Holding hands - 1st FEC chemo 6th jan

Well done Lilythepink - glad to hear your first session is out of the way - hope the SEs are not too bad.
I also start chemo January 14th, I’ve got off fairly light compared to many of you - 4 x EC. Even so, difficult to know what to expect - I have found previous comments and advice here so encouraging so I am hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.
Been out for a long walk in the snow and sunshine this afternoon - better conditions here than in the alps!

Hi all

just thought id add my support to all you ladies just starting on the road of chemo. I had a mastectomy,3xfex 3xtax, 15 rads tamoxifen and just about to start herceptin.

It is very frightening when you hear that word chemo but it is do-able, im a single mum of 2 boys and found that having them around helped but they are 11 and 14 so they understood what was going on. For every side effect you might get the hospital or your GP will have something to help you, apart from the taste buds unfortunatly.My unit was fab and they were happy to answer any questions i had or advice on se. you dont have to suffer. Listen to your body and if you feel tired rest.

I found this site so helpful chatting to other ladies going through the same thing or from those who come through the other side, you can moan as much as you like and they dont mind, share your funny stories and give you support.

Well done Lilythepink.1 down !

take care Sally xx

Well done Lilythepink, now you can start counting down 'til you’re finished! I had FEC no3 this morning, just one more to go then I start weekly Taxol.

I’ve been lucky and not had any bad side effects, feel a bit rough for a couple of days then tired for a few more after the steroids finish, the last two weeks of each cycle I’ve felt fine so far let’s hope it’s the same this time.

The best tips I’ve had for minimising SE’s have been to drink lots to flush the toxins through, eat regularly (I find I feel more nauseous if I don’t have a regular snack/chocolate intake!) and if you get the nasty post-chemo taste in your mouth then fruit pastilles still taste ok and are refreshing.


Well done Lilythepink
it’s great isn’t it to get one down, and now you know what you’re getting every cycle. Hope it continues to go well with you
be good to yourself
monica x

Hi, glad things went well today. Try and rest if you can, although not easy with children i’m sure.

Drink plenty of fluids, especially if you have the sinusy headaches. I always got them with FEC.

I was told to ask the nurses to administer the cyclophosphamide slower after really bad headache after first dose, so I did and found this helped.

Take care. Love and hugs, Debbie. xx

Hi there. I am new to the site and this is my first ever post. I have my first EPI chemo on the 19th and i am really scared.I had a grade 3 aggressive lump in my right breast and had 2 WLE in December to remove it. Was originally just going down the radiotherapy route until just before Christmas they recommended chemo first. Well that certainly came out of the blue !! So i start week after next - hickman line in on the Monday and then Tuesday is kick off.

I have been reading various posts and they have all made me feel so much better, even the ones describing SE’s ( i think that is my main fear - not knowing anything and fearing the worst ) so took the courage to post something as the new girl on the block whilst at the same time thanking you all for your honesty and humour. I will certainly try to focus in on this in the coming months.

Going to try the cold cap and see how i get on - getting my hair cut short next week ( i have shoulder length hair ) so if it does fall out i will be half way there.

Any top tips before chemo starts - for the first few days - i don’t want to think too far ahead. Any experiences of EPI?


First FEC yesterday, and had horrendous nausea and sickness for 5 hours. Chemo nurses wonderful and came to my house to inject me as I couldn’t keep anything down.

11pm last night had decided I wasn’t doing anymore of this!! But all looks better today. Just slightly queasy and feeling better by the minute. Can cope with 24 hours if this is what happens every time. Onc has said he will change the meds before next session, so fingers crossed.

Hi Folks,
I am new to this site, and I am also very apprehensive about starting by first cycle of FEC on 12th Jan. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I was diagnosed 1st December, 2009, admitted for wide local incision with spread in to four lymph nodes, Grade 3 tumour.

Im feeling scared, 42 years old and completely crumbled when diagnosed. Funny, but im a mental health nurse and I nurse people daily to utilise distraction techniques and I am a quivering wreck. Since diagnosis, I have been positive and optimistic but sometimes this is hard to maintain. Any advice from you girls who are going through the lived experience would be a great help.
llinnw xxx

Hello llinnw
I’m sorry you find yourself in a position to join this forum. There is a great thread full of chemotherapy tips which I found helpful to read through, just to get my head around it all, but the best advice, on top of that was to ‘roll with it’ and be guided by how you feel.
I’ve just finished 6x FEC and I found the support from chemo nurses to be priceless. There is no side effect they can’t help you with and their aim is to make it all as SE free as possible.
I’m not surprised you are scared - its scary stuff thats happening to us. I wouldn’t worry about keeping up the positive outlook, how you feel from day to day is completely valid, and to be honest, people around you need to know how you feel.
I also trained as RMN yonks ago, but have worked in social care and management since. I’m used to being the one people come to for support and my diagnoses first in 1997 and this one last June have both knocked me for 6. I see a psychologist now, via my bc nurse - wish I had gone this route first time around!
I hope things go well with you - remember, this is about you and its OK to put yourself first
take care and be kind to yourself
love monica x

