Having my can't sleep night today, 4am and wide awake not good, have slppe well until tonight but, hey ho, it had to come sometime I expect, all other symptoms preety much as every one explained to me, no supprises so many thanks for all you words of advice and support, has made this whole thing so much easier,
How is everyone else getting on at their various stages.
Hope to catch up with you all and hear how you are all doing.
Hey Nikki - Lovely to see you back! Keep taking the anti emitics - especially the one before bed. Keep the steroids & anti sickness stuff by your bed tonight and load up again as soon as you wake up!
I'm fine. Wig had first outing at work, and even in front of clients. Glad to have my bandana on now tho, curled up in front of the fire with my revels & diet coke!
Take care, take it easy, keep in touch!
Well had my first of 6, so only 5 left.
With all the help and advice I have had from the ladies here I felt ok going this morning, all went well Bone density scan first results good no problem with my bones.
The FEC looks scary when you look at all 9 syringes lying there but honestly was ok the nurse was really good and we chatted away so much that when I next looked at the clock 2 hours had passed and I hadn't noticed. Feeling at bit sicky tonight been and had a lie down the after, so all ok at the moment.
Thanks Sue for the Hug, how are you doing?
M-L how's things going in Finland?
Will see how things go over next few days, and thanks everyone for caring it does help
Hope everyone else is doing ok
M-L - how you doing now?
Nikki - really hope you are ok and look forward to seeing you on here again.
Back from the sunny highlands, have actually got sunburn on my arms it was so hot.............and not a midgie in site.
Well trying to chill out tonight before tomorrow have cleaned th house top to bottom and wondering what I will do with the rest of the time before 8.00am tomorrow........long night me thinks
Thanks to everyone who has helped me not to be sooooo scared, I truly have no fear for tomorrow now, but its just the waiting game before the dreaded first one is chalked of the treatment board.
Hi M-L how are you doing?
Hi Sue golad to hear you are doing ok after your second.
Hope everyone else is ok and thanks, will let you know how tomorrrow goes, have to go for a bone density scan before chemo tomorrow, as doing options trail.
M-L- dexamethasone is the steroid I'm on during and after each FEC. It's brilliant. Gives you loads of energy and turns you into a domestic goddess! However, DO NOT TAKE AT NIGHT - I take mine first thing in the morning and lunchtime. If you take it at night you will be ironing until 4am - believe me! It also gives you quite a healthy colour (although red feet can be alarming to members of the family!).
Have fully recovered from 2nd chemo - think have decided to have the Hickman line - I can't believe how stressful it was last Thursday, looking at all these chemicals thinking "they have got to get these into me, but my vein is shot already". I don't want anything to mess up my once in a lifetime summer holiday! I want NO delays before August thank you very much.
Nikki - Hope you had a wonderful weekend in the Highlands and that the weather was kind to you. We got low cloud and rain most of the day yesterday, but today looks like being a cracker. Be kind to yourself tomorrow, try not to worry too much. Hopefully you will have got a lot of insight from using this forum and you will feel more prepared than some. Do let us know asap how you get on - we are thinking of you.
Och well, away to shoot (more like miss) more clays. This will be the first time I've shot since the lumpectomy and lymph node removal (left side), so am hoping I'm fit to shoot. If not, I'll be fit to chat up the blokes!!!! What the hey - husband's away crashing my livestock trailer at the moment (don't ask!) and I'll probably be left with the insurance hassles to deal with on top of everything else!
Take care you all, and have a wonderful day
The caravan in the highlands sounds wonderful - have a great weekend and don't let worry about first treatment on Monday spoil it. The actual administering is just like having a normal drip, though in the case of Fec I understand that it is red, which must be a bit offputting. I've started on Tax, myself, with Fec to follow, though when I asked my onc nurse in Finland why the order is different here to the usual order in the UK I didn't understand her explanation. Shame really, but there we are. She'd done 16 months at a London University hosp (forget the name) so she probably knew, but it lost me.
Shelley & baglady on the Fec/cold cap 24th April thread started Fec on Thursday, same day I started Tax, and their descriptions might be of interest. It was harder on one than the other, but they are wonderful, funny, brave women, same as everyone here - and we'll all get through this together.
Hope the sun shines or the caravan is a lovely warm haven in the rain - whichever happens to turn up. Everything has its good points if that's what you're looking for.
