Starting FEC tomorrow I think!

Hello Ladies, I just want to thank you for all of your help and advice. I have been lurking in the background since my dx in Feb but this is my first post. I know I would not have got through the earlier waiting and uncertainty without you. You also helped me enormously when I has having my mast. Well I’m now 3 weeks post op. Met consultant yesterday re treatment - to start in approx 2 weeks, 3 x Fec 3 x Tax followed by Rads and Tamoxifin. Got call last night they want me in tomorrow (they had a cancellation). Then decided that I still had a bit of seroma. Collected anti sickness meds today and had chest aspirated. Told should be OK to go ahead. Just had a call from hospital - Breast Care Nurse will re assess wound site in morning then I’ll now if the next stage of treatment will start. Not to sure how to feel at the moment.

I’m 42 with 2 boys 7 and 10 yrs and if you asked me at Christmas what I’d be doing in the Easter hols well this wouldn’t have been on the radar.

Hey Ho who said life was boring.

Good luck to everyone else starting out with their Chem this week

Hello Cath,
I was diagnosed in February and am 39 but no children. As you said without this site we would be lost ! Good luck with chemo. i am on a different one to you - Epi and then tablets- xeloda. Just had my second chemo and am very tired but otherwise ok. I didn’t have a mast just wle.
My world has changed so much in 3 months !!!

Rach x

Good luck with the chemo.

Hi there Cath, welcome to the BCC forums.

It’s great to know that you have found the site so helpful and informative up to now. I am posting a link to the ‘Publications’ page where you can download various factsheets and booklets about the treatments you have been prescribed:

breastcancercare.org.uk/content.php?page_id=325

Best wishes
Lucy

Hi Cath
Hope all goes well and you get started on the Chemo without another false start. I’ll be close behind you as my first chemo session starts on Tuesday. Like you I’ll be having 3 FEC, 3 Tax, possibly Rads (still to be decided) and Tamoxifen. It all seems never ending. I’ve been doing a lot of lurking here too over the last few months while I had two WLE operations and then mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (DIEP flap). I’ve only just started to make some contributions to the discussions. Hope we can keep tabs on how we are progressing and maybe some others just starting out can join in.
It must be so much harder with a young family. I’m 58 and my family are 27, 25, 19 and 17.
Hope we can keep tabs on how we are progressing.
All the best
Hazel
Hazel

Dear Cath and Hazel - Just want to wish you both the very best of luck with your chemotherapy. I started FEC on Christmas Eve, had three, and then had three Taxotere. I finished a week ago! Although on some days you may think that it will be never ending, I just want to reassure you that you will get through the weeks ahead, and that you will be able to do this. It is scary before you start, but somehow much better once you get going and you will get lots of support and help. These forums have been fantastic for me and it is great when a few of you go along together. I posted a lot on the “anyone starting chemo” thread and I know that you would be welcome to join in there! All the medication to help with side effects really does make it very “doable”, everyone reacts differently and I think the main thing is just to be gentle with yourselves and go with what your body feels it needs to do. Hope you get lots of TLC and hugs, and we will always be here for you. I’m off for my radiotherapy planning tomorrow! Good luck. Sarah

hi Cath,

I know, everything happens so quickly after the op. you don’t have time to catch your breath and get a grip on everything.
cyber hug from me (((HUG))). I know you’ll need it!

I would like to reassure you that you will feel more relaxed once you’ve had your first chemo session. I had mine 11 days ago. ( FEC) It was much,much,easier than I thought. I now know that the effects I did have were from the steroids you are given to prevent nausea, so once you stop taking those on day three you start to feel better and will sleep better!
When I came home from having my chemo I felt quite elated and full of energy - that’s the steroids for you! Then i felt sleepy in the evening and did the best thing, went to bed with a wheatbag and just rested.Took paracetamol for my fuzzy head. Took the antinausea tablets at the right times. Make sure you take the Dexamethasone with food, otherwise it can give you indigestion. Eat light thing like crackers or toast that first evening.Take water to drink while having the chemo,and eat something for lunch.Hope yours goes as well as mine did.
I didn’t have mine until 5 weeks post-op. But was wishing I could have started a week sooner.They won’t start it until your wound is ok. I also had fluid which needed draining twice, and possibly a bit of infection.

