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starting chemo in July

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Re: starting chemo in July

GG - mine's continued to grow - have been using it for almost 2 months and have grey roots!! So I wear headbands and little scarves to cover up the greys - but still have my hair poking out the bottom!

The steroids and anti-sickness tablets are only for a few days after the chemo. The nurses will take you through your bags full of medication!!

Good luck tomorrow! It wont be as bad as you'll be worrying it'll be.

xx

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi Ladies. Thanks for all your positive comments about the first session of chemo, mines tomorrow and am not looking forward to it at all. I am going to give the cold cap a go, can I ask a really stupid question, if the cold cap does help with loss, will the hair still grow or does it stop growing but just does fall out as much ? Also do you have to take the steroid tabs and anti sickness tabs all through chemo or is it just for a few days after having chemo. Well done to everyone who has had there treatment this week, hope I can be as brave as all you ladies out there. Good Luck to everyone is having theirs tomorrow. x

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Re: starting chemo in July

14 days post FEC1 tomorrow - hair has started to give up the ghost...ouchy scalp...

still getting away without much else in the way of SE's and absolutely carrying on as normal...

I can live without hair!

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Re: starting chemo in July

Yes Jenben, sending virtual hugs and handholding.

I got back from Cornwall on Monday - twas absolutely lovely to get away from the whole "Big C" - most of the time I completely forgot about it!! Hope you have better weather though. We had rain the whole time!!

Hope tomorrow goes well and then you can look forward to your holiday!

x

Re: starting chemo in July

Thanks June. Feeling at odds with the world and have come up to bed to stay out of the way.
Have good non side effect weekend x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Jenben

Hope all goes well tomorrow.

I'll be reaching out virtual hands.

Hope you feel as well as I do.

Love June

Re: starting chemo in July

Hope those of you who started chemo this week are doing well and your side effects are limited to hitting the biscuit tin and not the vomit bowl! I am day 6 post FEC no 1 and every day is different. My hair is definately up to something. I attempt to style it but it's just doing it's own thing. Still a hair on the head is worth 2 down the plug hole and I am risking delaying the shave until week Monday. We are going away and I want to feel normal but so scared it will start to come out. Packing some scarves just in case. My taste buds have nose dived and nothing tastes the same, except chocolate Yeeey!

Re: starting chemo in July

Hello everyone
Thanks for your good wishes. I had my second AC today.Having them every 2 weeks like Sandytoes.
4x AC followed by 4 x T. So I am a quarter of the way thro chemo now.
The PICC worked well. Was still at the hosp 4 hours tho.
They changed my anti sickness drug, no tabs this time, IV before the chemo, should last up to 5 days.
Also prescribed Movicol as constipation was a REAL pain in the bum last time!
Drank and am drinking loads more water to flush it through.
We'll crack this ladies.

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Re: starting chemo in July

Thanks Sandytoes 🙂 Hope your 2nd half of treatment goes well with minimal side effects.

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Re: starting chemo in July

3 weekly cycles - you should have lots of upbeat time!! You do get tireder the further you get through your cycles. And you might have hardly any side effects at all (here's hoping!) x

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Re: starting chemo in July

I'm having 3 weekly cycles. Must be a bit of a boost for you being at the halfway point.
It's a little difficult on the timing here as my girls have just finished school and I desperately want to be able to cram some fun in where possible but I'm aware once this is over we can have all the fun in the world. Think the hair's going soon as I'm feeling better... one less thing to worry about and a piece of control I can take back.
Love the idea of including the kids in the hair shaving. My eldest, who's 9, is my biggest concern so any way she can be involved will help I hope. She's had a rough time bless her with our youngest being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a few years back and then herself being diagnosed coeliac not long after. All things that make her feel different and no child likes feeling different do they. Sorry, went off on a bit of a ramble there!