Love & courage to you, and everyone here, M-L
I'm at present 10 a day smoker, but my Onc did ask me to try and stop, although surgeon and BCN said so long as I stopped before surgery. will try again over the weekend, see if I can manage it, we have a caravan in the highlands so have came up here away from everything to chill before chemo on Monday.
Hows things going with you?
Hi all, and good luck to everyone. Nikki, I was just thinking myself that smoking is not discussed here - and was glad to see your message. I can understand why not - it's the guilt thing if we do & the 'you must be mad' thing if we don't. I'm about a half-pack a day smoker & gave up after diagnosis but it was hard and I really felt it. However, both oncs I have seen had the decency to say that while no one should smoke (yeah, yeah, yeah), now was probably not the best time to give up if it was upsetting me. Good-oh, I said, and started again. Trying to keep it to five a day, but not angsting - especially since the scans declared my lungs clear (at this stage, haha). I can pass on the wine during chemo, in case of added pressure on the liver, but a fag every now and then lightens a moment in the day.
And I have another question about this steroids thing. For Tax, but not apparently planned for later Fec treatment, I was prescribed 6 x 7.5 mg of a cortizone drug called Dexamethason, which started the night before my first session on 24.04. I understood it was aimed at preventing allergic reaction to the Tax, particularly during its administering, so not something to play around with. I had the start of a 'shock' reaction when the nurse upped the speed of dosage in the early stage & the first thing she asked me, before switching me onto saline for a few minutes, was whether I had remembered to take the first two lots of pills. Is this the same thing as the steroids people talk about? And therefore, usually prescribed for Fec as well? Have to say, they make me feel pretty spaced-out - I just spent half an hour in bed trying to read but can't lie still. I forgot them & took them too late this evening.
The fun doesn't let up.
Love to all, M-L
Just had second FEC yesterday and it wasn't anywhere near as easy as the first. My vein in my right hand had been damaged by first FEC and they couldn't use it. So they had to go in through my wrist. Ouch. Am serously considering hickman line now. It'll considerably reduce the stress involved in each session. No hassles getting bloods, no hassle getting chemo.
The headache was worse this time and I was sick as a dog once. I took to my bed, which I didn't have to do last time.
However, feel much better today!
All the best to all,
well done at being half way through, Are you having chemo first then op?
Keep your feet up
Dear Nikki, I also have same diag. as you Invasive Lobular, grade 2 told 22nd December 2007 am 37 next week, but my chemo is EPI/CMF I'm just over half way through now and I'm hoping the 4 EPI's are the worse.. I do hope your okay the only thing I have learnt is to do as your body tells you..I tend to overdo it at the weekend and I've been paying for it for the last 3 days!
Love Lizzie x
Thanks Sue and Liz for you info on steriods...so many things to learn with journey.
Hope everyone else is doing well. Hazel hope you are ok, big thoughts with you today, and big thoughts with both Sue and M-L.
Hope Sophie you are doing ok, and I will take your advice about leaving all house work to OH.
I am trying to stop the dreaded Smo*ing Is anyone else having as much trouble as me, know I should stop, want to stop, have been told by consult and Onc to stop.......................but am finding it Oh so hard. My Oh thinks I am made even thinking of putting the dreadeed Ciggy to my mouth, having the "C". Noticed it doesn't seem to be mentioned here much I know it is not PC but hope I am not on my own.
Good luck to everyone
Hazel - hope your first chemo went well. Please let us know, we have been thinking about you.
Nikki - steroids great - give you energy to do stuff (like hillwalking 3 days after 1st chemo!) that you don't NORMALLY do! I think it helped me feel better that I was feeling so fit immediately after treatment - of course, it didn't last, but it was good while it did! I only get steroids for 3 days. I also went off coffee & chocolate, but I struggled through manfully!
Cath - glad you doing well, long may it continue!
Emelle - hope you manage to get started on Thursday - hopefully you'll be hooked up when I am! Good luck with it.
Best wishes to all jumping through these hurdles! We'll get there!
Hi Nikki, steroids are primarily given for anti-sickness, I was surprised as thought they were given for a "boost". As they say, don't take them too late in the day. I've cut mine down to 2 a day for 3 days then one a day for 2 days, as they left me depressed when I stopped them suddenly. I am prone to depression. All the best, Liz x
for you help, just one question, some of you metion steriods, and taking them early, why are we given steriods, is it to help with the effects of the chemo????????????
No-one has mentioned this to me does everyone have them.
I received 6 fec and found it ok, a bit spaced out for a few days and like all above say tea, coffee etc tastes funny.
