scared of chemo

scared of chemo

scared of chemo Hi
Happy new Year everyone.
I was diagoised on 22nd Nov. 2006.
Had my op on 14th Dec all went ok and I am healing well. Got my results back last week, it was grade 2 no lymphs infected,and oestrogen positive, but I do need chemo and radiotherapy and tamoxifen ,because of my age and still having periods. Not looking forward to chemo, not sure how the kids will react or me for that matter. Just waiting for dates.
Top of my arm is still very numb, anyone know how long to get the feeling back?


Hi Think it depends how long numbness takes to go…a good while though…i still get a few problems if i’ve been overdoing it [dx jan 04]
I don’t think anyone can say what to expect from chemo or how you will react to it…everyone is different.
I was petrified of having chemo[had FEC]…but it wasn’t too bad for me yet I know others who have had a different experience.
As for the kids…mine are grown up, but 2 still live at home…they did
cope with it ok…i think…but found it difficult re the hair loss and really the fact that their mum was having to have chemotherapy.
Hope things go ok for you re chemo.
Do keep posting…this is a very nice site…but unfortunately one we’d all rather NOT have to be posting on…sorry you’ve had to join.


hello hi bev sorry you have to join us,but you have come to the right place if you need help and advise. i have just finished my chemo and am half way through rads, i too was very scared of chemo, do you know what type of chemo you are having? i was on EC so i can only tell you of my experiences on that chemo. i was never sick they give you really good anti sickness tabs, i used to have a dry mouth and bit of a horrible taste and i suffered with constipation for the first few but eventually got that sorted, every time you go for chemo you will see the nuses or doctor and any problems your having they will give you what you need to help, the worst part of chemo is losing your hair but you will soon get over it mine started to grow back now. be prepared and try different wigs,hats,scarfs etc whichever you prefer, i personally wear a wig and nobody notices as its so much like my own hair was. you will see by my profile. i had my op in july and my arms still numb i think it will take ages to get the feeling back to normal, i was told that because chemo and rads slow the healing process so once they are finished i should notice a difference. anyway take care for now and feel free to ask as many questions as you like xxx suzee.

I was also scared Hi Bev

You are not alone in being scared. I was so scared that I refused to have it at first. My husband was also going through chemo at the time for Lymphoma so I had seen first hand what it involved. My onc gave me the percentages with and without chemo and the chemo gave me another 17% chance of being alive in 5 years so I decided to go ahead for the sake of my family. I am not going to tell you of my experiences with FEC as we all react differently.

With regard to your sore arm. I had my op on 6th September. Arm was really bad for several weeks and I could not bear it if anyone touched it (or evan came near it in case they touched it). It has now settled down and is just numb but the numbness is not as bad as it was at the start. My op was on my left side and I found I had to be careful for a long time when I put the hand brake on in the car.

I wish you well with your treatment. Please keep posting so that we know how you are getting on.

Huge hugs for you and yours.


hi Bev i am now nearly 3 years post diagnosis and still have numbness in my top arm and part of the operation site area. It doesnt really bother me though - i can only tell if i need to scratch an itch !!

re chemo - I too was terrified - the first time i had chemo my legs were shaking so much as i laid on the bed that it shook! But, , the procedure itself is fine - well lets be honest, none of us would choose to have chemo, but its not the demon that i thought it would be. as the other ladies said, you are given anti sickness tablets, and you know, different people have different side effects, so dont assume that you will automatically be sick.
my son was 14 at the time, and after the first chemo, (when i didnt know what would happen), he actually came with me to a session, so he could see for himself what it was all about and to take away some of the mystery.

i hope your chemo goes well and goes by fast too!!
Love Carol

Hi Bev Hi there

I had my operation in November 2005 and I still have numbness at the top of my arm and my arm pit. Like Carol - I can only tell me I need to scratch an itch.

Like you I was terrified of Chemo but it’s 7 months since I finished it and already starting to live my life again with a full head of hair.

