Breast Cancer Haven
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starting treatment

well I have my date to start Fec ...with mixed emotions ...glad to get started and apprehension and fear of the unknown ..I have my bloods done on wed morning and I have to be at oncology for wed afternoon for pre chemo talk ...and Thursday 9am ...I'm gutted as I have tickets for a slimming world ball on Friday ...don't know if I should go or be feeling ok enough to go ???? so I'm back now to sleepless nights with worry ....x

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I felt very light headed when I got back from Chemo, it didnt last that long, but I needed to stay fairly still, a bit wobbly...the head gets cloudy as well a bit like the early days of flu. Sleepless nights went on for months...it was six weeks past Chemo when I started to sleep at night. Chemo day passed ok, it wasnt as bad as our fearful mind makes it out to be. Yet the pep talk...and booklets give you insights into more fear, A and E!

Take it all in perspective, its needed if you have a problem... we hopeful get through with problems no worse than we have had experienced before in life. Stock up on all the things they recommend, and extras will come as freebees later. If you really want to go to the Ball...go for it...reschedule first chemo date. Good Luck!

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Thankyou for reply ...I hardly got any sleep last night ..despite the badger balm I bought ...do the symptoms ease during the days after your treatment ? ..I'm so worried about not being able to function ...I hate being sickly and not a good patient ...this si so difficult after feeling so well xxx

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Hi

Unfortunately everyone is different , no one will be able to tell you how you will feel - the day after i was usually okay , I think it was a mixture of the steroids and other drugs which kept me going , I wouldn't cancel it yet but just be prepared for the possibility of not feeling great. Some things are pretty inevitable such as losing your hair (unless you try the coldcap) but that won't happen overnight.

Jo x

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You live for week three, you are at risk to catch infections for 14 days. Chemo injections can give upset stomach but the antisickness tablets work, so its always week three for the chemist shop...any treats to get you by...but quick in and out, think ahead. You have a kind of zombie head, less alert, slow to react in week 1 and 2. Everyone though is different some even work but may be they think to cling to normality as a way to fight and cope. At 63 I just gave up and became lazy and pretty much lost spring and summer. If your young with children you might need some helpful friends or family. Its amazing what husbands will do when pushed into this situation. I was never really sick and spent my days and nights reading...its not as bad or as scary as you imagine but somewhere between ill and well.

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Morning ...another restless night ...we are self employed so life here is busy as it is ..I'm lucky though as I'm home most the time ..I rjust have to run the house ...usual chores ect ...my husband wont have much time as its our busy time of year ...we fit and restore fires stoves and chimney sweeps ...just have to drag our way through it all ...hope your well and have a good weekend x

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I had fec....I also had the cold cap I had to travel on the train in the coldest winter in London trudging through the snow...I lost every hair on my body gradually but kept the hair on my head. As some have said the effects are a bit of a slow burner i felt a bit sick but had anti sickness and steroids ...I had my treatment seven years ago now and going strong ! 😱😁😁 good luck with your journey 👍👍👍👍

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Thanks that sounds doable ....I just don't want to be sickly and useless ...its my daughters birthday in November ..and wants a party ..I am in despair over it all to be honest ..I just cant settle myself down x

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There is never a right time for this, it hits and sends shockwaves. I had twenty five years clear before my second hit, so treatment works if not a forever cure. This time treatment plan was entirely different but I recognised emotion pattern. I am happy to be back painting again after 10 months, I have a botanical illustration course to complete, until then the house can stay in a mess with extra dead plant material. I am even sneaking out now in my ultra short hair cover, bits that never fell out and areas of short spiky stubble. Its not a fashion choice just comfort from itchy wigs. Life returns to a new start...three months post chemo.

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Hi jack earls well done on starting, it is a milestone, be proud of yourself.

My first treatment of fec went like this. I was given a bed, the nurse was sympathetic and supportive and kind. I had a cannula, success first time. As the treatment began I shed a couple of tears of relief that it had begun!

I went home to bed and I threw up once. Rang the hospital who advised I take a metaclopramide tablet straight away. This stopped me from feeling and being sick. I felt normal and spent the next 3 weeks waiting for something to happen. When I phoned the hospital with my list of small minor side effects I finished with: "Why do I feel so well?" and the nurse chuckled and said Enjoy! I am 50 and I was 5 weeks post mastectomy, struggling with cording and still swollen but otherwise ok.

I believe the 3 days of steroids help you manage at the start so hopefully they will help you manage your social event. And y s the hospital can defer your start date with adequate notice.

The truth is that no one knows how they will react until it happens. But I hope this helps calm you, to know it may not be at all bad and is certainly doable.

Think of what you would say to a good friend then say it to yourself. Be kind to yourself and do not panic. The hospital is there for you.

A little mindfulness helps to keep me calm but ultimately I benefit hugely from anti depressants.

Wishing you well xx

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Thankyou for that ...I'm not going to the ball ...I'm not in the right frame of mind ..and don't want to spoil it for the others ...there is always next year ....I don't start till Thursday that's my first one 9am ...I trying the cold cap to save some of my very thick hair, I have a young daughter so need to try and look the same .. they reckon I will be there 3 and half hours all being well ...will you have the same effects every time or will it differ? ...do they make each cycle stronger or is it the same each time? ...

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1 down 5 to go... just keep mentally ticking the weeks off and you'll get through it! I completed 6 cycles of FEC in February. I found the side effects were predictable during each 3 week cycle and you just learn to manage them- such as by finding the anti-sickness meds that work for you and food and drink that eased sore mouth symptoms such as tonic water (sometimes with gin!) and ice cream. Keeping as fit as I could was important and I took up yoga and Pilates at a local cancer centre, and really benefitted from chatting to others who had been through a similar experience. I had insomnia and needed sleeping tablets throughout chemo, and antidepressants helped feelings of anxiety and mood swings. My children are in their early 20s so we're generally very helpful, but I'm sure having a little one at home will keep your mind off things and help the time pass! Good luck x

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Good luck Jane, hope all goes well. Xx

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WELL I'm home and through my first one ... cold cap was fine ...and when I was done we went to Morrison's had a pasty my hair was ok after I towel dried the ice off ......which I don't normally do...I'm on the sofa in my pjs ...although there really is no need to be apart from being tired ..I think that's because I hardly slept last night and put myself through unneeded trauma ....feel a bit squiffy ..but nothing I cant deal with ..I have ani sickness meds to take tonight ...and the next two days ...so if I take things slowly I reckon ill be ok ...onwards and upwards ..pray I'm ok the next couple of days ...thanks for all your support and speak to you soon xxx

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