Advice on chemo

I have my ONC appt on 10th June to discuss chemo.
Altho i have clear lymph nodes my cancer is grade 3 and i am 32.
The Dr said I would need chemo because i am young to make sure no stray cells are lurking.

Anybody else had this happen?
How many cycles do you think i will have?
Will it be “weaker” chemo because i am only being given it due to my age not lymph involvement?

Any advice would be fab


bumping it up!

Hi Evie2007

I’m not as young as you (46) but I was grade 3 with no node involvement and given chemo purely due to the grade.

I had 3 FEC and 3 TAX then 19 rads and Tamoxifen, some oncs do 4 of each and some do different regimes altogether.

Best of luck

hi evie - I’m 43 with grade 3 and one node - like gingery says they seem to offer it anyway when its a 3, also if you end up being her2 positive and benefit from herceptin they only give this after a course of chemo…not sure if you know if its her2 neg or pos - I had to wait 12 weeks for my results…I’d imagine it’s standard dose but they go through all this with you anyway - like you say as we’re young they seem to throw it all at you - I’m having 3 fec and 3 taxotere - due 5th of 6 tomorrow then 1 left…yeahhhhhh - its do-able as we all say…re the nodes - if you have no involvement the treatment seems to be something like E (epi) and CMF or just FEC and if nodes then FEC with TAX - as a guide but yes oncologists do seem to vary and have their reasons for doing so…post on here ad let us know how you get on - take care, mary x

ps due the rads after chemo and tamoxifen as mine is hormone sensitive…

Hi Evie

I’m 41, was 35mm grade 2 with no node involvement but I am having chemo due to my age. I was told if I’d been over 45 I would have just had rads as the chemo is really just “belt & braces” just in case any cells went astray.

In my case I’m having full blast chemo, no light doses, 8 cycles in all (E-CMF: 4 of each). Then I’ll have 15 rads and tamoxifen.

You’ll find that Oncologists vary widely in their approach, mine likes to throw everything at it very hard but yours might have a different view.

Chemo isn’t fun, by any means, but it’s do-able. Best of luck and let us know what regime you will be on - there are bound to be lots of others on the same.

So are cycles equivelent to months?

I honestly didnt think i would have chemo- bit of a nasty surprise!

Trying to figure out when chemo maybe over!
thank you very much


usually every 3 weeks…mary x
ps I tried to prepare myself for it psychologically and then if I didn’t need it it was a bonus!!

thank you.

I too am E+ so will have tamoxifen which sounds bloody awful too. I dont know my HER status yet- results werent back.

am totally bummed out by it all! Got two babies and a excellent job and this BC is really going to get in the way!

thanks again

Hi Evie,

I m aged 43, no lymph spread and having 6 doses of FEC low dosage
strength (fec 80) once every 3 weeks.

I had severe vomiting after 1st lot, but have been told this is
unusual and I had bad reaction. They will prob have to up
anti-sickness drugs whilst having 2nd lot. Only other side effect
so far is metallic taste in the mouth.

Like you, find it very hard to understand why we are recommended chemo, when no spread, but it is all to try and prevent any
reoccurances. When you have your appt with the ONC, he will
explain everything to you and remember to write down all your
concerns and they can help you with them.

To be honest with you, I only felt rough for the 1st week, felt
like I was having phantom pregnancy nausea lol, but since then
have felt like normal again. They do warn you to be careful between
day 7-11 due to your immune system being low as well. I am also
trying the “scalp cooling” system to try and save hair and so far
this does seem to be working.

Hope this helps. Jane

thank you all!

Will be good when plan is in place.
Seems to be an endless waiting game most of the time


Hi,Evie i can understand you worry ,about your treatment i am in same position as you my boy is 2 years old i have 21mm tumor removed WLE and second for clear margins and tumor is grade,i am older than you42,saw Dr yest and i am down for chemo soon 3FEC 3 TAX then radio then tamoxifen it seems to me that is long long jurney and had cry last night so much …thinking how i am going to coope not with the hair loss only.i am thinking that chemo drugs are going to poison all my body kill all the good cells as well as cancer ones…and is so long treatment …i hope we all do it with less side effects and be able to put it behind us soon be able to have normal life as possible…xxx

It is a lot to take in and a lot to deal with. You will feel better when you have a plan.

