EC chemo

started ec chemo 20th dec 07, was terrified of being poorly as i have always been strong and healthy or so i thought till said lump came along, size about 3.5cm diagnosed and on chemo within a month. Anyway waited for all the nasty side effects and apart from alittle constipation on xmas day i feel fine. Full of cold though think i should have rung the onc dept but never got round to it to busy combing hair out, it needs the clippers now shall do it sunday. Gonna check with hospital 2day saturday as neck glands have come up now! read a few postings and think i may get a slapped wrist for not telling them about the cold but i did have it before chemo so it wasnt anything new! Next chemo 10th jan, praying i cope same as first session as i went back to work this week on 12 hour shifts.Very tired after first night shift but second one was ok .Hope to here from anyone who is coping and still working as i really dont want to stop work nor can i afford to.

Hi jinpip

Welcome you to the Forums where I am sure you will continue to receive lots of helpful advice and support from our users. Breast Cancer Care have published a Resources Pack which can be ordered on line, it is filled with information to help you better understand your diagnosis, test results and the various treatments available, you can order a copy via the following link:

You may also find our helpline useful to call, it is a free and confidential service and is run by specially trained nurses, who can help you through this difficult time, listen to your concerns and offer information, advice and support. They are on 0808 800 6000 and open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm, Saturday, 9am - 2pm

I do hope you find this information of some help.

Best wishes

Hi Jinpip,
What a rollercoaster ride you’ve had, and what a rotten time to start chemo. I’m sorry to hear about your hair coming out too. I had FEC last summer and was pretty sick the first night but just nauseous and tired after that. But it did knock out my white blood cells. I hate to sound like your mother, but you really should phone the hospital if you haven’t already, if you get any worse, and definitely if you get a high temperature, as they might need to put you on antibiotics. You have probably been told that the chemo wipes out your white blood cells, which are the ones that fight infection. As a result, any infection can become very serious very quickly.
As far as work goes, there are lots of people on here who work through chemo, and lots that don’t. You just have to do what’s right for you. There is financial help available if you reach a point where you want to stop - maybe you could look into that as a back-up (Macmillan helpline or your local cancer centre can advise you).
12-hour shifts sound pretty impressive, I’m not sure i could have managed that!
Hope you’re feeling better soon
Jacquie x


I would just echo what Jacquie has said, my glands came up after my first EC, i got a sore throat and felt rough, instead of phoning the hospital, i went to bed hoping it would be better in the morning, upshot was, i was lots worse and had a temperature of 39 and had to be hospitalised for days. try to head off any of that by letting them know now how you’re feeling. good luck and i am amazed at the long hours you are doing, that’s fantastic, i haven’t worked since dx and don’t know where i’d find the energy from either! carrie x

Hi Jinpip

I found work to be very therapetic especailly in the early stage. I only work part-time and have a desk job, but it still took it out of me and I ended up having to go to bed very early. My onc said to stop work for 1 month after the first chemo, if possible, but I ignored him! I have had to watch out for myself so much more than usual,which bugged me initially but I’m more relaxed now. I’ve taken my temperature many more times than I would otherwise.
Take care now

Hi Jinpip - do follow all advice above about the cold - don’t let things get out of hand. I had 6 FEC last year and managed to work 2 weeks out of 3 each time, although by the end I was getting v tired. Hope it all goes well for you - it is hard, but it can be done - and the important thing is that we live to tell the tale!

hi all did check in with hospital they kept me 6 hours to tell me my bloods were border line but i could go home, was so annoyed with not having any control that i immediately took out the clippers and went from below the shoulder to a number 4 which i took down to a number2 the day after! No regrets though its virtually non existant hair but at least i can have a sandwich without a mouthful of hair! Its 9th now have chemo 2morrow at york . I am on shift this weekend (nights) but please no one stress i wont go in if i dont think I’m up to it,and i can come home if need be. Feel awful for you viv what a rotten xmas for you.Did you feel really poorly with your temp or were you just following protocol?The thing is nearly everyone i know was down with cold or flu over xmas and i didnt feel any different as i started chemo with my cold, anyway will see how 2morrow goes! jay