So, I had my first meeting with my oncologist this afternoon after being diagnosed a week ago and am starting chemo on Friday. Such a quick turnaround - and so much to get my head around. 8 days ago I thought I was fine (I asked for the biopsy and they said they would do one, but just for my peace of mind, as they were convinced it was just an infection and I had been on antibiotics for 3 weeks since I first went to see them).
I have a large mass (the MRI couldn’t show how big it was) that has spread to my lymph nodes and am having a CT scan on Thursday.
I am having accelerated chemo as I am young and apparently will respond best to this. Has anyone else had it? I have 4 lots of AC at 2 weeks apart and then 4 lots of Paclitaxel at 2 weeks apart. I have been reading loads about FEC and TAX but will apparently have a higher chance of success with these ones.
I am in such a bad place right now, I can’t stop crying and am so scared.
Thank you all.
Sorry to hear you’re feeling this way. Do give the helpline here a ring if you need a good listening ear, they’re here to support you through this.
Hi Sandytoes, I had 3 FEC and will be having my 7th Taxol tomorrow. Having a total of 12 weekly Taxols. Had lumpectomy and lymph node axillary on 10th January. The only side effect from Taxol is the tiredness which is accumulating. I am hyper for a few days but that is from the steroids. Good luck. Adi x
Thank you Adi.
How far apart are you having the Taxol?
Hi Sandytoes, they are weekly. Although I missed a week as had bad chest infection. Best wishes. Adi. Counting the weeks down!!!
Sorry! Fuzzy head! I missed the “weekly” bit above!! x
Sorry to hear about your diagnosis but good treatment is happening so fast.
I had the same regimen as you, only the situation was complicated so I never got the accelerated version. I had 4xAC while I was pregnant, and they don’t do accelerated while pregnant so it was three-weekly. Then I gave birth, had a break, and started paclitaxel (with 4 cycles being prescribed). The onc said that I could go for two-weekly cycles as it had a better success rate because the cancer cells have less chance to recover before they’re blasted again. So I had the first cycle, injected myself with something to boost white blood cells for 8 days, then went back two weeks later for the second. Only the onc decided I couldn’t have it because I had nerve damage to my fingers and toes. They were in a pretty bad state before the paclitaxel even began because of hte AC and, four months later, they are still numb and tingly. But that’s just me, not everyone gets this.
I was really upset because I just wanted to get it over with ASAP and treat the cancer as hard as possible. I got the impression it was hard-hitting stuff, and I was being offered this because my cancer was already a recurrence.
Although I didn’t get the accelerated treatment, I found the Paclitaxel manageable. Unfortunately it takes ages to infuse so it meant spending a whole day at the hospital each time.
Go for it - kill that cancer as quickly and viciously as you can!
Wishing you lots of luck with it all. xxxxxx
Hello, sorry you have had to join us. I am on the AC and tax chemo but have mine every 3 weeks. I have just completed the AC part and start tax on 15th June. I am fairly young too (38) but wasn’t offered the 2 weekly version.
I had 4 x EC at 3-weekly intervals then paclitaxel with gemcitabine at 2 weekly intervals for 4 lots. It was part of a trial and I was having chemo before surgery and had spread to lymph and bones. This was almost 4 yrs ago and it worked well. Not a complete cure but I’m still here and feeling well most of the time. I too had an immune boosting injection the day after each chemo and never missed a dose or needed one delaying.
It is doable and hopefully you’ll not get too many side effects. Tiredness is inevitable really as it all builds up gradually.
Good luck with the scans and the chemo and ask anything on here as you go along.
Hi Sandytoes, I had the AC fortnightly and then the paclitaxel fortnightly as well with neulasta shots the day after. I’m triple negative with one node involved. AC had completely different side effects than the paclitaxel. I finished chemo at the end of Feb, late starting rads due to a virus but finished 24 sessions after Easter. Xx
Can’t really add a lot. I’m on weekly taxol and its been manageable - yes aches and pains, bloody nose, spotty face and yes tired but other than that all OK.
Good luck with it all and please keep posting - I think your picture is fab and its cheers me up!
So, exactly what I’m having. Any tips? Most people on here have been having FEC and TAX at 3 week intervals.
How are you doing now?
Hi Sandytoes, I won’t lie to you, it was hard going especially as I didn’t have that recovery third week that others had when they managed to fit in a life. No sooner was I picking up then it was time for bloods and chemo again. The AC for me was like morning sickness, whilst the paclitaxel really messed up my joints. I still have neuropathy in my feet and hands and strange arthritic pains. Although I’m in my forties I ended up with an early menopause. The hot flushes are unbelievable and the chillo pillow is my best friend. There is another person on here called Rhian who also had the dense dose therapy about a year before me. We’re all different so hopefully you’ll get through it fine. Lou xx
Thanks. I just read Rhian’s profile and it has instilled some positivity into me!!
Anything I can help,with PM me. I said I’d write a book about the things they don’t tell you about chemo! Xx
Ps I meant to say as well - as my mother had an aggressive cancer in her late 20’s and because I’m triple negative I’ve been offered genetic screening. This also means that I’m followed up via the genetic service more frequently. This may be something you want to talk to your oncologist about at some point. Lou x
Yup - I’m having genetic screening and a double masectomy regardless due to my family history (although also have to consider ovaries as haven’t had babies yet, but was planning to this year. ).
Thank you so much for your support and kind words. I’ve had a lovely message from Rhian too. I will most probably be in touch!! Obviously, if I can act as a sounding board, please let me know! I obviously can’t offer the advice as you’re ahead of me…! But I can always offer a sympathetic ear.
Awhh bless you - take care xx
Hi Sandy, I’m having EC first and then weekly Taxol. I have fibromyalgia (constant pain in muscles and ligaments and fatigue even before I started chemo) so the Oncy said that the size of the 3-weekly dose of Taxol would metaphorically kill me. Hence the smaller, weekly doses, coupled with 3-weekly herceptin.