Hello llinnw, sorry you have had to join us on this forum, but welcome anyway. I have had BC for many years and have found lots of support from this site. It wasn’t around when I was first diagnosed and it is great to be able to come on here whether it is to ask questions, have a moan or share our experiences with women in a similar position. You will soon get the hang of it all although I did find it quite confusing at first. So if we can help just ask. Someone will be able to answer you…even in the middle of the night if you cannot get back to sleep! Take care, love Val

Hi to all

I had a WLE on Nov 13Th, Grade 3 19mm tumour no spread to nodes.
I was first told my treatment would be hormone and radiotherapy I was then advised to have chemo which was a shock as I had just got my head a little way around what was happening.they recommended chemo as a Grade 3 and age 43.my BC was picked up in right breast on mammogram but I had originally gone with a lump in the left that turned out OK.

HI Wendy
I had my first chemo EPI on 29Th DEC and to be honest apart from feeling queasy and tired for first week it was OK my advice as given to me before hand is to drink plenty of fluids and when i felt sickly I would lay down until it passed eating little and often also helped even though i didn’t really feel like eating.Grated Ginger and warm water when queasy.
The only real problem was constipation and i ended up having an enema
{Sorry if to much info} It was either that or DYNO ROD I am now taking movicol and they are working a treat.

Just keep coming to the forum this site has helped me so much since i was diagnosed in October.

Good luck to everyone on first or next chemo.

Take care and keep warm

Wendy xx

Pearlysocks - hope your first EPI went ok - drink loads of water and if you feel sick make sure you take your meds and if they don’t work get more from the GP or the hospital. I ended up with domperidone, ondanestron and nonzinam (this later makes you sleep though) just to get through the first week.

the main SE for me is sickness, constipation, insomnia and thrust all of which can be managed.

the first time is rough but you will feel better soon

Wendy I have almost exactly the same as you WLE to remove a 18mm grade 3 tumour - got chemo then rads then herceptin to do and half way through chemo now - we can chum each other !!

Hope everyone is doing ok in this cold weather - my circulation is shot at the moment so I’m here in my thermals - Bringing Sexy Back ! LOL

Hi - to all. Have to say that beyond a little ongoing nausea and a funny taste in my mouth all seems ok after a horrible start. Can live with 24 hours if that’s how it turns out each time. So hope for those yet to start!

Good luck to all about to start/have started. Final major trauma will be the hair going. Have an appointment for final wig try-on today and am hoping desparately that it looks ok. CN said would lose hair within 7-10 days on FEC so have to next weekend to make sure all is ok. Don’t look good in hats so pinning all my hopes on the wig!

Hi everyone - this is my first post. I’m having my second FEC on Tuesday, and wanted to ask those further down the route whether their SE’s followed the same pattern each cycle.

Also, cut my hair really short and had the cold cap - have still to lose any hair. Have I got lucky or is it too early to tell if it will fall out?

Thanks for your help.

Hi Finty,

I had my third FEC on thursday and my SE’s have followed the same pattern each time so far, if anything the first cycle was the worst maybe because I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t take anything for the constipation I got from the anti-nausea meds.

I’m also using the cold cap and my hair has thinned but not enough to require me to cover my head. It started to thin around the time of my second FEC and I’m still losing hair but very gradually. My underarm hair all came out overnight at around day 18 after 1st FEC but is now showing signs of growing back a little!

Good luck for Tuesday, let us know how you get on.


hey - I think the SE are predictable and you can learn (quickly !) what you need to do to manage them - like others the constipation needs managed throughout or ouch !

good luck let us know how youget on xx

my se have been the same both fec cycles. for me it’s nausea (lots of anti sickness meds) or else i will be sick) , mouth ulcars, gum ulcars, and oral thrush.

I did the cold cap, but it didnt work for me. Hair started coming out on day 17. All gone now.So i wear hats/scarves. Have a wig, but havent got around to wearing it yet.

hi i am having my 1st chemo tomorrow the 11th of jan and i am scared to death i have to have 6 cycles of fec and then 15 sessions of radio and 12 months of herceptin so dont know whot to expect there is some positive comments on this sitebut has people say we are all individuel i am dreading loosein my hair i have already picked a wig got it friday that was hard to do is the 1st one the hardest to cope with hope you are feeling ok i will be be thinking of everyone who has to go through this thought the surgery was hard to cope with but this is scaring me more maybe this time next year i could sit here i think whot was i scared off good luck to everyone goin through this best wishes to you all jackiexxxx

Thanks guys - any recommendations for the constipation?

Hi Finty
My onc gave me lactulose for the constipation (but only after I reported it from the first treatment), and it worked ok for the second. For the third I didn’t take it in time (ouch) and for the 4th I took it on the day and for about 4 days afterwards, and things did move, but only slowly. Not as painful as treatments 1 and 3!!

Everyone seems to recommend Movicol, so I am going to ask for that this time (or just buy some).

I am now farting for England though, so if you see a green mist in the Wales/Gloucestershire area, that’ll be me!

Good luck!!