starting TAC 15th May

I’m starting TAC regime on the 15th following right masectomy and DIEP reconstruction 8 weeks ago. There doesn’t seem to be many threads for this regime so thought I would start a new discussion.

I’ve read all the top tips and going shopping on Monday.I’ve arranged a wig fitting too.Still I’m not sure I’m ready!! I went to have a look around the unit last week and after waiting 10minutes for the nurse I ran out crying- all of a sudden I realised this was happening to ME!!! The staff were lovely and warm and I am glad I’ve been to look as it takes away some of the unknown.

Well any advice on TAC would be helpful as I’ve been told it’s tough-I really need some reassurring-please!

Jen x

Hi JennieF
I’ve just had my 2nd FEC - the first one I was really sick with but I’m that sort of person (morning sickness with the children etc) so no surprise. Another person who had the treatment was absolutely fine. On the 2nd one they gave me better anti-sickness drugs and was much better. My hair started to fall out in handfuls on the 14th day but had it cut really short a few days before so it wasn’t too bad. From what I can gather from the others 10-14 days seems to be the time span. I

While I can’t say it is my favourite way to spend a day It is “doable” and each day away from the treatment I feel that much better. I also find that waiting for the treatment with others is good as you can swap notes and don’t feel so mad. For example I can’t really taste any food so I end up eating brown sauce with things and was delgihted to hear lots of others do the same.

Good luck with it
Wendy x

Hi Jenny
I’m just coming to the end of my TAC regime (have had 5 out of 6). Yes it is tough but not too bad. You will get lot and lots of support from everyone on here. They’ve helped me through some bad times.
I kept a diary of symptoms and found it really helpful looking back each session just to remind me that it’s nothing new and I knew how long it would last.
I found that the nausea was the worse problem for me but can I suggest speaking to your onc team early to try to avoid problems occuring. Better to be prepared. I am now on ondansetron and domperidone for sickness and omeprazole for acid reflux. I was like a new one last treatment!
Will you be having the GCS-F injections after the chemo sessions. They help boost your immune system. They also have side effects but they certainly work. My bloods have been good throughout.

I haven’t bothered with a wig, just used scarves and hats. There are some beautiful ones around although I must admit I’m getting a bit sick of them now.

Good luck for the 15th and don’t worry - you will get through this.

Love greenpea xx

Hi Jennie, best of luck. I’m due my second course of TAC on the 15th, with four more to follow. I felt very tired on days 3 & 4 and also on day 7, and I had an upset stomach for most of the first week, but other than that it has been a lot better than I expected. I presume things will get worse as TAC is accumulative, but at least the first one wasn’t so bad, and I found after day 11 I was more or less back to my old self. I too have the injections on day 2, but that was OK I did the injection myself as I couldn’t be fussed going to the GP surgery. My hair started to go on day 12, and is all but gone now. Your scalp will get really itchy and uncomfortable a couple of days before it starts to fall out. I have bought some half wigs from America and am wearing them with hats and scarves, I think a full wig might be too hot in this weather. I have a five year old so am determined to look fairly normal for him when I do the school run.

I think the main thing is to listen to your body and get as much rest as possible when you feel you need it, and also drink loads, it really does make a difference. Interestingly enough my taste buds haven’t altered at all, which is really good.

The first time they give you TAC does take a long time, I was there for five hours. They give it to you really slowly to make sure that there are no adverse effects, so I would take plenty of reading material and also some sweets. I was offered drinks and lunch which I really enjoyed (must be the steriods). This time it should take no more than three hours.

I’ll think of you on Thursday - once again best of luck X

Hello everyone

Jennie, good luck for tomorrow. As you may recall I start the TAC on Friday. I had my meeting and bloods with the nurses yesterday and now everything seems so real. They were so nice, but did keep on stressing how harsh this regime is. I am now getting very anxious, but sooner started, sooner finished. I have my wig, which is OK, but I am not looking forward to wearing it. Ahaaaa. Must remember to start taking the steroids tomorrow.

