Starting Chemo

Hi everyone, I’m due to start chemo FEC-T chemo tomorrow and was wondering if anyone could give me some words of encouragement. Having read a few things about it, i’ve started to worrying that i am not going to be able to cope with it. I have two very young children and the nerves have started to kick in. Just wondered if someone could tell me how they were/ are whilst having it and how long before my hair starts to fall out? Thanks

Hi Charlotte80, I am on FEC chemo, (sorry don’t know anything about the ‘T’ bit of your chemo) and I have found it OK so far (number 3 of 6 cycles due this week). I know everyone is different, and I had the same worries as you, but so far so good. To me it felt a bit like a mild morning sickness for a few days each time, where I went off my favourite foods and strongly flavoured foods, and had a metallic taste in my mouth, and I felt a bit off colour, but nothing worth writing home about. Second dose made me feel a bit more tired initially, but back to normal after a few days. My hair has gradually been departing since the middle of the third week after I started. I got it shaved down to a ‘number 2’ at that point to save the hassle of blocking plugholes. I still have a very thin covering of hair though. If I were you, I would make contingency plans in case you do feel unwell during the first week, eg have people who you can call on to help look after the children for an hour or 2. I suppose it’s a case of ‘expect the worst and hope for the best’. Apart from physical side effects I have also had some emotional blips - days where I feel tearful and upset - but I think that is par for this particular course. Everyone is different though. Fingers crossed for you.

hi charlotte,
I’m on my 2nd cycle of Epirubicin (the E in FEC). I have been ok with it all so far - though currently on antibiotics due to an infection. I initially used cold cap but when it became evident that this had not worked around day 16 after 1st cycle i decided to shave it off. Wierdly this time round and having not used the cold cap i have hardly lost anymore hair!!
Sickness and tiredness varies - everyone seems to react differently, i’m learning to expect the unexpected with this disease!!
There are a few of us on another thread - friends needed - diagnosed early may - that are at various stages and regimes. Come and say hello - they are a great bunch - loads of support and experiences to share!

Charlotte i have a 12mth old and 2YR old so i know how you feel. I have had 2 FEC now and i can honestly say i couldnt look after my kids for 3 days in total. The 2nd FEC was better when i redcued my steroids more gradually and i can honesly say i feel totally normal by day 5. What i do have is an irritating cold thing going on and a runny nose bug feel perfectly well-just snotty! I rest when they nap in the afternoon and for 3 days after each chemo my hisband is here then my mum takes over coming in each day till day 6/7 in case i need here.
1)take all the help poss
2)take all the anti sickness poss regardless of feeling sick. prevention rather than cure works.
3)drink loads of water

best of luck
Good luck

I had my first FEC on Friday, felt a bit like mild flue with some nausea (take all the anti-sickness meds they recomend). Did find though that I was very tierd and keept falling asleep all of the time. Did drink lots which I think helped, had a passion for elderflower cordial and my saving grace was ginger beer, pinapple jusice i couldnt take. Was also quite down and weepy but think this was more due to the stereoids which made me feel pants, but gradually getting there.
Think if you can, have some help with the kids as it was very draining.

Not sure about hair but had mine cut short today and tried out new wig which was fun.
All the best be thinking of you.

Hi Charlotte

I hope your first chemo has gone ok.

Ive had 3 FEC and am just about to have the 1st of 3 TAX.

it really isnt as bad as we all fear, everyone is different and our bodies cope with chemo in different ways… some do have a bad time of it i cant lie to you but the c-units are there to help us and any thing that is concerning you give them a bell ive found mine to be very useful .

The side affects are what the other ladies have said, i suffered with oral thrush on the 1st but got some pills from ONC and with the last 2 it has been fine eversince. and indigestion but again i have pills for that too, in fact im sure i rattle now but what the hell it all helps us get through this.

The tiredness does get worse with each session so as you have young children take advantage of everyone thats said to you if you need a hand yell…dont try and be a marter(sorry about spelling) My boys are older but i still ask for help.

This is a very scarey time for you but you will hear as i did that its ‘doable’ and it is, i cant beleive im over half way and its surprising how quick time flys…

I wish you well and hope that the chemo is kind to you… this is a fabulous site and its really helped me…

If you have anymore worries or questions dont hessitate to ask as theres always someone on here who can offer some advice, were all going through this together.

love Sally xx

P.S oh get some prunes in a well as you can get constipated too.