OOoh just remembered... I didn't mention "constipation"... I found the steroids caused constipation..drink lots, eat fruit (dates/figs on your breakfast) if you can also I took lactulose (recommended by Oncology nurse) in the evenings for the first few days. Once steroids were over it was back to normal. Some ladies find the chemo has the oppostie effect, so worth having some Diacalm in ready just in case.
I understand your worries about how quickly you will be back to eating cake.. I can assure you even with a lardy mouth and no taste buds I was still eating cake!!
I found with my first FEC treatment, I felt fine for the first 4 days, then on the 5th day I was a bit tired and had a little bit of a sore tongue which stayed around for the next few days. By day 8 I felt ok again and was fine until the next treatment. The part I always found difficult was when I finished taking the steroids ( I think that is about day 5 after treatment with FEC). I would always have a downer as I came off of them and would be a bit weepy and fed up, but after a day or so I'd bounce back. Look out for the steroid downer! The FEC treatments pretty much followed the same pattern each time, if you get a sore tongue/mouth the hospital told me to rinse with salt water (I tried to do this regularly throughout the day especially after eating) and they also gave me Difflam mouth wash (you can buy this over the counter) and that helped too. Nip it in the bud as soon as you can... ring that helplie and they will give you as many meds as you need. Generally the SEs I had from FEC where on par with pregnancy sickness, I took the as and when sickness pills they give you a couple of times a day for the first couple of days and then it went. I found I wanted to eat more to stave off the sicky feeling, sausage rolls and salt n vinegar crisps seemed to be what I craved. Just eat when you can and whatever you feel like, my nurses said its no time to be dieting, just get through it.
I didn't mention before as its quite a big deal but the hair loss... mine started day 12 after my first chemo, by day 15 it was going big time and I had to brave the shave. Its a bloody big deal when you are going through it (or was for me anyway) but once its gone, its gone and you move on and deal with it, on a happier note, by chemo 5 my hair was growing back and is now full covering, quite thick and about 1inch long (you can see it on my photo.. although it is grey!) If you feel your head/hair tingling thats the sign is starting to shed. Lots of us on June chemo thread posted our baldie photos if you fancy a look.
I hope this helps, Im sure you'll be eating that cake!
Thank you so much Kip for the info, I already have a box with bits and bobs in it but I can now add to this with your suggestions. I know everyone is different in how they respond to the drugs but how long did it take for you to get over the main side effects of your first chemo? It’s my birthday on the 13th of January and I am hoping to enjoy a bit of birthday cake 😊 if my taste buds let me.
D, welcome to the January club. I hope you had a lovely New Year.
Like G says, I just want to get the first one over with but it really isn’t long now.
All the best,
Hello Ladies, sorry you find yourselves here but am glad that you found this place.. .its invaluable!
I started my chemo in June 2018 and finished my last one on 24 September 2018. I had 3 x FEC and 3 x T (Docetaxol). You seem to have found lots of tips and hints already but here's a few more...
Drink plenty - especially the day prior to chemo, the day of chemo and the day after ... this helps to keep the veins nice and plump too!
Eat what you can when you can, I kept a box of ginger biscuits, crackers and boiled sweets with me always, just something to nibble on if you feel nausea.
Pineapple (tinned) is great when you have dodgy taste buds.
Frozen lollies or frozen fruit also good for sore mouths.
When I had a really bad "lard tongue" the nurse suggested getting Vit C tablets (the kind in a tube which you dissolve in water) and let 1/2 of one dissolve on your tongue, certainly gets the mouth buds tingling.
A spoon of Manuka honey a day.. lots of ladies swear by this!
Take all the medications given, and if something doesn't suit you or help at all, don't hesitate to call your chemo hotline.. they have lots of medications in their arsenal and everyone reacts differently. Never be afraid to call them.
Take your temperature regularly... always take it before taking paracetemol.. and call the hotline if it gets too high.
REST... sounds simple, but listen to you body and take it easy. BUT also if you can exercise a little, just a little walk around the garden will lift your spirits!
Anti sickness travel bands.. I used these and didn't suffer very much with sickness... a bit of "morning sickness" feeling sometimes but not sure if the bands helped or not.. but I kept them on incase!
Keep a diary of how you feel each day, the chemo SEs usually follow a pattern so you should see how you will be feeling for the next cycle and can plan some treats around the worst days.
Don't take your steroids after lunchtime,... they stop you sleeping at night!!