The DIEP op seems a breeze now…

Let me know how you get on. I am going through Springfield, and will not be in a shared chemo suite which I think would be nicer. I am a bit of a talker so always like chatting to other people. Instead, will have my husband who nearly fell off his chair when I said I would be there for 5 hours! He said he thought I would just be in for half an hour or so having ‘injections’… Mmm, wake up to the real world love!

Lots of love

Rebecca- omg! what are our hubbies like!!!

I think they are in a sort of denial,perhaps a way of coping! Well I’m stocking up on sweets,books and magazines.My brother bought me a DS lite for my birthday and I have the brain training game-that will be soooo interesting-so far my age has ranged from 65 to 26-spot my good days!!!

I haven’t got my wig yet but I’ve ordered loads of scarves from,a site recommended by other ladies.I went shopping yesterday too and spent an absolute fortune in Boots! Every recommendation on this website I have taken- including ginger biscuits,lucozade and a lovely ice cherry flavoured mouthwash.

I’ve started on my steroids now- I can’t stop laughing,I think I’m going a bit loopy today! I feel the same as before I had the op,trying desperately getting the house in order and the cupboards stocked in case I’m not up to it.I agree with you though that op seems like a breeze now.

Went to my hairdressers yesterday and had my bob cut short- in fact I really like my hair short.I took my daughter to school today and lots of mums told me it made me look younger! I’m lovin’ it!!! The only down side some of my daughters(she is 6) told me I was scary-lol!

I can’t remember how old you children are but mine are 6 and 13 (girl,boy).I ordered the book,Mummy’s lump from this website.It was fantastic,I sat with my youngest and all the things I thought that would bother her ,didn’t. I’ve never used the cancer word with her but she was ok and it explained what chem is and everything-definately recommend it.Even my 13 yr old son said it was good.

I’m off to have a jig about with Amy Winehouse as I hoover now.Ooooh I miss my normal life-popped into my work yesterday and I miss it.

Keep smiling : - ) Jennie xx

ps Sunnymeg - good luck on the 15th too!

Hi Jennie

You can tell I have time on my hands today…

Yes, I ordered Mummy’s lump and it is great. I haven’t shown it to my two yet (nearly 5 and 8) as I am waiting for them to be calm for 5 minutes!

Yes, got scarves from Headcovers, and ordered the lucozade and ginger biccies! Mouthwash sounds like a good idea.

I am also sorting the house … weird. It’ll be a complete mess after I’ve been in bed a couple of days, but what the hell!

Having some reflexology at Helen Rollason tomorrow in anticipation!! Have you been there yet? I thought it would be a depressing place, but it is more like a beauty parlour!

Good luck

good luck tomorrow Jen

Best of Luck Meg


thought I would let you know how I got on- well!!! I arrived about 10.30 and left about 6.45!!! They tried 4 times to find a vein eventually succeeding I had visions of having to go home I was so upset. The nurses has asked for an urgent portman line to be fitted before my next treatment,it will be worth it seeing as I have to Herceptin after this.

As for how I feel well not too bad actually.Ache all over and am just so tired. A bit nauseas,this might get worse as I have stopped the steroids today and the main anti sickness drugs.Nurse has been in for the tummy jabs and even that has been bearable. So far I have anticipated everything-perhaps thats why Im just coping so far. OOh forgot to mention can’t taste alot-even water is odd!

Got to go and lay down again speak soon Jen x

ps Rebecca -thinking of you hope you are ok x

Hiya Jen

Yes, probably best to keep to this thread, as our reconstruction seems (almost) like a distant memory!

Poor you with the vein nightmare. Terrible start, but glad you feel sort of OK today. Yes, my taste is a bit odd. Didn’t think it would kick in so quickly. How many anti sickness drugs did they give you? I have 2 weeks supply and plan to take them every day, as that has been recommended by a few people as preventative. I have the nurse coming for the injection tomorrow - should be interesting. Am going to try and do it myself after that… watch this space!

