Holding hands - 1st FEC chemo 6th jan

Anyone starting there chemo soon, would appreciate a friend who is going through it at the same time. My husband does not like the C word, and i am very scared of not being able to look after my children if i am unwell, i have closed my business ( a shop) as i cannot do kids,chemo and business, sounds drastic, i dont know.

Anyway i am rubbish at this online stuff.

Hi there, I hope that you are ok and not dreading chemo too much. I have a husband who also likes to avoid the subject of my cancer as much as possible. If I ask him to come to appointments and things with me then he does, but I can tell he would rather not be there, so my sister now comes to most things with me.

Do you have any friends or family who will come to the chemo suite with you? I have had lots of offers but think I may wait and call in their services for lifts to radio etc.

I have had 3 FEC and I can honestly say that apart from one where my bloods were very low, they have been extremely manageable. Even my “bad” one wasn’t that horrendous. It knocked me off my fet for a few days, and I didn’t get on with the anti sickness pills, but by day 10 I felt like a new woman.

I went into the whole thing with an attitude that I should expect the worst of all the side effects and if they are better then that is a bonus! Luckily they have been ok.

Don’t be afraid to ask for any medication you feel you may need and if something doesn’t suit you ask for an alternative to try. No one wants you to suffer if you don’t have to.

I will give you all the support I can virtually. Hope it all goes ok for you. Please keep me posted.

Love and hugs, Debbie. xx

Hi lilythepink - know how you feel about needing friends going through the same thing. I have found two topic threads useful -Ist chemo 17th December - doing okay so far which is v.positive and Top tips to help you through chemotherapy which has lots of useful advice. If you scroll through Latests posts you should be able to find them.
Fear of the unknown is worse than the actual treatment and also remember to think POSITIVE.Chemo affects everyone differently and I have been so lucky with only minimal SE’s, all helped by information gleaned from this site. All the staff at my hospital have been so good so remember to ask yours about any concerns no matter how small they may seem. Good luck and stay calm ad positve. Look forward to hearing from you soon. Marli

Hi Lilythepink ,just finished my chemo ,but thought i would say hi anyway ,My daughter didnt like the c word so we called it “freda”,sometimes the fear is worse than what actualy happens,they have to tell; you all the side effects ,but you dont have to get them .Try and focus on it zapping away at freda ,thats what i did ,good luck i`ll be thinking of you luv barb xxxxps am rubbish on a pc as well

Hi lilythepink,
I’ve just finished 6 x FEC and apart from the first one the se’s haven’t Been that bad. Accept help, be kind to yourself and rest up. Also take all the anti sickness they offer even if you feel
ok. It’s much easier yo control sickness if you take the tablets before you feel sick. I also found gargling salted water at bed time good for keeping germs at bay. You will feel good again after the first week so remember it’s not for ever. We’re all hear to support you so let us know how you get on.

Al x

ive just done 2 fec, will be having my third next week if my bloods are ok.

my bc was always called Larry the Lodger, as lodgers dont stay in a house for long!

thinking of you for tomorrow. I found the actual fec treatment not as bad as i thought. Had a lovely chat to the chemo nurse as they were doing my meds.

thankyou for your comments, don’t know what SE’s are? I feel i can deal with the side affects, to me it is similiar to being pregnant(not pleasant, sick sick sick), it is just coping with the kids, we have no family help, so have to rely on good friends. I may have my husband with me tomorrow it just depends on childcare…
But i am fine going on my own if i have to.

Hi lilythepink, I am sorry that you are having a difficult time just now and do not have much support. Chemo varies diffently depending on what chemo you are on and for how long. There are side effects (SE’s) but you need not get all of them. I would just recommend taking any tablets they offer for side effects, like anti-nausea tablets or tablets to help with loose stools. But it will be difficult if you have young children to care for too. Perhaps your husband will try to help out when you actually start your chemo. (I know my husband was a great support and I would not have managed without his help). Just try to rest whenever you can. I do not know how old your children are, but if anyone offers to help out, please accept their offer. Let us know how you get on. Where about in the country do you live? Because there is bound to be someone on this site who attends the same hospital as you do. Good luck. ( I have just finished a course of chemo myself). Love Val

HI Lillythe pink - It is very scarry -

I have IBC (Inflamatory type breast cancer) I have just finished 6 x fec and they wanted to stop at 4 x fec but I took 2nd and 3rd opinion and asked them to continue for the full 6 - Its easier than child birth and side effects can be similar depeding on the child with tiredness and sleepness nights - I accepted friends help and continued to run my business after taking around 4 to 5 days after each to rest when I could - not give up - I still managed OK just had problems with the brain working (chemo brain they say) people feel better when they are helping as they dont know what else to do for you. Keep taking the anti sickness as it works best when you are not feeling sick - I also got those wrist bands for sea sickness which helped too - I asked for laxatives when I needed to and they were good as well as gum wash as FEC gave me ulcers in my mouth for the first twice only - and the stuff you get from your nurse is better again than you can get from a chemist so keep asking for the good stuff… rather than buying it.

