Anbody starting chemo in September?

Hi all
I’m due to start chemo next week for first time - 4 X EC then 4 X TAX
Looking forward to having some meds that will hopefully shrink this horrible tumour but at the same time am scared at the prospect of all the side effects…especially as I have three young children to look after as well.
Be great to hear from anyone else starting chemo in September for a bit of mutual hand holding and letting off steam :slight_smile:

Hi InShock
So sorry you had to find yourself here but you’ll get lots of support to help you. I finished chemo in July (6 x FEC) and am now midway through radiotherapy. I was terrified of chemo but for me I coped well and it’s certainly doable. I don’t have 3 children but I do have 1, a 5 year old girl and had no help at all apart from when my husband came home from work. If you can organise some help for the children do so as I found I was unable to rest when I needed to and that bit was certainly hard. I did talk to the school to advise them what was going on and they suggested that I could take my daughter into school a few minutes late every day and take her straight to the office and they would then take her to her class, in order to prevent me coming into contact with a lot of germy children and parents and putting myself at risk, this worked brilliantly for me, might be worth you approaching the school to see what help and support they can give you?
There will be lots of ladies joining you shortly for a September thread, i’m sure you’ll make lots of friends. I’m in the March chemo thread and we’re all having a meet up in November - can’t wait!
Take care
Lydia x

Hi In shock,
I have just had my first chemo and due for the second one on Monday but have replied as I also have 3 children (one is 6 today, one aged 13 and one aged 15) So far for me the chemo hasnt been as bad as I had envisaged if that helps. My kids have had a much more boring summer than normal though it has to be said! Good luck
mandy x

Hi there
This is my first post on here. I am due to start in September and am waiting an appointment from onc.
I am also scared of what it will do to me, loosing my hair etc.
I have fought not to look online as I don’t know much about it, yet my Macmillan nurse is great.

I’d also like to say I have been reading other posts on here and I think you are a wonderful group of ladies! The thread on" stupid things people say" had me chuckling.

Inshock - I am sure there are other ladies out there that are starting chemotherapy in September, I agree let’s do it together!

Steph xx

Yes, I’m due for my first chemo next Wednesday. Already had surgery to remove lump and had clear nodes and margins. But due to my age and being HER2 positive, the oncologist has recommended chemo. 3xFEC and 3xTax. Then rads and 12 months Herceptin and 5 years tamoxifen. I feel strangely calm about it at the moment. Just had a lovely holiday which has really helped prepare me mentally. Going to take it each day at a time.

I have just had the second EC chemo and am on the same treatment path as you. Diagnosed in July, still shocked.
I have 2 tumours, one in the left breast and also one in the lymph. The treatment after the taxol round is an operatiopn and then radiotherapy, a long haul. Am finding fatigue the worst part of the side effects so far and am not sure how to tackle that.
I have 3 big kids, 12, almost 18 and 19 and a great husband who are all so positive but really need some support from others in the same boat.

I am having 4 EC and then 4 Taxol chemo treatments for invasive duct breast cancer. I have 2 tumours one in the breats and one in the lymph.
After the second round recently `i have been floored with fatigue but other potential side effects have not been too bad. I would live to talk to others in the same boat. My family are really supportive and I have 3 kids who are 12, almost 18 and 19.

Hello carol50

Welcome to the forums, this must be a very difficult time for you, I’m sure the users of the site will be along to support you soon.

Whilst waiting for replies maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes

June, moderator

Hi. I am due to start chemo on 6th September- 3 FEC and 3 TAX. I had a bilateral mastectomy and full lymph node removal ( 30 removed) 4 weeks ago. Busy with physio at the moment due to cording! I am mostly worried about losing my hair but I’m going to try the cold cap and see if that works!

Hi SZH - I am starting chemo on Wednesday 5th Sept and I am going to try the cold cap too. I was diagnosed on 13th July and
had WLE & SNB (look at me using abbreviations!) on30th July. I have a grade 3 with no nodes involved and also ER+ & HER+ so
I have to have everything chemo, rads, tamoxifen and hepceptin. I went along to the oncololgy dept yesterday to have a look round and get a feel for the place and they also let me try the ice cap on. It wasn’t too bad but it was only 4 degrees and needs to get to -6!!! I decided to buy a wig just in case so if it doesnt work or I can’t cope I will be prepared although I’m not sure any amount of planning will make it any easier.

