9 (5+4), three 7s (3+4)
Chose triple play of HDR brachy, IMRT and HT (Casodex, Lupron and Zytiga)
Completed HT (18 months) in April 2014
9/17: PSA = 0.1

schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/8/2018 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you guys. I will be following up in this thread posting progress. I already have an update today since my post. My Neulasta unit went off at just after 5:00 as the nurse said it would. removed it empty at 6:00 with no problems. I've been taking Claritin in preparation for the Neulasta as it is said to greatly reduce unpleasant bone pains associated with the Neulasta for many. I hope that I am one that it works for. We'll see.
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016

CaliJR
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 695
   Posted 3/8/2018 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Great post Bill. Build up those miles for that next big, post treatment vacation. Who knows, you made have built up so much worry that the crash may be easier to deal with. Good luck for the weekend. Take care. -JR
CaliJR
Age 53. Diagnosed 51. PSA 7.1-PSA Free=5% 9/15: PCa G9 (4+5)
18 Mnths Casodex & Lupron started Dec 2015
HDR Brachy@UCLA 2/29/16 & 3/1/16 Zometa I.V. 3/8, 9/7, 4/3, 12/4
IMRT: 28 Fractions Completed 5/5/2016
Taxotere Chemo Ended 8/7/16
PSA 9/17: 0.09 - 12/17: 0.19
SE: Chronic Radiation Enteritis, Dysuria

steve55777
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2018
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 3/10/2018 1:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Schoolpsych,
Read this after I replied to you on another thread. See you came to LA for taxotere. I’ve been working with prostate oncology specialists in marina del Rey and because we live in south OC I’m doing treatments at Keck USC in Newport Beach. You at one of those places? Anyway I’ll keep following your progress and we’ll compare notes. Also see you’re only doing 4 treatments? Take care.
Age 62, SoCal
Diag PC May ‘17 PSA 18; high 58
Diag PC IV after C-11 scan; Lymph/bone
Lupron & Casodex month #3. PSA = 6
PSA 1/30/18 = 2. 82
Taking CBD Oils Jan 2018
Finished Taxotere 1 & 2 - 4 more to go.
Diet since Diag - Vegan/Gluton free no alcohol

garyi
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2017
Total Posts : 964
   Posted 3/10/2018 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Rooting for you, schoolpsych! smile

schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/10/2018 12:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 3 (Friday, March 9)

Went back to work today and worked a normal day. My face is a little red from the steroids arousing suspicion from well-meaning coworkers that I “got some sun” while in California. Sadly, this wasn’t the case, totally a steroid blush. Hard to describe the feelings today. The best I can say is “hazy” or “jittery”. Sort of like when I’ve had too much caffeine but lasted all day. Not tired, worked all day, walked the dog, did 40 minutes of cardio at the gym, and ate dinner at a Lenten fish fry (had the baked Perch fresh out the recently unfrozen Lake Erie a block away). After dinner I did get really tired. In bed at 9:00. Wife had to wake me up later to take my Zytiga that I had not taken in three days due to the chemo. I’m hoping that perhaps since I am taking the steroid with the Zytiga that this will actually help a bit with the chemo crash days.

Day 4 (Saturday, March 10th)

So far, so good. Woke up early wondering what today will bring since my understanding is today should be the start of the chemo crash days. I’m pleasantly surprised that so far, as Cyclone_ISU described in his accounts, I just feel a bit hung over. Not sick feeling but arms and legs do feel a bit heavy. I plan to stick around the house and take it easy today. I’ve been taking Claritin every day since the day before infusion with the hope of avoiding bone pain from the Neulasta. I noted nothing different since the Neulasta administered itself Thursday, but now, Saturday afternoon, I am just starting to note some fleeting, very small, aches in my legs. If this is as bad as it gets, I’ll be a happy man. Still, I know I’ve got a ways to go before being able to make that call.

