Starting EC treatment tomorrow, tnbc grade 3 16mm no nodes, any top tips?

Hello all. I’ve just registered tonight and I know it’s cheeky posting a new thread, but wondered if you had any top tips for me tomorrow. Getting portocath put in 12.30pm then straight into cold cap and then into first EC treatment. I have spreadsheets coming out of my ears, having tried to plan everything in advance but expect to be surprised. I’m going to drink the water today, tomorrow and the day after, take a paracetamol before the cold cap (if I can) - what about eating, am I best to try to eat something proper before the EC or not? Any advice, whether medicinal, dietary or practical would be appreciated. I’m a pretty ‘strong’ person usually but this whole thing has taken its emotional toll on me already. Thanks in advance.

Hiya I have had 3 EC and my advice would be yes eat brekkie beforehand I tend to go for fibre in branflakes and raisins and protein by topping it with yogurt. Make sure you drink your water especially afterwards . The one session I skipped brekkie (no 3) my side effects were worse that day I had really bad acid reflux k. May not be linked but I think it wasnt helped by an empty stomach . I didnt cold cap so no advice for that apart from what I have read , cool washes , wash as infrequently as possible and use gentle shampoo and certainly no hairdryer etc.

My top tips are rest before you are tired, go for a 30min walk every day if you can, drink at least 2 litres of water or squash a day.

Hope all goes well I have my first part of T tomorrow (though its paclitaxel so weekly) so im as nervous as I was in November again. Its doable though so just remember that

Jen x

Hi there,

I hope you’re not feeling too bad after yesterday.  I just finished my 4th cycle of EC last week (I start hercpetin and docetaxol in 2wks - with a view of switching to paclitaxel if the side effects of accelerated D become too much) and whilst I found EC tough it was doable.  Unlike Jen, I tended not to have breakfast beforehand save maybe a small piece of bread as I tended to have butterflies before each session (although I eat normally the night before) .  Like you I have a portacath and definitely one of the best decisions I made as it really does save your veins/arms.  For your next cycles hopefully the nurses will give you some anesthetic cream to take home and apply over the portacath site beforehand (a few hours before chemo is administered) as this helps with any soreness.  I’ve used the cold cap each time and as I’m sure you’ll know from yesterday its not the most comfortable thing but again the nurses should give you paracetemol and offer something like lorazepam, which helps to make it more bearable.  I’ve probably lost about 90% of my hair’s thickness, but still have a full head of hair (although it is now VERY VERY thin).  But if  hadn’t used the cold cap I’d probably be bald by now and eyebrow-less.  I was told not to wash my hair more than twice a week and use an organic shampoo.  You’ll find the rate of hair loss to begin with quite daunting and it takes some getting used to.  I found on EC that it did slow down after my second cycle but then sped up again after cycle 3.

I’m sure you’ve received loads of advice and I think a lot of it comes down to what you find works for you. So far for me I’ve tried to: Drink plenty of water, go for walks (although not the easiest in this weather!), eat a healthy balanced diet - don’t deny yourself any food groups necessarily (although I’ve personally tried to cut out chocolate and cakes…very painful to do!).  Avoid people with any coughs and colds as you’re now more at risk of neutropenia (my white cell count was very low during cycles 2 and 3).  I’m taking supplements that were recommended to me (amongst others B12, enzymes and cleanse to support the liver, turmeric, magnesium, co-q10) but I know people who take a whole host of different things or nothing at all - so its very much down to the indivual.  You may have a horrible taste in your mouth for a number of days after chemo - I found eating a small chunk of pineapple or sucking on Ricola herbal sweets helped.  Lastly, if you find yourself burning up at night, its not the menopause! Just the chemo and goes after 1 or 2 nights (or you may not have it all).

Your emotions will no doubt be all over the place; like you I think of myself as a pretty strong, independent person, but I’ve learnt the importance of letting people in and to let people in your life be there for you.


