Starting chemo May 2014

Hi all, I’m due to have first of 6 TAC on 6 May, have been looking at the other chemo threads to find out as much as I can. Planning to at least try the cold cap, but will sort out a wig as well as generally tend to pessimism.

Hi Gadgetgirl, You an get really good wigs.  The one I had was brilliant in fact itwas better than my own hair.  Some women like scarves but I could never get them to sit right. Make sure you order before you start your chemo or soon after.  You will probably need it before the second infusion.  Anyway good luck you have a tough year ahead but you will get through it.   



I am also starting Chemo, Fec-T , on 1st May and have my meeting on Monday to discuss how it all works. Can anyone tell me what to expect, I am going alone and don’t want any nasty suprises. I feel totally unprepared as I lost my dad last week and all the arrangements etcs have taken over with his funeral being on the day before I start chemo. I have arranged to have my hair cut on Saturday but cannot decide whether to try the cold cap or not. I have read many treads saying it adds on a long time to the session with varying results, therefore I will also be on line purchasing head scarves etc in readiness.

Could anyone tell me if I should invest in a digital thermometer and give me a basic list of what to buy in readiness, I am currently working and feel that I am running out of time to get things in place as I still have a lot of sorting to do for the funeral.


Thanks Wax   xxx


Wow…thats a pretty extensive list…i’ll make sure I try and pick out the essentials and go shopping at the weekend…thanks very much for the info. Gagetgirl have you had your pre start meeting yet and did you get wig advice and or cold cap advice then? Best wishes Wax xx

If I was you its better to find out if they issue a thermometer free of charge as I got one given to me on 1st chemo.

Hi ladies, looks like we are creating a good thread with lots of positive advice…it’ll be good to find out how we all get on with the first round!!
Gmc…good luck with the line tomorrow. Can j ask if you were given the decision to go with the line rather than just starting with a canular?I have read that you can get some nasty long term damage/side effects from the canular a bit scary??
Donna…thankyou for letting us know what to expect at the first one…your post has actually calmed me down a bit!!
Gadget girl…good luck with the cold cap you have a good reason to give it a go…really hope it works…just concentrate on the wedding ,should help having something to focus on. I was worried about losing my hair before dad died as I didn’t want him to see me looking different…I have now decided that I am so drained with everything that I’ll just let it take its course …I am having my hair cut short in readiness on saturday…although my sister will think its because I want attention at the funeral on wednesday…as far as she is concerned having breast cancer is like having a cold and i’ve had my op now theres nothing wrong with me!! But thats another story !!
First one on thursday 1st so…here we go…I’ll be back on soon to see how every ones getting on…hugs and luck to you all…wax xx

Hi Ladies
I was dx last August & have now finished my chemo & am on day 3 of my radiotherapy. I had a lumpectomy in September last year & then had to have a full node clearance in October. I had 3 FEC & 3 Tax. After an hour of my first chemo my veins shut down so the following week I had a Hickman line fitted. I don’t think you would have a Hickman or pic line fitted unless you have veins that go shy when a nurse appears !!! Anyway although a little awkward at first the line is great, makes treatments much easier, no more needles !! After that treatments were easy ? I did use the cold cap, I had the Paxman machine & I’ve not needed to wear a wig at all. I did have my hair cut short & although it seemed I was losing a lot it is amazing how much hair you have. Cold cap on treatment 3 wasn’t quite tight enough so I lost some hair on the top of my head but not enough for anyone to really notice. I only washed my hair once a week, dry it with a cool dryer, wash it using cool water & simple shampoo & conditioner. Cap goes on just half an hour before treatment, it gets to minus 5 but I didn’t struggle with it. If you take a couple of paracetamol before & have a hot drink that helps but after ten mins you are used to it. Treatment takes about 45 mins and then with the FEC you have to have cap on for 2 more hours & on the tax it is on for just 45 mins after. If your hospital has a Paxman machine then I can only recommend it as it has worked for me & several other ladies Ive met through the forum.
I started a Facebook group which is private. We are called the November Newbies & we all met on this forum. It just allows us to maybe talk more freely, post pics of ourselves, bald heads, various side effects etc. it’s a private group so only we can see it so you can post anything you like. It may be good for you ladies starting in may to do this as it has really helped us all & we have also now booked ourselves a weekend away in November to all meet up.
If any of you have any questions please just ask, i know it doesn’t feel like it now but you will all get through this, it’s not easy but I’m through it and the radiotherapy is going ok too
Hugs to you all
Sam xxxxxx ?

