Getting on with things...

Well after Tuesday’s dx if think I have been in shock - physically and mentally. But today I have tackled Tescos to buy the party food for my daughters fourth birthday party on Monday. I am starting chemo on Thursday (although on a three weekly cycle this will clash with two holidays I have booked so don’t know what will happen then). Hopefully they can slip it foward to the Monday.

I have some practical questions to ask:

  1. any tips for taxotere?
  2. how long after chemo can you drive?
  3. when is is worth applying for DLA?
  4. Biophosphonates - how are these taken/given?

Thanks - Geraldine

HI Geraldine
a/ Taxotere. The main side effects that I had were flu like symptoms with aching joints. Usually lasted for about a week. The more Tax I had the harder I found to bounce back (I had three lots)
b/ I probably could have driven on the day of chemo but once the side effects kicked in I just stayed at home cos I didnt feel like going out
c/ DLA-As soon as you possibly can -i didnt think I would get it but my Macmillan nurse took my form and I got it -Mobility and care components. It is a god dend
4/ Biophosphonates -I originally had pamidronate along with my chemo so every three weeks. I now take it in tablet form once again.

Not sure of your holidays -I had to cancel mine as they only did chemo on certain days in my unit
I know what you mean-being in shock. Think I am only just coming out of it and I am a year on from diagnose
All the best -hope your daughters birthday goes well

Hi Geraldine

  1. Taxotere definitely gets harder as you go along, last 2 were pretty hard going for me, but on plus side the really bad effects were about day 3 to day 7, its not the whole of the 21 day cycle.

2 You can probably drive pretty much the whole time, if you are going really long distances - i wouldnt really recommend it, but if you are driving to pick up kids should be ok if you feel you can

3 DLA - just go for it, you have to get someone to do the ds1500, my gp was very helpful, call the helpline and they will date the claim from the day you asked for the pack, its not emotionally easy to do, but its alot easier than the “normal” disability claim which I have some experience with

4 bispohopnates, a variety of treatments some in pill, some in IV, I am taking zometa via an IV. Are you having a port put in ? It does help.

take care and hope your daughters party gos well, hope you are ok as possible.


Hi hopege

Below is the link to BCC’s publications on Taxotere and Biophosphonates. If you have any further questions do give the helpline a call after the Easter Bank Holiday, the staff here will be only too willing to talk to you. The number to call is 0808 800 6000

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

Hi Geraldine

Sorry you had to join us, but remember we are all here to help you and support you through this, I have found these sites to be a lifeline.

I have to say that Taxotere definitely gets harder as you go along, I had 3 FEC, then 3 taxotere. Flew through FEC and the first tax was OK, but the last 2 were pretty hard going for me, so much so, I ended up in hospital after no.2. If you start to feel at all ill, or get a cold/cough, take your temp on a regular basis and if goes over 37.5 ring your chemo ward immediately. Just before my no.3 cycle I got another cold but realised and rang chemo ward, had to have blood test and went to docs and got antibiotics which did the trick. So listen to your body and keep any eye on how you are feeling. I must admit I did feel out of sorts for about 3 days, but ignored it really, as like you have a 4 year old and also have a 16 month old so carried on as usual, but on day was admitted to hospital, felt lightheaded and no energy. But please remember, we all react differently and it is doable and you will get through it.

I didn’t drive to chemo, my hubby took me all the time, but apart from that I drove as normal, taking my daughter to preschool etc. I would recommend you slow down and if friends/family offer to take your daughter out accept it, as much as you can. I promise it is the right thing to do as they are demanding and you will feel tired.

As for the DLA - just go for it. Get your onc to do the DS1500. Your bc nurse may do this for you, or you can ring macmillan, fill in the beginning, then you can ignore all the other questions as you are filling it in under the “SPECIAL RULES” which means you don’t need to fill then in as fully. I have also got the blue badge and had my car tax paid for. You get a form for 3 years to use at the post office for car tax. Very easily done and worth doing it.

Can’t help with the bispohopnates questions as no idea. I have liver mets, so these are not needed, but am sure you will get plenty of responses from people who know.

Take care, keep in touch and I hope that your daughters party goes well, my daughter was 4 in December as were all her friends so it was party month for us.

Lots of Love

Hi Geraldine
I have to say that reactions to tax seem to vary hugely. I had 8 sessions and felt very well for the first 6. There were a couple of days after the steroids wore off when I felt a bit feverish but apart from that it wasn’t too bad. A lot depends on how you your immune system copes. and if you develop an infection. Mine was OK, others are not so lucky. The last 2 sessions were not nice - general fatigue, eyebrows and eyelashes disappeared,eyes constantly streaming, but for most of the six months it was very liveable. I drove myself to and from chemo, was off sick at my doctor’s insistence but in fact did a couple of days a week just to keep in touch. The worst thing was the fact that everything tasted disgusting - but it did mean I lost a stone over the 6 months. However you do get over it. My session finished 3 months ago and things are fine now. Wishing you the very best of luck.


Hi Geraldine

I posted a message on NHS and Avastin don’t know if you saw it. Have a good time at your daughter’s party I know you may not believe it but I promise not everyday will be a cancer day, sometimes it just feels like an ordinary day before we were diagnosed. We can still have dreams and make plans.