Starting FEC t and Continuing work?


i am due to start FEC t chemo soon and want to try to continue at work as much as I can. Can anyone tell me how the cycle works and what I might feel like in each phase? I’m having 6 lots over 18 weeks. 

Hi Alib50, 


Welcome to the forum but I am sorry that you find yourself here. 


I am sure any users who have experience of this will be along to offer their support soon. To give users more of a chance to read and see your post I have moved it to the Chemotherapy board.


You may also want to look at our page on FEC-T chemotherapyhere. 


In the meantime you can always call our helpline at 0808 800 6000 who will be able to talk through any questions you have and offer a friendly ear. The opening hours are below. 


Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Late opening Wednesday 9am-7pm
Saturday, 9am-1pm


Best wishes, 



Hi AliB50,


and welcome. I am also on a FEC-T regime. Have had 3 x FEC and 2 x T. Only one more T to go and then I continue with Herceptin.


When I saw the Oncologist she described the 3 week cycle this way


  1. Week 1 infusion -  there may be some side effects like sickness (nausea and vomiting)

  2. Week 2 Infection - This is when our immune system is at it’s lowest and we could end up in hospital with IV Antibiotics if we get an infection

  3. Recovery - The immune system and other markers are recovering and we also feel a little better


In reality only the Week 2 description was accurate for me. I did get an infection and was in hospital. I had an infection on all 3 FECs.


The side effects were for me, so bad from day 1 that I was continualty vomiting and so weak that I was largely bed bound or house bound for all 3 weeks. I was very weak, faint, dizzy and a whole lot of other things. I could not bathe for days at a time or cook or clean etc. I couold not use a computer for much of my first cycle.


It is impossible to tell how one will react to the drugs. Please don’t let my experience frighten you or put you off. i have another major health problem on top of cancer,


Some woman sail through the FEC part and then collapse on the T and vice versa. There is no way I could have gone in to work on any week of any cycle but I could have done limited work from home on some.


Some women sail through both!


This is sometimes help from your hospital for severe side effects but this does seem to be patchy and you may only discover how good or bad it is when faced with trying to get help. My hospital was pretty bad. Some women have amazing breast care nurses and I hope you have one of them.


In hindsight, the best approach for me would have been to “plan for the worst and hope for the best”.


Hi Alib50,
I finished FEC-T in May and was advised against working as I work in a school and the risk of catching an infection was too high. Looking back, I generally coped OK, and was lucky enough not to be hospitalised during treatment. During FEC I probably would have felt well enough to work from about day 10, but once on the T part I would have found working very tough. You have a build up of chemotherapy in your body, so each one seems to take longer to recover from.
If you are able to work, you might find it better mentally. I guess it’s not so isolating being able to have a bit of normality during treatment and working does keep your mind off it all. So if your workplace is flexible and understanding and your oncologist is ok with it, then give it a go. But don’t try to do too much and look after yourself! My advise is to drink masses of water and eat what you feel like to help you through it ?
Wishing you loads of good luck - it’s tough going, but great when you finally get out the other side!!
Take care, Kim xxx