Remember mine is AC chemo and your friend might have been on a completely different (and hopefully not as harsh) chemo. I cry for the women who haven’t started or finished their families that are going through this. If you’re wondering what does chemo feel like or is chemotherapy painful, this is purely my experience on red devil chemo. I dread Day 7 as I remember how down I felt during the first cycle and true to form, the black cloud descends. I would hate to add to the complications of chemotherapy horror stories already online. Your words are courageous and inspiring – I can see them helping so many people about to start their battle or who are already on that ‘journey’. I’m now on an accidental diet during chemotherapy. Your an inspiration and I’m sending you and your beautiful family all the love in the world right now xxxxx, Oh thank you so so much, that really means such a lot! I also take a claritin 2 days before chemo and continue daily for a full week. 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Thank you lovely :) I completely agree that knowledge is power too x x, You are an absolutely incredible human and thank you for sharing this. Ah you wouldn’t have known, that’s part of the reason I wanted to write about it though, to try and share what chemo is like for some. There is a high chemo success rate. You haven’t written it in a scary, it is just how it is. Not everyone experiences it the same way and some are very lucky with few symptoms. I feel as though I have learned a lot and take away from it new found knowledge that helps me in understanding more about how my own friends and family who have been affected by this bastarding thing. If it does, I have to go to the hospital and they will authorise an ambulance if necessary. Good luck for your next one and I wish you and your family all the best. Towards the end of the regimen it'll be 2 days to a week or so that you'll feel like shit after a treatment. I really didn’t have a problem with this until I began Xeloda, an oral chemo I took for 28 weeks. I felt the worst days 2-4, and with every treatment, the bad days would last longer. I probably don’t have the words for you but sending lots of love. Reading this I really wanted to comment. xx. I don’t think anyone could have any idea of how awful it is but more people should. Now, it was time to fight it. Deb said that was brilliant and again was encouraging and gave me all the benefits of doing that too. Thank you for sharing your brutal and honest account of your treatment. Thank you for writing this account. I’m terrified that if I end up having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, I will have to have a bilateral mastectomy and my ovaries removed. Sending so much love to you. I didn’t choose breast cancer…it chose me. My sisters and I and my mom vowed to cut certain people off wen she’s better. I am determined not to let him go through this alone this time and to do as much for him to make this easier or more comfortable, without getting in his personal space, so I wanted to really do some crash studying up on what to expect. They also had to reduce the strength on both the taxol and red devil due to the side effects. We’ve been constantly been getting told that “breast cancer is so easy And common, don’t even worry it’s practically like a common cold” And family members called us out for overplaying the situation and being so dramatic. That it will all be for nothing because the cancer will come back like it has for so so many others with triple negative breast cancer. The chemotherapy medication I received was Adriamycin. It’s purpose is to destroy cancer cells. On Day 6 my mouth and throat is really sore and Deb recommends I get Difflam mouthwash which helps to numb it. I’m so sorry your ‘friends’ haven’t contacted you. For the hot flashes, I found a cooling towel really comforting such as this one in Australia, this one in the US and this one in the UK. x. I’m grateful for the love and support of my family and friends who are helping me get through this. On Days 10-12 I experience hot flashes constantly which leads me to believe I’m in early menopause. Required fields are marked *. I wish you much luck and many days ! Thank you Christina and I hope you’re feeling well. Thank you so much Faye x x we’re definitely making the most of these few days :) x, Oh Mim. Oh gosh I can’t imagine what it’s like or what you’re going through. As the treatments go on by the 4th … Kinda anxious because it is a change. For reasons I’m not going to bother you with, I was treated for something with one of the chemo drugs a few years ago & it made me very ill, I kind of extrapolated from that that to actually have chemotherapy with heavy and repeated doses of a full cocktail of those drugs must be pretty horrendous, but even so I would never have guessed at the full extent. It’s so so easy to fall into negativity with this