chemo start date 26th may

Hi there,

Im 30 years old with a grade 3 4cm breast tumor that is HER2 positive and slightly progesterone sensitive. I have been in a bit of a daze snce I found my lump the morning after my surprise 30th party (5 weeks ago) but starting to get my head around it now. I am due to start 6 rounds of chemo 3 FEC then 3 tax followed by roughly a years worth of herceptin (every 3 weeks)then tamoxifen. I will have surgery and possibly radiotherapy in there somewhere but not sure at what point.

I am feeling apprehensive aboout starting the treatment but have got myself a fab wig (look better than my hair!)and trying to be positive. I have been lucky to have a round of IVF and frozen embryos stored as becoming mum is very important to me. I think cancer sucks at any age but i would love to hear from any women who are in the same position who have not yet had kiddies or from anyone who has had a baby since coming through the other side.

Im one of those control freaks that had planned out my life and I feel unsure if my plan of moving house and having children will get back on track - I feel so unsure of my future although I know they are throwing all treatment options at me I would love to hear some positive stories.


Hi Nikki,

I am 39 years old with grade 3, 2.5cm breast tumour that is oestrogen receptor positive, I haven’t had my HER2 results back yet. I had a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy on 12th May. I was undergoing fertility treatment at the time of my diagnosis and because of being ER positive (level 8), my consultant and oncologist have advised against a cycle of IVF before my chemo starts in the next few weeks. I will had radiotherapy after the chemo and then I have been told that I will have to take Tamoxifen for at least 5 years. I am totally devastated about not being able to have the IVF.

You are indeed very lucky to have been able to have the IVF. Before I got BC, I ignorantly thought there was just one type to be honest! It’s not until you are submerged in it that you realise how much there is to take in and how your diagnosis affects all the varied treatments available and indeed you plans for the future.

I too am a bit of a control freak and though I am 9 years older than you (have been trying for baby for last couple of years), I too very much had my future mapped out.

We are the lucky ones though really - it sounds like your diagnosis was early, as was mine and that your prognosis is good, other folk aren’t as fotunate.

I would be grateful if you would stay in touch and give feedback reference your chemo. I have an appointment with my oncologist on 1st June and am pretty nervous.

Sorry my story isn’t exactly majorly positive, but I hope it helps that I am here cheering you on from the sidelines. Good luck for Thursday :slight_smile:


Thank you for your comment Louisa, That really sucks about the IVF. Does that mean you were unable to have any eggs removed? They will give you a zoladex injection throughout your chemo to shut your ovaries in hope the chemo doesnt affect them. I didnt realise how many different types there were but I guess hormonal BC if you want children makes it almost impossible. Saying that you are having women in their 50s having ivf and it working so who is to say that if you were closely monitored it cant happen. My understanding is tamoxifen at best should be used for 5 years however some is better than none and my oncologist said that some come off after 2-3 years or come off and try for a baby and go back on it. Treatment is changing all the time so make you highlight what is important to you clearly to the oncologist. You are able to get a second opinion if you are not happy with the treatment path they give you and make sure you get the right suppport.

Hi i was only 22 when diagnosed last oct. mine also was grade 3 and her2. Ihad a mastectomy in nov and now i have finished chemo 6 weeks ago and i have started my hercepin and tomoxifen. I was lucky with my side effects of chemo tiredness, aches, fuzzy head and heartburn were my worse ones. I went to a fertility clinic but because my cancer was 8/8 hormonal they couldnt really do much. They said because im so young there is a chance my periods will come back. so fingers crossed they will

Hi, I am popping in just to post a link to a very widely used website for fertility issues and IVF, where there is a section devoted to infertility through cancer. I hope you will find it useful.

Hi Nikki,
I hope today went as well as can be expected, sending a big hug your way :slight_smile:
Thanks for your reply, I have been feeling really low the start of this week and after talking with my BCN have decided that I need to get a list of questions together for my Oncologist next week. I was wondering that if I am still pre-menopausal after my chemo & radiotherapy, if they might let me put off the Herceptin (now confirmed HER2+) & Tamoxifen for a year and try IVF (ICSI) then? Or if I am post menopausal if we could look at egg donation perhaps.
I’m always the optimist me… well at least I flippin try to be!
Again, really hoping today went ok and you are feeling well.

Garelle - I will keep my fingers crossed for you. Age is definitely on your side and I wish you only the very best for the future. Big hugs go out to you too :slight_smile:

And thanks for the weblink Barbwill, I will jog on over there, as I’m sure will Nikki & Garelle.

Best wishes,

Hi all,

Thank you for your posts. Well Im one down…! Im feeling very swimmy headed and was sick last night but so far so good today. I managed to keep the cold cap on for 4 hours! its not too bad by the 4th hour! I couldnt concentrate on reading though or focus my eyes. It feels like a sensitive tooth does especially in your temples. Seeing other patients come and go made it quite difficult but proud of myself for sticking to it. The other ladies there and the nures said they couldnt tolorate it. Im just hoping it works!