Later day update: After writing the first part about today I went out to lunch. The plan was to stop at a grocery store after lunch before coming back home. Just after eating I felt really tired and even unsteady on my feet. It was amazing how fast this came on. Sort of like when you are riding along on your bike and the rear tire quickly goes flat. Never made it to the store. Went home, laid down on the couch and slept for several hours. Woke up later to eat dinner and watched some television, drank allot of water, going to bed after writing this about 11 PM.


Thanks again for the support guys.

Garyi, I appreciate it!

CaliJR, you know that's exactly what I'm thinking. A nice vacation using those miles is definately in the plans for late this summer when I'm not only done with chemo but knowing that ADT is coming to an end.

steve55777, yes, I'm getting the chemo treatments at POS in Marina del Rey. CaliJR told me about the good experience he had there for chemo with their staff and after my first treatment, I agree. Very pleasant and comfortable place. My blood work is being done locally here in Cleveland at the Cleveland Clinic and shared with Dr. Lam at POS. Yes, four treatments is the plan. I'm following a similar protocol as CaliJR and Artist Mark who are G9s with actually less involvement than I had with my positive lymph node. My PSA has been undetectable since surgery in December 2016 (with Lupron) and my doctors have told me quite honestly that there is no way to know at this point if upfront chemo is something I actually need but with my G9 and positive lymph node at initial diagnosis it has been offered to me so I'm biting the bullet and going for it. I never want to look back some day and wonder if I should have.
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016

Post Edited (schoolpsych) : 3/10/2018 8:54:28 PM (GMT-7)


steve55777
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2018
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 3/10/2018 12:36 PM (GMT -6)   
You are under excellent care with DR Lam. I have been meeting with he and Dr Turner there. Only because of the drive and out of network for insurance am I getting treatments at Keck USC in Newport Beach. Working with Dr. Angstreich there and I’ll continue to consult with Dr Lam and Turner at POS in marina del Rey. As you may have seen from my posts, the neulasta gave me a fever on weekend 1 so we cancelled that and will monitor WBC closely. Pretty strong bone pain after that shot, even with claretin, so I don’t miss that.

I will say that my second cycle seemed only slightly worse than the first. My routine is much like yours: Wednesday infusion Thursday work and work out, Friday work, after Friday dinner, tired. Sat sun mon flu-like SE. struggle back to work though I’m able to work from home as needed which is key. My infusion #2 was 10 days ago and I’m really hoping to return to the gym today and tomorrow. Cycle #1 I was back in the gym after 9 days so as I’ve been told, each cycle gets a bit worse than the last.

Your travel must be tough thing to add to the mix. I’m very lucky to be in SoCal (for many reasons). Take care.
Age 62, SoCal
Diag PC May ‘17 PSA 18; high 58
Diag PC IV after C-11 scan; Lymph/bone
Lupron & Casodex month #3. PSA = 6
PSA 1/30/18 = 2. 82
Taking CBD Oils Jan 2018
Finished Taxotere 1 & 2 - 4 more to go.
Diet since Diag - Vegan/Gluton free no alcohol

Cyclone-ISU
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 1097
   Posted 3/10/2018 9:01 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello SCHOOLPSYCH,

Your posts are powerful --- documenting your first-hand account with chemotherapy treatments.

The impact of this website stems from sharing these experiences with others, just as you have done.

As time has gone by, more and more members here have joined the "CHEMO CLUB" ...

In the past, chemotherapy USED to be held in reserve as a "Hail Mary" treatment, after all other treatment options had been exhausted.

In more recent times, based on evidence from clinical trials, chemotherapy has moved up to the FOREFRONT as an approved treatment option, for specific cases.

In addition, doctors are now formulating individualized chemotherapy "cocktails" --- blending various chemotherapy components, to best suit the individual needs of the patient.

Your post is a testimonial to an important message that needs to be shared, and you have described your experience well ...

