First Chemo Day 1 of 2 - just in case this is helpful to anyone! Sorry posting is a bit long...
My first Chemo session has been spilt over two days to monitor my reaction to the drugs. Today I had Herceptin and Perjeta. Tomorrow I’ll have Docetaxel and Carboplatin.
Today has been straightforwards - no immediate effects (none expected, but still good news!). It took about one and a half hours for treatment to start once the usual health questions had been asked, canula fitted, etc. The first infusion took one hour, the second ninety minutes. Herceptin calls for six hour monitoring from the time the infusion starts, so a bit of hanging around before I go home.
Things I was glad I brought with me:
- Painkillers - I’d given myself a headache before we even started!
- Water bottle topped up - to make sure I got my 2 ltrs a day!
- I was given lunch but packed some berries and nuts to snack on.
- Tablet with a stack of TV and films downloaded.
- Fleecy blanket - first thing out of the bag! It wasn’t cold but where I wasn’t moving around it helped keep warm (warm socks would also have worked).
- Comfy clothes - I’ll come onto the cannula later, but given one arm was hooked up to a drip, and I was drinking a lot of fluid there were plenty of trips to the loo! The ability to manage this single handedly with easy to manoeuvre clothes was useful!!
- Shoes that were easy to slip on and off for numerous trips to the loo!!
Cannula - I have small veins and delicate skin (apparently) which resulted in a bit of a struggle to find a suitable point for the canula. Am also a bit wimpy about needles etc so this part of the day was the least fun (though minor in the scheme of things). We’ll have the same tomorrow. Weighing up the pros and cons for me, I’ve opted for a PICC which will be fitted before Chemo no 2. The Macmillan site has good info about about the different options.
Medication - I’ve been given steroids and anti sickness drugs to take home in readiness for part 2 tomorrow.
The nurses have been brilliant - super helpful, good fun and really patient with all my questions. They’ve gone out of their way to make the process smooth and comfortable.
Wishing everyone going through treatment, or about to start, very best wishes xx
Glad to hear all went with your first session. Sorry too to hear you’re feeling rotten now, and hope this passes quickly.
Look after yourself and feel better soon xx
I’ve been told no need to isolate, but be careful and apply good common sense. I’m fortunate where I and Mr Kettlebell can both work from home, and recommended this continues through Chemo. Advised could still shop, but recommended to go during quiet times or, better still, home delivery. Meeting others ok - recommended outside, ideally, and in small numbers (1s and 2s) with usual distancing measures etc in place.m; and to avoid anything that might result in cuts such as gardening or DIY projects! x
Hi all can I ask has anyone received any advice on if you need to isolate while having chemo due to the Coronavirus? I don't start chemo till next Monday but am just a bit worried about seeing my son's and daughter in law and most importantly my 15 month old grandson. Has anyone been told anything or are we just all using common sense?
Thanks in advance
Pleased all went smoothly with your first session and glad you managed to stay good for a few days sorry to hear your feeling a bit tough now though 😔 I've got my start date of next Monday (literally found out 5 mins ago) I believe I'm having by cannula as haven't heard any different. Did you get given many drugs to come away with to help with sickness feeling? How long break do you get before your next session. Hope you feel good again before too long, be kind to yourself. Take care xxx
Well chemo on the day went well, just in the evening started feeling quite nauseous, but got it under control, the following 3 days, also quite good, quite a lot of energy in the morning, not sure if that was the steroids helping there, but all good, yesterday was a sofa day, feeling very tired, and started to get an upset tummy, gone from one extreme to the other, so today not feeling great, but have gone back to work this morning, dont think i will last the whole day. my scalp feels very weird, cant quite explain it, not sore, just aware of it, and feeling quite cold. Saw somebody mention about canula and PICC , i have a PICC but wished it was a canula, but seem to see a lot of mixed messages on what is the best to have, im just scared of blood clots, as have very bad veins. Well hope you all had a good weekend, and good luck to any of you starting this week. Im off to get line cleaned in a bit. xx
Hi Mary Jane
Hope all your appointments go well and your pleased with your new hairstyle. I had all my hair cut off before I started radiotherapy I thought I would get used to short hair before all the treatment began. I haven't got a date for my chemo to start yet but it will be in next two weeks, I've decided not to go for the cold cap as I felt I was already dealing with enough without have side effects from something else also.
Hope you have a restful long weekend xx
Hi, I only started writing by blog about 4 days ago but I have covered all of the treatment I have had up till now. It called "a year to never forget" and it is made public on Facebook if you or anyone else on here want to look at it. I'm not doing it for anyone else but myself but it's also a way of updating people while I'm going through the next stage rather than sending lots of messages.
I've had all my bone scan, MRI etc before I started radiotherapy so I just have a heart triplex to do next week and then another covid test before chemo starts.
I hope you get some sunshine in the UK this bank holiday weekend, it's the first time since I moved to Greece that I'm looking forward to cooler days as we still have 36 degrees now and it's 1730 😔
Have a lovely weekend xx
Welcome to the Septembers starters.
The number of pre-chemo appts is long isn’t it, I had no idea until now! Mine have been spread over two weeks, so not as hectic as yours. It sounds as though your team are super organised scheduling your appointments.
You may not need, but in case, the nhs website has a couple of really good 2 min clips showing what’s involved for each of these procedures so you can get a good idea what to expect before you go.
I hope the next few days are good for you and wishing you the very best for Thursday xx
All good here thank you and thanks for thinking of me for Tuesday.