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Re: starting chemo in July

hi, got my wig today and must say rather impressed with it, its so real looking and looks just like my own hair,... frid off for heart scan and one week today i will have started my treatment.

hope all going well with everyone take care. xxxx

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Re: starting chemo in July

Are you having it every 2 or 3 weeks, Mads79?

I'm having fortnightly 4 x AC and fortnightly 4 x TAX. Obviously everyone's side effects are different. I've kept a diary of SEs (good tip there as they do often follow the same pattern - so great for planning days/evenings out, which days to work etc) and have had my 4 ACs now. My SEs have been minimal and mainly from the steroids. My sleep patterns are a bit screwed for the first few days - but that's fine by me - I just sleep when needed, but have the luxury of doing that and realise some people don't! I also have incredible munchies (from the stroids!) and eat for England, despite feeling slightly queasy (but not sick, and not too bad - more like a slight hangover). And about 5 days after AC I feel 100% normal. I am getting a bit more tired as it goes on, but that just means earlier nights. I gave up working befoe diagnosis (bad timing! No sick pay!) so no work from me, but go shopping, meet friends, go away for weekends etc on my good 9 days.

x

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Re: starting chemo in July

I'm having 4 EC and 4 Tax. I have the thermometer and anti bac gel by my side like my trusty sidekicks. When you say the last week is normality, what's week 2 like? Please say closer to normal than week 1!

Re: starting chemo in July

Mads79 - well done on first EC - you have started your journey and can cross one of the chemo treatments of your list - how many are you having? I haven't been able to work since starting mine as the oncologist said I needed to keep away from the general public because of the chance of infection. Just one word of advice - keep an eye on your temperature - if it gets above 37.5 and stays there then ring the oncology department for advice - do not take paracetamol as that masks the temperature. As you reach this weekend your white blood cells (or neutraphils) will be at their lowest and your immune system at its most vunerable. You don't want to risk an infection so keep the anitbacterial gel on hand (literaly) and keep checking your temperature.

Normality for me is usually the seven days before the next chemo.

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi all. Had 1st EC on Mon. All went smoothly during the actual treatment. Bit of concern as my white cell level was only 1.3 which isn't a great starting point. Have felt very queasy,nauseous and just not quite with it.Much respect to those of you who continue to work! Vomitting only lasted mon night. Felt exhausted but was unable to sleep first 48 hours. Just clinging to hope I'm on right side of things now so I can enjoy some normality before the next round.Lots of love,luck and 'feeling well' wishes to all. x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi ladies. I had a left breast reconstruction in early June and I am starting chemo (FEC) in early August and I am VERY apprehensive. Would you advise getting my shoulder-length, straight hair cut before I start? I can't bear the thought of waking up with great lumps of hair all over my pillow! Do cold caps work, does anyone think? I'd love to hear of any experiences. Also I have a bit of a phobia about being sick - any advice on the best anti-sickness stuff to ask for? Thanks - lots of good thoughts and hugs to everyone who's going through chemo now xx

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi Shapb

I had worn my hair long for around 20 years, so thought of loosing it was awful. I had it cut in stages, long to just above shoulders then two weeks later shorter again. It gave me chance to get used to it, it also helped when trying on wigs.

I went to get my wig cut yesterday ready for wearing it and she wanted to cut my own hair again, rabbit in headlight time. I declined her kind offer and will let my own hairdresser do it I think when the time comes.

I did try my hat on this morning and tried tying a scarf (not very successfully. My hair feels like I am touching someone elses hair now. :0)

I have booked into the MacMillan Centre at Southampton for the Looking Good Feeling Better sessions on 2 August. Hope that will help. It is the same day for my bloods and ONC visit and chiro in the morning, a bit of a self centred day I think.

Started the antibiotics today for 7 days, yuk more pills.

