Docetaxel- tips

Hi there,

ive Just finished my third cycle of EC and due to start docetaxel next .

ive kind of freaked myself out with all the horror stories out there so I’m wondering if anyone can share less scary experiences and any tips? 

1 Like

Hi there, congrats on finishing EC! I finished my final dose of Docetaxel two weeks ago and can honestly say it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I was the same as you and dreading starting this following EC treatment due to the long list of potential horrible side effects. Obviously it goes without saying that anyone having chemotherapy can experience different severities of side effects. Hopefully my experience gives you a sense of reality rather than horror -again everyone is different and some people may suffer more than others. For me personally EC was more unpleasant, however it’s fair to say that the side effects of docetaxel are just different rather than worse. Oddly, different can sometimes feel worse as it’s unfamiliar. First of all I didn’t suffer with the same side effects of EC such as nausea/sickness or feel like I’d fallen off a cliff once I’d stopped taking steroids or suffer from dizziness and rapid heart rate.  Side effects generally started after a couple of days and only lasted a few days. My main side effect of docetaxel was tiredness/weakness, which I didn’t experience much during EC. I experienced an achy upper body on my first docetaxel, but not on the 2nd or 3rd. I also got oesophagitis, but managed this with prescribed meds in the morning and gaviscon at bedtime or after meals - keeping up to this routine was beneficial. Probably the most annoying was my mouth that developed a sandpaper like lining/coating. It wasn’t until my final treatment that I discovered a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a pint of warm water to rinse (not swallow) my mouth out worked a treat when it was at its worst. I did lose my taste for a few days but it soon came back and the pleasure it brings when it does come back is amazing! I personally made an effort to eat bland food for the first week just to minimise irritation. These side effects may sound terrible, but they weren’t as bad as expected and really didn’t last long. Two weeks after my final one I actually feel human again. Try not to worry yourself too much by reading horror stories. We’re all different and will have different experiences, but whatever docetaxel throws at you you will be ok. 


Hi! I just finished my 10th Docetaxel session - 70mg per dose. Filgastrim injections on the 5th and 8th-day post chemo. I take Ondansetron for 5 days, 2x a day to curb nausea and vomiting. So far so good. My medications are working - no adverse side effects after 10 sessions. I do experience chemo fatigue for 4 days but after I get Filgastrim injections, I recover well and am able to return to a regular routine.

I found that diet and exercise helped me cope with the chemo side effects. I make sure I get to walk 30 minutes a day, at least 3000 steps, preferably every morning, and get some Vitamin D.  Then I try to eat healthily. Beet juice and celery juice are part of my daily intake. As for food, I eat fish and chicken with salad and fruit most of the time. For snacks, I try to eat yogurt, nuts, fruit, or juice. 

It might help to focus on gut health during chemo to help the body release the toxins from all the medicines we take. 

Most importantly, take care of your mental health - talk to family and friends, or your therapist. Process your emotions, release and don’t dwell on the negative. Keep in mind that YOU have to help yourself. 

I’m no expert. I’m just sharing what is working for me so far.