July 2020 chemo monthly starters



This thread is for anyone due to start chemotherapy in July 2020.  I’m sure others will be here soon but please introduce yourself and you can all help one another through this phase of your treatment.  If you have any questions please post away on here and others in the community will watch over you whilst you are getting started.  Once you are into it you’ll be pretty good at helping each other.  You can also ask the nurses on this forum if you have any concerns.  In the meantime, the top tip is always to stay well hydrated throughout chemo, aiming for 2 litres of water per day.

Here is the BCN guide on chemo:


Here’s an excellent article for anyone concerned about hairloss. That’s pretty much everyone starting chemo: pinklotus.com/powerup/breastcancer101/chemo-hair-loss-and-menopause-hair-too/

I finished my chemo over a year ago and doing very well again now.  Here is my story which has some chemo tips on how I coped which were collectively shared from others who had gone through the same from this forum:


If you decide to set up a private group its good to stay on here also during treatment as I know from experience there are some people who watch but don’t immediately pluck up the courage to join in.  Your conversations can be a real comfort to others.

Best wishes xx

Thanks Mai for setting up July’s chemo board. I’m Steph (38) and was diagnosed on 13th May with lobular BC.  I’m having a masectamy and lymph removals in 2 weeks time and then chemo in July followed by radiotherapy.  Hoping to find support here and to support others who are starting chemo in July!  I’m trying to be really positive as breast cancer is usually treatable these days but it’s an anxious and stressful time (got a house move on the go as well!) so it would be great chat to others in the same boat :slightly_smiling_face:  xx

Hi I was diagnosed on 30thmay with invasive duct cancer which is roughly 39mm. Mri scan showed my lymph nodes to be fine and I will having chemo in July with a lumpectomy once chemo is completed. Back to front from everyone else but it’s for the greater good. I’m a bit apprehensive about it all. I now have to tell my kids which I am dreading as they are 8 & 11

Hi all,

I’m Kate, I’m 49, and I’m due to start chemotherapy in a couple of weeks time - 8 sessions over 16 weeks. Have had to cancel all 50th birthday celebrations this summer!

I was diagnosed in late April with ER+ PR+ HER- invasive ducal cancer, plus an area of DCIS. Biopsy & MRI suggested it was stage 1, grade 2. Initially they thought I would need a lumpectomy + radiotherapy, then they thought the size of the DCIS was such that I’d need a mastectomy & sentinel nodes removed. I had that 3 weeks ago and have been healing pretty well. I thought I was over the worst…

But, unfortunately, my pathology results came back last week saying the cancer was actually stage 2 (only just - the tumour was 2.1mm), grade 3 and the cancer was partially in one node. They don’t seem to want to take any more nodes as the other 3 were clear, but I now I need chemotherapy too. I feel very stunned and scared - about the new diagnosis and the treatment that I wasn’t expecting.

Both my surgeon and oncologist has said my cancer is curable. I’m trying to hold onto that word and to mentally underline it when all the other horrible words crowd in. I have a fantastic team at my hospital and I just have to place myself in their expert hands and believe what they say.

I have 2 kids, 16 and 12. The 16-year-old has been amazing - very kind, lots of hugs, optimistic about the future. My youngest is struggling anyway and I think doesn’t know what to make of all my treatment. We have been reading a lovely book together which I would highly recommend for kids aged 10-12, called The Best Medicine by Christine Hamill - a Northern Irish writer who went through breast cancer treatment. (She also wrote a non-fiction book called B is for Breast Cancer about her experience which is about the only thing I’ve managed to read that has cheered me up and not freaked me out.) The Best Medicine is funny and moving and we’ve had a good laugh and cry together about the awfulness that is breast cancer,

Today’s top worry (the list is very long and they vie for the number 1 position) is about the kids going back to school (where I live, term has finished) and bringing back Covid or some other bug. Getting an infection during chemo sounds scarily serious. I’m unclear what shielding really means. I can’t imagine being socially distant from my family within our small flat. But my youngest is going stir crazy and really needs to get back to school. And I’ve already been self-isolating for 5 weeks and am dreading not being able to go for even a socially distanced walk with a friend, for support, laughter and a shoulder to cry on.

My oncologist says I can try the cold cap and I will give it a go. Fingers crossed - I don’t fancy losing my hair. The thread on cold caps was useful to read and quite positive. One tip I read was to invest in a silk pillow case and good quality dry shampoo. 

I’m very glad to have found this space and feel immediately less terrified, knowing I’m not alone. Thank you all for sharing your stories. Wishing you all strength for the trial ahead. May there be good days ahead.

Kate xx


I am due to have my first chemo session on the 13th July does anybody know how long I should be there for, my hubby said it could be between 30 minutes and 6 hours 

Hello Mai and everybody. I feel I am a bit late to the July party! I only went to Breast clinic on June 29th and things are whizzing along too fast for me to keep up. I have a lockdown lump that I found after my mammogram was delayed in March. It seems I have a 23mm grade 3 tumour with at least one 25mm LN and ER + HER2 +. I am starting with chemo first before surgery so get my PICC line on Monday and first treatment on Tuesday. Fast or what? I think I am having FEC x 3 then T plus Herceptin and Perjeta x3 before surgery. I opted for  CT scan and Bone scan to check for secondaries but am now terrified of the results. I am a GP but it looks like I might have suddenly retired as they have told me I can’t work during treatment. I think I am still in shock! I am a keen cyclist so have borrowed an ebike to get to appointments as the Unit is only a mile away. 
I have read all your comments and picked up lots of tips. One question - did you take anybody with you for your treatment sessions? 
Nancy Blackett (sailor and Amazon pirate)