I thought I'd just share a bit with you from "the other side" as it were - and also wish you all huge luck with all the treatment.
I had chemo before surgery, first chemo was in mid-March. I'm just on my second day at home after my DIEP flap operation which is a mastectomy and immediate reconstruction. I'm really sore but glad to be the other side of phase two.
I had two rounds of FEC then as my very large tumour wasn't shrinking I switched early to Tax on which I had really good shrinkage. I'm really pleased because my surgery has preserved quite a bit of my former breast skin which I didn't realise would happen.
My reason for posting too is to make sure at the 3rd chemo session that you get your team cracking onto booking you in for your surgery. My hospital plastics team did not do the admin and in the end I had to have a seventh round of chemo to keep me safe until they could fit me in. It was a real blow and so don't be passive but do stay on top of the next phase as it were.
Wishing you all the very best - LM x
I have finished all my chemo now and after more scans and biopsies am having lumpectomy and axillary clearance next week followed by radiotherapy and reconstruction next year.
Does anyone have problems following Taxol? I'm over a month after finishing Taxol.... I expected to feel better by now I am so achy and my bones/joints are painful. Knees, ankles and hips. I keep getting shooting pains/twinges in my legs and I feel like a 90 year old with arthritis. The soles of my feet are achy and sore and I can hardly stand when getting up from sitting. I just want to get back to normal. And now to add insult to injury my eyelashes have just fallen out!!!!
Best wishes to all. x
I would definitly try the cold cap. I had chemo 15 days ago and have not lost any hair yet, I thought I would have as I have really thick hair and felt the cap did not get close enough to my skin. So it rally worth trying as the other girls have said the first 10 minutes are the worse
I have my last Taxol this Wednesday ( 4 FEC and 12 Taxol). Hurrah....it's been a long journey. My surgeon wanted to shrink the breast and axillary tumours before surgery. Healthy cells surrounding the tumours need to be removed too in order to get clear margins and make sure all parts of the tumour have been taken out. The smaller the tumour, the less of your own flesh has to be removed. My axillary tumour now has pretty much disappeared and my breast tumour is tiny. I may get away with a lumpectomy rather than mastectomy now. Chemo has worked really well for me prior to surgery.
A few tips. Try and persevere with the cold cap if you want to prevent hair loss. With me it fell out with the FEC but some hair started to regrow with the taxoI, but I wore the cap with both. I found that the hair loss was on the part of my head that the cap was not in close contact with. I still have most of my hair and everyone says how well I look!!!! Benefit do a 'Brow Kit' which allows you create your own brows if your own fall out. The Taxol made my legs very achy and painful so you will probably not be as mobile as you were and get easily tired. I put on weight from over eating and lack of excercise... so be warned. The FEC will probably make you sick so dont skimp on the antisickness tablets before and after. I found that the horrible nausea and metallic taste in my mouth disappeared when the FEC was over.
Best of luck and I hope it all goes well
Yes I am having my chemo before surgery 3 FEC and then 3 T had my first chemo 2 weeks ago and have not been to bad due my 2 nd lot on the 7th July. My oncologist said it was shrink the tumour and kill the cancer in my lymph nodes first