March 2017 Starters

Hi all

And here is the March 2017 chemotherapy starters thread!  Hopefully it will become a lively and supportive thread for all of you having to go through your various regimes of chemo. Please do not be too worried - you will all get through this. For some it may be harder than others, as side effects tend to differ from person to person, even if on the same regime. Sharing your experiences will help others, even if you never see them posting. It is also a great place to share your frustrations, ask questions, laugh, cry, rant and rave. I finished my chemotherapy and radiotherapy on 26th October 2016 and shall be ‘lurking’ to support you , where it may be relevant. 

Any side effects you do get please note them down for your treatment team. Keeping a diary may be a good idea. If they become too challenging and you advise them accordingly, they usually tend to adjust the accomanying medication to make your journey easier. Most side effects experienced in the first cycle are likely to be the same throughout, as long as you are on the same regime. They may improve with adjustment of medication though.

Here are some helpful links for you to prepare and support you.

Chemo preparation -…

If you do not have a PICC or similar port installed and you are on FEC throughout - you may wish to ask for one to be installed. FEC is quite tough on your veins. This thread may be of help though for all of you -…

And this one covers everything from food to make up and wigs - you may have to explore in more depth to find something specific you are looking for -…


Sue x

Thanks Sue-this is brilliant. I’ve (rather reluctantl!) been keeping an eye out for this since I’m due to start on March 6 with my pre-assessment on the 3rd.  I’ve browsed some of these links in the last few days. It will certainly be a great comfrot to me to know I can come here and receive some support along the way! Currently I’m feeling a mixture of trepidation combined with a sense of wanting to get it over with!


At my last meeting with onco a port was mentioned for which I’d require a GA. I’ll enquire about it on Wed as I’m on EC for the first 4 cycles. Have dental app on Friday (first I could get) but have good teeth generally.





I had my first EC on Thursday.


I thought I would join the March thread as it’s so near the end of the month and should tie in better with everyone elses cycles.


So far starting treatment has been much better than I expected. i appreciate it’s only day 3 but so far so good.



Thanks Sue,
My first session is Thursday, I think the first 3 are FEC and then 3 x Docetaxel , I’ve got blood test Tuesday and ECG Wednesday…obviously apprehensive but prepared!! Got myself a new hairstyle today!!

Hi Helzie, Rebecca14 and RachelElizabeth

Welcome to the thread! Sorry to find you here - however, these threads are a brilliant means of support. You can ask questions, share your own experiences and tips with each other. Cry and rant - should you feel so - and you might…And, of course share some funny stories, too. And yes, there will be funny stories! As well, also many virtual hugs.

I remember, just post chemo 3,  wearing a long rectangular head scarf with ends trailing and doing the vacuuming the carpet in my hallway. As I was not quite so fit anymore - I did it on my hands and knees.

Suddenly I felt a tugging on my head - and hey! The long trailing end of my head scarf dissapeared in the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner! - I shrieked - and burst our with absolute belly aching laughter - seeing the face of my cat, who had been watching me… 

I shall do my best to support all initially sharing my experience and knowledge I have gained through my chemo journey. However, eventually I shall drift into the back ground - as you and other ladies joining the thread support each other.

For some it will be easier, for some it will be more challenging. It is a very individual experience for all of us.

But all of you WILL get through it.


Sue x

Hi Helzie Rebecca rachael and silver lady wishing you all the best … I’ve got my pre chemo assessment on the 6.3.2017 so not that far behind you. Helzie… I have been reading some of the Feb starters and been chatting to some lovely ladies on there too … I feel exactly the same as you just want to get it over with … I am having 3x fec and then 3 x taco then radio x I have had already lumpectomy with full lymph nodes clearance and reconstruction wishing you well for the 6 March xx and here for you x

Hi Everyone


I have my first chemo on Friday - 3 sets of FE and then 3 of CT - I had a lump removed and my lymph nodes 3 weeks ago - everything seems to be happening very quickly, but it seems like I’ve been waiting a long time for chemotherapy.  I’ve had a look around the site yesterday and today and it is great to see al the tips - I have list of things to get.- it;s great to feel like there is stuff I can do to prepare myself.


I’m getting my hair cut short on Wednesday and hoping to get an appointment about a wig before Friday.and have ordered a hat - just spent the last 10 minutes trying to remember where I have put my summer hats - one or two of which may be useful - but not found them yet!


