Pre Chemo Advice

Hi everyone, I am looking for some pre Chemo advice please?
Is all chemo FEC and TAX these are the only 2 i read about and do you get them both of all FEC or all TAX?
What is BRCMA of something like that?
I am not hormone positive, but is that just the HER2 bit so im not having herceptin im told but not been told whether im oestrogen and p something pos or negative.
How do you cope with the smell, loss of taste, losing your teeth, nails going waiting for onc appt goodness knows when this will be so tho i will ask i could be waiting weeks. want to get back to normal post op, been 3 weeks now but almost cruel that get back to normal then be wiped out with this treatment, wish could just get on with it - Any advice/tips greatly appreciated. seen a thread for what to have in chemo back for each ailment but wow all looked so daunting and so much to take in.Shar xxxx

Hi Silvershar!
I had 4th cycle of 6 FEcs nine days ago so only two more to go!
All I can tell you is that I still have all my teeth and my nails haven’t changed at all.
Everyone is different and may react accordingly to chemo!
I haven’t felt sick once due to the meds they gave me. I have had indigestion but they gave me somethng for that as well.
I do lose my sense of taste during each cycle but that comes back further on during the cycle. I haven’t had any mouth ulcers so I think I’ve been lucky so far.
The worst side effect for me is severe tiredeness and lack of energy. Also my brain doesn’t seem to function too well for a few days after each treatment!
Sorry I can’t answer your questions about BRCMA but I’m sure someone more knowledgeable will come along soon to advise you about that.
The list of possible side effects looks daunting but don’t assume you’ll get them all!
Good luck!

Hi Silvershair

My pre chemo advice would be don’t panic. Side effect are nowhere near as severe as you are probably imagining and some people get through it with barely any side effects at all. You’d have to be very unlucky to get all the side effects listed.

I’m not sure if I can answer your other query about her2 but if I’ve got it right, Her2 is a protein which can effect tumour growth. Some tumours have more receptors than others and are known as her2 positive. They are usually faster growing then her2 negative tumours and Herceptin is a drug used to treat tumours which are her2 positive.

ER stands for oestrogen receptors (I think the reason it is ER rather than OR is because of the American spelling) ER positive tumours are also known as hormone fed or hormone receptive. Hormone treatments like tamoxifen, arimidex and zoladex are used to treat and prevent recurrence of ER positive tumours.

Try not to worry about chemo, it really isn’t as bad as you think it’s going to be.

Good Luck


Hello Shar

don’t panic…I have just finishes 3 Fec and 3 tax and still have all my teeth and nails…a bit less hair and despite sme horrid effects at times have never been sick and still retain my sense of humour! I was 49 at diagnosis and my daighter 26. She finished chemo in June and Rads in July/Aug and looks fabulous now…she is getting married in May 11 and will be stunning! You too will be what ever you need in way of treatment.

Ask them to totally clarify your hormone status and exactly what treatment you might be offered.
My advice is to join in with the ‘pink’ thread…loads of advice in the hundreds of pages on there and for info and terrific humour join in the dark woods thread!
I know you have a fantastic dog too, who will help getting you through it…I have dogs sheep poultry and I work…if I can do this and smile, you can too xx

hello shar,
i know exactly how you feel, yesterday i had my first FEC so one down 5 to go, then im to have a masectomy with full node clearance then i will have rads,
now back to the chemo, homestly hand on heart the thought of it was far worse than the treatment, and i used the cold cap, will have to see how that goes but i had to try it out as i didnt want to say “if only”
i had lots of medication for the sickness and bought home lots too, and so far so good, im a positive person, i got dressed and put make up on, cooked the tea and walked the dog, im just taking one day at a time if i get up tomorrow and feel lousy i will think about sunday being ok. we must remember we are all different, there is lots of medication out there to help you
i too have bought the ginger ale, fruit, vitamins, flavoured water, etc etc, it helps to be prepared
take care bab
love and hugs

Thank you everyone for your replies, incentives and assurance, i know i still have to face it but i feel much better about it. im never ill so the thought of all the sickness and side effects does my head in cos i already feel cheated out of part of my life and thats before the chemo. i hve learnt that some of you have chemo first, i have had a WLE and nodes removed 18 and 2 were bad ones. Got CT scan 16 FEb then chemo then rads. thank you all so much once again, i will try the woods, not quite sure how that works but will give it a whirl. doing my exercises too, need to drive and need to work before the chemo begins. been advised not to work in chemo cos of low immune system. good luck and hugs to you all and hope i too can help people some time through this journey we are all on. Shar x