Did you sleep OK last 2 nights? I am knackered, but dreading going to bed in case I wake up again in the early hours and can’t get back to sleep.

Thinking of you.

Hi Rebecca

well day 5!!! Actually I have managed to stay awake all day and have half a conversation with a friend. I just ache all over. My head is beginning to be a bit sore,keep waking in the night checking! My diet now consists of chesse n pickle sandwiches and jacket potatoe.As for drink only fizzy flavoured water or Lucozade. I’m wearing travel sickness wrist bands don’t know if they are helping but nausea has lessened.

Good luck with the injections! I’ve just said a clear no and asked the nurses to do it. I get stressed enough - actually it’s not to bad though.

I have been sleeping well at night.Although when I wake up I don’t feel as if I have had a good sleep - just close my eyes again!
At hospital for CT scan tomorrow - the thought of having to drink so much first- blrrrrr!

What did you think of the reflexology? I really enjoyed it - I was so tense,the lady asked on a scale of ten where is my anxiety- I said 10 as I arrived but by the time she finished it was about a 3-so having more next time!

anyway going to lay down again - hope you are ok Jen x

Hi, girls, glad you’ve made it through to day 5 Jennie, it should get easier after this. I too have a major thing for jacket potatoes this time round, but I’m sure that listening to my body and eating what it demands is the best way forward. I’m so sorry you had a lousy time with them trying to sort your veins out - as you say hopefully it will be better for you once you have a portman line fitted. You might want to try flat diet coke and ginger biscuits for the nausea, I have been more nauseaous this time, but I wonder if it is because the weather is warmer.

Rebecca hope the injection goes OK, I find I get joint aches for a couple of days after it, but apparently this is because it is doing its job so must be a good thing.

Meg X

Hi girls!

Day 5 for me now. Feeling a little bit nauseous, but still eating and drinking everything although I feel as if my tongue is covered with an oily layer… weird.

Day 3 I had the worst constipation I have ever ever ever had! I will spare you the details, but I’ll be ready next time with the appropriate medication. Just popped into work today to say hello and feel a bit down, as life carries on as normal for them all there… boo hoo. Want my old life back!

Even though it hasn’t been that bad (yet), I suddenly feel that I can’t bear the thought of another 5 sessions. Seems like a lifetime away. Did/do you feel the same?

Going shopping for another wig on Friday as I guess this time next week, it could all kick off… In the meantime, taking Meg’s advice and listening to my body so off for a mid afternoon snack!

Oh, the reflexology - yes love it. Going again tomorrow and I can’t wait.
Take care, and lots of love

hi girlies!

day 7 and still going! Had ct scan yesterday so glad that’s over.Last injection yesterday for this time-yes my knees especially ached.I’m getting quite exhausted so Rebecca you are doing really well if you getting out.I get to the end of the garden with my washing and feel absolutely exhauted! I’m also continuosly wearing travel wrist bands for the nausea - havent suffered that bad so they may be helping. Popped into chemo unit yesterday while at hospital and the nurse said I looked well,which is encourageing!

How’s the sleeping? I’m waking in the middle of the night,then getting paranoid and checking my pillow!!! And temperature?? I seem to be obsessesed with checking it.I think because I’ve been told all the side effects I seem to be expecting things!!!

As for food- a staple diet of cheese n pickle sandwiches,eggs(scrambled or omlette) and fish fingers!!! As for drink- fizzy lemon water.

Rebecca I agree another 5!!!

well i’m going to take a break AGAIN and have a read

ttfn Jen x

Hi again!

Well, I spoke too soon! Today, I felt the nausea. Mind you, I did have a large mocha, a chocolate twist at Costa after school run, and then went to Riverside (ie sauna) to help with my son’s swimming… Had my reflexology and rested after crackers, cheese and pickle (sense a similarity!). My friend picked my two up at school, so rested and now feel better.

