Chemo - 6 x TAC

Hi there

I am due to start Chemo in the next couple of weeks and have been told that I will be having 6 cycles of TAC.

I will be having another appointment with my oncologist before I start but I have a few questions now and was wondering if anybody could help.

I am aware that this is a combination of 3 different drugs and that it is the strongest I can have. I have also been told that I will lose my hair. I have always known that it would be a possibility but now that I know it will happen, I can prepare myself more for it.

Has anybody had this combination of Chemo and if you have could you please give me some pointers as to what I can possibly expect. I understand that we are all different, and our bodies can react differently but some knowledge is better than none.

I feel quite scared about it to be honest although trying to keep a brave face for all around me.

Your knowledge and help is greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks

Natalie xx

Hi Natalie ,
there are a couple of us on the December thread on TAC , it,s not very common but is supposed to be ’ the gold standard’ whatever that means. It seems more common in the west country for some reason. I was dx in November, had mx, and started TAC at end of December. I won,t lie, it,s been tough, I,ve just had round 5 so am getting there, but feel increasingly exhausted. I have a five year old which probably doesn,t help. I started to loose my hair about day 15 of round one, it was long and I cut it to about an inch all over, then shaved it to grade one, and finally shaved it completely after round 2, still have eyebrows, though no lower leg hair, arm pit hair ( hurray) or lady garden hair. My periods stopped after round 2 . I have felt terribly nauseous, throughout, but I,m quite unlucky in this I think, most people pick up after about 10 days and have a good week before the next one. The worst thing has been losing my sense of taste, everything tastes odd, overly sweet or slightly bitter. I find I tend to spend days 2 and 3 in bed then gradually get back to some sort of normal, though I feel very light headed for the first week and tend to need to sit down a lot. I also get terribly depressed and weepy about days 9 and 10 but I think this is quite common. The only advice I can give is be kind to yourself, don,t expect too much and except help if you have any. I was a real control freak about housework etc before but have had to learn to let go a bit, rest as much as possible , it does make things easier.,
Hope it all goes well for you, message me if you want too
Kind thoughts ,
Herbi x

Hi Natalie

First of all good luck with the TAC. There are several people on here who have had TAC. I was supposed to have 6 but only ended up having 3, and then 3 FEC after. Weme (Nov thread) and Herbidacious (Dec thread) have both had TAC too, and I think there may be a few others.

It’s really difficult to give pointers as everyone is so different! I found it quite hard (hence changing to FEC), but Weme managed to work through most of her treatments. Personally, the sickness wasn’t as bad on TAC as on FEC. They give you loads of steroids to counteract most of the side effects when they actually give you the treatment. The steroids can disturb your sleep patterns, so while you’re on them it might be an idea to decamp to the spare room (if you have an OH sharing your bed!) After about 4 days you tend to get heartburn, your mouth feels burnt etc etc. Generally the side effects are pretty much like the Tax you have seen described on here. Hoepfully you’ll have a week or so of feeling pretty pants, and thereafter a slow improvement. You should be given injections to help prevent neutropaenia, generally day 3-10. Take my advice and take 2 paracetamol just before the injection which helps the bone ache you can get from them (check your temp is normal first) Some ladies also find their nails go horrible and can fall out, and some ladies get a lot of bone pain.

Phew!! Can’t think of anything else off hand but if you want any more info by all means pm me.

Make sure you read the “top tips” thread - this should help. S

Also there is a fact sheet on the Macmillan website about TAC side effects.

Your hair will start coming out about 2 weeks after the first treatment. A lot of ladies shave when it starts to come out, but not all.

At the treatment session itself, they tend to give you the A (adriamycin) by injection into your canula, two large syringes and then a 15 min drip bag of C (Cyclophosphamide), then an hour bag of Docetaxol (Taxotere), so the session is usually about 2 hours.

Whereabouts are you having your treatment, Natalie? I just wonder as Weme and I are both at Cheltenham, they seem to be quite keen on it there. Also I know three other ladies (not on the forum) who have had TAC there.

I’ll be honest, it is scary before you start, the side effects can be quite horrible, but it is doable, and better than the alternative, we just have to grit our teeth and get through it! Oh, and make sure to drink loads - you won’t feel like it, even water will taste horrible but make yourself!

Wishing you the best of luck - when do you start?

Teresa x

I see herbi and I posted the same time! Oh and herbi, you’re doing great, girl :slight_smile: Not too long to go now…

Thank you Herbi and Teresa for responding so quickly, both your threads were really helpful.

Teresa I am based in Braintree, Essex and I will be undergoing my treatment at the Springfield Hospital in Chelmsford, Essex. I am due to start in the next couple of weeks but am waiting for the actual date to be confirmed.

I already have Weme as one of my contacts so if she doesn’t post on here, I shall send her a PM.

Thanks again

Natalie xx

Oh yes! I remember you had surgery recently too didn’t you? About the same time as Weme and I. How is the healing process? YOu had recon?

Hi Natalie
I was dx in october,had WLE & started chemo 6xTAC in jan.My SE,s have been manageable so far,alot of them similar to what Herbi has described & i,m due to have chemo no5 next weds.
It’s not nice but it’s doable.

I wish you the best of luck,hope you find as much support & information on these forums as i have through my journey so far.


Hi Natalie

I was on 6 x TAC and the symptoms are much as Teresa and Herbi describe. I was “working” during my treatment but I can’t say I did very much that was productive. I work in IT and am able to work from home, the first week after treatment was wiped out with feeling tired and not being able to concentrate, the second week was better but still had some problems with focusing on anything too complex and the third week was best where I was able to do some work that made sense! It was tough but doable. I had my last one six weeks ago and I still feel tired, though this could be to do with the op as well.

Good luck with the chemo, the end seems so at away at the beginning but time soon passes though not fast enough when you’re suffering the SEs. PM me if you want to talk more.


Hi Natalie

I too am in the 6 x TAC club. I had my second dose last week and can concur with the other ladies who’ve commented so far.

My hair started falling out on day 15 of the first cycle so I shaved it off and now I just have a small amount of soft down. Eyebrows and eyelashes still there at the moment but other body hair is patchy at best. I haven’t really felt nauseous but have suffered a bit with heart-burn/indigestion and have been a bit constipated for a few days each time, which I think is down to the anti-emetics rather than the chemo itself. I try to stay well hydrated to ease the symptoms a bit but it is difficult finding fluids that are palateable (my taste-buds have been shot to pieces).

The lack of concentration and general disorientation can be a bit distressing but I find it doesn’t last too long and just rest as much as I can when I feel like that.

Like Weme I’m trying to work when I feel up to it, but cannot really say I’m very productive.

It’s tough but be positive and listen to your body - only do what you can manage and make use of any help offered/available.

Good luck

Emma x