Chemo hasn't worked.

Hi there.

I’ve had 4 cycles of FEC and 1 out of 4 cycles of taxotere and over the last week my breast lump has grown considerably. Its been confirmed that the new growth does have cancerous cells and it’s been decided to bring my surgery forward. Is was having neojunctive (?) chemotherapy. I have my mastectomy with clearance in 4 days. Is there anyine out there who’s had a similar experience or whose treatment hasn’t quite worked out for them? My cancer is grade 3 stage 3 and I’m 28 and have 2 small children.

Thanks. Ax

Hi Annie,
just wanted to say sorry I can’t help you with this as in my day they got rid of lump before chemo. I am sure it wont be long before someone with similar experience is along to help.
Thinking of you.
Love Debsxxx

I know there are ladies on here for whom some chemos haven’t been successfull and have had there surgery brought forward. I’m sure they’ll be in touch
Wishing you well
L x

Hi, like you i am having the chemo to shrink the tumour before surgery. So far i have had 4 cycles of EC and a week on wednesday will be having the first of 4 docetaxel. My tumour is just short of 8cm and they had said it had got to 8cm, so it has maybe shrunk a little but they aint sure. i dont feel like it has gotten any bigger but then i have put weight on since starting chemo, so i do worry that if i have put weight on my boobs if will be harder to tell. The consultant said to me that the tumour doesnt feel as hard though and he thinks it has changed in texture. I must admit i do worry what will happen if the docetaxel doesnt stop it in its tracks and shrink it. I would be interested to hear what is planned for you following surgery.
best wishes with your treatment

Hello Annie,

I had a rare type of BC, IBC, for which neoadjuvant chemo is routinely given. I too had 4 rounds of FEC,with disappointing results, however I then went on to have 6 cycles of taxotere and this worked well for me.

Jackie x

What a gorgeous spaniel! She cheered me up. At the minute, I can’t imagine having anymore chemo. Just the thought of it brings back all those dreadful side effects. Jackie – how could you stand 6 taxotere?! Plan at the moment is to have surgery, (in 2 days which I’m now really frightened about), then to wait and see what comes back from histology.

My oncologists have recommended more chemo, but I feel like it just isn’t for me and I just want to go on with herceptin and tamoxifen. All my scans have been clear and I am showing no signs of spread.

Has anyone else said no to chemo, or even contemplated it?


p.s. Thanks ladies, so much for your support. This site is like my comfort blanket.

Annie, good luck with your surgery, I guess it must be difficult to feel positive about the chemo when it hasnt done much for you so far. My tumour is hormone negative so i think not having the chemo would be an option.
Mable you said the tax worked well for you? can you remember how soon you started to see results from it?? i am starting the 1st of 4 docetaxel a week on wednesday, really worried about the side effects but if it does the job i will be so happy.
take care

Hello again ladies,

My handsome spaniel is Harvey, we rescued him at 4 months, he’s now 2. Love him to bits!

Annie, tax side effects were different to FEC, ie no nausea.
I was originally due to have 4 cycles but tolerated it quite well, though the side effects did increase, I particularly remember the stiff achey joints, especially in the mornings. (Mind you I’m a bit like that on my herceptin and aromasin now!) Anyway due to this onc increased cycles to 6, I was pretty done in by then though.Oh and my hair started to grow back on tax :slight_smile:

I’ve been on other chemos since then, again, different side effects but no nausea. IBC is a bugger to treat, so aggressive,and after surgery I was dx with skin mets. Due to this I have to accept that I will always be on some kind of treatment and as I work I have to consider the SE’s.

Anna, I remember my onc was very pleased, quite quickly, especially with the swelling under my arm and by the end of 6 cycles he could not feel any swelling there at all :slight_smile:

Very, very best of luck with your surgery Annie, the waiting is the worst I promise. Let us know how you are doing.

Jackie xx

Hi Annie,

I have the same type of cancer as Jackie and had 3 x FEC and 3 Tax before surgery. My tumour was over 12cm and after an initial big reduction there seemed to be no change for most of the 6 months I was on chemo. The tumour was still measuring 7cm. My onc told me not to lose hope because the mass they were measuring could actually have no active cancer cells left in it. After surgery my pathology reports showed that the tumour had in fact reduced to 1.5cm so the chemotherapy did work after all. The rest of the 7cm mass was benign by the time it was removed.

I also dreaded going into hospital. I had my op on 25 September and it really wasn’t so terrible. I was in a dedicated cancer ward rather than general surgery and the staff could not have been better. Fingers crossed for you.


As someone who is constantly worrying that the tumour isnt shrinking it had not occurred to me that it doesnt mean the chemo isnt killing the cancer, thanks for sharing that.
take care

Annie, honey, I have just responded to PM from 18/9 and then picked this up. I’m so very sorry to hear about this complication, you must be worrying about the operation and dealing with all it brings with it.
If you’d like to chat, very happy to give you a call, PM me if that would be a help
I’m thinking of you
much love
Monica xxx