Hello everyone! I too am starting chemo on 30 November after a never-ending round of scans and nail-biting appointments. They are putting me on an accelerated course of chemo which basically means I have it fortnightly for 16-20 weeks so I don't get the third healthyish week - great! It's second time around for me having had it in 1998. Someone obviously heard my plans for celebrating my 20th anniversary next year and thought they'd pull the rug out from under me. But in a way I hope some of you find some comfort in how long it has been; I was in my 20s first time round, had a WLE and radiotherapy but managed to dodge the chemo. Going to have the full works now though and believe me, treatment has moved on hugely since I was last diagnosed. It's like they create a bespoke treatment just for you depending on what type of tumour you have, rather than one size fits all. Last time I was oestrogen receptor ++, this one is triple negative, but they always have a plan. I'm also waiting for a genetics test to come back so that may have implications further down the line. But let's just get the chemo sorted first. Sorry to blab on, just wanted to introduce myself and wish each and everyone of you the very best for this unexpected road trip we're going on together. We can do this! Xx
Hello Kirsty, welcome. I have only had one cycle of chemo (like you, I am doing it before surgery, then rads, endocrine tx) and was keen both to work and exercise. I managed both, although days 1-3 were less easy. I still did get out for a walk and did some reading/emailing. I find exercise a huge boon to physical and mental health. I would say be kind to yourself, listen to your body and try not to worry too much (daft thing to say I know). It was not as bad as I'd feared for me and I also found the support/community here brilliant for mood and my soul. Wishing you all the best and looking forward to getting to know you better. x
Hello Lesley, I could have written that post and we are at exactly the same point. I am due for chemo 2 next Thursday. I am trying to work (I am an academic in a medical school) from home, but found days 1-3 less easy. I wouldn't say I did my best work, but it was good enough. You are so right about the getting outside/walking - it has been vital to me. I also do a bit of exercising in front of the TV - dancing, yoga, aerobics. With the curtains firmly shut obviously!
I will be thinking of you on Thursday and wishing us both bon courage for round 2.
I can see the logic in having chemo on the Thursday so that you have the weekend, however many ladies find that they need at least a week to recover. Only you will know how well you cope after that first cycle. I didn't have any sickness, however I found the fatigue challenging and I couldn't leave the house for a week. I just wanted to add that note of caution!
Anyone using apps to keep track of Meds - there's a Macmillan one, but I'm finding Medisafe works well (it's free!)
I work at a university, and they have let me work at home, according to my energy levels, whilst recovering from surgery. We're just discussing what's going to happen with chemo - HoD trying to make me do less, I still want to work on my research so long as I'm feeling up to it - sounds like they're prepared to be flexible, but he said you're entitled to 3 months sick pay, so take more rather than less! Obviously the university is a hotbed of germs, so no teaching. I read in another forum that someone managed to do chemo on a Thursday, and go back to work Monday throughout ... and I'm also not clear what the 'cycle' is for the weekly drugs! I do the work I do because it's important - plus just me at home, so a good distraction, although I'm defo going to take some Netflix time! 🙂
My ocnologist told me she does not recommend the cold cap with my type of cancer so I didnt ask any more and just took her advice, so I just made the app for the wig straight away. Plan to also wear my buffs on my head.
I did the LGFB on Tuesday as well and was really good, need to practice eyebrows x
Thanks 🙂 They managed to get some blood out of me for the blood tests this morning - I was only in for about an hour which was nice, as managed to get out in time for lunch with friend! Being fitted 8am next Fri, then onto chemo in the afternoon! One day at a time! 🙂
I feel like I should go and check out wigs. I've got another appointment (consenting) next Weds, so might call in then! I had lunch with a friend organised today, and wanted to get back and check my heading/hot water were working again - they are!
I found these sheets helpful and not over-complex (though as always the side effects are a bit terrifying!) -http://www.christie.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/your-treatment-and-care/patient-information/patient...
I'm going to try the cold-capping, although I am balking slightly at the realisation that with weekly Tax I'll have to have it 12 times altogether - but think will kick myself if I don't try. Got fine hair, and it's been cut pixie-ish now ... 🙂
Thanks Ladies for replying and your advice, it is good to hear how people have been. It seems common that the first week is the worst then not so bad after that, fingers crossed it is the same for me & I will do what I can.
Yes Ruth, things have happened so fast, with being diagnosed as such a shock 3 weeks ago, (I am only 34 & fit and healthy - until this that is!) to stage testing, hearts scans wig appointments and everything else, but I am glad it is moving fast as I feel i just want the treatment to start asap to stop it getting worse.
