Holding hands - 1st FEC chemo 6th jan

Monica, Val & all, many thanks for the welcome. I am all ready for Tuesday, although apprehensive & scared…natural response really.
I miss my work so much Monica, I work in a busy acute admission ward, one of my friends left the NHS a few years ago to go and work in voluntary sector and he loves it.
My treatment and recovery is: Grade 3 tunour, removed via wide local incision with spread to four axilary nodes. Due to start 3 X FEC then 3 X Taxotere. Period of recovery then mastectomy and removal of the ovaries. (I am a BRCA2 mutation carrier). Period of Radio but currently unsure of dose as advised by oncololgist. more surgery to remove other breast which is not diseased but due to genetic mutation, it is my choice to have it removed and have prophylactic surgery on both breasts, my surgeon agress that this is a good choice.
This will be a long recovery journey…I say I will be back on my feet this time next year lol…my friends and colleagues think longer…this is so hard, I feel that I am walking around in a disturbed dream…
Lynn xxx

Thanks Flora - I’m seeing my onc today so will mention both those. Farting no problem - but can’t stop burping! Guess it’s gotta get out somehow or other.

Hi coco - if the hair thing is freaking you out try the cold cap if you are offered it. I still haven’t lost any hair - day 21 now - my nurse thinks I have the right shaped head to fit the cap perfectly ie. big! I also kept pulling it down so it was in contact with the scalp everywhere. Have lost my underarm hair,so am encouraged to think it’s the cold cap that is making the difference.

Coco - I don’t know if this is any consolation, but like you losing my hair was my primary worry before the chemo. One treatment down, and I have to say that the worry has shrunk in my mind. I have got a very good wig and my OH even said he preferred it to my current look (think he was just being kind though!!). However, the wig will give me the confidence to go out and keep some semblance of normal life.

Know a lot of ladies use scarves and hats, but not a look that suits me. Good luck with it all!!!

I feel abit lost, Chemo went well, then home, and thats it, Feel like having to deal with SE’s on my own, breast care nurse not interested as i am having chemo now, and phoned chemo unit, and they said will phone back when have time, Still major headaches (popping paracetamol like smarties), major constipation and the period from hell, it doesnt sound alot but the kids are’nt giving me any let up, and trying to keep on top of stuff. Sorry to winge(I hate wingeing)

On the plus side i havent been too sick, so thats good

I know how you feel, never knowing who to bother when you don’t feel well. We collect quite a number of phone numbers along the way…I also felt alone after the first one, almost waiting for something to happen!
I hope you’re managing to drink plenty… it helps loads and rest (I know not possible with kiddies!)
hope the SE’s pass quickly for you

Sarah xx

Thanks your right, you feel abit like a time bomb, i am going to try and forget about it, otherwise i will become paranoid.
Drinking loads, but its like being pregnant, where are the toilets when you need them?

Hi Lilythepink, Ask your GP to prescribe Movicol. No need to make an appointment. Phone your GP and ask the receptionist ( I call ours the Gestapo !) if she will leave a note for him and ask him to call you if there is a problem. This is what I did. The movicol comes in sachets and you put it in water and it is very pleasant to take. I had lemon and lime. Love Val

Hi there,
Im in tomorrow for 1st chemo. Cant believe the time has finally come round. Hope everyone else is doing OK. Going to try the cold cap but my hair is really fine anyway so not sure it will do anything. Good to hear how people are doing. xxx

LilythePink - I was put into contact with the district nurses straight after chemo and they came to introduce themselves the day after my first FEC. They have been issued with a prescription card from the gp and are on 24 hour call if I have any problems.

Try giving your surgery a call to see if the same is on offer in your area - it is a massive comfort that you don’t have to do it on your own…

Hope today went ok.

Hi all

just sitting reading all the comments, going for first FEC this afternoon, well it dosn’t sound too bad(bet your all being kind to us new to it). feel remarkably calm but the OH is more stressed than me…poor old sod nobody seems to ask him how he is coping.thanks for all the tips sure will be trying most…donna x

Hi there,
chemo yesetrday was fine. cold cap think made me feel abit sick but after 15min was ok just heavy and headache. Got home and thought I was doing really well-had chemo about 12.30 and was absolutely fine till 8.30pm and then felt abit sick and v tired so went to bed and felt sick all night but not actually been sick, comes in waves. Suppose im lucky ive not been sick yet but its only the first day. still in pjs watching crap daytime tv. Think Id bettr go and have some more tablets to try keep it at bay.
hows eveyone else doing? xxx

Hi debbs38 - Well done first one over, and not to bad so far! I’ve been very well so far with only mild nausea but when it does arise I eat crystallised ginger and it works a treat so may be worth a try.Also remember to drink loads to flush the chemo out of your system and just relax and sleep when you have to. Keep well.
Marli . x

I’m in for my first chemo tomorrow morning - and feeling quite stressed - will be glad to get it out of the way. Sorted my wig yesterday - but am still wavering about using the cold cap, not sure if I can cope with that as well.
Hope you got on OK Lillyloo.

