please help

I am on my 5th day after my first dose of fec-t and I feel horrible to the point where i am in the mind set to refuse anymore treatment,
everyone says that the fec-t is the easiest and that the tax is the worst how on earth can i do it?

Hiya. I think many of us have felt the way you do.
I did fec-t with out many problems, infact is was only tax that really had an impact on me, but I do recall starting treatment and finding the se’s quite scarey.
Always remember that you aren’t alone in this. You have someone at the end of the phone 24/7 and they are trained to help and advise you. Make a note of the problems you are having and take that note with you at next oncy appointment and they will be able to help you.
I know it’s not nice, but lots of us have called it do-able. I finished July/August and if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have any doubts. :o)

Hi there

I recall so well that feeling of absolute terror, fear and thoughts of ‘I just can’t do this again’. I felt that way too. I know a lot of people talk of feeling little in the way of side effects, however I struggled with it throughout my chemo. So you are not alone in your feelings. You and me are not isolated cases. However, on the plus side, I did go back and I did finish FEC then Tax,and despite the side effects it was the right thing to do. I finished chemo in Feb, rads in April and returned to work full time in June. I now have my new hairdo and getting on with life as the ‘new me’ It is not easy, but like me, you can and will do it. Be kind to yourself and let others be too. Take care. J.

Poor you. What side effects are you having? Whatever they are there will be drugs they can give you to ease the side effects - stronger antisickness (Emend is very good), tablets to stop heartburn, tablets to help you sleep, mouthwash to help ulcers etc etc. They try to make it as side effect free as possible. Just let your oncologist or breast care nurse know.

Oh, and I found TAX a doodle compared to AC (my equivalent of FEC) - you are not necessarily going to suffer. Everyone is different.

Dear chelle, welcome to the BCC forums

I am sorry to read about the tough time you are having, it may help to talk things through with one of our helpliners who are here to support you and offer information and a listening ear. You can contact our team on 0808 800 6000, weekdays 9-5 and Sat 9-2.

Take care

dear chelle i remember feeling just like you i hated fec and dreaded the tax but for me tax was fine obviously everyone reacts differently but you just cant prepare for how horrible you feelbut as i say with fec the nausea got me but none with tax,you take care you will start to feel better after few days i am sure take care sending you hugs xxxx

I just feel sick and dizzy all the time, what should i be eating because nothing seems to work and the headaches are bad, I just need to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel

Hi chelle

I am posting a link to a thread called ‘Top tips to get you through chemotherapy’ which your fellow users started a while ago, you may find some of it useful:

Best wishes

Hi chelle,

I remember those feelings, exactly the same as you, after my first dose. I remember sitting down and thinking that I could not do it, that I could not carry on.

Just to let you know that you WILL do it and you WILL be fine, maybe a few side effects along the way which can be dealt with. The horrible feelings wear off over the days until you feel fairly good again … then of course you get your next dose … but each time you are nearing your final chemo.

I am approaching my 4th chemo, FEC.

Good luck and plenty of hugs,

Hi Chelle. I have just come through to day 8 from EC. I found days 5 and 6 the absolute worst, you expect the first few days to be bad but I found a huge down I can only think from stopping the Dex an unfathomable awful feeling as though my soul had been sucked out. In my case by day 7/8 things start to improve and in subsequent cycles you just have to try and keep it in your head that it will pass. It is worth it for the life ahead of us xxxx

Hi chelle
Oh I know exactly where you’re coming from my first fec was awful and I told my oncologist at second appontment and was given a syringe driver with anti sickness drugs in it at my second fec and it really helped. I had it for 3 days after chemo and the local community nurses called and took it out. It is a very small needle is attached to a syringe and the needle is inseted into your tummy ( not sore) and delivers the anti sickness drugs evenly throught out the day andeasy to remove. My local community nurse came to my home and took it out.
Ask them if ths is a possibility for you as I felt that I really needed extra anti sickness drugs as I was literally on my knees retching for days.

Hi Chelle, I just wanted to add that I felt that way too on my 1st FEC, I couldn’t see a way out, but as soon as I began to feel a bit better it made such a difference. I then knew it would end and subsequently was able to see a pattern and I knew which days would be the worst (and from my experience you are there now), but hopefully the side effects will start to lift soon for you. I had 3 FEC and also 3 Tax (had last one on Friday) and much to my relief I found Tax much easier to deal with. There is NO sickness, which makes such a huge difference for me.
Sending you best wishes and a hug to get you through this unpleasant experience. You will get through it xxx