All the best

Anne x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Good morning girls, feeling rather nervous today as got pre chemo this morning and second fec tomorrow. Don't know why as have already had the dreaded first one and wasn't as bad as expected 🙂
Hair has started to come out in handfuls now though ;-( although did go 19 days without any falling out. Still have a head full of hair though and will probably still have the cold cap tomoz. Would say i've lost half my hair though but my hair was quite thick so gonna stick with it as long as possible. Hats and wig on the ready.
Hey Shapb, i didn't cut hair although have read many a comments saying that most people do cut it a little shorter just before chemo, i was going to but never had the chance. I do have to wear my hair in a band all day now just to stop it falling out all over the place. Few more days and think i'll probably wear hats just to stop myself running my hands through it.
Hope everyone is as well as they can be.
Take care
Penny xxx

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Re: starting chemo in July

evening all , i start on fec week thurs , really scared but good reading all ur comments , im off tom to wig shop
wonder how that will be ! have longish hair so im windering if should get it cut short now rather than long bits falling out what do u girls all think ? xxx

Re: starting chemo in July

Hi all
Good to hear your stories. The week doesn't seem too traumatic bar the awkward picc line slenda. My EC is on Friday but thank you all for checking on me. It means a lot that people are rooting for you. I shall be sure and feedback on friday
Sandy toes your fast becoming a legend and old hat at this chemo lark! Have been following you since your diagnosis ( in a very non stalker single White female way!). You are a great encouragement to us new chemo starters thanks. I know you have surgery to come so it is far from easy for you x
This anticipation feels like waiting for results did, and I really hope my worries prove to be unfounded. Just out of interest has anyone tried SeaBand anti nausea wristbands. These particular ones seem to have been proved to work for chemo, think there was a pilot done at Christies? I have ordered sow so will let you know. Night all x

Re: starting chemo in July

Hello Ladies,
I'm having my 2nd AC tomorrow. Yesterday I went in to have a PICC inserted. Didn't go too well - it ended up in my neck, didn't go round the corner! After much pushing and shoving and reinserting and the Nurse phoning the IV unit for advice (panic -moi?)it worked out ok, over 4 hours later!
So tomorrow will be doddle! Expect to lose my hair next week. Strangely my nose hairs have already disappeared. Had a slightly runny nose. When I looked, they'd gone!
I'm going to take Movicol tonight to hopefully avoid the horrendous constipation I had last time.
Good luck to everyone still to have their chemo this week.

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Re: starting chemo in July

Well done June! FINALLY got started! You were meant to be with us June girlies!!

Jenben - hope it went OK?

And Locket - hopefully not as terrifying as you were expecting?

x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Was FECCED at 1.30, home by 4.00.

Got all the sensations as they went in, taste in mouth, itchy and runny nose, itchy bum hee! hee!, pink pee (of course),

Have had my Dexamethasone, and feeling fine. The Hickman was sure worth the anxiety yesterday.

Just got a bit of a headache now, but I'm putting it down to the drop in adrenelin now it's all over.

Hope everyone else is feeling as well as I am, AND hope we keep feeling so well.

Love and <<
June

Re: starting chemo in July

June ,Jenben and anyone else who had their chemo today i hope everything went well for you.
Iam 6 days into my first one now and my hair has given up!!! Its not falling out but is very dry and dull and totally out of condition so i made a desicion yesterday and booked my hairdresser to come to my house to shave it off. It was quite emotional but its hard as we all know just sat waiting for it all to fall out.I had a little cry with my sister then it poured and i joked how i would just take my hair off next week so it wouldnt get wet and they would be soaked.Not sure i will be able to laugh on monday as i know its going to be so hard!!!!
Hope everyone hasnt suffered too much from SE .
Take care Sharon xx

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Re: starting chemo in July

Good Luck to anyone going through treatment this week.

Off to get final cut on wig today, feels like I am taking the car in in for an mot lol.

