Hi Kels - I'm doing okay thanks.
The unkown is scary but you soon get into the swing of things and although it's not easy I think the fear of the unknown is worse than the reality - they have so much more knowledge these days about chemo and its side effects and how to combat them.
My experience was that 10 days after I finished chemo I walked my first fell and 6 weeks after I finished radiotherapy I cycled the C2C (143 miles) in 3 days. I started full time work again as soon as I'd finished radiotherapy. I found that once I'd finished the chemo if I pushed myself a bit on the exercise it felt like I was clearing the effects out of my system more quickly.
I know someone who has continued fell walking and working almost full time throughout, so it just depends on the individual as to how it affects them. Some people don't have so many side-effects.
Oh, just remembered .... get yourself a soft, baby toothbrush and if you start to get ulcers get treatments as soon as possible from your chemo nurse - I found the painkillking mouthwash, Diflam, most successful.
Do join in with the July chemo thread, it really helps to share the experience with people who are going through it at the same time.
I'm always happy to offer any help/advice/support throughout. PM me if you want.
I too had my lumpectomy on the 5th of June and I'm due to start my chemo on the 8th of July - 6 courses of FEC. I know how scared you feel, because I feel that way too. Joining the July montly thread has really helped.
So many are going through the same thing, all of us starting at different dates and we can all support each other. Lot's of advice to had as well.
Hope to see you there
Yes flori I am getting fec every 3 weeks for 18 weeks. Thanks for taking time to answer me your advice is great it makes me feel better when I vpcan talk to someone who's been there hope your well xx
Are you having FEC-T chemo? I had that. I had the FEC in the morning and by mid afternoon the side effects had hit. That chemo was more about feeling sickly for the first few days. Just bear in mind they have all sorts of anti-sickness to control it. I was told that if you suffer from travel sickness you're more likely to have the nausea and vomiting - and I do get very travel sick and was sick on the first two treatments. For me, Cyclizine was the miracle drug because once they'd injected it the nausea and vomiting stopped immediately. After that they gave me Cyclizine tablets which prevented it from happening the 3rd time. Also, they do suggest those travel sickness compression bands for your wrists but I couldn't use them because I'd had my lymph nodes removed and can't have anything constricting my arm because of the potential for lymphodema.
The T (Docetaxel) was more about aching pains - but also I had blood cell boosting injections which cause bone pain. The effects of the Docetaxel didn't happen till about the 3rd day.
I had about 9 days each cycle when I didn't feel great and couldn't go to work but I did work most of the other days, and also throughout radiotherapy.
One thing to mention, and not something I would normally talk about but ..... get some constipation tablets from the outset. They said to me they could prescribe some if it was a problem but I'd never had it before and didn't realise how ill it would make me feel till it happened. After that first time they prescribed me a few days of Dioctyl which kept me right. Don't wait to be ill first!
Other things that helped me: Palmer's Cocoa Butter moisturiser for my hands and face (the chemo can really make your skin sore); eat lots of jelly to help your nails, and some nail conditioner/hardener; when my taste had gone I could still enjoy melon, milkshakes, ice lollies; if anyone offers help - take it; get some exercise every day unless you feel REALLY ill, I took to my be one day and was much worse for it; do online shopping to avoid the potential for picking up any bugs; warn people not to come near you if they have, or have been exposed to, any bugs because your resistance to infection will be lowered; do everything you need to do, such as housework and preparing meals to put in the freezer on your good days - you can make use of the steroid days (I was like the Duracell bunny on those days) so you can just collapse and rest on the not good days; if you're not doing the cold cap and are going to lose your hair, get one or two sleep caps (although in a warm summer you're probably going to be okay unless we get some cold nights).
HOWEVER - it's all very doable. It feels endless at the time but before you know it you'll be through the other end - though when you're in it you won't believe me.
I'll leave it at that for now. I hope it helps. Just shout if you have any other questions or just want to talk.
Best of luck. You can do it!
I know just what you mean - it's a horrible journey that none of us want to be on! I'm just slightly ahead of you - had my lumpectomecy (and full node clearance because of lymph involvement) on 29th May and received my first chemo yesterday. The fear of the unknown is hard to deal with but my advice would be try to prepare yourself as much as poss - joining this forum seems a great start as there are so many people who have been through this and are able to give their advice to help others through it. My other advice would be maybe try some relaxation techniques and as far as treatment goes, just try to deal with things one day at a time - it's too overwhelming to look at the whole thing together but I really believe we can do this after reading and hearing of many others who've also done it!
I already feel a little better just knowing I've started the chemo so that the end is a little bit nearer!
Hope this helps a little but do shout up if you need more help.
P.S. Join the monthly chemo thread for July for more specific help as you go through that journey.
Good luck and take care,