Good to know we are not alone x
Hi Sue, thanks for the advice, I work in an office and it is small & they have been really good about things so can hopefully dip in and out and do what I can. I will make sure and listen to my body and alter things to make them less intense, I have read a lot on the benefits exercise can have throughout treatment, but will not over do it. Good to know there is somewhere to ask questions here as well 🙂 x
Welcome to the forum and the thread.
Generally with chemo, the first week of the cycle is the worst. So if you want to continue working, the following 2 weeks are doable. Having said that, it's impossible to predict how you will react and so this first cycle is a real learning curve. If you work in public place, eg, in a school, it is not possible to work throughout chemo because of the risk of infection.
In the first week, some ladies like to get out for a short walk each day and find that helpful. After that, I would just do gentle exercise. If you push yourself too much, it can make the fatigue worse. Like I say, it's a learning curve, so just listen to your body and take things steady.
Please come and chat whenever you like.
Hi ladies, I am new to this site and so far have only been reading lots of threads, but wanted to now join this thread as I too start my chemo on 30th November. This is also my very first treatment as just diagnosed 3 weeks ago and having chemo first, then surgery then rads then tamoxifen. I am having 3 x FEC then 3 x Tax + Herceptin. I have been at work since I found out, apart from days spent at the hospital for all the tests! But I am hoping to still be able to work as much as I can throughout treatment, I also do a lot of exercise so hoping I can keep some of that up as well, dependant on side effects. We will need to wait and see. Be good to hear how others are getting on throughout the treatment and any tips. Kirsty, x
Morning Dec Ladies
I am from the November thread.
I can only echo the advice that you have already been given.
I am on the FEC-T cocktail with a side order of zoledronic acid for 3 of the 6 and then every 6 months for 3 years.
The only things I would add is around your medications.... as has been said, take everything and if it isnt working.... let everyone know about it. I suffered for 5 days with nausea, I was sick on day 1 and day 2 and then the hospital meds stopped, the nausea for me was overwelming. I wasnt sick again but it is still debilitating. I tried to 'work thru it' and 'not bother' anyone, which in hindsight is absolutely ridiculous! When I did contact the unit, they advised me to contact my GP to get alternate meds. Within 90 mins of ringing the GP surgery I had new tablets and was feeling better than I had for 3 days.
If you are given the injections then a possible side effect can be severe joint pain. However, if you take Clarityn - the over the counter hayfever tablet one a day alongside the injections, it does help to counteract the pains starting. I took the Clarityn in the morning and did the jabs at night just before bed and only had one episode of pain on the last day which was relieved with 2 ibruprofen.
The other thing you will find that might be puzzling/alarming/worrying is that although we are all on very similiar chemo treatments, the bits that go with these treatments can be very different from one trust to another.
Some only give injections if your blood count is low - some give for 10 days, some for 5.
Some give sterioids and anti-emetics prior to chemo, most seem to start on the day and send you home with a large goodie bag.
Some trusts give Vit D and calcium tablets to run throughout chemo - others dont do anything.
So dont worry if people are talking about stuff that you aren't aware of.
And finally, use the forum. the October ladies have supported us so much thru the beginning of November, and we have walked in your shoes as you build you to your first session. No comment or question is too stupid.
Really sorry to have 'met' all you girls ..... but always here for you!!
Hi December ladies, not wanting to bombard you with information and advice but a couple of other tips. Keep a journal that way you can record everything in one place and refer back to it through the cycles as there is often a pattern to the SEs and how you feel, it also helps you see that there are good days which can be a positive thing.
Lots of us from the October thread have bought and worn travel bands/ sea bands to help with the nausea, we're not sure if they work but I wear mine for about a week after treatment. Oh and don't eat your absolute favourite thing on chemo day as it'll put you right off it!
The waiting and not knowing is the worse, the administration of the actual treatment is relatively simple. Once you all get going with it you get to know the SEs and how to handle them and get into a bit of a routine. I've also been doing a bit of yoga and meditation each day which is also supposed to help with fatigue and mood.
Oh anyone cold capping? I usually take paracetemolx2 and ibuprofenx2 about an hour beforehand. The first 5-10 mins are the worst after that it's ok. Make sure they get a good tight fit. Treat your hair gently, I wash mine day before chemo and then just once a week using warm water with a jug. I style daily just using my fingers. I would recommend a shorter cut as you will still lose quite a lot and it can become matted.
