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Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

marli
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Horsemaddoglover - I had EC (don't know about the 90!) as did a number of my BC friends in this area. Like you I was a little concerned about NOT having more side effects, as I had read a number of threads regardeing FEC/Tax and some of those ladies seemed to have a hard time. Don't get me wrong, it was not pleasent and I know of a couple who did feel quite sick and nauseous but on the whole I managed well. If this is the same treatment and you want to ask any questions, feel free to PM me. Best of luck. Marli

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi is there anyone else out there having ec90 which is the chemo I am having. I have had my first one 2 weeks ago and have felt so well have been feeling scared waiting for something to happen. My hair has started to fall exactly 2 weeks after first treatment and my hairdresser is on her way this evening to sort my hair and trim my wig. I have a friend also having fect and that seems to be the only chemo I can find anything about. If anyone having same treatment as me please post.

Cackles
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Sian I totally agree with Caroline M. I would start or join a starting chemo in November thread or join an October group. It is super to have others going through the same thing at the same time. I have had three FEC and it really was not too bad for me. Slight nausea and tired for a few days. I have had one Tax so far two to go and that has been interesting , really fatigued and about three days of aches similar to flu, and one episode of Tax trots which should be called Tax Sprint. The problem is everybody is different, fear and pain levels differ etc. it is the unknown fear of neutropaenia occurring that has worried me. I avoid going out too much in the middle week just in case somebody might have a cough or cold which I may catch. Others have had more side effects.
Take everything they give you to control side effects and be ready for a few months of drinking +++ and not liking smells and foods that once you liked.
This thread has a good list of hints if you go back a bit. You could download the BCC information or ring the Helpline for a preparation chat.
I so hope all goes well.
Cackles xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Please don't be too scared Sian, remember everyone reacts differently & you hear of many people who have a relatively easy time. I've just finished mine (3FEC, 3TAX) & the best advice I can give you is to be prepared for the side effects you MIGHT have, so that you know the best way to ease them. There's so much helpful advice on this forum, and you can always come on & have a moan & there will be someone who's been there & can sympathise.....
Hope it goes well.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Am starting chemo on 28th October am terrified. Heard so many awful things about it. Like these tips though. Put my mind at ease .thanks

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi italia03

I'm getting things the opposite way to you, I'm getting chemo now and surgery will be at the start of next year.

Everyone reacts to chemo differently, I'm lucky and haven't had it too bad. I had 2 x FEC and have just changed over to Taxatore - the weeks have flown in! I'm still working more or less full time, I'm self employed so have to but am managing fine with it.

Do you have the option to use the cold cap? If you do, my advise would be to use it. I can give you some tips I picked up from someone - I still have most of my hair, it's just a lot thinner at the crown.

Keep smiling and remember it'll hopefully all be finished sooner rather than later 🙂 Caroline xx

italia03
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

HELLO EVERYONE IVE HAD MY SURGERY AND START CHEMO NEXT WEEK , IME NOT ASHAMED TO SAY THAT I AM TERRIFIED , BUT WE AINT GOT ANY WHERE TO RUN HAVE WE SO IME LOOKING TO ALL YOU LOVELY PEOPLE TO HELP ME THROUGH PLEASE XXXXXXXX

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thank you for this...I'm off shopping!

charliejack
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thank you, fantastic tips, this is just what I need at moment as due to start chemo in few weeks, hope your keeping well Charliejack x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hello Mummysmith,

The thread is here: http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=32575&p=567793#p567793

I hope your side effects aren't too bad. The nausea should start easing off now...

It's amazing how this wake up call makes you re-evaluate your life isn't it?

xxx

Ginge23
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Everyone
I'm starting Chemo in September and would like to start a thread with anyone going through the same process. I have just come out of hospital after having a masectomy and reconstruction. I had 4 tumours grade 3 and have had lymph nodes removed. What a bloody rollercoaster. I thought they were going to tell me I had another cyst as had mamogram last year. Off to see oncologist tomorrow as def having Chemo and then radiotheraphy so a few rocky months ahead. I am married with twin girls and they and the hubby have been great. Very patient although wondering when patience will run out!! Having trouble sleeping waking with anxiety and a bit panicky. I am not sure I have come to terms with it all as was diagnosed on 11th July and had op 13 days later so didn't have time to sit down and think about things. I have read all these things on the forum and haven't got a clue what everyone is talking about when they talk about TAX and Fec-T???. Best wishes to everyone xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

where can i find the starting chemo in august thread?i had my first lot on 1st aug.i`m 40 and have 4 young kids and havent had any time for years to go back to bed to rest,to pamper myself and take me time without feeling guilty.i hadn`t realised how fast i was living life and how fast life was whizzing by.these last 2 months ,my husband has been totally there for me,taken indefinate leave from work and allowed me all this time.i feel like although i`m poorly at the moment,i feel like i have never felt more alive.i have spots all over my face chest and in my hair,is that normal?i will definitely try and drink more water,thats a good tip.i`m fed up with the nausea already though!