Most importantly.... come on here and ask questions, moan, groan and let it all out. I am on the June Chemo 2018 starters forum and if you go on there you can follow our whole journey through this and out the other side.
Chemo isn't nice... but it isn't unbearable either, some days are down.. but you do get good days too.. I worked through mine, albeit part time and at home but still managed it.
That makes 5 of us so far going into battle in January. You're mostly all starting on 4th but I'm a little behind you on 7th. I'm lucky that my husband is retired so can run me to and from the hospital. I didn't realise, until I was going through all the "bumph" they gave me, that Taxol has alcohol so could make me over the limit for driving.
I hope you all have a fab New Years Eve. I plan on eating a lot of pate and blue cheese while I still can!
Yes I am the same but not long now 😱, it will be here before we know it.
Absolutely, it will be great to catch up.
Thank you, I will have a lovely night and will catch up with you in the NY.
Let the battle commence 🥴!
Just introducing myself as I am new to this group.
I also start my chemo on the 4th of January; 3 x EC and 3 x Taxol.
Starting to get nervous now but that’s to be expected.
I have had a wonderful Xmas spending it with family and friends. Planning to have a fab New Year and then it’s time to start the 2nd part of my journey.
Looking forward to catching up with everyone when your treatment starts.
Take care and speak soon xxx
Thanks Sunnydaze, it's brilliant to read such a positive post. You're right, it's fear of the unknown that gets us.
G - I'm coldcapping too. The nurse said, with the thickness of my hair, I have an 80% chance of keeping it so fingers crossed. Just in case, I've bought a couple of beanies from a brilliant website called Hats 4 Heads. Lots of lovely styles and good prices.
I'm still suffering from the cough and cold I developed after the flu jab. My husband's just about to go up to stay with his family for the New Year but I've decided to stay at home. I think it'll do him the world of good to be away from all the stress and my poorlyness (is that a word?)
And hi G - what treatment are you having?
I'm getting 4 x AC (doxorubicin & cyclophosphamide) then 12 x Taxol. I can't believe it's only 1 week til we start (eeeeek)
Good luck Sunnydaze, I'm thinking of you today as you (suddenly!) start treatment. I know you're now really in the "December 2018" group, but let us know how you go.
I'm new here too. I start my chemo on 7th January - Taxol for 12 weeks and 3-weekly Herceptin for a year.
I went for the talk at the hospital this afternoon and came away with so much info to read. The nurses were lovely and kept trying to feed me lemon cake.
I had my flu jab last Saturday and have developed an impressive cough. Fingers crossed it's gone by Christmas.
Hi B34 I'm starting chemo before I have surgery so that maybe why some people are starting chemo before you. I have had to wait to start treatment as have had to have lots of tests and scans etc I think the waiting is hard when you just want to get started. On the bright side at least you can enjoy a nice christmas dinner ☺️ x
Hi I'm new to here too, I'm starting chemo on Friday 21st so before Christmas just wanted to say hello ☺️
B74, glad you found the blog and found it helpful. Pasting links on this forum sometimes works and sometimes not but googling "lifeafterlola" delivers the result anyhow. It works if you copy it into the browser. Best wishes. xx
Hi B74, I'm sure there will be others joining you soon. In the meantime here is my story which has lots of tips for getting through chemo which I collected from chatting with others on this forum along the way: http://lifeafterlola.com maybe you can get ahead of the game and be ready to pass on some ideas to others as they join the thread. Please feel free to reshare my blog if you have found it useful. I do wonder this time of year whether women are less likely to check their breasts and/or put off going to the GP until after Christmas. I finished 8 rounds of chemo a year ago and I'm pretty much back to "normal" again now. Just like Rosie, I also keep in touch with my chemo buddies. It's a very special friendship. Best wishes to you and I hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year. xxx
Well done for starting the thread! I am sure that you will soon have other ladies join. It’s such a great support as you go through the highs and lows and only ladies going through chemo and other cancer treatments really understand how you are feeling!
I am part of the April 14 thread and 5 of us are still posting and have supported each other not just through chemo but surgery and radiotherapy! We meet up once a year for a reunion!
At least you have got Christmas and New Year before you start your treatment, have a good one! 🎅🏽🥳
I don't think anyone else has started a Jan '19 thread yet so I will.
Just found out I'm starting chemo (4 x AC then 12 x T) on 4 Jan.
I'd love to meet others starting their new year in a similar way!