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new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

25 REPLIES 25
Feemac
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi Girls,

I'm not new to the site and I've already had 3 Tax and herceptin, but I start 3 FEC on Tuesday and feeling a bit nervous as it's a different chemo. I've managed ok on the TAX despite it being quite a harsh chemo, first one was awful but they soon got me on meds which made such a difference. I can already see from reading this thread that FEC is different from person to person so I'll just have to hope things are ok with me. I'm on a trial which is why I'm all back to front. Most of the girls on the Taxotere thread have already had FEC before hand. Very confusing..

best wishes

Fiona xxx

IOC
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

hi kittenkat ,
Well 3 days on and all that is left is a few tufts but i did buy a wig yesterday at the hospital which is much nicer than i thought it would be, quite natural looking but my scalp is still very sore. also got my false breast yesterday which made me cry for at least an hour, just thinking that this is me now for the rest of my life...

hey ho, hope to get my head around it soon and cheer up a bit.

thanks for the support.
xx

kittenkat
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

hi ioc, hope you're feeling better now...the hair bit is horrible and yes it makes it all very real and definate doesn't it - my daughter was dreading mine coming out in clumps so a friend shaved it off when it started coming out proper and we both cried, took a couple of days but then felt sort of resigned - but wasn't expecting my scalp to hurt for a week or so when the rest of the stubble fell out - weird - do you have a soft hat or something to wear in bed too?? mary x

IOC
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

hi, sorry i have not replied since the 24th, i had to go in to hospital the following morning at 6am, turned out i had an infection in my sinuses hence the head acke and the soreness in my face. Had to stay in for 3 days.
since then i have been fine, noticed my hair has started to fall out today which is quite sad as i now feel like it is all more real. i guess it will take a day or 3 to get my head around this new new phase.

My next chemo session has been changed from tomorrow to Thursday so got a few extra days grace this week.

love to all.

IOC

marble1966
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi all,

Now on day 14, nausea feeling went after 1st week and the only side effect snce is metal taste in mouth. Gone off coffee completely. Cold cap appears to be working so far, although she did tell me that I'm off to a good start because my hair is really thick. Found the shampoo they tell you to use (Natural PH) not much good, feels like you havn't washed your hair but never mind.

Am pleasantly surprised at how well I have been feeling since and
if it carries on like this, every cycle, then it should be fine.
Wont speak too soon, 2nd one due next week, so we'll wait and see.

Debonair7
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hello IOC, just to let u know I hae just had 2nd lot of FEC and am coping ok with side effects - so it really is the case that we all react differently. I am managing to work as well and am a single mum to a 10 year old. I did try cold cap but it didnt work and I am having the wispy bits shaved off tomorrow - the scarves are quite funky once u get used to them but I am getting a wig too (for special occasions?) I hear its gonna be a hot summer - just our luck eh so the scarves may come out more than the wig. My skin is always very red after the chemo so treat it kindly - lots of moisturising and I had CHRONIC rib pain after my 2nd WLE (had to go back for wider margins)- loads of us seem to get this but it has gone completely now. Just wish u lots of luck and hope your SE are as bearable as mine Debbie xx

IOC
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi i was just wondering if anyone else gets very tender after the chemo? I have been feeling so sore and almost bruised since i woke up this morning. Still feeling a little of the post op tightness but this seems different. I notice even when i touch my own face that it almost hurts.

Sounding familiar?any advice?

IOC
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

thanks Rosie, i will take all the good news and advice i can get. the liquid is going down slowly but trying to get in as much as i can still no movements though- 3 days now so the go cake is on the menu tomorrow.

Everyone keeps me telling me that we are all different and we all will get different SE, that seems to be the case big time.

Anyway it is great to have people to share with i am finding this forum great support so thank you for your responses.

Best of luck to all.

xx

Rosie_Womble
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi IOC

You probably know this but thought I should highlight that FEC does affect different people in a variety of different ways - the other side of the coin is those of us who get through with mild SE's. As yet there seems to be no way of predicting SE's for an individual, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that you too are one of the lucky ones.

I had only one short episode of nausea a few days after my first FEC then no more at all. As expected, I lost my hair in week 3 as I'd skipped the cold cap, (my hair has always been fine and thin so would have looked awful if it had thinned any further). I did have extra hot flushes but was getting these anyway as in menopause (I'm 52) and a 'Chillow' has helped wonderfully with those (just type it into google if interested). Otherwise I was just tired - and so listened to my body and when it said 'lie down!' I did. So not a barrel of laughs exactly, but all of it manageable.

I also followed all the advice about drinking litres and litres of water, which not only flushes the stuff through your body but also helps to reduce risk of constipation from the anti-sickness meds.