The message that's important to share is that doctors and researchers have worked VERY hard to add components to the chemotherapy infusions that help to REDUCE troublesome side effects such as fatigue and mitigate nausea.

Chemotherapy is not a Sunday walk in the park, as we all know. HOWEVER, because of the newer components that help reduce nausea and fatigue, many of us have discovered that we CAN continue with careers, hobbies, interests, exercise regimens, and social events --- while continuing with chemotherapy treatments.

Medications like NEULASTA can also be given, as needed, to boost immunity levels during the chemo treatments, if needed.

Your first-hand account speaks to all of these important aspects of chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is now an approved forefront treatment --- doctors have found ways to mitigate the side effects for patients --- and it is an important weapon in the arsenal that can be used in the battle, in the right situations.

I pursued the "early chemo plan" in 2014 when chemo treatments moved up to the forefront of the treatment choices. My PSA had leveled off ... then my oncologist recommended we try chemotherapy treatments.

In my case, each ensuing chemo treatment helped knock my PSA down into low decimals, and eventually helped knock my PSA down to undetectable levels.

In my case, it was six infusions, timed three weeks apart ...

I envisioned those six treatments to be the equivalent of six "bullets" --- loaded up in a Winchester repeating rifle --- attacking cancer in a powerful way. That vision carried me through the six treatments ... "Bang, bang, BANG ! Bang, bang, BANG !"

Thank you, SCHOOLPSYCH, for drawing a navigational MAP that other medical travelers on this journey can follow, today and in the future.

In addition to the map you have skillfully drawn for other readers, complete with detailed "travel" information and "sign posts" for others to use --- you have ALSO provided future readers with an illuminating BEACON and directional COMPASS that others can use, in the form of your first-hand experience details.

We all travel alongside each other on this journey.

Thanks for lighting the BEACON for others, SCHOOLPSYCH ! Keep blazing the trail for others!


Handshake, friendship, camaraderie ~
CYCLONE ~ Iowa State University
PSA At Diagnosis In Year 2013 : 138
Initial Diagnosis: Advanced Prostate Cancer, With Metastases In Both Lungs
Age At Diagnosis: 48 years
ADT Treatments: LUPRON, FIRMAGON, & currently ZOLADEX
Subsequent Treatments: Chemotherapy (TAXOTERE) & ZYTIGA & RADIATION
Additional Consultant - Dr. KWON - Mayo Clinic
Current PSA Level: < 0.50, Treatments Ongoing

Post Edited (Cyclone-ISU) : 3/11/2018 7:11:57 PM (GMT-6)


schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/13/2018 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 5 (Sunday, March 11)

Home entire day and slept for most of it. Got up long enough to eat and watch some television but all in all, today was a genuine crash. Not really ill feeling, just physically exhausted. Sunday night started to have trouble sleeping due to heartburn. Heartburn is something I don’t usually experience but this was definitely uncomfortable.

Day 6 (Monday, March 12)

Got up and went to work at usual time. Felt sluggish and a bit achy. Trouble sleeping Sunday night definitely did not help. Feel “flu-like” symptoms but able to work at my desk. If I didn’t have paperwork that was critical for three meetings on Tuesday, I would have probably stayed home. When I got everything I needed to get done, I went home (2:40 PM), crawled in bed, and slept until 6 PM when my wife got home and woke me up. Ate dinner and stayed up until about 10:00 but still feeling sickish. Once again, horrible heartburn with addition of intestinal distress all night which kept me from sleeping well.

