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February Chemo Starters 2018

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Chrissy

I wasn't able to work through chemo, as I struggled the first week with fatigue, and also I work with children so wasn't able to due to risk of infection. Don't worry if you can't... just do what is right for you.

The middle week is difficult in terms of risk of infection. But that doesn't mean you can't go out, or have friends to visit. Just be aware of big crowds and make sure that anyone visiting is well first! Also, you may get the gscf injections, which help boost your white blood cells and your immune system. 

Hope all goes well for you this week.

Sue xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thank you for your replies I have been making the most of my last few days before chemo. Your advice has been really useful . I don’t know how you work I feel I’m still getting tired since my mastectomy and implant 6 weeks ago . Got bone scan bloods and ecg tomorrow followed by Friday pre chemo chat then last weekend. One thing that does worry me is being isolated as I’ve heard that the 2nd week your immune system is low and there is more risk of infection so better to not go out . Any tips ?

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Evening Emma - glad to hear you are feeling well - well done for getting back to work. As a retired teacher I admire your stamina - know how much teaching takes out of you. 

I’m also trying to eat really healthily- mostly successfully  but a cuppa and cake in the afternoon seems to help my day along 😋☕️🍰

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Chrissy

I didn't find the FEC part too bad, when I did it a few years ago.   Try not to be too worried, and keep an open mind.  Although everyone can react differently, they will give you lots of advice and drugs to counter the side effects, so it ends up being quite well managed, on the whole.   I was waiting with trepidation for 'something' to happen... and it didn't.   I was almost relieved when my hair fell out, as it showed it was doing something!

 

Jude, Bibi, I've also had a few bloat/indigestion/burping issues.   I took some Gaviscon, then some Senokot over the weekend, but am trying to avoid messing with my digestion too much, and just drink lots of water and eat good things. Although I couldn't resist some pizza the other day.

 

I went back to work today, and will do short days this week. Feel 90% normal, bit tired, and thinking is a little harder than usual. But I managed 3 hours of teaching! :-)

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Morning - welcome Chrissy - I can understand how you are feeling - that waiting to start is very nerve wracking. I had my first FEC last Thursday- the process itself was painless , felt sick and tired for  a few days, today (day 7) I feel really good - just been for a lovely walk in the sun with hubby and dog. I haven’t had any real side effects so far - just the heartburn and stomach upset - Jude I spoke to my chemo nurse who recommended getting something from doc like lanzaprazole but also recommended something called Nexium which you can buy over the counter in case I couldn’t get a GP appointment that day ( which is exactly what happened) - that has made a real difference . 

Have a good day all x

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Chrissy

I'm no expert but is there anything that is really worrying you at the moment ? Its often the fear of the unknown and chances are alot of those fears will be similar for everyone,

Keep in touch

Jude x

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Morning all.

So a few tummy issues but not sure whats happening....nothing major just irritating ! 

I wake up with a really empty feeling - not hungry but that feeling if you dont eat soon you will start to feel nauseous. So have a little something then feel bloated and full of wind - more burping thatn anything else ! Its probably something very obvious but looking for suggestions please x

 

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Chrissy

Welcome to the thread.

I don't think there is anyone starting on that date, but there are 3 ladies on here who have just started, so I'm sure you can all help each other through it.

You're understandably nervous, but its not nearly as bad as you think. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes

Sue xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hello is there anyone due to start chemo on 12th feb 18 ? I will be having FEC-T and obviously nervous

regards

chrissy

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Afternoon ladies, glad to hear you are feeling oK Jude and welcome Emma. 

I feel really quite normal today and it is a surprise - wasn’t sure how it would be so am feeling quite positive about coping now. Have had a bit of an issue with heartburn but got meds’ for that now and feel much better today. Doing bits and pieces round the house, can’t decide whether it’s too cold for a walk so might give that a miss, keeping busy but taking it steady.

hope you all have a good day x

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Sue

I decided not to go to work today and actually feel a bit of relief at having made that decision.   Last time, I worked all the way through, but I did take the Monday & Tuesday after a Friday treatment off.  It seems to be enough to get through the worst bits.  I was hoping that I wouldn't feel quite so bad after the first one, but forgot that it takes you a while to work out how to manage your side effects.    