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Thanks for all these tips. as I start chemo next month. Hope I will not need them all- but handy to have& will give me confidence to go through this. best wishes bell.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Wow, Im just reading this and mentally making a long list of things I need to do. Just recovering from surgery and awaiting first chemo date. Nervous and trying to not read too much as I read a post on another webpage and it scared the crumbs out of me!

thanks for this list, very useful for the tips and hints.

Charlie
http://charliesbreastcancerblog.blogspot.com/

Cackles
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I too have just had my firse cycle of Fec-t yesterday. I feel tired but have very litte nausea which is just as well because i get the "shakes " with antiemetics. The cold cap was very bearable in fact you really don't notice it after the first ten minutes. Take a hot pack for feet and hands or even an old fashioned hot water bottle. I made a really big effort to drink iced gingerbeer during the treatment and had lollypops on the way home. This might help with mouth ulcers- I will keep you posted.
Caron one of Trevor Sorbie's "my new hair" trained .wig suppliers was delightful to contact and if the cool cap fails I will have a well cut wig which will probably look better than my own untidy mop.
I felt really smelly following treatment but had been told not to wash the conditioner off my hair for 48 hours. I now understand patients who told me certain smells remind them of the chemo. I will never use Dove Conditioner again!
It is lovely to be in contact with others at the same stage. Do use the Helpline. I called with a last minute niggle five minutes before treatment and now feel happy because I got a researched based answer to my problem. The previous call was also superb because she had undertsken chemo 9 years ago and was so knowledgable.
I hope all the August group continues to find it not too traumatic.
KEEP up the fluid intake and have a couple of short walks each day. The Bran cake is lush- my grandmother made it and it works!.
Hugs to all.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi fms

I am one week into my first chemo - not nearly as bad as I expected so far. No sickness took all the drugs they gave me, just feel absolutely washed out and weak. Lots of friends coming around which is nice as I am widowed and live alone - I actually like the fact that I can go and lie down whenever I feel like it, get up when I want etc. Not sure when the mouth ulcers will start or if I will be lucky and avoid them, hair should start falling out next week but got my wigs and scarfs ready. Good luck it is nice to chat to people who are travelling the same journey.

As someone who never stopped still for five minutes I am realising that life is not all about rushing around and maybe this is what I needed to show me I can stop and smell the roses.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hello fms
thinking of you today starting chemo and sending you big HUGS. I am having 1st chemo tomorrow. Why dont you join us under "starting chemo in august" let us know how you get on.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi there. I'm starting chemo tomorrow (Thursday 4 Aug) and it's really helped so much, reading all the advice given in this forum. It would be great to be in touch with others who are at the same stage of their journey - it's scary feeling you're facing this alone, however supportive your friends and family are.

Good luck to everyone at all stages! xx

Lavenderlassie
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Lots of good wishes to everyone starting chemo this week, bumping the thread for the Go Cake recipe on page 1
Lavender
xxx

RevCat
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi there,
There are quite a lot of threads on here from people who've had FEC-T so I'm sure you'll find some helpful tips. I had it neoadjuvant (before surgery) but I think the advice is probably the same either way. Your BCN should give you (an overload of) advice but I would say:

- take your steroids and anti-sickness exactly as they say
- take care of your skin including your scalp - lots of moisturiser
- take care of your nails during the Tax - dark nail varnish really does seem to work!
- drink loads of water
- avoid anything very acidic (I was told no citrus, pineapple or cranberry, but other BCNs vary)
- avoid things that might upset your tum; general advice is no soft cheese, raw egg, unpastuerised anything or live yogurt (again BCNs vary)
- try to get a little walk every day
- teel your onc. about side effects - they can often help with anything from sleeping pills to painkillers to heartburn meds.
- 'listen' to your body and shout sooner rather than later if anything feels wrong

*** Week 3 is the best week - plan in a few treats, food you can taste and enjoy, activities you love.

You can, and will get through this. We all find our own way through it. I'm a boring rule follower and it worked for me to do as I was told; you may not be, but you will do what is right for you I am sure of it.

