Starting soon and scared@

I have grade 2, er+ and her2+. Havingc3 Fec and docetaxol (if thats right) with herceptin and permuzetab. I feel really frightened of the side effects and changes that will happen to me! I just want to say i am not having it. Feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment. Did anyonexelse feel like this before starting chemo?

Hi Ali
I think we all feel like that at times. Especially if you have appointments and they bombard you with information. You’ve probably heard this before, but its worth repeating…chemo will not be as bad as you think. Yes, there are side effects, but you won’t get them all! Just take one day at a time and you will get through it, I promise.
When do you start Ali? Would you like to join the chemo monthly threads?
Sue xx

Hi Ali.
I think everyone feels overwhelmed and anxious when they find out they need chemo.
I think a lot of it is fear of the unknown.
I’ve had three fec and one docetaxel so far. I’ve got another two to go.
I can honestly say, things haven’t been that bad for me. I breezed through fec with barely any side effects. Constipation for a cpl of day following infusions and a chemical hang over for a few days. Apart from that, it’s been business as usual. I’ve never had to take myself off to bed, I’ve had no sickness or anything. I’ve been decorating our new house, gardening, walking in the lakes, out for meals, everything I’d usually do.
I had my first T last week. You need to take more steriods with this so your sleep will probably be interrupted. I’ve also had the runs. Not really bad though and my mouth was grotty and sore for the first week. The worst thing that’s happened to me is last week I fainted. As soon as I came around I was fine and have been since.
I’ve also cold capped and haven’t lost any hair at all from my head (the rest of my body is bald) ?
If you plan to cap, make sure you have your hair layered thin on top so you get a good fit.
I eat a big high carb meal on the way to chemo and I drink at least 2 litres of water the day prior to infusion and for the next 48 hours.
We are all different, so our side effects are different too. However, I think if you speak to most people on here they’ll tell you that although we’d rather not need to have chemo, it is very doable.
If you have any questions, just ask. X



As you know I have not had to have chemo, but I know what you have been through to date as we share a similar path on our journies previously, you can do this mate, you know that not everyone gets all of the side effects this is fear of the unknown but there are a lot of ladies on here that will help you through.  I am sending you a pair of our tough pants especially for you my darling.


We are all with you xxxx




tough pants.jpg

Thank you Sue, feel the fear and Helena. I start in 2 weeks. When i went to see the onc yesterday there were so many women there wearing wigs and i just felt a bit freaked out. I think it is the feeling of no control and the unknown as you say. I like to just get on with everything and be in control - but then dont we all. I have been through 2 ops and radiotherapy last year and was fine with all that. I just need to focus on the positives. Thank you all

Hi Ali,
I should think most of us have had similar thoughts at some point, but it usually passes. I remember having a wobbly half hour about surgery, thinking did I want it?!
& that was for only a straightforward wle. I also did not need chemo, so no excuse for me!
ann x

Hi Ali,
I have a similar diagnosis to you. I had a big wobble before chemotherapy- I felt as if I had no choice and the side effects sounded so dreadful. I even felt like the hospital was trying to kill me!!! The turning point for me was when I asked the oncologist if I had a choice. He said " we have one chance to get rid of this(it’s in my lymph nodes already). It is your choice. This is your best chance" . Suddenly my perspective changed and I realised to give myself the best chance of kicking cancers butt I had to choose chemo, with any side effects that came with it, in order to give me my best chance and being cancer free in a years time. I have had one chemo so far and though in bed for a week it was manageable. I have not cold capped - couldn’t face it - but I have a wig and hats ready as my hair is shedding now. It will grow back once chemo stops.
It is your choice. You will get through it. Accept any help your family and friends offer, xxx

Hi Ali
It’s normal to feel scared about it. I know I was.
I finished my last chemo last week 3 FEC followed by 3T. While it’s not fun, it’s manageable. I found I was generally rough with side effects from days 4 to 8 but ok for the rest of the cycle. I found that half an hour walk everyday whenever I could made a big difference. I ate lots of veg on the FEC (healthy and counters constipation) but more carbs on T (which send your bowels the other way).
Link into a monthly thread as it’s great for supporting each other through, swapping tips and giggling over the craziness of it all.
Big hugs to you.

Thank you all. I have a better head on today. I know that chemo is going to give me the best chance of no recurrence. Your positive support really helps and its good to know its not just me xx

You are going to be just fine Ali. You are taking in all the advice which will help you be in control and prepared.xx

Hello all you wonderful brave ladies,
Your posts are so helpful for a newbie like me.
Have had a rollercoaster month since diagnosis of 3cm grade 3 her + IDC ,then lumpectomy which highlighted further 8cm DCIS. Am now waiting for oncologists appt next week as I will be having chemo and herceptin before mastectomy. Will also have the gene test to decide whether other boob neds to come off too. Have good and bad days, as expected! I need to be proactive so am getting a shopping list together… any must have items? Also I have waist length thick hair…will cold capping work or should I have a short restyle to prepare for the hair loss? So many questions!
Thanks all.x

Hi jelly tot and welcome.
If you pop over to the chemo monthly threads and have a look on the Sept '17 thread, some of the ladies have put some really useful lists on there ( you may have to scroll down, as its near the start ).
Re. hair…personally I would advise to get it cut. Mine was long and it makes such a mess once it starts shedding. Even if you cold cap, you will still lose some of it.
Once you get a start date, try joining one of the monthly threads, so you can chat to others going through it the same time as you.
Best wishes
Sue xx

Hi jelly tot,my diagnosis is like urs I have Invasive ductal carcinoma Grade 3 Er and HER2 positive,3cm tumour in right breast and 1 affected lymph node,I’m seeing my oncologist 26th September to start chemo then lumpectomy and node removal after treatment I’m very scared but I’m hoping once treatment starts I will start to move on ( well try ) I’m 34

Sam xx

Thank you for your encouraging words. I am feeling better and trying to stay positive. Xxx

<Empty imported post>

Thanks ladies, I will have my hair cut and donate it to charity so something good comes out of it! Have heard and read conflicting reports about cold capping so am unsure, do you have to buy your own kit and if so where from? This forum is a lifeline!xx

Hi jelly tot.
The chemo ward will provide you with your cold cap. I’ve had four chemo so far, 3 x fec and 1 x T. I’ve cold capped and I haven’t lost ANY hair. No shedding, nothing. I’ve lost my body hair, but absolutely none off my head. My hair is growing and I have new growth.
I use paxman shampoo and conditioner. They are the company that make the actual cold cap my hospital uses.
I did have my long hair cut short and layered prior to treatment. I also know of two other ladies who have the same bc nurse as me who have also kept all of their hair so far, so it must be quite common.
Yes, it’s freezing and not very nice for the first 15 minutes, then you forget you’re wearing it.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend giving it a go. I’m so grateful to have kept my hair.

I don’t wear a headband as when I tried it on the cap didn’t fit as well. I don’t have any ice burns. I was also advised that the ladies who do use a headband seem to lose more hair around the edge of their scalp. I use a tiny bit of cotton wool just over the top of my ears and that’s it.
Also, don’t assume that you’ll definitely shed some hair. Like I said; I honestly haven’t shed any and I know of two others who are going through treatment now who haven’t shed any either. There’s always the chance that I could still lose hair on my last two T, but I’ve been told that’s unlikely now.
It seems all hospitals are different, but mine (Gateshead) supply everything you need, although I’ve chosen to take my own conditioner ( you only need a coin size amount to prevent tangle). They also wet my hair for me and supply me with a towel/blankets and hot drinks if I want them.
They’ve been absolutely brilliant, I hope yours are too.