Are the chemo effects cummulative?

I am just looking for a bit of advice and reassurance, really.
I am on a strange mixture of Epirubicin, Carboplatinum and continuous FU, as I am an almost triple negative (Pr very slightluy positive) and a heredetary cancer (BRCA1 mutation). I know that not many of you out there are on this cocktail, but I think any one who has had a few cources of Epirubicin could possible advice.
I just had my third chemo 6 days ago and I still can not get over it, while after the first two I was more or less OK -ish by day 5. Tgis third one had hit me really hard - I barely felt human, I am very depressed and had a couple of tearful / hysterical breakdowns (I don;t normally do this sort of thing).
I am just terrified that the chemo effects are cummulative and that my next 3 will be getting progressively worse. I have heard some people say that it will take me longer each time to get over every consecutive chemo.
Also doctor has put me on 5 injections of granucites (it suppose to increase the number of white blood cells I make) to ensure that my fourth course of chemo could be done on schedule, as my blood results barely passed for me to have the third one on time.
Help! I feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel at the moment and it really gets me down.
Irina.

Yes it can be cumulative but everyone is different.I was more or less ok on FEC but tax knocked me for 6 and each one drove me deeper into misery.I had Neulasta but still ended up in hos with neutropenia after final tax.BUT there is light at the end,it passes and you come out of it knowing you’ve zapped as many as possible.However,if it gets too bad they can reduce the dose without really compromising the treatment so do tell the chemo team.Its not too long it is doable,believe me if I can anyone can!Take care honey,love horacexx

Dear Horace,
Thank you for your kind words and support-really means a lot. I will just have to hope for the best and ask about the dose reduction next time. My oncologyst is really good, but quite tough and straightforward-so I am sure he will tell me if it is possible in my case.
Thank you again.
Take care
Irina.

hi irina
i had 3 x fec and 3x tax. for me the fec was ok, the 1st tax was really awful but the 2nd and 3rd were not so bad. so, whilst i think the tiredness was cumulative (but lifted soon after it all finished) for me the other side effects were not. i think many people find that the 3rd or 4th treatment is the worst.
i really hope you find that you are over the worst. try and do something nice for yourself on a very regular basis!
all the best
jo

Hi Irina

FEC 1 was not too bad at all
FEC 2 was awful in the first week

On both of these week 2 was very good and then week 3 was harder

This time FEC 3 was the best so far. Much better during week 1, week 2 very good and week 3 is far better.

Like you I was scared as FEC 2 had been very difficult during the first week and was worried if it got worse i couldn;t cope - but it didn’t. Best thing to do is prepare yourself well for the treament - i drank loads the day before and ate little the day before too. Think that helped.

Good luck
FizBix

Hi Irina, I’ve only had one FEC but had chronic depression about 3 days later, lasted for 5 days. Constant weeping and could not get motivated to do anything. I’ve seen the onc today and he thought the steroids might be to blame in that I had 3 days of them then a sudden stop. Next time I am going to taper them off more gently, I wonder if this might be of some interest to you and help you. I really feel for you, as it was awful, had never felt so low in my life. Good luck.

Liz x

Thank you ever so much everybody!
It really gives me hope - to know that there could be a ‘‘better chemo experience’’ (there is no such thing as a good chemo experience, I think) after a really bad one!. I am hoping that it would get better with every day, but so far - day 7 and I am still very low in spirits and energy -maybe it is this windy weather to blame too. My hubby has had a chest infection and a cold all this week and maybe my worry of me getting it from him and not being able to fight it off when I do depresses me as well. Tryed to keep well away from him for 2 days, but it does not really work when you live together and have a 4,5 year old son… Well, I keep praying and hope for the best.

Thank you again!
Best Regards
Irina.

Hi Irina,

Just found your thread, sorry to hear you’re having a tough time. I have done 4 x Fec and 3 x Tax with one to go next week and I would say that every treatment has had slightly different side effects and degrees of them, but the fatigue has been cumulative. After every treatment I’ve somehow been suprised by how tired and run down I’ve felt and have tried to carry on doing everything as normal. After last one, finally admitted I need to take things easy, rest more, sleep more, ask for help more.

I think it’s easy to put pressure on yourself to carry on as normal, put on a brave face, be strong etc etc but even though it’s all do-able, it’s hard too and you have to give yourself a break (mentally as well as physically!).

Hope your next treatment goes smoothly and your side effects ease off a bit, definitely worth talking to your onc about (I always go with a list of things to ask/tell mine) and keep telling yourself ‘short term sacrifice for long term gain’ - my last chemo is due next Thurs and for me at times it has seemed like a long slog, but it does pass and when you get to the end of chemo you’ll know you’ve done everything you can to look after yourself.

Big hugs going out to you,

Louisa xxx

Hi, Ladies
I had such a rough time after chemo 3 that could not open the forums. Had my chronic ulcerative colitis flare up due to the chemo-so they disconnected my Flurouracil from ne for one week-I have perked up within 2 days and now feel human again.Your replies make me feel very hopefull and I will not now expect ‘‘the all the way downhill from now on’’-may be chemo 4 or 5 would not be as bad as 3… So 3 down-3 to go!
Thank you for your support! Really appreciated.
Take care
Irina.