Fear of FEC

Hello ladies. I hope you are copying with your treatment. I am on cycle 3 of Docetaxel and have found it pretty tough; each one varies but I have had lots of side effects. FEC is next and from what I read and hear, it is worse than the Deocetaxel. Are you able to comment please re side effects. Any hints and tips would be very welcome. I am feeling scared and quite low at the moment. I feel guilty as there are thousands of yes going through this; I need to be positive but am fI ding it hard going.
Thank you and best wishes.

Hi Jivey,

I’m one of those who preferred the Docetaxel, but I still found it tough. My main reason for hating the FEC was that I prefer pain to feeling sick, so the T was a big relief for me. Maybe it will be different for you. And I think most of the people I was in contact with found the FEC easier to deal with.

It really depends how you cope with the side effects you get, and it is incredibly irritating when people keep telling you that everyone is different. You just have to hope that your SEs from the FEC will be easier for you to cope with than the ones you had with the T. Make sure you get drugs promptly to deal with any SEs. I had Emend with each of my FECs. I was never actually sick.
And don’t forget, the main advantage in changing your drugs is that you are now halfway through your treatment. I know it seems a long way off now, but you will get there. And it DOES get better.


Margaret X

Hi…I only have my own experience to draw on but I found the docetaxol worse than the FEC so I think you are over the worst!!!..this is only my experience of course…I was only sick on cycle one of FEC and after that had emend on every other cycle…I managed to live my life as normally as I could…the only SE I didn’t cope with was the first sickness…you are halfway there now…three down…FEC is doable and as Meg says it does get better…lots of cyber hugs to you…M

I am due my 4th FEC on the 23rd April and have coped well with the SE’s. Mostly feel sick but never been sick. Funny taste in mouth and went off quite a few things but otherwise well. Worst day is the Friday after the Tuesday treatment and then I gradually get better until the second week feel back to normal. I might be lucky but am coping up to now and am half way through now. Hugs to you - J

Honestly. The T was worse for me so FEC should be okay for you. Just try to drink plenty of water. And I had to take omeprazole as I had severe sickness, that helped me as they thought it was due to me having reflux caused by the chemo. Eat little and often too. Hope all goes well for you. You will get through this.

I found fec much easier then tax i could cope cant on tax
jenny xx

You should pop onto the February Valentines as alot of the girls have finished 3 FEC & are on there first T.

I am having 6 x FEC, no 4 is next week. I do suffer pretty bad & get a syringe driver for the first 3 days following each chemo to stop me vomiting, however other Valentines have breezed FEC & are finding T harder. Sadly no two people react the same so no one can tell you exactly how it will affect you personally.

At the end of the day no matter how tough it is, you’re trying to save your life, so a few uncomfortable months is a sacrifice worth making.



I’m not having any FEC. I am on Tax and Carboplatin with Herceptin for 6 cycles. Early days for me, but it is day 7 of cycle 1 and so far very minor side effects. Yukki tastes for first few days but that seems to have abated now, mild diarrohea and bowel cramps - again nothing horrendous. Hardly any pain, in fact none at all to speak of. Sleeping and eating well, energy levels fine although tiredness hits me late evening. No nausea whatsoever and no anti-sickness meds needed. Hope I am not tempting fate.

So, irritating or not we are all different!


I’ve just moved on to Tax after 3 Fec. I found Fec quite easy. I had no nausea or sickness, just a few minor problems such as oral thrush and hemorrhoids for which the oncologist gave me medicines. On Tax however, I’m suffering the most horrendous pain, numbness, tingling, I could hardly walk yesterday. But everyone reacts differently to various drugs. If you suffer sickness, and the tablets they give you don’t work, ask for Emend. Hopefully you will find Fec easier than you thought. Good luck

Poemsgalore xx

Hi there

I am having my 3rd FEC on Friday, the side effects for me ave been small, strange taste in mouth, funny tummy but no sickness as I get loads anti-sickness meds which work a treat, sore dry eyes but nothing I can’t cope with.

