Starting Chemo in March - the 11th

Got my date thru for 1st chemo… even though i knew it was coming ws still a shock but still went to work, gota work as much as i can before the chemo starts as they have warned me about immune system even when im feeling better… have 2nd onc appt Weds and will also get CT scan results. I have started to get my first donations on the Just Giving Website where i have set a sponsorship page and i have chose this websites charity for me to raise money for. the sooner i cut it all off the sooner it will grow back. i am treating chemo as a journey to health (road to hell, no, road to health) and starting to buy provisions, cordosyl, but they have toothpaste too dont they, is this a good idea too> just trying to build up oral health (tho clean bill of health at dentist but know it will be affected by chemo) dont know when hair will fall out so need to get cut by first appt then shaved off. hope keep eyebrows and lashes but have ph no for LGFB. Any tips for side effects of chemo be great… lucky that i am allowed to work from home as and when need to. Good luck to all who are going thr and or starting in March too, we could all travel together - i will have the help of my fam and friends and of course my beautiful Zeyna, Mummys medicine, just hope i have the energy to walk and exercise her, she is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and i was doing agility with her this year…
Shar xxxxx

Yes echo too what Shar says, I am starting in March and would also welcome any advice, tips, help, support …

Sue x

Morning… I am off foor my fifth session of chemo this morning. I must be honest it has not been easy for I have had some infectuons that have left me feeling quite poorly but I am nearly there and try to remain positive.

We all have to remember that this is a process that is required to enable us to live a full life again.

I have booked a weeks holiday in the sun for the 26th March to celebrate the ending of my chemo !!!

I hope all goes well for you.

Shar & ksandrak

remember everyone has different reactions to chemo but saying that being prepared as much as possible is really the best way. There is a thread on hre Tips going through chemo, I cut and pasted off it back in 2008 when i was going through and it was a great help. The other thing i would say it if you are worried/suffering/struggling with some aspect ASK , I didn’t at first and realised you don’t always get offered everything to relief symptoms. For instance i suffered horribly at first with constipation ( too much info oops) but now realised if I had taken ‘movicol’ from the start that wouldn’t have happened. Also ginger didn’t help me as i saturated myself in all things ginger my first day, and then was ill and it had the effect of …getting hammered on a particular drink ( we have all been there) and not being able to even smell it afterwards ;). I was on a fortnightly regime so i found AC/Tax hard going as i never got the 3rd week reprieve , so didn’t do any work. But lots do manage to do some work especially the self employed. Take help if you can get it. thinking of you rhi xx

The best tip I had re mouth was to suck fruit ice-lollies [tesco Finest orange are good] or drink ice water -as much as possible while the chemo is being administered.I bought a wide necked flask and kept it in the freezer with the lid off the night before then used it to take lollies and ice cubes to the hospital.It is a good idea to have someone with you on the day to top up water etc and maybe to drive [some can some cant].The ice is a bit like a cold cap for the mouth :).
Shar let me know if you need any practical help[or just to talk].If anyone else needs to chat just pm me for details.I had 4xfec and 4x taxotere in 2006/7.I had a 2cm trip neg idc.
Luck and love to you all

I’m going to get those flexible plastic moulds for ice lollies and make my own with fruit juice rather than the tons of sugar you get in commercial ice lollies. I already have some flexible ice cube trays so they might be useful for starters.

I finished 4 cycles of Taxotere at the end of December 2010,its not the most pleasant experience to go through but it is managable.Top tips I found that helped me and may help you through the side effects are:Start using a soft bristle toothbrush to avoid mouth infections,use a regular mouthwash e.g Difflam.
Drink plenty of water and eat fruit such as melon it always acted as a refresher for my mouth when my taste buds altered.
When you feel tired and lethargic listen to your body and rest,invest in a slanket(warm fleecy blanket)that you can curl up on the sofa with.
Use moisturising cream regularly on fingernails and hands as skin tends to dry quickly and nails can flake and crack.
Use tea tree shampoo on scalp once hair has gone as it helps to reduce and dry up spots that can occur.
Invest in a jersey hat for bed as head can feel cold with hair loss.Invest in a good wig,it gives you the confidence you need once hair has gone,also have plenty scarves,hats/bandanas to wear.
Have laxatives at the ready as constipation can often occur.
Have immodium ready for diarrhoea which sometimes occurs.
Take anti sickness tablets and painkillers regularly,and if you find sleeping at night is a problem make sure to get some sleeping tablets from GP.
Best of Luck and hope all goes well for you,Laura x

Thanks all for some excellent advice, i am definetly going to take some ice lols and ice, and stock up on other remedies x

You can sometimes lose your taste for a few days, and I found that pineapple pieces were greaat to revive this.