Hi poemsgalore, I have come a cross many of you posts since joining this forum with loads of positive info and tips so thanks for joining us…I’m getting gittery…maybe silly but I’ve managed to work myself into a state…I’ve got to have a CT tomorrow…on the same scanner my dad was on less than four weeks ago…think I may loose the plot…getting a bit too much x

I’m 43 and was diagnosed last week with grade 3 breast cancer. They still need to do more tests to determine type but I have been told that they will start chemo within 2 weeks and I’m due to meet with the oncologist and surgeon on Wednesday. My lump was measured last week at over 4cm and I’m sure it’s even bigger as today I had to go out and buy new bras as my old ones were uncomfortable (I’ve gone from a 34dd to 34G). They want to do chemo first to shrink cancer so in a way I actually can’t wait to get started as my breast is so heavy and painful at times. I’m trying to prepare myself and this forum has been a good source of knowledge. Still not sure whether to have cold cap but my sisters friend used it and kept all her hair. Problem I have is my hair is naturally dark and I hate to think how much grey is in there but I have blonde highlights. I suddenly had a thought that if I don’t lose my hair then I’ll end up looking like a skunk as you can’t use hair dye for I think 6 months after chemo. So I need to arrange to have my hair dyed back to my natural colour and was thinking of having it cut shorter just in case. I will also go and chose a wig as a back up.
I really hope that all f your first chemo’s are as symptomless as possible and I look forward to hearing how you get on. Any advice and tips will be greatly appreciated. Sheryl

Hi Sheryl, just dropping inform the November group, sorry to hear about your diagnosis xxx just advice on cold cap, I’ve finished chemo about 6 weeks ago now, I used cold cap throughout & kept my hair. I lost loads but its amazing how much you have & I can tell but no one else really can ? I have a wig but have not used it. Some of the girls in my group have dyed their hair already just 6 weeks clear of chemo using naturetint hair dyes. You can get them in holland & Barrett & you can also use wash in & out mousses as a temp fix. Ill doing mine next week.
Good luck with your treatment xxxx

Ladycroft that’s very reassuring. It must feel strange feeling ok at the moment as I’d built it up in my head that you’d feel awful straight away. Keep the posts coming over the next few days so we know what to expect.
I’m up in hospital again today because breast inflammation has flared up again. For the first time since this process it seems like I’ve seen a doctor that actually knows what he’s talking about. They’re going to admit me on IV antibiotics again to see if it makes a difference and if not he says it might be inflammatory BC but at least he’s being honest and not trying to fob it off as cellulitis.

Hi ladies your posts are making me fell calmer about 1st one on thursday, just tomorrow to get through, tears have started already, but I know we will give dad the send off he deserves…trying to keep it together…xx Linda xx

Hi all,


I thought I’d join this thread as I have my first FEC chemotherapy session tomorrow. I had a port line fitted today and am finding it quite uncomfortable at the moment. I thought it was going to be done under general but it wasn’t and I could hear them all talking about what they were doing whilst I had a cover over my head. Not pleasant, but I’m glad that bit is over with. Managed to get to sleep around 9pm and am now wide awake at 1am and can’t stop worrying about tomorrow. I decided not to go for the cold cap which should cut down the session time but there are widely differing views on how long it will actually take. What has anyone else found with the FEC sessions (if they have already had any)? Not sure whether I’ll try to get back to sleep or play Candy Crush all night!

So sorry Sheryl to hear that you are not only in the hosp but also have found the Drs less than the comforting, informative people we want them to be.  I hate it when they try to hide the bad news as you somehow know they are just not telling you everything.  Knowledge is power and I fgeel much more empowered when I know the fullest picture possible.  So helpful too to hear peoples experience of the first treatment so thanks for those descriptions.  I was taken to see the set up yesterday and it all looked very relaxed.  I was sur[prised though as I expected to see lots of bald heads but saw only one so I’m assuming those I saw were near the beginning of treatment too.  Hair app tomorrow and they have advised me to have it cut as short as possible to help wth the wig fitting session i am going to.  I went shopping afterwards to purchase lots of the stuff on the ‘things to help you get through it’ list, bonjela, childs toothbrush etc etc. 