Hope this helps give a balanced view, whilst in no way intended to dis-respect those who have had a rough ride.

best wishes
Rosie

IOC
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

hi marble,
Sorry to hear you had such an awful time of it, sounds dreadful, My friend who had lung cancer and was very sick but it tirned out it was the anti-sickness drugs that were making her so sick.Once they changed her drugs she found it much easier. i was supposed to start FEC on Tuesday and on Monday evening they came along to inform me that they had reviewed my case and decided on a stronger does over a longer period, not much notice but maybe that was good in a way - less time to worry over it.

however i am lucky it would seem after reading what you have been through, as other than not been able to sleep on Tuesday night and then not being able to wake on Wed i have had no sickness other than when the district nurse turned up to change my baggages for my lines and i looked at the insertion points full of dried blood. i am far too squeamish for this.

I do hope they can find something better for you by your next lot, we seem to be on a similar time frame, my next lot is on the 8th June as an outpatient this time.

One of the things i did was to drink as much as possible through out the treatment and i had prepared well by getting the pineapple for the taste but did not end with it.I think the drinking was great but i also suspect that the nurse who had to sit with and inject it slowly through my line was really gentle and took her time thus not firing it into me and shocking my system. I had not been alerted about day 11 so now will have to watch out for that one. I thought the cold cap sounded more trouble than it was worth so do let me know if it works, they told me i would loose my hair in 2 weeks, very drastic but i am looking at turbans ans hats at the mo, my sister wants me to shave it off before it goes but yet that seems so much more scary for some odd reason...

I do hope things improve for you and do keep in touch. best of luck xx

marble1966
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

hi all,

Dont wanna frighten anyone, had my first fec on Wednesday and
suffered really bad sickness about 3 hours later. Ended up back
in hospital after vomiting for 18 hours non stop and a high temperature. Not off to a very good start lol. Hopefully they
will look into this and sort out another plan before 2nd lot at
beginning of June. Only other side effect is metallic taste in
mouth, making all drinks taste foul. Used paxman cold scalp method,
found that ok, bit cold to start off (1st 10 mins) and after that
fine. You do spend longer in the chemo lounge, but worth trying if
I can save my hair.

Good luck to anybody going through this at the moment, was really unsure about having the chemo, due to no spread, and after this 1st
experience am wondering what the next 18 weeks have in store! Unlike others on here, I am 43 and my youngest is 14, so children
old enough to help themselves a bit, anyone with young babies/children accept all the help you can get as it really takes it out of you. I have been told that I will be at my worse at day 11, due to low platelets, so god knows what this weekend holds lol! Have got my niece's christening on that day.

Have been recommended by chemo nurses to have some accpuncture done,
(due to anxious state). Has anybody else tried this or any of the
other recommended healing procedures?

debsincornwall
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi Pauline it is the first thread on this page.
Love Debsxxx

mommyw
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi Debs, being a bit thick but where to do I find tips to help through chemo - especially the go cake. Not too good finding my way round these sites. Thanks Pauline

debsincornwall
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Go Cake is on page 1 of 'Top tips to help you get through chemo'
Hope this helps and you dont mind me butting in.
Love Debsxxx

mommyw
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi OIC just read some of your postings etc. What is the Go cake (obviously to help with constipation) but where do I find the receipe. Hope you are doing ok. Pauline (mommyw)

IOC
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

hi all you who were kind enough to respond, it does make a difference to have people to connect with who are at the same or similar stage too. AND WHAT FANTASTIC NEWS to hear about the few side effects. i have been devouring any news on tips to beat them and now have a cupboard full of ginger, pineapple, dried fruit and nuts.
the recipe for the Go cake on this site looks great so my dad who has come over from Ireland to help out for a few weeks is going to make it for me for wed morning. i will let you know if it works as i will surely get constipated as i suffer with IBS anyway.

for all you mums out there, i pray that you have someone to look after you through out this stressful time and so allow you to care for your needs now.
It really affects me more when i hear about the children particularly that lady who posted recently under my angel who is having to say goodbye to hers. such heartbreak.

Please do keep in touch and i wish you all the best with your treatments.

xx

Ellie42
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi all - I had WLE and SNB on 8 April, lump grade 3, nodes clear. Started chemo last Tuesday so am now day 10. Side effects certainly bearable and nowhere near as bad as I was expecting. Just get tired and am learning I need to pace myself. Re the constipation, that was one of my main side-effects, caused by the anti-sickness tablets. Saw my oncologist today and he wants me to take Senna and Lactulose a couple of days before next cycle starts to "soften things up"! Might be worth thinking about taking something like Senakot - speak to your breast nurse to see if it's okay, but the combination of Senna and Lactulose worked wonders!!!!! Lovely subject - as if this experience isn't mean enough! Take care Ellie x

kittenkat
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

hi IOC and welcome....I've had 4 of 6 chemos now and the end is in sight-ish! 3fec 3tax, and have a hickman line too - Hans Hickman....once the chemo starts the time seems to fly.....mary x

ajaytee
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi IOC
I seem to fit the title to this thread and be at a similar point on the BC journey to you. I was diagnosed on March 2nd with IDC 6cm, Grade 3, Triple Negative. Had a left mastectomy on Mar 31 and fortunately my nodes were clear. I started chemo yesterday and am having FECx3 and TAXx3 then radiotherapy.

