Chemo JAN 2017

I’m starting my 12 sessions chemo Taxol & herceptin after a double MX - onc advised this chemo is kinder & will try & cool cap - has anyone done this please & kept their hair?
Thank you star xx

Hi Star,
I’m afraid I can’t help with your question but am due to start my chemo tomorrow so just wanted to say hi and that I’m here if you need a chat at any time :slight_smile:
I’ve not had my mastectomy yet, I was meant to be having one next wk but the docs were worried and decided to get me in ASAP so having had much time to register…
I’m having FEC-T which I think is different to you (I’m HER2 neg) but will also try the cold cap so will let you know how I get on. I’ve got long thick hair at the mo and haven’t had time to get it cut short as only found out about the chemo on Weds! ? Have you cut yours yet? No idea what to take with me tomorrow either…
Good luck and I’ll be thinking of you in Jan! Xxx

Hi Star and Wtp. I’m from the Jan 2016 starters - so tjis time last year I was on this forum like you desperately trying to grasp any bits of information to help me through it all!! And one year later I can honestly say, the support and advice I got in here was the best ever and definitely helped me get through it all. Today I’m sat having breakfast in bed through choice feeling fit and healthy with a full head of newly styled dyed hair, feeling like my old self :slight_smile:
I didn’t cold cap - my hair was pretty rubbish before anyway and I can’t bear the cold!! But I do know those who did felt it was so worth it and kept most of their hair. I think the biggest advantage was at the end when it starts to grow back again, the transition back to normality is quicker. I’m sure someone will be along to advise you but if not - drop into our thread and ask the question - we are still in touch on here with each other from time to time ?
I want to wish you both the very best of luck - it’s tough, but you’ll be amazed at how strong you can actually be and what you can put up with!
I’m always full of advise, but I’d say drink as much water as you can and go for short daily walks whenever you feel up to it.
I hope Christmas is peaceful and as stress free as possible!
Love from Kim xxx

Thinking of you lots of good luck with your chemo - stay positive - sometimes it’s better not to have so much thinking time - I have thick shoulder length hair - I was told just to take layers if you get cold - please let me know if you are able to would love to hear from you at any time ?? star

Thanks so much everyone for the advice and kind words!
I went in for round one yesterday and one of the ladies who was finishing yesterday had managed to keep all her hair too (well, most of it) through cold cap so I thought I might as well try!
The first 10 mins were the def the worst - esp when the nurse said it was going to get colder! But after a while I forgot it to be honest, watched something mind numbing (haha) on the tv and found the most irritating thing was the very tight chip strap - it dug into my through a bit which made me feel a bit sick.
Nurse said to bring: conditioner (they put it on your head to prevent the cap freezing on) - and an aliceband as it protects your forehead and eyes from getting too cold (brain freeze!).
They put a rolled up towel around my neck to support it as the hat is heavy. It needs to be on for at least 3 hours (I had the Paxman hat) so does mean the whole session is longer as only took an hour to get the drugs in.
I’m actually having EC-T and not FEC (they’ve dropped the F part). I had a port fitted in the morning under local anaesthetic (very easy op, nothing to be scared of but if they offer a pill to help “take the edge off” - go for it!). Then first chemo a couple of hours later.
We’re private as it is covered by my husbands work so I’m not sure how many of the anti sickness drugs are the same vs NHS but I’ve felt absolutely fine!
I think (and might have this wrong) that you get extra anti-sickness from day one on private but I could easily have that wrong.
They told me the steroids might keep me energictic for the first few days then tiredness might hit.
Passed out asleep by 9:30pm but I think that was just a result of a big day :slight_smile:
So I’m really enjoying every minute before any unwanted side effects but so far so good and glad to finally be doing something to zap these cells!!
Good luck Star - let us know how it goes!
Kim - thanks for your encouraging message and fantastic to be a year on and feeling like yourself again - it must have been a tough year and awesome to come out fit and healthy! :slight_smile:
Blueash - great news about your hair - thanks for the advice on cold cap and the toppers! Well done on getting through it - must have been such a rollercoaster!
Us women are so strong!!
Happy Xmas xxxx

Hi all,

so great star, that you have already started the January thread - so many are likely to start.

Here are some tips and links for you and those who will be joining the thread in preparation for chemo.

It covers all sorts of areas - and is general, rather than specific to individual chemo treatments.

I hope it is of some help…

Please do not be too worried - you will all get through this. For some it may be harder than others, as side effects tend to differ from person to person, even if on the same regime. Sharing your experiences will help others, even if you never see them posting. It is also a great place to share your frustrations, ask questions, laugh, cry, rant and rave. I finished my chemotherapy and radiotherapy on 26th October 2016 and shall be ‘lurking’ to support you , where it may be relevant. 

Any side effects you do get please note them down for your treatment team. If they become too challenging and you advise them accordingly, they usually tend to adjust the accomanying medication to make your journey easier. Most side effects experienced in the first cycle are likely to be the same throughout, as long as you are on the same regime.

Here are some helpful links for you to prepare and support you.

Chemo preparation -…

If you do not have a PICC or similar port installed and you are on FEC throughout - you may wish to ask for one to be installed. FEC is quite tough on your veins. This thread may be of help though for all of you -…

And this one covers everything from food to make up and wigs - you may have to explore in more depth to find something specific you are looking for -…

Good morning lovely ladies. I hope you all had as good a Christmas as possible. I am due to start Chemo on 3rd January. FEC X3 TX3. Had my portocath (under LA and the Consultant was observing and teaching the Registrar-note to surgeons although us patients are buried under acres of blue sterile drapes we can still hear!) fitted on 23rd. That was an experience, black and blue, and sore especially with boisterous grandchildren around, but they are a joy. Is anyone starting at the beginning of January. Just want to keep in touch to share and support each. Already learnt a lot from these threads thanks to Sue for the excellant hints. Am nervous and apprehensive about the chemo. Has anyone any hints on combating anxiety and nerves.Before both surgeries I was tachycardic and my BP was very high through anxiety. I really want to avoid that if I can!!

