1 Year On

Just wanted to come on and give a few words of encouragement, as I found this site my absolute sanctuary and got me through some rough chemo days!! I can’t believe that I’m a year on from my WLE, SNB, Chemo and Radiotherapy. At times I felt like I was on a runaway train to Pukesville, last stop Worrytown!! and although I never like to wish my time away as not everyone is as lucky as me, I just wanted my life back and all the treatment to be over. I’ve come to realise that I’m a strong person, and I’m never going to have my life back how it was, but I am hugely grateful for my new life, whatever that may be! I’m back at work full time now as a Diversity & Management Trainer for the Policing Organisation. I hope nobody minds me coming on here after all this time, but I always used to like seeing good news stories when I used this site a lot. And the October 2011 ladies are having a meet up in September to celebrate supporting each other through this tough time. Good luck and hugs to all, Simone xxx

Hi, thanks for words of encouragement, from someone who has ‘come out the other end’ and to know that you can get back to some kind of normality. I start my chemo tomorrow and am very nervous about it but know I WILL do it and maybe there will be a new me comes out of it. Hope you continue to thrive. Good luck to all Pam

Hi you! how lovely to hear how well you have settled into your ‘new you’, I unfortunately gave up work after all the stress and now having been diagnosed with arthritis it was all so exhausting. I am now doing better I do when I can and no pressure. I do have a wonderful holiday to look forward to in Sept to see my lifelong friend in Oz! No more putting things off now! Take care lovely lady with thanks for your kind support at a very stressful time . Hug Em x

What an inspirational story and a pleasure to read. Thankyou Simone. Just what i like to hear, another succes story. Do u have any hints, tips or stories to tell that you’d like to sharem since you’ve been through the mill of it all? I was thinking along the lines of how your life has changed? has it changed relationships with your nearest and dearest? How are u finding working full time after everything you’ve been through? Does anybody treat u differently in any way now or did they throughout your treatment? Hope thats not too personal i’m just interested to hear someone elses perspective on life after cancer.
Sian x

Hi Simone
Lovely to see your post. I have had real problems with this site since it changed - not being able to post, losing my posts, etc - but at long last I’m pleased to say things seem to be ok now. I met with you and Happycat at the White Rose Centre and we had a cuppa and a chat at Debenhams, do you remember? As I say I’ve had trouble with the site and not been able to find people, so was very pleased to see you posting such a positive post and so pleased that you are feeling well. Thankfully, I’m too feeling very well, just been on holiday and enjoying the sunshine that we have at the moment. My energy levels have greatly improved and have more"good" days than “bad” days now!!
Take care
Beverley xx

Gosh Sian - where do we start? I set up a Caring Bridge website through treatment - I did a sort of daily update (as much or as little infor mation as you want to share) and that really helped people to help me. I personally felt incredibly upheld and supported by the love and care of friends and acquaintances (some of whom became friends). A couple coudn’t cope and weren’t there for me in the way I’d thought they would be, but most people were great. When I had to go for rads (40 mile round trip) I never once had to drive myself and my OH only had to take me twice, I drew up a rota… I got the ODD insensitive remark, but they were SO awful I had to laugh! Only one or two though…

tips for survival - this site. Definitely. Kept me sane - gave me people to “travel with”, and we supported each other and laughed and cried with each other…

Use the breast care nurses - mne was a life-saver. Got into a great routine during chemo - I rang her if I was worried… she was really good at asking the right questions, and would tell me what I needed. I’d ring the GP surgery and leave a message for the Nurse Practiitoner, who rang me back. I told her what BCN said I needed, and she said “she’s the expert” and prescribed it. Worked well for us…
Ginger tablets before chemo… help with sickness. There used to be a thread about top tips for surviving chemo - worth a read if you can find it… Buffs are great when you lose your hair. not glamourous but comfy and you can stash one in a pocket/bag for if you get fed up with wig/scarf/nothing.

BOok yourself on a Look Good Feel Better session (have to book in advance, choose your best week(3rd week between chemos)) You get taught how to put your eyebrows back in, do the whole face bit and you get a goodie bag with over £100 worth of stuff in. Lots of experts from the make up industry there to help. Great afternoon.

Book yourself treats…

melon’s nice to eat when things taste foul… if you have any mint in the garden, fresh mint tea’s good too. Lemon/lime lucozade is refreshing and good with chemo-taste…
take each day as it comes, and try not to let your mind go into overdrive… I made a choice to find something to be grateful for every day. Easier some days than others, if I’m honest, but I did it, and when I got to the end, I felt that choice had made the journey easier and more bearable than it might otherwise have been.

BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF! Some people sail through chemo (relatively) and they tendn to be quite quiet on this site (understandably if others are strugglng). All of us will be fatigued by the end… rads too can cause fatigue. I thought that once it was over I’d be back to normal in a few weeks. Um… wrong… had to learn, really learn, to be gentle with myself, and I got there. Back working full time and being called out at night sometimes… and these days I don’t have to think about my energy.

WOO! Is that enough for now? let me know if I can help in any way… Jane

Thats fantastic and again really positive Jane so thankyou for that. I do appreciate that not everybody wants to be as open as me about things so i do apologise and understand if others dont wish to respond or are offended by any of my questions.

I am doing or am in the process of doing a lot of the things u have suggested already. I started writing a personal diary after diagnosis so that i could write down what happened and how i felt about things each day. I have an 11 yr old son and I’m a single parent so i thought it might be interesting for him to look back on in years to come and we can discuss this difficult period and how we got through it together.

I’ve had a couple of comments from people that have maybe annoyed me or been a bit insensative but i know they meant no harm so i bite my tongue for now. I only resorted to head scarves yesterday as my hair is all but gone now and am waiting on comments from people in public about that or my baldness if i dare to go bare eventually.

I’ve read the chemo tips list and have downloaded it so i can refer back to it if ever i’m suffering any symptoms. I’m in regular contact with my district nurses and they have been nice. i’ve only had 2 doses of chemo so far and had different nurses each time so havent really made friends as such at the hospital yet. I have met both the Breast Cancer Nurses once but not seen them since. I do know how to contact them if i need them though.

There is something similar to LGFB in my area which i am awaiting an appointment for. I had a chat with the lady organising it today and she sounds lovely. I cant wait to meet her and look forward to my goodies.

My sister has become my rock and i have had messages off friends i didnt expect to hear from. My close friends have been amazing and i feel totally blown away by their love, care, attention, thoughtfullness and support. My family are handling it in different ways. Some are being laid back and a bit standoffish, others are very upset. I am finding it easier to deal with everything by researching as much as i possibly can so i’m prepared. Google has become my best friend and i have looked up everything from what the scan machines look like to tips about how to change your lifestyle. This website has been a godsend for me too. Its the only place i know where i can talk openly and honestly to people going through this with me and who understand what its like.

If i can think of anything else then i will be sure to let u know. Thankyou once again for your reply. :slight_smile:
Sian x

Good for you Sian! (my name in welsh I think!) I too was very open. I’ve just re-read a “top tips for survival” that I wrote afterwards, and the only thingn to add is to moisturise for weeks before rads (if you’re having them), so it goes deeper… Aloe vera gel helps both burning (or not to) and with hair regrowth!

I had my annual check up this week (all clear) and saw one of the team, rather than the boss (who I’ve been seeing till now). He’s a abrilliant surgeon (my scar is fantastic) and a nice man, who takes all the time you need at diagnosis and planning stages (clinics therefore run VERY late, but I’d rather that than be shoved out the door). However, I was completely unprepared for a lady saying “and how do yu feel” “have you got any problems” “how are you coping with the Letrazole”… so unexpected i just said “fine” to everything!!! In many ways I am, but I could have said more had I thought about it! Derrrrr!

take care, hang on in there. Are you “travelling” with a month group?


Morning Jayne and you’re right about my name :slight_smile: .
Yes i’m in the July group and have posted in the August group too. My ex boss had breast cancer 6 years ago and since that has started her own business making completely natural beauty products so she has already reccomended Aloe Vera to me and said she’ll sort me out with some. I am having chemo 1st, then op, then rads so it prob wont be untill after Christmas i think. (God did i just say the C word in August! lol) I’m finding my fears tend to change from 1 thing to another as time goes on. At initial diagnosis i was terrifird of losing my hair and my breast. Now i know both are going to happen i can deal with it so started worrying about chemo. I’m on 2nd dose at the moment and coping much better than i expected although its no picnic. I am starting to feel anxious about the op as time moves on. I need to have a mastectomy and have been offered reconstruction but not at the same time which i’m worried about. I think i need to get on with the research as someone at the hospital told me to talk to the surgeon at the time about what i want and badger them for the reconstruction as i want it done asap.

Great news about u getting all clear and that they cared enough to ask about u as a person rather than the disease. Shame u were unprepared for it though.

Have a good day Sian x