Time does go quickly…

Best wishes


I think we are all feel scared, its the unknown.
I am half way through my chemo, I’m on EC.
The first 2 i was really sick with nausea and vomiting, and all the other side effects plus a few more i added to. But on my third they upped and added anti sickness tabs and had no nausea/vomiting, could cope with other side effects. Everyone is different.
My kids are 15 and 12, and they have been great, even with the baldy/wiggy head. They ask loads of questions sometimes stupid ones, but i think because i look so good and healthy on the outside, they don’t really understand.
Well good luck hope it goes all well, keep using this site because it helps you get through it, you can come on share your tears, laughs and worries, and you get great support.
The way i look at this cancer thing is as a roller coaster ride it as so many twists and turns and ups and downs but eventually it as to stop and you get off. (I hate roller coaster rides anyway).
Good Luck
Mandy x

Chemo starts on 18th Scared of chemo ?? yes thats definitely me…I am due to start my firast chemo on the 18th January. Now its gettinjg nearer and nearer its looming like a black cloud. Having said that, I also have to have a bone scan and astomach ultrasound I suppose just to make sure its nowhere else. Did anybody else have this too.?Next week is very busy first 16th pre-chemo visit then abdomen and bone scan on 17th. I feel that things are running away from me and I am no longer in control.

Does anybody else feel this way ?

Like others have said think it is fear of the unknown. I am 3 sessions (out of 6) into FEC and it has not been a picnic but is bearable. have had a couple of problems -really bad mouth after first one and bad nausea day 5 -7 on last session also feeling v.tired but as others have said because eveyones physiology is different your side effects may be different - just make sure you communicate with hospital and let them know problems - you usually have a 24hr tel no - mine have been good no query has been too much trouble for them - known we have to go through it but there are lots of people ready to give support out there - this site for one

Good luck hope it goes well for you

Elaine B


I am almost finished with chemo now ive had 2 EPI,2FEC and 3 Taxotere,a real mixed bag!

I to was terrified of chemo,you hear so many horror stories from some people who havnt been through it but knows someone who has! and they feel the need to tell you how you will feel and scare you half to death!

Although some people do suffer with the side affects more than others,everyone reacts differently,so it is best to keep a open mind…i have had side affects,each different with each chemo and although they havnt been pleasant they only lasted 2-3 days and ive had many more up days than down,and been able to get along with life as normal.

There is plenty of support here on this forum and no matter what your worry or query about a particular sympton your having,you can post here and someone will come along and say they had it,and it helps you along…

I had a ct scan and bone scan…it is normal procedure if the cancer is a high grade or has gone onto the lymph glands,and yes your calendar does get a bit booked up with dates for hospital visits,but your being well looked after by them.

Best wishes to all of your about to start chemo,you will get through it.

julie xx

I was scared stiff! i was scared of everything…funny enough not so much the lumpectomy, but u guess that was becaused i was focused on the pathology results(im a nurse)…I prayed i wouldnt need chemo but i did!..stage 1, grade 3…going for 4th FEC tomorrow, its been ok…lost a lot of hair, but didnt shave, got a thin covering, still got eyebrows/lashes, major side effect i waasnt aware of was white cells very low since first cycle, then got antibiiotics, since then an injection of neulasta on day 2, side effects worse than chemo, ,like a sudden flu, but last time took paracodal 4 hourly, worked a treat…

Dont be scared…my best friend came first time, since then ive gone alone and its fine…time goes quickly…ive 6 weeks to go!!

Also ive a great wig, slighty embarases cos people saying my hair is lovely!