All the best

Anne x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Good luck to June, and anyone else undergoing treatment today, hugs penny xx

Re: starting chemo in July

hi deb
thanks for the good lucks. feels a bit of a pit in the stomach today and was struggling to sleep last night. I am sure the anticipation is worse than the event, well really hope so. have a good week x

Re: starting chemo in July

Good luck to everyone having chemo this week. I had EC number 2 on Monday and feel fine today - slept well and so SE's to report. I have given up on my hair and now wearing a nice soft headwrap most of the time. I have been out in my wig but find it gives me a headache after about an hour so will practice at home to see if it becomes easier to wear for longer periods.

Looking forward to reading about how all of you ladies have got on this month.

Well done everyone

Deb

Re: starting chemo in July

Good luck June, the waiting is nearl over. Virtual. Hand holding begun

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Re: starting chemo in July

An early morning, the sleep fairy disappeared at 4.30, so I'm catching up on the TV I taped when I fell asleep watching last night.

Took a GREAT friend along yesterday and had a really fun time waiting for the line fitting, she even fitted in a Reiki session for me.

Neck a bit sore where doc cut for the Hickman, but overall, happy with the line.

OH nervous about sleeping arrangements as it is on 'his side' but I reassured by wearing bra and PJs to keep covered up.

Only 7 hours to kick off.

Be easy on yourselves today everyone. Virtual hands held out for all being poked, prodded, pricked and processed today.

Love
June

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi Ladies, just wanted to recommend an amazin place to buy a wig. I have today been to buy one as my first chemo on Friday 22nd. Its in Nottingham Rivelli Capelli Wig Studio. http://www.rivellicapelli.co.uk.
Felt very nervous about going and dreading what i would end up with !but the whole experience was so relaxed,at one point I almost forgot the reason why I was having a wig !! A good range of wigs and prices, also took NHS vouchers. Michael who is the owner is very clued up on hair loss through chemo, loads of good tips about cold caps to, like making sure you pull it down as tight as you can manage and continue to do this during the treatment, also wet your hair first and comb through so the cap gets as close to your head has possible. Also sold headgear as well. Thanks for all the positive comments it really does help. x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Well done tlb, amazed you've been able work, I was going to but have had one thing after another so learning to just chill at home and not worry too much. Tiredness has really got to me and having bad tummy but suffering with ibs really doesn't help 😞 hair has just started to thin which is a little upsetting but will try and hold on to it for as long as I can with cold cap. Second fec this Friday so starting to get nervous although I know it won't be as bad as my initial thoughts. Hope everyone having a good week with not too many ups and downs and minimal se's,

Hugs to all penny x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Well ladies..day 11 post FEC1 and feeling fine...well as fine as you can be at work!

Was struggling for first 3 days, felt like I had a horrible hangover, wasn't sick but felt sicky and head wobbly - might mention that for next time possibly anti-sickness are the right ones for me. Couldn't drink enough, must have had about 50 pints of water over those days but i think that my brain being confused by the old dry mouth funny taste thing.

Still religiously shaving my bits every day as my hair just keeps on growing!

Not enjoying the eating like a pregnant person thing! All I can think about eating is Sweet and Sour Prawns!

Overall message - chemo - really not that bad!

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi all and thanks for all the words of encouragement. Had my 1st FEC yesterday (3 x fec 3 x T) and it went ok. So having chemo is now not such a scarey thing anymore. I'm only on my second day and have been warned many of the SE's will start in a few more days, but so far I have felt just a little queasie and woke up with a rather nasty headache this morning, which paracetamol got rid of. I feel a bit muddled/dizzy and keep forgetting what tablets I need to take and when and keep having to check the boxes! But so far so good, if you know what I mean.
Those of you considering reconstructions, i had a skinsparing mastectomy and immediate LD flap reconstruction at the beginning of June and am very pleased with the result so far. I've recovered very well and have no pain or loss of strength/movement. Just thought that might be good to hear for any considering that as an option.

