Have just been reading through notes in blue book and noticed on treatment plan number of cycles 3-6 ? taxotere. I assumed I was having 3 FEC and 3T. So does anyone know why there is a ?
Know I can ring BC in morning but does anyone have any info on this.

Being in the nursing profession we would usually put a question mark in front of something if we were querying whether this was to be done or querying if this was the case. For example we would put ?UTI for querying a urinary tract infection. Therefore,perhaps they are considering this for you for treatment 4,5 and 6. This will depend on the type of tumour you have. You are right though, your bc nurse will be able to help you. Take care. J.

thanks for thatjaynek. I had lobular. Had lumpectomy and 14 nodes taken 11 of which were cancerous The lump was grade 3. Does this mean if they are querying taxotere that they might give me 6 FEC instead of 3?

I remenber when I was discussing treatment with my Onc that she said that ‘possibly’ I would have 3 taxotere after 3 FEC. I don’t know why it was ‘possibly’ or why in your case they would put a question mark. It might just be that they are waiting to see how you get on with chemo before they decide.

In my case, I went away and read up on this and decided that tax was a very good idea. I said to my Onc that I would like to have 3 taxotere and I was given them after the 3 FEC. I’ve got a very good team and have been able to discuss my treatment and to make choices throughout.

My tumour was Grade 3, ER + and HER2 + and I had 2 positive nodes.

I would call your breast care nurse and talk to her about this and if you want to have taxotere then make it plain that you would be much happier if you have it. Take care.
Anthi x

Thanks for comments Anthi
I am ER and HER negative. If I have to make a choice do you know what would be the plus side to having tax?
Val x

Just spoken to BC apparently they want to see how I cope with FEC and will then decide whether to go for T or 3 more FEC. Apparently T has much worse SE. If I just went for 6 FEC and no T would still have radio.
Would appreciate comments on this one. Am now feeling unsettled. I know I must take things one at a time and not keep jumping ahead, but this is quite difficult.


Taxotere is a very strong chemo, but so is fec. There are lots of reasons why they may or may not want you to have it.-your age, your general health, the likelihood of recurrence. I assume you have had your lump removed, so I would wonder how they know what your cancers response is to the chemo. Perhaps they are worried that tax may be too strong for you if you have other health issues.I however found tax easier to tolerate than fec, everyone is different.

Also as triple negative I would be aware that chemo kicking your primary cancers butt now is your best chance of long term remission, as you do not have further hormone/targetted therapy.They may be confident that fec will do the trick in your case and as I said there are lots of factors involved and a multi disclpinary team will have been involved with the decision.

If you are anxious about this I would suggest you specifically ask your bcn why they are “not” giving you taxotere as you have nodes involved. You can also phone the helpline, they are open tomorrow. They are very good at helping you unpick tricky situations and understand why decisions have been made.I have been on these forums for over a year now and have found that people with very similar dx have v different regimes.

I know it is Friday night and it is not a good time to be worried about these things. I am sure your team are doing the very best they can for you, but sometimes you do need to question them a little so that you are clear.

take care


Hi Poodlepatch,

I have heard FEC-T being referred to as the ‘gold standard’ of chemo. However, I’m not sure how much there is between it and straight FEC. When I had a bad reaction to the high level of steroids given at my first Tax, my onc said that if that he could swap me back to FEC and it would only make a 3% difference to my prognosis. But I’m sure that it might not be the same for everyone.

In the end I was fine with reduced steroids for the other two cycles. I found the SEs on Tax fine - different to FEC, but not much worse. The tireness gets worse, but would do no matter which chemo you were having.

A bit rambling, but I suppose my main point is that if you feel strongly that you want Tax, go for it - you can always swap back to FEC.

Good luck

thanks for comments. I am probably jumping ahead a bit, only had 1st FEC last week. BC said today that a decision would not be made until after 3rd FEC. She said T was so much worse SE than FEC and it would need to be discussed with onc as to whether I was up to it. Although I am nearly 70 I have always been fit and healthy, consider myself a young 70. Have always watched my weight (am definitely not overweight) have eaten healthy diet, been to gym, pilates classes and always walked several miles a day with dog. Consultant said I was very fit and healthy and had a lot of years left. I have had the op WLE and nodes removed. I am just a bit freaked out now seeing a ? beside the T. When I asked what the prognosis would be between 6FEC or 3FEC and 3T was told nothing is a 100% guarantee. So am at present climbing the old “worry tree” again. When I first got treatment plan got my head round it and was reasonably OK. now am all over the place again.

just another thing to “throw in the pot” MRI scan CT scan and bone scan all came back clear

Not sure if it is of any use at all…

1st… GREAT NEWS!!! for a clear bone/ct scan!!