My very best wishes to you as you take this next step on the road to the future.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I had a mastectomy and have now been diagnosed with carsinosarcoma a rare form of cancer, I am starting 6 sessions of FEC-T = 1 every three weeks. Does anyone have any top tips, really scared having head shave this weekend and hoping to raise a bit of money for cancer research uk x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I am also starting FEC-T on 3rd August,

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi everyone

I am starting my first chemo FEC-T on the 1st of August and wondered if anyone out there was on the same chemo or starting at the same time and would like to message for support.

Kind regards
Just Like a Duck
xx

angielav
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Sausage rolls .. Peanuts .. Kettle chips .. Mars bar icecreams .. Chocolate coated flap jack .. Chips with mayo .. Never used to eat any of this stuff !!

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Banana or carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, thai curries, dairy milk chocolate, cheese sandwiches, pizza, pasta, brownies, cinamon rolls....YUMMY! Trying not to indulge TOO much as have already put on loads of weight. But it's the crap food that makes me feel better when on the steroids!!

poppyscarlet
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Just had my first chemo Monday, suffered 3 days of sickness, but next time will up the anti-sickness. Now all I want to do is eat starchy food like chips cant get enough of em and cheese sandwiches Anyone else had any food fads?

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Dandygirl,

I was terrified and thought I would be bedbound! But it's nowhere NEAR as bad as I thought it was going to be. They really do give you some fantastic drugs to combat the side effects. I'm 3 down now and have felt a bit queasy and much tireder than normal, but I make sure I have plenty of rest - and the nausea isn't enough to stop me from eating normally!!

I've met a few women on the chemo ward who have worked the whole way through chemo.

People do react in different ways though. So maybe take it easy for the first few days after number 1, spoil yourself a bit and settle in with some DVDs or something, see how you feel and then if you do feel nauseaus enough that it would have stopped you from doing stuff, speak to the hospital so they up the anti-sickness for the next time.

GOOD LUCK! You'll be fine!! xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Dandygirl - you will find that everyone responds so differently to different chemos that it's hard to generalise - I'd read up on the possible side-effects (good info on this site and McMillan site) so you are not scared when they happen - and the advice I had and followed from hospital was to phone if if side-effects seemed really bad eg nausea not stopped after a few hours and they can usually help - so don't suffer by yourself.
Hoping you "sail through"

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi dandygirl try not to worry too much about the treatment. I have had. 2 ops in May and June and started chemo on Epi this Wednesday and so far have had no side effects. I've made a point of filling my days and not thinking about "feelng" any different.....and it's worked! I know that it won't always work but a positive attitude may get you through! Keep your chin up and embrace the challenge....after the surgery this is more than manageable. Jan xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

have just finished surgery and not looking forward to chemo heard first week is the worst any tips please and resps thanks. dandygirl

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Tracey, I've not actually heard of a "clip" to trace tumour but good thing (one of them, there are lots) about this site is that there is always someone who will come along who would have heard of or experienced what you are or will go through so keep posting on here - i know some onc's prefer to give chemo first to shrink the tumour, depends on how they wish to do it so make sure they explain it all to you properly, its your body and i have to say onc is fab and i didnt feel pressurised into anything at all, plus i like you had never had an operation in my life and i was petrified too but it was totally ok the staff there were fab and didnt mind how many questions i asked and the explain all to u put u at your ease and make it as easy as possible for you.
Re dark nails, this is cos im going to start taxotere and this particular chemo can have an effect on your nails being exposed to the light, it can make the nails thick and /or sore etc hence darker colour the better, not everyone has this side effect some do some are lucky and dont but i am just being prepared.
Feel free to pm me and please look at the other posts they are a great form of support - Shar xxxxxxxxx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi there,

Well after my diagnosis 4 weeks ago, Im still waiting to start my chemo. Having a 'clip' insterted tomoz - tues - so they can trace the tumor once the chemo starts.
My consultant wants to start chemo first, them surgery later on. Everyone I read about seems to have surgery first.... it scares the hell out of me, as Ive never had an op before. When I had my son I only had a paracetomol for pain relief, and I am such a whimp.

Can I ask, why you have to paint your nails dark colours, Ive not come across this yet???? Ive just soaked my false nails off.... first time in years, and my little fingers are like pigs trotters... they are awful, I feel bare already.

