October 2021 Chemo Starters


This thread is for anyone due to start chemotherapy this month.  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 and get a thermometer and check your temperature every day.

Here is the BCN guide on chemo:


Here are some apps which can help to keep you on track: 




I finished my chemo in October 2017 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.

If you’re new to the forum, here’s the “Getting Started” advice:




I’m starting chemo on 1st October. I have lobular breast cancer and I’m triple positive. I had a lumpectomy in August which resulted in clear margins and the 3 lymph nodes removed were all cancer free.

My chemo will be 3 x EC on a 21 day cycle and then 9 weekly paclitaxel with Herceptin every third week.

Im absolutely dreading it but at the same time just want to get going as the sooner it starts the sooner it ends. I’ve bought a wig and nicknamed it Wilma, I’ve also got turbans and scarves ready. 
Looking forward to sharing the sh**ty experience with you all and helping each other.

Lou x

hello there,

I’m due to start 6 rounds EC every three weeks on 1 Oct. That is the plan, however, I have been diagnosed with gall stones which makes me high risk so the oncologist and gastro team are fighting it out. They are worried if I get a flare-up of my gall bladder, it may then get infected. I am leaving it to them but have not heard anything so planning for Friday.

I read on here good to have two bags ready - one for chemo and one for poss hosp admits, seems like a good idea. I am trying to make my mind up about my hair - I’m fine with being bald but don’t want all the hassle of it falling out bit by bit and only washing twice a week - it is already really short so thinking may go for a number 1 before the chemo starts.

My hospital has not put me forward for a CT or MRI for the cancer, but had an MRI for the gall stones/liver issues. I only had two lymphs with cancer cells in so I think they are thinking it is all isolated to one area and the mastectomy and axillary clearance took care of it, the chemo and radio is just mopping up any rogue cells.

I have heard excellent reports about our chemo suppport, as soon as you have any side effects they are on it, just the fatigue they can’t help with, but thats ok, I like to sleep . Hoping to go into work inbetween rounds (hopeful I know, but it keeps me sane). 

Wishing everyone the best, we are gonna smash this. keep in touch.

Hi everyone,

I’ve been following the different threads on here for a few days now and thought I’d introduce myself. I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma grade 2, HER2+ on 09 September and will start 6 rounds of EC in combination with docetaxel on 11 October. I’ll also receive 18 cycles of pertuzumab and trastuzumad over a 12 month period and have been advised to have a pot-a-cath implanted.

Before my diagnosis, I had no idea what a port-a-cath was but having researched the pros and cons, it seems really invasive. I’m due to have the big cancer chat with my specialist nurse on Thursday, but I wondered if anyone on here has a port-a-cath fitted and can offer advice on their experience?

Like most of us, I’m dreading the thought of having chemo because I feel so well but it helps knowing that we can share our experiences together and support each other along the way  :slightly_smiling_face: .



Hi everyone 

Wow so many october starters!

I’m due to start on the 8th October. Pretty much like everyone here I’ve got the build up of appointments etc first.

They did originally want to start me today  but with a cannula instead of a pic line. I have such crap veins that I said no I’d wait thankyou. 

So the info day is next weds, pic line in on Thursday and Chemo starts on Friday.

I’m the same as a lot of you here, 3xEC followed by 9 weeks of paclitaxel I will have endocrine and radiotherapy as well.

My head is up and down but mainly I just want to get going and get it finished. It seems like it’s such a long phase at the moment and obviously the anxiety before the first one is high but we don’t have a choice other than to crack on … I’m also feeling a bit like my life is consumed by this just now. Like originally I said cancer will not define me… but here I am posting  in a forum and talking to the only people in the world who know how mad this feels at this exact moment. 

im sitting in the bath trying to understand why my scar and boob are really aching. I’m 4 weeks post op and I thought I was doing so well, until yesterday when boom !! Boob pain is back , I only walked the dog, that’s literally it. Nothing out of the ordinary but it’s really achy  

Anyway … I hope all your appointments go well and the pre chemo nerves get better with sharing things on here.

much love :two_hearts:  


Pinch punch first of the month and a warm hello to Bookish and Confused.

It’s sad that we find ourselves here on this forum but good to meet you both anyway.

Confused, thanks for the info on earplugs and commiserations on having a snoring partner. I once woke up thinking a jumbo jet had landed on top of the house, then realised it was just my husband.  

It sounds like you’re in for a busy time next week and I understand how apprehensive you must be feeling. I had all my pre checks yesterday and the nurse called this morning to say I’m good to go.  So, first round of chemo on Monday and I cant wait to kick that one squarely up the @**e.

I’ve been told I’ll need to self-inject a growth factor treatment which stimulates bone marrow and the immune system. This will be done every day for 6 days after chemo and on top of everything else, I wasn’t expecting that.

Just when you think you’ve got yourself mentally prepared, another surprise slaps you right in the chops. Has anyone else been told they need to self-inject a growth factor?

