3 Lots of FEC to be told it has.nt worked

3 lots of FEC to be told today it has,nt shrunk the tumour I,ve felt like crap for nothing so so upset and disillusioned. Why oh why did I do this on Chritmas Eve felt like shit to be told this today !!! GUTTED

Hi Stellanbraska
Oh sweetheart… I am so sorry … sending big hugs to you… so feel for you… thats so pants! :frowning:
Your feelings are entirely normal… so please don’t beat yourself up… you did what we all do… we reach out for every opportunity given to us.
I am not in your situation (will be undergoing WLE/SNB on Wed) so cannot advise you … but there are lots of lovely ladies on here who will be along. I just wanted you to know that I care.
Hopefully you will have been given an alternative treatment plan, if not now… then very soon.
Sending you big hugs and positive vibes.
Lozza xxx

Hello Stellanbraska,

No wonder you are fed up and unhappy and angry and scared! I would be too.
I had my chemo before surgery (two years ago) and started out with a plan for six FEC but with the option to review after three cycles. I think I was lucky in so far as my breast nurse told me that more than 80% of people have to change to Taxotere/Docetaxol (same drug, two names) as their tumour either resists FEC altogether or it stops working. Whilst I had a good initial response to FEC, it seemed to be less effective after dose two and I switched to Docetaxol which was, for me, very effective. I can’t promise you will find this - but here’s hoping.
One of the things I found helpful to bear in mind was that even if the tumour wasn’t shrinking, it wasn’t growing, which meant the drugs did have some benefit in arresting the cancer, and probably any ‘stray cells’ were getting gobbled up.
Big hugs and all best wishes for an effective alternative treatment.

Hi Stellanbraska, you are not alone. There are quite a few of us on the Sept chemo thread that have had a minimal response to FEC.

My tumour measured the same after 3 FEC although the edges of it were far less distinct and difficult to measure on ultrasound and I was told chemo can work in different ways than just straight forward shrinkage. In fact my onc was a bit wary of the accuracy of ultrasound in measuring tumours. My tumour is also Her negative, Grade 2 and strongly oestrogen positive-so I knew that chemo may not have a dramatic effect in my case

I also had a similar experience as Revcat in that docetaxol appears to have had more of an affect on mine too but i just won’t know until after my mastectomy.I don’t know whether the plan is for you to have 3docetaxol next?

Please don’t lose heart as my understanding (and I’ve done a bit of reading around it) is that an initial slow response is common. Also my onc told me that in her many years of practice she’s known just one person whose tumour progressed during this type of chemo.

Good luck and please have a look on the sept chemo thread where we had a discussion about this a few months ago x

Hi Stellanbraska I can only agree with Lozza, Revcat and Sukiem different situation for me, but I can under stand how gutted you must feel .hang on in there girl like as Revcat says best wishes for an alternative treatment (wise lady that Revcat) Big Hugs coming your way AnnG

Hi I had doxetaxal first it shrunk my tumour by half then switched to fec, I was so happy it had shrunk to half that I honestly though it would all be gone by the time I finished the other half of chemo. However the fec part didn’t really make much more difference for me. Don’t give up on it yet…as the bc nurse also said to me it will all be taken out with the surgery and any stray cells will be being mopped up.

Hi Stellanbraska,

I can understand how frustrated and upset you feel. I had neo adjuvant chemotherapy too. I was supposed to have 4 FEC & 4 Taxotere. FEC was stopped after three cycles because of SEs. I had an ultrasound, but the radiologist couldn’t tell whether or not the chemo had done anything. I went straight to Tax. After two cycles of this, the lump felt bigger to me. Also to my onc (although it was only yesterday that she told me this), and I was told I would have to have another ultrasound. She said that if this showed the tumour had not shrunk, they would stop chemo and go straight to surgery.

It was decided that ultrasound wouldn’t give them enough of an idea in my case, as the first two weren’t reliable enough to be accurate. I had to wait almost six weeks for a second CT scan. This took place 28th December, and I saw my oncologist yesterday.

My lump still felt as though it had grown, but the CT scan showed that the tumour had actually had a good response to chemo. Apparently, rather than shrink, some tumours break down and become fibrous tissue. I read on another thread that someone’s tumour did not appear to have shrunk on her MRI scan, but was smaller when removed during surgery. Do not give up hope. It isn’t always easy to see how a tumour is responding to chemo.

I also know how you feel about the Christmas chemo. I had my last session on my birthday in the hopes that I would be over the worst of the SEs for Christmas. I wasn’t!

Firstly Thank You all for your lovely replies I feel a lot better today, It really is a rollorcoaster journey is,nt it.To be honest the treatment plan always was for me to change to Dosetaxol at this point anyway but I think I just felt that being half way through chemo I had hoped to hear good news.
As you quite rightly say Rev Cat it has,nt grown or spread so it has done something!
Well Thanks again for your support We will get through this
stella xx