Take care, hope all goes well for you
would love to hear from you soon
Tracey x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi, just reading this thread as tho on chemo for past 2 months, i have hd 3 fec and about to start 3 tax, first one tomorrow, have the frozen peas ready, plus gonna do my nails purple later, but the eyebrows and lashes, im with u all, i would hate to lose them, nails survived very well on fec, eyebrows still there, have thinned a bit but no one has noticed just me cos i know my brows lol - just been on amazon to find the Talika product mentioned, i found Talika eyebrow gel, £21.50 is that the one?
Any more tips/inspiration on avoiding the tax truck, have my pain relief at the ready, my onc said to continue with the paracetamol/co codamol i had after the lumpectomy and they made me float the pain relief was fab!! Shar xx

Jo_BCC
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Posted for new user Alison
Jo, Facilitator

Oh cripes girls! Have just had four FEC and am facing 12 TAX... eyelashes already thinning, but think they may be on the way out now. considering having an eyeline tatoo'd on cos it may make false lashes look more realistic? Have already started with the special lash treatment - pricey but worth it.. QVC sell it. Ali

horace
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi boobydoo-I lost eyelashes and brows with tax-my lashes came back thinner but ok-my eyebrows seem to be gone forever but you can get a kit[Browzings] which does a good coverup job.The rest of my hair is fine although underarm hair never came back[no problem there!].
Good Luck
Valx

Lisa_x
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Booby doo,

I've had 3 FEC and my first Tax yesterday. My eyebrows have thinned slightly but only noticed one eyelash in the sink yesterday, so not doing too bad so far! I'm using an eyelash conditioner with liposomes from Talika. You can get it from Amazon for about £20 and I use it on my eyebrows too. I met a lady who didn't lose her eyelashes until her last chemo and they have come back really quickly. If I do lose my eyelashes, when they start to grow back I intend to buy Rapidlash which is supposed to help them grow thicker and stronger but I think it's quite pricey!

Try and get yourself booked on 'Look Good Feel Better' workshop. They will show you how to apply make up and I learnt a lot about how to draw on eyebrows. 'Browzings' by Benefit is really good for eyebrows too!

Lisa

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Fantastic thread for someone waiting to start chemo and not having a clue what to expect. Did many ofy ou loose your eyebrows/lashes - terrified of this happening I will look so bad - if so where is the best place to get makeup to try and make me feel as good as possible?

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

thank u for replying i took imodium in the end i was so ill couldnt go on and touch wood its settled its the chemo i had it last time about day 3 for few days but this time it took a while to come this time lol ill be speaking to doctor tuesday to ask if this can be avoided !
thank you again for post

TSR
Member

Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Amanda, sorry, it's awful isn't it? I found it was the antibiotics rather than the chemo that did it to me, so it might be worth checking with your team. I was prescribed something similar to imodium to help. Also, herceptin upsets your stomach, don't know if you are on that? But I have found that, that one does just lessen over time as your body gets used to it. I just try and avoid too much fibre around day5/7.
Hope you feel better soon x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

hi ive been getting really bad cramps and loose bowels can anyone help lol in a bad way
thanks amanda

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

bumping this up for those that need it x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

hello everybody, i have been experiencing the symptoms most of you have. my eyes have started to get sore, watery, feels like conjunctivitis, can someone explain to me what happens to your hands and feet on tax
please thanks liz to all the ladies that are struggling with the loss of their hair, the first time i got diagnosed 10 years ago i was absolutely heartbroken at the loss of my hair, when it grew back it grew back stronger and thicker than it was before, this time i havent been at all bothered,BUT first time my husband shaved it for me, THIS TIME i was so peeed off and angry i shaved it myself, i wasnt going to let this revolting disease take anything else from me i did that myself and felt 100 times better after i had cheated cancer and took my hair myself Am i going mad, or can any of you get where i am coming from??????????

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

hello all

Biff--- i totally understand where you are coming from, im one week post fec 1, i used the cold cap and im not washing my hair, i cry when i try the scarfs on, i cry when i think about losing my hair and lashes as they play a important part in my apperance, im never seen without my hair and make up,
if only we could keep our hair,, its so unfair for us to go through it, i just hope i find the strength
love and hugs
Donna
xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Anne thanks for your advice I had actually thought about shaving it off yesterday but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Spoke to OH last nite and he says he will do it for me so 2nite the whole lot goes, I have my wig and have worn it a few times when out but this is it now !! hopefully I'll be ok after a few tears have been shed and a few chocolates have been eaten!!

