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Old 05-17-2006, 08:05 AM   #41
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I know I grind on about diet and balancing the omega threes and sixes but.....

Asthma is an inflamatory related condition and some writers link excess omega six to asthma.

Dry are are definately helped by balancing the threes and sixes and taking DHA - I can vouch for that personally.

Smart Fats M Schmidt is a whole book essentially about the importance of omega three and particularly the long chain omega three DHA and its impact on brain health - mental alertness, tiredness, ADHD, MS, Bipolar, age realated degeneration..................................

DHA is fundamental to eyesight.

There are lots of links click on search above right.

If you have time and are interested you can find Smart Fats second hand on the WEB.

We have only had access to high levels of cheap concentrated omega six sources oils for the last say 100 years. Fats are fundmanental to our existance and have a role directly or indirectly in many of the bodies functions

I am passionate on the subject. At the worst it should improve your general health - even the doctors sites are officially accepting omega three is important to cardiac health, at best a few studies have suggested risk reduction factors as high as seventy percent.

As always do talk to your advisors about magor dietary changes.

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Old 05-17-2006, 08:29 AM   #42
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RB - I've noticed your posts about the omega 3s and 6s

I've been overwhelmed with work and mommying - but will be taking an extended sick-leave beginning mid-June and will be able to focus on things like diet... my eating habits have gotten worse -frighteningly worse - since diagnosis - stress and lack of time and energy have turned me into a prepared foods eating person - which I know is bad - but I simply cannot even go to the grocery store - my husband loves junk and that's all the family has been eating

I have 5 weeks to go and some changes will happen!
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:11 AM   #43
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There are lots of sites selling fish oil, but here is one I have found recently that is very reasonable, and the product looks like its OK. Life extension are state of the art but likely more expensive.

I have only just ordered and it has not arrived yet but I do not anticipate any problems.

Here is a link for fish oil - they deliver. Your bodies take up tails off at about 2grams a day.


You can significantly alter your breast tissue composition in about three months according to reports in trails.

Processed food generally all has vegetable oils in it and so is high in omega six.

Smart Fats also deals with impact of DHA deficienies in young mums PND etc. as apparently the developing child grabs it even from the mothers brain, and the importance of DHA in development etc.

10/10 for coping with work children BC and a home,

I hope things look up.


Last edited by R.B.; 05-17-2006 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:55 AM   #44
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Poor eyesight in one eye

Hi, Marily:

One thing jumped off the page at me in your post. You mentioned poor, almost nonexistent eyesight in one eye only, other eye was fine. As you've had a lot of other small issues with your eyes it is probably nothing to worry about, however, I had a similar situation which I ignored for awhile and it turned out to be a small brain met. Actually it turned out there were two. I had gamma knife a year ago and continue to be NED so all's well that ends well.

I passed the symptoms off for awhile because it was transient, happened only in one eye, when lying down, when the moon was full (ha ha). If I jumped up and turned on a light I could see perfectly! It never happened in the daytime so it was really easy to forget all about it (what, me worry???). Finally I got up the nerve to mention it to my GP who referrred me to an excellent Neurologist. Unbeknownst to me, the Neurologist had studied Neurologic Oncology at Duke. She too was (seemingly) baffled by my symptom but did order a brain MRI et voila, two small mets.

Brain mets are easy to treat early on. I certainly hope that's not what's going on for you but it wouldn't hurt to take a little peek.

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Old 05-18-2006, 12:36 AM   #45
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brain mets and sight

Mary, I see my onc tomorrow. I will be certain to tell her.. I almost forgot about it. : (
Thank you so for the note. Hope it was a fluke but I agree it is definately something to look into. I know many friends who also had their breast mets go to the brain.. Hugs and thank you again
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Old 05-18-2006, 01:36 PM   #46
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Marily, I'll keep my fingers crossed that it is just another side effect of Herceptin. Good luck and God bless.

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Old 05-18-2006, 04:25 PM   #47
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dx May '05 invasive lobular..stage 1 small 7mm tumor, ER+PR+ Her2+, Oncotype dx predicted high-intermediate risk for recurrence.

Bilateral mastectomy June "05
4 rounds A/C
started herceptin Oct. '05-every 3 weeks
arimidex for 5 years

MUGA's holding steady at 65%
side effects:
joint pain
crusty nose, bloody noses, stuffy at night-hard to sleep
word recall problems-stutter for the right words
swollen ankles
weight gain-10 lbs
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:35 PM   #48
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I am on herceptin every three weeks, almost one year now and finished chemo a year ago. I have noticed that my fatigue has gotten worse while being on herceptin. And it seems like the longer I do it the worse it gets. Memory problems have also gotten a lot worse. I've had splitting fingernails and small weight gain that is almost impossible to get rid of. I developed a rash that has since gone away with treatment of it.
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:17 PM   #49
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I am on herceptin every three weeks for one year ending in November and finished chemo 6/05. My symptoms are:

* swelling in hands and feet
* elbow/knee/shoulder pain. Shoulder pain so severe began physical therapy to regain mobility
* thinning hair (began after herceptin;hair growth after chemo was definitely thicker)
* feeling weak and unwell (after start of herceptin but has improved since acupuncture treatments)
* hot flashes and vaginal dryness (after start of herceptin but no longer an issue since acupuncture treatments)
* loss of words; general cloudiness of thought
* low white blood count
* vision change
* general bloating in midsection;not much weight gain but increase in body fat everywhere (arms, thighs, around waist) that seemed to happen in matter of months
* degradation of gum health. Prior to chemo always had 2 gum pockets that were borderline deep. Went to dentist in January (after starting herceptin in November) now deep pockets all over and recommending gum surgery! Additionally, gums bled every time I flossed or brushed (didn't happen during chemo). This subsided once I began taking COQ10.
* minor acne
* early on sometimes felt as if I couldn't get enough air (haven't experienced in awhile)
* runny nose, crusty in the morning (initially experienced quite regularly..no longer an issue)
Denise - Washington, DC
Dx 12/2004 @ age 40
IDC Node+(2) ER/PR- Her2+++
Stage II / Grade III
4AC / 4Taxol (dose dense)
33Rad (Finished 9/7/05 YEA!!)
1 yr Herceptin (Finished 9/06)
Found lump...same breast (4/09)

Last edited by BubblesMom; 05-28-2006 at 08:40 PM.. Reason: added addtl symptoms
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Old 05-29-2006, 09:33 AM   #50
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Unhappy side affects

I had Herceptin with the taxol for once a week for 12 weeks straight and really didn't see/feel any significant problems. Now I'm on Herceptin once every 3 weeks for a year. After the first infusion, the following week I noticed my thumbs were achey and throbby. Mainly in the joint to the hand. As the weeks progressed for my 2nd infusion, fingers started to swell, slowly. No problem with ankles or feet, though.

O.K. so now I've had the 2nd infusion and the pain is unbearable in the thumbs, extremely stiff leg muscles and back muscles. If I drive for 30 minutes straight, I look like a 110 yr. old person getting out of the car. Once I get going, it's ok, the back muscles and leg muscles seem to sort of relax. Not the thumbs. I finaly called the onc and they put me on Celebrex. Doesn't make me feel completely limber, but the pain is much better. I can now write my name without cringing in pain.

So, if anyone else is experiencing these joint, muscle pains, be persistent and see if they will prescribe something for you to help you through the rest of the herceptin infusions.

Ya know, all of this just wipes you out, and we're having an early summer heat wave out here which just makes it even worse. If I can get one thing done during the day, I feel like I at least accomplished something other than just being a lump of body pain.
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:24 AM   #51
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Herceptin Recall?

I've heard of radiation recall, but I wonder if there is a Herceptin recall. I finished Taxol one month ago. I had weekly Herceptins and just got my first triple dose last week. My Herceptin side effects are similar to taxol's -- tingling in fingers and toes, redness across nose and cheeks which clears up in two days. Does Herceptin have some of the same side effects as Taxol or is this Herceptin recall?
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:05 AM   #52
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I began herceptin in November 2005 with taxotere when I finished chemo with adriamycin/cytoxin. When I finished taxotere January 2006, I continued on with herceptin every 3 weeks and will continue until November 2006 (Stage IIA-B, HER2+++, ER/PR-). I finished rads mid April 2006....I teach first/second grade full time and try to exercise as much as possible.
I gained 35 pounds from August (time of diagnosis and beginning treatment) through December, but then through diet and exercise, lost 17 pounds. I am at a point now that I cannot seem to lose any more of the weight....although I have started back playing indoor soccer 2 X each week, teaching full time, and riding my bicycle to work! My weight gain is also mostly around my middle....I have never had a belly in my life and now it is huge!

I also have swollen hands and feet....nose bleeds each morning....and some nasal conjestion....my knees and feet ache....feet ache particularly when I first get up to walk....chemo brain....and the smell after infusion is gross!