Just rest when you feel tired, and only do the things you enjoy (forget about the cleaning) someone said that to me and I have'nt looked back (im still looking for things, only joking) no take your time and try and remain positive. If you want to moan and scream, and feel you can't talk to family etc come on here, everyone is very supportive.
Love Mel x
My diagnostic is the same as yours but my chemo is different 3 FEC followed by 3 Tax.
I had my second FEC yesterday. I was really anxious for the first one, but it was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. Spaced out for two days, lack of energy for the next 5 and back to normal for the following two weeks.
Water, tea and coffee tasted odd for a few days, I switched to coke and sparkling water and eventually back to normal.
I ate like a horse at the end of the first week, so much so that it really made me very tired. Apparenlty the digestive system takes a lot of your energy.
I have been feeling fine so far on the second. My hair is just starting to fall after three weeks. My 10 year old is devastated.
I am only taking the steroid but no other anti sickness tablets.
Leave the house cleaning alone for the first week, just concentrate on looking after yourself.. And come back here for support.
Hi Nicki, I 5 days past 1st FEC and doing OK now. Felt OK first 3 days - very hungrey but ok apart from fuzzy head. LAst 2 days spent 18 hrs in bed. If listened to my body would probably have done this at the beginning. No doubt will get the hang of it before it's all over. Hosting family celebrations 4 days after FEC 2 so will diffinetly rest next time in preparation.
Got my appointment for MRI scan on Fri this morning and CT scan next tues - was feeling really positive. Thats dropped a tad but only because of the unknown once results are in I know I will have the strength to deal with God's Holy Help.
Good luck to u Nickki and all you other ladies who have been keeping me sane for sooooooooo long
Thanks Sue for your message and good luck on Thursday with your 2nd, I to liked the upstairs downstairs phraze, not so good news about the legs though..lol
Hi Hazel I hope all went well for you today, and M-L you are so positive, find that an inspiration, that you can stay so focused, I would like to think I am positive but still have little dark thoughts and fear lurking on the edges at times.
Liz many thanks, I am trying to think about it as first one down 4 to go then the last one, Good luck on Monday,
Got my wig lady coming on Thursday to do the fittings at home.......should be a giggle, Have got some fun wigs for work as I manage a retirement complex so the ressies are looking forward to a blond manage one day and a green the next.
Hi Nikki, I'm going to have my fourth FEC on Monday. I found the first two the hardest and this one had been a breeze. As the ladies say drink lots, and sleep if your body tells you to. You will find yourself zonking in the afternoons probably, but just go with it. I'm sure it's helped me, as I feel very well at the mo. One of the strangest things for me was the taste thing. I went off coffee and choc for ten days each time, and had huge cravings for things. Also you may develop a red glow for a few days! I wish someone had warned me about that. I'm already rosy cheeked! As regards the day of the first chemo, don't worry too much about the administration of it, mine took 20 mins and afterwards my forehead felt a bit "fuzzy". It can feel a bit cold in your arm going in too, but other than that it was fine.
It sounds corny but the weeks fly by. I remember getting down after the first thinking what a long stretch ahead but you will get lots of support on here.
Best wishes to both Nikki and Hazel. I start on Thursday (probably) and just know it's going to be fine. Maybe not physically, but one big lesson I've been revising (as if for a test) is that we are not just the sum of body parts. Humans may be the most destructive animals ever to inhabit the globe but (in common with less destructive animals) we are spirit (or whatever you want to call it) more than flesh. This whole business is not going to tamper with who I am. This is going to strengthen and empower who I am. I am not just a bundle of body parts. My body parts are here to serve who I am; just a vehicle for who I am - and if they let up on the job, there is no point in punishing them. That would be like John Cleese whacking his broken-down Morris in Fawlty Towers - very funny, but a bit pointless. And I won't let them punish ME. I am not just the sum of my body parts. Almost the whole of me is just a passenger in their vehicle. If the ride gets uncomfortable, we frown a little and divert ourselves with a stirring book.
I'm reading about the siege of Leningrad at the moment - nearly three years of unspeakable horror when Nazi German High Command tried to starve the inhabitants of the city to death. They thought it would take one winter, but it dragged on for three before the people of Petersburg kicked them in the teeth & sent them packing (which is what I plan to do with own besieger). By a strange quirk, my Danish great-grandmother died in the midst of it (she must have been pretty old and the old went first). I know this is a bit like mum saying 'think of the starving millions' when you don't want to finish your carrots - and in fact it's not the suffering of others that's a consolation. But the attitude - "the will to stay human" in the face of unexpected and nearly unbearable conditions, & the success of so many in doing so, in so many different times and places - I may be a weirdo, but it gives me backbone. As this site gives me backbone.
