November 2015 chemo starters Please join!

Hi all My name is Marie and I have started this thread for all starting chemo in November 2015. I originally joined the October page but now have a start date of Nov 3rd. I am 45 with a husband 2 grown children and a 3 yr old grandson and a hugely supportive family!! I was diagnosed in June 18th grade 3 invasive lymph nodes thankfully clear. I had a lumpectomy on August 10th. I am HER2 positive. My Chemo will be weekly for 18 weeks and then I have 4 weeks of daily radiotherapy. I have gained so much useful information from reading the October forums definitely would recommend to new starters. Welcome to all and I hope we can support each other through this journey. x x

Hi Marie I I am thinking I may start in Nov . I too have been diagnosed grade 3 invasive ductal HER2 positive. I’m 53 married with 2 grown up children a granddaughter aged 4 ? tomorrow I have a mastectomy ? a little apprehensive, and a SNB. Still trying to get my head around everything and been reading the threads on here which are very helpful. I was only diagnosed on the 29th September so still having so many emotional ups and downs which seems to be normal . I hope too that we can support each other through all this and wish you all the very best in your own journeys Xxxxx Lesley x

Hi Lesley welcome wish we didn’t have to be here though! Oh pesky yes it’s still early days for you i had the busiest month ever in work during the month I was diagnosed think it helped me cope but now 4.5 months down the line one thing I’ve learned is do it all in steps… Diagnosis, op, recovery, chemo, radio little steps at a time. Also I’ve learned that your told what’s happening and it’s surprising how things change. Give yourself time to heal mentally as well as physically. Good luck lesley thinking of you here when needed x x x

Hi all, I’m Bobbie. I turned 40 in July and live with my husband and 2 teenage son’s.  I was diagnosed in August with grade 3 invasive. I’m HER2+ and er+ which means that my original treatment of surgery and radiotherapy changed. I have had a lumpectomy (17th sept) my lymph nodes were clear thankfully but they didn’t get a clear margin so I then had a therapeutic mammoplasty (2nd October). I got the good news yesterday that they got a clear margin this time and healing well. I see my oncologist next week and told I should start chemo in the next 4 weeks, all being well. Looking to get my hair cut in the next week to get used to it not being on my neck and hopefully it won’t as traumatic when I start to lose it. Would be great to hear how you are all getting on in your journey/fight xxx

Hi Sue thanks for popping in you learn so much invaluable information her it’s great to have help at hand. I keep saying I’m going to look back a year from now and think wow how did I do all that!! My mum is 75 this year and she was diagnosed aged 41 so I’m a fighter! Like mother like daughter!! No doubt us newbies will be picking your brain soon enough… Congratulations with the clear mammogram x

Hi bobbie and welcome I’m sorry you have to join us. I was the exact same diagnosis as you but margins clear 1st time… My treatment plan was always 6 cycles of chemo every 3 weeks but they have now changed it to weekly due to some aneurysms I have. I have been debating whether to have a bob only shoulder length now. I am going to try the cold cap though to see if I can bear it… I will also have a headstrong appt for a wig just incase! I was in the October forum for a while as 11 weeks since op and thought I would be starting chemo sooner have a look lots of great info on there. Congrats on the clear margin onto the next step now… Little steps. Looking forward to our journey together so we can virtually support x x

Hi im also from the Nov 14 thread, different story to sue so I thought it might be useful for you!

I had a mastectomy with immediate recon, large tumour remove and 26 lymph nodes positive. Followed by chemo and rads.

I had 3 x FEC and 11 x weekly taxol. I cold capped throughout and would recommend taking strong pain relief about half an hour before. Make sure cap fits snuggly all over. My hair thinned, but started growing back immediately, by April I had 2 inch layers. I’ve had it cut and coloured several times over the summer.

I’m 48 with 2 kids aged 10 and 13 - kept up with school runs (with a bit if help!) And yoga throughout treatment.

Good luck to you all. Take any anti sickness meds they give you before you need them!