I also am a stockholder of Genentech....and am thankful for herceptin!~
I have never been asked anything about my lifestyle or symptoms by anyone...THANKS FOR ASKING!!!!
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Old 05-30-2006, 12:57 PM   #53
kat in the delta
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Lightbulb kat in the delta

How long have you had stock in Genetech? Ishould have bought some when I first looked at it in Mar. 2005.
As for the "side effects", I get: swollen extremities-(fingers, ankles feet , hands), but take a( Lasix) diurectic for 3-4 days,then my usual maxide=1/day. I am in pain and ache( feet,neck, wrists, ribs, back etc.), but my onc. has given me pain RX, which helps me continue to walk and exercise. " If I don't exercise, I feel worse and hurt MORE!!" ( I had a ft. of my colon taken out 3yrs. before having cancer, and it has really been giving me problems lately), unless it's the Herceptin.
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Old 06-02-2006, 07:43 AM   #54
kat in the delta
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Sandy, Do you have pain and take pain meds. for Herceptin side effects??? kat in the delta
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:10 AM   #55
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I started herceptin in April 06. I've had 3 doses and so far so good. I have noticed that I get a headache the day and day after I've had it. I've also been having very dry itchy eyes, a raspy throat, some slight congestion and yesterday noticed an itchy rash on the arm where I have the IV. I've been putting the latter 4 symptoms down to allergy -- this is the time of year when my allergens would begin to bother me. I still have some stiffness and low back ache but I've been putting that down to lingering side effects from taxol. Hard for me to say if this strictly herceptin, not herceptin at all or a combination of allergy/lingering side effects and herceptin.

I'm to have herceptin 1 x 3 weeks for a year. I'm a stage II, er/pr- and her2+.
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:58 PM   #56
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Hi Lani -
Looks like there is a lot of info developing here.
Diagnosed Sept. of 2000. Lumpectomy, axcillary node dissection.
8 of 18 nodes positive. Hormone neg/neg.
Was already in menopause for about a year prior to dx. No hormone therapy ever.
I started Herceptin weekly (vitamin H - just add it to my supplement list!) in the beginning of January in 2002 along with Taxol and Navelbine for agressive mets.

Herceptin alone plus Zometa since July 2002.
Herceptin tri-weekly since July 2002. No breaks ever necessary.
Had a lot of side effects early on, but they have gotten better little by little, so I attribute most of them to all the various chemos I had in a short period of time.

Still noticing:
* Leg, foot and hand cramps from time to time - take Quinine that helps a lot.
* Some bone, joint and other aches and stiffness. Attribut some of this to the ANA positive situation that has developed with me. Not enough to interfere much with things I need to do.
* Intermittent runny nose and eyes. Not severe and take Allegra as needed for seasonal allergies.
* Skin peels on forefingers. Nails in good shape. Hair grows normally.

No stomach upset or gas problems beyond normal. No headaches.
Cognitive functions mostly ok.
Blood counts and liver functions stay well into the normal ranges and tumor markers are steady like a rock. ;-)

NOTE: I do get my infusion over 45 minutes - this seems to alleviate the slight flushing and redness that can occur if a shorter infusion. The infusion suite nurses say that other patients like a longer infusion as well.
I also hydrate myself very well and drink water and eat during my infusion.

Really feel fortunate this this drug is so benign as far as side effects for me. I still have some problems due to all the taxanes and the rest.

I work hard to eat well and get some proper exercise but get hit hard again when my brain acts up. After the Gamma Knife in Jan of 2005, I was a mess again. Fought my way back to good health and then had a brain surgery in Feb of this year. Getting back to normal from that now with the exception of a fluid pocket that has formed at the surgery site and needs attention.

P. S. There is NO follow up on those of us who got Herceptin as Stage IV. I asked about that in San Antonio to Genentech reps and they seem to think it is up to some recognized researchers to get a study together that approved by the FDA. The docs do not report to Genentech as far as I know.
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:54 PM   #57
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Dx Oct 05 Early IDC / Stage 1 / Lumpectomy / Her2+++ / 1cm / grade 3 / neg nodes / ER+ PR weakly+ / post menopausal
AC every 3 wks x4: Had changes in vision; beginning echo 71%; end echo 58%; white counts down once (had neulasta shot). Only slight nausea. Fine otherwise.

Herceptin/Taxol every wk x12 :
Half-way thru, echo = 65%; blood counts all ok except low iron mid-way thru. Received something in chemo 3x to bring back up; hair growing back thick & full;
Rosy cheeks for 2 days after trtmts (blame Herceptin);
Numbness & swelling in both feet,ankles. 20 mg lasix/didn't help; Don't know what to blame; tested for leg blood clot=neg;
Bloated (blame steroids);
Developed acid reflux (Taxol or Herceptin to blame?) Taking prevacid resolved problem;
Vision getting worse (goes back & forth); Started during AC, but now that I'm off of it I don't know what to blame.
Became short of breath upon excertion & very dry crusty nose; Nails splitting,peeling easily & sometimes got mild pain in pelvic area (ovaries?) Blamed Taxol for all of that.

