Hello HelenBumbleBee. It is all a bit overwhelming to start off with, isn't it? But, don't worry, you've found this lovely site now (I'm so glad I did).
As Kip says, we're all just starting off so in the same place as you. We'll just support each other every step of the way.
Hello HelenBumbleBee, so sorry you find yourself in this nightmare but you have definately found the place to be.. everyone on here gets exactly how this feels. Talk and read away, these lovely ladies are doing great with their first chemo sessions.. you'll be the same. Its so tough at the beginning but when you get into a pattern you'll be fine. I finished my chemo at end of September 18 after having masectomy, I then had ANC clearance and 15 x radiotherapy finishing on 19th December. All went ok, never as bad as I thought, yes some grim days with the chemo and surgeries etc but always picked up and moved on and always always always came on here, asked questions, moaned, whinged and chatted to the ones who really get it.
Take care... let these lovely girls guide you along..
I've also been feeling pretty nauseous & generally rotten, but also busy replying to messages from friends and family, and also just taking a break from the internet because I'm sick of thinking non-stop about cancer and chemo. DebsE - I'm having Taxol after AC and my Dr told me Taxol is much easier so hopefully you won't have too bad a time of it. All the best everyone. xx
Hi Welshj and all. I tried to post, telling you how it went today but kept getting error messages (several posts might all appear at the same time).
It was better than I expected. The nurses were great, talking me through the drugs and what they were for, as they were being adminstered.
I need a bigger cold cap as they had to force it on my head (which won't help the roots) but after the first 15 minutes I was numb so it was fine. Heavy though.
I'm home now, have had a good tea and am ready for bed.
Hi Welshj and all. I'm home now and it all went really well.
There was a bit of waiting around, mainly because they're still playing catch up after Christmas. The administering of the drugs was very straightforward, with the nurse naming each one as she gave it and telling me what it was for. There were 4-5 of us in the room. The chairs were recliners and there were heated pads to put over us to keep us warm (that sounds a bit like we were all huddled up together - we weren't!)
The cold capping was a bit troublesome, mostly because they didn't have a cap in my size so I had to have slightly too small one. I had a pain in one temple to start off with so the nurse put a piece of gauze between the cap and my skin and the pain went straight away. After about 15-20 mins it was all numb so I couldn't feel anything. It's a bit heavy though. At one point I nipped out to the loo and could see in the mirror I didn't look as daft as I felt!
So home now and I'm feeling fine though tired. I'll see how it is when the drugs wear off, but they've sent me home with half a pharmacy to use if I need to
Hi I had my information appointment today and the nurse was so helpful and I feel a little less anxious now. She went through some of the side effects and showed us around the chemo area so that we know what to expect when I go for my first FEC-T tomorrow. I just hope it all goes well for all of us new starters. Good luck everyone.
I'm also starting taxol tomorrow, weekly for 12 weeks and her herceptin for a year. So anxious re side effects particularly nausea and vomiting as due to previous abdominal surgery I am unable to be sick. Going to try the cold cap, fingers crossed. Good luck to you , let me know how you get on. I also have a picc line. Can't believe this is happening and will I ever reach acceptance.
Hi Alif. I start 12 weekly Taxol sessions tomorrow at 9.30am. It's the fear of the unknown that gets us isn't it? But we'll be absolutely fine, you know.
I have a huge mound of stuff put aside to take with me - everything from cross-stitch to sherbert lemons - you'd think I was going on safari!
Stuck at 14 - I'm also a bit older than you (44) with 3 kids aged 7, 11 and 13.
My older two are actually more anxious than the 7 yo, but maybe it's also a question of personalities.
My 13 yo stayed up til midnight last night, turned out she was making me a book of "50 quotes for tough times"! Very sweet.
Hi I'm starting fec-t on Tuesday 8 January. I've already found the tips on here so useful. I am very nervous about it all but it helps to know that others feel the same. Good luck to all of us starting this journey this month.
Well done first timers! Thats one ticked off... now just rest up and follow your body. Well done B74 on your fasting.. crikey I couldn't do that... in fact I found I ate more.. hence the need to diet now!
Big hugs to you all.
Hi everyone, I had my first AC (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide) about 4 hours ago and I'm glad to say the infusion itself was very straightforward and not bad at all. The nurses were lovely and reassuring. I also met a young (mid 20s?) girl who is now on Taxol having completed 4 rounds of AC so she had lots of advice for me. Now I just feel a bit dizzy/spacey/weak - but given I haven't eaten for 57 hours I don't know if that's the drugs or hunger!! I reaaaaallly hope I am feeling up to eating tomorrow at 4pm when my fast finally ends!!
Thanks Kip and Fluffysunshinepants for your kind words.
B74, we are in it together as I also have my chemo tomorrow. I wish you all the best and will be thinking about you. Sending you big hugs.
I am anxious too but know that it's only going to be for approx. 6 months out of my life.
We can all do this.
What time is your chemo? Mine is at 1030.
Will let you know how I get on.
Wishing everyone else that is getting chemo tomorrow all the best.
Deep breaths B74.. I remember that feeling, I was beside myself with worry. I actually sobbed for the first hour or so of my chemo but the nurse was so lovely. If you are having FEC they have to adminster it manually (rather than having a drip fed one) so the nurse sits with you throughout which was really nice as she chatted to me all the time and put me at ease. They are always checking for leaks or problems so don't worry nothing untoward will happen. No 2 chemo onwards I used to take a different friend with me and we would sit and chat, eat and drink and pass the time..
Big hugs to you all this week....
Welcome Rachel50........starting to feel nervous now but I just want it to happen. I go for my pre-chemo appointment tomorrow along with my ECG and Echocardiogram.
