Anyone starting Taxotere soon?

Hi All
I’m a newbie here I have had 4 lots of FEC and am having 4 lots of Tax first one on 20th February. I would love to have a chemo buddy to chat to. I feel quite alone as I don’t know anyone else going through breast cancer treatment. I did join a local support group which is for newly diagnosed women ( I was dx 16 Oct 2008) the group was supportive but all the women had finished their treatment and all knew each other so well I felt very much an outsider.


Hi PP. Although am slightly behind you,I was diagnosed 10th Oct 2008. Ist Fec over 2nd Fec Monday. Have to have 3 x fec 3 x tax. I would be interested to know how you get on with Tax. Have heard quiet a few horror stories yet my onc reckons fec worse than tax. How were you with Fec? I was very sick 1st week but managed to get some better pills and feel great today, but dreading Monday again. Good luck with the tax, and please dont feel alone, there are plenty of us on here who will give you support… Let us know how you get on. xx

Hi Yogibear
I was okay with the FEC it was nowhere near as bad as I expected. I felt a bit queasy first couple of days and tired for a few days and the roof of my mouth feels leathery but other than that fine!! I do remember I felt the worst the first time regarding feeling sick hopefully you will be the same and not feel so bad with the 2nd lot.
I have read on here stories about TAX and I must admit I am worried about it. Let me know how you get on Monday


Hi Ladies…

Just to say I have just finished 3 x FEC100 and 3 x TAX. I have to tell you TAX is not as bad as it has been made out to be. If you want my tips, ask for extra dexa (it will help with the SE’s) and stock up on ibuprofen and paracetemol incase you get achey.

I was scared of TAX but have to say it was better than FEC. I had my last one just over a week ago, and am just recovering the final set of SE’S. It has been an emotional ride, and one I hope never to repeat, but it hasn’t been as bad as I imagined it to be. I used the cold cap and still have decent(uih) hair too.

Stay strong and go with the ride…you will surprise yourselves.

Good luck

Hi Pheebster, Glad I came across your thread. I’ve had 3xFEC and start 3xTAX in a couple of weeks and all that I’d heard had made me feel really scared and aprehensive about the TAX. It’s good to know that it’s not all doom and gloom, my onc says everyone reacts differently and to keep an open mind which I try to do. Anuhow, it’s just great that you’ve posted something positive for people to see, it’s helped me anyhow. I’ve found FEC quite tiring, mouth problems and bit of nausea, but manageable. My onc says it’s all do-able and they give loads of meds to help with any SE so hopefully it’ll go okay. Congratulations on completing your chemo, it must be a relief, I’m just focusing on April when I should finish mine. Thanks again and all the best, Pat x

Hi Pat…

You may be pleasantly surprised on the nausea aspect of TAX. I only took my anti-sickness on my first dose (the constipation was unbearable), so for TAX 2 and 3 I didn’t bother…I was fine.

I found the main SE’s were slight cycstis (excuse the spelling) on TAX 1 which I got round with loads of cranberry drink, constant runny nose from #2 and this time round, on #3 my eyes are very sore and watery. I would ask your onc for eye drops in advance and use if/when your eyes become itchy. You will also find you lose your taste for up to 10 days after your chemo…that is probably the worst part of it all, but it does return to normal by about the end of the 2nd week.

I hope this hasn’t put you off at all…they really are quite mundane things when put into context. Let me know how you get on, and thank you for your well wishes.

Hi all and thanks for the reassurance!
I know it affects everyone differently but its good to know that it may not be as bad as my over imaginative brain is thinking. x

Hi Pheebster,
It’s good to read about your experience with TAX it’s made me feel better and hopefully my experience with it might be similar to yours!
I found the FEC was not as bad as I expected I think it’s more the anticipation of the unknown!


Hi Pat
You must be starting TAX around the same time as me ?- my first lot is on 20 February. I found the FEC do-able and hopefully we will all find this to be the case with the TAX. Good luck


Hi all

Think I’ve just stumbled across this conversation!

I think our reactions to chemotherapy are as individual as we are and we should remember that it’s the most common side effects that get talked about by oncs, etc. A lucky few sail through chemo with little or no problems, some are very unwell indeed, most of us are somewhere in the middle.

From my own experience and reading other posts on here, I think that side effects of Taxotere tend to be cumulative, so that the more doses you have, the worse you tend to feel - and be.

I didn’t really have big problems with fluid retention and chronic fatigue until Taxotere No 4 (I had 6 Taxotere recently), so if you are only having 3 you may well find you aren’t too bad. At one time, they increased and changed my steroids, but I just felt worse and swelled more and they put me back on the original dose of Dexamethasone. And if I could have managed without that, I think I would have done. It’s a very powerful drug, too, with it’s own very nasty side-effects.

By contrast, I had 6 FEC a few years ago and although the first one made me feel pretty ill, it was the worst and by the time the last one was given, I barely noticed anything.

I think it’s a good idea to remember that although you will be given a dose that is tailor made for your height and weight, they can actually reduce it a little if it proves too much for you.

And it’s a bit like banging your head against a brick wall; it’s lovely when it stops.



