6 whole months of chemo

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Last week I met my oncologist for the first time after having undergone a lumpectomy for invasive lobular carcinoma & a second surgery to get a clean margin. I was told I'm starting six whole months of chemo on 9th April and frankly I was incredibly shocked that I'd need six whole months of chemo. I'm starting off with four cycles of EC over two months, then switching to paclitaxel with one cycle every two weeks for 16 weeks or a cycle a week for 8 weeks, depending on how well I tolerate the treatment. It never crossed my mind that my treatment would be so long and apart from dreading the side-effects, I'm terrified of having to deal with having no hair for 6 months plus. It also pains me that it will take me over three years for it to grow to its current length of just above the waist. I don't want to sound too much like a whinger, and I know chemo is necessary to live a healthier life and reduce risk of remission, but it's an awful lot of loss to have to deal with. It would be nice to hear how others have dealt with chemo side-effects and hair loss and how they're faring once their treatment is over. Thank you xx

  • Hi, I had the treatment he other way round, chemo first last year then lumpectomy.  I wanted lumpectomy first but this was what they advised.

    i also hated losing my hair, I had just got it how I wanted it. I managed to get a free wig from the nhs. Luckily our tiny village happened to have a hairdresser with an award winning hairdresser for this type of thing.  However it was just before the first lockdown and it was a bit rushed but I got it.  Wigs are hideous things to wear in my opinion..but better than nothing.  I went away last year in a heatwave to Gloucester I remember walking round the cathedral with 3 layers on my head including the hot itchy wig lol..but I did it.  I would defiantly recommend a shorter bob style. The wigs don't last long so I ordered one off amazon. For about £17 I found a good one was quite impressed. 

    I only wear the wigs outdoors, indoors just a thin cap style hat from Amazon. 

    I was terrified at start of treatment...as before all this was never ill, not even a cold for 2 years. Still haven't by the way even after months of hitting very low immunity and probably mixing with others far more than I should have.   Im needle phobe, squeamish, claustrophobic, you name it. So to suddenly be bombarded with all that stuff.. I'd never even had a mammogram.   Anyway despite being terrified I did it.. I also had the help of a nhs psychologist who rang once a month all though that took a while to get.   I am rubbish as asking for help but the breast cancer nurses were always there at end of the phone. 

    I was told I managed the chemo very well.. I guess I did ..I wasn't even sick once. Just felt nauseous towards the end when treatment changed a bit. The worse for me seemed to me those Jabs we are given to get our nutrifill levels back up. They made me feel really strange. Plus awful back ache at the start.  My partner had to do the jabs I couldn't.  But they are like epi-pens so not too bad.  I also had a pic line in so that deal,with too..I am so bad the nurses changing the dressings just had to talk about needles and I fainted lol.  I had to ask for a bed in the end as I was tired of lying in the floor.  Luckily the chemo chairs were the reclining type. 

    I had radiotherapy in December/Jan thus year. Again I tolerated that pretty well apart from mich tiredness. Yet another new medical hurdle to get used to lol.  So after the chemotherapy the tumor shrunk well.. And the rest removed. That was my experience anyway.. Chemo isn't fun of course.. But it was far less worse than I thought it would be, I distracted myself with a lot of magazines, food, films, whatever it took.

    good luck and I hope any of this is of some help xx 

    ps I also had my ex living with us during lockdown, two kids home schooling in a tiny 2 bed open plan style house while having treatment..if I can survive that I can survive anything lol SmileSmile xx

    Sent from my iPad

  • I forgot to add, my hair is now growing back and about 4 inches long. It started about a month or two after the first lot of chemo stopped. Still wearing the wigs to go out in as I don’t like short hair on me.  When it gets to Bob length I will then launch the wigs into orbit GrinGrinGrinWink

  • Hello i am also having to have 6 months of chemo then mastectomy i will find out more in detail today when i see my oncologist but like you i was quite shocked that i will need 6 months but i will just take each one as it comes very hard though as just dont know what to expect. I will see how soon i loose my hair and cut it shorter before I start. I have seen some wigs aswell that look good to me altho who knows when they arrrive! 

  • Veggie47 thats great that you felt not too awful during your chemo x