Please feel free to ask any questions xx

Hi ladies, many thanks to the last November ladies commenting on this thread, it really is encouraging to see how you have come through the other side. Bobby, I am not sure about your question but hopefully someone will come up with an answer, fortunately I don’t grow much underarm hair anyway so it may not be a problem. I had my mastectomy Wednesday and sentinel node biopsy, still sore but home now with all the family being very attentive! Appt in two weeks to discuss chemo and any further action. Marie, what date do you start your chemo? Hopefully you have plan now , anyway speak soon take care all xxx Lesley x

Hi all yes definitely thanks to last years ladies their information is invaluable! Just had my muga heart scan so next step is chemo pre-assessment on October 30tg then chemo start date on November 5th honestly I’m starting to get nervous even though I’m a really positive strong person… I think I’m lucky to be having it weekly. Bobby I had 2 lymph nodes removed and nobody said anything about not using a razor I just shaved as usual? Yes it’s been 10 weeks since op now and dressing for 9 weeks but I’m finally healed. It has been a nervous wait but it’s also given me time to prepare both mentally and physically and although I have been back in work since a week after the op I’ve taken it easy so I’m not tired before chemo starts. Do last years ladies know about the chemo list? I’ve picked up bits of info? Glad ops went well for you both Leslie and Bobby get as much rest as you can. x x x

Ooh yes that makes sense I didn’t think about cutting muscle and risk of infection. There was discussion about this in the October thread but I never seen the list. It was things like Cordosyl mouthwash as during chemo you can get mouth sores. What to use on your eyebrows to try and keep them? What to use on your nails? What shampoo to use I think that one was the simple range? Hot water bottle to keep your veins up in the cold weather? These are just some of the few I seen. Do you know anything about it Riversidedawn?? X

Marie, have a look at the going through treatment / chemotherapy section, there’s a thread on top tips to get you through chemo. Personally:

Cold cap - take strong painkillers 1/2 hour before, have hot drinks, hot water bottle, snacks etc to hand
Ginger, tea, biscuits, crystalized to help with nausea
Fennel tea and peat dropd worked for me re yukky taste and nausea
Take all meds given to you even if you don’t think you need them - ie anti nausea, laxatives etc
Drink loads of water
Eat what you can (I couldn’t for 3 days after chemo)
Try to keep a normal routine and exercise
Get some fresh air
Turn a blind eye to house work
Accept help
Meet friends for coffee
It’s OK to cry
Keep talking
Look at
Book Look Good Feel Better workshop
Oniclife nail drops
Udder cream for hands and feet
Manuka honey hand cream
Cook batches of healthy food when you feel well
Use online shopping
Accept help
If you have kids, get help with school runs
Rest before you’re knackered

Can’t think of anything else!!

Amazing riversidedawn thank you so much! At one time I felt I was unprepared for chemo with everyone saying what they had ready and what they were to expect! I kind of feel now I’m nearly ready but it’s only thanks to those who have already been through it x Thank you xx Ladies hope this helps x x

Hi everyone, just popping over from October. In my limited experience of one FEC down, I echo the comments about not getting constipated. I think this is a major contributor to reducing nausea. I found this out the hard way after my surgery when I was very sick due to bowel issues. I have been super careful with getting lots of fibre during my first cycle and I’ve been very lucky with no sickness and little in the way of nausea so far. This was the number one thing my chemo nurse went on about and those of us over in October discuss if “the eagle has landed” most days. Enough of that lecture.


Cordials: Bottlegreen Ginger and Lemongrass cordial mixed with sparkling mineral water is my favouite tipple of choice. Ginger helps with nausea and it’s a strong enough taste to break through the metalic taste you might get. Put in a wine glass and you can almost convince yourself it’s something more potent.


Fresh pineapple: chop up one and keep in freezer bag in fridge to just grab a chunk when you want to freshen your mouth. Pineapple still tastes good to me, it’s more fibre and lots of vitamins.


Hope I don’t sound like a know-all after just one cycle. Good luck everyone. xxxx

Hi All

Im Jen 36 and will be having Chemo before surgery and expect it to start in November,have been diagnosed last week with grade 3 invasive ductal with lymph node involvement im Her2+ but no hormones . Still awaiting a CT scan re lymph nodes and spread but been told I will be starting chemo soon as lump v large . I will the be having chemo then a mastectomy , radiotherapy and eventually reconstruction and have a year of herceptin throughout. Neoadjuvant chemo due to the fact my tumour is large and grew v quickly and the lymph node involvment. So my journey is different to others but as BCN put it the best one for me.