Hi. I started chemo last Wednesday (on world cancer day, Feb 4) and still not feeling great. I am on a different chemo treatment, a combo known as AC (one of them known as the red devil as it is bright red and you lose all your hair on it). I am due to lose all my hair by the end of this week.
I am trying to get used to the symptoms/side-effects of chemo. Have a horrible metallic taste in my mouth which is worse after eating and which I think, not 100% sure, also makes me feel nauseous. I also get tired. Took two days off work for the chemo (the day of treatment and the next) and then went back the following day and really, really battled. I have waves of nausea and waves of headaches but when I am at work, it is worse. Went to work again today but the workload was not so bad as it is the beginning of the week, plus it’s an office where most people don’t work on Mondays, so the pressure was off and it was ok but did feel tired at one point.
I have a blog which I just started to record and share my experiences. gillian-fromundermyhat/blogspot

Hello Ladies’
Can I Join in? Finished my last of 3 x FEC and start 1st of 3 X TAX on Monday 16th Feb. Am absolutely terrified after reading all the nasties and so don’t want to do it but know that i must! Still feeling really ropey after my last FEC and really can’t bear the thought of another hit of anything in less than a week! Am hoping against hope that because I haven’t been too well on FEC that I may be a bit better on TAX, maybe just wishful thinking but have to hang onto something! My eyebrows and eyelashes have hung on fine thru FEC so am just dreading shedding those now with TAX as well as th nails if they go! went out and bought balck nail polish the other day, so lets wait and see! Good luck to everyone!

I’ve done 4 Taxotere and although the first one was awful, each subsequent one has been much easier. I take Co-codamol for the aches (usually my knees), Lanzoprazole for the heartburn and pineapple juice for the taste/mouth thing. I have 2 days of feeling like a zombie because of the fatigue but so long as you treat the side effects as soon as they start, it is very do-able. You just need to put your feet up for a few days and rest. The worst thing is watching daytime tv - now that’s torture!

Good luck


Hi Jo
you start your first TAX just before me - my first one of 4 is on 20 February I too still have eyebrows and lashes after 4 fec but am expecting them to go with the TAX. I am going to one of the Look Good, Feel Better workshops in a couple of weeks so hopefully will learn about drawing in eyebrows!!

What does the dark nail varnish do?

Good luck, hope it will be better than we all anticipate!


Hi Linda
that is what I wondered if the first one of TAX would be the worst as I found the first one of the FEC was the worst also. Glad you found it do-able.


Apparently the black nail polish stops the sunlight getting to them and therefore protects them from lifting or spliting??? Also, other people have mentioned almond oil to rub into nails to, this may also save them???

When do th symptons of TAX tend to kick in then? I read somewhere, it would be exactly a week after? I really hope it’s not th next day as I’ve got my look good feel better workshop the day after my first TAX and really don’t want to miss that otherwise I won’t know where to draw my eyebrows when they leave me!!! I’ve been waiting months to get on it and th next available one at my local hospital is not until April!!
Jo X

I can only comment from my own personal experience, but my SE’s kicked in around day 7/8 and passed within about 3 days. Co-dydramol is good for aches but made me dozy but is far more effective than paracetemol or ibuprofen. i am also on omeprazole for heartburn (which is the same as lansoprazole)

I also painted my nails dark plum or red. One of my nails has lifted from the base…but there is a new one underneath.

My 3rd FEc was awful…TAX was a pleasure to be honest. However my 3rd and final TAX has been hardest and SE’s have been present from about day 3 up until now (day 13)…I presume it is the build up of toxins in the system but as it is the final cycle, it is quite bearable. I have also had gcsf jabs every cycle since FEC 2 and they have taken their toll this time round, making me quite achey.

I was petrified of TAX as i said before, but please keep and open mind…we are all different, so steam in with a positive mind.

I wish you well ladies

Thank you so much Pheebster, you’ve given me hope! one more thing though, do you find you ate as much on TAX as on FEC, I/ve put on so much weight and have now started doing weightwatchers again, coz the weight thing is really depressing me a lot. I know it’s all steroid related and I’m gonna see how first TAX goes but am considering speaking to ONC about not taking steroids for the 2nd one, as those in themselves i think make me feel worse!
JO x

Hi all, yes, I am quite anxious about next Thursday but after reading this thread, I really do feel reassured. Jo, good luck for Monday and I look forward to your comments on here and PP, you have yours the day after me so we’ll all be in the same boat, and it is so true that the response to chemo is such an individual thing, we all react differently and just because there are awful stories doesn’t mean that’s the norm. Anticipation is usually far worse than the actual event, she says hopefully! Hope everyone is well, and we’ll get through this and come out the other side, I tick each one off and cannot wait to tick the last one off at beg of April, all being well. Take care, love and hugs, Pat x

Thank you Pheebster I will keep an open mind about the TAX!! wish there was something I could do about the blood count - have had 2 of 4 chemos delayed but they have not offered me injections to boost the white blood count.

Jo like you my look good feel better workshop is 4 days after my first tax I really don’t want to miss it either as I am looking forward to it. I will go and buy some dark nail varnish tomorrow and some almond oil!
Am I unusual as I have lost weight while on FEC?!!