Lisea - it's hard to slow down if you are used to being active, but if you rest when your body is telling you to, you will be able to manage gentle exercise such as walking when you feel a bit better. There are other simple things you can do help you cope with fatigue (http://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/breast-cancer/coping/side-effects-and-symptoms/t...). Little things like the flowers also help lift your spirits. Take care of yourself for now, and you will find that you will start to feel better by the end of the cycle.
Lisea - sounds like you are doing well. It's good that you have supportive District nurses to help you with the PICC and other issues.
When the pain subsides, try gradually reducing the dose of painkillers until you can do without them. You could also try taking the painkillers before the T infusion next time, because it is more effective at controlling the pain if you take them before it hits. The chemo nurses always gave me a couple of Paracetamol before the infusion and it worked well. I only had to take them for about 3 days afterwards.
Keep an eye on the feet as well, and if you start getting peeling skin, pins and needles or numbness, contact your BCN for advice. Fingers crossed you won't get any of this, or the sore mouth and 'Tax Trots,' but if you do it is unlikely to last more than a week.
There's not much you can do about the fatigue because there are times when your body will force you to rest - all you can do then is go with it. The only thing that will help you to manage it is to make the effort to do some gentle exercise (such as short walks) when you feel a bit better.
Take care, and hope you feel better soon.
Hello Lisea - glad you managed to get your PICC sorted out and hope it works out well for you over the last 3 cycles.
You are now 5 days into your first T cycle, so the SEs have probably already started 😞 They tend to arrive around Day 4 of each cycle - T is deceptive, because the first few days you are fine, then wham!
There are various SEs you could get and your nurses have probably already briefed you about them. If you look up Taxotere on the Macmillan and Cancer Research UK websites, the list of SEs is very scary. But unless you are very unlucky you won't get more than two or three of them. Unfortunately, as with FEC, nobody has any idea which SEs will affect you until they actually bite.
The good (or less bad?) news is that the SEs don't tend to last the whole cycle, and usually go away by around Day 10-12, so the last week should be better 🙂 You have done very well to keep working during chemotherapy. I hope your employer is flexible enough to make allowances for when the SEs are bad. Fatigue is probably the hardest thing to cope with, as it often gets progressively worse with each cycle, and may continue to affect you for some time after it finishes. See guidance on cancer and work if you are concerned about this:
Macmillan have produced a booklet specially for employers which you may be able to get from your hospital - ask your BCN.
I hope the SEs are kind to you and your fellow February Starters, but if you are suffering, contact your hospital for advice. Also post here if you are still having problems - someone may be able to help. If you're feeling c**p and just need to rant about it, this is also the place for it!
Hi Dawn, Jojo and Claire
Thank you for your relplies sorry for delay didn't get notifications but have definitely checked the box now
Bought thr cream on your suggestion Dawn and undertook massage and stretching as I did for previous cording however the 3 EC was horrendous despite the heat pads and hand in water etc. Found a vein near palm which made infusion extremely slow but I had the most patient nurse. Anyway I developed an immediate fear that I couldn't do anymore infusions without a Picc.
Saw oncologist on Tuesday with chemo booked for yesterday and she agreed to it and put through an urgent referral. From that my anxieties recuced significantly.
Called in for preassement on Wednesday, luckily work is so flexible and assessed ok for Picc and did bloods in prep for Thursday then they realised I hadnt been booked in early enough for first herceptin, so the upshot was early start for picc line which went in easily and to right location first time, then herceptin injection which was ok followed by 6 hours of monitoring then Tchemo which was a dream as I wasnt worrying about the cannula. A long day but well worth. The picc nurse said she felt all patients with the availability of only one arm should be offered this. Managed to sleep comfortably as only do back and left side since ANC.
Steroids have me awake later than norm but such is life and have started hot flushes but other than that ok. Awaitng the district nurse for filgastrim injection and psyching myself up for those side effects but hoping to be able to do those myself in the future.
Hope everyone in group is doing as well as they can and maintaining positivity. I can't believe I now only have 2 sessions of chemo left. Then it will be the worries of radiotherapy lol
I still havent mastered the Facebook thing!!!!
Love and hugs Lisea xxx
Claire and Jo - I am sorry you are both suffering with your veins as well as Lisa after FEC 3.