 

Jude, from last time, I remember feeling 'dialled down' for those few days after a treatment, but only ever needed those couple of days off work, so although it might be cumulative, it isn't overly so.   

 

Although lots of people are frightened of chemo and quite rightly take it very seriously, it's almost more of a surprise when you feel OK on it.   I don't think people expect that!    But we're so well looked after now, that most of it can be well managed.    

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Emma

Welcome to the thread. So sorry to read that this is your second time.

I too had TC chemo, 4 cycles ( no herceptin though ). I found that I didn't have any sickness, but the fatigue was quite challenging. If you are taking steroids, it does seem to affect sleep. But that does wear off in a few days.

Don't rush back to work...take your time and look after yourself.

I didn't cold cap either... I think it can be a bit hit or miss. I got my hair cut short and it started to shed at about 3 weeks in. It did grow back quick though. I opted for scarves and then was able to remove them, 4 months after treatment.

Keep in touch and hopefully you can all help each other through it.

Best wishes

Sue xx

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Jude

So glad you're doing well. There is a slight accumulative effect, but generally there does seem to be a pattern for each cycle. Hopefully you will tolerate it well.

Sue xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi all

I've come to join you here. Started chemo last Friday (2nd Feb) - Taxotere and Cyclophosphamide.   I had FEC-T back 8 years ago so have some experience of this roller coaster, and 'only' 4 cycles instead of 8 this time, mainly so I can get the herceptin.

 

I felt fine on Saturday, but couldn't sleep. Then on Sunday I couldn't get comfortable with the bone pain from the lipegfilgrastim.   I've mostly got that under control with paracetamol/ibuprofen now, but still ache a bit.   Hoping to go back to work tomorrow, but think I might take just one more day to let the pain ease.  

 

Wig appointment next Friday, and I got it cut short a couple of weeks ago.   I've opted not to use the cold cap.

 

Hope you're all doing OK.   I am sure the local pharmacist gave me a funny look when I spent £20 there the other day for all my OTC just-in-case remedies, but so glad I stocked up! 

Emma xxx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Feel pretty normal today which I'm pleased with - just wondering if this will be the case each cycle or whether there will be an accumilative effect ?
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Ladies

How are we doing today?

Sue xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Not such a good night- heartburn woke me up so a bit uncomfortable but  Gaviscon helped. 

Late sleep but a gorgeous day and had a little walk with the dog - good to be out in fresh air for half an hour 😊

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Good for you Jude - I haven’t had any real bone pain but I have taken ibuprofen just in case. 

Fingers crossed for another goods nights sleep . 

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Ha ha - just the opposite here. My hubby was desperate to have a go but just watched me do it for the first time and he definitely doesn't want to now ! Luckily I was a nurse many moons ago so doesn't bother me - let's hope the side effects are minimal.
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Oh bibi, me neither! Had a friend that did mine!

Once you stop taking the steroids, you may find that your energy levels drop a bit. So don't worry if you get some fatigue..... You will pick up again in a few days.

If you suffer bone/joint pain at all, it will be a side effect of the injections. You can take ibroprofen for it and it is very short lived.

Best wishes xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Yes taking steroids and the injections- had to get hubby to do that - couldn’t do myself !

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi bibi

Yes, red cheeks are a side effect of the chemo and will settle down quite quickly. Have you been taking the steroids? And also, do you have to do the gcsf injections?

Sue xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Morning

feeling much better today, first night felt like I’d been out on the tiles and didn’t sleep much. Yesterday was a bit woozy but OK as long as I didn’t move too much- hubby waited on me all day.

today I feel much better - had a bit of heartburn but sorted with Gaviscon, my cheeks are red today - wondering if it’s a side effect of something- just trying to work out what and if it will die down- any thoughts?

