Starting FEC- need advice.

Hi, I am starting FEC chemo tomorrow- the first of 6. I had my surgery on the 10th July to remove the lump and surrounding tissue and after 3 weeks of antibiotics for an infection I have finally been told that I can start chemo tomorrow. Now I feel scared and was wondering if any of you lovely ladies had any tips/advice. I can’t see me getting any sleep tonight.

Thanks
Angela

Angela

Had my first FEC last Wednesday and it wasn’t as bad as i thought it would be. I drank loads of water and took stuff to pass the time but ended up chatting to the nurse. I used the time to ask my long list of questions.

Try and get some sleep tonight as i didn’t sleep at all the night after the treatment due to the steroids they pushed through.

Will be thinking about you, let us know how it goes

Lesley
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Hi Angela I had FECx3, I’m on a different chemo now. I was really really sick with my first FEC, so I bought some travel sickness bands from Boots £7.00 for two - they were and still are fantastic!! a massive improvement. I also found that my mouth was really sore 3-4 days after which can be treated with mouth wash etc, ice pops help too! Good Luck for tomorrow - it will take around 1.5 hours for all the chemo to go through and the only pain is the needle going in. The chemo is quite cold so your arm will feel cold but its fine. Hope this helps

Jo x

Hi Angela

It is very frightening but as Lesley said I did not find it as bad as I anticipated!! I had my second of six FECs yesterday, its a good feeling when it is done you can cross it off your list, ie: 2 down 4 to go!!!

Will be thinking of you and do try and sleep the night before, think positive thoughts.

Take care
Good luck

Kim x

Hi Angela,
I had EC and the first time it was not too bad, later on it became a bit harder, but this really varies. I realised that FEC has different effects in different women by talking to the other patients there. I am sure if you search for “FEC” in the search system here, you will find lots of comments. Anyway I remember I was very scared too, but when I came out I was feeling fine, just a bit dizzy, and I when for an ice cream!
Try not to eat too much just before the chemo, and also afterward, since it will affect your stomach, and try to drink plenty of water to get rid of it quickly. Don’t get scared when you go to the toilet, since the urine will come out reddish for some days! It is just the Epirubicin which is very red. The cyclophosphamide (sorry for the spelling!), (which is the C part of the FEC!) might give you a strange feeling in your nose and mouth, they used to give me a something sweet, sometimes they give you a cube of ice. I remember I spent the first night checking my hair, nobody told me that it starts coming off (if it does) after a couples of weeks, so do not worry about that for the moment. The first days I was feeling unwell, but after 3 or 4 days I was almost recovered and lived quite a normal life, indeed I worked all the way through chemo, except for each first week after the treatment. The nurses will tell you everything you need to know to decrease the side effects, otherwise ask. They will also give you some anti vomit pills to take once you are at home. They might also give you something to stimulate your bone marrow, just in case your white blood cells go down too much. You will see, they will explain you everything. Above all, like everybody always says here, take one thing at the time, and do not think too far ahead!
Soon it will be over, get focused on that and try to live a normal life as much as possible!
xx

Hi Angela
I am just back from my second FEC and feeling tired but logged on to recap on another thread when yours caught my eye. I apologise now for any poor grammar or spelling! I can only add to what the others are saying. The worstt thing with your first treatment is the unknown and you do seem to wait about a bit. I found after my first treatment I felt very tired for the first few days. After that i got on pretty much as normal, but hey-ho 2 girls aged 5 & 6 and the summer holidays ensured I had to. I too drank loads of water. Before during and especially after. THis time I sat sucking foxes mints to try and stop the thing behind the nose and it worked. I also soaked my arm in warm water to help the veins come up, found this quite relaxed me (nurse suggest on 1st dose and nurse today did same) Just give yourself lots of time and rest when you need. My hair started falling about two weeks after 1st but think it seems to vary. I took the option of having it shaved by day 2 as we were going on holiday and i didnt want the hastle whilst away. I am quite used to it now however it can be quite distressing when it starts speak to the BC nurse tmoz about your concerns. I went to BHS and got some lovely hats in the sale and have found that if I wear a head band in a matching or contrasting colour they sit better on my head. People have commented how nice they look. I am also using bio-oil on my head which is helping.(it can be itchy and tight) Take your temp is important, think I became a bit obsessed with this one but soon grew confident so not checking as often. I keep a FIRST DEFENCE spray handy too which I have usedif I have felt the start of a cold. May not have become a cold but again it has given me the confidence and taking no chances. Try to stay bright nd good luck for tomorrow. Its no good saying get some sleep thats easier said than done! Try a relaxing bath bomb from LUSH next time, they do help and that will be my reward tonight for facing today. Has to be something nice I cant face choc and wine is off the menu for the next few days!!!
Post back when you can and let us know how you get on. My reply will not be aslong next time.PHEW!
Missi
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Hi Angela

I am on FEC and had my 2nd last week and it is not as bad as you fear, very doable and I have to say , apart from the hair loss, a week before my 2nd, I have had no side effects to speak off, definitely no sickness. Think as everyone says, drink plenty of water before, during and after. Make sure you have breakfast too. I actually have brekkie and get given a sandwich and cup of tea during my chemo as usually goes over lunch time.

Listen to your body and rest when you need to after chemo. I found that I am a bit more tired, but then my little ones don’t help with that. Day 3 or 4 I find am more worn out, but apart from that, not much to complain about.

Good luck with it and let us know how you get on. Hope you manage to get some sleep. Just remember, it doesn’t hurt, no pain and it is helping you to fight back.

Love
Dawn
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Hi Angela,

I’ve just had my third FEC. The important thing is not to worry (easily said, I know). I have started all my chemo worrying unnecessarily. You will find that you cope just fine with everything. Don’t worry about doing anything except concentrating on relaxing and recovering. Despite my fears i have found it to be O.K. Sleep well tonight.

Lucy

Hi Angela
I’ve just started on FEC (first treatment on August 24th). The first few days after treatment weren’t great but they weren’t awful. I felt a bit sick and queasy. The worst thing was having a tongue which felt as though it was permanently coated in brown slime…And I felt tired. I did try and meditate or listen to a relaxation tape every day and that really helps me. I’m new to all that and its been fantastic. I also wore the travel sick bands that others have mentioned and found them helfpul. There is a list of things you can do to survive that Kelly posted on this site (search kelly and you’ll find it i think) and that is great. So, look, the first week after wasn’t a day out in the sun but as others have said it is very doable. Remember the amazing Jane Tomlinson ran marathons while having chemotherapy…We can’t all do that but we will all get through it.
Take care
Jo
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Angela
here’s where to find Kelly’s list:
‘Undergoing treatment:chemotherapy: diet and alterative treatments when under going chemo’.
Jo
xx