It’s good to find others who are going through this at the same time as I am - I have a lot of family support from my husband and two grown up boys and other friends and family but they don’t know what to do or say as it’s new for them too.


As other people have said - I am dreading chemo, but will be glad when first set is done so that I know how my body is going to react.  I’m a bit of control freak and like to plan things that are happening in my life, so not being in control is not helping me.


I think I’ve ranted enough now - time to think about hats again.


Hello ladies. I’m starting my chemo on 15th March after a single mastectomy and reconstruction 5 weeks ago. I’m 39, mum of 3 boys and worried about loosing my hair mostly.
Looking forward to sharing tips and support . Liz xx


and also welcome to Silverlady, Moonstruck and Liz.stanley to the March 2017 starters thread.

I really appreciate the fear of losing ones hair. It is so much of our identity and not all of us have either the courage or feel we look ok without our crowning glory.

I arranged my wig well before starting chemo. It really pays to wash the wig with the appropriate shampoo, before trying to wear it. It makes it much softer and plieable. It also may be a good idea to go with it to your hairdresser. He/she can thin it out a bit and make it look like your current hairstyle. It does make a difference. Another tip - I wore my wig out over my long hair to see whether anyone would notice. And they did not. It gave me much confidence, that I would be ok wearing it, when the time came. Once that was done, I had my long hair cut and shaved to a Sinead O’Connor just before my first chemo. It helped me to get used to the look of having hardly a hair covering and also gave me time to adjust my makeup, accessories, etc. - so I could make a fashion statement out of the whole thing - should I not wish to wear my wig.

It is a very individual thing and not all can cope that way. There is a possibility of ‘cold capping’, which some ladies do. The success rate is 50/50 as to retaining at least some of your hair. It lengthens your stay in the chemo unit by aboout 30 minutes before and 90 minutes post treatment.


Sue x


Hi again everyone!


Gosh, I see our list is growing



I’m going to give a brief summary of my background. Dx in late Sept with Grade 2,IDC with no node involvement. ET+ so put on Letrozole to shrink mass before surgery which I had on Fe4b 2.  Now, given that margins weren’t clear and 2/5 lymph nodes removed had micro and macro -6mm meths, I’m having to go down the chemo route. I’m having EC every 3 weeks for 4 cycles and Taxol (Paclitaxol) every 2 weeks for 4 cycles. Also Zoledronic (Bisphosphonates) acid infusions as well.


Liz, like you I hate the throught of losing my (long) hair and am contemplating having the cold cap. I’m hoping because I have fine hair it might work better! Actually, since I hate cold water on my head-not to mention freezing- I’m considering having a practice at home in terms of prepping for the first day!! LOL


Best of luck to you all!



Hello. I’ve looked into cold capping but my local hospital does not do and I don’t fancy extra time travelling. My breast care nurse advised that there is a 50/50 chance of keep hair but that as it freezes your scalp and cells that if a rogue cell had escaped (I had 3 out of 10 lymph nodes positive on clearance ) and had travelled to head then the chemo might miss. Last thing I want is to go through chemo & cold capping to later develop head area cancer. So looks like I’ll be embracing the wig/ head scarf look! X

Great idea this, I love it! I’m starting EC tomorrow for 9 weeks, then go on to Taxol for 9 weeks. I have Triple Negative cancer and have had a lumpectomy, lymphs were clear. My friend’s are calling me Boobenstein as I have 3 scars circling my left side. :slight_smile: I had the whole hair issue, long, wavy and dyed blonde, I loved it!! I’ll be honest though, it had lost it’s life completely and so I decided to cut it off and raise money for Macmillan in the process. It’s now dark and very short, thinking of doing a Sinead O’ Conner for tomorrow though lol. It’s so thick now it’s short, it’s harder to handle! I’m also a yoga instructor and will be relying on all I know to get me through. If anyone wants any ideas for meditations etc, I’ll try and help. Good luck everyone!! Xxx

Hello again,


I  just wanted to wish everyone well who’s starting treatment this week.


I am having 4 cycles of EC , followed by 4 Docetaxel. Followed by surgery and radiotherapy.


I had my first  EC session last Thursday and on the whole it has been alot better than I’d imagined.I’m not sure what I expected but mainly I’ve just  been really weary and a bit wired! 


I’ve  think I’ve been lucky and any major side effects have been managed by the  drugs I was given and although i’ve had a chemical type headache, mouth etc, I have just stayed around home and luckily had people to help with my daughters.


Now I’ve stopped taking the steriods, anti sickness etc , I feel ok! A bit light headed but up and about.