I'm afraid FEC really wrecks your veins, so it's probably wise to start thinking of a PICC or port now if you don't think you will manage the second half of the chemo otherwise. If you struggle on through the next cycle without, you may find they won't fit one.
It is surprising that the nurses didn't do the pillow/ hot water bottle routine from the start (mine did), as it makes cannulation so much easier. Perhaps it was lack of time, because it takes about 20 minutes for your arm to warm up. As soon as you can get to your unit on Tuesday to enquire about ports, I suggest you also ask for the Heparinoid cream to help your veins and bruises heal. You can also get the cream on prescription from your GP.
Hope you start to feel better over the Easter weekend.
I am at the end of week 1 of FEC 3 this week. I have to say this cycle week seems to have wiped me out more, much more tired. I switch to the 3 x T after the May bank holiday. I too have been working either from home remotely on few days of mainly week 2 and managed to go in all of week 3 to the office last cycle. Iam adorning the scarf thing, as I nip to the ladies, whip it off, cool off, and go back to the desk lol.
I had few issues with the veins at Chemo last week. Because I've had to have additional canulations in between chemos, for bloods taken for viruses and infections, the main vein in the back of my hand the nurse said wouldn't 'advance' now, and she couldn't flush it either, so she said to no longer use that. She said scar tissue was probably the problem. The vein on the side of the wrist level with the thumb needs a break too (omg that was soooooo uncomfortable when they canulated there lol!) so she used another one on the back of the hand but near the wrist joint. Apparently it runs differently. So my hand is nicely bruised still! She used a really warm heated pillow this time over the arm as the drugs went in and that has made such a difference.
She said my aching afterwards of the arm was due to the cold veins and some cording! I should have realised this, because it was EXACTLY the same feeling as the cording I had in the other arm and required lots of massage and exercises, following my axilliary node clearance. So massage, hot water bottle, and stretching should help with the chemo arm too.
I am struggling a bit this week emotionally I have to say - I feel guilty of the impact this is having on my husband and children and we've made plans which have had to be cancelled two weekends on the trot now as I've felt rotten. Hoping to have a better one.
Hope you have a good Easter 🙂 xxx
Lisea - I am from the September 2016 group and noticed your post about veins. I had similar problems during my chemotherapy, which I was told was veinous phlebitis. The problems started during my fourth cycle, which was the first cycle of Taxotere + Herceptin + Perjeta, but the nurse said it was the FEC that had caused it (it is apparently the Epirubicin that does it, so EC is as bad).
You need to contact your unit if you haven't already, because the veins won't get better on their own, and it could hold up the next treatment if they can't cannulate. I was given Heparinoid (Hirudoid) cream, which helped a lot. I don't think I would have got through the last two cycles without it.
The only other option would probably be installing a PICC line into your 'good' arm, a Hickman line, or a port-a-cath. Your unit should be able to advise on the best way forward and I hope you get the help you need soon. You deserve a medal as well as lots of virtual hugs for having to cope with chemotherapy as well as lymphoedema.
P.S. Tax can be tough, so when the time comes, don't hesitate to post on here if you have problems with it. Lots of us have been there already, and may be able to help.
P.P.S. I don't do Facebook either.
Thanks all :), cycle 2 tomorrow. I went into work Tuesday to Friday last week which was great for me. But last Sunday my thick head of hair started to thin a little....7 days later and I have a thin covering left 😮 😞 . I cannot believe how quickly it's come out, especially the last 3 days.
I've not gone for a wig. I felt it wasn't me and I'd be paranoid thinking 'people are looking at me saying she's got that wig on!' and I'd be constantly wondering if it was on straight lol!
So I've gone for scarves 😄 and I love the one I've worn yesterday and today. Went out and about and I've got used to it. And got used to not wearing it around the house....I looked in the mirror and thought - I look like my nan did aged 98!! lol.
I will look for you on fb - thank you 😄 Royal Bournemouth Hospital?? You're local too! I'm Broadstone, being treated at the Ladybird clinic at Poole 🙂 xxx
Hi Gaynor - I'm into the last week of my first cycle.
The Chest Injection and head cold threw a spanner in the works really, as I think I probably would've felt ok last week really. One more day of Penicillin! However quite upsettingly for me, yesterday with every brush or hand through my hand, lots and lots of strands coming away already. I wasn't expecting it to start thinning this quickly to be fair 😞
I'd like a 'normal' week if I can this week, going back into the office before it all starts again a week on Monday.