Herceptin every 3 wks (just had 3rd dose)
shortness of breath & nail splitting & crusty nose & sluggish feeling & pain in ovaries area disappeared; now have:
Had runny nose (I blamed Herceptin); No more runny nose after 3rd tx.
Swelling in left foot & ankle much much worse; slight swelling in right foot & ankle (40 mg lasix not helping; I think herceptin responsible; dr says she doesn't think so). Sending me for Muga (it's time) and to see a cardiologist just in case.
Cardiologist did ekg; came out fine; Said ankle swelling is due to water-retenion.
Vision still bad, especially 1 week after Herceptin tx (near & far-sight); I blamed earlier AC treatments. Don't really know now, since it is continuing. Since it's worse for week or so after Herceptin, I blame Herceptin for current vision problems.
Sometimes slight wave of pain in sides of neck for few seconds; I blame Herceptin; Onc said not from Herceptin;
Now after 3rd tx, I am getting more cramps in neck; Actually had severe muscle spasm in neck (under left chin area after trying to stop a yawn).
Still taking prevacid for acid reflux developed during Tax/Herc; Now actually getting gurd. Due to Herceptin?
Was emotional:cried easily (happy & sad) for about 1 week after 1st 2 tx. Was also crabby during same time. I blamed Herceptin. Dr says no.
Cracking in jaw (tmj) worse. I blame Herceptin.
Hot flashes much stronger than prior to any Herceptin (could be because hot weather is here now), but I think Herceptin contributing to it;
Trouble sleeping (sometimes due to hotflashes, sometime not) I blame Herceptin;
This past week have felt a few flutters in heart area. Onc says probably esophageal spasms leftover from taxol tx. Cardiologist said heart ok on ekg. Swelling in feet results in numbing toes (left over from Taxol?). Don't know.
Becoming scatter-brained; Have to search for words at times. (I blame Herceptin)
Other than that....doing great!

Last edited by sadie; 06-24-2006 at 07:42 PM.. Reason: updated from 6/3/06
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Old 06-03-2006, 06:29 AM   #58
Barbara H.
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Herceptin has been easy for me. I had fever and chills from the first loading dose. My nose runs a bit more and is crusty and my nails are not great. Sometimes I am a little tired the next day. However, I have to say that if I didn't know that I was on Herceptin, I probably wouldn't even notice these slight symptoms. That is not the case with Navelbine and Zometa which I currently take for minor bone mets which have popped up. I really get achy from Zometa and fatigue and aches from Navelbine. Last week my chemo nurse advised me to take 3 advil the first night I received Zometa and three the next morning. I teach third grade, and went to school the next day and did fine. Advil seems to do the trick to make it through the first few days. Two years ago I didn't have bone mets, but had it everywhere else, liver, lungs, nodes throughout, and skin mets. Herceptin alone got rid of all of that until March of this year when my tumor markers were starting to rise and bone mets were confirmed. I just hope that I am now not resistant to Herceptn. My CEA is currently 1.3 and CA27-29 is currently 20 so the combo I am currently on seems to be working. I just want to be able to get off the Navelbine at some point because it really has done a job on my blood counts. I think Herceptin is like other drugs and food. There are common reactions, but drugs and food can affect different people differently.
Best wishes,
Barbara Holz
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:08 AM   #59
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7/2004 Lumpectomy
Infiltrating Medullary Carcinoma
Stage 1 no grade, 1.2 cn.
HER2 3+ ER/PR negative
4 A/C 33 rads.. finished 12/23/04
Herceptin started November 2005, every 3 weeks, 90 minute infusion for 1 year..

When I first started Herceptin, my nose ran constantly, bled a bit and was very crusty.
Now, it still runs but not quite as much. I have always and still do get little balls of mucus that form in the nose and stick inside. I am constantly trying to pick them out since they do show and it hurts and bleeds, some. I did read here a while ago about the Ayr Saline Nasal Gel and have been using that. This week, my one nostril was so swollen and red at the tip for 4 days. I looked like a drunken sailor, as the saying goes! I did try hot compresses inside and out of the nose to soften them.
I will talk to my Onco about some of the meds mentioned on this board by someone earlier.
I also have shredding nails and pain in my knees, "sometimes" when using the steps.

Let me say, for me, these are all tolerable and worth it as long as I can receive Herceptin.. Bring on Wednesday!

Maggie BTW....... Thanks for starting this thread again!
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Old 06-04-2006, 11:14 AM   #60
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
HER2 Side Effects ME2

Stage: IIIA
9/9 Nodes Positive

Lumpectomy - Aug 05
AC/T - Sept 05
Herceptin started w/Taxol
36 Rads - Mar 06
Herceptin weekly until mid Dec 06

Side Effects
Foggy, foggy memory - lost words all the time (look like fool at work)
Headaches - don't really hurt, more like a pressure, like I have a cap on
Woozyness - only occassionaly (so it makes me think I'm making it up)
Bursitis in shoulder - for a several weeks, now gone
Tennis Elbow - started after bursitis finished, this comes and goes
Depression - I have reason to be depressed, I'm in tx for bc
Weight Gain - Overeating could be reason, but am I craving because of "H"?
Split Nails
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