Going to be starting Chemotherapy soon which is FEC x 3 and TAX x 3, really scared and would like other from others who have been on the same course of treatment as to how they coped and their experiences.

Hi U, when did u find out bout bc. and do u know what yr treatment is going to be.
I start my 1st of 4 chemo then 4 tax then op then rads (i think) on thursday next wk. I too am scared, upset, frustrated with waiting and probably planning too far ahead. I really cant wait to get stuck in to the chemo now as I know its got to be. This site is good as there are lots of women going thro the same, all at different stages and they are all brill. Talk, talk and talk, dont keep things to yrself, there will always be some1 to pull u thro to the next stage and once you have begun the end is one step nearer Have u a start date or are u part way thro?
tc Chris x

Hi scared,

We know exactly how you’re feeling…but most of us have found that it’s not as bad as we feared. Some find the FEC harder than the TAX, others the other way round.I’ve done my 3 FEC and now about to have 2nd TAX, which has hit my immune system harder and made me more tired. Pains in legs for a week, too.
I was brilliant with the FEC, just ever so slightly nauseous, more a feeling of indigestion for a week. They will give you tablets to take to stop sickness,so do take them even if you don’t feel sick. Also, if you get indigestion or heartburn ask your nurse or GP to prescribe Lanzoprazole for you. Don’t need to suffer with anything.
The steroids which you take for 3 days may make you constipated, so be prepared and have something to take for that.Drink plenty of water all the way through, especially whilst you are actually having the chemo, that really helps. Be prepared for not sleeping so well, whilst on steroids. But if you take them before 4pm you can avoid that.

Finally, just be kind to yourself. The hair loss is maybe the hardest thing to cope with. I found it so. Once your hair starts to fall out, it’s best to cut it very short as that stops your scalp feeling sore. And you are in control. I didn’t shave my head, just cut it down to a few mm length. it’s growing again already!

Hope this helps. It can be done, and it is worth it, though some days you may wonder!
Also, do contact the Helpline on here. They are absolutely wonderful. So sympathetic and helpful.

Love, Ann G

The main thing is to ring the onc nurse if you are struggling with anything,or see your GP,never feel you are being a nuisance! Check your temp twice a day whilst your white cell count is low, days 7 to 10 usually, and let them know if feeling unwell. That’s important, you may need antibiotics at some point. I did.

I had 3 x FEC and have not long had the first of three TAX. Then I have the op and then radiotherapy. I was terrified at the thought of chemo and came to this site to find help and advice, like you. Everyone has been so supportive and I have made some good friends and taken lots of advice and encouragement. Believe me, it wont be as bad as you think it will be. Take the meds given and try to drink plenty, not always easy, I know! After the FEC, I spent 3 days in bed, only feeling yucky but tired, and then afterwards, I began to feel better and better each day and within a week, had a massive appetite and loads of energy. Did have a sore mouth with first chemo and used corsodly, but would recommend difflam, much better and using that now. Try to eat as although you may not be hungry, it will help, in small amounts tho.
I wish you luck and am sure you will get through this easier than you think.
Deb x

Hi scared
I feel very lucky that my youngest daughter home from Uni came with me for my chemo and will be there again tomorrow for my third. Its good to have company if you can.
Try not to worry too much there are a lot of others starting chemo around now and this site is excellent for advice and help, do look up top tips I found it very helpful.


Sorry you are joining us, but happy to pass on benefit of my limited experience.
I’m one of the ones who found 4xFEC quite do-able, in fact I really bounced through it, but am finding the 4xTAX more challenging (just had second).

WIth the FEC I decided to get hair cut very short, as it feels like somebody is pulling your hair all day - very irritating. Also meant not such a shock to family when it fell out! I usually wear headscarves though, as the wigs aren’t great in summer - very hot, itchy and give me a headache at the end of the day. I just got nice scarves, which are cool and easy to wear.

Immediately after FEC chemo I found that eating dealt with the vague nausea. I used to eat party foods, you know the buffet things, as I could nibble all night, rather than sitting down to an unappetising full meal. Eating little and often kept it under control, and I didn’t really suffer with it at all after 1st FEC.

Suggest you read “Top Tips for Chemo” to get full story on all the great ideas we’ve found through trial and error.

I am finding TAX much harder. I felt inhuman for a week, half human for another week and then nearly human (myself) for a week before they hit me again! After the 1st TAX I was like an old woman. I felt like I had terrible flu and could barely manage the stairs for a whole week. My legs, lower back and pelvis REALLY hurt and I was on tramadol. I was incredibly constipated thanks to the steroids and tramadol.