Will be under The Christie so know I am in good hands

Love to all
Jen x

I hate fruit teas too bobbie but like you have started to try and drink them now to get used to them. Ive gone ginger tea again thinking nausea. I dont really like pineapple either but this past week ive been giving it a go

I ordered some Manuka honey in the Holland and Barrett penny sale today so basically buy one get one free nearly so if anyone is on the lookout maybe worth a look.

Have been and treated myself to some nice coloured pencils and a colouring book for times when I need to do something but really dont know what colouring got me through hours sat next to my mum in ITU a couple of years ago I find it very calming so thats going in my chemo bag

Im having neoadjuvant so got to get my head round that the b**ger is still inside me for the next few months :frowning: albeit its getting zapped smaller and smaller
Im meeting onc next week (or as the other half has dubbed him my barman) to see what cocktail hes going to be serving me and how often…dya think they can sneak me a mojito through the cannula?

Love to all x

Hi peggycat thanks for popping in glad ur 1 down and doing okay let us know how your getting on… Hi Jen wow 36 this site constantly shocks me at how young everyone is I too love a mojito pity that wasn’t one of the things that’s good for side effects! I’m starting chemo on November 3rd so will prob be one of the 1st starters here and I’m having it weekly so praying for milder se…
Hi Tracy op done for me only a lumpectomy but grade 3 invasive her2+ and hormones.
Bobbie seen my onc last week and chemo nurse on 30th October I think I’ve decided to try the cold cap and I have my list ready just need to start getting supplies now! It’s a rather big list!! Have a nice evening all you lovely ladies X x

Hi All Sorry to see people all lining up for another month’s thread. You will find this a good outlet for support/a moan to to very sympathetic ears. I am from Aug 2015, so feel free to pop in & ask us anything anytime. We are all about halfway through now & so will you all be soon. All the very best.  You can do it ladies. BBxx


PS Bobbie I was wondering about getting a NONO so please post if you find out. I’ve been a bit naughty & started shaving again 10 data after op. You will find you on’t need to shave much from about week 2/3 after FEC (not sure about the rest)anyway, nor file your nails, so do make sure you keep them supple, because they might not grow for a while. Best is onicolife, but also expensive. Next best is horses hoof/ thick nail oils.

Ok so oncologist appointment yesterday was a bit mind numbing. So many possible side effects to watch for!! So I’m having FEC-T with herceptin injections from cycle 4. He said I could have treatment weekly but not sure if that is just the herceptin or the T part too (my brain had stopped by this point!)

I see the pre chemo nurse on 3rd November and could start as soon as they can fit me in as my wound is healing nicely. Oncologist thinks about 2-3 weeks. Waiting on a call to get an appointment with the hair/wig lady too so moving forward.

Totally overwhelmed though at the moment by all the information. I thinking need to do some morereading and try to proccess it all.

Also, Bibi, I did a bit more research and found out that you can’t use the NoNo on scars or sores as the thermacon pulses can cause burns or blisters so probably not a good idea as the skin is delicate anyway. Can’t find anything else about it in regard to cancer patients and the health professionals I have asked know nothing about it. TBH I shaved very gently in the end.

Thanks. I sort of thought I’ve never cut under my arms in the last 30 years, legs yes when younger, but pits no. On the FEC-T the FEC will be 3 weekly, but the T can be given 1, 2 or 3 weekly. I have gone for weekly because the SEs are minimal compared to 3 weekly from what I’ve read on previous threads. Also it’s 45 mins administration compared to 3 hours & our unit wouldn’t let me cold cap because total time would be 5 hours, which they consider too long (I have seen others doing it though). As I’ve kept most of my hair (back from ears down has thinned by 1/3 where cap didn’t fit so closely) through FEC I wanted to carry on primarily to speed regrowth. You are lucky you have the option of weeklies, a lot don’t.  Write down any questions for the nurse. You won’t get all the SEs, if you read the last few you can see what usually comes up. All the best. BBxx

Hi everyone hope your all doing okay. Can someone please tell me what FEC stands for and also FEC -T? Been racking the brain but it’s not coming to me!! Xx