what is the usual wait between surgery and starting chemo?

Hi there

I had 4 sessions of FEC chemo first followed by double mastectomy with left axillary clearance on 16th June. I had a large tumour with lymph node involvement so I’ve been told by Onc that further chemo and radiotherapy is definitely necessary.

My chemo is booked for 3rd August and that will be 7 weeks following the surgery. However as I had a problem with blood clots in my arm I need to have a portacath ( a type of line in the chest) inserted. My Onc did an urgent referral on 8th July but I still don’t even have an appointment to see the doctor for that. I’ve rung this new Dr’s secretary and she says he’s aware of when I should be starting chemo and I’ll hear from him. From what I gather I will have an appointment to see him and discuss followed by an appointment to have portacath inserted. I was also told it might be he can’t fit me in before chemo date!

I getting a bit panicky as I thought it was important to have chemo quite soon after surgery to ensure best possible chances.

Would be interested to know what others have experienced?
Thank you
Elinda x

my surgery was 24th Oct[2006] chemo started 5th Dec [2006]so about 7 weeks.

I was 8 weeks from surgery to chemo as the unit was so busy. It could have been a few days earlier but i wanted a thursday or friday so my husband could be home.

I had two breast surgeries… 27 April and 11 May 2008 and my chemo started on 27 May 2008.

I had WLE & SNB on July 7th 09 , then axillary clearance on July 20th. I started chemo 5 weeks later which was slightly later than the onc had intended but the wound was infected. . Your situation is different Elinda as you have already had 4x FEC so 7 weeks doesn’t sound very long to me.

I believe the recommendation is that it is started within 31 days of surgery. I do not know if that is the first op or the second op. Seems significant to me.

Thanks for all the replies so far.

I’ve heard that the optimum time is about a month following surgery although as I’ve had some chemo first it probably isn’t quite so pressing. Nevertheless I want to get on with it all and chasing up appointments is really stressful.

I will also have a 2 hour journey to the hospital to have portocath assessment and then again to be fitted with it. I’ve been told not to drive at present and my husband is finding it increasingly difficult to get time off at short notice. As it is he or a neighbour takes me to our local hospital twice a week which is 45 minutes away to have the seroma drained.
The stress of sorting out lifts is really getting to me and causing me huge anxiety.

elinda x