I am due to start chemotherapy for breast cancer. 

Please could any share their experiences.  I'm a nervous wreck, unsure whether to carry on working etc... scared of the side effects etc.

Is the pain really bad?

Any experience would be much appreciated. 

Thank you 

  • Hi Anjaya, although I have no advice to give you, I do understand how you are feeling. I too am due to start chemo on 4th March and feel really nervous. I had my hair cut short yesterday in preparation and also purchased my wig. I have been keeping busy spring cleaning the house, doing jobs that I maybe won't feel like doing while on chemo. I too am interested in any tips people have to offer regarding side effects. Someone recommended a book called The complete guide to Breast Cancer, written by a GP and breast surgeon, who have been through breast cancer themselves. They discuss different types of breast cancer and treatments. They also give lots of information on side effects and tips on how to deal with them. Good luck with your chemo, would like to hear how you get on. Xx

  • Thank you.  Let me know how you get on too.

    Did you not get a free wig through the NHS? My nurse at the hospital referred me on Friday just waiting now.

    I'm going to try the cold cap but not sure if it will make much difference.

    I'm too trying to keep busy. But finding it all very hard xx

  • I did get a voucher for around £150, but my hospital charges the prescription charge of £78, which goes to the government I think. Give it to you with one hand and take with the other unfortunately. Apparently a lot of hospitals give you the whole amount and don't charge you the prescription, not mine though. By the time I'd added to the wig cost and paid for care pack, spent about £300. The ladies in the shop were lovely and very reassuring. Good luck with the cold cap, I decided against it, as I'm already prone to headaches and didn't want to put myself through it. Also going to get a few nice hats. Do you know when your chemo is starting and which one you'll be on?

  • Hi Anjaya

    I had six rounds of chemo in 2016, eighteen of Herceptin. I was told I wouldn't be able to work but I did, I'm self employed so that made it easier. Also no sickness or pain. Chemo  was gruelling but bearable. I used the cold cap which helped stem hair loss a little - got away with a hat rather than a wig.  One of the worst side effects for me was a terrible taste in my mouth which made eating less than pleasant, this got more intense toward the end of treatment. 

    Good luck with your treatment.

  • Aah ok. I was just told it's free for me to have an nhs wigs.

    I'm starting on the 21st March xx

  • Offline in reply to wyll

    Thank you. Do you think the cold cap is worth it?

  • Hello Anjaya and thanks for posting

    I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis and appreciate this must be an anxious time for you.

    Hopefully others will drop on this thread and share their experiences with you but do remember every one is different.

    Do take a look at our breast pages here for more information about your cancer and treatment and so on but you may also find it useful to contact breast cancer Now 'someone like me' service at this link, where they can put you in touch with someone who has been through similar to you to talk things through.

    Please get back to us if you need any more information or support.  You may find it helpful to talk things through with one of the nurses on our helpline.  The number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.

    Best wishes,


  • Offline in reply to Anjaya

    Hi Anjaya

    You could try it- some people find it very painful, I did lose a lot of hair even using it but avoided a wig.

    All the best

  • I think it just depends on where you live, as to what you get. Hopefully you'll get more than I did. Hope your chemo goes OK. Xx

  • Hi..I had six three weekly sessions of R-Chop chemo..I had expected to feel not too good after each session but think I was fortunate to only feel off after one of them. I did lose my hair but had been given a voucher for £100 to buy a wig.. my chemo finished last August and my hair is really growing well now and surprisingly is not the lighter colour it was but so far is very dark and curly.