Take of yourself , try not to worry,
God bless,
Ann xx

Thank you AnnaG and Seabird for your reassurances. i’ve seen your names come up on other threads and I think this mutual support is marvelous. Just like when I was waiting for the surgery, I’m now really wanting the chemo to get started rather than all this waiting wondering what it will be like.
Cath, I’m wondering how you got on and whether you got started on the Chemo?
Anyone else starting out on Chemo around now (20 April)? If so do join in so we can keep in touch about how we are getting on.
Best wishes to all and thanks for the hugs (and the practical advice)
Hazel

Hi All, thankyou for you wonderful support and kind thoughts. Yes the chemo went ahead. I’m feeling fine apart from complete tiredness edging towards exhaustion. As advice from various contributers like Ann I have been very careful to take medication when timetable and so far have avoided any unpleasantness. I have however been sleeping an awful lot which is just me listening to my body. By boys have been great not what we had planned for the last week of their Easter hols but have been up to play board games and read - so I haven’t been completely useless. They are about at a karate lesson at the moment - so I get access to the computer.

Wish you all well with your endeavours - I’m not so far ahead of you Hazel we can still ‘chat’.

Best Wishes to you all and Thankyou once again

Catherine

Hi Catherine and Hazel, just to add that I had my first chemo - Epi-CMF - on 11 April and have been surprised at how manageable it was! I had a port in my chest the week before as the veins in my arm aren’t easy to find. I was advised to drink lots during the chemo, and had about five glasses of water and three hot chocolates, so with the saline drip going in too I was desperate for the loo by the time it was done, but I really didn’t suffer afterwards. I sucked sherbet lemons to avoid a funny taste, which also worked well. Don’t take the steroids late in the evening or you won’t sleep, do take the anti-sickness meds as directed even if you think you can do without them, and keep drinking plenty. I’m finding the extra fruit juice I’m drinking is causing a bit of heartburn, but Gaviscon works well, and slight constipation the first two days was sorted out gently and effectively with Senokot. I still have a short nap most days too! All the best to you both. Lyn xx

HI Catherine & Hazel, I had my first chemo 3rd April, FEC, and although terrified, I found it quite manageable too. I echo Lyn’s advice, take the anti-sickness meds even if you don’t feel you need them. I found I was NOT in need of senokot for the first few days, but needed it about 6 days after. I also found snacking stopped feelings of nausea. Having an empty tum seemed to be the worst thing I could do. I fairly bounced through my first chemo, although I will admit to starting to become nervous about my next one (due this Thursday). The effects are cumulative, and am worried I’ll take it much worse than the first. Hopefully I’ll bounce again, but perhaps not as high!

All the best to all
Sue xx

Have my first Chemo (FEC) on Thurs 24th - with cold cap. Just spoke to my Chemo nurse and have a list of hair stuff to buy etc!! Am planning on going on my own so that I can get into bed, wrap up warm and have 5 hours undisturbed reading - luxury!!! 3 kids at 3, 8 and 9 stop me doing things like that at the moment!

Shelley, understand wanting to be alone to go through first chemo completely. I sent OH and kids (16 & 15) away on holiday so I could face the unknown without worrying about how they were feeling about it all. There’s always a bright side, 5 hours peace & quiet is a definite plus! All the best with your first chemo - my first FEC was on 3rd April and it was a lot easier than I feared (actually, it was a breeze!). Am now getting worried about the 2nd (this Thursday), as the effects are cumulative I may not find it as easy!

All the best, Sue xx