Thankyou for the link - I will have a look. Keep in touch xx

Hi Nikki,

Sorry to hear that you have had to join the club as so to speak. I am 35yrs old and found out I had BC 1 week before my 35th birthday, my situation is slightly differnt to yours as I have had a baby but he was only 4 months when I found the lump.

I am 4 treatments into my chemo 3 x FEC & 3 X TAX plus Herceptin for a year so having the same treatment as yourself please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

I hope your 1st treatment isnt too harsh on you.

Take care
Beccy xx

Hi Nikki,

I’m 33 and have been married for 2 years. We have spent the past couple of years moving house and getting settled all ready to start trying for children this summer - and I was diagnosed with BC 6 days ago. Just a turmoil of emotions at the moment. Obviously, the worst is thinking about my own mortality, but mourning the probability that I wont have my own babies is also very difficult. If I make it through this, I can’t imagine a future without lots of (ideally my own!) children.

I can’t harvest any eggs as my BC is hormone positive.

I’ll add you as a contact and let’s keep in touch!



Hi All,
I am 31 yrs old and have 2 young children aged 4 and 10 months. I found my lump 4weeks ago and turned out to be stage 3 BC. I had a masectomy and reconstruction 2 weeks ago and am due to start chemo 8th June (3 X FEC, 3 X TAX).
Nikki - how did you cope having the chemo so far with a young baby as this is worrying me so much.
Anyone got any advice on how to explain to a 4 yr old about the hair loss I am going to have?
Good luck to everyone on here
Katie xx

Hi Katie,

My advice with the little during chemo is to have a much help from family and friends where possible. My baby was 4 months when I was diagnosed he is now 7 months I found the FEC very hard work and some days I had to go to bed for an hour or so so please except any help offered and be good to yourself you will need the rest. Most days havent been too bad it is doable (if this is a word) and you will probably find that the little one will drive and pull you through this crap time.

Im HER2 positive so having 3 x FEC 3 X TAX plus Herceptin I have had 4 chemo sessions so far 2 to go…

If I can help in anyway re questions on chemo or you would just like to chat please just shout.

Take care
Beccy xx

Hi Sandytoes,

Reference my earlier posting, I am not giving up easily on the family side of things. I have an appointment with an amazing Consultant at my local CRM, to talk about options after treatment.

I have 6 months, 8 cycles of E-CMF Chemo, radiotherapy, then 12 months IV Herceptin. My Oncologist seems fine for me to take a break between the end of the Herceptin and the five years of Tamoxifen in which to try and get pregnant. In fact he stated that women who have babies after treatment are less likely to have the BC re-occur, though stated that the Medical Profession doesn’t really understand why this is.

There is a very new process called IVM, where eggs can be harvested without hormonal stimulation, however it is in very early stages of testing/development. This would obviously be ideal for women that are pre-menopausal but with hormonal receptive cancer, that want a familiy. I have made the appointment with the specialist and if he says that this process is not for me, then at least I know. There has only been about 400 babies born worldwide using this process, so chances are slim, but at least there may be a chance.

I am older than you, so at more danger of being menopausal at the end of my treatment, but if you really want a family it is worth exploring all options.

Also, is there anyone else in their 30’s having E-CMF rather than FEC?

I had my first cycle last Weds, feel ok, bit tired and my daily injections make my legs ache! Other than that, the main discomfort for me is the change in my taste - everything is so bland, I have to remember to eat, which being a real foody is getting me down.

I hope you are all well :slight_smile:

Hugs & best wishes,

Hi Louisa,

That’s interesting. I went to see a fertility expert and he didn’t mention that. He did say I could freeze slivers of my ovaries - but there wasn’t time.

So, can you start that procedure even though you’ve started chemo?


Hi Sandytoes,

I’m not sure of the exact science behind the IVM as yet, my appointment is on 30th June, so I will know more then. It does depend on whether you are still pre-menopausal once the chemo has ended and I’m not sure if they would be keen to gather eggs when you’re being zapped with toxins every few weeks!

I am hoping that I will still be pre-monopausal at the end of chemo, thogh I would imagine you have more chance than me, being so much younger :slight_smile: though I know different types of chemo effect everybody differently. For a control freak, this whole BC thing is a real b***h!!

I didn’t know about the slivers of the ovaries freezing, so it just goes to show, these folk all operate off different crib sheets.

Hope you are well - will keep you posted :slight_smile:


Hi Louisa, thank you for mentioning IVM, Id be interested to know what the specialist say about it. I was diagnosed in March 2011 at the age of 29, so fertility is an issue for me too. i had a consultation prior to chemo re fertility and was only told about ovarian cryopreservation and IVF. He said to not to delay my treatment, so Ill be seeing him again once my oncy is happy for me to consider starting a family. So I`ll mention it to him then.