What type of chemo am i likely to have

Hi, i’m seeing the oncologist next month to discuss starting chemo. I was just wondering after seeing all the different types of chemo what sort i would be likely to have & for how long. I have IDC,grade 3,19mm. When i was first diagnosed i was told just rads but they found 2 out of 22 lymph nodes had cancerous cells in so now need chemo. Does the strength & type u have depend on how many nodes are affected, my friend is going through the same thing & has 2 out of 25 nodes affected. We’d both be interested to know,thanks x

Hi hjv123

I had 18mm IDC grade 3 and no node involvement and I had 6 FEC and 22 Rads and 2 booster Rads.

Hope this helps, we are all different and treatment is aimed at the individual and so can vary. Im sure more of the ladies on the forum will tell you their experiences too.

Let me know how you get on with the oncologist.

love Anne xx

Hi there,

So sorry you and your friend have joined our club - sadly it’s not as exclusive a club as we’d like it to be!

It’s hard to make a guess, but if pushed I’d think that you’re most likely to have either FEC or FEC-T.

I had IDC 28mm, grade 3, stage 3, 6 out of 12 nodes affected and had FEC-T chemo (the three drugs that make up FEC, followed by Taxotere). That’s commonly given with lymph node involvement.

However if you only had two nodes affected you might only have the FEC part.

These seem to be the most common chemo regimes and are usually given at three weekly intervals (bloods permitting!). If it’s FEC then it’s usually 6 treatments, if it’s FEC-T then it’s three of each so again 6 in total. However some have 8 in total, four of each. I think they get the same total dose it’s just more spread out.

They’ll weigh and measure you before you start to work out your dose.

Do you know your HER status? If you’re positive for that then you’ll have Herceptin as well but I don’t have that so I’m not sure of the regimes.

Whatever you have, don’t try to anticipate your side effects from what other people have had as we all react differently. they’ll give you some meds at your chemo appointments to help with the SEs before they even hit, but if you get bad SEs you must tell them and they’ll change your meds to help.

Good luck with it all - I had mine from January-May this year followed by rads in June and to be honest it all just seems like a bad dream now and I’m getting my life back.

Jane xxx

thanks ladies, i think i am already anticipating my SE’s, probably not a good thing to do. I’m HER2 negative so won’t be having Herceptin. I hate all this waiting around for things, i just want to be getting on with it so it’s over with, hideous as it might be it’s gotta be done sometime. I guess it’ll probably take me through xmas, oh joy! I’m going to beg for any anti-emetics they can give me as i do suffer badly with nausea/dizziness anyway due to an ear imbalance. It worked with my anaesthetist, when i had my first op i was sick as a dog but with the 2nd one, after talking to him & changing the regime i was absolutely fine. I haven’t got too long to wait for my oncology appt, 7th sept so will hopefully know the start date then x

Hi hjv123, you sound very much like me! Have they told you if the cancer is oestrogen positive ? I had small tumour, 1 node affected HER2 -ve and I am half way through FEC x3 and Tax x3 which is pretty much the standard. This is followed up with radiotherapy and Tamoxifen for 5 years as I am premenstrual and oestrogen positive. I know exactly how u r feeling. Wanting to get on with it but scared to start!? I went with a suck it and see approach because everyone is different. I have been lucky, ran the race for life 3 days post chemo 1 and have not been sick. Its like being pregnant, funny taste in mouth and bouts of tiredness but u can function on most levels! Housework u can do as u feel, cooking a drag sometimes because it doesn’t taste right! My life is basically the same but the onc wouldn’t let me work - I feel I could most of the time. It’s not worth the risk of picking up infection though. The hair loss which is prob a major angst I got through. Big cries help and then a moving on and acceptance comes after. I am happy with my wig and wear it most of the time. Some ladies are happier in scarves or even commando - you are you and will find a way that’s best! Good luck with everything! This forum really helps especially when u feeling a bit low. It’s good to chat with people who know exactly what you’re on about !

Hi hjv123
the waiting is definitely the worst part. I was diagnosed with IDC grade 3 clear nodes in may and after a couple of surgeries and waiting around started chemo in August. When you start your treatment join a thread with other ladies who start the same month as you. It is really helpful to chat to people going through the same thing at the same time and you can discuss issues as they arise, it is so nice to know your not alone.
Good Luck

yes squirrel, i am Er positive so will have 5 yrs of Tamoxifen & i’m premenopausal as well. Im also having rads. Most people seem to have 6 cycles of chemo which is what im hoping for. I was hoping to be able to work sometimes during chemo if at all possible just to keep some kind of normality in my life. Trouble is i work in a GP surgery so the risk of infection is higher than a lot of other places though i am in the offices not dealing with sick patients.I know i will cry when i lose my hair, it’s one of the biggest fears for me. But i will be wig shopping in the next couple of weeks.
Thanks Jane, when i know the exact date im starting i’ll definatley join the thread for that month, i think that’ll be really helpful.