I was diagnosed in Sept 2013. I had 6 sessions of chemo before surgery (3 Fec & 3 Taxadocel). I wasn't too bad on the FEC but suffered a bit from constipation and haemorrhoids.But I think that was a result of the steroids (Ondanestron especially).
The hospital can give you some stuff to some stuff to help combat that.
My hair fell out approx 3 weeks after my first chemo. Altho I wasn't looking forward to the prospect of losing my hair, I excited in a weird sort of way in wearing different wigs as I'd always fancied the thought of a new hair colour but was never brave enough to go thru with it! I'm not trying to belittle the issue cos it is a difficult time and hair is a very personal thing and it's one thing that helps define you. Seeing yourself for the first time without hair is a shock but you sort of get used to it.
However - please don't worry too much. It will grow back in time and mine came back curly too. ...,.also something I wanted (even though I had to go thru chemo to get it !). Anyway - I got a pretty good wig on the NHS. They are quite good but make sure cut/trimmed/style to suit.
Anyway- I digress. Sorry.
The second lot of chemo (the Taxadocel) was a different ball game. I was told to expect aches and pains and boy did it hit hard. Felt like my muscles were spasming. I was confined to the sofa/my bed for a good week or so after treatment. One piece of good advice I was given by the Breast Care nurse was to ask for extended steroids but taper them off. This seemed to work and after I had my 2nd lot of Tax the aches and pains had massively reduced and was manageable.
I also lost my taste buds whilst on treatment - so everything tasted like cardboard! But they did come back.
Taking steroids was a new thing to me & they kept me awake massively - so be prepared for that as well.
Sorry - not trying to tell you any horror stories - Just trying to tell it like it is, so you know what to expect.
The hospital were great with me & did everything they could to help. I have a bit of a needle phobia - which isn't great when faced with IV chemo! ! But the complimentary therapies team helped me thru that& helped me overcome my phobia. I still hate needles - but I'm more accustomed to them !
Tap into the Breast Care nurses wherever and whenever possible. They are there to help & they do.
Good luck with your treatment. X
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Hi Janey, glad you got your first bit out of the way. Blimey constipated already, dont take long does it - I am sure it is a worry about infection too - I am still reading up on everything - perhaps a bit too much. Just keep an eye on yourself, temp etc - I cannot comment on anything else cos I dont know about it yet.
My surgery is now 4 days away and I am really nervous I can tell you. mostly worrying about the pain afterwards - which might not even be too bad who knows. Got two wigs yesterday in readiness which are great, one brunette bob and one short blond which I am now as I had it all cut off last week. A little premature I know cos chemo wont be for weeks yet, but thought it would be easier after Op too to take care of. OH will have a choice of a baldie wifee, brunettem blonde/grey or one of the other dressing up wigs i have already lol.
Take care and keep posting, I am listening and thinking of you.
Try to have a good weekend, I am busy with B and B guests, which will stop me from dwelling on it.
love and hugs to you - Val xxxxx
Hi My name is Tracy and i'm having my first FEC chemo session next Wednesday 11th, I'm on a rollercoaster of emotions! I'm from Coventry, is anyone else in a similar position to me? Can anyone help me to prepare for my first session? Am I worrying too much? Many thanx
Hi Hazelr, I'm having 4 ec and 4 tax before I have my surgery. I was ok having the chemo but as it was going in I got a headache and sinus pain which lasted the rest of the day. My face has also been really flushed and red today, is this normal do you know? I am also a bit constipated now so I took lactulose and was immediately sick after it, it was just the taste of it made me feel really ill so I will have to find an alternative for the constipation. Apart from that I'm not feeling too bad, just scared about when my bloods drop in case I get an infection. Janey xxxx
Thank you Rafi for your support. I'm feeling quite calm about it now. Thanks for the tip about the sweets I will get some on the way to the hospital. Hugs, Janey xxx
Will be with you tomorrow with lots of positive thoughts for you. Soemone suggested taking gum or a sucky sweets with you. No idea if that is helpful but I thought I'd pass it on.
Keep positive and let the battle commence. You can do it. Lots of love xxxxxxx
Hi Val, thank you for remembering. Dreading tomorrow but at least I will have started the treatment at last. When is your surgery, is it the 10th? If so not long for you either. Love and Hugs to you. Janey xxx
Thank you. I think I know her. I am a Groombridge lady so we are very close to each other. I agree. I can't remember a time when I just feel free of all this. Glad your wig looks great. I have heard great things about her.
I will tell my other 2 boys. Just not quite yet.
Hope you have a good day and thanks for the support. xx
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Thank you June.
Also how do I know when someone has replied to me? I dipped in and out on Saturday of variuos threads and not sure I remember all the ones I replied to. I am sure I am being stupid!
I'm in Kent. Haven't seen the oncologist yet. Will ask re vouchers when I do. Thank you for that.Is your wig human hair or synthetic?
Yes, my son crying whilst out walking with me on a rare Sunday afternoon alone ( rugby family) broke my heart.
My middle one is 12 and the worrier and my little one 9 who doesn't need to know yet. I'm going to go with my gut and definitely will tell them both but know it's not necessarily today. Do you ever get a moment when you stop thinking about all of this? xxx
Thank you so much for your kind words.
I like your angle of attack- getting past the word. You are right. I hope I can take a leaf out of your book. Been for a walk in the sunshine today and need to book my first oncology appointmet but have been given a coupole of days to consider whether I want to go for auxilliary clearance too prior to chemo..........it's so draining isn't it......
Hugs and love back xxxx
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Thank you so much for responding. I have not yet sussed out what I am doing on these forums and I hadn't realised anyone has repiled.
I feel very tearful reading all your lovely words of encouragment and I know you really understand how I feel
I am a very lucky lady who has the most incerdible network of friends and they have already started a rota for my mates to be on call should I feel alone or sick. They also want monthly nights out but no one can attend unless they wear a wig!
I am relieved to hear that family life can remian stable. That's what I need. My big boy took the news terribly yeterday ( I was upbeat and positive) but I am so close to him. He wasn't scared of the baldness but saddened that I have to do this. I decided not to tell the others just yet.
I still haven't slept and once I do I wake up in a panic worrying aobut the next few months. I suppose once I'm on the chemo train it may become easier? Any help for wig suppliers too? There are so many to chose from.
Thanks for replying. Means everything xxxxx
Hi Rafi, you will find lots of support on here from people going through the same thing, I was a complete wreck when diagnosed on 13th February and would not have got through the last few weeks without this forum. I have got to have chemo and herceptin too. My cancer is also in my lymph nodes but ct scans show no spread elsewhere. I have four children and they have handled it quite well up to now but I still hate the thought of them seeing me go through chemo. I'm sure your children will be ok too, they seem to handle things better than us adults sometimes.
I am having my chemo first before surgery and start on 4th March. If you will be starting in March there is a 'starting chemo in march 2015' thread you can join to get more support. You will not be going through this alone, we can do it together. Hugs to you. Janey xxx
I have just had a mestectomy to my right breast after DCIS diagnosis. I also had DCIS in the left breast Nov 13 so this has been a double blow.
My results came back this week and I cannot believe it but there was a 1cm tumour hiding in the centre. The sentinel node was diseased but the 2nd node wasn't.
I have been advised to have 6 doses of chemo and herceptin. I have 3 sons (16,12,9) and I am so worried about them. This will be a huge blow to them as the word 'chemo' is SO scary. I haven't yet told them the news.
Anyone out there that can hold my hand and give me the strength I need to get through this? I am 48 years old and a very positive character but am struggling to sleep or think straight.