starting chemo on 17th feb - half term week


I am starting chemo next week on Tuesday. Obviously not looking forward to it. Going to Barts for it. I have read all the threads and looked at the top tips and read far more than i should have on it. Anyone else who is starting soon, please feel free to contact me to compare symptoms etc… I have grade 3 lobular, multi centric with low margins and 19/24 lymph nodes infected. My bone and ct scans were clear. I dont think i will bother with cold cap unless someone can persuade me it really is worth it. I had all my hair cut short today and it doesnt look too bad. (photo was before)

thanks for reading

Hello Linda and welcome!
I too am a newbie where chemo is concerned (just had my 2nd one on Wed).
What chemo will you be on?

Just want to say, I was absolutely dreading it - even though have gone through surgery etc, this was the bit I wasn’t looking forward to.
I’m on FEC and I can honestly say the anticipation was far worse than the actual chemo. Yes there are side effects but if you eat well, be sensible and rest when your body says so, you’ll be absolutely fine - honestly!
For me the first 3 or 4 days I feel a bit yukky (not sick though) and after that the rest of that first week you just get better (Just remember to take something for the constipation - I have 1 sachet of Fybogel around 9pm until I’ve finished the steroids and anti-sickness (you take these meds for the first 3 days following chemo usually).
Don’t want to bombard you and it will all make more sense once you start.
It IS doable and I wish you well - don’t hesitate to ask any further questions - no matter how trivial, we all here to see you through this
Take care and lots of strength to everyone.
Love Sue x

Hi Linda. That’s a shame, I’m under Barts too - but I’m a Monday patient. I’m on my 3rd FEC on 16th - day before you. The staff up there are lovely - mainly Vanessa (30’s - really nice) and Linda (50’s - really, really nice).

They’re really organised up there and I promise you there’s nothing to worry about - just try not to be seated next to the two idiots that I was stuck next to last time that were trying to do the easiest crossword in the world but were making the answers up to fit into the spaces! Oh how I wanted to scream the answers out to them!

Anyway, don’t believe all the scare stories you read or hear about. Apart from the obvious hair loss, I haven’t had a single side effect - honestly, not one! So there you go! Had to see the oncologist for my 2nd chemo check-up in the BCC clinic yesterday, and she said, “Oh here’s our wonder woman, don’t tell me you still have no sickness, feeling of nausea, fatigue, sore mouth, shivers or sore throat?” Er, no, no, no, no, no and no! I’m no spring chicken either, I’m 57 (going on 27!)

When I start the different set of Chemo - the Docetaxel - in 3 weeks time, I’ll probably keel over!

So good luck and don’t worry. I’m sure you’ll be fine. xx Jacq xx

hi linda - I’m seeing the oncologist next thurs 19th and will hopefully know then when I’ll start so prob won’t be far behind you…the bit I dread is that my veins are completely rubbish on my good side so I’m thinking maybe they’ll recommend one of the line jobbie things but dread all that too…the fun of it all…take care, mary x

ps jacq - its great to hear you’ve done so well - keep it up eh!!

hi linda - I’m seeing the oncologist next thurs 19th and will hopefully know then when I’ll start so prob won’t be far behind you…the bit I dread is that my veins are completely rubbish on my good side so I’m thinking maybe they’ll recommend one of the line jobbie things but dread all that too…the fun of it all…take care, mary x

ps jacq - its great to hear you’ve done so well - keep it up eh!!

Hi Mary/Jacqui/Sue

Thanks for replies. Its nice to hear someone who hasnt had side effects and has been to Barts. My youngest son has the sniffles at the moment which is a bit of a worry, drinking lots of echinacea tea to keep germs at bay. Jacqui, are you doing the research study on heart? i am and going on Monday to Brompton, making day of it and taking my boy to Science museum which is nearby, as it half term.

I am on FEC followed by Taxotere and as I said it is fear of unknown but it has to be done so as with the mastectomy, i’ll just get on with it.

Keep in touch

What research study re: heart is that then? I know nothing!

Hi its called the better-care study and it is looking into effects of epirubicin on the heart. I volunteered for it. Have to go to Brompton for heart scans. It has no immediate benefit for me but could lead to improved care for cancer and heart patients in future - that is what is says on literature. My mother died of a heart attack around 2 years after completing chemo and radio therapy. She was clear of breast cancer. obviously there were probably other factors in her death, she had scarlet fever as a child and she smoked but i think it is a worthwhile study.