Day 7 (Tuesday, March 13)

Woke up to get ready for work and ended up in the bathroom three times in short succession. Important meeting at 8:30 and started to get worried I wouldn’t make it. Sweating, grumbling intestines, rawness in esophagus. Made it to my meeting and powered through it to get it done. In the bathroom again by 9:40 and went for fourth time. Amazingly, about 10:00 AM, started to feel very good. Like Cyclone_ISU described “my battery charging back up”. Made it through the rest of the work day feeling the best I have since day one. I’m going to go out tonight and get some over the counter acid reflux medicine and take it tonight. Heartburn wasn’t an SE that I remember being mentioned but checking Dr. Google, I see it is pretty common with chemo. Hopefully my burning all night will be over with so I can get some good sleep tonight. As of right now, I’m feeling like I’ve “come back to life”.
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016

CaliJR
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 695
   Posted 3/13/2018 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
You will feel your best the day before you get your next treatment! It’s a wonderful cycle. Good luck
CaliJR
Age 53. Diagnosed 51. PSA 7.1-PSA Free=5% 9/15: PCa G9 (4+5)
18 Mnths Casodex & Lupron started Dec 2015
HDR Brachy@UCLA 2/29/16 & 3/1/16 Zometa I.V. 3/8, 9/7, 4/3, 12/4
IMRT: 28 Fractions Completed 5/5/2016
Taxotere Chemo Ended 8/7/16
PSA 3/2018: 0.22
SE: Chronic Radiation Enteritis, Dysuria

rockyfords
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 3/13/2018 7:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Soldier on dude, good work!

regarding the heartburn- the chemo can trigger a lot of histamine release from mast cells in your body- histamine can stimulate stomach acid production a lot, that is one reason you get dosed with IV benadryl (anti-histamine) and maybe ranitidine (blocks stomach acid production) prior to the chemo-

still - I had severe gastric pain 30 hrs post 1st round- and heartburn later-

I took prilosec everyday after that while on chemo rounds- helped greatly

good luck
rf
Dx 62yo
3/16 PSA 19.4
Status G10 M1a
5/9 ADT PSA 29.5
NIH trial PROSTVAC ADT chemo (x4)
NADIR .05 10/4
10/25 PSA .06 Scans- nodes shrunk
5/1 EBRT 37.5 Gy prostate
PSA 6/27 1.65 off trial -> Provenge
PSA 8/28 1.79 9/19 1.73/Xtandi/0.85; 12/12 1.24 fail, local but nodes bigger
1/10/18: PSA 2.5 start BAT 2/7 3.0 (psadt 4 wks to 14 wks on 1st cycle of BAT)

mr bill
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2010
Total Posts : 709
   Posted 3/14/2018 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Bill,
When you get those flu like symptoms, i think days 5 to 7 for me, but not 100% sure, keep an eye on temperature. The Neulasta should help WBC recover, but my temp. did creep up there once.
Bill

schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/15/2018 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Day 8 (Wednesday, March 14)

Added an OTC antacid to my just before bed repertoire and I am happy to say that it took care of the problem. No more heartburn while trying to sleep at night. Unfortunately, woke up with a new problem. On Tuesday I had multiple trips to the toilet for BMs but they were normal BMs just more than usual. This morning it turned to diarrhea. Sorry for the graphicness, but I’m talking getting cleaned out to the point of what happens when you take the meds to clean out prior to a colonoscopy. Took a dose of Imodium which stopped it by 9:00 AM. Late to work but fine feeling otherwise the rest of the day. Energy good, feeling good except for bowel issue. Ate a bland diet entire day.

Day 9 (Thursday, March 15)

Got up earlier than normal worried about being late to work if I had issues like I had the previous morning. Sure enough, glad I did, because as soon as I had my coffee, I ended up back in the bathroom. Aside from the bowel issues, I seem to have reached the point of being back to pre-chemo energy levels. No ill feelings, no “haze”, no problems working normal day at work. I do notice some need to blow my nose throughout the day and when I do, I note some dried blood in my mucus. I haven’t had a bloody nose but apparently, I had at least some blood in my sinuses at some point. Also, nine days now since my first infusion and have not noted any hair loss. I almost got my head shaved prior to my infusion but I decided to just get it cut short instead. Glad I did that because I haven’t lost it…yet. If I can get rid of the bowel issues, I can say that I am back to normal for now.


