That is all quite normal - as the thick ends of your bones make the new white and red bloodcells. So it is a check how all is functioning.
I had my tests printed out each time - to see how the values changed over chemo. Made most interesting reading, lol. Despite Gcsf injections my white blood count was lower every time and so was my red. It helped me to understand better, why I was becoming more and more breathless and weaker - as I progressed through my 6 x FEC.It helped me to understand to take infection risks more serious and look after myself to avoid injuries and taking care not to bruise myself.
FEC x 6 and FEC x 3 + T x 3 are different chemo regimes, which are prescribed depending on the type of breast cancer has been diagnosed and its receptors.
For anyone who is on FEC x 6 and does not have a PICC line or other port installed, may I please suggest you have one. Perhaps talk to your BC nurse? Although I have recently come across a lady, who has got through the whole regime without a port - I guess she must have veins of iron! The E in the FEC can be very tough on your veins, sometimes leading to them collapsing or 'burning out'. They will recover eventually, but it does take about a year or so. It also can cause you not to be able to stretch that arm fully anymore, as the veins harden, as they 'burn' out.
Drink as much as you possibly can in the two hours before treatment and keep the arm very warm to hel plump up the veins.
For those of you who have challenges with cannulation you might find info on this thread of much help - https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Top-tips-and-practical-support/Vein-Care/m-p/1036347#U10363...
so sorry to hear about your day.
I've just spent the morning on line 'shopping' - it does help.
I tried a walk but just froze.
Day 7 of first FEC. Had a rough couple of days where I just slept as felt nauseous but feeling bit more normal today which is such a relief.
Thankyou Fiona for details of first cycle - it's helpful to have an idea of what may happen. I may try work on Monday if I continue to improve as I need normality - I will see how the weekend goes.
Snail888 hope things are okay - thankyou for details of Anna bandana - look great value.
Welcome Lucky stew -we are at similar points in our treatment so hopefully we can keep in touch.
Query - I think I am having FEC x 6. How is this different to FEC X 3, T X 3?
Best wishes and hugs
So the radiologists managed to damage 3 veins before getting canula in. They have also bled really badly under the skin - a sign of the state of my platelets I guess. Just a horrible day. Thankful for everyone on here and somewhere to moan/complain that isnt a relative. Feeling generally hormonal and low... Marvelous.
Perhaps some on line retail therapy may be the idea??
Just back from second round of FEC, feeling ok so far, they slowed the infusion down today so that I didn't get the hot flush and nasal congestion, which was a lot better, though I think the hot flush might have been nice as so cold today. Went off wearing a woolly hat, then changed to my bamboo hat in the clinic. The lady opposite me was on her T and her hair is starting to grow back under her wig, so that sounds good.
Hope everyone is doing ok.
Fiona how was your second one?
Hugs 🤗 to all xx
I'm at Day 8 of my 2nd FEC and went back to work yesterday. I did feel tired, but not exhausted.
Had the usual headaches for the first 4 days after treatment, but other than that I've been okay. Did wake up early hours on Thursday with heartburn, but it didn't last for long.
Haven't had any back pains after the white blood cell injection, so I'm glad about that. Last cycle they were so blood sore.
Most of my hair has gone now 😞 and I've got a LGFB session booked for 5 December so that'll be great. Does anyone know if you should shave your head to get rid of the little that's remaining? I'm finding that I can't get comfy in bed as my hair is stubble like and keeps irritating me when I'm lying down.
Big hugs to everyone
So glad that you stopped lurking lol - welcome to this group (although I'm sorry to see you here! 😞
How are you feeling now after your first FEC? We all have different side effects and a lot depends on age and whether you're on medication for anything else.
I'm sure if there's anything you need to ask, then someone on here will already know the answer.
Hi Snail888, I have a PICC line in and apart from getting use to it for the the first few days, having to shower with a cover on and remembering not to over stretch (my other arm had nodes removed), I have no problems and it makes the chemo so easy to administer, and they can take bloods from it too. If offered it is worth having to save your veins. My veins are very small and having had several cannulas over the years with terrible bruising, mine was suggested from the beginning.
Hi again Snail888
The GCSF only helps to support faster and better growth of white blood cells, not your red ones. So you might find that you bruise much easier and that should you cut yourself, you may also bleed a little longer.
Even with GCSF - you are still at high risk of infection the further you go into your chemo treatment, as your white bloodcells are never completely replaced in a cycle. This lack of replacement is cumulative as you progress through, as is the drop in your red blood cell count. Hence the mounting tiredness, breathlessness and fatique.
If you are on 3 x FEC and then switch to T, you might just get away without a PICC, but please be guided by the professionals. I made the mistake of not wanting a PICC - and after a most painful and extremely long 4th administration of FEC - had no choice. My veins have still not recovered. I finished my chemo on Sept 1- the PICC was put in in Mid July...