You may find that you are better off with the children being busy in the day and find you may sleep better than I did as due to resting in day I had terrible side effects for sleep - then had to take sleeping tablets and they gave side effects of there own -

I did not realise until nearing the end of the FEC that if I continued in the 4 to 5 days to take some freash air and light excercise the brain would have got the oxygen it needed and worked better and recover quicker. I found if I was a little dusty in the head a few mo’s in the garden helped - but dont catch a cold

I have the support of a wonderful guy but I was diagnosed just 10 days before I got married - no one likes the C word its difficult to know how to react - I susprect your guy is just as wonderful and is as scared he wont cope with his lovely lady going through this.

I must say the FEC is powerful but worked well so far for me I am awaiting surgery Jan 27th the mass (no lumps) has decreased from 3 cm to just 2 mm on FEC alone - so have faith that the medicine is better than the desease and a necessary part of keeping you alive and well again.

This site will give you lots of support and as others say - your nurse will be brilliant and ensure you hav lots of info - if not ask…

We are all different in the side effect and I truly hope you get none of the above - but I am sure too there is nothing that you could not cope with and you get to know what days you are going to be unwell too… So it can be planned for to some degree…

Best of Luck my thoughrts are with you Dee Dee (in memory soon of the lovely Double Dee’s I had) …

Hi there,
Im also starting FEC next week on tues 12th so would be good to link up. Im thinking of you and hope it wont be too bad. It seems everyone has different experience. I just want to get on with it now although Im also dreading it aswell and everything else that goes on with treatment- rads/ tamoxifen etc etc. Let us know how it goes

Hi Lilythepink & Debbs38

Had my 1st FEC on the 17th December - due 2nd one on the 7th January and I never thought I would say this about chemo but… bring it on, do not want any delays.

After 1st one, I felt queasy, heady (bit like having flu and morning sickness at the same time) for about 5 days, had a bit of a sore mouth (that went), taste change (also temporary), breathlessness on exertion (that settled also) and after 10 days was back to my normal self apart from tingly head and the start of shedding hair all over the place!!:). Once this was shaved to a number 2 the sore ‘ponytail’ head thing went and all is well again.

Good luck, don’t make any expectations as to how you will feel, let it happen as it happens and drink, drink, drink, rest when you need to and nibble what your body tells you too…And take those anti emetics, it is all do-able:)

Will be thinking of you - Big Hug Leigh xxx

Hi Lily
I’m another one who hasn’t had many side effects to speak of (and have had 4 x FEC so far). I have also carried on working throughout, except the odd day off here and there (and a lot of that was using up holiday before my annual leave year finished!) and attending hospital appointments.

I don’t have children, but I think I could have coped with them if I had…

We do all react differently to it, and sadly some people do suffer, but there is a chance that you will be one of those who don’t have a bad reaction. I was sat waiting for the side effects to hit after NO 1… and I kept waiting and waiting!

I’m sorry to hear your partner is struggling to deal with this, as it must be so hard to feel you can’t talk about it. Come here and chat to us, and hopefully you have other friends/family you can share things with. It does help to talk about it, as it will be in your mind all the time.

My OH came with me to my first chemo and was chucked out cos there wasn’t enough space! I have gone on my own every time since, which has been fine. I’ve been OK to drive afterwards.
Wishing you lots and lots of luck.
Flora xxx

Hi Lily,
Good luck for today…the first treatment is always the worst. After today to will know where you are going. The fear of the unknow is terrifying!!
I started FEC after a WLE in October, I have now done 4 with just 2more to go!! As much as I hate to say it time has flown by.

