have to have chemo & rads

Hi everyone

I have just foung out i have to have chemo starting on the 2nd January, 6 lots every 3 weeks and then a month of rads, every day.
This has completley blown me away as i saw the surgeon on the 11/12 and she told me everything looked great had a WLE on the 28/11 with no lymph involvment. She told me a short dose of rads was possibly all i woul need or medication only.
I know this probably sounds really silly but im feel more afraid now than when they told me i had cancer. I was so certain i wouldnt need any chemo. The ongologist told me because the tumour was bigger than 2cm and that i still have my breast that its neccesary. How can the dx go from being so positive to needing all this treatment.
I also asked about side effect, im taking part in a trail which is called FEC, dont know if its the same in English. He told me everybody different so he couldnt tell me what the side effects would be.
As the time gets closer i feel totally lost. Any advice would be wonderfull

Love Lynne

Hi Lynne
Don’t know if this will help you but I was originally told I’d only need rads - but once they got the tumour out , it was grade 3 and due to my age (41) I was offered chemo. I also had WLE and clear lymph nodes, and the tumour was only 1.3 cm but I did not hesitate to have the treatment as I have two small boys and feel that even a 4% benefit by having chemo was significant.
I am having FEC too - I will be having 4/6 next friday. I can honestly say that apart from the hair loss which I have found very difficult to deal with , I have really had no side effects that have caused me problems. There are very effective anti-sickness drugs that you will be given, and I have had minimal nausea on two occasions. The chemo time has really gone quickly - I am so looking forward to moving onto rads and the next stage towards being fully recovered.
I hope this gives you a bit of help - chemo has been ok for me, but I know everyone is different.
best wishes
Tracey x

Hi Lynne

I also had a WLE with clear lymph nodes my tumour was 2.3 cms grade 3 ,i was also told by my surgeon that i would only have rads and 5 yrs tomoxofin ,however when i saw the oncoligist i too was told id have to have chemo /rads /tomoxofin . As far as i am awear chemo is usealy given if the tumour is 2cms or over and also if high grade. Although haveing clear lynph nodes i was told chemo is given in case ther are any microscopic cells left behind in the body (which they cant test for) .Im now on my last cycle of chemo (am on the Tact2 trial ) Epi/Xeloda accelerated (every 2 weeks) .I know the thought of chemo can be frightening i too was scared but as all the ladies will tell you on here it is doable and there are many meds for any side affects if you have any,In england FEC it is a standard treatment and not on trial its been used here for many years .Please try not to worry (i know its easy to say) but you will get through it . Honestly if i can do it anybody can .

Best Wishes
Lots of Hugs
Lindiloo x

Hi Lynne

I too was initially told i’d possibly only need lumpectomy, rads and drugs but i had one lymph node with cancer. I saw the oncologist who told me there was every chance i am now cancer free but that i would need adjuvant therapy, which means treatment as a precaution to prevent the cancer coming back. I was also her2 and grade 2. The chemo puts my chances up of no recurrence to almost 93% if i have rads and take drugs too. He did say i could take my chances but in my case I had a 50% chance of it coming back, with all the treatment it almost doubles. for me it was way way too important to turn down. Years ago we would never have had the option at this stage of having chemo, it was only given i think to people with secondaries… it really does improve your chances in the long term but it is a ‘just in case’ measure that may seem a bit harsh right now but is only because of the microscopic cells that could still be there. It is horrible having to get your head around chemo and I felt desolate when I found out all the facts about my cancer but… now I just feel lucky that there is so much they can do for me to help get me better.

Chemo is a drag but you will hear it said here many times, it is do-able!! And it is 18 weeks out of your life to give you peace of mind… hair comes back again soon enough too. Good luck for your first one and all the best for a great new year, and it will be great once all this has passed. Carrie x

Hi Lynne

I was wondering how your appointment went. I too thought I wouldn’t need chemo as there was no lymph node involvement and my tumour was only 1.2 cm, but because it was grade 3, chemo was offered to me and the statistics made me decide to go for it. I had FEC and then 6 weeks of radiotherapy every day. I was diagnosed in April and planning to go back to work in January so the treatment is over with relatively quickly. It doesn’t feel like that at the time but looking back, it has gone quickly. Now only 16 more Herceptin to go and almost 5 years of Arimidex!

Good luck and very best wishes

Hi Lynne,
I felt exactly the same. I felt they kept moving the goal posts. First they said yes it’s cancer but it’s so small you’ll probably just need lumpectomy radiotherapy and tamoxifen.
They removed the lump (1.2mm) and the lymph nodes they removed were clear. That was great news and the surgeon still seemed to think chemo would not be necessary.
Then the cancer turned out to be HER2 postitive which means I would really benefit from Herceptin. In order to have Herceptin you have to have chemo first. So I ended up with a package of surgery, chemo, radiotherapy, tamoxifen and then a year of Herceptin.

Looking back I think it was probably for the best that I didn’t know the full scale of the treatment. It was better just to deal with one part at a time.
As it turns out I have had 2 of 6 FEC and am really pleased with the way it is going. They have given me really good anti-sickness treatment and there is lots of advice on this website to help you get through chemo.