Bookish, I know what you mean about the length of treatment. At the moment, the finish line seems so far ahead. It might help to think of things in steps and give yourself something to look forward to after each session.

Lou, I like your point about living between treatments as that makes so much sense. I guess it’s easy to feel consumed by cancer, but doing everyday things will help our quality of life. You sound very prepared for today and strong. Enjoy your snuggle time after and I look forward to catching up later.

Sending hugs,


Sorry guys won’t be joining you this month.

The oncologist has decided I am too high risk for chemo until I have had my gall bladder removed. So 8 weeks of cancer treatment on hold while they sort that out. Hoping chemo still a viable option after.

Wishing you all the best.

Hi everyone,

I’m starting chemo tomorrow (bit late to the party I now!) 3 x EC and 9 x weekly paclitaxel.

Been reading all the posts on here which have been a huge comfort knowing we’re all in it together and so I’m finally joining in.

I’m trying to be as brave as possible and face it head on  - shopping for scarves, wigs, various potions to relieve side effects and getting my eyebrows microbladed has helped. As well as getting my hair chopped ready for a buzz cut in a couple of weeks. But still have regular moments of overwhelm when I just crumble at the enormity of it all.

I was kept distracted last week by a failed attempt to put a PICC line in (I have delicate convoluted veins apparently!). They then managed to fit me in same day for a Hickman line which was successful and I’m glad that’s done. Although it is freaking me out slightly at the moment knowing I’ve got this thing inside my chest for the duration!

Anyway, I’ve got my chemo bag packed and I’m ready - if a bit wobbly.

Sending everyone else strength, love and hugs - we can do this!



Hello, I hope everyone who has had their chemo so far this month is doing ok.

I first had chemo 8 years ago - at the age of 42.  Right side breast cancer, which was HER2 +, oestrogen (a smidgen and that was the words they used), and progesterone negative.  Had spread to 7 of 17 lymph nodes.  Had surgery which was a lumpectomy, FEC-T chemo, herceptin, radiotherapy, and then have been on anastrozole and zoladex implants up until December 2020 when oncologist insisted I come off them despite my saying that I felt that at the end of the 12 week zoladex implant that I had hormones flooding back into my system.  Whole conversation about how that was not possible etc etc.

I have been having annual mammograms.  This year was the first year I went into the 3 year programme because I was 50 years old, but luckily that appointment came up 14 months after my last mammogram.  

I could feel no lumps, no visible changes, been running 5k and walking 10-12 miles most days with the dogs.  Felt so well.  But got a letter inviting me back from the mammogram.  

I have now been diagnosed with right side breast cancer, one area confirmed by biopsy but a probably second area they decided not to biopsy because I have to have a mastectomy this time, so seemed little point to do a second biopsy site.  The breast tumour that has been biopsies is HER2 +, osterogen negative and progesterone negative.  I took some comfort from this that 7 years of anastrozole and zoladex had at least keep my hormones out of the equation.  UNTIL, had chest and abdomen CT Scan to see if the cancer had spread and there it was a little tumour around on my back, just under the skin just under the scapula.  That little tumour is confirmed as spread from the breast, I am awaiting it’s HER2 status but it has been confirmed as oestrogen 6 and progesterone 7 .  Now I’m thinking that taking me off hormone blockers in December last year wasn’t such a great move and is this one a spread from the “probable” tumour they did not biopsy.  Anyway, decided to get treatment done and then ask the difficult questions about this.  

I am having chemo first this time.  It has taken from beginning of August to 6 October and a whole loads of tests, scans and meetings for them to see, as much as they can, the extent of the cancer.  The spread on my back means that I am now classed as “ not curable by definition” but I have friends that live with cancer and have done for over 10 years.  

I am having FEC-T chemo, and had my first infusion of FEC on 6 October.  Few days of feeling nauseous and very fatigued, but really by day 5 felt whole lot better and today is day 10 and woke up feeling, dare I say it, “great”.  Have been getting out for at least one walk a day since day 5 and if feeling ok doing a second walk in the afternoon.  Being sensible but also quite determined to get some fresh air as and when I can.  Pacing myself, so I have a good rest, but then do a few tasks etc.

nicola x

Yipppeeee in a strange way. After having gall bladder removed now back on track for chemo on Friday. 
EC, 6 cycles, one every three weeks. 
thanks for all sharing your first session experiences, been really useful. 


Hi, I am a later arrival as I have only recently discovered this forum. I have found so much support reading through the chats.

I was diagnosed with stage 2 triple positive breast cancer late September  and started my first of 20 cycles on October 19th.

I live in Australia but the journey we are all on sounds so similar. I don’t seem to be able to post but can reply and hug. 

Thank you all for sharing your experiences, it is good to know you are not alone and to get an idea of what lies ahead. Jani62

Hi Mai7

Thank you so much for sharing your journey.  You have some fantastic tips, I feel I can do this now once I finally get my chemo date.  Once again thank you