and even to depression, so easy. Oh thank you Fern! Honestly you are so freaking brave!!! Thanks gain for sharing. Remember, this is my own honest account of chemotherapy experience. So not what i was expecting. I know that I will get through it and after a few days I’ll start to feel like myself again. Steroids can give you energy and help you feel better. Oh yeah and the hair has been falling out for the last 3 days, feel a bit like Donald Trump at the moment, but am trying to get in touch with my hairdresser for the “Shave”. But I made it. I feel horribly guilty and selfish. Rather than feel disappointed, I actually felt relief. It sounds really hard what you are going through but not because of the way you have written it but because that is the way it is and I think it is great that you have documented it. I had nine weeks of taxol. Keep going lady, you’re doing wonderfully, and I always thought you would look great with a shaved head (I’m not kidding). Surviving The Red Devil Chemo Overall, Adriamycin and Cytoxan were the hardest things I have ever been through. I also participate in other affiliate programs and may receive a small commission if you make a purchase. Truly. Treatment is expensive even if your medical insurance picks up the tab. The “red devil”, as breast cancer patients often call the toxic fluid, was one of the two drugs I received as part of chemotherapy for breast cancer. This doesn’t affect the price you pay. One is a type of immunotherapy and the last is a steroid, which has shown to have anticancer effects. Hey, My mom is going through the exact same thing, down to being upset about friends not calling. Also, deb sounds amazing! But still not fun. Love you lady – thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday, Oh thank you beautiful! One of the best things in my life was ticking off each session and counting down to the last. I wish I knew what to say, I wish I could convey properly how brave you are for sharing such a harrowing experience but I don’t have enough words. Early-stage or node-positive breast cancer 2. I resolve to cut some people out of my life when this is all over. The first two times that I had the Neulasta white blood cell shots I had bone pain within a week that lasted only a day or two and went away. I finished my red devil treatment (which I had once a fortnight) my first and last were my worst. Sending lots of love and good luck for your next treatment, Mim. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. I’m thankful that my family is already complete. Wishing you an easier experience third time around. Doxorubicin causes various side effects, both short-term and long-lasting 1. I have the triple neg breast cancer and I am 60. A few excerpts from my personal journal during the journey with AC chemo (aka RED DEVIL)… Red Devil #2. At the end of the session I felt the cold cap not quite in contact with my scalp at the top and told Mr M I thought it wouldn’t work well this time round. I wish you all the best keep positive attitude it feels better to laugh. I don’t have to shave my underarms and I have a bit of a Brazilian happening. Your attitude is fantastic and I really enjoy your blog. I had my 3rd round this Monday and I already feel so much stronger in dealing with it – hoping that continues! Maybe that’s what I thought too, until I knew better. Less common side effects include mouth sores, adverse effects on future fertility, irregular heartbeat; and leukemia, which may develop years after … I feel better though and I hope I feel this way for the next 6 days. Your story has educated me and made me realize all the things I have been blessed with and am so thankful for. It’s as if I’ve swallowed a fireball and it’s burned and bruised my whole mouth. Thank you for sharing your journey. I have my third AC chemo experience tomorrow and I’m doing everything I can to change my mindset about it. Two to go. Three of the drugs in R-CHOP are powerful cytotoxics, which means they kill cells. My last chemo treatment is coming up. This too shall pass. What if chemotherapy doesn’t work? I start Googling hair growth after chemo. I think you have absolutely done the right thing sharing the full story here as if it were me searching google for answers I would want to know. And Anntonette needed hope as she endured the chemo sessions, the worst of which was conducted with an antitumor antibiotic called doxurubicin, also known as the red devil. I am sitting here with tears rolling down my face. I feel an anger that I’ve never felt before. Add to that headaches – but I can’t take anything for them as I have to take my temperature frequently to ensure it doesn’t go over 38. Thank you for sharing! 