Worrying about the first chemo is much worse than actually going through with it. I am usually a very anxious person and I am coping with the treatment. Honestly - if I can do it anyone can do it. Please try not to worry. Let us know how it goes.
Lorna X

Hi Ladies

Thanks for all your positive comments. Everytime i ask for advice about my treatmnt the response i get is fantastic. As i live in Spain and that seems to add to the confusion(they are not very forthcoming with info) this site has been a great help.

I have all my family here with me at the moment for christmas so am trying not to dwell on things to much for their sakes.

Still having to have the dressing changed every day as i had an infection and the wound didnt heal. Thats a complete drag. Just been to emergency clinic this morning and all the doctors and nurses got called out on a call so now have to go bacjk this afternoon. Unbelievable system they have here.

How did your holiday is Spain go Anne? Was the weather good as we have had a lot of rain here recently.

Thanks again to you all will keep you posted.

Lynne x x

P.S. have already been out to buy hats and scarfes for the dreaded hair loss

Lynne, just wanted to say good luck with your first one, i am sure you’ll be fine, you soon start to pick up a day or two after chemo and it’s a great relief to get the first one over with as you then know what your’e dealing with.

Lorna - when you said you were on great anti nausea meds, can you tell me which ones as i’ve had to have mine changed twice now as they didn’t do any good and am wondering about asking for specific ones that are recommended on here.

Thanks, Carrie x

hi honeybee43 and everyone else

… really sorry to hear that they have changed their mind on you as it is very worrying when the goalposts move …

… am in completely the opposite position from you , was told I would have to have chemo and now they are not so sure … this is extremely worrying too … feel like I’m GAGGING for it!!! unbelievable …

whilst the whole thing is an emotional rollercoaster it does sound as though you are getting good treatment … how would you feel now if you were told chemo was “off the menu”? It’s all a bit of a bugger isn’t it!!!

at least you know that you are not alone and we all undertand the craziness of this entire situation

I hope it all goes well for you
big hug >>>>>>>>

Hi Lynne

We had a great time in Spain thanks. We had warm sunny weather so it must have turned worse after we left.

Good luck with your treatment


Hi honeybee 43 I had exactly the same scenario as you, and was horrified about chemo, I start mine on 2nd Jan to , had grade 2 , 18mm tuomour , surgeon found cells in one lymph node out of seven. I am more scared about this than when was first told it was cancer, because lymph nodes looked clear on scan I suppose I built my hopes up. I do not want to see in The New Year so I am going to bed when finished this mail . The one thing I was looking forward to was being a 1st time Grandma any day now then this BC has to get in the way . I want to SCREAM it’s not fair but their are thousands of you out there who are going through it to , so love to all of you, Will think of you on the 2nd when they are
Pumping us with the chemo.
Let me know how it goes please!!!
Love Corsa aka Bobbie

Hi ladies

Had 1st chemo on the 2nd felt sick literally about 2 hours after having it but starting to feel a bit better today. Have still got a really horrible taste in my mouth though and the sickness keeps me awake at night so not slept very well since Wednesday.

Sorry to hear your in the same situation as me Bobbie. How did your 1st chemo go? Dont let this spoil the excitment of your first grandchild. You will get through this and your grandchild will give you somthing to be positive about

Fizbix, sorry to hear they have changed there mind about treatment but im sure they must know what they are doing and i know i would rather not be having it. Let me know what happens!!

Anne, glad you enjoyed your holiday, i feel like i could do with one right now

Love & hugs to you all.
Lynne x x


I’m sorry to hear that you have felt so sick. You should mention it to your oncologist as they can give you different or additional anti sickness medication. Have you been given any mouthwash to help with the horrible taste?

Hopefully, you should start to feel much better soon.

I am going back to work soon but fitting in another visit to Spain before then, so looking forward to that.

All the very best

Hi Ann

Feel a lot better today. Will talk to onc when i have my next app. to see if they can change the tablets. Have still got the horrible taste and now have a funny feeling on my tongue today aswell. Was told if i had any problems with my mouth just to drink Camomile tea but i really dont like the taste of that much either. Some of the other ladies on here mentioned pinapple juice so i have just been out a bought some of that to see if it helps.

Great news that you ar going back to work must make things feel a little bit more normal!!!

Are you visiting the same part of Spain again?

Take Care
Lynne xx

Hi Lynne
Glad you are feeling a bit better. I was given 2 types of mouthwash in case of mouth ulcers, but I only needed to use one sort.

We are going to Benalmadena this time so just a bit along the coast from Mijas Costa. I hope the weather might be kind to us again! I have to fit in holidays in between Herceptin doses. I am having the third one this week.

All the best
Anne x

Hi Lynne

I´m new on here today and have been looking to find anyone living and being treated in the Malaga area to compare notes. I had a radical mastectomy in October and started chemo in December. It has not gone well at times and am wondering if I´m getting the best treatment. Are you being treated in Malaga? If so where?