Chemo what to expect

Hi all
I had my operation on 28th August so went for follow up appointment on Monday and was told everything went well by removing the lump and 5 lymphnodes which are all clear
The only thing is that my breast cancer is not hormonal so I was told chemo was the only option then radiotherapy to follow. I’ve got to see oncologist on Monday but don’t know what to expect and what time scale I’m looking at before starting treatment. Would i have to have mri scan.
How long does chemotherapy last on day.
Any advice please even though I look strong to other people and I’m. putting on a brave face I’m actually crying inside.

Hi Abella
Chemo needs to be started within 12 weeks after surgery, but typically, is about 6 weeks. Your treatment will be specifically designed for your type of bc, but, on average, it is 6 cycles every 3 weeks.
When you have the chemo, on the day, it can last about 3 hours. Again, this will depend on what treatment you are having and how well your body copes.
Honestly, it will not be as bad as you think. And there will be many ladies on here who will say the same thing. Take one day at a time, and look after yourself along the way.
Try joining the monthly chemo threads as you can pick up many tips along the way.
Best wishes
Sue xx

ABella, I can honestly say that for me the chemo has been absolutely fine. I’ve had little to no side effects.

How long it lasts on day depends on what sort you are having and whether you are looking to cold cap to keep your hair, which I’ve done. That adds about 3 hours onto the day but they keep you topped up with coffee and linch .

Allow about 3 hours to be in the unit. A few things for you to research and consider, I did all of them and while I would not call it a breeze I fared far better than others in my unit or on my monthly thread on here.


Cold cap.


Picc line.


The cold cap will let you keep most of you hair if it works - it does not work on everyone.


Fasting for 48 hours before and 12 or so hours after will give you minimal side effects. Just water and/or black tea/coffee


Picc line - a semi permanent line just above your elbow for your drugs and blood tests. You have to have it cleaned once every week to 10 days but it saves you veins. Some places give it to you from the off, others only once you have problems with your veins.


I know it is overwhelming but you will be alright. Loads of us have had it and we were all terrified and upset but you do cope somehow xxx