HER2 + and Grade III IDC

I am new to this site and wondered if there is there anybody out there who has been diagnosed with the same as me? I have so far had 3 lots of FEC and am about to being Taxotere and herceptin. The herceptin will be every 3 weeks for a year. I have to have a mastectomy after the chemo and radiation every day for three weeks.

I am pretty scared about starting the Tax as have heard that it can be pretty hard on the body and I’ve aready been hospitalised 3 times with infections from the FEC. I am also petrified of the operation - don’t know quite how I’m going to cope with that.

I had a portacath put in in July and it was used twice before it had to be removed last week under general anaesthetic as it kept getting infected. I had my last lot of FEC through a vein and was so bruised afterwards. I need to speak to my onc about what else they can do as until the area has healed around the port site they cannot put another one in and it’s taking a long time.

Hope to hear from somebody as would be nice to chat.

Hi RebzAmy,

I can understand your fears - it is so much to take in all at once isn’t it. My ca was similar to yours in that it was Grade 3 IDC. This was 17 years ago - and then HER2 wasnt know about - however I have had a number of recurrences and the oncologists seem pretty certain they have all been HER2+++. I had chemo first then rads, but no surgery the first time as the tumour totally shrunk - nowadays I believe they generally do surgery afterwards. When I had a new tumour in the same breast I then had a mastectomy, I have since had new tumour in the other breast and a further mastectomy and rads. I believe that way back 17 years ago if her2 and herceptin had been know about then I probably would have been spared all the recurrences. I have now got bone secondaries (for 5 years now) and have been having herceptin for the past 4 years - and had no further problems.

The mastectomy surprisingly is relatively painless - and again these days there are the options for reconstruction either at the time of the mastectomy or at a later date. One of the chemo regimes I was on was taxotere - and yes it can be pretty tough going - but we all get there and as so many will tell you ‘it is doable’!! Many of us will be here for you - to talk to, to have a good moan and sometimes even a good laugh. It might be an idea to ask your oncologist in view of the infections you have been hospitalised with if they will consider GCSF injections should your white cell count drop.

Re the portacath and being told they can’t put another one in - I would question that. Most surgeons place it on the right hand side of the chest but mine at the Royal Marsden favours the left! - and there are other sites they can place it. You were so unfortunate to get infections in it.

Do keep coming back - and let us know how you are getting on.

Dawnhc xxxxx

Hi Dawn
Thanks so much for your reponse - I can’t believe how much you have been through yourself you really are amazing and obviously really determined.

I have been given injections of Neulasta which helps my white blood count but I still had an infection with it (that was my second hospital stay). I will speak to my oncologist about having a new port put in when I see him on Tuesday. I will ask them whether the port can be put back in in the other breast (the one that has cancer) - I really cannot bear the thought of all the needles and the port made it more bearable so I will def push for something else.

What is really worrying is that there seem to be so many young people now with breast cancer - everybody you speak to knows somebody who has it.

Anyway I will def keep in touch and keep you updated and thank you again.



I was a frequent visitor to the neutropenia ward with FEC (by virtue of having a small baby who caught everything) but found taxotere very easy, perhaps because I always got prophalactic antibiotics (I had ended up on antibiotics for every round of FEC anyway due to a susceptibility to sinusitis).

The surgery wasn’t bad. Radiotherapy was easy. I took a nap after, then went for a half an hour brisk walk and always felt fine. The herceptin gave me insomnia but was generally ok.

Take care,


Hi Christine

Thanks for the reassurance. Only a few more days to wait until begin taxotere and herceptin. I have so many questions to ask the oncologist now - they will be asking me to make another appointment at this rate!

You take care too