Anyone find FEC harder than TAX?

Hi everyone. I have just finished my 3 FEC and am due to start TAX next Wednesday. Reading here, it seems most people find TAX harder than FEC. I felt rotten for 7 days on FEC, and not really myself for 10. Physically I was very sick for 12 hours after the first dose, but although they got my anti-sickness semi-sorted I have still felt really weird, unable to move much for 3 days, and very strung-out for at least a week. Strangely - both my big toe nails are very sore and bruised - and I thought it was TAX that gave that side-effect!

I hate to think that TAX is going to be worse! At least there are only 3 doses, and I know it’s all do-able - but just so sick of it all.

best wishes to all of you, and thinking of everyone going through chemo,

Helen x.

I was like you on Epi and far prefer tax … there is a thread - something like "just had first tax - what will happen this week please

I find it all very easy except I have a “storm” days 7-12 ish. I feel ill around days 7,8 ish and from 7-12 am starving hungry and really really down but apart from that I feel far better than Epi where I was very nauseous and had migraines

good luck - let us all know!!
love FB xx

Hi Helen
In similar position to you - managed the fec but no. 3 was hard - starting my TAX tomorrow and very very nervous, feel like Im starting chemo all over again as the fear of the unknown is much worse for me! I will let you know how it goes!!

Hi Helen,

I REALLY suffered with FEC - so much so that I had to stay in hospital each time I had it. I’m due for taxotere no. 3 next week and I’ve found it much easier. I’ve had muscle ache, nose bleeds and 2 x black toes - but it’s really not that bad.

Kate xxx

I managed ok with the FEC. Spent 3 days in bed feeling rough, but then gradually got better each day. Due second TAX next Thursday. Was very scared before first one, going into unknown, and heard bad things about it, but its all do-able. tiredness was worse thing to cope with and like Kate, trouble with sore nose and slight bleeding and loss of taste and mouth sores. Muscle aches at minimum and nails still in one piece!!! Just hope second one not worse as can cope with what I have had so far.
Wish you all luck
Deb x

Oh, thanks for the replies. Yes Fiz - it was your thread which had me worried because so many people seemed to find TAX worse! That’s the danger with sitting down and reading a long thread in one go - it’s all a bit overwhelming.

lisaf - Yes, I think the 3rd FEC was hardest. Although I had my anti-sick meds changed again, this cycle I have felt queasy all the time and very emotional. With the first cycle I was so violently sick I think it got it all out of the way in one go, which might be better perhaps! I wish you so much luck with your first TAX, and I know what you mean about feeling you are starting all over again. We are - but this time we are starting one of three, which is so much better than starting the FEC and having it all in front of you.

Kate and Deb - plan to be like you - glad you coped ok.

I have been working part time through chemo so far, and so want to be able to carry on with that and to be able to enjoy the school hols with the children. My job is in a very lovely and quite classy (well, for North Wales!) boutique, so I have been forced to make at least some effort with my appearance and being nice to customers, which in a weird way has helped. Lurching between the fear and the boredom of treatment, it’s great to have superficial conversations about dresses!

best, Helen.

Im working part time too - heres number for - then only 2 to go!

You’re right Lisaf - go for it tomorrow - you’ll feel better once you get back home - H.

Hi All

I have had 2 TAX after 3 FEC, last dose being the 8th. Day 10 and I felt absolutely rotten…shivering and started with a cough. By 9.30 pm my temperature was rising at an alarming rate so I phoned the local hospital and was asked to go into the MAU. I had a temp of 38.4 and was given a nightie! Then the nasty bit came…

I have a portacath inserted in my chest for chemo and bloods. The portacath uses a special huber needle which is inserted into the port for use. NOT ONE MEMBER OF STAFF KNEW HOW TO USE IT! The chemo suite was not manned at night and they couldn’t get a vein in my good arm as they have collapsed. The doctor then looked at my feet (inwardly I screamed - oh no…I’ve heard that hurts in the feet) then promptly said " I’m going to go into the vein in your groin and put a line in" - at this point I nearly fainted! Begging him to go and find someone who knew how to use my portacath fell on deaf ears.

Jeeeez did it hurt - femoral line insertion. Not only that I had to suffer the indignity of him helping me take my knickers off, I was squirming in embarrasment at him looking at my balding tush!!! But atleast I could cover up my blushing with the excuse of my high temperature!!

Just got out of hospital this pm after 4 days on IV AB’s and come home with some oral ones to take for a week.

One good thing about it - atleast I know that my bloods are going to be ok for next weeks FINAL CHEMO - WHOOPPPEEE!!

