Starting Chemotheraphy on Thursday

Hi, I haven’t posted for a while, as i’m finding this all very hard to deal with.

On Thursday I start my first treatment. I’ve Epirubicin and cyclophosphamide which will be give every three weeks for four cycles and then Taxol (paclitaxel) every two weeks for four cycles.

Has anyone used the cold cap? Does it hurt? Does it work? I’ve got long blonde curly hair and i’m finding this all very difficult.

When, if it’s going to, would hair start to fall out?

Am I going to feel ill immediately after my first treatment? I’ve been given lots of reading info from the Marsden but it’s all so very general and doesn’t really give clear answers!

Sorry to ask so many questions but i’m so scared of this treatment.

Love Loopy xx

Dearest Loopy,

Pls dont be effraid from yr treatment,i just had my 3rd chemo
last friday and untill now i really had minimal side effects though my medication also is a strong one : TAC ( taxotere )

I would like to advise you to drink 2 liters of water daily starting
now and eat healthy, avoid alcohol and smoking,and say to yr self whats goes through yr veins is kind of vitamins to make you better. This is what i told to myself from my first round…

I am sure yr onco. has given you all the necessary drugs for nausea etc.

I shaved my hair after 15 days starting chemo and i looked like a baby after 2 weeks :slight_smile: i had a long hair and turned to a wig, but i do lovely turbans with scarves and its quite feminine … The hair will come back… I thinx taxol its similar to taxotere so hair goes… I wasnt advised by my onco to use cold cap as the medicine has to circulate all over the body and cells, and cold may block the medicine to reach all the areas…

Chemo its not against you , its to get rid of those unwanted cells , i call them like that, because those cells also belong to us,somehow they turn wrong and we have to get rid of them…

Try to listen to yr self in a positive way, i know you are scared,
i was also but i am doing better now, you will too …

Prayers and friendly wishes from Istanbul

hey there.

Chemo is a chore no doubt about it but i am 2 in already and surviving ok. Hair started to shed after 15 days. Shaved it off as it was distressing me on day 17. I cant lie. Its pretty rubbish but so is your hair falling in your dinner,on your kids everywhere so shaving is the key!

Good good luck. Take all the meds they offer. REALLY dont let the sickness come through before taking the meds as prevention is better than cure. Steroids can make you buzz and gave me insomina so see how they go for you.

Above all the fear of the unknown is worse than the reality so just suck it and see as they say!!


Hi Loopy,

I am on day 12 of my first Epirubicin. I was so upset at the thought of it that I was having panic attacks for about a week before.

The actual process was fine. Once the cannula was in, I didn’t feel anything. I was in the suite for about an hour and a half.

I had no sickness or nausea. I took the steroids as prescribed and my sleep was a little disturbed. I did not need any of the anti sickness pills I was given. Packet unopened. I was very tired and lacking in enthusiasm for things but I drank lots of water and ate healthily. In fact I have eaten for England…

The tiredness has gone now and I have just had 2 really good nights sleep. I have tried to get out for a good walk each day.

I’ve still got my hair and my main concern is losing it. I think it will be a relief when it has gone, but I am sure it is going to be a low point and very emotional.

Take care of yourself and let the drugs do their job.

I hope it goes as well for you as it has for me. I don’t know what future doses hold but at least I will not be worried …

Best wishes,


Like you I start my chemo this week, on Friday.

Not on quite the same as you I get FEC x 3 then the T x3,
I got lots of good information on the getting through chemo thread on here, especially the first few pages (goes off on a tangent after that lol).

Everyone seams to agree that you cope better if you drink lots before and after, also that food and water can taste bad after, people recomend either pineapple or ginger to help with this. Also that either the 2 or 3rd tend to be the worse

As others have said the cold cap seams to be a bit hit and miss with its effectivness. My chemo unit contacted me and asked if I wanted it but I dont cope well with the cold that and the fact that will take my treatment time from 1 1/2 hours to over 4. The cold cap is basically an Ice pack covering your head so think its down to the individual if you can cope ok with it, its always worth giving it a go.

