Chemo Round 1… Again! Adriamycin + Taxotere

March 7, 2017

Thursday, January 12th 2017

In 2014, when I screamed, “I AM CANCER FREE!” … not in a million billion trillion years did I think I’d be doing chemotherapy again.

I was still in shock from yesterday’s biopsy, let alone finding out about the recurrence itself, that starting chemo just seemed so surreal to me. But with my warrior haircut, I charged into the battlefield.

In my video above, I speak about the expected side effects of Adriamycin and Taxotere. Back in 2013, I underwent Adriamycin and Cytoxan followed by Taxol. So the Taxotere is new to me. You can get a glimpse of what it was like.

But I wanted to take this opportunity in my blog post to talk about what the hell happened to arm after chemo! In the video… you hear me talking about just how much it burned! I underwent chemo through IV in the arm for my 1st and 2nd round back in 2013 until they installed a port-a-cath due to my veins disappearing. Never did I ever feel the burning sensation in my arm that I suffered from this time around.

It felt like my arm was being dipped in acid. I told the nurse about the pain and he said that it was normal. “This is a stronger chemo.” he said. He even went to get the head nurse on the Oncology floor (I remind you, I wasn’t in the chemo ward due to already being hospitalized for a week. I did chemo in the same room I was in after the emergency visit.) The head nurse came back with an ice pack for relief. It did help… temporarily!

The burning sensation lasted the entire round! The nurse stood by my side. “Just 6 more minutes!” he said. Once the bag was finished, he washed my IV out with saline before beginning Taxotere. It’s the Adriamycin that feels like acid. The Taxotere doesn’t burn, but my arm was already on fire from the “Red Devil” that I continued to feel every single drop of chemo in my tiny veins. It felt like my vein was going to burst.

It hurt so much that I couldn’t help but be rude to my parents who were desperately trying to help. My dad touched my other arm to comfort me and I pushed him off crying. My mom kept talking to me and I basically told her to shut up! That’s how much pain I was in. (Sorry Mom & Dad, I love you!)

Chemo side effects are hard enough… imagine having to feel physical pain during treatment! But of course, soldier Nalie sucked it up and put up with the pain. BIGGEST MISTAKE I HOPE NONE OF YOU MAKE. Please keep reading!

Here is the lesson I want you to learn. YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO FEEL A BURNING SENSATION DURING CHEMO. IT’S NOT NORMAL. IF THIS EVER HAPPENS TO YOU, MAKE SURE THEY STOP.

The next day, my arm looked like it suffered from a 3rd degree burn from the inside out. Oh wait… that’s exactly what it was! I thought it was just a bruise from the pressure of my tiny vein taking in all that chemo. But no, it leaked! The chemo leaked and the nurse didn’t do anything about it.

At my next round of chemo (3 weeks later) which was now on the chemotherapy floor with chemo specialized nurses, I showed my nurse the results of the last round. She looked at my scar in shock! “That is not supposed to happen”, she said. She even took a photo of my arm and they apparently discussed the issue during their next meeting so that nurses no longer repeat this mistake. She even filed a report on the nurse who burned me.

So remember, if you are to undergo chemotherapy via IV, it is not supposed to burn. Do not put up with it and demand that they remove the IV and find a different vein if needed.

The following day after chemotherapy, I went home and experienced one of the most difficult weeks of my life…
To be continued.

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26 Replies to "Chemo Round 1... Again! Adriamycin + Taxotere"

  • Yessica Tolentino
    March 7, 2017 (6:06 pm)

    Oh no that’s sounds horrible ! Wish you a speedy recovery and a better exprecince in 3 weeks . I just started taxol today it wasn’t so bad until they drugged me with Benadryl I feel right to sleep this one wasn’t so hard let see how the next week pans out feel better nalie we here for you !!

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:10 am)

      Yes the Benadryl does the same for me too. xo thanks Yessica

  • Susy Gamarra Giacomelli
    March 7, 2017 (6:40 pm)

    The nurse that let happens this is not a professional, I think is good that the hospital knows the name of this employer that don’t know his job and only causes pain on patients. I hope your arm-rush-scar goes away soon. Lots of love, health and patience for you :*

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:08 am)

      Yes I believe the hospital handled it… Thanks Susy xo

  • Tiffany Baymon
    March 7, 2017 (7:31 pm)

    Nalie I am praying for you!! I was diagnosed with breast cancer August 16th 2016 ER positive when I was 27. I discovered your you tube channel during my chemo and found peace, understanding, and solace in such a difficult time In my life. I wish you a speedy recovery as I know the fight is not easy but the battle you will win. Glad they are reporting that nurse this should have never happened!!!

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:08 am)

      Thanks Tiffany. So glad I could help you find peace. So important during this time. xo

  • Franca Palermo
    March 7, 2017 (7:43 pm)

    OMG! I know exactly how you felt. I had 3 red devil for my breast cancer treatments and as soon as it would start to burn the nurse would increase the saline speed and slow down the chemo. The burning is horrible, exactly how you described it (acid). You are so strong and I can’t believe you endured it, the burn looks nasty. You are a warrior and you are in this only to win. AS for taxotere, many people handle it well and others don’t, just keep fighting. I had taxotere and only 1 tx, I was not able to endure it…like you I was hospitalized for 1 week. Keep fighting like a warrior…

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:07 am)

      Horrrrible indeed. Always nice to hear from someone who can relate. Thanks Franca.

  • Shaini
    March 7, 2017 (8:06 pm)

    What nooo way. Urgh so annoyed how some people don’t take their job seriously enough especially when their patients are in pain ! I hope this never happens to anyone else ! So sorry that this happened to you love!

