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February 2019 chemo starters

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Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Morning all, well done Neecy in completing your first sesssion I am so pleased it that went ok, the unknown is so scary. MBJ, I have a wig appt on Weds the day before my first FEC chemo, I’m going to try using the cold cap but was advised to get one as well. We too had to cancel a holiday, a big family one to South Africa, thankfully we were all covered by travel insurance & South Africa just like Australia isn’t going anywhere! Trixielady, I haven’t heard about fasting, is that meant to help. I am having nails painted on Tuesday, I’ve seen that some ladies have gel but I thought only paint was advisable? I have just had my eyebrows microbladed too. Any tips to help get through it would be very much appreciated 😘😘😘😘

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi everyone, I had my first chemo yesterday. It was epirubicin and cylophosphamide. I was nervous as you can imagine and had a headache from the night before which didn't help but the staff were great and spent the entire time convincing hubster I need a puppy to help my recovery, so it was all light hearted. It took around 2 hours in total. I felt nauseous but had 3 lots of different anti emetics and by this morning, I feel fine. Good luck to you all having your first chemo in the coming weeks. Xxx

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Good Morning Trixielady. 

Yes I was disappointed when I had my date for chemo as waiting is very hard. Like you I am going to try the dark nails. I might treat myself to the salon the weekend before I start. I usually have gellish nails so will be horrible having to wait for them to dry this time. I am not sure about the fasting I need to look into the evidence base for it a bit more. I have had a really heavy cold and into my third week of a really horrid productive viral cough. So hoping the 2 week wait will give me time to get over it. My pre assessment is on the same day as my treatment one at 9am and then start chemo at 10 am. Good luck for yours. Please post how it went and any tips of what I should take with me would be greatfully received. 

I have got 2 wigs one is a Bob with longer sides and the second one is longer and fuller. It's really nice it's hand tied and I can use heat on it so heated rollers here I come. I am older will be 65 in March I live with my lovely husband  we have been married for 44 years. We have 2 children  and 2 grandchildren. Our daughter and grandchildren live in Abu Dhabi. We also have a dog and two cats. I am a retired university lecturer, my background is nursing and health visiting. We have just built a beautiful new house which we have lived in for a year. Oh and just cancelled a fantastic holiday to AustraliaSmiley Sad maybe next year???? 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Morning MBJ, it's a strange feeling trying on wigs, I've tried on a few and going back to buy one after my booking in appointment tomorrow some call it pre assessment my first FEC is Monday. How are you managing to cope with waiting for the 18th ? are you still working ? do you have children? or animals to keep you busy ?. I've been reading a lot on these threads  so might start fasting and painting my nails xx Good luck xx

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thank you for all your replies. I do feel better today. I have now had a date for the 18th February for my first chemotherapy appointment. A long three weeks to wait. On a lighter note had another wig delivered today very nice but the colour was a bit dark I am a very light blonde (not naturally ha ha). So I have sent it back and ordered another one in a lighter shade. Good wishes to you all.
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Good gracious, MBJ, you ARE amazing! Soon this will be a distant nightmare, you will see, and soon you will be strong enough to partyyyyy Smiley Happy
Keeping you in my thoughts
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Stargazer1, my daughter starts on the 11th, and we are completely petrified.
Let us know how it went, I am keeping my fingers crossed for you, you are strong and amazing and you will get through.
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi I’m starting the 1st of 6 chemo sessions Thursday 7th February. I’m constantly searching for hints and tips to get through it. I am very nervous after reading about, and being told by the onco about the many side effects, it’s a scary time so reading about the positive experiences have really helped. Together we can do this 💪🏼😘
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi MBJ, I finished chemo last March and I think it is perfectly normal to have worries and wobbles about the treatment and probably made harder having to wait for it. Please don't apologise for saying how you feel, that's the beauty of this forum, everybody understands how you're feeling x 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hope your app goes well today Neecy and you have a nice lunch afterwards x