3rd and 4th days. Everything is hard. People love me. I think if the cold cap had been fitted better I would have kept more hair, but COVID prevented that. It’s lonely. Is chemo painful as it goes in? I hope to get stronger and more positive again as each day goes by. It’s all over the floor everywhere and Mr M kindly vacuums it away so I don’t have to see it. x x. Side Effects. Does chemotherapy hurt? I think the way you’ve worded it is sensitive and I think it will help a lot of people that are going through it/may have to go through it/help family and friends understand more if they know someone who’s going through it. I wouldn't be prepared. I know what it’s like to get the “red devil” in the veins. x x, This is incredible. You learn a lot going through something like this and you will be a stronger person for it, although I know it doesn’t seem like that now. I can’t move on, I’m trapped in this horrific treatment plan. I actually managed to sleep through some of the session, which was quite nice for me and I imagine quite boring for Mr M who was at my side the entire time. The chemo nurse administered the red devil by hand very slowly and then I would be infused with other drugs both before and after the red devil. We laugh and joke about how I look like Annie Lennox, then Miley Cyrus, then Sinead O’Connor. On the other hand, I’m nervous about potentially scaring others who might end up undergoing AC chemo themselves. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry you went through that. The next person might have way less, or more, common side effects of chemotherapy on the body. For guys, the reason has to do with the way chemo drugs target … Most people take steroids and other meds to control nausea just before chemo and for 1-2 days after. “One of my drugs was called the ‘red devil’ because of the awful things it does to you,” Rowley says. To surround myself only with people who genuinely care. October 21, 2014 Laura Starner Leave a comment. I am hugging my babies a little tighter today. I hope your AC 3 and 4 are kinder to you than me. Five minutes later I’d changed my mind and told her I was going to continue with it. I believe that knowledge is power and although you don’t want to scare future patients, knowing what to expect for me, would be helpful. Usually we're directed to stop taking the steroids on the third day. On Jan 11th I had my second chemotherapy treatment. I hate it. I hope that your third treatment went as well as it can do. Who knows. I never thought this day would come! You sound like an incredibly brave lady and I think you are right to share the harshness of the treatment you are enduring. And YES to laughing – it’s the best healing medicine, it really it :) x x. It’s an awful thing to go through but you will get there and look back when it is over; more positive (esp if you have cut the people out who haven’t called) and be an inspiration to so many others. This is such a brilliantly written post. x, I don’t know how you manage to write such beautiful words about something so truly harrowing. Loss of appetite for days as everything tasted like you ate old pennies or nickels. On Day 13 my period arrives a week late – like a surprise visit from an old friend. Although perhaps it’s a sign chemo is working. They worry because I got a bit of anemia going on. It’s one of the annoying risks of chemotherapy. I am glad you have written this. I used to say try and eat this, drink that but if they feel like you do, then I bet they wanted to tell me to F**k off. They are not my friends any more. But it’s temporary. The newer "double-dose" therapy uses a combination of high dose Adriamycin and Cytoxan in combination. Hoping the next two go easier on you. People who are positive. Did it inspire you to become a doctor? It probably sounds stupid, but I really wish we lived closer so I could be there for you (and that fits with the lovely comment you left me today, so I’m on my way, ok! It’s all wrong. It’s that important. I can tell you now that 6 months after chemo finished, I feel like a different person and so so much better. My immune system has plummeted and I’m so at risk of infection that I can’t go out. I have everything crossed for him that treatment will be a huge success x x x. Omg. Although the chemotherapy survival rate is high enough for me to think chemo is worth it. Some say it gets progressively worse with each treatment. I just finished my 4 treatments with the “red devil” and I’ve moved on to weekly Taxol. How long do the after effects of chemo last? Like you, I quickly learned who my true friends were. ! I look ok bald. Your email address will not be published. I can’t even begin to imagine what you are going though during this time but your strength, determination and sheer power will get you through this. Basically, it’s different for everyone. You are one brave lady and you are and will fight this! I also ended up with an infected finger from a small scratch, which I required antibiotics for, just so much fun. #TwinklyTuesday, Thank you so much! x. I’m really sorry you have to go through all this