Just had 2nd TAX on Thurs and started the lactulose a couple of days before chemo. Not “gone” yet, so am starting to worry! If it’s anything like last time it was like giving birth again!

I spoke to my onc and I’m on steroids now for 7 days to help me get through the “inhuman” week. I’m also on something to counteract effect steroids & painkillers has on my tum - a hard, hollow horrible feeling in my gut for 2 weeks. I must admit, although I feel a bit spaced out through lack of sleep due to high dose of steroids, I’m feeling ok. This is better than the 1st one.

I’ve learnt my lesson now - with FEC I just got on with life, but with the TAX I’ve cleared my diary for a week after each treatment. The last thing I need is pressure to do things when I feel so awful! I went to work on the first Monday after TAX, just as I’d done with FEC and couldn’t go home again until the painkillers had worked! Too ill to be there, and too ill to get home! Bizarre

Strongly recommend you read the Top Tips. You’ll learn so much from that. The helpline here is fantastic too. Your GP and BCN will be a great support to you if you need help. ALWAYS check your temperature twice a day. Any questions PHONE somebody for advice, or ask us!

You’ll do it, I’m sure you’ll find it easier than you fear. Unbelievably, time passes quickly, whilst dragging at the same time! Listen to your body and go with what you feel like doing. You may find you eat unusual things (for you), but it’s probably better to miss out on your favourites as they can taste odd (I was distraught last night when my Cadbury’s Dairy Milk tasted wrong!)

All the best
Sue xx

Hello Scared
Everyone on this site is very helpful and encouraging so if you have any fears or worries don’t hesitate to post.

There are many side effects, some which they don’t tell you about but nothing that is really too damaging, just a little inconvenient at times (like dripping nose).

Good luck to you and to all

Hi Scared

As well as the support and advice you are receiving from your fellow forum users you may find it helpful to have a look at the BCC booklet on chemotherapy. You can find it at the following link:- y

I hope this is helps.

Kind regards

BCC Facilitator

Not going swimmingly well at the moment, after 2nd tax on Thursday, am quite sore. But will survive - and only another 2 to go - bitesize chunks is the way to do it I find. Thinking about the whole process is just too much - just handle the next “bit” and then then next “bit” - rather like climbing a mountain.

Now will sit and either drink my tea or sob into it - am in quite a lot of pain at the moment! Think I need to see doc tomorrow.

Hi Sue,
Not going swimmingly well for me at the moment either!! Sorry you are having a bad time as well…will we really survive L.O.L.

On A.C. I had so much energy, played golf three times a week, had new kitchen fitted…on tax I am reduced to a spaced out lump of jelly!! I keep crawling into bed which is SO unlike me.

Stomach is doing lots of strange things (wont go into detail!) feeling marginally better today… had last tax last Monday… so of to a childrens party this morning ( just hope everything holds out!)

I will try to do the bit by bit thing, it`s the only way, my problem is by the time I see the onc next I will hopefully be recovered and I forget so quickly all this grief, he thinks I am doing well.

Ah the joys of chemo!! I also have this added burden of still carrying this tumour around with me, I try to convince myself its shrinking but am sure its growing!!

I feel so much better for that moan, hope I haven`t depressed you even more!!! Only two more to go Yipee!!

Hope you have a good day today,

Take care ,
Love, Janx

Hi Janx and everyone
I am doing it like you, chemo first with tumour still in breast and like you, everyday I feel it hasn’t gone down.

I’ve only got 2 more tax to go, 3rd one next Monday then changing to something else for another 4 sessions.

Scared - hope you are feeling a little bit more reassured today, Tax is meant to be a very good chemo for shrinking, I can’t comment on FEC but your Onc will give you the best I am sure.

Hi All,

Thanks so much for your lovely replies to my message. I have already undergone BC surgery and had a mastecomy with a inplant reconstruction at the same time. Just been back to hospital today to have the inplant inflated again for the 2nd time and already it is looking amazing so for all those that haven’t undergone surgery yet I really didn’t find it too bad. Went into hospital on Tuesday 8th, went into surgery at 4pm, got wheeled back at 8pm and was home on Thursday 10th at 2pm. Bit of discomfort but now nearly 2 weeks on feel really good and if anything my boob looks better than it did before - like an 18 year old!!!

Have got to go back to hospital next week to give them my decision as to whether I’m going to have the chemo but feel that I really don’t have a choice as it will really benefit me but as i’ve named myself SCARED ths is because I’M SCARED STIFF OF IT. Already tried on the wigs and trying to accept it but this week have been crying lots but reading your words of comfort as you guys have and are still there has really helped me.

You are all so brave.