Hi all.
I am about to start chemo. I am having 6 sessions of EC starting on 2nd February. I have assessment appointment on 28th January. I think I won’t be able to have the cold cap as I suffer from migraines so am resigned to loosing my hair. I had it cut from shoulder length to very short just before Christmas. I felt I would be able to cope better if I was already used to it being very short. Sometimes think it interesting /weird /strange the mechanisms we all develop to be able to cope with treatments.
I have a basic understanding of what to expect it terms of general chemo side effects but don’t know if there are any specific ones linked to this particular drug combination. I have lots of questions to ask at my assessment appointment.
Can any of you ladies tell me how long the actual treatment takes? I have been told to allow half a day and a full day if it is a Drs visit appointment. Not very helpful when trying to arrange things.
Going into the peak district next week for a couple of days break before all this stuff kicks in again. I so need a break but wish my brain would take a break too ?.
Have a good weekend.

Had first of 6 EC this afternoon. My treatment sounds exactly the same as yours Yasmin. Feeling ok so far apart from killer headache and sore cannula site. Was warned that the side effects will probably kick in when the steroids finish. Something to look forward to ?.
No one has mentioned any injections. What are they for and who administers them?
How are you doing littlemum you must be due your second cycle about now. Would love to hear how you are doing and how successful the cold cap was. Hope you are ok.
Sending hugs

Hi Jan, I am off for my 2nd Ec today. Have to say after the 1st few days of feeling sick I haven’t been too bad. Tired and haven’t seen past 9pm which is very unlike me. You have to listen to your body, I have learnt this month. Been in work to keep me occupied tho will rethink the days I go in as caught a fever and ended up at a & e for IV antibiotics day 11. Be careful in your second week use lots of antibacterial gel. I am unable to have cold cap as moving to weekly paclitaxil. Hair gone (started day 8 so had it shaved to number one day 13) but am getting used to the wig and a variety of headwear. The effects are Definitely like being pregnant, I have baby brain and am using as an excuse for everything ?. Here’s to round two, sending everyone lots of love n hugs xx

Hope 2nd went ok.
I’m having some problems with sicknesses and being unable face eating properly. Managing on husband homemade cookies and bread. Decided to just go with it today. Was awake literally all night, steroids apparently. Have vegged infont of tv today drifting in out of sleep.
Thanks about tip for week 2.
I really admire anyone who can carry on working through this. I took early retirement after being made redundant and doing a series of part time post. I find the mental issues worse than the physical. I am usually very active and do voluntary stuff and go to a number of craft groups. I have found that I have withdrawn from everything and have isolated myself. I have wondered if working would have helped but I don’t think I could have coped.
Please take care of yourself.
Sending hugs

Kayak Jan I’m back in sick mode with you this eve :frowning: and the awful headache but I honestly felt loads better in that respect within a couple of days last time.The work thing is as you say, to keep my mind going and gives me something else to think about. I’m not doing my normal role as that would be too stressful. Company have been great and told me to do whatever I feel up to. So I have taken projects that allow me to be in and out and trying to leave earlier. Can’t manage it the first 3 days tho. Hope you see a difference tomorrow. Take care Jo x

Hi all
Well generally side effects less today. Managed some exercise and to eat more. Still having problems with nausea but taking all the medication. Headache more bearable today but scalp very tight and sore. Sleeping still an issue so reverted to sleeping tablets, given the time of this posting don’t think they work to well!
I hope all you EC ladies are ok. Would love to hear how you are getting on.

Hi all, sleep is the same here first couple of nights are worse (steroids I think) after that I couldn’t stay awake after 8/9pm on the prev cycle! Headache and nausea bit better today.
Hope you are all feeling bit better xx

Hi Jo
Hope you’re doing ok.
I’m feeling ok, sleeping still a problem but manageable. My biggest problem is the taste yuk! Can’t get it out of my mouth. Tried almost all the suggestions I can find on here ?. The other thing is the smell , everything smells of chemicals especially me! Wow I did not think this was going to get me down , making me feel really down. Sorry for the wings.
Any suggestions, especially the smell thing would be great ladies.

Morning all, after a rather emotional day yesterday (no idea what the problem was !but I’m over it today!)
I actually feel a bit more like it today, Jan have you tried pineapple ? I’m doing ok in the bad taste dept and so far dont have the smell issue. Having said that I am always obsessed with smells before this ?.
So I have decided to take control today, am having some girlfriends over for dinner and a good laugh. I can’t cope with this thing dictating how I feel and what I can and can’t do. Hubby working away so mum is coming over to be sure I don’t over do it! Who knows I think I may even mange a glass or two of wine!
Positive thinking today ladies, here’s hoping I can carry it off for the day.
Love and hugs to all Xxx