I had exactly the same after my 3rd FEC. It suddenly appeared about a week after the infusion just at the site where the cannula had been. I went to the chemo unit because I was also getting nosebleeds and the oncologist was pretty unconcerned. He said it was probably just a bit of chemo leakage.
It it did clear up after 4/5 days but still feels tender now, 2 weeks later.
The oncologist didn't want to go for a PICC line as I had already had my last FEC and T is easier on the veins.
I would talk to your hero unit about the bruise - I got unnecessarily anxious and they can give the best advice.
Sue (from October thread) xx
Please mention this at your appointment tomorrow. If you do not have a PICC, it might be wise to ask for one.
Tender or sore veins usually happen when the E in the FEC or EC starts to damage them. If you are actually showing a bruise on and around the vein - it is really important that you let them know.
How long ago was your chemo administration?
Shaved the hair off on Saturday as was still falling out and the short hair was worse as kept sticking in everything. OH really likes it, says I have a lovely shaped head 😍 him. But my boy went off for a long walk in the woods after, so I think he was a bit upset to start, but now he thinks it's cool, and is now showing me how to tie bandanas whilst he wears my wig 😳.
On the eyebrow front mine are still intact, but when I was in Boots last week I mentioned to one of the girls on the makeup counter and she showed me a lovely eyebrow makeup, it's a cream powder and some fibres which you can use to build up if you have a small amount of hair left. Apparently her mum went through chemo last year so she knew was I was going through.
Its called KaBrow and you just apply with a brush, use the fibres if needed.
Not booked for 'look good feel better yet' but my local one is run by the cancer charity based in our hospital grounds.
Hope you all have a good day xx
Mine was held at my local cancer care centre by McMillan cancer care- I didn't see it advertised anywhere. I just asked at the centre - worth a try
Hi everyone - had 3rd lot of FEC on Thursday, starting the T part in 3 weeks, am doing ok apart from the hot flushes. Anyone got any tips on how to manage or get through them? Have also got oral thrush and hideous piles but have got some Nystatin for the thrush and germanoids for the farmer Giles. Apart from that all ok. Half way through the chemo which I am pleased about, it's true about taking one day at a time. This site as I have said before is the best place to come, to share my own and read everyone's journey. I think we all need a huge pat on the back and high five for being so amazing!
Had my second EC yesterday. Was so much better with the central line in -no messing about for veins. Felt a little bit sick last night but nothing major. Woke up this morning with a headache but am wary of taking painkillers as well as the rest of the meds. I'm an anti sickness tablets and steroids for 2 days plus I have the I injections for 7 days - even managed to do these myself after a few days. I have shaved my hair off as it was just falling out and it was everywhere. I've got a wig but just prefer to wear my hats if I'm honest. I find that when I'm feeling sickly I get myself wrapped up and go for a walk - it seems to take my mind off everything.
I attended one of the look good feel better masterclasses yesterday and I can definitely recommend it. We had a bit of fun and learned how to do make up and look after the skin. Amazing what a bit of pampering can do.
i had my first chemo yesterday. I have been reading your November posts which have helped me get my head around what is to come - it has really made me feel I can cope. Today I feel ok - I have been given extra anti nausea tablets as my stomach is prone to ejecting anything that disagrees with it! I used a cold cap yesterday and was told not to wash my hair for 24hours. Staff at the hospital said success with cold caps is variable so I have been researching head wear and wigs. I do want to work if possible when I feel ok.
I have 6 cycles of FEC chemo at 3 weekly intervals. I had a lumpectomy in June and mastectomy and reconstruction in September.
Any advice about anything will be greatly appreciated especially about what to expect over this first cycle.
Best wishes to all over the weekend.
Snail88 and JoJo45- thanks for the meds advice. Felt much better today. I've taken all the meds i should with lots of sips of water. Got kids off to school and did a glorious dog walk this morning. Had some visitors for a few hours which was lovely.
Have hit evening time and feeling sick again !!!!!!!
Anyway got my box sets all ready for tonight incase the steroids keep me up...
lets all try and have a good weekend ladies.
big hugs to you all
Got my son to cut the hair, gone for the hedgehog look, was falling out in handfuls and fed up of picking it up around the house, not quite brave enough to shave it off completely, have my wigs to wear out or lots of hats.
Anyone else suffering nose bleeds, only lasts a short time but nose is constantly running, I think the nasal hair has fallen out too.
Hi jacksprat, hope you are feeling ok. I felt ill the evening after chemo day, was ok in the daytime but then it hit me. Take all the meds and any extra anti sickness you need. The worst days last about 5 days then I started I feel normal again. Yes I did have a tearful time in the middle, which is more frustration I think, as I like to be doing and not sitting about. Just go with what your body says and if in doubt all your nurses for advice. Mine were very reassuring.
Hugs 🤗 to you x