Ec chemo

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i am starting ec chemo tomorrow after 12 weeks of paclitaxel with carboplatin. I have triple neg breast cancer stage 2a

i am so worried about side effects has anyone had this treatment. ? Any advice welcome

thanks Jane

  • Morning ,  EC is given a lot, there are plenty of us on here who had it, I had 4 cycles before the paclitaxel, and for me, all I had to deal with was some tiredness, heartburn and one massive cold sore , along with the loss of hair, obviously everyone's experience will be different but all side effects could be managed as long as you report them. 

    Good luck,  just be gentle with yourself and curl up on sofa xx

  • Hi Jane. just thought I’d share my experience as  I had my first EC 2 days ago and so far feel ok! I was advised to take all meds even if I don’t feel sick as it’s harder to stop the nausea than it is to prevent it in the first place.  

    the actual infusion was fine although the E part of the treatment is bright red and that looked a little alarming at first.  The only side effect I felt while having the treatment was a funny feeling in my nose immediately after the C part (cannot remember the actual drug names nor how to spell them) Rofl

    I felt a bit woozy when finished so went to bed early.  I slept well the first night but felt a bit “hungover” the next morning. That lifted and I felt pretty normal as the day went on. I was able to go for a walk, picked up shopping etc.  

    This is day 2 so feel better this morning than I did yesterday but felt slightly nauseated when I woke up - had some tea & feel ok again. 

    I did have some heartburn last night but thankfully gaviscon sorted that out 

    I am afraid of mouth ulcers so I did ask them to prescribe a mouthwash just in case. I don’t need it yet but I am using an over the counter mouthwash called Biotene which was recommended on one of these forums.  

    Best of luck with it all; it is not ideal but in my experience the anticipation anxiety was was worse (so far) than the reality! 

    I am focusing on each day at a time and trying not to worry about side effects getting worse & hopefully they will stay at a manageable level ;) 

  • I had 3 cycles of EC followed by 3 cycles of docetaxel. Everyone's different but I found the EC far easier. I tended to have a bad week, an OK week and a good week. Side effects started early on and got better in time.

    I was one of the very unusual ones that actually vomited the first cycle so they gave me stronger anti-sickness meds to take after that. All the anti-sickness meds made me constipated so I needed to take something for that too! I tended to feel nauseous for about a week but I found EC fine to cope with.

    I found docetaxel very tough in comparison.

    As you're having EC second, you may find that your energy levels don't recover as well as mine did because chemo is cumulative, so you tend to get worse and worse the more cycles you have. But hopefully the side effects will be manageable for you.

  • The issue is we all get different doses of EC and we respond differently.   I had a strong dose of EC x3 and it was the salty mouth taste that got me.  Food and drink loses its appeal and all the anti sickness stuff makes you constipated.   Energy wise I was fine but the steroids make you hyper anyway.  Your reactions might be completely different.  My advice is don't suffer, tell them what isn't working and they can try and help.

  • I had four rounds of EC before Paclitaxel (I’ve had 9/12 of those) and the experience was very different.  I was on accelerated chemo so only 2 weeks between which was challenging.  There were more tablets involved but take them exactly as suggested as it is easier to avoid nausea than to deal with it once it’s started.  The stories threw me - I was in a happy state I’d called “wired but tired” for a few days where I thought I could do anything.  This was a big mistake as I was 4weeks post op and pushed things physically - but I learnt!  If you are working be careful about making presentations/proposals/decisions on those days if you’re a bit hyper.  I was then very tired for 2-3 days - if I sat down I fell asleep. It wasn’t unpleasant just a completely different level of tiredness.  Then I got gradually back to normal for 2-3 days, felt fine for the last few days before treatment.   Constipation was an issue at the start (use something as soon as possible if you think this is happening) and I got mouth sores and bleeding gums for a few days.  And j in digestion. I wrote down everything against each day of the cycle they happened and for me they didn’t vary - mouth sores appeared like clockwork on the sake day each time.  It was not as bad as I expected but I did find it tough fortnightly - for me the effects weren’t accumulative and the first two were worse but they were quite close to my surgery and I still had pain from that and seroma.   I cold capped but still lost a lot of hair about three weeks in. Your wee will be pink straight after treatment - it’s just the colour going through.  Make sure you tell your team about everything that could be a side effect - they j is the best mouth washes and other remedies.  Good luck and I hope it’s not bad for you either 

  • I had 4 rounds of EC followed by 12 Paclitaxel for TNBC. I found the EC easier than Paclitaxel, mainly because the 3 weekly cycle allows more recovery and normal time, and fewer hospital visits. The pattern was generally a couple of days of feeling a bit wired from the steroids, a deeply achy few days alongside the Filgastrim injections, a few days of food tasting awful, and bowel problems here and there. My hair fell out, whilst it has been regrowing during Paclitaxel. 

  • I had EC - 4 rounds, every 2 weeks too.The main thing for me was tiredness. The night of the chemo I'd feel dazed. During the chemo my nose would get a weird sensation and it would run. My eyes would prickle (hypomellose eye drops deal with dryness well). For cyclophosphamide I'd suck a sweet to cover up the taste as it went in. And the hydrocortisone feels like you are sitting on a prickly cushion. My taste did get very numbed and I was partial to bottled water. I found stronger tasting foods helpful -  I had a thing for paprika chicken, mild curry, well seasoned soups amongst other things, but everyones taste in food on EC is particular to them I find. Use a non foaming toothpaste like sensodyne as it is gentler on your gums. I also used difflam mouthwash as it is gentle. I didn't find it too bad, it was really the tiredness and difficulty sleeping due to the steroids. I took regular laxatives until a result about 5 days later. If you have symptoms ask for advice and get treatment. I forgot about the dry skin - moisturise with non-scented eczema creams like E45 or epaderm. Don't use scented products in the shower or otherwise as it makes the dryness worse. The eczema creams along with pliazon from the chemo unit were amazing.

    If you are on a 3 weekly cycle, you may well find that your third week is pretty much back to normal. 

    Good luck for your chemo x

  • Thanks I really appreciate hearing about your experience x

  • So helpful to hear about other peoples experience and I will try to not keep thinking ahead x

  • So far I am feeling exactly as you describe your advice is much appreciated as I am only 1 day behind you: already feeling a bit bunged up!,