repeatedly, Mim, it sounds like such a lot of suffering. Thanks for the Blog. I can only hope that your next two sessions will be no worse than that, and that it does manage to kick the cancers arse. It doesn’t feel like it now but I know it will end. Round 4 of Chemo 4/4 AC (Dec. 14-Dec. 28): This marks the halfway point in my chemo treatment and my last round of the “Red Devil” AC. On Day 15 my thumb nails start to turn black and I read online how all of my nails might fall off altogether through treatment. I wonder if some people think a lumpectomy is minor surgery. If you can, try and eat small amounts (even like a ginger biscuit) often. It’s so difficult to articulate it sometimes but it means a lot to have your support x, Oh Mim, I read your post and I could hear the pain in your words, the sadness and the anger. It’s nicknamed the “red devil”. That it would be easier. Yours will likely be very different and I hope we are all breast cancer survivors x. I had absolutely no idea how truly horrific chemo is. I do have to worry about Diarrhea issues. I believe that knowledge is power and although you don’t want to scare future patients, knowing what to expect for me, would be helpful. Enjoy these next days with your family in the sunshine, and the biggest of well wishes for the next lot of treatment. My red devil chemo worst days. I hope that your next round of chemo are a little easier on you. Eating is no fun. My red devil chemo worst days. This time in her stomach. Here is my honest account of chemotherapy for breast cancer. Sending all my love and best wishes to you xx, Thank you lovely, that is so so nice of you x x x. I feel so ignorant having read this. This can drain the pocket book, calendar, and be exhausting. I found a cooling towel really comforting such as this one in Australia, this one in the US and this one in the UK. So far that has to be the one of the only real benefits of chemotherapy. After the shot even taking the Claritin I felt weird. FYI: I found a cooling towel really comforting such as this one in Australia, this one in the US and this one in the UK. I feel sad that my friends aren’t calling, that some friends haven’t called at all, haven’t even acknowledged that I had cancer. This is the truth about chemotherapy for me. Despite the steroid-bloated face, my pale and sallow skin and my sparse eyebrows and eyelashes. Whitlock would try to eat, but it would come right back up. I have probably 46 hairs left, but I kept my fringe (bangs). Thank you for opening my eyes. By Day 9 I feel brighter but balder. I knew cancer wouldn't be pretty. I told one of my amazing chemo nurses, Deb (not her real name), that I was thinking of not doing it and embracing the baldness and she said that was a brilliant idea and was so encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing this experience and I wish you so much luck for the rest of your treatment xxx, Thank you lovely – and you DO have the words :) x x. I’m just starting to get to know you through our SU group, and I can’t believe you’re going through this. As you’ve said, knowledge is power, and any one going into this will find this post immensely helpful. Chemo also gave me an irriegular heartbeat, so a beta-blocker fixed that. Some people think chemo side effects are limited to vomiting and chemotherapy hair loss. It will work. Because in 7 days, I have my third encounter with the red devil. Thank you. I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. If you’re sensitive to reading about illness then please don’t read on. X, Oh thank you thank you lovely Katie!! Instead of ‘poisoning me’, it’s killing off those cancer cells (if there are any left!) It’s truly horrific. I survived four rounds of the 'red devil' chemotherapy, Gail Gilbride shares ... known to many as the “red devil” for its awful side-effects. Hurray to finishing!! Sending so much love and strength to Oz. Then I found your post. I have just finished round 4 of AC. You are really strong and brave lady and I think that your honest account will not only help you, because it is so empowering but others too :-). In two days, I will have my fourth and final chemo treatment. #TwinklyTuesday, Thank you so so much Tracey – I desperately didn’t want it to be a horror story – in the grand scheme of things it’s only a few days but it seems like an eternity at the time x, Your email address will not be published. Related: Download my Chemo Appointment Reminder Stickers here. I usually slept while I was getting the infusion. Despite almost having an anxiety attack when I get there, once the shaver touches my head I feel strangely elated. I’m definitely going to beat it :) x x, Mim, Googling “ red devil ” in the red devil chemo worst days after surgery means we can move... Tall and doing everything you ’ re incredibly brave and giving an honest account will definitely you. 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