1st FEC on 15th September - Petrified


I’m sitting reading loads of threads and finding them very helpful but I can’t stop the butterflies doing summersaults.
Have had surgery and I think I’m ready for this next stage but I really don’t no what to expect as I’ve had no pre-assessment, hopefully I will be told thing tomorrow before they start the FEC so I’m going into the unknown.

Can anyone tell me roughly how long does it take?

Have just brought a wig but have read that you could get a NHS voucher.
Who issues this and is everyone entiltled?

Wishing you all well

Good luck Mole :smiley:
I start mine on the 18th but don’t know what type yet.
I am planning to be there about 3 hours for the first one (I am not using cold cap as this would make time there even longer).
I am sorry I don’t know about the wig thing yet either but just ask them on the day and I am sure someone will know.
All the best and fingers crossed for you.
Take Care LisaJ

Thanks Lisa,

I was thinking a long the lines of half a day, was told the cold cap would be no use to me by my Oncologist so at least that will save some time.
Good luck for the 18th, will be thinking of you

Keep in touch

I will be thinking of you tomorrow Norma, let us know how you get on (and what to expect) and remember to take something to suck on ice poles/lollys etc… aparently it helps :smiley:

Hi Norma,
i had my first FEC last Monday. If everything goes to plan it takes about 1hr. The epi is the longest at about 45mins as they have to inject it slowly,but all the rest goes in quite quickly.

I was fortunate as they gave me mine on a “non chemo day” as i had got overlooked so they squeezed me in quickly,but i was told my next one may be longer,not because of administering it,but because there will be others waiting and if theres any probs with anyone it will obviously cause delays.

My session took 2hrs altogether but that was only because i have small veins and they had trouble getting it in,which wasnt helped by the fact that i was so nervous.

Hope this has helped you,try not to be scared, easier said than done i know,it wasnt how id imagined it would be,and as you can tell by my user name im not the calmest of people!

Love Traceyxx


Why did they say the cold cap would be no use to you? many people on FEC are using it. I am, but it is too early to say if it is working for me.

The actual FEC only took about 1 1/2 hours to administer.

I believe that everyone is entitled to a NHS voucher which enables you to get a wig for £59 - I do not know what sort of selection they have, as I have not been brave enough to go yet. I will wait and see how the hair goes or stays first.


Hi mole,
Thought I would just put my bit in too! I have had 3 FEC, and all of them took the whole afternoon. I found it wasnt the actual administration of the chemo which takes the time but the observations they do first, puting a venflon in, waiting for your drugs to take home at the end, etc etc. My unit is also very busy and seems to be understaffed at times so you do find you’re waiting around a bit. I try and nab a bed if possible (most spots are reclining chairs) more for the room as I take card games, board games etc with me.

In terms of the wig, my chemo nurse arranged an appointment for me with the wig women who comes to the hospital once a week. A crazy experience with hairy pieces of mop all over the room, but she was very nice and trimmed the fridge of the one I chose to make it more how I wanted it. However as it happened have only worn it once. I just found it too hot, uncomfortable and felt a bit silly pretending to have hair when i don’t. Thats just me but I feel more than comfortable wearing scarves (check out www.4women.com, a bit pricey but easy to put on). Also just be prepared for how quickly it starts falling out, I think it started for me after about 14 days and by my 2nd FEC I had had enough of being a malting dog I shaved it off, actually did not find it sad but a relief by that point!
Anyway, wasn’t planning to write that much, so good luck you will be fine, just think once you have started it will be one down!
All the best

hi all,
I have just finished my chemo last week I had 4 fec and 4 tax.The only bit of advice i would say is try and go with the flow not one of my chemos was the same but i do have a few tips if you do get mouth ulcers fresh pineapple is one but cold tea bags placed in your mouth really do work,be prepared for the tiredness and accept all the help you can get also try remember what matters( a bit of dust or a rug not hoovered is the least of your worries) and dont be afraid to tell other half etc… if you want to be left alone,out of 4 fec I only had one that I was bad with but one thing i have learnt is every one has different pain threshholds and one persons bad side effects is nothing to another with regards to wigs my only regret was that i did not cut my hair short before chemo as ha ving bobbed curly hair that quite thick it started to come out after the second fec quite badly and you could really notice it were my parting was in the end my hubbie had to use clippers on it but funny enough it seemed to stop falling out and it started to grow when i started the tax ,i did get a wig on the nhs the chemo nurse got in touch with the lady and she called me and i made appointmet she was really good and my wig was very good to be honest dont wear it much as its bit hot but its good to wear when you just want to go out and blend in thats how felt anyway got some really great scarfs but at least with the winter coming you should be able to get some good hats
all the best


Had first chemo FEC 11 days ago. On the day I was there about 3 and half hours. Used the cold cap. They have to put this on 15mins before treatment. It feels really cold for the first 10mins but after that I got used to it. The cold cap has to be changed every 45 mins and for another 45 mins following treatment. Make sure the nurses put some cotton wool etc around the edge and on your ears to stop the cold affecting you. They put the thing (don’t know the name) in the back of your hand and then saline is flushed through from a bag, she then put some anti sickness in, then put some red fluid (chemo) in a large syringe which she slowly pushed through. The next chemo in a small syringe was slowly given, followed by some more anti sickness and then finally the last chemo in a bag on a drip stand was attached. There were six chairs in the ward and ladies came asking if you wanted something to eat or drink so it wasn’t too scary. The nurses were lovely and tried to put you at ease. I think I was there quite a long time because they had to deal with other people at different stages and this delayed things a bit. I got a voucher to take to my local Debenhams (Nottingham) and I have been today to pick one up (just to be on the safe side). It cost £99 and I didn’t have to pay a penny! It needs a bit of adjusting but will do that if my hair does eventually fall out. I am going to give the cold cap another go on the 25th September. So far I have not been too bad following chemo - had a sore mouth - feel like I have eaten about 25 bags of crisps. Felt very tired for two days (days 6 & 7) and have a slight rash on tum but I have made sure I have taken all the tablets they have given me which were steroids for two days, anti sickness for two days, and antibiotics for five days then anti sickness tablets as and when required. Hope this is of use and all goes well for you.


I had my first FEC on 1st Sept and it wasn’t as scarey as I thought. It took about 3 hours maybe altogether. Thankfully, I haven’t had any side affects apart from a few aches and chills on day 14 that quickly went away. My hair is starting to come out now but I’ve got a fantastic wig on standby. Got it from Trend Co in Hove.

Hi Mole - wonder how you are feeling after your first FEC - I have no4 tomor - Hair started coming out 14 th day after first - got head shaved as wasn’t allowed on furniture I was moulting so much - no wig - loads of hats - people keep saying I look younger - is that a compliment or no? Tend to feel jolly tired for few days after chemo and mouth and taste go a bit awry but am lucky not to suffer like some poor folks ----------no I suppose to be really lucky I wouldn’t be going through this at all but it is doable and there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Let us know how it goes and do drink loads of water - that for me is the order of the day before and several days after!

Take care x and love and good vibes to all here x