Morning all
Thanks Sue and Blueash for the very helpful advice. Hope all is well with you both, good to catch up with you again Sue. Always enjoy a little therapeutic shopping, though not sure I wanted such an excuse to go out and shop! I am going to try and practice the breathing. Tried something similar during insertion of my portocath and diastolic still went up to 110! Hopefully practice and happy place may work. Another question about Taxol and joint pain. I have heard Clarityn may help sure I read it on forum. Does anyone know anything about it. ? Love and hugs Mooneyxx

Is this the thread for January 2017 starters?  I was meant to be starting Dec 14th but got postponed and I’m starting January 4th.  I’ve been reading the December starters thread every day and finding it very helpful but I probably ‘belong’ on this one!  Although I’ll probably keep reading both.

Thanks Sue.  I forgot to click to get alerts so will do that now!  Hugs, R x

Hi guys,
Just wanted to give you a quick update which I hope will be reassuring although I know that chemo side effects vary from person to person.
I’m now onto day 5 and the worst I’ve had has been tiredness and what has felt like the start of a cold (shivery last night when trying to get to sleep) - which very possibly could just be a cold given the time of year and having spent Xmas with lots of children who all had colds :slight_smile:
I’ve been napping on and off today whilst catching up with Eastenders. I’m eating a lot as seem hungry most of the time which could just be me (I do like my food!) but was warned to watch it a bit as the carb cravings can pile on the pounds. I’ll start watching it in the new year - for now, one day at a time!
Anyway, just wanted to let you know in the hope that it might help. I’m still taking anti-sickness drugs 3 times a day. The docs said prevention was better than cure - I.e. Don’t wait until you feel sick to take them!
Good luck guys - we can do this!!! Xxx

Hi Truey Sue and Blueash
Thanks for confirmation about the Clarityn, at least I hadn’t dreamt it! I will check with my chemo team.
Hope all going well with you all, have a good New Year. I will let you know how my Hirst session goes next week. You have all been very reassuring so hope the nerves are reduced by your comments.
Love Mooneyx

Hi Robin J
I am starting on the 3rd Jan. So maybe we can hook up and support each other. I am on FEC-T. I have decided not to cold cap and have bought a wig already! One of those things, the hairdresser can always make it look better than I can lolxx
Love Mooneyx. X

Hi everyone, 


So I’m a January starter too, at 9.30 on Monday 2nd. I was going in tomorrow, but they bumped me this evening, so I get to see in 2017 properly. I haven’t got a wig sorted yet, as it’s been a bit hectic from diagnosis to chemo, but I’m not too worried. (About the wig, I mean. I’m obviously worried about the cancer!)  I’m having neo-adjuvant chemo as I’m ER-/HER2+ grade 3. General consensus is that we should get chemo and Herceptin/Perjeta in ASAP. I’ll have 4 EC followed by 4 Docetaxel plus the targeted treatments. Then surgery/rads. I’d be really interested in talking to anyone else who’s HER2+ and starting chemo this month. But regardless of that, I really like the idea of a chemo peer group. 


My main concern is being able to meet work commitments over the next 6 months or so. I’m a small business owner, with a house husband. I’m being treated at Guy’s and they’re making very helpful noises about working with my schedule. So fingers crossed that works out. 



Welcome Ali. I’m HER2+ and starting chemo next week. I’ve already had my surgery though. Everyone’s journey seems to be different. But it’s good we can all support each other on here. Like you I’m self employed and hoping to carry on working but have no idea how that’s going to work out!

Hi star, I was due to start my second chemo session tomorrow but this has been postponed due to my bloods. I had my first TCH on the 9th Dec and I decided to Cold cap. It s uncomfortable for the first 10/15 minutes but bearable after that. I have not lost any hair so far whereby a lot of the ladies who started the same time as me have been shedding and have shaved their heads. I felt that I had nothing to lose and if it worked it was a bonus. Good luck to the January starters. xxx Alison

Thanks, Rosie. There’s some great (& reassuring) info there.


Hi, Alison and Robin, nice to meet you, as it were. Robin, I hadn’t heard that HER2 might have different side effects, I’ll look forward to finding out more in person. Alison, thanks for the heads up that you’re a bit ahead. It’ll be good to catch up and compare as we go through this. 


So since today was supposed to be my chemo 1, but isn’t,  I’m thinking of it as a bonus. I’m off to hit the shops and am then going to binge watch telly this afternoon.


Have a a good day all



Hi Ali, Robin, Alison et el,

I am starting chemo 10 Jan and am also HER2 positive as well as ER positive 8/8. I am a long time lurker since diagnosis early October and this is my first post - the day I was diagnosed a friend who had been through similar a few years ago said the process would be a roller coaster, and so it has been. Lets hope we can provide support for each other and those coming along behind. I am having FEC-T. I hope 2017 is more positive than 16 for all of us despite the challenging start.

Hi Alison. My treatment plan is FEC-T for six cycles to be followed by radiotherapy and letrazole for at least five years.

No I’ve decided not to cold cap. It makes the chemo take longer and I believe it doesn’t always prevent hair loss anyway. I have decided to do the whole wig and scarves thing. Hope it’s the right decision! How about you?