Good luck to all of you, much love xxx

Re: starting chemo in July

Hi Ladies, popping in from the June thread. Had ec3 of 4 with 4 tax to come, then op and radio.
Never bothered with the cold cap - i thought there was enough to deal with, then to get distracted with the pain and time it adds.
Started losing my hair before ec2 and cut it off together with my daughter and au pair before I started trailing hair. We had good fun with the cutting and shaving, I got a Mohican first, took pictures of the different stages. I mean when ever will I sport a Mohican again? For me, it's only hair. I never had the nicest head of hair and it was not long either. I feel for many for you who have lovely hair, but it will grow back. I am actually more worried about lashes and brows.
It takes me minimal time in the morning to get ready, I don't fret about styling my old hair anymore. I wear a wig to work and had so many compliments about my 'make over' it's funny, my wig looks so real. I need to travel by train and underground and I don't want the looks, tbh, but otherwise I pop on a buff or various scarves ( I like suburban turban scarves).
My son, 7, never had an issue at all, when I told him and now. My daughter, 11, was very worried when I told her, however I have included her every step, wig shopping, shaving, styling the Mohican, and she is not freaked out at all. Am really proud of her, how well she deals with it.
Rexi x

Re: starting chemo in July

Hi CPt
Sorry you had to join us in here but welcome. I am a nurse too, i work for Marie curie, and so this does not help at times. I have found I have been able to let the nurse in me go and have been happy to be treated as a "normal" patient as it were. When you get into all the terminology you realise, there is a lot you don't know anyway! I have had similiar to you grade 3 with tiny spread to 2 nodes. I start Chemo on friday and am off to stock up useful bits thar have been recommended on here. There was a thread "top tips for chemo". Have a search for it, it is great. Good luck and let us know how you get on x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Ah thanks ladies I cant tell you what your lovely comments mean to me.
Im trying my best to calm myself down now after reading them and will take all your advice on board.
I will defo be holding your virtual hands too and ill let you know how I get and would luv to hear from you too.
xxxxxxx

Re: starting chemo in July

Hi Im 39 Diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in June at Bupa Cromwell London. I had excision , snb and a multitude of tests as we do and all clear but as grade 3 am starting chemo next week AC -Docetaxal. I am a nurse but doesn't make me any less scared of course!! I have a fab husband and two children 5 & 3 and am on this roller coaster with you all and will really look forward to chatting with you all! Xx

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Re: starting chemo in July

Locket

I will be in for my first FEC on Wednesday too.

The advice I have tried to take in hand is drink plenty before you go in to make sure your veins are nice and plump. THEN Drink at least 2 litres per day for 2 - 3 days after treatment to help flush the drugs out of your body.

Good Luck for Wed.

I'll be holding virtual hands too and reaching out for yours too.

We'll get there Chuck, << June

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Re: starting chemo in July

Agh. Just added a PS and then the wesbite crashed. Ummmm...I was saying that the only preparation I'm doing is going to the supermarket tomorrow and stocking up on some healthy snacks as the steroids give me serious munchies. I've already put on too much weight. Before my first one I bought some scarves and a wig as I imagined that I wouldn't be able to go shopping as I would feel so ill and that my hair would fall out immediately. However, I've been shopping, out for dinners, away for weekends etc etc and I'm using the cold cap and my hair's sticking around at the moment. So don't feel as though you have to go out and panic buy! But if it helps to get some little bits and bobs like that so you feel more in control, then do. Otherwise maybe just some nice new pyjamas and toiletries to treat yourself!! 🙂

x

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Re: starting chemo in July

hi girls,
first time on here,i was diagnosed 2 weeks ago, i am getting chemo first think first one a week on wed, going to meet the doctor tom , so now they have all the scans and that hoping for a full picture now, totally petrified about losing my hair, i have been told getting 6 x fec, and thats all they have said at mo. been good reading some earlier posts. xxx

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi Locket,

It's really not that bad. Promise. Ask the nurse ANY questions you have when you're there. And maybe take someone along with you who you can chat to to take your mind off it?