Night time, how strange - you could think up really deep explanations for the pillow hunt! I slept OK last night, but others have woken all the time feeling hot. A sign of things to come I guess…

Jen, was that your first scan? Interesting how different it all is. I went for my (only) scans before chemo, and then I’ll have them after treatment. I still don’t understand why - unless something is there at first, what is going to show after treatment? They kept on saying a delay in my mastectomy wouldn’t have any impact on things as it takes ages for something to show up on a scan.

Well, half term next week, so hopefully you will feel better by then!
Off to watch some Paul O’Grady now to cheer me u before my children get back. How sad am I?!

hi girls

thought I would just say hello. Im up to day 11 (i think!) and my head is a little bit itchy!!! Im beginning to panic- at least its the scholl holidays. I’ve got some scarves but no wig yet although not sure if I’ll bother. Im not very good with hats at the best of times. I have visions of me sitting with people forgetting im wearing a wig and having an itch and the wig moving all over the place- lol!!!

Hows things anyway? My mouth has been soooo sore but the unit gave me some mouthwash that helps.I was worried yesterday I woke up and my nose was a bit bloody - I just thpught typical would be at a weekend! But its ok now no problems. My biggest thing is my chest it feels so weak.Im puttign it down to anxiety though. But yesterday I was really down with too many negative thoughts-today is better!

Still can’t taste alot sticking to easy food as sore mouth but its bearable. I still havent heard about my line being fitted,the thought of going back and having the nurses try to put needles in my hand again- blrrrrrrrr!

Anyway going now to eat- thought I might try Marmite???

Jen xx

Hiya girls!

Jen, my chest was causing me concern too, but it has eased now. Probably is the stress. Head itching, but no moulting yet…

Today I am feeling myself finally. My mouth was covered in ulcers two days ago, but have now gone. Having looked on the forums, I bought some Aloe Vera toothpaste today and will use that, in case it helps.

Other than that, feeling quite good at the moment. Last injection today until the next round - hurrah! We are taking the children for two nights to the coast at the weekend, to pacify them as they have/will be deprived of planned holidays abroad this year. They will have a great time and hopefully I will be feeling great, but could be hairless??

How many rads are you all having (if any) and how much gap inbetween have the docs told you?


hi rebecca

glad to hear you are doing well.I still have hair too! I found the mouthwash that the hospital has given me worked a treat although it tastes awlful.I’m using usual paste and dentyl ice cherry mouthwash,which has really helped.When the ulcers were gone my mouth looked the healthiest its ever been-if that doesn’t sound too strange! Actually I’m generally pretty good too!

I’m having problems at the moment- I chased the hospital yesterday about my line that has to be fitted.I’ve been given the 16th June!!! My next chemo was meant to start on the 5th.So this could mean my treatment will be delayed by 3weeks-a whole cycle!!! I feel so fed up and out od control of the situation.The unit has told me they will not even attempt to touch my veins.

I haven’t got to have any rads just herceptin for a year,how about you? Ioriginally thought herceptin was just a tablet but it’s an intravenous drip 3 weekly,like the chemo.But the possible side effects are lesser than chemo too.

Anyway have a lovely weekend-I hope the weather is good although kids won’t care too much will they?

Jen xx

Meg hope you are doing ok!

Hi Jen (hi Meg too - how are you doing?)

You must be feeling completely p----d off with the possible delay. I don’t understand about veins - you would like to think they would go in anywhere as long as it worked. Fingers crossed for you that it will all happen sooner. I guess pestering is the only way to go (as long as the vein is OK to do earlier).

Was the cherry mouthwash the one you got from the hospital or was it a different one? I’ll ask for some next time so thanks for the tip off.

Yes, 25 rads and Tamoxifen for 5 years. I am HER neg, but positive with the others.

Correct about the kids - they are the only reason we are going to a Haven park near Clacton for 2 nights!! They will love the pool and the ghastly ‘character’ stuff! If only I could lounge with copious amounts of wine - damn. Don’t even feel like it. Hope by Saturday that will change and I will have a couple.

Enjoy the rest of half term
Rebecca xxxx