Thank you CaliJR, Mr. Bill, and Rockyfords. Your helpful suggestions are appreciated and useful.
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016

Paxton
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 1103
   Posted 3/16/2018 8:01 AM (GMT -6)   
The bowel issues may actually be related to the antacid you're taking. Some of them have stomach cramps and diarrhea as known side effects. This is especially true of those containing aluminum hydroxide, like Maalox. It is a fine balance to decide the proper dosage. I know this from experience, having had IBS for years, and then choosing radiation therapy for PCa.

Personally, if it isn't too inconvenient, I'd rather keep things a bit loose than risk extreme constipation. I had that happen after open-heart surgery some years ago, and had to be re-admitted to the hospital to get things regulated again.
Age 68 at Dx
PSA history: 2000-2012 0.9-1.2; 06/2012 started T replacement
2013-2015 3.0-3.3 (new normal); 11/2015 4.6; 05/2016 5.7
Biopsy: 12-core biopsy 07/2016; 3 cores G3+3, 5% or less; 1 core 3+4, 15%; 1 core HGPIN; 2% of gland involved. Summary G3+4.
CyberKnife SBRT with Dr. Hirsch; start 11/15/16, finish 11/23

schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/16/2018 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the information Paxton. Today I woke up without the issue so I'm hoping it is over with but I will look at the ingredients on the antacid. I've had the constipation after surgeries experience as well, and completely agree with you that constipation can be worse. I managed to get through it with only one dose of the Imodium thankfully. I could have probably gone with a second dose but held off for the fear of turning things too far in the other direction.
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016

schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/18/2018 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Day 10 (Friday, March 16)

All is well. Bowel issues have ceased. Energy good.

Day 11 (Saturday, March 17)

Just to close out this first cycle. Spent almost all day away from home, much of the day outside at the Saint Patrick’s Day parade and festivities in my city. I wasn’t drinking of course, but enjoyed the day as normal. I’ll stop the diary for now assuming there is nothing further to report. Second (next) infusion scheduled for April 4th. I expect that I’ll experience a similar cycle but will deal with it then. Bottom line is that the first infusion gave me about five days of varying SEs. With the exception of the two days over the weekend where I spent most of the time at home and sleeping, all of the other days, the SEs were manageable enough to work as usual at my job. Good news as far as I’m concerned.
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016

60Michael
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 2243
   Posted 3/18/2018 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the update and enjoy your chemo break.
Michael
Dx with PCA 12/08 2 out of 12 cores positive 4.5 psa
59 yo when diagnosed, 61 yo 2010
Robotic surgery 5/09
Gleason upgraded to 3+5, volume less than
started ED tx 7/17, slow go
Post op dx of neuropathy
T2C left lateral and left posterior margins involved
3 months psa.01, 6 month psa.4
Started IMRT Jan. 2010 72gys
7mpost SRT PSA.27 12 m.19, 21 m.27,May 2013 PSA 27 Mets,began HT, Ztyiga 3/10/15

Saipan Paradise
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2017
Total Posts : 791
   Posted 3/19/2018 3:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Just now read your diary, schoolpsych. It’s a wonderful gift you’re giving the HW community. Enjoy your break, best of luck with round 2 next month.
Age 60 at dx 7/2017 biopsy G8 (4+4), 5/13 cores
RARP 8/2017 (Patel)
Post-RP path.: pT3a N0 M0, 30% tumor; EPE+, SV-
PSA 1/2016, 2.9; 4/2017, 7.2; 9/2017 (post-RARP), 0.13; 10/2017, <0.05, 1/9/2018, 0.09, 1/31/2018, 0.10, 2/9/2018, <0.05(!?), 2/23/2018, 0.08.
Eligard started 3/2/2018. SRT started 3/12/2018, 72Gy

steve55777
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2018
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 3/19/2018 11:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey bill,
Sorry for your troubles in the bathroom. I have only dealt with constipation after round one but I’m popping laxatives and or softeners to stay away from that problem. I’m wondering since you’re doing four sessions of taxotere whether you’re doing a larger dose than me. Not sure what mine is, but I’ll find out Wednesday when I go for #3 of 6.