Hi Sept 12 Girls,

A September 11 Girl here (6 x FEC)! Just popping in to say good luck! The worst thing about chemo is the unknown - it is do-able but once you go through your first couple of cycles, you begin to learn the routine.
You will get through it - just keep talking to each other, remember there is no such thing as a wrong question! I remember that when girls talked about their side effects it helped others.

Best wishes to you all


Hi Girls,
Another Sept’2011 girl here, I like Annie want to wish you all luck, I found reading the month before me helped, its just good to know how you are feeling is normal, the support I had over this last year from the Sept girls has been and still is amazing, family and friends are great, but on here they truely understand how you feel…
Good luck
Jay XX
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Hi , I had Chemo last year and the cold cap treatment worked for me. My hair went thin but I never lost my hair so it was well worth the time and trouble , as you have to wear the cold cap for at least 20 minutes before they start treatment. The hardest part of course is feeling so cold, so I used to take a scarf and gloves in with me and also a hot water bottle as the nurses could never find a vein on me and this really helped. I would also recommend that you get some ice lollies to help with a sore mouth if you get one.
I was never sick and it was not half as bad as I expected so I wish you all the very best . Stay strong and you will fight it. Tracy

Thanks for all your good wishes. In some ways I just want to get started but in other I don’t. It’s good to hear from someone who has used the cold cap and it worked!. They told me to take ice lollies in to suck whilst actually having the chemo- ( iwill be frozen!!!)
to the sept 11 ladies- i bet it doesn#t seem a whole year ago!
lollo01- i have to also have chemo . rads and tamoxofen. I am also getting a wig just incase the cold cap doesn’t work.
Did any of you sept 11 have problems with cording and limited arm movement- it’s 4 weeks since my bilateral mastectomy and ANC and still having problems. How long did it take you to sort it out if you did have it?
thanks again xx

Hii everyone in this thread. I was dx July 2012 with IDC. I am having chemo before surgery and am on FEC - T, 6 cycles, x3 FEC, 3T. I had my first cycle on 24th August. I fully expected to be as sick as a dog and my hubby bought a bucket, disinfectant and towels with him for the car journey home. We were slightly disappointed that we didn’t need them! So far things have been okay - I have had constipation from the steroids then diarrhoea from the tablets to stop the constipation. Have totally gone off tea and drink coffee which I used to hate. Felt quiet tired the last few days but have still managed to do household chores (no one has rushed in to help with those!) Have had to give up work as a registered childminder though - being surrounded by lots of toddlers with runny noses too big a risk! Am quite surprised I am still functioning! (My sister had cancer 10 years ago and the chemo nearly killed her so fully expected to be much worse!) My next one FEC is due on 14/9 and I am sure this one will come back and bite me! For those of you contemplating the cold cap I had it and so far no hair loss (anywhere!) so too early to tell if will work. It is very cold but you get used to it after a while but do take a warm fleece to wear as you get cold. The only problem I have really had is arm where chemo went in really really sore for last few days - I think it’s the Epirubicin? I have rubbish veins and am booked in for a PICC line on the 12th September’s which I hope will help. Also got to have a T/V scan on my ovaries on same day which is also my wedding anniversary so no meal out for us this time round. Original Dx was IDC stage 2 grade 2 ER+ and no lymph node involvement but subsequent fine needle biopsy has confirmed at least 3 nodes and a 3cm tumour in left armpit which is bigger than the one in my breast so I was bummed out this week. But to all you newbies like me, it is scary but doable and this forum is full of amazing posts by inspirational ladies who have been through far worse than me so please use this forum when you feel down or lost, scared or angry, it really helps. Good luck to all warriors out there x

Hi InShock,
I start on Weds and am scared. Fear of the unknown is the worst thing for me. Not knowing how I’ll cope/react to all the possible side-effects!!
Diagnosed in July. Lumpectomy and some nodes removed but all clear. Triple negative tumour. I’m having 3xFEC and 3xT followed by radiotherapy.
Had to laugh when the nurse was explaining everything and calling the chemo FEC - if you watch Father Ted you’ll know what I mean!!
Lets all get through this together girls!

