Starting chemo next week and terrified

Hi everyone,

After being diagnosed with breast cancer a few weeks ago and then having surgery (lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy - all clear), I will now be starting chemo next week.

I’ll be having FEC X 3 and D X 3 over 18 weeks. To say that i’m terrified is an understatement. I am also so upset at the prospect of losing my hair that I have been in tears all day. I realise in the grand scale of life I’m being stupid as I of course want my life but I’m just so worried about it all, and wondered if people could help with questions.

Has anyone had FEC X 3 and D X 3 and how did you find it?

My consultant said we can try the cooling cap to try and save my hair - does this have a positive % of working?

Also what I found a little strange is that my consultant said to continue with treatments I do all the time such as shellac nails and tan as there is no problem, and that I can also keep using the deodorant and shower gel I currently use also. I did read a forum (not this one, an American one) where everyone immediately switched products and having treatments so this is what I had expected. Can you tell me if this sounds correct and if you are fine to continue as ‘normal’ with beauty/nail treatments?

Sorry for rambling on but I am just trying to note down everything I can think on ?.


Hi Steph

Yes it’s a scary time, but you will be able to get through it, just take one day at a time.

I’m on my second cycle of chemo, not the same as your going to have but I’m sure there are many similarities. Currently losing my hair(had it cut short in preparation) and wearing scarves. It’s not nice but you get used to it. Didn’t bother with the cold cap, I don’t think many do, as there’s no guarantee that it will work and its just another thing to try and deal with.

With nails, I was advised to use some strong nail polish protector as they can get brittle as time goes on. I haven’t changed anything else.

For me, the hardest thing is the fatigue, so after your chemo, take it easy for a few days. I make sure the food cupboards are stocked up, the washing has been done, and there’s dvds ready to watch!

Good luck and sending hugs

Sue x


Hi Steph03


I’m on the September thread and I’m also starting next week - Monday.  I’m also really frightened of it all.  I’ll be having 6 doses of Docetaxel and Carboplatin  and also injections of Herceptin.  

I’ve decided not to bother with the cold cap as it’s not guaranteed to stop the hair loss and it extends the day.  I’m also worried I may get headaches and as I suffer from migraines, I didn’t want to risk it.

Have you sorted a wig?  I saw a lady who works out of the hospital and she was very good as I was dreading that appointment.  

A lot of ladies on this forum say that the anticipation is the worst and once you get started, you just have to get on with it.  I’m at the stage now where I just want it started!

I’m not sure about the nails but the chemo nurse did suggest that I use dark nail polish as this is meant to help.



Kath xxx

Hi Steph03,


I’ve just had my 4 x EC and I am finding chemo not too bad, so don’t worry too much, you just have to take things as they come.  


I did find the hair loss upsetting (tried the cold cap but it didn’t work on top, would recommend giving it a go though!).  I have bought a hair replacement system which is very expensive but absolutely amazing - it’s so nice to have proper hair firmly attached to your head.  Worth looking into if you can afford it.  


I don’t think you need to switch products, other than buying gentle shampoos to help your hair.

Hi Leanne

Where did you go for the hair replacement system ? I’m cold capping but only had one so far. I did look into the hair systems but the one I found was in London and I’m up North
Sarah x

Hi Kath,

I haven’t sorted a wig out yet. I will be going shortly to meet the oncology team and I’m thinking they will advise on that, plus I’ve looked at some wig suppliers too.

I meet my oncologist again on Wednesday and I’ve decided to ask him what % difference to this not coming back does radio + tamox give vs chemo + radio. I want to know in my own mind first that this is definitely the best option for me. A bit nervous of asking as I don’t want him to think I’m undermining him at all, but I just want this ordeal to feel like it is absolutely the best thing and by a long way. I did read a thread where the difference for someone was very little (4%) and I just wouldn’t be prepared to do it if it is so little.

Hope all goes well for you on Monday, I’d be due to start 19th.


Hi Stephen
I’ve just had my 4th ec. Side effects for me haven’t been to bad. The only thing I’ve suffered with is constipation but take sena while I’m on my treatment for a few days. Hopefully fingers crossed for you any you have few side effects to. Take care.

Hello Steph 


ive had the exact chemo treatment as  you 3 X FEC 3 X T I’ve just finished and I wanted to reassure you that actually it’s not as scary as I thought! In fact I’ve found 3 pregnancys worse !! It has also gone so fast.


ive not had any sickness just tired and delicate for a week after I’ve continued to work part time.  I dreaded hair loss yes my legs are lovely and smooth lol …and so is my head in fact I’ve now been nic named pin ball by the relatives nice bunch but that’s our sense of humour cold cap I was offered but declined it takes and extra 90mins gives can give you migraine and it’s not guaranteed it will work I bought a wig and TBH I’ve worn it 5 times if that I go out with some lovely scarfs and have made my own bonnets.


i forgot to add I’ve kept my acrylic nails on through the treatment with no problems in fact I think it may have protected them . Deodrants yes I’ve changed because a lot have metals in so I’ve changed to Neals Yard natural and they are better than anti persprants fake tan I’ve not done as again most contain metals unless you use something like tan organic which I contacted them they said was fine to use but double check 

Thanks Dotty, that’s good to know, and I hope your feeling much better now that chemo is over.

I’m meeting my oncologist tomo night and have a few more questions, but I imagine I will be starting next week as I know he is going to say to each of my questions that I do need to go down this road.

That’s reassuring on the nails then, and I’ll double check on the tan. I will definitely try the cool cap but will call a wig shop in Glasgow in a couple of days to look at getting a wig just incase.

A friend actually bought me a Bionsen roll on stock deodorant so I’m just going to switch over to that.

I just want this whole experience to be done ?

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