And, oh boy, am I looking forward to the possibility of sleeping 18 hours a day as recommended by Ang. I'd be grateful for six.
Cheers, all, M-L
Do take a look at the 'Top Tips for Chemo' thread. There's lots of advice there - all from people who have been through it or are on the way through. I start my first chemo tomorrow morning so I have been perusing the top tips avidly.
I had my first FEC 3rd April, and another afternoon of fun and excitement due this Thurs! Ang seemed to pretty much sum it up. I fairly bounced through my first one, just feeling a bit spaced out on day 2 afterwards. Also had a bit of a headache, too much to ignore, but not bad, easily cured with paracetamol for days 1 & 2 afterward. It's now day 17 and my hair has fallen out goodstyle (love the phrase upstairs and downstairs!), but I'm still flaming SHAVING my legs! I suffered opposite problem to constipation, so it's wise to have cures for both problems in the house!
Just take it easy and be kind to yourself, and remember we're here. I am worried about my 2nd chemo, because I handled the 1st so well, and am apprehensive I'll take it much worse this time. However, I have things to do over the next few weeks, and it's gonna take more than this to floor me. I have conferences to go to etc and I'm NOT missing them (free booze, and a chance to impress with my new wig!)
Take care Nikki - you'll be fine
Many thanks for your words of encouragement, good to hear that others have got through it, I think with many of us who are just starting its the fear of the unknown, rather than the treatment itself that worries us, it does me, I read the tips for chemo thread and found that very helpful and have my shopping list ready.
I visited the chemo suite at Dundee today to see the nurse in charge of the trail that I am doing as well found it, no as bad as I had imagined, just not sure about the canula but as Ang said I can ask for something if I freak out, so thanks for that, also like the idea of not having to shave legs for a little while...........lol also thanks for the other tips Ang.
Thanks also Mary for your support, and I hope all goes well with you.
the first rule of chemo - is don't panic. It is possible to get through it in one piece - i did it so anyone can !!!! I have just finished 3xfec followed by 3xtax. I have to say I found the fec slightly more manageable in terms of getting on with life.
My first fec was soooo easy, I wondered what all the fuss was about, then the 2nd one was much harder, but really only because I thought the 1st one was a breeze, if you know what I mean?
The first one was like a bad hangover, and the effects for me, only lasted a few days and i was back to normal.
I would recommend anti constipation tablets or prune juice, I suffered terribly from constipation, it was truly awful.
The nausea was manageable and luckily I only experienced it for the first day after chemo. Domperidone wasn't strong enough for me, I had cyclzine too.
Drink loads of water - to get the chemicals out of system so it doesn't irritate your bladder.
Headaches, were manageable with regular paracetomal.
Day 10 after the 1st fec my hair started to come out, upstairs and downstairs. I still haven't needed to shave my legs, one benefit!!! I shaved my head, it was easier for me than having it fall out.
Sleep when you need to, the first few days after fec I slept a lot, maybe 18 hours a day, but your body needs it.
Be prepared with healthy snacks, the steriods made me ravenous, I have gained 2 stone in 6 months. I tried to eat healthy snacks, but unfortunately I have no will power and choc tasted too good.
After the first week, I felt better and better and was practically back to normal before the next dose was due. Good Luck, you will do this. Don't be too frightened.
I got really squeamish with the canula that put into give the chemo and they gave me loraezpam to chill me out. Don't be afraid to ask for extra help this way if you need to.
Keep posting and let us know how you do.
Love and hugs
No there is no turning back but you know to a degree what you are facing, and the battle starts now,I also had my chemo first had WLE last week and start rads in 4 weeks.Started on Herceptin 2 weeks ago Not had FEC but others will support you on that .Hope all goes well.
Just moved up from the Newly diagnosed list, I was diagnosed with BC on 26th March, have since found out all the jargon that goes with this. I have Invasive Lobular Cancer er+ grade2 stage3 (still not much wiser at the meaning) but at least my cancer has a title now.
Have had all bone & CT scans all clear no spread, which was good news, start 6 FEC chemo's on Monday, a little scared but no turning bac now is there. I then have to have masec of r breast and then onto rads, then a cruise I think.
Anyone else been through FEC any times or advice will be great.