Dried and damp blood in nose was with me from session2 Day 5 for at least 10 days. No big deal and DR wasn’t too concerned. Still have hair but much thinner, so I’ve lost a bunch. And I’m 2 days from session 3. My fear is fevers, though this time I’m doing nupena (sp?) shots next Monday and Tuesday so if I do have another 101-plus temp, my WBC won’t be low enough to get me another 4-day hospital visit. I’ve had dozens of low grade fevers but never one infection.

My hospital visit came during week 2 (supposed to be a good week!) and so while I’ve had 4-5 decent days here, it’s time to prepare for Crash #3 this weekend. Hang in there friend, and thanks for your posts.
Age 62, SoCal
Diag PC May ‘17 PSA 18; high 58
Diag PC IV after C-11 scan; Lymph/bone
Lupron & Casodex month #3. PSA = 6
PSA 1/30/18 = 2. 82
Taking CBD Oils Jan 2018
Finished Taxotere 1 & 2 - 4 more to go.
Diet since Diag - Vegan/Gluton free no alcohol

schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/20/2018 11:24 AM (GMT -6)   
60Michael and Saipan Paradise - Thanks for the comments and encouragement, the comments from the guys here really do give me a boost. I appreciate it!

steve55777 - glad you got through your latest bump okay. You certainly have my best wishes that the Neulasta works out better for you this time and that your fever issues are behind you. Thank you for the information on the blood in the nose issue. I did discuss it with the chemo nurse as well. She said that it is a sometimes SE of the chemotherapy, and like you said, said it should clear up on its own.

I do actually have an update as well. I got my first post-chemo blood test results back and it looks good except that I have a definite spike in my alkaline phosphatase level since the chemotherapy. It has never been outside of normal range in past tests but is now in the higher than average range. I can't say that this doesn't worry me but the doctor's office says it is just something that will continue to be monitored and isn't something that would prevent my second infusion. In fact, they didn't really seem worried about it much at all.
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016

steve55777
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2018
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 3/20/2018 5:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Bill,
I also forgot to mention that I was very disappointed that my first PSA test since starting chemo actually went up from 2.82 to 3.0. It was 2.82 the week before my first Taxotere infusion (1/30/18), down from 30.44 on 12/8/17; Taxotere #2 was on 2/28/18, then on 3/8/18 PSA was 3.0. I had hoped/anticipated that it would be more like 0.30... but I guess patience continues to be the mantra....
Age 62, SoCal
Diag PC May ‘17 PSA 18; high 58
Diag PC IV after C-11 scan; Lymph/bone
Lupron & Casodex month #3. PSA = 6
PSA 1/30/18 = 2. 82
Taking CBD Oils Jan 2018
Finished Taxotere 1 & 2 - 4 more to go.
Diet since Diag - Vegan/Gluton free no alcohol

schoolpsych
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2016
Total Posts : 240
   Posted 3/22/2018 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Steve,

Yes, unfortunately it seems like "hang in there" is the best advice often in the PCa realm. Hopefully the next test will show a good decrease in PSA from the chemotherapy.

Bill
Age 50 at DX July 2016 PSA at DX =47
Mixture of G7 and (4+5) G9 cores.
Lupron scheduled for 2 yrs. w/Zytiga last 6 mths
open RP At Cleveland Clinic w/Dr. Eric Klein on 12/19/2016. Post Op Path Report confirms G9 and positive pelvic lymph node
ART w/Dr. Rahul Tendulkar at Cleveland Clinic 5/17 -6/17.
Adjuvant Docetaxel (4 infusions) starting March, 2018
PSA undetectable since surgery 12/2016
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