I have 3 children, luckily the youngest started school in Sept. Which has been a godsend really. I also haven’t suffered to bad so far, with just a few hungover days after chemo session. Make sure you take life easy on these days… and if the children eat pizza and watch more TV than usual don’t worry… it’s only for a shoet period of time, then you can get back on track!
I had my last FEC 2 days before Christmas and still managed a 5.30 start Christmas morning with the boys!! Still had a houseful all through Christmas and New year and coped as well as normal. Infact I think normality is great…keeps thinks going and the kids are great for that, we don’t all want huge amounts of sympathy and kid don’t tend to do that(well, not mine anyway!) I even managed all the Christmas shopping and was more organised than I have ever been!!
I’m not trying to paint a pretty picture of it all here, just letting you know that you WILL find a way of coping or adapting for a while!! I often find myself cleaning the toilet and thinking 'I can’t believe that I’ve got The C word and I still have to clean the loo!!! Basically not much changes!!
Let us know where you live and your hospital, I’m Leic/Derbyshire border and having treatment at Spire in Leicester which is an hr away from my house!!
Take care and keep posting… this website is invaluable…I have found loads of good advice from wonderful strong ladies that I would never have known otherwise!
Sarah xx

Hi Lily

I start FEC tomorrow 7th Jan, so will be close to you all the way. Very nervous like you, but hoping I get off lightly with the SEs. Have an 11 year daughter who’s life I’m trying to keep as normal as poss. OH very supportive though and lots of help with things.

Fingers crossed for you today!

HI Lilly the pink.
How was your first FEC session? I have just been to oncologist today, he wants me to start FEC in feb, I am terrified just as you are and many others. Hope you did not have to go alone, especially to the first one, I know I will need a hand to hold if I decide to have it… where are you being treated? I am at Norwich, they seem very helpful and friendly…Please let us know how you got on today. Thinking of you… Tracey…x

Hi Lillythepink and Debbs

I was supposed to be starting FEC 6th jan but unfortunately oncologist had not written up prescription so will now be starting on the 13th jan at kettering general.Like you im still a bit nervous about what is ahead but know it has to be done.Find the hair loss side more upsetting than i thought i would(though still making jokes about it in front of family and friends)yes i know its daft cose it will grow back…grey no doubt. hope yous 1st FEC wasnt too bad and hope the SE are mild, take care we can compare notes soon,donna x

Yes i went for a wig fitting and they just look ridiculous. I know theres much worse things but could just do with out it. My hair is really fine and quite long so the wigs look like ive got 3 times as much hair & it feels ridiculous, wondering whether to cut it short coz it will be easier but cant bring myself to. Sure mine will grow back grey and curly! Wot a mare about your prescription when youve psyched yourself up for it.Wot a nightmare. Are you snowed in? we are stuck here.
keep in touch x

Iam new to this site this is only my second post, I start my first chemo tomorrow and iam terrified!!! I had a grade 3 aggresive lump in my right breast (very small), had a lumpectomy a few weeks back and it had not spread into my lymp nodes but they said because of very bad family history (my mum, aunties and cousins) that i would need to have six lots of FEC’s, ive been told that they will be giving me steriods as well. Going to have a double masectomy after the chemo has finised.

I have been reading post on this site all day today and I must say it has made me feel a lot better, you girls out ther are so strong a great inspiration to newbies like me.

I had thought of having the cold cap, but have since been told that its not always worth the pain. I have been out and brought a wig but it feels so strange…

Any tips you have that might help me get thru tomorrow would be a great help.

Iam in the Guildford/Woking area would love to pal up with others in this area…

Many thanks

Hello to all the ‘newbies’ here,
Lilythepink, hope your chemo has gone OK, the anticipation, I found, was much worse than the reality. Whitey hope same goes for you too, and that things go well today.
I have just (yesterday) had my 6th FEC and like others have said, I found it all do-able.
Mainly I just wanted to wish you all the best and hope that things go well for all of you. The best advice I got was to ‘roll with it’ and be kind to myself, and the support I got from the staff at the chemo unit was just superb - they are a big help.
Debbs, I got a wig and took it to my hairdresser who thinned it out and cut it to suit my face etc and it looked great, but to be honest I’ve hardly bothered with it - I bought a velvet baker boy cap that I wear everywhere and I go au natural in the house except when its cold! Also my hair started coming back after chemo 4, so I realise I’ve been very lucky in that way.
Hope things go well for all of you
monica x

I did it! first session out of the way, was very proud of myself, there was a foot of snow, roads bad, appoin at 9.00, managed to get there, but as school/nursery closed hubby stayed at home, and went in on my own.
Was’nt as bad as i expected, but have bad veins so 3 attempts to get line in. Red stuff was worse, but all in all OK.
My approach is its like alcohol it is poison, but we still take it.
The red stuff i call Aftershock (pretty toxic), the second lot was like couple of vodkas, and finished off with a bottle of wine, and a hangover to look forward to. Said to the nurse as i left, be in for another acohol fuelled session in a couple of weeks.

I have had a raging headache since my session and only been slightly sick, temp slightly raised, so probably had a cold before hand.

There has been no let up at home as the kids are off school/nursery but is as sort of helped, you just have to get on with it.
Feeling Brave at mo yippee