Chemotherapy treatment

I am due to start FEC-T chemotherapy in September and I’m so anxious as I don’t know what to expect and I find myself feeling so overwhelmed with all the different information. Do I need to take anything with me?, what shouldn’t I eat? and what works for nausea? The only thing that worries me is nausea and being sick as I have a phobia of being sick and all through my life I have rarely been sick as I do everything possible to avoid being unwell but I know this will probably be out of my control. If anyone has any tips for how they have or are getting through chemotherapy it would be appreciated 

Naomi - you will get lots of advice and support here .It is very overwhelming at first . Join the September chemo starters thread and you will get lots of people sharing tips about how to manage the symptoms .I will post you a link .Good luck with your treatment .Jill x


Hi Naomi40,

Im from Dec18 thread and also had a fear of being sick. I told my onco and he gave me emend which you take before and after treatment. It worked really well and I didn’t need any of the ‘just in case’ sickness drugs they give you to take home. 

Its best to take a drink with you, puzzle book, magazine, boiled sweets and /or biscuit. If your using the cold cap , a hat or scarf to wear home as they smother your hair in conditioner.

For feel in queasy,ginger beer helps, also queasydrops or pops from Amazon and hinging also Amazon or Holland and Barrat.

Hope that helps. Just try to take one day at a time ,it’s different for all of us and really trial and error to find what works for you. Good luck.

Hi Naomi


As one emetophobe to another, I’d suggest you be completely up front about this with the oncology team now - don’t leave it till the day as everything has to be prescribed and be dispensed by the pharmacy. I can honestly say I never had any room to be afraid of breast cancer as my sole attention was given over to my obsession. The oncologist arranged for me to visit the chemo suites one evening - all these contented patients sitting chatting, not a sick bowl in sight. I couldn’t believe it.


I was given an anti-emetic tablet before the EC treatments and the prep drip included a steroid (which helps with nausea) and an anti-nausea drug. These may be standard. I already had cyclizine from my GP to take whenever I felt nauseous but I was prescribed Metoclopramide I could take 2 hours after cyclizine (I never used it). In other words, I knew they were doing everything they could to help me avoid nausea. I never experienced any feeling of nausea and was never sick in the 4+ months of chemo and I am so proud of what I achieved. I still haven’t been sick since I was 5, touch wood.


If your anxiety is severe, with panic attacks and a flight response, they can help with that. The oncologist prescribed a sedative to take just before chemo. No buzz, no drowsiness, I just felt normal. It’s not in their interests to have a patient doing a runner. By the later sessions, I didn’t need it (so the spare came in handy when I had to have an MRI!). There’s no shame in being afraid - the bc is scary enough but we phobics have a different perspective. There are many of us and you wont be the first patient they’ve helped through it all. 


If you can get reassurance about the sickness, then you’ll be able to eat sensibly before a chemo session. An empty stomach isn’t a great idea. I stuck to something simple and easily digested like porridge. I took ginger biscuits (the tea trolley always ran out of those first) and sugar free sweets/gum initially but chemo often changes your sense of taste so you’ll adapt as the weeks progress. Apart from that, take comfy clothes, good company and a distraction that doesn’t require you to use both hands as one arm will be a bit restricted by a drip. I did watch a bloke tapping away at his iPad but his drip kept bleeping - his hand movements were interfering with the steady flow needed! I never got round to reading, listening to music (I also had some relaxation downloads on my iPod) or doing puzzles but, I’m delighted to say, I was eating the free sandwiches after a few sessions, something I never thought I could do. I also took aromatherapy oil to waft under my nose - lavender till it became repellent, then lemon) and Rescue Remedy which I never used as psychological props.


I hope this reassures you a bit. I know it’s hard and I’d never take anyone’s assurance that I wouldn’t be sick - but this was my experience. With the help of the oncology team, each chemo treatment session was, at its worst, a bit tedious and nothing more. I hope it all goes well for you. Take care, Jan