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Good luck Neecy for toady & tomorrow, hope you do have a lovely lunch out afterwards, mines Friday then Monday. I was out trying wigs on yesterday found it scary, funny & very emotional (went with my mam and dad) then out again for another meal & wine a little too much with one of my friends to destress it worked wonders x please let us know how today and the next few days go will be thinking about you xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi MBJ, I've had many wobble days and feel just like you and I'm sure we're allowed plenty more wobble days. As Trixie says, the waiting feels the worst part. Today's another day though and a day nearer getting started. I've got appts with consultant, nurse and a scan today. I've decided to dress up for it in the hope that hubster takes me out for nice lunch afterwards! Chemo starts tomorrow. I hope you have a better day today. Lots of love X
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi MBJ, it's a horrible time at the moment and you too will be able to have the holiday eventually just hold on to lovely happy thoughts, We had to cancel a holiday in December for my hubby's birthday. Your right the waiting is the worst as you feel like your in limbo, its giving us too much thinking time but weighing up chemo, against it still having the chance to spread or reacurrance I eventually made my choice, Just can't wait for Monday and that's one day less to think about xx Staying strong hun can be difficult so use theses forums they're brilliant so put your worries down in them. Xx
MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hello Girls
I have had a tough weekend worrying about starting the chemo and weighting up the side effects and benefits. I just think it's the waiting that's getting me down the most. Also two of my friends have gone on holiday,I can't even imagine anymore what it felt like to have no worries and go off and enjoy a holiday. This has made me really see how my life has changed since my diagnosis. Please don't think I will be the negative girl. I am just having a bit of a wobble, I will do what I always do dust myself off and start again and stop feeling sorry for myself.
ktk
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Trixielady. I found I lost weight on FEC, due to loss of appetite not sickness, but put loads on with Docetaxol. The problem is you can’t taste so just keep eating to satisfy your taste buds! Also you have no energy so stop exercising! I am just starting to build up my stamina now after finishing chemo in October and rads in November!!

Good luck to all you ladies starting next month. Anything you want to know, just ask!! Kxx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

No problems without the hair, I don't wear anything in the house, but have a lovely rainbow alpaca wool beanie (£10 from amazon) for going out which is lovely and warm. No headaches. Also have other beanies and a sensible wig and a fun rainbow 80s style wig and some headscarves. Haven't lost any tastebuds yet, so am making the most of still enjoying food!

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Pastasmissus, if that's you being extremely fortunate haha don't want to hear if you get any worse ! Thought about the hair but didn't think about weight gain was hoping I might lose it, had read about the lose of taste bubs, how are you managing without your hair do you not suffer from cold or headaches? Xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi, I have popped over from the December chemo thread. So far I've had 2 FEC, one more FEC to go then 3 taxotere. I have been extremely fortunate and had very little in the way of side-effects. The afternoon following chemo I go to bed for a bit as it makes me feel drunk. The next day I'm OK. Then days 3-5 I am mostly in bed with absolutely no brain and feeling shattered. Brain starts coming back day 6 along with energy. By day 9 I am fine. The steroids mean I am putting on weight as I am eating like a horse! I have had no nausea or vomiting, but they do give me Emend which is expensive but brilliant. Mouth and gums also OK. Bowels fine apart from smelly farts ;-)

I did get some hip and stenum pain on day 9 with the first cycle of Filgastrim (days 3-9), but no pain 2nd cycle.

Oh, and hair has fallen out. Getting it shaved was much less traumatic than watching it fall out in the shower and on the pillow, wish I'd done it sooner, would have been less for my husband to hoover up!

Just to encourage you, it can go OK :-)

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Trixielady, like you all, she is one brave lady and the most wonderful human being.

Oh yes, she is going to try a few, she says she would like to try a different style, a different colour, she says that if she has to have a 'radical' cut as a cancer gift, then she will embrace it and make a change Smiley Happy

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Sandraindurham, I'm sorry about your husband, that must have been really difficult I can't even begin to imagine how you cope with that much pain and then this on top, you must be one special brave lady, hopefully your daughter has your strength, I wish you well and hopefully your daughter can try a few new hair styles before having to shave it off, a party sounds lovely xx Will your daughter be going for a wig? I've heard Natural Images are brilliant and take NHS vouchers xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Trixielady, thank you for this.

We had a good talk about shaving, hair, etc, and we just decided to have a party. Because we are so close (it is just the two of us, my husband died quite young with an heart attack) things like these become more natural. Feeling really cold because there is no hair, using a turban or beanie during treatment, and the loss that is felt becomes something shared.

I cannot share her pain, her nausea, anything else, really, I just can be here for her.... it is not much, I know....

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi DiKat, thank you, that is really good. Due to her disability she cannot spend long at the computer and with all the stress due to the mastectomy and perspective of treatment, it got even worst. As a carer, I need to know as much as possible about all sides to provide proper care.

As a Mum..... I do not wish this to anyone, doesn't feel right, it should be me, not her.

So, my decision, keep poker face, be as much positive as I can, try to lighten up and just be here for her.

