Chemo JAN 2017

Hi. I’m a first timer to the forum. I’m due to start my FEC T treatment on 5 Jan with herceptin, followed by radiotherapy and then tamoxifen.  I’ve already had surgery - lumpectomy, further wide local excision and full node clearance.  I’m feeling very apprehensive about this next stage- I think it’s fear of the unknown! Has anyone else had a PICC line? If so, any tips/does/don’ts? Thank you. 

Hi all,

I am due to have a portacath fitted for chemo, although not until after the first FEC. Does anyone know why some people have a port and some have a PICC? I would like to carry on being as active as possible with Pilates and running where possible during chemo - does this sound doable with a port? Obviously I don’t know yet if this will be possible from a SE point of view though, I guess only time will tell.


Hi Slowski,
I had a port fitted on Dec 23rd under local anaesthetic. It was done the same day that I had my first chemo. It felt strange for a couple of days (where the tube goes over the collarbone) but is basically healed now and I can’t feel a thing - just a hard lump under the skin. I can take the dressings off on Monday and have been told I can do everything as normal - pick up my 3 year old daughter, go swimming (although I might avoid that for the germs!), etc.
It’s basically self-contained! It was super easy to get the first round of chemo in and for them to take my blood - much quicker than through my hand.
I would def recommend if you get a choice. My oncologist rated it and said it would make the next 6 months slightly easier which I’m all for.
I’m having my surgery after chemo at which point they will remove the port in the same op.
I hope that helps. Good luck xxx

Hi all. 


Alison you’re right that there’s lots of variation. I think it’s partly because even those of us who are HER+ will be either ER+ (you, I think if I’ve remembered right) or ER- (me, and I think Scotty too). That makes a difference. 


Anyway I thought I’d let you know I’ve had Chemo 1 and I’m back home. 


Mostly fine. When we got there it was a bit of a mess. They’d cancelled my appointment, even though they only made it on Thursday, when they cancelled my Friday appointment. I wasn’t very impressed and had to talk to a manager. After a slightly worrying 40 minutes they confirmed they could do it today. It was difficult to get a cannula in, took two goes and hurt more than usual. But I’m having a PICC line done before the next one, so not a problem. Interestingly, given previous posts, they didn’t offer this. I said I wanted one and they agreed straight away though, so definitely worth asking. 


The rest was drama free. I had EC and I’m not cold-capping, so I was out in less than two hours. I have a bit of a headache but not so bad that I’d take a paracetamol. I came home on the tube, my husband came to bag carry but I didn’t want him around for the actual chemo. 


One tip. I was a bit worried because I fainted when they injected me for the MRI. No idea why, I’m not squeamish at all, although again she had to have two goes at getting it in. Anyway I know that if I’m feeling lightheaded a cold flannel helps. So this morning I put a clean wet flannel in a plastic bag with half a dozen ice cubes and sealed it. This was great as it stayed cold. I didn’t feel faint but it was nice to know it was there and I held the bag against my forehead when the headache kicked in. Didn’t need to take it out of the plastic bag, it was just nice to have something cold to hand. 


Hope everyone else’s treatments go well. Sorry, no name checks for who/ when as I’m practicing lying on the sofa looking delicate, so doing this on my phone which makes looking back a bit awkward.


Takes care everyone





Well done on getting chemo 1 under your belt. Hope you have minimal SEs over the next few days.

Take care,


Hi Ali. Replied to you on the other thread. Yes I’m part of the ER- and Her2+ gang. We are an exclusive yet welcoming club!!

Ha, obviously I’d normally be delighted to be a member of an exclusive club. I almost joined Soho House, but came to my senses when I remembered how expensive it is and how not cool I am. Anyway, glad I got it right,


Thanks, Slowski

Ali x

Thanks, Alison


Good to know Ali, I start FEC-T tomorrow!
Am trying to keep calm and busy. I had a portacath in on 23rd and am still very bruised so am not looking forward to the needle going in. I may ask for local anaesthetic cream - don’t want to appear a wimp.Must say portacath was not a pleasant experience, others I have spoken to seem to think it was OK and a friend of mine was hardly marked. Mind you it didn’t start off well when the ODA asked me if I wanted my head end up a bit on the trolley in theatre. He then promptly tipped my foot end down to the floor! I only stopped myself sliding off the trolley into an ungainly heap by clutching the sides for dear life lol! Things went downhill from there!
Wishing everyone starting or continuing treatment tenacity courage and patience and as few side effects as possible. Good luck everyone and Happy New Year!

Good luck tomorrow Mooney. I’m a few days behind you, due to start on Thursday and we both seem to be gripped by the anxiety monster! Deep breath and small steps has become my new mantra. Be thinking of you. Scotty x

You too Scotty. i’m just thinking of everything I have already gone through, like everyone else. We are stronger than we think we are. So am feeling brave this evening. Tomorrow will be a different proposition! ?

Good luck Scotty and Mooney - I am a few days behind you both, due to start next Tuesday so got the week and weekend to stew still! I am due to have a portacath fitted before the second cycle. Keep strong ladies,

Slowski X

Thanks SlowskI
My friend had portacath fitted a few months ago. She said it was fine, didn’t feel a thing. The worst thing that happened was that she left her coat in the restaurant and her OH had to turn the car round and go back for it. She wasn’t even bruised. We are strong!
Hugs. x

Hi from the September starters!  I am about to start the last T cycle tomorrow!  Never thought I would be able to say that!


The PICC line is a really great solution to having uncooperative veins like me.  It has made life much easier for me.  It is a wee bit uncomfortable at times but if I adjust the bandage it is ok.  Ask for it everyone you will see what I mean.  A nurse visits me every Friday to change the dressing and she is full of advice and chat which is great.


Good luck to you all.  It will not be easy and nausea has been a big problem for me.  Ask for stronger medication if you are suffering.  Listen to your body.  Rest.  Rest.  Rest.  Put the electric blanket on and get in!!  Then go for a short walk - you will feel better:)


I found this forum a godsend and the info invaluable from the ladies in the same boat as me.  I went to my local MacMillan centre for pilates and yoga and chats (next door to the chemo unit).  That was such a comfort to talk to others about our journeys and they were great crack.


I hope I am reassuring you a little bit:)

Aine X

Thank you blue ash. I had already got a limbo shower cover, the picc line covers look good too - thanks for the advice.

PICC line being fitted today.  Feeling a bit panicky this morning!  Good luck everyone. 

Good luck Scotty and Esther. And everyone else who’s got stuff going on.

Day after chemo and I feel fine. A slightly muzzy head, but no nausea or aches.

Ali x

Hi Scotty
Am interested in your prescribed calming pill. Definitely need something, am anxious today, trying to get it under control but I know from previous experience it sends my pulse and BP up, and am worried they won’t do chemo
if too high!!! What do you take, and did your onc prescribe or GP. Tried breathing excercise -works a little whilst I am doing it.
Hugs x

Hiya Mooney. It’s LORAZEPAM - taken before you got to bed and a few hours before procedure. It doesn’t knock you out and the effects vary from person to person. I was hoping to feel spaced out but didn’t get that but I was noticeably calmer. I asked for it at pre-chemo meeting and it seems to be a normal thing. They’ll give it to me before chemo if I want it. I do the breathing exercises I learnt through CBT but, as you know, it is very difficult when you are that anxious!! Just ask and see what is available for you. Not sure how this is going to go but I am determined to not let the trauma of the past affect the health and happiness of my future. I just hope I can do it x