Starting chemo? - this might help.


Although nowhere near completing my treatment (mx + rads + tam) I though i’d share my experience about chemo in the hope that it will reassure those who are about to begin. I appreciate that this is only MY experience and that other’s will have had something totally different that may not have been as ‘kind’ but i want this post to be uplifting if possible.

I was terrified of chemo. I was expecting the worst. I was expecting to be constantly sick, have mouth ulcers, thrush, tiredness, hairloss and depression. I expected to lose touch with me and I couldn’t bear the thought of it.

I’m happy to say that, for me at least, much of this has been unfounded:
* Yes - i lost my hair and eyebrows and eyelashes, and no it doesn’t feel great but i’m used to it and so is everyone else.
* Yes - i was sick, but only on one day and i didn’t hang around getting extra strong pills to stop it.
* Yes - i had a couple of mouth ulcers and my wisdom tooth started playing up but again asking for stronger mouthwash solved this.
* Tiredness - yes, but not all the way through, just the first week mainly and then a little.
* Thrush - yes, but only once! Which is a miracle for me as i’m naturally cursed in this dept.
* Depression? - I’d be fibbing if i said i didn’t have dark moments, i still do - but not the constant, ebbing away that i imagined.

As for losing me? No. I’m still here. I’m still me.

So for those starting off and feeling as many of us do I hope my experience will give you some confidence. Accept help from those that offer - ask for help from those who don’t and make a fuss with the medics if you are uncomfortable in any way.

Best of luck to all x

Lovely positive post - thank you

Thanks STACO. I would really be floundering if I hadn’t found this site. Must dash back to Fantasy Island as have put a few shrimps on the barbie, Yes The Barbie. Can’t stand the doll.


Thank you for posting this, I am due to start chemo in the next 2 weeks and hope that I have the same experience. x

I’m new to this site and have just registered this evening, things move too fast to take stock and realise what is truly going on.

I was diagnosed mid-March, had a mastectomy 6 weeks ago and currently just recovering from the lymph node clearance 2 weeks ago. Thought I’d better get my head around the next phase of treatment and find myself here, tonight.

Thank goodness for positive vibes - I am due to start chemo in just over one week, my younger sister and mother both finished their treatment just before xmas, so have an appreciation of what could potentially come my way.

Smiles, I’m with ya - hope it goes ok for you.

Brilliant post Staycalm, I second everything you say.

I have two more tax to go, then carry on with my herceptin. Was feeling a bit sorry for myself this morning, but you are right… it’s not nearly as bad as we imagine.

No hair… who cares! It will grow back. Aches and Pains, nothing a dose of paracetamol can’t fix. No eyelashes or brows… summers coming and dark glasses cover a multitude! Black finger or toe nails… dark polish. Bad taste in mouth… it won’t be forever!

Good luck to all those just starting the journey, it can only make us stronger in the end.



Thankyou sooooo much for this!! I start next Thursday with FEC 1 with PICC line procedure to start with. Am feeling v. nervous. Getting my hair cut on the day before…Well you know how it goes…