How about you Gaynor?
Hello ladies, 2nd cycle of EC chemo tomorrow morning 9am, I can't really complain about the side effects from first cycle, but still feeling a little anxious about tomorrow, hoping it's as good as the last. I had my porta cath fitted last Friday so am hoping they can access that tomorrow, although they did tell me they like to leave them a week before use. I have tried joining the fabulous February fb page, but yet to be accepted. Hope all are doing okay so far on this very scary journey we are all on xx
Hi JoJo - your post made me chuckle - thank you lol 😄
Yes you are right, we can step back from coughing and spluttering people in a shop, but if it's in the house it's going to be hard to not catch it. Plus I have a 12 year old son and 9 year old daughter so you can't stop them bring home bugs.
But yes quite a palava going in and having all that done, 3 hours later coming away with a bag of stuff, but I wasn't expecting a chest xray and of course that showed immediately there was an infection. Whereas the husband sat at the doctors and saw a gp who said 'I think I can hear something but seeing as your wife is having chemo lets give you something too in case'. I had a definite answer.
I have FEC-T (3 FEC, 3 T) and the next one is 20 March. Then 4 weeks radiotherapy at the end.
How are you feeling?
Wow you certainly suffered with the nausea!! 😞 yes it was Metoclopramide they gave me an hour before the chemo, and I have a small supply of tablets of the same plus an injection the district nurse can give me if it got really bad.
I'm so pleased it shrunk the lump for you and the op was a success :D. I do read amazing stories and for me it's interesting reading how the cancers are so different and treatments vary from person to person. It can be positive for this, negative for that, chemo given before the op, or after.
I was borderline in a number of categories for chemo, initially, but in the end they decided because I was young (under 45 - their words not mine - thank you I'll take being classed by the NHS as 'young 😄 lol) they're throwing it all at me rather than look back and think they wished they'd given it to me if they hadn't. In the end after the second op, they'd removed over 5cm of disease plus 14 nodes and there was some in the Sentinel, so I've having FEC-T plus radio.
Glad to hear you're doing well - thanks for replying
My chemo finished 5 months ago but your post struck a chord with me. I ended up in hospital on week 2 of my first FEC-T. Had infections on all three of my FEC's but was so sick and weak that I avoided the hospital and got my GP to treat me at home with antibiotics, steroids etc.
By the time we got to the 2nd "T" part of FEC-T I was injecting Filgrastim (GSCF) and the infections were lessening.
The sickness and vomiting did get worse and worse. Some of the drugs that they gave me (i.e. metoclopramide) made feel dizzy, weak and faint. FEC-T can be very hard. There are lots of drugs available for sickness but I had to mix around 4 to get some relief.
Just wanted to let you know that although FEC-T was really rough for me it did work. My lump shrink noticably and my oepration was a great success.
Hope this one was a blip and all goes smoothly from now!
Hi peeps. Well it's now been a week since my first FEC cycle and thought I'd share my first week. I walked out of hospital last Monday feeling a bit light headed but positive. That afternoon I went downhill and although I was given a 'very good' anti-sickness pill, I felt very nausous so took an additional one from the supplies they gave me. The following day I felt the same, slept and felt sick most of the day really.
Then picked up Wednesday, Thursday Friday! I am an IT Technician by trade so although the body felt flu-y, the dizziness had stopped so I was able to log in and work.
Saturday I went and had my hair cut. First time short 😮 In readiness for when it'll go :/. My neck is cold.
Unfortunately Sunday, I woke up with a sore throst, feeling run down. No temperature, but I rang the hotline as they said to do and they told me to monitor it, but not take paracetamol as it masks possible other infections lingering. At this point, my husband started feeling very guilty. The cough and chest infection that he'd forgotten to book in at the docs for on Friday, was possibly coming my way. I started he immune boost injections on Thursday too so I was maybe naively thinking they would save it developing...
Sure enough this morning I woke and it was on my chest, everything hurt, wheeziness, and bringing up nasty stuff. I rang the Chemo line at 8 and they asked me to come down at 9. Cannulated, bloods taken, wheeled through for a chest xray, chest infection confirmed, Penicillin, more steroids, 2 inhalers, and rest on the cards. So thorough, nothing too much trouble, and thankfully penicillin in tablet form rather than through an IV.