I'm having chemo number 4 on Wed so will virtually hold your hand.

x

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi Locket
I was just like you in Dec last year, dreading the first chemo, its honestly not that bad. I couldnt sleep the night before, stomach churning etc but it was fine. I had 7 chemos, 4 FEC then 3 tax then WLE and axillary clearance, now having 23 rads! Im sure it will be ok, let us know how you get on xx Ness xx

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hiya me again panicking about starting chemo on weds.Is there anything I should be doing in preperation for this or will i find all this out tomorrow at my pre-chemo appt.
Any advice you ladies have, greatly received as im well stressing
Thanks x

Re: starting chemo in July

Chemo itself isn't scarey. They will fit a cannula in the back of your hand and attach a drip. Probably inject steroid and anti sickness before the Chemo itself. I am having 4 x EC and then 4 Tax. The E in FEC is what will take your hair. Your hospital may offer the cold cap treatment which is supposed to help about 60% of women (who use it) keep most of their hair. It lengthens your stay at the hospital by up to 3 hours and it is quite painful for the first 10 to 15 minutes. I used it for the first chemo but found my hair started to come out 2 weeks after. Went for 2nd chemo today and decided not to use the cold cap - I've lost too much hair now for it to make any difference. Cut my hair really short last night and am now wearing pretty scarves to cover up the baldy bits.

Good luck with your treatments and come back and let us know how you are getting on.

Deb

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hiya,
Im starting chemo on 20th July and Im terrified.Just got back from a lovely weekend away with the family and tried not to think about it at all just kept busy,but now im home im having a panic n dont know what to do with myself.Ive got a pre-chemo and bloods appt tomorrow,not sure if there is anything I should be asking.Its the unknown thats worrying I just hope that its not going to be as bad as im expecting.

take care ladies

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi there

Many thanks for starting this thread.. I have just been looking around the website working up the courage to join in..

I was diagnosed on 3rd June with DCIS & Invasive Grade 1 cancer. I had a local wide excision on 24th June with Sentinel Lymph node biopsy and thank goodness, my margins were clear as were the Lymph glands but the tumour was much larger and aggressive than at first anticipated so it got upgraded to stage 2.

We saw the consultant on Friday 5th July who confirmed that I would now have to have chemo (FEC) as well as radiotherapy!

First chemo is this coming Friday 22nd July and I am petrified... any advise would be greatly appreciated...

sassan...

Re: starting chemo in July

Hi
Sandy toes, I told the onc I am Renound for being very sick and she said I would get standard treatment for standard paitient, that made me panic a bit and she then said she write me up for granesitron as well. To be honest have had that before and worked sometimes not others. I think this is the thng that is worrying me most. Problem with me is, and I have Been a nurse for 27 years, I become putty in their hands, and don't speak up. My Oh is coming on Friday so I shall brief him to fight my case!

Nancy - I used to have big curly hair and have gradually had it trimmed down to very short now. I start chemo om 22nd and have booked in with my mobile hairdresser for the "shave off" 4pm 30th July. Chose the time so I wouldnt need to go out for the rest of the day. This is 10 days post chemo but I am almost phobic about losing my hair in a public place or wake up to a coated pillow. This may seem a little early but for me I feel I need to have control. We also go away to Cornwall for a week on the 2nd august to stay with friends and don't want my trail of hair in every room. Good luck deciding, it's rubbish. What I am really wishing is that I wil bold and bald, and not having to make hat/wig/scarf decisions every day. Having said that today would def have been a hat day looking at the rain pounding the windows!

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Re: starting chemo in July

Hi I'm starting my chemo on 26th July and have been reading the posts and finding them helpful.I have had mastectomy and diep flap reconstruction on 14th June and can only remember that my first 3 of 6 chemos is FEC
Then changes to something else with radio at the end and herceptin chucked in there somewhere as well
As you can see I'm taking in one step at a time and not looking too far ahead
Really struggling with whether to cut my hair really short or chance the cold cap first but have been told by onco that I will defiantly lose my hair really wish I could just get over it and make a decision!
Wishing you all well
Nancy