2nd…if there is one thing I have found out on this site is that you cannot assume anything with regards to SE’s on ANY chemo…some have had an absolutely horrendous time on FEC and by comparison ‘sailed’ through TAX others have been ‘ok’ on FEC and floored by TAX??? you can never know??? I had CMF, no horrible problems, yet was reading on a post someone suffering on it. I have just had 3FEC/3 TAX thankfully they are over, I most certainly wouldn’t want to do it again, however I can say that reading others side effects compared with mine it’s oh so different for everyone, so with all due respect to your onc he can’t say how you will be, you sound fiesty enough to me to take whatever they throw at you
All the best
Jeanette x

thanks for that J has certainly given me a lot to thinks about.

Well done poodlepatch you can do it


Thanks for all the comments. Saw onc yesterday apparently they putthe ? in before all my test results were back. After having a long discussion yesterday she said I was strong in mind and body and she was certain I would be able to cope with T. although the SE with T is worse than the FEC. Anyway she went on to say if I couldn’t tolerate it I could change back to FEC.
Val xx

Hello Poodlepatch,

Just echoing what others have said on here - side effects seem to be such a personal reaction! I (and many I’ve met on the chemo ward) have much preferred the side effects of Tax to FEC/EC and AC. BUT many on the forum seem to be struggling with Tax. I guess you’ll never know unless you try it and it seems as though the Tax is the best bet if your lymph nodes are involved (although I am not an oncy and obviously your onc knows best as he knows you and your case).

I just wanted to say, don’t worry too much - it’s not necessairly the case that Tax is worse. I feel close to normal apart from being a bit steroidy high But my apetite is back to normal, I have no nausea or stomach problems and have lots of energy, so am doing lots of walks. With AC I was exhausted, really queasy and constantly hungry. Not awful side effects! And totally doable! But Tax (so far!) much better.

Good luck with your decisions.


Thanks for all comments and thanks Sandytoes and as do have nodes involved 11 out of 14 cancerous I will suffer everything thrown at me. Glad you mentioned that some find SE on Tax not too bad, as you say we are all different. After speaking with my onc was made to feel that with T bones, muscles and everything would ache, but whatever will keep up the exercise walk as much as I can etc etc.
Good luck, love and hugs to you all. xx

Hello again Poodlepatch

Sorry not to have posted for a few days - I’ve been incredibly busy - but I’m very pleased to see that it’s now been decided you’re having Taxotere.

You ask what ‘would be the plus side to having Tax’ - well my chemo was 4 years ago and I can’t remember exactly - but I do recall seeing several articles which said that women who had Tax in addition to FEC had fewer recurrences/ secondaries. I’m sorry to be so vague - I must confess that I spent hours on the computer when I was first diagnosed and read loads of stuff.

I agree with many of the other comments about SEs in that we are all different. I did have a worse time on Tax than on FEC (painful guts and stomach) but I didn’t have the painful muscles and aching bones which many people complain about. I walk a lot too and during tax I did my best to keep up with the walking. It was a bit difficult as I found that the tax seemed to have the effect of slowing me down and I couldn’t walk as quickly or as far as usual, but I’m sure doing some exercise every day was a help.

Good luck and best wishes
Anthi x

Hi Poodlepatch,

I had 6 tax, it was my 2nd diagnosis 2 primaries one in each breast 10 years apart I am 45 years old,

first time around I had epirubicin, and cychlophosphormide
sorry about the spelling,

this time I exerienced horrendous side effects, but not everyone experiences the same.

there are a lot of threads on here talking about tax, you will be able to get all the info and advice you need,

It wasnt easy for me but as I said everyone is different.

best wishes Liz x

I’ve known people in my chemo unit on Tax who’ve been fine on it. I however had some really horrible SEs and was miserable as sin. It was grim for me and had some really painful SEs. I was soooo happy when I had my last chemo.

But then others havent had any SEs (not that i hated them for it. LOL) one person I knew was going on holiday all the time and had a whooping great tan and looked really really healthy, no SEs apart from some tiredness for a few days afterwards.

You just can’t tell and neither can the chemo people! THey were shocked that my bloods were always OK enough for chemo never to be delayed in the whole time or for me to end up on a ward. Although they threatened that at one point and I said “No, I’ll stay at home, it’s 5 mins away, I’ll keep an eye on my temp etc and come in if i need to thanks” :smiley: This was after the horrible bowel cramping I had.

So it just goes to show how different we all are.