Quitting after 4 chemo?

I everyone, i havent posted on here before but read others posts for advice etc. I was dx in Jan, had bilateral mx feb and started chemo end of march. Me and my 2 children (ages 3 and 2) moved in with my parents in Feb as I couldnt manage on my own.
I have had 4 FEC and supposed to have 2 more but I just want to stop. I have had a horrendous time since starting chemo. the se have been awful ranging from sickness, constipation, in isolation due to low blood count, oral thrush, no appetite, weight loss, hair loss, fatigue … I wanted to quit after 3 and was in tears at the thought of any more but did another one last tues and have been so ill since. I am in tears pretty much all the time and cant get any motivation to do anything. I just want it over.
Sorry to post this but i dont know where else to turn.

Hi mtg,

Welcome to the BCC discussion forums, you’ve come to the right place for some good, honest support from the many informed users of this site, who I am sure will be along soon to give you that much needed support.

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Take care,

Jo, Facilitator

Hunny I know it’s hard I had 7 months of chemo 8 times basically and it isn’t nice but bear with it, take all your anti sickness and drink plenty of water, use oral methods like gel Clair for your mouth. Take each day at a time you will get there. I also have 2 children and sometimes I couldn’t get out of bed but jut remember your reasons for having the chemo, it’s got to be for good. I have been clear for 18 months treatment free and 2 years since op, am in remission and its lale a bad dream now and this will be you soon. Massive hugs Tracey xx


Please don’t quit.

I too had a terrible time on FEC, and wanted to quit both after the third and the fourth one. It was so horrible, and the thought of having to go through it all again several more times just seemed like more than I could bear.

I’m not quite sure how I kept going , to be honest, but I did. and I’m glad I did.

Completing your course of chemo gives you the best possible chance of the cancer not coming back - it doesn’t guarantee it, obviously, but when you’ve finished the chemo you know that you’ve done everything possible to stop it from coming back. If you don’t finish the chemo, and it comes back, then you’ll always wonder if not finishing the chemo had anything to do with it. That is the only reason I continued.

The thing is, the chemo is actually a very short time out of your life - it’ll be another 8 weeks until the end of your last chemo cycle, and then it will be over, and you will get stronger and start to feel better, and then, surprisingly quickly, the chemo will start to seem like a bad dream. You WILL get your life back, although it may not seem like it at the moment.

I finished FEC at the beginning of April and it already seems like a long time ago - I can hardly believe I’ve gone through chemo and out the other side.

But I’m so glad I did. Like you, I LOATHED every single minute of it, but now it’s done and I’m moving on with my life.

Best of luck with whatever you decide - we are here to support you!

Hi mtg - I found FEC really hard. The only thing that would control the sickness for me was Cyclizine (you can have injections if the vomiting has started, or for my 3rd one they gave me it in tablet form to take from the outset which prevented the vomiting and nausea from starting).

Could you maybe ask about the possibility of having something else, such as Taxotere (Docetaxel) for your last 2? I had FEC-T and I was so fed up after 3 FEC I think I would have felt like you do now if I’d been faced with more. It felt like it would never end and people kept saying, only 3 more to go! That sounded impossible and never ending to me at that time but my last 2 were much better than I expected and all of a sudden it was over and the recovery (after radiotherapy - but that was easy in comparison) began.

For the mouth ulcers Gelclair didn’t work for me but I found Difflam painkilling mouthwash helped. The constipation makes you feel really ill - I had to take Dioctyl tablets every day for that.

For the low blood count I was given blood cell boosting injections (Neulasta) - just the one injection the day after chemo and I managed to inject myself for two of them as it’s quite easy and painless to do. The only down side is those injections do cause bone pain but other than that I was much better, certainly for the last two. I was lucky I was given the injections - they’re very expensive but I almost missed having my chemo because my cell count was so low and so they kept me on track. In fact, I felt so well once I started them that I thought the chemo wasn’t working!

Are you managing to get any exercise? The fatigue just gets much worse if you don’t get up and about. I forced myself to do 3 x 10 min walks each of my bad days and upped it on my better days - although I learnt not to force myself when the joint pain was really bad as that set me back a bit.

Don’t just put up with the SEs. Tell your team how ill you feel and see what they can do to help.

Best of luck. I really do feel for you, particulary when you have such young children to look after as well - it must make it much harder to manage.

Hi mtg
I’d just had number 4 of 6 FEC.
Like you I am now hating it and felt sick even before the 4th lot started, just the sheer dread of it.
I am still in bed on day 5, though gonna try to get up soon.
I have to keep telling myself it isn’t forever, and we are really helping ourselves by getting through this.
Please stick with it if you can xxx

Me again ! Have you had a look at. The awesome April Angel s thread Search Results | Breast Cancer Now

We’re all around the same stage ad you and it might help with hints and tips or just to swap stories and let off a bit of steam

Mtg - where do you live? Maybe one of us are local to you and can pop round to raise your spirits.
Please don’t give up on the chemo - it is shite for you, but it it even more shite for the cancer cells.
There are no promises with this disease but mostly keeping with the chemo is for the best.