I also got my hair cut last Friday, not quite the Pixie look but much shorter than normal just to soften the blow when it actually happens. I am always thinking that it is going to grow back.
I have ordered the Travel Sickness Bands along with other bits and bobs from Amazon.
Kip, thanks for your tips about going to the toilet. I shall pop both of them on the shopping list.
Not long to go now girls........I hope you are all doing well.
Sending lots of love MMJJ xxx
Hi LB, hope everything goes well for you on 8th January. I had the same chemo regime as you, I started Oct '17, so if there is anything I can help you with, please ask. You might want to want to post this on the January '18 thread so you get the support of other ladies having chemo at the same time as you x
Hi ladies, I'm from the Oct '17 thread. I just wanted to add that I wore sea/travel sickness bands whilst having chemo and for a few days afterwards and didn't suffer with any sickness, so they might be worth giving a try x
OOoh just remembered... I didn't mention "constipation"... I found the steroids caused constipation..drink lots, eat fruit (dates/figs on your breakfast) if you can also I took lactulose (recommended by Oncology nurse) in the evenings for the first few days. Once steroids were over it was back to normal. Some ladies find the chemo has the oppostie effect, so worth having some Diacalm in ready just in case.
I understand your worries about how quickly you will be back to eating cake.. I can assure you even with a lardy mouth and no taste buds I was still eating cake!!
I found with my first FEC treatment, I felt fine for the first 4 days, then on the 5th day I was a bit tired and had a little bit of a sore tongue which stayed around for the next few days. By day 8 I felt ok again and was fine until the next treatment. The part I always found difficult was when I finished taking the steroids ( I think that is about day 5 after treatment with FEC). I would always have a downer as I came off of them and would be a bit weepy and fed up, but after a day or so I'd bounce back. Look out for the steroid downer! The FEC treatments pretty much followed the same pattern each time, if you get a sore tongue/mouth the hospital told me to rinse with salt water (I tried to do this regularly throughout the day especially after eating) and they also gave me Difflam mouth wash (you can buy this over the counter) and that helped too. Nip it in the bud as soon as you can... ring that helplie and they will give you as many meds as you need. Generally the SEs I had from FEC where on par with pregnancy sickness, I took the as and when sickness pills they give you a couple of times a day for the first couple of days and then it went. I found I wanted to eat more to stave off the sicky feeling, sausage rolls and salt n vinegar crisps seemed to be what I craved. Just eat when you can and whatever you feel like, my nurses said its no time to be dieting, just get through it.
I didn't mention before as its quite a big deal but the hair loss... mine started day 12 after my first chemo, by day 15 it was going big time and I had to brave the shave. Its a bloody big deal when you are going through it (or was for me anyway) but once its gone, its gone and you move on and deal with it, on a happier note, by chemo 5 my hair was growing back and is now full covering, quite thick and about 1inch long (you can see it on my photo.. although it is grey!) If you feel your head/hair tingling thats the sign is starting to shed. Lots of us on June chemo thread posted our baldie photos if you fancy a look.
I hope this helps, Im sure you'll be eating that cake!
Thank you so much Kip for the info, I already have a box with bits and bobs in it but I can now add to this with your suggestions. I know everyone is different in how they respond to the drugs but how long did it take for you to get over the main side effects of your first chemo? It’s my birthday on the 13th of January and I am hoping to enjoy a bit of birthday cake 😊 if my taste buds let me.
D, welcome to the January club. I hope you had a lovely New Year.
Like G says, I just want to get the first one over with but it really isn’t long now.
All the best,
Hello Ladies, sorry you find yourselves here but am glad that you found this place.. .its invaluable!
I started my chemo in June 2018 and finished my last one on 24 September 2018. I had 3 x FEC and 3 x T (Docetaxol). You seem to have found lots of tips and hints already but here's a few more...
Drink plenty - especially the day prior to chemo, the day of chemo and the day after ... this helps to keep the veins nice and plump too!
Eat what you can when you can, I kept a box of ginger biscuits, crackers and boiled sweets with me always, just something to nibble on if you feel nausea.
Pineapple (tinned) is great when you have dodgy taste buds.
Frozen lollies or frozen fruit also good for sore mouths.
When I had a really bad "lard tongue" the nurse suggested getting Vit C tablets (the kind in a tube which you dissolve in water) and let 1/2 of one dissolve on your tongue, certainly gets the mouth buds tingling.
A spoon of Manuka honey a day.. lots of ladies swear by this!
Take all the medications given, and if something doesn't suit you or help at all, don't hesitate to call your chemo hotline.. they have lots of medications in their arsenal and everyone reacts differently. Never be afraid to call them.
Take your temperature regularly... always take it before taking paracetemol.. and call the hotline if it gets too high.
REST... sounds simple, but listen to you body and take it easy. BUT also if you can exercise a little, just a little walk around the garden will lift your spirits!
Anti sickness travel bands.. I used these and didn't suffer very much with sickness... a bit of "morning sickness" feeling sometimes but not sure if the bands helped or not.. but I kept them on incase!
Keep a diary of how you feel each day, the chemo SEs usually follow a pattern so you should see how you will be feeling for the next cycle and can plan some treats around the worst days.
Don't take your steroids after lunchtime,... they stop you sleeping at night!!
Most importantly.... come on here and ask questions, moan, groan and let it all out. I am on the June Chemo 2018 starters forum and if you go on there you can follow our whole journey through this and out the other side.
Chemo isn't nice... but it isn't unbearable either, some days are down.. but you do get good days too.. I worked through mine, albeit part time and at home but still managed it.