Luckyd that's what I am worried about most is my reaction and emotions as when hair started coming away this week I have been an emotional wreck, crying everytime I pass a mirror or when hair comes away in my hand. This week has been the first time I have cried and I think OH was surprised that I did as I have been very positive throughout, he has been a saint too as have my 2 sons. My 6 year old told me this morning when I told him I was going to hospital to get my medicine "don't worry mummy I'll take good care of you when I come home from school" then the tears came flooding again !!!!

fec 2 went well 2day and have had an injection of anti-sickness and more to take over the next few days as I was floored with "constant hangover" symptoms for 9 days post fec1- so fingers crossed.

Hope everything goes well this week with treatment and that everyone keeps well.
Lizz xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

I will be having 3rd FEC next tues out of 6. I used the cold cap the 1st time but 3rd week in it was falling out quite alot so i didn't bother with my 2nd FEC, My 13 year old daughter shaved it off 2 weeks ago now, she found it very funny and i am glad that i got her involved, but 2 weeks on personally i am really struggling with it. i'm finding it hard to look in the mirror as i do not see myself. I am 36 but do not feel it right now, I am also on zoladex as myself and partner would like to have a family, cross fingers. The night/day sweats and hot flushes and cronic banging headaches are making my days quite But all in all i am not feeling as bad as i thought i would, i have not felt sick once, and am getting used to the 2nd week not being the best week. My partner has the patience of a saint.

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

have just had my 5th chemo (FEC), the 4th being a change to Tax which was awful. i ended up in hosp for a week so ill and Tax was discontinued and i'm back on FEC. i've found Fec not too bad although now i' nearing the end, with only 1 to go (hooray) i find that i'm tired ALL the time and have absolutely No energy, which is frustrating asi find it hard to sleep at night!!! i'm also getting more breathless, even doing wee things, but at least there's light at the end of the tunnel. just wondering how long after my last chemo that i'll start to get some energy back. any advice would be very welcome

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Biff
I am a week on from number 2 Tax of 6,and my hair started falling out 2 weeks after Tax 1. I had already had it cut short before starting my chemo, then when it was coming out over the kitchen surfaces and on the pillow i felt quite stressed so asked my OH to shave it all off 10days ago. It is patchy now, and it feels like a velcro head, but I wear a buff hat and this week I went shopping on my own to the supermarket in my new wig from the hospital. It feels a bit strange at first but I think its better for me at the moment. Will see how I manage when the weather starts to warm up!

Take care
Anne xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi everyone, just looking to see if anyone has any tips for your head/scalp when your hair is starting to thin/fallout, the "pins" sensation is really bad just now and even the painkillers aren't helping and I really need a good sleep.

Hope everyone is doing ok and good luck to all the fec recievers this week, fec2 on thursday for me if bloods come back ok today x

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Jet I was very intersted to read your tips on chemo and glad you got on as well as you did, though i know even that is still hard i am imagining - actually imagine all kinds im very scared re the chemo, i have very long hair and have read your comments with interest, some people go and get it cut which i am consider though would hate it so much... just knowing what to do for the best as everyone is different...Shar xx

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Re: Top tips to help get you through Chemotherapy

Hi Ladies
Haven't been on the forum for a while but thought maybe my experience might help.

I has 6 x FEC May-Aug 2009.

Hair - I used the ice cap and lost 50% hair volume. My hair is shoulder length and the bottom bit stayed pretty much so wore wide hair bands and had a fake bun piece that I would pin up. Nobody noticed! I did wear a wig when I returned to work mid Sept - basically cos it was so easy - and again no one noticed and I got loads of compliments about my hair. By the end of Nov I had my first hair cut and stopped wearing a wig although my hair was pretty thin but growing fast. As my son was getting married in May 2010 I treated myself to hair extensions - can really recommend them they made me feel great and looked natural and give you the length and volume whilst your own hair is growing.

Chemo - I drank 2 litres of water a day for 2 days prior to chemo and for 3 days after. I made a jug up of weak juice and forced myself - I think keeping hydrated really helps. I kept a diary and would mark out of 10 how I felt - on chemo day it was usually 5 but by the end of the week I was up to 10 again. Eating little and often helps too plus stem ginger and peppermint.

Work - I had 4 months off but would have come back earlier except for the swine flu scare as I work in an open plan office. But I had a great time lunching with friends and looking after my grand-daughter when I could - how often do we not have to clockwatch! Personally I found it all more bearable by keeping busy and trying to be 'normal'.

Hope some or any of the above helps - you will get through it.

J