Done FEC, now anticipating Tax nightmare.

I’ve got my first of 3 Tax on the 4th Jan. Have been pretty good on the FEC really, up until this last one. Had sickness etc, but that was sorted. Ended up being carted off to A&E yesterday though in an ambulance, having had a small fit and faint whilst waiting for my pub lunch to arrive! Am taking it easy now, but just wondering how much worse Tax will be??

Many people find that if they have probs with fec then tax isnt so bad.Good Luck and try to have a good Christmas.

I found the effects of each to be different. FEC made me feel pretty sick and just yuck but not so that I couldn’t do anything. Taxotere completely wiped me out for the first few days and I slept it off then i started feeling better. Both affected my immune system so i was given an injection to bring up my white blood count.
Hope it all goes well for you

Hi I had three TAX and it the main side effect for me was fatigue. the horrid nails stuff ect happens when you finish it - so fingers crossed you will just sleep your way through it - good luck x

I didn’t have FEC I had 4 x EC and got through it reasonably ok. Having my 4th and last TAX tomorrow and to be honest can’t wait until it’s over; I haven’t been good on it, with joint pain being the main problem. Just ache all over, even my teeth!
I’ve been hospitalised with chest infection and to be honest don’t seem to get over before the next one is due, they just seem to roll into one with only the last few days before the next one that I feel able to do anything!
So sorry to bear grim news, I’m normally upbeat but don’t tell lies well and I thought forearmed is forewarned!
but… everybody reacts different and you may be one of the lucky ones! Fingers crossed you are!
Make sure you’ve got some strong painkillers to hand and I found lemon barley water and ginger tea good for the tastebuds, the ginger tea is good if you’re feeling sickly too. I have gel clear saches for the mouth ulcers. Fingers and toes numbish are tender now and nails very brittle and going brown.
On the plus side though my hair is growing back! Slowly but surely, but I have fuzz! My onc says it’s 50/50 on TAX whether you lose it or not.
Hope this helps.

Glad to get the positive advice and reality - I start Tax on 11 January and did ok with FEC after nausea was sorted early on, just got tired and breathless towards the end. Will think - rest for a few days and hope that helps. Hope all’s well with you TSR when you have your doses. Now to enjoy a side-effect free Christmas - I must, I must make the most of this!!! (that’s the new mantra)

Thanks you guys. Have been in bed eating all day, so am preparing to hibernate with the Tax if required, and live off my fat!
A change is as good as a rest then? Ha ha. Hoping to have a good ‘3rd week’ as I work through this last FEC, and as you say, enjoy Christmas.
Did you find your steroids got upped for Tax? I’ve been given some to take in advance this time. I hate not sleeping. I have herceptin the day after that, so will have to be out and about whether I like it or not…


Yes I have to take four twice a day the day before, on the day and the day after, I also have the neulasta for the white cells.

Hope it goes well for you, Have a lovely Christmas, enjoy it as much as you can.

I finished chemo in August.I was ok on FEC too and managed to work for a lot of the time, taking a few days off at a time.People kept telling me how well I looked! But, truthfully, I did find Tax much tougher, it wiped me out physically (the fatigue) and I pretty much stayed home for the whole time.
My advice is just to accept that this is a period of time you have to get through and stay in bed if you feel rough (I did on lots of days), or the sofa if you manage to get up. I watched so much tv, couldn’t concentrate on reading. Food tasted horrible and my mouth was sore so I ate whatever I fancied…trifle & jelly were good! Coke was the drink I finally found refreshing after trying lots of different ones. Tea & coffee were disgusting. But I did lose a stone in weight which touch wood I haven’t put back on ( I needed to lose weight so that was the one good SE I experienced!) I had no sickness, the medication worked really well.

Believe me you do start to feel better quite soon after treatment finishes. Suddenly I found I was enjoying food again and eating like a horse. Your energy starts to return although I don’t have the stamina I once had. But I can keep on the go all day now which I couldn’t do only weeks ago.Nails are awful, tender & sore fingers & toes, but I’m told this will pass. And my hair is growing back, yay! I reckon I’ll need a hairdresser in January.
Good luck with your treatment, you will get through this and start to get your life back on track before you know it.

Gill x

Thanks Gill and Dee.
That sounds very realistic. It is so much help getting a ‘no frills’ account from people who have actually been through it. I know we are all different, and our experiences will all be subtly different, but i am someone who likes to know what she is getting into. The leaflets, and hospital info don’t really give you an indication of how you will feel do they? I.e. You will feel like crap, and not want to get off the sofa!’ And on a practical level, i’ve got 3 kids to deal with, and it is really useful to know that I may need more help in place. Does not sound like I will be doing many school runs! I’m glad i’ve had the FEC over the Christmas period, because other than a couple of blips, have made it to all the kids performances etc.
Just wish I fancied a glass of wine more over the festivities! Maybe mulled is the way forward…mmmmmn!

hi all
I am about to have FEC no 6 and have been generally ok with it, although I am getting a bit more tired now. I am about to start weekly tax with 3 weekly herceptin. Anyone else on a weekly dose?
x sarah

I’ve finished both FEC and Tax and managed to work throughout and look after my 2 little ones.
I did find the first tax hard with pains in my hands and feet for a week. My skin peeled off alarmingly on the palms and soles. Nails also went black, but I’ve only lost one of them. The 2nd and 3rd tax were OK though.
Good luck it might not be as bad as you fear and try to enjoy Christmas.


I had 6 x tax two years ago for a recurrence (having had 6 x FEC in 2004). Positves about tax: I was not sick (this meant a lot to me as I was sick after each FEC)
I did work on weeks 2 and 3 after each tax but not on week 1. This was actually the same as what I did on FEC.
Negatives about tax: I did get pain in my back and leg. Tis was really hard to shift - my advice is to get some paramol or something similar and take it regularly if you are affected. After tax #1 I used this approach and took it as soon as the pain started so that it did not take hold. Also the steroids which completely bu*****d up my sleeping pattern. I ended up getting sleeping pills from the GP and this helped. My nails were largely fine - went a bit purple but did not fall out. I did get a fantastic crop of vicious mouth ulcers after tax #1 but again took remedial action quickly after this (corsodyl and pastilles)

Tax #1 was the worst - the rest were much less hard as I knew what to expect and took action.

All the very best, Mo x

I had 4xfec,4xTax in '04 and didn’t really have a bad day except after my first Fec when I felt as if I had the mother of all hangovers.I could hardly make it to the bathroom that first night and was more than plesantly surprised to be feeling ok when
I awoke next morning! The only way was up after that and apart from feeling increasingly tired on the Taxol I can honestly say I sailed through chemo. Good luck and I hope you fare as well as I did.

Josie x

Just finished last TAX, had 3 FEC and 3TAX. Didn’t lose my eyebrows or lashes at all with FEC and then they went really quickly with TAX. But my hair started to grow back on my head…doesn’t make sense at all.

Felt more unwell on TAX and definatley just needed to give into to it and sleep and eat whenever I wanted and roped everyone else in to do the boring house stuff!

I would like to say i also did 4AC then 4TAX everybody is different with different symptoms i no is the fear of the unknown but just go with your flow no one will say its easy but please just do what your body tells you. You will get threw this the time goes so quick take care