September 2023 Chemo Starters

This thread is for anyone beginning chemo in September. It is a place to help and support each other along the way. Please ask if you have any questions.
Sue xx



Due to eventually start my chemotherapy 12 weekly Paclitaxol with Herceptin 3 weekly on the 14th September. I had joined the June chemo starters but the plan all changed and had surgery first. Just returned from my MUGA heart scan, now radioactive for 24 hours!
Bilateral invasive breast cancer, right side found a lump early April, mammogram and ultrasound recorded different sizes so had an MRI, which recorded 2.1cm on the border for neoadjuvant treatment (before surgery). They found another lump in the left. Apparently 4/5% have bilateral breast cancer so I’m being referred to genetics to see if I need screening as well. Right breast grade 2, 2cm tumour and left grade 1, 0.8cm tumour, both primary breast cancer.

Due to size it was decided I have surgery first, so 8 weeks ago I had wide local excision(lumpectomy) with sentinel node biopsies. Clear margins and lymph nodes. My scars and breasts are still quite tender, scars are approx 8cm long on the outer edge of each breast. Difficult finding bras that don’t rub, some friction while gardening caused one wound to open which then got infected but sorted with antibiotics.

I’m apprehensive for the chemo but I’ve booked a wig fitting next week, then PICC line clinic before bloods and clinic before treatment. It’s going to be a busy couple of weeks. My cancer centre is Velindre in Cardiff which is a 70 mile round trip, so it’ll be a long day even without treatment. I’m hoping my weekly bloods can be done by GP or district nurse.

Looking forward to meeting others starting in September.


Hi @naughty_boob
I’m starting my chemo tomorrow-5th. Got my bloods today.
I have been diagnosed with Invasive ductal carcinoma grade 3 ER8 PR8 HER-2 Positive.
I will be starting on EC for 3 cycles and then having Docetaxel along with Phesgo for 3 cycles. I’m having chemo then surgery.
Just want to get started now and see how my body reacts/copes.
Will be good to chat along the way.


Hi @sindy5

Good luck tomorrow. I’ll be thinking about you. I’m assuming your tumour is larger than 2cm as you are having chemotherapy before your surgery being HER2+.

Looking forward to getting to know you and supporting each other as well as others who will join this thread. :grinning:


@naughty_boob My tumour is 2.3cm so just slightly larger

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Hello! I’m starting 16 weeks of chemotherapy at the Christie in Manchester on Thursday. I’ve got grade 3 hormone positive breast cancer (diagnosed mid June), and have already had a lumpectomy. The plan is chemo, then auxiliary lymph node clearance in the new year. Then radiotherapy and hormone treatment for 10 years.

I’m 45 with two little kids so it is a little overwhelming but am staying positive as however grim the treatment is it’ll drastically increase my odds of being here for a long time. Be great to share experiences as we go through this rollercoaster ride. X


@annemanc I’m also at The Christie. I’m starting tomorrow as long as everything comes back ok from my bloods and Echo. I’m 49 and have 3 children but they are older 16, 18, and 20. Hope everything goes ok for Thursday


Thanks @sindy5 and best of luck for tomorrow. :blush:
I went to Maggie’s today, an absolutely beautiful centre opposite the Christie designed for patients to sit in the gardens and enjoy a free brew or a tai chi class etc. It is worth a visit (if you have time and want somewhere to relax) as they offer lots of support and is one of the nicest modern buildings and gardens I’ve been to in Manchester. Norman Foster designed it. Made me feel less stressed. Xxx


Hi there
I will be starting chemo on Thursday afternoon for breast cancer. Daunted and have a preenager son who has just gone back to school.
It would be good to see how others are doing on a similar journey.


Hi @annemanc

Sorry to hear your diagnosis and treatment but we’ll get through it together.

Which chemotherapy are you having? I’m 54 and my kids are grown up but have an 18month old large dog who will be about 4 when he matures. Have to be so careful not to get bumped when he’s playing, I already bruise really easily. I couldn’t imagine doing this with small kids as I teach in a primary school and can understand how you have to be ‘on’ at all times with them. Luckily for me I’ve been signed off since diagnosis. There is no way I could teach, brain fog, fatigue, hot flushes/lack of sleep not to mention anxiety and can cry at the drop of a hat.



Thinking of you today :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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Hi @daffodil1

Good luck on Thursday, I will be thinking of you. I start next Thursday all being well.

We’ll get through this together.

What is your treatment plan? Weekly/3 weekly?


@naughty_boob Thanks It went ok.
I’ve been home for about 2 hours and so far got a headache and my vision went blurry for about 30mins but that’s cleared now. Hope all goes ok for you next week x


@sindy5 really glad it went ok xxx


Hi @naughty_boob I’m starting with 3 x 3 weekly cycles of EC, then 3 x 3 weekly cycles of pacitaxel. So 18 weeks in total.

I’ve been signed off work too until at least end of Jan. Feels helpful for me to have headspace just to deal with the chemo (and general usual family life). Xxx


I agree with being signed off allows you to just think and do the things you need to do at that time without the pressure of work. My fit for work finishes end of September and I’m hoping to have until December for chemo/Herceptin or even end of January for radiotherapy. I’m going to ask at the cancer centre next time rather than the GP as I feel I have to keep justifying why I need time off with them.

Hope all goes well on Thursday. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Hi i was just recently diagnosed with breast cancer grade 3 her2 positive i have just had the lumpsectomy and luckily the lymph nodes were clear so actually was told friday they had got it all, although i still have to start chemo on 28th september along with radiotherapy and something else to help me push through my menopause i am completely bewildered by this whole experience and scared about what happens next. Feel a bit lost at the moment xx


Hi there
I’m not sure of the regime just yet, will hopefully find out more today.
It is all starting to feel quite imminent now.
Still feel I’m recovering from mastectomy too…
Trying to take a day at a time.
Hope you are all doing as well as possible.


Sending love @chanttel77 I completely get that feeling of bewilderment and loss. We’ll all get through this together x


Hi @chanttel77

Welcome to the group. I’m starting on the 14th all being well. I’m Er+ and HER+ and having Paclitaxol and Herceptin.

We will support each other through this process, there will be hard times, there will be complications but with each other’s support and that of our family, friends and most important our treatment teams we will get to the other side.

You’re not alone being bewildered by it all. I have my PICC line today as I am BiLateral (both breasts). I’m worried about having a tube fitting directly into a virgin so close to my heart, risk of infection etc. But it needs to be done and I have trust in my team.