Hi all,

Peacock, are you as paranoid as I am!! really have to give myself a good talking to as Im sure the N.H.S. are not going to spend all this money if Tax wasnt effective!! Somedays I think it`s almost gone and then up it pops! My b.c.nurse said it is so difficult to assess yourself and also psycologically it is hard to deal with.

You know sometimes we need to get things of our chest and after reading my post I really regret writing it! I have just had 4xA.C. and have never felt better, I also accepted the hair loss so easily as Im sure most of us do. I didnt have just one wig I bought five, all different from “The wig salon” they are based in Florida and are less than half the price of the U.K.( for the same make) I have so enjoyed wearing them and had so many compliments. No one, not even my O.H. has ever seen me without and no one ever will, I wear a cute hat at night from “headcovers” The whole experience isnt half as bad as we imagine its going to be.
Take care,

Chemo is very “doable” and so worthwhile, why take chances? Tax has been a bit tougher for me but nothing I cant handle.. youll be fine!

Just really envy you having finished surgery…I have that little bridge to cross soon!

i’m due to go for my 3rd fec. i’ve lost my hair and have a wig that i don’t wear. i personally feel more comfortable wearing a bandana. the chemo wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be. i still cry about the whole bc thing but i suppose it’s better to let it all out than bottle it up to make others around you feel better. re; the wig i thought that i’d wear it and not the bandana and i have done the opposite - do or rather wear what makes you feel good and comfortable. keep your chin up and we’re all here for you. let us know how you get on with the chemo.

take care x

Toronto, yes you are right I am paranoid! I’m still suffering from a pain just under my rib since the last chemo 2 weeks ago, so I am going to speak to the Dr tomorrow yet I was already in hospital Sunday before last with it and they couldn’t find anything to cause it, so yes I am paranoid.

I’ve got some lovely head muffs my sister sent me, they really are comfortable - I have no need to worry about bad hair days now. I do have a nice wig too, which I will keep for special occasions.

I must admit, before my dx I had always imagined Chemo to be absolutely awful - my first thought when I was dx was “there is no way I am having chemo”. But, you quickly learn that YOU MUST, and you will fight this BC. I’ve only had 2 chemos so far so I am still new to all of this, others here have had many more and are more experienced with what they say.

You can do it, trust us!

You are all so brave. “scared” is something you all are coping with. I am seeing the oncologist tomorrow about my chemo, but I won’t be able to start until further surgery next week. I am trying so hard to be positive, but I miss my job so much, seem to have mislaid a couple of friends and I didn’t get up until this morning because I didn’t have a reason to. I haven’t got a purpose in life at the moment. Sorry, friends, I do have some strong days and promise I will get my act together
Love to you all

Hi Jilly,
unfortunately we all know exactly how you feel and you will never be alone on here. Get up and blogg to all of us, we are waiting for you. Or you could read these threads and decide what you want to know,or read up a bit to work out some questions for your onc. Would you consider going on a trial? There is loads to think about. You have a ticklist of things to dostarting with the onc, then surgery and then you are starting the next stage that will get you back to work. I miss it too but it gets easier and real friends hang around no matter what. I have been disappointed by some reactions to me. I was even told that it would be upsetting for other women to have me around and felt like a leper.
Hope things start to feel a little better, just keep taking those little steps and don’t look too far ahead.
Big hug
Lily x

Scared - I found the best way to handle all of this is in “bitesize” chunks. Don’t get too far ahead of yourself - it can all be too much! Just deal with each stage of your treatment as you face it. All is bearable that way. I scared myself looking into tax before I’d barely started FEC! It’s like climbing a mountain, if you look only to the top it’s a long, long way, and looks pretty intimidating; but if you just look to the next corner or whatever it’s manageable.

It’s great you are being honest with yourself here online, that it’s scary and you are emotional. We all support each other here, and I’m sure there will be times when you feel stronger again and able to offer that same support to others in your current position. We do have the reserves to get through this - we just need the odd hand whilst climbing this blooming mountain! Sure, this chemo lark messes up our lives for a bit, but there are many valuable lessons we learn on the road - some family/friends aren’t worth bothering with, and great friends emerge from the strangest of places! And we learn to appreciate the things we value in our ordinary life, things we take for granted, like our job etc.

Jan - yeah, the tax is tougher, but, as you say, all do-able. Not seen you online for a while - hope you are ok, apart from the obvious!? I found the surgery the easiest bit of all this - lumpectomy & snb, followed by remarginalisation & full lymph node removal! Doddle!!! lol Mind you, we are all individual and are reacting differently to all this.

Jimminy Cricket I’m awfully philosophical today - must be the morphine! hehehehehe
Cyber hugs to all, take care, stay sane
Sue xxx