Chemotherapy: Experiences and advice

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• Community manager
Posted on
Good advisor

Were you or are you being treated by chemotherapy for your cancer?

Let us know your opinion about this type of treatment, so that other patients could learn more about how it works and what to expect.

Thanks in advance for sharing your stories!

Beginning of the discussion - 01/02/2017

Chemotherapy: Experiences and advice


Posted on

Chemotherapy affects everyone differently, depending on the drugs and combination of drugs and the dose. Drugs can be taken orally or intravenously or via a semi permanent port. The experience of it varies and sometimes listening to or reading about other people's horror stories creates fear. For me my biggest fear was being deprived of my privacy and losing control. The main thing to remember is chemo drugs are highly toxic and will make you sick and cause all many of physical and emotional issues. Not all chemo drugs make your hair fall out! It's very important to do your own research and ask loads of questions, ensure before you agree to take anything that what's being offered is actually best for you and not the oncologists go to drug. Oncologists do seem to love to sneak steroids into the mix, they are as toxic as chemo, I flatly refused to take them because the oncologists couldn't give me a good enough reason. I chose the chemo drug that I could take orally. I took a short course, 5 months at 3 weekly I'll intervals, didn't lose my hair. Treatment so far has been successful, 5 years and counting.

Chemotherapy: Experiences and advice


Posted on

Hi I was diagnosed with DCIS in October 2015.  Mastectomy 18/12/2015,

I had 6 cycles of FEC-T chemotherapy treatment (Feb to June 2016) The treatment was administered through a PICC Line which was flushed and re-dressed every week.  I purchased three plastic sleeves so I could shower, and used a freezer bag taped with micropore dressing tape over the bandage to keep everything dry.

I wasn't sick once although I felt dreadful - I'd get the shakes from the anti emetics, I lost my hair, some toe nails, mouth ulcers, and altered taste. 

The T part of the treatment gave me very bad diarrhoea

Also for the week after chemo I had to give myself injections to stimulate the production of blood cells - not the nicest thing to do!

It's been nearly a year since I finished, I have put on lots of weight, I still get mouth ulcers and feel fatigued especially after work, I have lymphodaema in my left arm so have to wear a supportive sleeve.  I find my prosthesis is uncomfortable and difficult to wear for long periods of time.  I came across a charity website that knits/crochets breast forms - such a brilliant wonderful thing to do and much easier to wear!!!

I'm currently considering my options for breast reconstruction surgery and I'm waiting for an appointment with a plastic surgeon to talk me through one of the options!

Having said all that I'm still alive and eternally grateful to the medical and nursing staff for their care.

Chemotherapy: Experiences and advice

• Community manager
Posted on

Hello everyone, 

How are you today? Have you seen this older discussion?

We recently published an article discussing chemotherapy and its side effects. You can read it here: Chemotherapy: Everything you need to know!

For those of you who have undergone chemotherapy? What was your experience like? How long were you on it? Did you have any side effects? If so, how did you cope with them? 
@Angiegirl63@RussellT@Jonpat@Sharpeshooter@Sandy69@Alanji@Quamrun@Juneboston@MelJacob1@Lyndagreenhow@YorkshireJayne@Mustang@Davidpryce@Kather@Patricia67@Pktestapps@Kazchambers@Southgate1969‍ 

Please don't hesitate to share your experiences and advice here, we're all here to support one another!

Take care,
Courtney

Chemotherapy: Experiences and advice


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@Courtney_J‍ I haven't had any chemotherapy (yet) having been diagnosed really early on, the cancer isn't developed enough to treat yet.

Chemotherapy: Experiences and advice


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@maddoglady I dread treatment of my non-hodgkin's follicular lymphoma (diagnosed March 1st 2021), and have been told that it could be a long time before I do actually need to have some, but I will eventually. I know that they give steroids to help side effects like nausea and vomiting and that is the only thing I am scared stupid about, having had a fear of being sick and hating feeling sick, since childhood; so bring it on! I've spoken at length to my haematologist about my fears and she has assured me that they give a cocktail of treatment specifically tailored to each patient, so that put my mind at rest.

Chemotherapy: Experiences and advice


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@MrsChelle Thank you for your candid description of your treatment. I have a friend who had the same (along with nasal and lung cancer following it) and she was left with lymphoedema in her left arm too. Having searched the causes, I realise that my arms have it thanks to the lymphoma!

The same friend (and another one) has had reconstruction and neither of them regret it, so go for it and I hope that it goes well for you!

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