Hi all, good luck to everyone who has just had or is having their first chemo.I remember how anxious I was before my first one.

I also felt a bit abandoned after first chemo, but the chemo nurses were very good if phoned and tried to answer any questions I had. Luckily for me my first one was the one with the least side effects.

Fast approaching chemo number 5 out of 6, so all good. The time has passed really quickly.

Good luck to everyone undergoing treatment or just finished, it will soon be all you first timers approaching the end.

Take care, love and hugs, Debbie. xx

Hi everyone,
Just read through all the comments. Diagnosed with DCIS in Nov, mx and diep done in dec, got the results and the cancer is now invasive and told i need chemo. Was fine till then, been very tearful and worried about the side effects, as i know i am not a very good patient, hate feeling sick, and the thought of lossing my hair is devasting - have never suited hats or scarfs. Husband does not really understand concerns - already feel less of a women, one boop down, other reduced, huge gash across belly. He is being (how to describe it) polite and like a stranger. He says he doesnt know how to approach me without hurting me. All i need is to feel human again. How do other peoples husbands, partners cope?

Hi there bizzyizzywizzy!
I understand where you are coming from, as i was exactly the same when i was told that i needed chemo after having a mastectomy to remove a 4cm lump from my left breast back in September last year.
I was even contemplating not having the chemo simply because i did not want to lose my hair! It is hard to get your head around all tha is happening to you, as it is such a roller coaster of a journey.

The chemo for me is not nearly half as bad as i had anticipated…you are given plenty of anti sickness medication and for every potential side effect, the doc can prescribe something to alleviate it.

As for the hair loss, you could give the cold cap a go…(there is a thread somewhere on here about them), it has worked for many ladies, so have a read and see what you think.
Again, once you face it head on (and that is hard i think) things can get easier for you.
Your husband and you are in this together, so chat and share your feelings, as i am sure he will worry for you.
When i am feeling a bit wobbly about the whole no hair/no boob thing, he re assures me that he loves me for who i am and not what i look like at the moment…which is good to know!

You can get some lovely hats now (especially as it is winter), so maybe experiment a little and go for a new look?
The wigs are also great, event he synthetic ones look real and remember all of this is TEMPORARY, just an inconvenience, but it will pass.

All the best.
Naz x

Hey Liz

Try not to worry yourself too much about chemo. It is as they say ‘doable’!

I have a phobia about feeling & being sick & managed to get thru 4 cycles of FEC okay & am halfway thru 4 TAX. I was only actually sick once after my first dose, but it turned out to be the effects of domperidone (anti sickness meds)on me rather than the chemo! The nurses are fantastic at tweaking your meds for you if the first lot aren’t effective enough, so make sure you tell them about any side effects you have, no matter how small. The nausea you can’t really avoid unfortunately,indigestion tablets from the hospital helped me a fair bit, but it’s nothing worse than morning sickness & it passes quickly. And even as a sickness wimp I didn’t find it too bad.

With regard to losing your hair…I joked about it for weeks & said it wouldn’t bother me…until it happened! I had already got my hair cut short & I dyed it a colour I didn’t like so I wouldn’t be as devastated when the day came! LOL
The morning I woke up (day 13 for me!) and my hair was coming out in clumps I done a Britney! It was something I had to do myself & in private. I shaved my head with a number 2 & my husband done a short one when I eventually had the guts to take off my hat later that night! Once my hair was gone I was actually fine with it. It was just actually seeing my hair coming out that freaked me out, so, for me it was best to get rid immediately!

You’ll probably be surprised with hats too. I never suited any kind of hat except a baseball cap prior to this, but I found a few hats that I really suit now & cover my full baldy head (so much so that no one realised I had no hair until I told them!). I found Debenhams really good & got 3 or 4 different hats in there & ordered some beau beau scarves online from America that come already shaped (no complicated tying) & I feel are more modern in design. At least it’s winter & no one looks twice at you traipsing round the supermarket in a hat, makes me less self concious!

I empathise with the husband situation too! My husband is fantastic, but to him this is just a temporary inconvenience that will be finished as soon as chemo & rads are over for me & I get the recon that I’m desperate for! He doesn’t really get my down days, or why I sometimes cry when I look in the mirror & see a bald Buddha staring back at me. He is getting better with me now tho & mostly treats me the same way he used to…throwing me round & slagging me off! LOL
It’ll take your husband time & to be fair, the scars do look pretty sore when you’re not long post op. He might just be wary of hurting you or damaging you wounds if he so much as cuddles you.
Like Naz says, sit down & talk to your husband about how you feel, I do quite often, much to his disgust! LOL. Most men just don’t seem to be good with emotions & dealing with this sort of thing, they’d rather wait until it all goes away! He probably doesn’t even realise how he’s making you feel.

Good Luck with everything!

Hazel xx

Hi All

Well 1st FEC down five to go, wasnt too bad and so far feeling pretty good(no doubt the steroids).feeling good hope it lasts.OH seems a lot less stressed now but he still keeps looking at me waiting for me to throw up or something lol. donna x