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

That's great Jude. Take it steady over the next few days. That woozy feeling sticks around for a while.

Bibi how are you?

Hugs xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Sue. All went well - so glad i went for the portacath, so easy. Apart from feeling like i've had a few too many pints (a bit ironic as i dont really drink !) i feel pretty good....early days yet i know. 

 

Bibi - hope you are feeling ok too x

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Jude hope all goes well for you tomorrow xx

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

That's good bibi. Take care now xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Sue - went well , feeling fine atm and drinking plenty. The cold cap wasn’t as bad as I was expecting so will keep trying it. The woman next to me was on her 5th round and had used cold cap and still had a full head if hair so that was inspiring. 

On sofa with a cuppa and blanket now - thanks for asking x

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi bibi

How did it go today? How are you feeling?

Please take things steady over the next couple of days. Drink plenty of water and take the anti sickness meds regularly ( even before you feel sick ).

Hugs

Sue xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Jude - and Wow amazing fundraising! I’m going to give the cold cap a go and see what happens but have had my haircut shorter as well. 

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Great fundraising well done. Right decision with your hair, make it an event filled with positivity. I got my OH to shave mine short a few days after second fec. Mine started growing back as fluff 4 weeks after FEC 5 and a week after last treatment it seems to be getting fluffier every day. You won’t be bald for that long x
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks for the advice Chaffinch and Sue - always appreciated !

As for the hair i have decided to take control and get rid of it before it falls out ! Planned for 10th Feb along with a little getogether for some close friends. I have done a fair bit of fundraising through women only charity bike rides here and abroad and ironically one of the charities to benefit was Breast Cancer Care so seemed fitting to carry on that support. Set up a Just Giving page 36 hrs ago and everyone had blown me away  - £645 so far !

Good luck for thursday Bibi ! 

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Sue xx

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi bibi

And welcome to the thread.

Let me know if you have any questions and good luck for tomorrow.

Hopefully you can all help each other through it.

Sue xx

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi - I am due to start my first round of FEC on Thursday - starting with chemo for my treatment - feeling nervous but will be glad to get started. 

Have been reading the January thread as wasn’t sure when I was starting so have picked up some useful tips and my fridge and freezer are stocked. 

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thanks Chaffinch and well done for completing chemo. Have you got rads now? Xx
Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Jude51, I’ve just finished 6 cycles of FEC. My biggest bit of advice is don’t suffer in silence. If you struggle with sickness or nausea tell your team straight away. They usually start on the minimum anti sickness dose and medication because some people are much less affected than others. I actually found that the side effects became easier to deal with as each cycle went by because you learn how to deal with them and the fear of the unknown has gone.
There is loads of advice and support to be had in this site. There are useful lists at the beginning of a lot of the monthly threads. Feel free to pop into our October thread which is very active for any advice and reassurance x
Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Jude

Welcome to the thread. I'm sure there will be others joining you soon.

You sound like you have a very positive and laid back approach to it all!

Side effects can vary, as you say, but if I were to give any advice at this stage, it would be prepare yourself for the first week, when you may not want to do much. Stock up the fridge, finish the washing and have lots of meds at hand, just in case! Consider childcare ( if you have young children ) and have a think about what you are going to do re. hair loss.

Best wishes

Sue x

Member

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Morning !

Had mastectomy and Axillary node clearance 19th Dec and now ready for part 2 ! Starting chemo 2nd feb - 4 cycles EC. Had a portacath inserted last friday which wasn't particularly pleasant but needs must and means I wont have to have cannulas at each visit. From all the info given, reading on here and on the Macmillan site its all a bit of an unknown quantity as far as side effects etc go so just going to go with the flow and deal with things as they occur - no point stressing out any more than I have to !! 

Jude xx

Community Champion

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

 
Community Champion

February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Ladies

This thread is for those ladies who are beginning their chemo journey in February.

If you have any questions, advice or generally need a rant, then this is the place for you!

I had my chemo in 2016, so please ask if you have any questions. 

Hopefully you can all support each other along the way.

Best wishes

Sue x