I had just turned 39 at dx last April and my daughters were just 4 and 2, and I am the breadwinner, with an excellent job, in our house. I had nodes involvement, so there was no question about it for me. I had 3FEC then 3TAX. For me TAX was by far the hardest, but we are all different. I then had 30 rads and now am on tamoxifen for 5 years as I’m ER+/PR+.

It is a long, horrible time having chemo, and I am still living with some of the side effects, but to give you a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, I finished treatment right at the end of Nov, went to Lapland for Christmas and back to part time work at the beginning of January. I’ve had a gradual return, and started back full time after Easter. I’ve not long had my 1st mammo, which is clear and I now feel I can start to put it behind me a bit. You will too.

Good luck


hi Krisid and welcome - yes the chemo knocks the good cells but you usually end up with at least a good week of feeling better and ready to take it on again, it moves on quick and keeps you busy - you’ll get through it with help and love of friends etc and good support from everyone on here - mine was 2cm, grade 3 invasive ductal, wle surgery at end of jan, 1 node involved, chemo started in march, 3 fec and 3 tax - just had second tax today, first one knocked me too Kindensurprise - in hospt for 2 nights with i/v antibiotics and jabs but felt a heck of a lot better coming out - they reduced the dose for this one so we’ll see…take care all, mary x

Hi there,

Sorry to hear that you have to go through chemo! I found it so hard to come to terms with when I was told I needed chemo. I was so tempted to say no to it.
I was 29 years old when diagnosed, I too had no node involvment, 18mm tumor, grade 3 and non hormone receptive.
I have since had 2 of 6 cycles of FEC 100 after having my eggs frozen incase of fertility problems later. I also asked for a lower dose as my pathology was so good but they said I would be getting the standard dose. They way it was told to me was that the younger you are, the faster your cells divid and grow (hence most young woman having grade 3) therefore chemo is needed just incase any cells did escape through the blood as they will divid and grow very quickly!
The FEC is given every 3 weeks, so it is 15 weeks from start to finish. I’ve had very little side effects and put this down to being young and healthy, but it is an emotional roller coaster. All I can say is that the 4 months of chemo is giving me a long and healthy future so I can live until I’m at least 90 years old!!
Good luck, its a tough journey but the reward is worth it.

Reading all these comments does make me so sad that we are all going though such similar and horrible experiences but doire09 you are right, its to preserve and prolong our future!

I dont think i would be as sad about my job had i not been off for a year on maternity leave! I miss it.

I feel like the clock is ticking down now to chemo starting and i just want to survive it and try to go back to being me.


Hi Evie

I was diagnosed on 18th May with a 25mm Stage 3 not particularly hormone sensitive devil and I am 33 years old. I was told that in order to save as much of the breast as possible and because of my age, I should have chemo before surgery and yesterday started my first course of 4 FEC, which will be followed by 4 Taxotere. I’m really pleased it has started so quickly and all the health professionals have been wonderful and reassuring. I was so nervous about yesterday’s appointment that I almost passed out when they put in the canula but feel quite ok this morning after a bit of sickness overnight.
Good luck on 10th - I didn’t think I’d be saying this so soon, but it really does feel better when you get started :o)

Thank you Bev.
I am getting sick of waiting and i think you are right aboiut getting started! I just hope after the 10th i dont have to wait too long again. Just written down the tips on surviving chemo on here so will go shopping next week!

Glad you dont feel too awful- gives me hope!


Chemo is doable, different doctors different regimes, I’m 49, had 20mm grade 1, er+, borderline HER+, also had 1 node involved although originally told it was clear. Am just coming towards end of 4 Epi and 4 CMF, have to have 20 lots of radio, followed by year of herceptin. Originally I was told would only need radio, then gradually they decided I needed more and more, surgery was in Nov 2008, by the time I finish will be Aug 2010, hoping to go back to work Jan 2010.Seems an eternity, but it does get easier.

Hi,everyone thank you Mary ,what i worry is infections and hospital stay my husb works away so 4 nights in the week i am by myself with my 2 year old son ,evie i start my chemo on 17.06 and can i say i cant wait …as soon starts soon will end…make app with wig makers ,have app with dentist for feeling .i am realy scared i think is the fact that i havent had any experiance like that before ,been healthy person untill now .i think we go together with you evie2007 so keep in tuch any information is in use…krisid