Dear all
Hopefully the following questions/comments are relevant to this discussion. I am looking for opinions/advice for a friend on the way forward - chemo or surgery. I know she has infiltrative cancer but nothing more than that.
My friend first saw her GP about a suspicious lump on 3 August. She was diagnosed with breast cancer on 16 Aug. The consultant did a biopsy and told her the results would be in on 23 Aug, but he wouldn’t be able to see her until 28 Aug as he had to consult his team to decide on a treatment plan. When she went to the appointment on 28 Aug he said he had not had his meeting yet and he would call her on 31 Aug. By the afternoon of 31 Aug my friend had pain in a lymph node in her groin so phoned the hospital only to discover that the consultant was not planning to call her (no-one was) and he had gone abroad on holiday. The nurse she spoke to asked her when her next appointment was and of course she didn’t have one! The nurse then looked on the computer to see the treatment plan – and there wasn’t one. The nurse said she would have to see a surgeon first anyway, but my friend had already seen one on two previous occasions (16 and 28 Aug) and he had advised that chemo might be the best course of action first to shrink the tumour before surgery. My friend asked again for an appointment to see another oncologist.
She had also previously requested that the hospital refer her to another hospital for a second opinion, and she has been given an appointment for 12 Sep. Because of the delay, this hospital suggested making an appointment with yet another hospital, so she has done that and has an appointment on 5 Sep.
She would rather go with the hospital whom she is seeing on the 12<sup>th</sup> as it is a ‘centre of excellence’, but is worried that in the intervening time the cancer may spread if it hasn’t already, especially as she is having some worrisome symptoms, and now has constant pain in her back.
Do you think she is right to have chemo before surgery? Should she just settle for the hospital she is seeing on the 5<sup>th</sup>?
Any comments welcome!

Hi Rabbitspaw,
I’m sorry that your friend has been given a bit of a run around! I’ve had a few delays due to holidays etc but not to this extent.
You’ll read in all these forum pages that some have had chemo before surgery. I think it depends on the size and type of tumour wether this is appropriate. I would get her to ring the helpline here at Breast cancer care. They have professionals there to answer questions and help.
Good luck and hope this helps.

Hi ladies
It’s good to hear from you all and to know I’m not alone in taking this unwelcome journey.
Well less than 24 hours to go for me and I’ll be hooked up to those toxic drugs. SZH - I know what you mean about being in two minds in some ways I want to start just so I know something is happening that will hopefully help destroy the cancer but obviously am also dreading tomorrow.

Jew and AnnieK68 I totally agree with you that the fear of the unknown is really hard - not knowing how my body will react and worrying that I will be one of those who really gets hit hard with sickness/fatigue etc is stressful and makes it really hard to plan ahead in terms of what support I’ll need from family and friends.

I had to tell my five year old (I also have a two year old and a newborn!) yesterday about mummy’s bad lump and I found that really hard although to be fair she is so innocent she took it all in her stride and was more interested about the fact that I might be wearing a wig than the fact that I was going to be ill!

Well it would be great to stay in touch and keep each other’s spirits up on this forum. Fingers crossed for you all on your chemo journey and I will try and keep you updated in terms of how I’m getting on.

Rabbitspaw - I’m not sure I’m able to advise on your friend’s situation. It certainly doesn’t sound like she’s been well treated by her initial hospital. If the tumour is grade 3 I would have thought it would be best just to get on with the chemotherapy as soon as poss. Perhaps you could ring BCC or Macmillan to get some advice from qualified professionals??

Rabbitspaw - it’s likely that your friends cancer has been there for a while and a week here or there is unlikely to make much difference. Treatment can move slowly. I first went to the GP with my lump in April. Even though she fast tracked me with a cancer diagnosis I didn’t have my surgery until mid June and my chemo is only due to start this week (September!). Obviously your friend must do what she feels best but personally I’d go for my first choice of hospital if it only meant a wait of a few days.