How about you? It must feel like a big milestones is complete now your rads + two weeks are done. How are you feeling? Hope not too long before you have a chemo start date - I’ve got my fingers crossed for you.
A blog is a great idea. A really creative way to use your energy. How long have you been doing it for? And are you writing just for you, or for others too? I’ve been really grateful for reading a few blogs (or excerpts of) to help give a different perspective on things but understand too that getting personal thoughts and feelings down helps consolidate and process information.
It’s a bank hol weekend in the UK - and weather permitting, hoping to enjoy the outdoors. Hope your weekend is a good one too x
Hope all went well for you yesterday and that you feel ok. Thought about you a few times during the day yesterday. Still waiting for my start date but pretty sure it will be in next two weeks.
Look forward to reading your update as and when you feel up to posting it. Take care
Morning Mrs Kettlebell, how are you feeling? Are you all ready for Tuesday? I pray all goes well for you and that the side effects you suffer are as minimal as possible. I'm still waiting to hear from my oncologist but my two weeks since finishing radiotherapy finish today so I'm hoping I hear soon. I've also started writing a blog on Facebook which is helping me.
Thinking of you let me know how Tuesday goes when you feel up to it.
Hope your first session went well Sarah -was thinking of you when I went for my pre Chemo Chat today.
Hope everyone else is gearing up for the start of their chemo. I’m in two minds - can’t wait to get started and get the treatment going; and eeking out each day keeping everything as ‘normal’ as possible!
To the list of things to take, I’ve been advised to dress for comfort, take layers that can be easily peeled on and off for access to canula site and wear closed toed shoes (vs flip flops to avoid banging feet on furniture!). The other advise was to prepare as if each chemo session was a long car journey - think about things to keep busy, and what ever else might be needed for comfort.
One surprise for me was that Onc wants to use a canula to deliver the Chemo instead of a port or PICC. The nurses have subsequently recommended a PICC and I’d prefer this too, although we won’t have time to fit this before my first treatment. Canula, then, for first session and being a bit squeamish about needles, ridiculously, this is the bit I’m dreading the most! 😂
Good luck to everyone starting this week and during September! x
My start date is next Thursday 3rd. Before then diary full of medical appts, MRI today, covid swab Fri, ECG plus call with consultant plus chemo nurse call Tues , CTscan wed, then chemo itself on Thurs. Lots to take in. Feeling a bit overwhelmed but will be glad I think when it starts & the waiting is over. Hadn't thought of what to take so this is helpful. Unsure about cold cap - am having hair cut into short bob on Friday so will be less to fall out.
Good to meet you (virtually!). You sound super organised! 😊
I was also of thinking of a chemo bag and, have read somewhere, a hospital bag just in case a quick admission is needed.
I’ve picked up ‘Ticking off Breast Cancer’ by Sara Liyanage and found this really helpful. She steps through her diagnosis and treatment, and includes lists to help get organised which I've been devouring (love a list!).
To those you’ve mentioned, I was going to add water bottle, snacks/food (not sure yet if food is provided and have been told my first could be an all day job), warm socks, blanket, book/magazine and charger for the phone. I’m planning on trying the cold cap and think I’ll need conditioner and a comb. Been told that a water bottle and warm hat are also useful for coping during and after the cold cap.
I’d not thought of paracetamol or antacids, that’s a good call.
My chat with the Chemo nurses is on 27, so all the above may change, we wait and see!
Wishing you the very best for Thursday xx
Hello! Im starting chemo in 2 days on the 27th, but hope its ok to join this group. Today I had my PICC line put in, which went well, no problems at all. Had all my hair choped off last Friday, still getting use to it, but one good thing, only takes minutes to dry now. starting with 3 x 3 weeks of EC and then 4x2 weeks of T.
want to make up a chemo bag, just so I can grab it, and take it to treatments with me, with all the things I may need. Are any of you doing the same? Any tips of what to stick in it? have hand cream, boiled sweets, lipbalm, antiacids, paracetamols.
Wishing you all the best, on this next journey xx
Hi Koulka 👋
I’m also a September starter - 1st treatment on the 1st - eek! Just over a week to go.
I’ll be having 6 x 3 week cycles of Herceptin, Perjeta, Docetexal and Carboplatin, followed by mastectomy and Herceptin continuing for a year.
I’m finding this online community brilliant for finding info and providing support. It’s great way of bringing people and resources together. It must be hard not having local English speaking support and hope this forum will help provide that for you.
Good luck with the remainder of your radiotherapy and I hope you get your Chemo start date soon x
Hi I'm due to start chemo in September but I'm no longer living in the UK, I live in Greece where I can not find a support network or at least not one in English. I'm waiting to see my oncologist to know the exact date I start but just entering the 2nd week after the end of radiotherapy so expecting it to be the beginning of September.
This thread is for anyone due to start chemotherapy in September 2020. I’m sure others will be here soon but please 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 and make sure you have a thermometer to check your temperature every day.
Here is the BCN guide on chemo:
Here’s an excellent article for anyone concerned about hairloss. That’s pretty much everyone starting chemo: https://pinklotus.com/powerup/breastcancer101/chemo-hair-loss-and-menopause-hair-too/
Here are some apps which can help to keep you on track:
I finished my chemo in October 2017 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:
If you decide to set up a private group its good to stay on here also during treatment as I know from experience there are some people who watch but don't immediately pluck up the courage to join in. Your conversations can be a real comfort to others.