I have received my appt for 4.8.08 for marking up and start 20xrads on 19.8.08 and finish them just in time for my hols in Sept.



awww Anita - what a horrific experience. I really felt for you when I read it. So glad you have found the light at the end of the tunnel and hope everything goes very smoothly for you
Sue xx

That sounds so so painful and very scary, least only one more to go. still using veins but not brill so very scared about it all - do you get antibiotics as a matter of course, i was told with tax i would get a needle in the stomach the day after then antibiotics from day 5?!?
Good luck all

Hi Lisaf

I have not been offered anything after both TAX’s but as a part of my treatment in hospital I had 2 injections of neupogen, 1 sat am and the next sun am and after blood tests on sun pm it was noted that my neutrophils had risen enough for me not to have any more.

I have had 4 days of meropenem anti biotic (IV) which is fantastic (according to the nurses) and now on a 5 day course of co-amoxiclav 625mg oral AB’s which should see me through to sunday. I have my last TAX on tue so hopefully I will be as fit as a fiddle and sail through without catching anything and all the AB’s I will have taken should keep me safe.

Chemo treatment differs from hopital to hospital and I get the bare minimum of drugs. Sometimes they don’t give me anti sickness but I have a stash at home so that doesn’t bother me. Steriods are given but counted out.


hiya anita
Thanks for that - jope your last one goes well - yippeee!!!

blimey anita - that is SCARY - no-one knows about anything do they ? perhaps everyone with one of those should get an instruction sheet for emergencies …

glad you are through it now - whew!

good luck with the rest of it
love FB xxxxxxxxx

im back after first tax, slight mix up with steriods so here at 2am wide awake and no sickness yet - wish I could stay with this feeling but sure its the calm before the storm

lisa - as someone who was very very nauseous on epi i can tell you I never fel nauseous on TAX (excpet the time I threw up when they were administering it during TAX3)

you may find that like me you worried and worried about tax only to find it far more pleasant than epi/FEC

in case you have the same pattern as we watch out for not feeling too good for a few days after day 6

i had no pain - just a bit of tingling …and twice i was watching the telly and my teeth started to chatter!!! it wasn;t even a scary movie!!! … that was a bit unnerving and thankfully a private experience with only the cat - who has been very understanding about the whole thing!

good luck love FB xxx

Hi Helen,
I had 6 FEC - the 1st dose was a disaster: I ended up in Casualty on day 3 because I couldn’t stop being sick, then a week later I was Hospitalised & in isolation on IV antibiotics for 8 days because I went neutropenic & got an infection! For #2 they gave me Lenograstim(?sp) jabs (apparently made from Chinese Hamster ovaries - it never does to read the small print!! lol) to boost bone marrow production, but the pain in my bones crippled me so I haven’t had that since. Instead I have antibiotics to take on days 7 - 14 of each Chemo cycle & put myself into “isolation” at home for those days too. Fortunately the following doses didn’t provoke such a dramatic response & apart from taking anti-sick pills for 6 days each time & feeling more & more tired, plus getting migraines if I forgot to drink enough, I coped. When my lump stopped responding to FEC they decided to postpone my operation & try me on Docetaxol (Tax) &, like you, I was dreading it… it’s like starting over again into the unknown.
I had #1 Tax on 10th July & so far (touch wood!) I’ve not found it as bad as FEC. I felt a bit achey for a couple of days after, but managed to stop taking my anti-sick pills after just 4 days. The worst thing I found was having a really bad taste in my mouth all the time - like rotten old tobacco (I imagine) - and I do feel more tired. I don’t know what the cumulative effects will be like, but so far so good.
Hope it goes ok for you too.
All the best, x.

FEC for me was the absolute pitts -and was ready to quit after my second. Couldnt stop being sick even after all the anti emetics. Was a bloody nightmare.
Taxatere was a dream compared. I think the rule of thumb is you suffer alot with one kind you get it abit easier with the other. But you obviously dont know which one till you have had both!

Thanks all so much for your comments.

Lisa - I hope you are still ok now it is a few days after your first dose.

Have had sickness, rotten mouth, ulcers, one big toe nail, one death-white, etc etc on the 3 FEC - don’t think they can be any worse on TAX (famous last words).

As an aside, and an upside, am getting SERIOUSLY hit on by a good-looking father at the school gates! Never having felt less attractive, this is a real tonic and doing me the world of good. If only they could prescribe it at the chemo unit!!

2 days to go - will let you know how the TAX goes.

hiya Helen
Im back in the land of living - wasnt pleasant and suffered with lots of bone pain even in the neck and head and horrid dried up taste in mouth but a week nearly in and starting to feel much better. and oh my god, Im sooooo jeleous of you getting hit on at school gates - think need some of that.

Good luck with the tax - no scikness and found it better than fec I think