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:07 am)

      I hope so too! Some ppl make mistakes though… sigh!

  • Anna Crollman
    March 7, 2017 (8:28 pm)

    I am so sorry this happened to you!!! I had a similar experience during my very first chemo in Fall 2015. Luckily, the chemo didn’t leak too much but they missed the right vein completely so the whole time the chemo was bursting out of a vein that was too small. I ended up with a small superficial blood clot that never cosmetically healed. During my most recent reconstructive surgery they went in and removed the clot and now I have a large straight scar, but no more clot. I wish I had known better at the beginning to fight to have them stop and restick me. This whole thing could have been avoided.

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:07 am)

      At least your comment and my post will help others know better 😉 thanks for sharing Anna!

  • lz83757p
    March 7, 2017 (8:37 pm)

    ugh.. the worst when the people you think are there to help you… don’t do anything or think you are dramatic. i had a similar experience with having a bad reaction to a different drug and the nurse told me “no one has a reaction to that”…. WELL, i do! hang in there. hope there are better, pain free days to come.

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:06 am)

      Yeah i think thats what was most traumatic in all this. Pain is gone but scar is big! Another battle wound.

  • Cee Butler
    March 8, 2017 (12:59 am)

    Oh! The Red Devil! The red devil put me on my back. It wore me out. But my chemo nurse said it works well so I endured. Nalie, I am here on your journey again. Been having breathing problems and a cough. I went to the doctor who referred me to a pulminogist. You helped me not to be afraid. Stay posted, I’ll let you know what my breathing tests reveal. I am praying for you!

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:05 am)

      Oh yes, indeed! Its a tough one. At least now I know its working 🙂

  • Angela L Hurt
    March 8, 2017 (1:12 am)

    Hi Nalie,
    I’ve been watching your videos on YouTube since the beginning of my first round of chemotherapy last year. I’ve never had red devil but I have had taxatore. Cancer sucks but it’s your great spirit that overcomes any difficulties it brings. I know it’s unbelievable that you’re going through this again. You are a strong person Ms. Nalie and an inspiration. Thank you for making these videos and sharing you trials with cancer. You helped me mentally prepare and allowed me to see positivity while I went through my battle with breast cancer. When I first saw your videos I showed my boyfriend and say “wow! Now that’s the way I want to be!”. Thank you Nalie for just being you.

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:06 am)

      Hi Angela, Awwww thanks for watching my YouTube channel 🙂 Im moving on to taxotere now… just taxotere. Thanks for your kind words and yes, you are just as strong !

  • Karen Donaghey
    March 8, 2017 (12:23 pm)

    Oh my goodness, Nalie! It is absolutely dreadful and unacceptable that you should have had to experience such pain and scarring at the hands of inexperienced nurses. No nurse should be administering toxic chemo substances without proper training, and it sounds to me like that hospital needs to not just discuss your case during their meeting, but also update their training and make sure all of the nurses are retrained to ensure that every last nurse administering chemo knows that burning is bad and not normal! Sending healing vibes and love your way, and hoping you’re feeling better soon. Hugs.

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:05 am)

      Exactly! Sucks I had to be the guinea pig… lol thanks for your comment xo

  • Jess
    March 8, 2017 (8:26 pm)

    The nurse should have definitely known better! I’m wondering how it is that you are having adriamycin a second time, I was told that one time was the lifetime limit of that particular chemo?

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:01 am)

      Yeah… I’ve now had 7 in total. Doc is stopping it now and we’re only continuing with Taxotere coz you’re right, there is a limit!

  • Jan Haffner
    March 8, 2017 (9:22 pm)

    Praying for you! You are a fighter. I’m being treated now for a recurrence of TNBC w radiation. I have one more week to go. I am so tired. But fighting too as I have 3 grown children with 9 grandchildren and we adopted 2 girls from China who are still in jr high & high school. I don’t want them to lose a second mom so young in their years. Keep fighting and believing! Jesus loves you! Hugs to you! Thanks for being an inspiration to this 60 yr old mom!

    • Nalie
      March 10, 2017 (11:01 am)

      Amazing reasons to keep on fighting! Just keep reminding yourself WHY you’re fighting and you’ll be just fine! My Mom is 60 🙂 thank YOU for your support

  • Monica
    March 13, 2017 (9:40 pm)

    Hi Nalie,
    I read all your posts in less than a week while I was going through my last chemo. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma and HER 2 positive in August 2016, bilateral mastectomy, followed by chemo. I had Cytoxan and Taxotere and got 90% of the listed side effects with highlights of retention of water (I looked like I had mums due to the side of my face swelling) it was so bad, I kept all the chemo fluid plus all the water I drank to flush it out of my system trapped inside of me for 4 miserable days. Also had several rashes. Expect to be tired and very achy for at least a week after the infusion. Rest and listen to your body. You are amazing and it made my heart ache when I saw your post about the cancer returning.
    P.S. that potion dad made you is the real deal 🙂

  • Esther
    March 17, 2017 (11:05 am)

    Hello Nalie, I want to thank you for your YouTube movies you made and are making. Last year I got the diagnose breastcancer and while I was doing some research, I bumpted into your video’s. About the chemo, the hairloss,…everything. I want to thank you for that. It helped me a lot…(knowing what to expect etc).
    I was realy upset when I found out that your cancer came back. I wish you all the strenght and power to overcome this.
    Take care dear, big hug from Utrecht (the Netherlands)