Decision to make ...and any advice on EC?



Was diagnosed with Grade 2 ER + HER neg with lymph node involvement, had a TM and full ANC. After being told by two surgeons that Chemo was inevitable, I has first appointment with Oncologist yesterday…and was astonished to learn that Chemo is not (apparently) going to be of much benefit to me overall, according to NHS Predict site (I’m not sure whether to trust this though, surely it’s a bit generalised?) It will only add 3.6 % to my survival chances over next ten years … ? - so do I go for it, or chance my arm on the OPTIMA trial (very likely to get selected for chemo on that) or just go straight to rads and Letrozole…


Absolutely agonising about this! 


But anyway, the Chemo regime will be 6 x EC, and I’d really welcome any advice and info on coping with EC.


All the best to everyone



Hi Thistledown
Sorry to hear you have such a tough decision to make re treatment.
From my own experience I would just say that chemo in itself is incredibly harsh on every system in the body and comes with its own inherent risks. I would definitely be guided by the oncologists as they see first hand the damage that chemo can cause, especially if the benefits are low.
Aside from the physical implications, it must be so hard to deal with the thought of not throwing every option at the bloody cancer. How do your loved ones feel?
I hope you come to a decision that you are happy with.
Best wishes
Jacq x

Thanks Jacq !

My husband and daughter both want me to do whatever will give me less worry in the future - but I am stressing out about this so much I think I’ve aged 10 years already ! ?? - it’s so hard, and I do know that chemo can do a lot of damage - scared of that as I’m 64 now …

Thank you for replying … xx

And unfortunately the oncologist will not (obviously) commit herself to saying which direction is best for me … so not much guidance there I’m afraid.

This blasted thing ! ?

Thistle x

Hi Thistle
I can understand your family’s point of view, but would really expect the oncologist to step up and guide you to the best decision.

Thinking of you
Jacq x

Hi Thisledown,

I’m on 4x EC followed by 12 Taxol. I’ve done 2 EC so far with little to no side effects so it is very doable.

I don’t suppose that’s much help to you but I just thought I’d let you know that so far, it’s not too bad.


I’ve just completed 3 out of 4 ECs.  Agree it’s doable.  First day I’m useless, one week of sicky and nausea and bit tired but not stopping me doing anything.  Weeks 2 and 3 OK as long as you don’t pick up any additional infections.  Your choice but it’s short-term and everyone is different, but I’m not finding it impossible.  Hair loss is a given though I think!

Hi Thistle


It’s Emily here from Breast Cancer Care.


Thanks for sharing. It sounds like a challenging decision to take, especially when you’re presented with the statistics which may not have been what you expected.


Do feel free to email one our Breast Cancer Care volunteers if you’d like to ‘talk’ it through over email. Tamsin  had EC chemotherapy and would be happy to tell you her experience:


If you’d like to chat to someone over the phone who took a similar decision, feel free to call uson 0345  077 1893 and we can put you in touch with a volunteer.


Best wishes

Emily at Breast Cancer Care 

Hi Thistle,
I’m so sorry that you’ve got a tough decision to make after everything you’ve already been through. I wish you all the best throughout your treatment and hope you get all the guidance and reassurance that you need to help you make the right decision for you.
I start my treatment on Friday 13th - EC x 3 and T x 5 so I’m also interested to know how everyone has coped with a similar course of treatment. Also I’ve gotta have gcsf injections mid-cycle that I’m not looking forward to (major needle phobia) but I am determined to give it a go.
Sam xx
Sam xx