Have no idea how I’ll react to chemo but am prepared to feel rough for at least the rest of that day and the following 2.

Have been warned by my oncologist that my immunity will probably be at its lowest 10 to 14 days after and that ANY sign of illness I am to contact the chemo unit as may need admission for intravenous antibiotics, hence I’ve prepared an emergancy bag ready just in case. Also as I live alone have got stuff ready so I can just lie and veg out , plus have people on hand if I need them to come and help.

Personally even though I’m a nurse and have seen patients having chemo I’m still scared, think its normal. Who in their right mind wants to have stuff thats going to make them feel rough and with not nice side effect? OK it helps us to fight this nasty disease but its in no way plesant.

Hope all goes well with you.

Loopy, like you i was terrified before my first chemo, now had 2 and 3rd one due tomorrow! it isn’t pleasant but as lots have said on here it is doable! Take the antisickness and have ginger biscuits at the ready. The side effects seem to vary so much from person to person! I found constipation so uncomfortable!
I tried the cold cap, but unfortunately it didn’t work and hair started to come out, so I didn’t bother for 2nd, as lots of us have found loosing hair is very distressing, but you do get over it! I find the wig too hot! my husband says its too tidy!!! so go out in scarves and hats!
Hope all goes well and try to relax, you will be fine, love debs xxx

Hi Loopy, I’ve been pretty rubbish at posting recently, have had 3 FEC and have my first taxotere on Tuesday. There is a great hints and tips thread which I round really helpful. I found losing my hair a bit of a mixed bag really. I had my hair cut short by a great friend of a friend who is a hairdresser (I had a long curly blond bob), warned my 4 year old that my hair was all going to fall out and then asked my sister-in-laws for help with tying scarves. The falling out was awful, and a real mess, I wore a cap at night to avoid it going everywhere. Now it’s gone it’s not so bad - doesn’t really look like me when I look in the mirrow, but it’s not for ever.

I have had a bit of bad time on FEC, but this week I feel great! I took all the meds (sickness/steriods) and now also have bone marrow booster injections every cycle. I found it really hard to sleep after the first few days - lots of tossing and turning, my scar really hurt and where they fitted the port really hurt too. Although it can be a real battering, a lot of the side effects are sortable. Keep asking for help from your Onc team if some of the side effects are a problem. I had a really itchy skin rash from FEC for 4 weeks - over my back, chest and face - looked lovely with my newly bald head! I asked 2 doctors what it was and no one knew, the third doctor - bless her, said it was a reaction to FEC - a bacterial infection and prescribed antibiotics. Within days the rash started to calm down and it has now gone.

I had a break because my blood count was too low, and whether it was a co-incidence or not some hair on my head grew back. Chemo nurse said taxotere would get rid of it - so short lived, but gives hope about how quickly things can get back to normal. I haven’t lost all of my eyebrows (but lost leg hair etc - yippee) but they have thinned. Some lovely ladies mentioned Benefit Browzings - and I have to say it works really well - not cheap, but soooo worth it.

I have a place at “look good…feel better” workshop at my hospital in August,supposed to help with make-up etc, not sure what it will be like, but I’ll give anything a go that might help (also apparently get a great goody-bag).

Sorry, for long rambling post, hope it helps, as some else has said, everyone’s experience is so different. I took a lot of comfort from some posts that said FEC was fine for them, it really isn’t awful for everyone.

Wishing you all the best for Thursday xx

Hi Loopy,

I had exactly the same chemo as you’re going to have.Last one was 4 weeks ago,and I’ve since had a lumpectomy and now waiting for radiotherapy.
Yes, I had a bad time on EC & was dreading the Taxol but that for me was alot easier.As has been mentioned everyone reacts differently but for every symptom they can give you something to help.
My hair started to come out before 2nd chemo,& yes,I found it very upsetting(& messy) but it’s actually easier when it’s all gone.
You will get through this,just deal with each day as it comes & know that we’re all here for you so post away with any questions or worries,you’ll be sure to get the answers here.

Big hugs,

Little H xx