All the best


I am on FEC100 x3 and Tax x3 - and have just had my second FEC. My main side effect has been the nausea - which tends to last on the night of the treatment, but have felt well enough to go out the next day.

I am using the cold cap, and is a bit unpleasant for the first 15 minutes but the effect does wear off. So far I have not lost any hair (and I’m on the strongest FEC regime) - and the lady next to me has had 4 cylces and again on FEC and Tax - and she still has a complete head of hair. I am fully expecting to lose some hair, and it doesn’t work for everyone - but I do think it is worth giving it a try if you really want to try to keep your hair. In reality it means up to an extra 3 hours in the chemo unit, but even if you are on 6 cycles that is less than a day in total to keep your hair.

All the best with the treatment.


Well done you with volunteering. Afraid I won’t be - not 'cos I can’t be bothered, it’s just that half of the medical team while I was in having a mastectomy in November kept getting concerned about my low pulse rate (which is normal for me!), and kept asking if I had ever seen a cardiologist! So I’m steering well clear of anything heart-related in case they pull me in for even more tests, biopsies or ops.! xx Jacq xx

Hello everyone

I am new to this site I joined a few days ago but have only just plucked up the courage to say “im scared”. I am starting 6 cycles of FEC on Thursday 26th Feb. I am having a picc line put in on 23rd and I’m terrified of that too. I am 33 and I have two young children aged 8 and 4. I bought them a book called "the secret ‘C’. I found it really useful to explain what is happening to mummy but nothing helps hide the fear and anxiety I am experiencing.I am looking for friends to chat with who can help me understand and hopefully lessen my anxiety. I wish you all the very best of luck this week.

take care everyone

Fiona x

hi Fiona - I haven’t got a date yet to start chemo but see the oncologist this thursday so might have then…I too have crappy veins and am half expecting them to suggest some sort of line for me so will see about that too - oh what fun eh!?! I’m 43 with kids of 10 and nearly 16 so a bit bigger than yours - on hols this week for half term so keeping me occupied!! mary x

Hi i have been out all day. I went to the Science museum which was so packed it wasnt worth it!!! It was near the Brompton where i had
a heart scan for the research project. I am now looking forward to tomorrow 12.00 chemo, first shot. I am actually more scared of the needle stab than anything else at moment.

My kids are 12 and 11 and old enough to understand and i have been honest about each thing i have been through. One of my eldest sons friend’s mum had breast cancer two years ago and is now fine. They have both seen that and are not too worried. I have good days and bad ones and at moment in an optimistic phase, long may it last!!!

All the best

Linda - please, please don’t worry about the needle - it really doesn’t hurt. None of it hurts, honest. I was up there yesterday and have just finished my last FEC. Good luck, you’ll be absolutely fine! xx Jacq xx

Thanks and good for you last fec. Just logged on to here as i am leaving in five minutes. Only worried because i had some blood taken there for research yesterday so bit tender but i will get thru it. I have had prune yoghurt with muesli this morning (I really do not want to get constipated) and have a bag of seeds in my handbag to snack. Hopefully i am well prepared

See you later

Linda - we’re behind you wishing you well for it all, mary x

Hi everyone back,

Needle was not pleasant but bearable. Worst part was the hanging about!!. I am now home and actually feel a bit sick but i think that is because i am hungry - i did not have lunch only some nuts and seeds so once i have eaten i am sure i will feel better.

going to make a stir fry so lets see shall we.

Thanks Mary


Well, i woke today early feeling a bit queasy. I had my prune yoghurt with muesli for breakfast (trying to avoid constipation at all costs) Took steroids and anti sickness and now seem to have tonnes of energy. I thought i would be out of housework mode for a few days but actually turbo charged at moment. Just as well as house looks like a tip and even turbo charged me will only make a dent in it!! Chemo nurse said the steroids keep you awake so may be that is it.

I am going to have chicken soup for lunch - life does revolve around food at the moment probably because i am not at work. I have put a lamb tagine in slow cooker for evening meal.

Anyway enough rambling, anyone else feeling chemo effects?


hi Linda - I was given steroids after my wisdom teeth extraction years ago and was turbo boosted the following morning - cleaning out the cupboard under the sink - still shocks me now!! Look afrer yourself!! mary x

Mary, As i said in msge good luck today and hope you get your dates sorted etc. Thinking of you. I am still remarkably well. No real side effects. Hope it stays like this.