Good luck, be positive and you will be fine

Meant to say Ive 3 kids 6, 8, 12 and have adapted so well to me…Infact the hospitsal gave out great booklets for them to complete, my 6 year old lokes cancer cos mummy doesnt shout anymore!! oops thats a sad reflection on me managing work and kids!
Re hair, dont know how old your kids are, but mine adapt really well to wig , bandana or what little i have!

hi jencam I have just had my first FEC chemo on Tuesday. getting the chemo wasnt painful just wondered so far about the side effects. but so far felt abit nausea but havent vomited. no other side effects yet. Some people say they happen around the 5- 10 days so maybe i’m speaking to soon. My kids are 6 and 9(girls), they know mummy had a operation and that i am taking medicine that might make my hair fall out. If they ask anymore e will tell them what they need to know.
dont worry
Love Catriona xx

FECH Hi Catriona

Looks like you doing well,I had FEC and felt a little nauseas for first 2 or 3 days,so looks like your through the worse,the steriods and anti sickness get you by for a couple of days,but to be honest,after i run out i was ok,maybe having to take the odd anti sickness tablet to nip the sickly feeling in the bud…

Has you taste buds gone yet, i found this the most frustrating,as everything i ate tasted yuk!! and i love my food…I have had Taxotere also, and that chemo is real tough,with flu like symptons,but ive had no nausea with it,its swings and roundabouts…

You will get through it just rest up when your body lets you know your tired,and it will be soon number 2,the time will fly by…

Difficult how much to tell children,but they adapt well,mine are much older 19 and 15,and more knowledgeable about illnesses so they took it real bad when i told them of my diagnosis…but have managed to get their heads round it,and are getting on with their teenage lives!!!good style!!

Julie xx

hi linros, want a laugh? thanks for message. day 3 and so far feeling better, a bit nausea but is going away. Hopefully i will be ok but who knows? living in a house where the family are becoming ill with high temps and sore throats. I have been demoted to the attic. i’m bored and sick of living with ill people (only joking). keeping away form everyone may book myself into a nice b and b later if they get worse. just sneezed oh no am i getting something? Ahhhhhh! starting to eat food, doesnt taste that great but trying to have a varied diet.
talk soon
Love Catriona xxx

B and B sounds good! Hi Catriona

What a good idea,but you deserve nice luxury hotel with room service,big television and jacuzzi(oh and one of those lovely fluffy white bath robes)they fold on the end of the bed,in real posh hotels!!!..hubby can drop you off and pay!!.

Seriously tho,you cant avoid family colds around you,just limit cuddles with the kids,i know you need your cuddles right now tho,so thats hard…and dont go in crowded places for the 1st 10 days after your treatment,thats what i was told.I thought it would be just a few days,but apparently,your bloods and immune system reaches its lowest at this time…

As for food,ive yet to find something that tastes right,arrrgh! it doesnt last aslong as the Taxotere rotten mouth though…

I eat quite healthy,but couldnt face fruit,craved chippy steak puds!!!didnt taste anything like they should,but shut my eyes and tried to imagine!!!lol

Your doing well,best ingredients for getting through chemo in my book is,rest,eat what you want,keep friends etc away if theyve got colds,drink plenty of water(keeps constipation at bay) enjoy your feeling good days,treat yourself to a bit of something and most of all,keep your sense of humour(even if you have to dig deep for it)laughing is good for you…

Julie xx

Oh! and if your feeling down and grumpy,take it out on hubby…they can take it!!l…xx

first time chemo I was diagnosed back in January with invasive lobular cancer of my right breast. Luckily there is no lymph node involvement ( 26/26 clear), but I have had to have two lots of surgery since the first didnot have a clear margin. I was also the bearer of a stoma bag for three weeks since I contracted an infection in the wound! However, onwards and upwards as they say, and last week I had my first dose of FEC. I felt very apprehensive because there are so many stories about the after effects. For about 48 hours after the chemo, apart from feeling mildly nauseaus but strangely hungry at the same time, I had convinced myself that I was obviously one of those lucky people that the oncologist was talking about who sail through their chemo. How wrong was I? The nausea set in big time once the compulsory emetics ran out, but worst of all was the excruciating headache. It lasted almost 48 hours and ,fresh from the pre-chemo talk about taking other medication, I was too scared to take anything. Eventually common sense prevailed and we rang the hospital for advice, to be told I could take ibuprofen but only if I could eat something first! Needless to say I survived but I am now very anxious about the next round.Is it as bad? I know everyone is different, I didn’t expect the headache and nobody I have spoken to has mentioned it. Has anyone else had this experience and if so did you get the headache after subsequent treatments?