It pays to ring them. So Chemo-wise the first week was not a right-off and I wasn't really sick. This is just a blip. We will see how the next cycles go for me 🙂 xxx
Excellent Jac....soak up and remember that good feelng.xx
Hi Jac R
I hear what you are saying....however, this is early days for you. There is hope that your treatment plan will work.Xx
try hard to
1/ not soak up the negativity of others....we are all different and Trip Negs are not all the same.!
they all have different forms of bc, that wont be identical. Otherwise there would only be one drug out there!
2/ put your efforts and your faith into getting your treatment plan underway, gve it a chance.....you might be pleasantly surprised.....you may feel different soon.
3/ spend time talking and listening to optimistic people...and dont google either xx
will look in on the thread later as am just off out, but travel hopefully,
Zena, if t is taxotere, I did have that...not weekly, but im guessing maybe the werkly doses are lower?
anyway. Rest assured Taxotere is a very effective chemo, made, if my memory serves, from tree bark or resin initially. It is powerful. I did have some side effects...it can lower the White cells so you need to spoil yourself and boost your immunity. I dont recall feeling sick tho.
Evening Claire, I guess so..... many of us are keeping diaries I have found this useful as I am referring back and finding my bad days are the same days...... be kind to yourself and take time out when you don't feel too good.... I have found that when I feel better and try to do something but then i am worn out... listen to your body...good luck tomorrow. Xxx
Thank you, I will be having 3 x FEC and 3 x T. I've heard different things about both - some saying FEC was easier than T, others saying it was the other way around. I guess it's how each person's body can deal with it 😞 xxx
Moijan - Im the one who was worried , you are right . due to sickness in pregnancy and generally being a rubbish sick person..
i have just felt my boob and I cant feel the lump ...... its soft again where the mass was. I can still feel aches in my lymph nodes but im amazed as i was convinced it wasnt working..
After watching THE TRUTH ABOUT CANCER VIDEOS.. i was doubting chemo ,, and still am, i feel that it does cause cancer to come back as does not treat the source.. I now feel more positive and hope that I will get a good MRI.
I ve decided to ask for no more FEC though as my SEs are so bad - even now im laid up with the bum thing again .. exactly to the same as last time , even the days are the same .. creams dont touch the pain its like broken glass. I cant go thru this again so hope I can switch chemo or something so I dont suffer so much.
I am meeting onc next week.. il let you know .
I feel to ill to look after myself properly and have been craving sugar ( the cancer wanting to be fed)..yuck
I need the strength the fight this with health and food not lie in bed eating rubbish..
I know im being a bit controversial but I do feel so bad that I feel this cant be good, However my tumour feeling smaller is telling otherwise... THIS IS WHY THE DONT GOOGLE LOL.
but i also read books on curing it with food and well being ..
sorry massive post.
hey to new chemos
hi to all xxx
Hi everyone! First Chemo tomorrow morning at 9.30am. I was initially told it wouldn't start until middle of March to let the wound heal after second op to remove remaining cells, which I had on 31 Jan. But on Wedneday I was told it would start this Monday! We've had a busy weekend thankfully, including my daughter's birthday party at 4pm today all booked beforehand, so it's kept my mind occupied. But I know tomorrow onwards is not going to be fun.
The information given to me so far has been brilliant albeit scary. And reading threads on this website has been so helpful so far.
Good luck to everyone starting chemo and to those who have already x We can do this xxx
Hi Zena......you are having a tough time...xx
cant recall if they hurt as its a long time ago....but I remember feeling the effect of it in my neck area....
thinking logically....if the chemo is working and shrinking the tumours...it might hurt... I know you are scared.....I recall you saying right at the beginning 'I really dont want chemo....dont want poison in my body' wasnt that you...if not then forgive me as I know a few ladies were sayng that.... And ive noticed...chemo makes us more anxious.....try not to over think xxx. We can imagine all kinds of stuff...xx
Look, my chemo is working and im getting loads of rib pain...I know ive got bone mets so it may be that they are giving me pain as it works..... But do contact the onc if you are really concerned... Or at least speak to the bcn.xxx they must be monitoring your bloods, so they will know what is happening.xx
Hello Moijan, thank you for your kind words... appreciated. All done 2 out of 6 sessions... Relaxing now. Hope you are well 😊