Good luck to you all🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀⭐️🌟⭐️💫🚂🌟⭐️💫✨
Hi December starters. I'm a November starter just about to have 2nd FEC on Friday ( I am on 6 cycles of FEC-T, these are my prescribed chemo drugs). This forum is a great place to chat to others going through a similar journey to you. You will experiencing all sorts of worries, but you're not on your own - we've all been there. If you have any thoughts or questions just ask them here because someone will be able to help you.
I was recommended to drink 2l of liquid on the day before, day of chemo & day after. I also have a spoonful of manuka honey daily. It's also important to try and go out for short walks as this helps fight off fatigue . Take all your anti sickness medications as advised and remember your chemo team are there to help you. They will give you a 24 hour helpline number, just call them if you need to.
Sending you all hugs and I wish you well on your journey
Hi December ladies
I'm from the November group on this 🎢🎢🎢🎢🎢🎢 I had a WLE in September and after original begin told I wouldn't need Chemo after a Onotype test results I did😹 I'm having my 2nd FECT tomorrow
These threads will help you get through this🎢🎢🎢🎢🎢🎢🎢 and are a great place for advice or just to have a rant
My advice is make sure you drink plenty the day before and on the first few days after to help flush it out keep on top of your anti sickness meds
Sam, TC, FEC and EC are all types of chemo you'll probably also hear Fec-t as that's another common one.
mamameacs, sounds like you've found your local centre. I would advise anyone to ask bcn what is available in your area as you can often access complimentary therapies which are usually free (I'm having 6 sessions of reiki). The centres also usually organise the Look Good Feel Better which are free workshops where they show you how to do make up and you get a goody bag worth about £250 all high end products. It's something nice to look forward to during treatment. If you haven't got a local centre you can go on the LGFB website and find out where they hold it near you.
Good question!! It is possible to look this up. Go to the bc websites only though, dont google. There does seem to be different names for different drugs. Treatment is totally individual depending on your BC.
The most common seems to be FEC, but mine was TC. Do you know what you're having?
Hello December ladies, I'm from the October thread just thought I'd pop by to wish you all luck🍀🍀🍀🍀 with your treatment. I had chemo 3 last week and am halfway through fecx6, I'm also cold capping so feel free to ask me any questions if there are things you'd like to know I'm not an expert but I'll try to help if I can as I've found the forum invaluable for support, tips and laughs. Feel free to pop along to our October thread and post on there we're a friendly bunch.
I've been relatively lucky so far re SEs and have got off lightly compared to some so you'll probably find it may not be as bad as you think. I hope the chemo treats you kindly and you suffer minimal SEs.
First tip for you - if you're suffering or unsure of anything call your chemo number straight away, they can give advice or meds to relieve things or just put your mind at rest. I called nearly every day for 4 days after first chemo, nothing serious just small worries which they confirmed were all normal things.
Just popping in to welcome you all and thank you to Bex for starting the thread.
I had chemo last year, so if you have any questions please ask.
My general advice is to prepare for that first week, when you may get sickness and fatigue. Stock up the fridge, sort out the washing and have all your meds at hand. Then just sit back and rest. If anybody offers help, then say yes! It's time for others to look after you!
I will pop in from time to time, but if I miss a question, please feel free to PM me. I might not know the answer, but I can point you in the right direction of someone who can help.
Hello ladies, I will be joining you in December have my chemo induction on 1st Dec then they will give me a start date to start a few days after the 1st. I had lumpectomy beginning of October, will be having 6 x TC with Herception then 12 herceptin injections, another op after chemo, then radiotherapy, then Tamoxifen.
I think everyone is aprehensive and the waiting is the worst bit. Once we all get started and help each other along the way hopefully it won't be as bad as we imagine!! xx
Hey Sam. Everyone says 'it's not going to be nice, but take one treatment, any side effects, one at a time', and most say they are surprised at how fast things go. Ask for meds for every side effect...
Sure we'll grow more tips as time goes on!
Can't see a thread for this, so hoping good to start one! Just confirmed yesterday that my chemo starts on 1st December (the Christie, with Dr Chittalia), after having had mastectomy towards end of September. Kicking straight off with a portacath insertion as twice I've been sent home from scans as unable to get a cannula in. Will have 3 x EC, and 9 x weekly paxatol...
Joined Optima trial as was hoping might be one of the lucky ones to avoid chemo, but nope. Blogged a bit about some aspects - http://drbexl.co.uk/!