FEC-T & Herceptin - how will I feel?

I’m currently on 3 x FEC only had cycle 1 two weeks ago and other than sickness, not too bad. Scared of T & H. How have other people been on it? Is there anything positive?

I shall keep an eye on this thread because I think I will be on this regime. I have HER2 and had surgery(lumpectomy) and sentinel lymph node biopsy last week. I am going to get my report next week. Many people say you should drink lots of water and that eases it. I wish you well.

I’ve had the same FEC-T& Herceptin.  Finished my last T&H 6 weeks ago.  I had relatively few side effects with FEC - just a hangover feeling for a few days and taste issues so I too was dreading Mr ‘T’ and it wasn’t too bad.  

The first one I had a really nasty rash over my face and when I (finally) contacted my emergency number they told me to take antihistamine which sorted it out.  I say finally because I felt so stupid phoning them up because my face was blotchy and sore - don’t feel daft about anything - call them, I caused myself 5 days of disomfort which was unnecessary.  After that I took antihistamin as a precautionary measure.

I had aches and pains in my lower back and legs from day 4 - 7, these coincided with the filgrastim (G-csf) injections but after that I was ok and for me they were very manageable with a combination of paracetamol, ibuprofen and microwaveable heat pads.  

Taste went for longer every cycle and after 6 it is now almost back to 100% - I can now enjoy a glass of wine again :smileywink: When my taste was at its worst I found that pineapple and citrus fruits ‘cut through’ and hot blackcurrant squash was much more palatable than tea or coffee. 

I’ve now had 1 Herceptin on its own - number 4 and I’ve got my 5th tomorrow (pending results from today’s echo cardiogram.  It was fine last time, bit of a headache on the evening and generally feeling slightly ‘under the weather’ the following day  but nothing that an early night and some paracetamol didn’t sort out.

There was a definite postiive with the ‘T’ though, whereas with each cycle of FEC my hair tried to sprout but came out again, after T2 it started to grow and hold on :smileyvery-happy:

My advice?  Drink lots and lots of water, rest when you need to, exercise if you can, pay really good attention to oral health (I never got a single mouth ulcer) and stock up on catch up TV so that you have soemthing to watch when the ‘T’ dose of steriods kick in.

Good luck with the rest of your treatment - you will get through it and it won’t be as bad as you fear.


Sarah xx

Hi all just joined this group,I’ve had 4 fec now last one today hurray!I haven’t had an easy time on fec ,nausea being my worst enemy.I would say follow diet tips and sleep a lot.Beware of sickness tablets in my experience I have had 3 types and they gave me worse side effects than the nausea which wasn’t reduced at all,but that’s unusual I think,just be aware of side effects and tell your nurses and doctors even if you think it’s trivial they might be able to help.Not sure what the “t” part will bring yet but I’m hoping it will be easier than fec,also on a positive note my hair started to grow back on 3rd round of fec,and my (quite large) lump has gone after 2nd-Amazing!Good luck with your treatment, stay strong.

Thank you both for your advice and experience, it’s all reassuring. … be glad when it’s over but hopefully I’ll get through xx

Well here goes FEC … A 1/3 of the way through!!

Hope you are still doing ok Blueash and well done on doing your own injection. That is beyond brave!! Xx

Can I ask if anyone has had EC?  I’m due to see my ONC on Thurs for the first time but my BCN has mentioned me being given EC not FEC.  I intended to try the cold cap if I can bear it, but I have read on the Macmillan Forum, someone has posted saying don’t bother with cold cap if having EC as 100% hair loss guaranteed.

Any advice welcome xx

I had EC Sarah I didnt cold cap as was having paclitaxel afterwards and was told id lose hair no matter what. I seemed to have an easier time than the ladies on FEC not sure if it was the lack of F though

Jen x

Hi Jen

Thanks for the reply. When you were told you’d lose your hair anyway was that due to the EC or the Paclitaxel?
Sarah x

I was told to expect it to go on EC and any remaining “tufts” would go on paclitaxel

That said looking back I kept a lot of stubble through EC a lot of which didnt go till paclitaxel so if you fancy trying cold cap it may help , I know Bibi ( a Sept lady) cold capped and kept lots

Thank you. I’ll see what ONC says on Thurs. if it’s definitely going to go then I won’t waste time sitting like Mr Freeze unnecessarily!

I’ve seen the ONC this morning. A lovely man. I’m to have 6 rounds of EC. Although this does depend on results of ANC. If no more nodes are affected then it’ll be the EC. If further nodes are affected it will be 3 EC and 3 of another regime.
He told me roughly 20-30% of women lose their hair through using the cold cap on EC and the rest have varying amounts of success so I’ll try it and hope for the best.
What did throw me though was the fact that having chemo will only benefit me by 3%. So basically 97% of women are alive with no chemo after 5 years and Now In the scheme of things, I’m 39. I have a 6 year old daughter who I want to see grow up so 3% is 3%! The other part of me thinks 18 weeks of chemo with all it can throw at you is not worth 3%.
But I’ve said I’ll go for it so I’m booked in for round one on 8th Sept.

Emma, I’m just reading through a few threads to get some learning around T regime. I’m just wondering how you are getting on? I’m starting T myself next week, after just finishing 3 FEC and will be on Hercepin for a year also. You must be on the T & H by now and seeing light at the end of the tunnel I hope.
Also, can I just check, as I haven’t been told by my unit, unless I have forgotten lol. Do you always get first Herceptin Injecton with first T ?

Hi, I am due to start my FEC-T & H on Saturday and have been told that I need a PICC line put in - is this normal?  Has anyone else had this and if so what do I need to know?  Thanks x


Hi again Hels_p

I have a Picc line in. My veins are too small for a cannula. I am so glad I’ve got the Picc as I wasn’t looking forward to burnt out veins.
It’s usually put in under local anaesthetic. I didn’t feel much at all. Once it’s in you go off for an X-ray to make sure it’s in the right place and basically that’s it.
You won’t be able to swim, play golf or play tennis whilst it’s in, which for me is no great loss!
Shower wise, you will have to cover it with something to stop it getting wet. I bought some plastic type cover things from Amazon and they work fine. Similar to what you wear if you’ve broken your arm or such like.
You will have to have it flushed weekly. I have the District Nurse come every Wed (waiting for her now)! Takes about 20 mins all in as it’s so fiddly for them to sort. Doesn’t hurt at all.
All bloods are taken through it and obviously chemo is given through it too.
The nurse who put mine in said if she were to ever have chemo she wouldn’t think twice about having a Picc
I’m so pleased I have it.
Hope that helps
Sarah x