I ate really lightly the 3 days before Chemo and have been drinking 2 litres of water  a day and done a few minor walks and had some naps. Not sure if this has helped …


I also tried the cold cap. I took 2 paracetamol before and the first 15 minutes were a bit testing but then it was managable. 


Anyway, I hope this gives you some hope for the coming days. :>


Beci x



Hi RachelElizabeth I was wondering what your story is? I think we seem to be getting similar treatment and wondered if you’re triple negative?


New to the site so think I started in the wrong place (Chemo) but at AngiePink’s suggestion, am joining you ladies on this thread as I’m due to start chemo in March. Don’t have a date yet as funding needs approval and then echo test etc as my planned protocol is docetaxel, herceptin and perjeta - how do they think we’ll remember all these complicated names with chemo brain?


I’m also type 2 diabetic which I control with diet and exercise so not sure how the SE’s will affect my blood sugar. Have read lots of threads and find all the info and tips really helpful - there seem so many of us in this wonderful club!! Everyone I speak to knows someone who has recently been thru the same - is there more BC or is it just that we are more open about it and willing to talk? That seems like a good thing to me.


Am inspired by you ladies out there who are willing to share your experiences - makes it so much easier for all of us. Thank you.

Hi Ladies


I am just joining you all for March chemo - had my 1st chemo last Thursday im on Paxitaxol for 12 weeks/herceptin every 3 weeks.

This Thursday is my second chemo, i also cool caped. The cook cap was difficuilt for the first 20 min &

then you sort of get used to it. I also tied a scaf around my head to keep my checks warm , I felt really cold

but it was ok. I also used the hand pads to keep my face warm , it did work and a hair band underneath

the cap on my forehead this stops brain freeze.

I’ve been fine this week - just want to get this over asap now.

This is my story, I double mastectomy last november with implants reconstruction - HER2 +++ , 2.5mm was the largest followed by many smaller tumours,2 lymph nodes removed all ok.,Est dependent on one side only, I decided on a double as i couldnt cope with thinking of the future as mine was agressive. The reconstrucution failed and I had them removed and expanders put in - I then i got another infection - expanders now removed as I had to heal to start my chemo.

I will go back for reconstruction later in the year once this part of my journey has finished.


Good luck to you all who start this month, would love to hear from anyone.

warmest love Star xx

Hi Jac,
No, I’m not triple negative. Diagnosed December with aggressive ER/PR positive. Had mastectomy with reconstruction in December, 2 positive nodes so full clearance in Jan with further 2 nodes affected but remaining 12 clear. FEC-T starts on Thursday, 3 x FEC then 3 x Tax. …tad apprehensive about the chemo but ready. …might have to have Rads too, onc won’t decide until chemo finished, so fingers crossed and sending you lots of positive vibes x

RachelElizabeth- your journey sounds similar to mine. Diagnosed just before Christmas with small invasive BC & DCIS in my left breast. Oestrogen &Her2 positive. I had a single mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on 16th Jan. I was recovering well until 3 weeks ago when I started with a fever. I had MRSA in the wound and have spent 8 days know hospital on IV antibiotics to fight the MRSA. I was swabbed before surgery but the swab result wasn’t reported and unfortunately I had the mastectomy whilst having MRSA. Luckily my health was good and I’ve been able to keep the implant.
I had axillary clearance after 3 out of 10 lymph nodes were positive. They have said my BC is grade 3.
My chemo is scheduled for 15th March. 3x FEC & 3x Docetaxel with Herceptin then Radiotherapy and tamoxifen.
I’m 39 with 3 boys, dreading loosing my hair but keen to start chemo as the sooner it starts then the sooner it finishes.
I’ve heard that everyone has different chemo symptoms and hoping you ladies can advise me on what to expect. X

Hi welcome new grandma so pleased you found the thread xx love Angie pink

Hi, yes thanks Angie Pink although I still don’t have my start date and the delay is starting to get to me.  First grandchild born safely on Monday which has refocused everything for me. Had a cold too so couldn’t go in for a cuddle!


Breast lumps feel bigger so really want to get on with it. Will have to ring bcn again to see if anything is organised yet. Had got myself in a really positive place but being in limbo is wearing that down - it’s less than 12 weeks since diagnosis but I feel like this has been hanging over me for years and I’m not getting anywhere except more worried. Sorry to ramble- guess shouldn’t be on here in the early hours anyway.


Hope everyone has a good day.