Have to admit to being scared before getting to the chemo unit but the staff were so friendly and reassuring that I was able to relax. I am having the injections straight into my veins - do wonder if they will last as usable ones can be hard to find. Fortunately everything went smoothly and I went home to wait for the side effects! That's the problem really, not knowing what is going to happen. I did get quite a bit of nausea last night but woke up feeling much better and it's so far so good today.

Good luck with your treatment next week. I hope it all goes well.

AJ

IOC
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Thank you for this, it is good to connect with other people. had a very busy day and too tired to post anything worthwhile tonight,
Night and god bless

aliceblue
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Sorry good luck on 18th xxx

aliceblue
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Hi IOC, I agree it is all so fast, dx on 8 April, I had a mastectomy and clearance on 24 April, lump 3cm and other smaller ones. Grade 2 though, which is a bit of a relief, but 12/12 lymphs are infected, so now having scans for secondaries - scary stuff. Chemo planned for 26 May, FEC-T, then radiotherapy, a year of herceptin and then 5 years of Tamoxifen. So I feel that I've hit the jackpot so far with a full range of treatment. I'm having a portacaf fitted, which is under the skin and fitted under a general, they don't think that veins in only one arm can stand up to loads of injections and drips. I'm nervous about the scan results, not sure what state I'll be in by the time I get to chemo but I've just come off co-codamol and that seems to have had a bit of an effect on my digestive system!

While I'm enjoying lots of good company with friends since my op, thinking of going back to work tomorrow as seems a long wait to get to chemo. BTW I have a 3 year old daughter who has been giggling at me only having one nipple and asking when will it grow back - wait until I start losing my hair!

Good luck on 19th x

Rosie_Womble
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Dear IOC

Sorry that you have had to join us here, but I have found this site to be brilliant in terms of information and support - to be able to 'talk' to others who have been there/done that is so reasuring in itself.

Please don't get panicked by the prospect of side effects either - they have to warn us about the possible ones, but the drugs affect different people in different ways.

I've just finished 3 x FEC treatments and would say I was (pleasantly) surprised by the minimal side effects - the anti-sickness medication I was given worked a treat and I also followed lots of the hints and tips on the threads on this website, eg drinking iced water during the infusion helps reduce the incidence of mouth ulcers (I've had none at all). I think fatigue is about the only consistent one, and you just need to listen to your body and do what it needs to do - in my case, 'afternoon naps R us'...

Any questions, or just a need to have a good rant - there's always
someone out here, so keep typing away.
love and hugs
Rosie

evie2007
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

ah its not easy is it?I was dx on 24th april with a 2.5cm grade 3 bc. ive managed to have a wide local excision because i have big old boobs and the lump was isolated. That was removed on 7th and i too feel its all over now yet i have been told i will probably need chemo and definatly radiotherapy and 5yrs tamoxifen despite lump being isolated!

I think my shock will kick in again when i see the conultant on 22nd may for confirmation of treatment!

BTW i have 2 girls, one 9mths and one 2yrs....really scary

I think you probably have a bit of irritable bowel with the nerves...best to ask GP tho.

Janet_BCC
Member

Re: new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Dear IOC

After reading your post I thought the BCC resource pack might be helpful. It's an A5 ring binder full of useful information. If you click on the link below you can order a free copy online and one will be posted out to you.
http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/server/show/nav.718/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publication...

I've also put a link to our publication "Your operation and Recovery" which you might find useful to read.

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/server/show/nav.718/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publication...

Hope this helps

Kind Regards

Janet

facilitator

IOC
Member

new to site, new to cancer. starting chemo may 18th

Have posted some comments on other threads i have been reading through non-stop since i found the site yesterday morning and i hope to be able to meet some women in the same boat as me. I went to the one stop clinic on 3rd March where i found out on the same day i had a large tumour in my right breast(6cm). 2 weeks after that and lots of scans they told me i wd need the breast off as they found more so agreed that day and had the op on 8th April. i was working under the illusion that the cancer and all that went with it wd disappear out of my life and i cd get on with bringing up my son and starting up as a self-employed trainer... bit naive obviously but as i say it is all very new to me and everything happened very quickly.
I start FEC chemo next tuesday after getting a hickman line in on the monday as an inpatient due to a needle phobia. Trying not to dread it but have noticed that i have had terrible cramps and constipation all weekend wondering now if it is nerves. will call my doctor tom if no better as otherwise will get fixated with it.
anyway if anyone wants to chat and reassure or share please respond.
good luck to everyone going through this horrible thing.
xx