And this forum is outstanding, everyone is so nice, I am getting lots of help and tips on how to go about Smiley Happy

There is a good vibe here, that is what all of us need Smiley Happy

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Sandraindurham, I'm about to start chemo at the QE in Gateshead, I know it is a scary thought but hopefully with a loving mam it will make her journey easier, how is she managing to cope at the moment? I know having my family by my side is really helping, although I have chosen not to let any of my family shave my head when it becomes necessary, because the idea of losing my hair is worse than having my mastectomy and I don't think I'd be able to forgive them when I'm at my lowest has I've read chemo makes us very emotional. I've read a lovely book called T & Chemo by Jackie Buxton it's really helped me xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi sandraindurham

Sorry you have found yourself here on your daughter's behalf. It truly is a great place however for advice and support. I'm from December thread so have received 2 cycles of FEC. I can understand your concerns regarding neutropenic sepsis. I was hospitalised with this after first cycle, day 9. The only advice I can give is to be vigilant with taking temperature but try not to obsess on it. I was told to contact my unit if it went above 37.5. It was 37.9 when I rang and I was admitted later that evening with neutrophils of 0.03 so practically non existent. I've got to be honest, I didn't feel that Ill apart from horrible burning I get in my chest and sore throat. The IV antibiotics sorted me out although they never did identify the source of the infection. It did make me paranoid with cycle 2...started taking temp from day 5 to about 13 although I did escape it this time thankfully. Started taking life mel honey during this cycle so don't know if that helped.

Just remember, everyone's experience is different and many don't get neutropenic and some people have few side effects. Just be on the ball if temperature does start to rise and don't hesitate to contact unit and never worry about making a nuisance of yourself. These things can be dealt with. Good luck x

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi all, my daughter is due to start chemo in the beginning of February. We already had an appointment with the oncologist and we know that she will have 6 treatments with FEC, one every 3 weeks.

We are absolutely terrified with the perspective of having neutropenic sepsis during chemo.

My daughter is 34 and she knows that she will lose her hair, so she decided to take back a bit of control and she will shave her head ahead of the 1st treatment.

We will do it together, because it is the only thing I can do with her and I cannot wipe out the impact of chemo.

I wish you all the most bland and harmless of treatments and let me say how amazing you all are.

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Neecy, they're definitely worth a try. I wasn't sick and the little bit of nausea I had a couple of times was sorted with a ginger biscuit x

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

I forgot to say Trixie, that I felt a bit like I was in a bubble whilst I was having chemo, I didn't quite feel like me! A positive thing though was that I didn't stress about the little things I would have done normally-my daughter's thought it was great! xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thanks Jencat, I will get some travel bands this week before my first chemo on Wednesday x
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Trixie and Neecy, thank you very much for your kind words x I'm happy to help if I can, I know how much this forum was a lifesaver for me when I was diagnosed and then having chemo and rads.

Don't feel guilty about not working, you have to come first! I had 11mths off work because I'm an Infant Teacher and wasn't allowed near the children because of their germs! (My onc let me go into school a couple of times to see them, but I had to keep my distance!) Tbh, I couldn't have coped with chemo and working as I would have been too tired. I'd planned to go back in July, but they kept telling me at rads that I might not be ready and they were right! Even returning in Sept I didn't have much stamina and got teary easily, but I'm gradually getting stronger both physically and emotionally, but it does take a bit of time.

On a practical note, when I had chemo I wore travel sickness bands whilst I was actually having it and for a few days afterwards. I don't know if it was the bands working or just a coincidence, but I wasn't sick once during chemo, so they might be worth a try  xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Trixie, I feel exactly like you do, been off since end of November and in limbo waiting for decisions but I know I'd be a mess if I was working at the mo so have parked any thought of it for the time being. Jencat, your words are very inspiring and reassuring. X
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Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Jencat hopefully you'll have nice things planned, I miss work for the normality & the money side but the thought of going back after all this scares me at the moment, I feel like a fraud for being off since diagnosis in October but if I'd been at work I think I would have been an emotional reck, I feel like I'm waiting to start my life again and surely that's wrong? How did you feel? Xx thanks for being brave by continuing to help out and read theses forums, it must be difficult xx
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Re: February 2019 chemo starters

It's hard hanging around waiting Trixie, so can understand how you feel. I'm ok thanks x I went back to work in Sept after having 11mths off, now it almost feels like I was never away! I don't feel 100% yet physically or mentally, but I can see that I've improved a lot since I've returned to work xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thanks Jencat, strangely looking forward to it now. How are you doing? Xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Trixie, the booking in appointment was to talk about side effects and things to look out for and any questions and I was weighed. I think some people have had tours of the unit at the same time. I took a friend with me to take notes because I knew I wouldn't be able to remember it all once I got home. 