Just got back from seeing the oncologist prior to the chemo and another bit of bad news dripped into the conversation!  It seems she is quite convinced that I have the faulty gene and wants me now to talk to my 3 giirls about getting a mammogram now even though they are all below the normal age.  43, 41 and 37.  If I do the other breast will definitely be coming off too and probably the one ovary I have left after the hysterectomy…  I now have to find out as much as I can about my sisters pathology reports, not easy when one was over 20 yrs ago and the other 10 yrs and she is no longer here.  However, on the bright side I feel really good at the moment and just want to get it started.  The sooner it will be over then!


Oh yes, the other bit of news that I had not been told before is that mine was a triple negative.  Apparently more aggressiver and faster growing than the norm,  Hence why it grew to 37m in the short time between a call back from my routine mammogram when after a second mammogram and an ultrasound they found a cyst in the same breast and drained it and now. Just 13 months.  I’ve been readin up on it and don’t like what I’ve found but so glad i agreed to the chemo.


 Hi, I thought I’d introduce myself… My name is Kate & I am a mum of 3, Abigail (5), Danielle (2) and Jenni (10 months).

I was diagnosed on 6th Feb after Jenni got really fussy breastfeeding. I was given a fortnight to stop breastfeeding completely and I had a mastectomy on 28 Feb with sentinal lymph node clearance. 

They found cancer in the lymph nodes so had to go back in for surgery on 24th Mar for a full axillary lymph node clearance. I’ve been put on anatrypaline to help with the nerve damage as they had to “sacrifice some nerves in order to get at all the lymph nodes”, I feel like I have a constant burning sensation in my arm, has any one else got this?

They’ve subsequently found the cancer had spread into the axillary lymph nodes, so I’m down for radiotherapy after my Chemo has finished and endocrine therapy after the radiotherapy.

On 9th April I had a cardiac scan and on 11th April I then had a CT scan, MRI scan and a whole body bone scan.

29th April I had my Hickman line inserted and my first dose of Chemo, I’m having 4 lots of Epirubicin & Cyclophosphamide, followed by 4 cycles of Docetaxel.

After the 1st Chemo, yesterday i woke with a banging headache, I was told not to take paracetamol as it can mask temp rises, but notice a few of you have mentioned taking paracetamol… Does it depend what Chemo you’re on?

Trying to drink lots of water, feel sick, but haven’t been yet!

Has anyone any advice with kids at nursery and school re the inevitable snotty noses and coughs? Must admit I’m a bit worried about it!

Sorry for the long post ;-) 

Hi all
Just to let you know I’ve set up a Facebook group. If you want to join then if you private message me I’ll let you know the details. The benefit of joining the group is it is private so only those in the group can see the posts but we can also post pictures which may help us on our journeys (we can compare hair pictures).
Sheryl x

Having read everyone’s posts since I last posted re my results yesterday I have to say I am feeling quite lucky and full of admiration for those of you who are younger and coping with family life.  I am fortunate that apart from running a holiday lets business here I don’t have commitments on  a daily basis. no school runs or commutes with all those nasty bugs.  I can quite literally stay in and put up the barriers and life would go on as normal. 


I’ve given myself a good talking to and realising that I have to cherish all the positives I can. Starting with…Had my hair cut this morning and am told really short quite suits me. :)  I’ve only waited 66 yrs to find that out. lol

So woke up this morning, it’s my Hubby’s 70th birthday and the girls managed to stay in bed till 6.15! Not feeling too sick today and the best bit is no headache! 

Going to try and get an appointment to get some seroma drained before the bank holiday as I seem to be filling up a bit again…


Have a good day everyone :-) 


Cycle 1/8  Day 4/21

Morning ladies, had 1st Fec yesterday but apart from feeling a bit sickly was ok and had good nights sleep. They did have problems hunting the vein which has left me bruised, will see how iy goes next time but may have to have a line put in.Feel really tired today but started the steriod and anti sickness tablets as instructed and can not sleep.!!! Rang in sick today couldn’t face work so mums coming round…it’ll give her something to focus on aswell…so far ,so good …no major problems for anyone, have a good weekend…Linda xx