Hello Chelle. How horrible for you. It would be worthwhile contacting your team tomorrow because there are other drugs they can give you to help with side effects. Some people do find FEC very difficult because of nausea and headaches. Other have few problems and find it much easier thanTax.
The unknown doesn’t help either. It is so worrying to work out what is normal and what is not. Itt might be worthwhile seeing if there is a group who started chemo at the same time as you. It can be less isolating if you know others are having the same side effects and problems. The only problem could be if they all found FEC symptom free. That would be rare and at least they could hopefully pick up upon your down days.
The helpline is another good source of support …it might be worthwhile giving them a ring.
I do hope you feel better soon. Don’t forget to drink lots
All best wishes
Cackles xx

hey chelle

sorry to hear you’re feeling so lousy. why not join us on the ‘starting chemo in november’ thread and chat to others in the same position? i start FEC-T on wednesday.

as everyone says, speak to the BCN and onc, they can change your drugs. not that it will ever be easy but did they tell you how much it’s reducing the likelihood of a recurrence. that can be motivating!

big hug


Hey Chelle,

It’s a horrible part of the treatment you are in right now, there is light at the end of the tunnel. I felt completely awful on Chemo, it took me til about day 10 to start feeling failry normal again. Bear with it and vent on here, It is great if you can find a group of ladies going through treatment the same time to get things off your chest.

Oh and I second Sandytoes on the Emend part, I was very sick after 1st FEC, was given Emend from 2nd onwards and it really helped.


Paula xx

Hey Chelle, backing up the ladies. I was being physically sick for the first few days of my 1st fec, and thought exactly like you did that there was no way I could carry on with chemo!! I talked to my chemo nurse who changed my meds at the 2nd session and although there was a nauseous feeling at least I wasn’t physically sick! Just as I was feeling a little bit smug about the lack of sickness along came a tidal wave of fatigue that completely took me out and then went on the worst emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever been on, from sobbing to laughing to anger, it was all happening. But by day 8 on both sessions I was over the “chemo moment” as I have now affectionately called it. Strangely I’m going for my 3rd session this coming Thursday with a bit of confidence and thinking fine I’ll write off a week and go with that flow, expect the worse and if it’s not as bad this time it’ll be a bonus!!! Although we all react differently, there is a rough similarity between us all in terms of how the meds affect us! Know that you will always have a massive source of support on this site, it definitely has got me through some rough times, take it easy and big deep breaths, ((hugs)) Simone xxx

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the replies and support, yesterday was a very down day for me and reading everyones comments gave me hope, and today…I feel quite a bit better I still have a terrible headache and feel dizzy but I can now see there is light at the end and that day 6 might be the turning point in future treatments and with better anti sickness medication I just might get through this difficult time.
Thank you

Hi, my heart goes out to you. The first few days after each chemo were yukky for me and then I started feeling more ‘normal’. I didn’t look at any forums or compare notes with anyone until after I’d finished chemo as I didn’t want to assume that my experience would be the same as others. So I was totally unaware that Tax has a reputation for being worse than FEC. Hey presto! Looking back, I think I actually tolerated Tax better than FEC so ignorance of the reputation of Tax was definitely an advantage!

I suppose what I’m saying is, to echo comments above, everyone is different. I’m a right old worrier so I try to exercise caution with what I read on forums and how much credence I lend to what I do read.

Hi Chelle

How I feel for you!

I always remember that Kylie Minogue said having chemo was like an atomic bomb going off inside you and that’s the best description I’ve ever heard for it.
I was like you, I got so sick on FEC, I felt very dizzy, could barely drink let alone eat for the first 3 days and had blinding terrible headaches.

You do need better medication to take the edge of all of that. I got through using high strength co-codamol for the headaches which have to be prescribed.
There’s lots in the way of anti sickness medications. My hospital wouldn’t prescribe Emend so I had something called levomepromazine which basically knocked me out for the first 3 days but stopped me vomiting. In addition, I had domperidone suppositories.

After those first few days I switched to oral domperidone right through to about day 11. You take it about half an hour before meals and I found it enabled me to eat.
Talk to your team and see what they can prescribe for you.

I did get through 4 x FEC and 4 x tax. I made the decision that I would take any treatment no matter how terrible they could throw at me. I used to say to myself if the chemo is making me feel so bad imagine the devastation to those cancer cells which are weaker than normal cells.

I hope things improve for you. I’m sure that with better medication you’ll be able to get through.

A big hug to you, Elinda x

I was very sick after my 1st FEC chemo on the same day, then extremely tired for about 5 days after, I then picked up and found I could live my life fairly normally but you have to be careful you don’t overtire yourself. I was prescribed EMEND for 2nd FEC and although didn’t stop sickness was much better, tiredness still difficult but I try to do nothing in the week of my chemo and think this helps me get back to normal more quickly. Done 3 FECs now, next one will be Docetaxol and worried about that but know I will just have to see how I go as everyone is different. Food wise I eat very little on day 2 and 3 after chemo but I find naural yoghurt for bfast good, Everyone different. Sure you will feel better soon if not feeling better already.