I'm not too sure how long FEC takes because I used the cold cap and that added an extra couple of hours. I think T took about 1 1/2 hours. In my unit you could have one person with you, but it was quite small, other units might allow more xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Whytefawn, thanks, so what happens on the booking in appointment? Can you take family with you? and how long do chemo appointments take? Xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi ladies. I'm from the Oct 17 thread like Jencat. I've just passed my 1 year since chemo finished anniversary. It all seems quite scary now but you can do it. If you have any specific questions then please feel free to post on the Oct 17 thread and if we can we will help out.
Stay positive ladies
WhyteFawn x
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Glad you've got it sorted Trixie  and good news about the voucher x Btw, it might be worth taking someone else with you to help you decide which wig suits you x

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi I read a lovely book called T& Chemo by Jackie Buxton, I found it lite hearted but informative, also read lifeafterloa think it's available via a link on Decembers thread xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Trixielady, I start chemo on Wednesday but my nurse advised to go beforehand if I wanted a similar style. I've gone for something a bit longer than my own at the moment. I will have to go back once I lose my hair to have it adjusted slightly. Good luck with your trip and I hope you can turn it into a positive experience too. The cocktails afterwards were amazing😉😘
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thanks Jencat, I've rang the shop and that's what they have suggested, so will brave that sometime this week, no appointment required also, said my area NHS provides a voucher possible £180 so pleased about that x
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Trixie, I'm from the Oct '17 thread. I tried on wigs before I lost my hair and also I was able to get one that matched my usual hair colour by doing that x

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Neecy, I'm pleased your able to laugh and enjoy yourself, when did you start chemo and when did your hair start coming out, is your head fully shaved or could you try on wigs anyway? Xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi ladies, just wanted to share with you that l went for a wig fitting yesterday. I was dreading it but it turned out to be a really positive experience with laughter and (a few tears). I took two of my best, straight talking friends, tried on about 6 wigs and loved the first one so much, I kept it on! We went out for cocktails and a meal and had a great evening! Here's to good friends!
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Ladies, my first Fec is 4th but booking in is the 1st, strangely looking forward to it, I'm managing well so far but not looking forward to the possibility of losing my hair!. Hopefully we can support each other through this unfortunate journey, best wishes & positive thoughts & cuddles xx
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi , I am due to start chemo next week too and guess what, I'm a nurse too! I've found this site very useful so far but agree that reading too much can possibly further any anxiety... Not that I'm retaining very much these days and that's without chemo! X
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi there

I'm due to start chemo in February and will find out full treatment plan when I see Oncologist next week. Funnily enough I'm an ex nurse and  I've been reading whatever I can too,  but beginning to wonder if that's counter productive as its too easy to imagine that you will get every side effect going. My head is swimming with all the info too.  I'm generally a positive person so I''ve decided to try very hard not to worry and take it one step at a time and cross all the bridges as I come to them - I might not have to cross all of them!    I've been reading the Jan 2019 thread and am so impressed with such a supportive group of ladies. I'm sure this group can be too. Wishing good luck to all. 

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Everyone. I will be starting chemo in February I saw the oncologist yesterday. I thought it would be an intense discusion, but no he just said you have come to me for chemotherapy these are the drugs you will have and these are the side effects. I was only there about 10 minutes. As a nurse and nurse educator I am fairly well informed about the issues involved, however it's very different when it's a personal decision regarding such drastic treatment. My ONCO DX result was 27 and I had a positive lymph node ( had clearance and one more was positive) so I already felt certain that I would be having chemo. Thank goodness my BCN is fantastic and we have discussed everything in detail . Her advice to me yesterday was to stop reading. But I find it very difficult not to analyse everything about breast cancer, treatment and side effects. I hope to get to know you all soon and find a supportive group of strong women.
Community Champion

February 2019 chemo starters

This thread is for anyone due to start chemotherapy in February 2019.  Others will be here soon but please come on here and introduce yourself and you can all help one another through this phase of your treatment.  If you have any questions please post away on here and others in the community will watch over you whilst you are getting started.  Once you are into it you'll be pretty good at helping each other.  You can also ask the nurses on this forum if you have any concerns.  In the meantime, the top tip is always to stay well hydrated throughout chemo, aiming for 2 litres of water per day.

 

Here is the BCC guide on chemo:

https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/going-through-treatment...

 

I finished my chemo over a year ago and doing very well again now.  Here is my story which has some chemo tips on how I coped which were collectively shared from others who had gone through the same from this forum:  lifeafterlola.com

 

Best wishes xx