Hi ladies, what useful advice. I start my first session on 9th March, and am trying to stock up on different things. Never knew there where so many anti bacs products. When I asked in my local supermarket about mouthwash and why I wanted it, she told me to get it on prescription as the bottle is twice the size. I shall definitely be buying ice lollies on next trip out, and I can’t go passed a charity shop without looking for headscarves and silkflowers to pin to them. My main worry at the moment is I am waiting for a MRI or CAT scan as they are worried about my liver after a recent ultra sound. I was told it won’t delay my chemo, but as time is getting on I don’t want to be in a machine, when I’m claustrophobic and feelin sick after my first session. I must say there is never a dull moment on the bc road, I’m spending so much time at Milton Keynes hospital, I shall be upset if I am not invited to their Christmas party! Though I can not fault the help and support that they have given me. Good luck to all my other March starters, with luck the thought of it will be worse than the treatment.
Love Ruth xxx

There is a soft jersey ‘hat’ called a Buff [I got nine at Black’s outdoor shop-lots of colours and you can twist it into different styles.It is much lighter than any hat I tried and I found it invaluable-just Google Buff.
By the way just before your hair drops out your scalp develops quite a painful tingle all over-it is unpleasant but totally normal.
Good Luck

Hi Ruth, good luck for the 9th march, I won’t be far behind you got first onc appt next tues 1st march, yes hoping the worrying is worse than the doing too!

Thanks Horace, I will certainly take a look at the buffs, they look very easy to use and in some nice designs.

Sue x

Hi everyone. I got my portacath fitted this afternoon, my stick-on boob fitted this morning, and the wig was fitted Wednesday, so think I’m about ready to send in the little chemo soldiers next Thursday.

Like Shar, I’m feeling a bit brave (or reckless) so have decided to get my head shaved on Tuesday, before it has time to fall out. That way it is me that takes control, rather than chemo/cancer.

Sunday is the only day next week that I don’t have a cancer related appointment, as I’m also having intensive kinesitherapy for cording at the moment. This BC stuff keeps us busy doesn’t it.

I hope you are all feeling fit for the fight!

Cathy x

Hi ladies, I agree cathy we only said today what day hasn’t got an appointment for bc. Wigs, scans, blood tests etc it’s all go. I to am having my hair shaved so I stay in charge. After my visit to see and talk to chemo nurse I was very down with the huge list of do’s and don’ts felt chemo was going to be my life, but doing little thing and taking cherge I’m starting to feel that chemo is only going to be PART of my life. Does anyone know how quickly after chemo is finished I will start with radiotherapy, wondered if you get a break. Good luck ladies love Ruth x

How was the portacath insertion? I have mine booked for Monday and I’m actually PLEASED someone’s going to be slicing me again, how bizarre is that. Three months ago I’d have been horrified at the thought and now I’m looking at it being done under sedation and local.

Hurrah! Well done Choccie on the portacath front, your perseverance paid off.

I have to admit that, for me, the insertion was a bit unpleasant, but I had local and no sedation. It’s a bit like a visit to the dentist, once the injections are out of the way you feel a bit of pushing and pulling, but it’s all over in about 30 minutes.

It feels a bit odd afterwards, but they’ll give you painkillers to take. I had mine done yesterday, and today I feel fine.

Hi Blue Dragonfly aka Ruth
Love the user name!

I’m on FEC x6 and have been told the delay to Rads starting will be 3 weeks, the same as cycle of FEC. I guess it may differ depending on how SE get you from Chemo or where you’re getting treated.

Good Luck
Helen xx

I am also starting chemo in March, though the date is not yet confirmed (either the 8th or 11th) but there has been a lot of mention of FEC and Taxotere but I am to get the TAC regime which I have been told is one of the strongest - but as a novice to all this, I am not sure. I think it is all pretty awful by the sounds of it, no matter what regime you are on but the most important thing is that we know that it is going to be bad, so we prepare for it, and at the end of the day we are all grateful that chemo will go a long way to ensuring that the cancer is eradicated. I need to follow my chemo up with radiotherapy, Herceptin and the hormone drug so it is pretty scary and I would love to share the ride with others starting in March. I think the tips others have shared following their experiences are invaluable in helping us to prepare.
best wishes to all

Hi Ruth,

I had my first FEC last Tuesday & during infusion process had time to chat to my nurse (I was a little surprised that she would be staying with me throughout the whole process - I’d expected to be linked to the drip & each drug added, in turn, into the tube and just left to drip through). Anyway, I specifically asked about timescales & was told that there’s an optimum time that they have to get Radio started after Chemo. As Helen said, I was told it should start 3 wks from last infusion - so basically FEC 7 will be Radio 1. We have a ‘tea lady’ in our unit - I knew she sorts everyone out with a cuppa in the waiting room but I now know that she’s always popping into the chemo room and topping us all up with fluids, sandwiches, snacks etc.

Hope it all goes well for you, just make sure you don’t suffer in silence. xx Chris xx

I’ll be starting chemo on 2 March (delayed from Feb whilst I was recovering from a sentinel node biopsy). 4cm lump, grade 3, waiting for final results on whether it’s triple negative, thankfully no nodes affected. Starting me on 2 x FEC and if that works to shrink the lump a bit, 2 more, then 4 x T. If not it’ll be 6 x T next. Then surgery after that (!). Blimey…
Ann x