Good luck I think you will do great xx

Hi ladies, thank you so much for you advice and support. I had my last tax on Tuesday and have felt rough as old boots! I know my treatment is working and am delighted, but it’s hard isn’t it. I tell myself off as I know there are lots of people worse off than me. I am sure I will get through. I wish you all well and hope you are doing ok. Lots of love x

I had FEC and had no problems at all, no sickness, nothing really to speak of except a little mouth ulcer that went after a couple of days.

i agree with all the above, i have my 3rd of 6 FEC on friday, and only SE was 1x sick on 1st cycle. when i mentioned it, onco gave me emend on next cycle. didnt realise i could have taken the anti sickness pills on the first evening, so i didnt, that was why i was sick!!
just a reminder to be vigilant about taking your temperature 2x a day. some of the march thread ended up in hospital with high temps and 1 almost ignored it, thinking they’d be better in the morning. very dangerous, see march thread for a link to a training video about ignoring feeling “not yourself”. don’t be casual about those feelings, it’s life saving to act straight away.
i wish you all the best, and really, FEC isn’t so bad
angela x

Can vouch for what Angela says about taking temperature. Many of the February Valentines have ended up in hospital from time to time. Even I did last week. Oddly I was ok on Fec and never felt ill nor had a high temperature. Wouldn’t you know, it was Tax did me in. Going back to Fec next time - HOORAY!!!

Hi Angela
thank you. Did you have other anti sickness meds as well as emend? My Oncologist is great and very helpful but I don’t think he understands how anxious I am. I know there are thousands of ladies going through this and I feel that I am letting you all down by being such a wimp. I am trying so hard to cope and up until last week had been doing ok but now I feel like I’ve had enough. I was in hospital over they last four days with neutropenia. I have fabulous support from family and friends but just feel so low.
Any suggestions from you would be much appreciated.
i hope you are feeling ok.
Jane x

I was also given: emend 1 on chemo day, and 1 for next 2 mornings, dexamethasone, cyclizine and now ondanestron. The BN said that sickness DOES build up over the sessions, so maybe that’s why there was nausea for all of cycle 2 and extra drugs this time round. Anyway, I feel fine. A little bloated from time to time and nauseous, but generally fine. actually, today for the first time ever, i felt tearful, but only for about 10 minutes. and extremely tired, another cumulative SE of all this.
keep smiling through. you’ll get there. i’m half way through now. it’s surprising how quickly it seem to go sometimes. this time next year… all over and new hair
angela x

Good Luck Jane, I’m just the opposite of you. Have finished FEC 3 and am going on to TAX 1/3 on Thursday and am TERRIFIED. So many of us seem to take a dip around the middle of our treatment. I think it’s partly the fear of the unknown, if we’re changing regime and partly that well meant, positive comment “fantastic, you’re half way there now”. Actually, without being ungrateful, I always want to reply with “yes but that means I still have to go through all I’ve been through yet again”. People mean well but don’t always understand.
Hugs and good vibes coming your way. Keep Calm and Chemo On. We can do it.
Mandy x

Hi Mandy,
You will be ok and I will be thinking on your tomorrow. As everyone always says on here, we are all different and have different experiences, but and I am not sure whether I should tell you or not, but I found Tax doeable, although difficult at times. My worst SE were that I got a very sore rash all over my body - I did get medication the next time around, which helped. My lips went very numb and I could not have a hot drink for several days and my fingers were numb too. My legs are stiff as boards and I am very tired, although for the first two, I managed to get around more or less as normal. However, having said that, I would rather have all that than sickness.
I totally understand your feelings and feel like I am under threat of execution and only have a few days left! I know some people will think that ridiculous but I am really scared of changing to FEC - how did you find it?
I have been so lucky and have had fantastic support from friends and family, but like you say, whilst it is great and so kind, some days I just want to sleep or be on my own as I dont feel up to chatting. Everyone is trying to boost me up and keep me positive, but like you say, the thought of three more at the moment is daunting.
Anyway - we CAN DO IT… good luck tomorrow, it will be ok.
Big hug
Jane x

Thank you Angela. I feel like a complete whimp sometimes but I have had a sickness phobia for many years and this is really very hard for me. I knew I should have tackled it. I definitely will now and am going to try some hypnotherapy.
I was very tearful last weekend and cried every time I saw my husband!! poor love. I feel better now. I suppose it does us good to have a cry every now and then. I am trying to be brave for me and everyone I care about too, I don’t want to make it harder for them by seeing me upset.
Yes - this time next year - new hair - new us. Bring it on.

Best of luck with the rest of your treatment.
Jane x

Am about to embark on FEC 2 and can honestly say that the first cycle was not as bad as I had imagined. I was really sick in early pregnancy for a few months and was dreading chemo but in reality it was much much easier than the pregnancy sickness. Do tell your consultant /BCN - as Angela said there are lots of medications that can really help.

Good luck!

Nora x