Mtg - please don’t give up, think about your lovely children…
I’ve just had FEC7 today so I know how bad you’re feeling. It’s not called feckin FEC for nothing :slight_smile:
I had my first dose at the beginning of January but each following dose had to be postponed a week due to low bloods and infections. I think I’ve had every side effect in the book but my onc consultant has been brilliant, lowering the dose and giving plenty of meds for the se’s. The first 2 cycles were the worst for sickness. It was so violent I pee’d myself every time. Then I asked for Emend and haven’t been sick since. I also take cyclizine tabs EVERY day, not just for the first week. Omeprazole has been really good for me too and keeps the indigestion and reflux away. I take a Dulcolax tablet every night at bed time and that’s cured the constipation. I tried all the mouthwashes you get on prescription but none of them worked for me and they all tasted disgusting so I now use a teasoon of bicarbonate of soda disolved in a glass of water. I keep a glassfull beside the bathroom basin and use it every time I go to the loo.
If you’ve got the dry mouth that tastes like something died in there, try strong chewing gum Not only does it help with the taste but it promotes saliva production. A dry mouth is very prone to tooth decay.
Have you joined one of the chemo groups on here? I’m with the Valentine Vals and the support and friendship I’ve had from them has got me this far. Without them, I probably would have given up ages ago.
I really do hope you stick it out to the end, it’ll improve your chances no end.
BIG HUG x Yvonne

Hi…sorry you have to go through all this crap but…as the other ladies have said…completing your course will give you the best protection against reoccurence…saying this…I know from my experience of FEC…horrendous is the best word I can come up with at the present…I ended up in hossie after poisoning no1…I was laying on the gurney imploring God to take me now…I have never felt so ill…apart from missing a boob there was nothing wrong with me when I had my first dose!!!..numbers 2 and 3 were different…I was prescribed a drug…Apprepritant…commonly known as Emend…it comes in a 3 dose packet…you take one on the day of chemo and 1 for the 2 following days…I didn’t have any sickness at all which meant I could cope better with the other se’s…massive hugs to you…just look at your babies and know that you are doing this for them and for yourself…it’s no walk in the park but the Emend made it doable for me…best of luck…apple
PS… I am now 12 months post chemo and 20 months post op…my hair has grown back…most important to us ladies…and I am slowly getting back to some kind of “me”…so there is life after chemo…keep fighting and keep your chin up was my motto…onwards and upwards…
Just reread this post…I had 6 in all…3 FEC and 3 Tax…I found the Tax made my limbs achey and it made me really fatigued…I slept for 24 hrs on day 3 of every poisoning!!

Mtg please don’t give up. You’re over half way. Join the April thread and you’ll get so much support from lovely ladies who know what you’re going through. Keep fighting. You have everything to live for.
God bless andbig hugs xx
Emma xx

mtg don’t give up - as others have said the treatment is the best thing to ensure your body is clear of cancer. I’m on FEC too, onlyhad one session so far, and I’ve not been feeling too good on it - my side effects haven’t been nearly as bad as some of those posted here, but bad enough that I’m not looking forward to the next treatments. So you have my greatest sympathy. Do keep talking to your oncology doctor and chemo nurses - perhaps there’s another set of chemo meds they could put you on?
If not, just hang in there. I know it it’s hard, but as other have said, remember it is temporary. Better to go through this now, than risk another diagnosis of cancer. Do make use of these forums and the help lines run by breast cancer care and macmillan for support and advice. You don’t have to feel alone in this. You could also try contacting your beast care nurse team to see if there are any local support groups - they can be great to meet others in the same position or who have been through it.

Hi mtg…can’t really add anything to what is already posted except does your hospital have a MacMillan Centre or similar attached? If so, you may be able to access counselling if that would help, or some complementary therapies which could be of benefit.
I can’t recall the source of this quote…‘When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place’. Good old Winston Churchill is always handy for a bit of inspiration!! ‘When you are going through hell, keep on going. Never never never give up.’
You will make the right decision for you and your family…take care x

Please keep going, for yourself and your kids, you could ask for a syringe driver with anti sickness in it, I was hospitalised with my first 2 cycles due to dehydration I was for stopping, then my friend suggested a syringe driver, I got that and it was much easier I still was nauseous but I did not vomit, you will get through this and get your life back, I am 5 years since diagnosis , so it is worth persevering xx

Please keep going, for yourself and your kids, you could ask for a syringe driver with anti sickness in it, I was hospitalised with my first 2 cycles due to dehydration I was for stopping, then my friend suggested a syringe driver, I got that and it was much easier I still was nauseous but I did not vomit, you will get through this and get your life back, I am 5 years since diagnosis , so it is worth persevering xx

Hi I have also had a really bad time, had 3 FEC then Docetaxel, and went down hill very quickly ended up in hospital treated for neutropenic sepsis and came out a week last Sunday and spent the next week vomiting at home unable to eat and only drinking water. I also feel I can’t cope with any more chemo whatever it is. However, everyone is saying you only have two more to go. I think I’m being put back on FEC for the last 2 treatments and then start the herceptin.

How does every one get through this when you are having such a bad time. Any one got any advise please. My next chemo has been put back a week due to recent admission and I just starting to feel well again and eating again.

Many thanks