Diagnosed 15.02.08 - Swindon, Wilts

Coming in late on this one, though with about the same diagnosis day. Love the tone of the mails - everyone has something else going on besides the unfortunate cell malfunction. Congratulations Shelley - and with a bit of cosmetic enhancement thrown in! You’re something else. Driving again was great, wasn’t it? I couldn’t wait and drove home after having my drain removed. Not well, I might add.

What’s this about staples? I had the things that melt - and am also really rather chuffed with result. If I weren’t married to my dour, in-denial husband I’d go the Marlene Deitrich route in future romantic encounters (I wish) and light the bedroom from below the bed & I swear: scars invisible!

Cheers all,

Hi M-L

I think cos I was in Op Theatre a long time, Consultant decided to use staples to close all incisions for speed. I seriously looked like daughter of Frankenstein once the tape had been removed from the incisions!! One of my friends commented that I looked like some sort of Body-piercing addict!! The ones around my nipple were the most bizarre!! And OMG did they hurt when they were taken out!!! I cried, squealed, moaned, swore like a navvie and generally howled for the best part of an hour and a half!!! The nurse couldn’t wait to see the back of me and my husband had tears of laughter running down his face by the time we were through - Sadist that he is!!! One of my girlfriends demanded that she take pictures and they were totally surreal!! To be honest thoug, they looked far worse than they were and my Consultant said that although they were uncomfortable and he was sorry for the additonal discomfort (he obviously hasn’t had 200 staples taken out of HIS body before!) they leave a much neater, thinner scar, so I’m not complaining (too much)!!

Did you have a recon? Chemo etc??



Shelly! its good to hear from you!!! I came back from hosp Thursday , 10 days after op. I can’t even think about work as yet,you must be feeling really well. I get my results back 7th April.I didn’t have any tests or scans before so got to wait and see.

Staples!! yuk! My tummy scar is ok and so is my boob,don’t know if I could have gone for a lift at the same time. Do you have to wear a corset type thing around your tum? I do and it is so uncomfortable!!! in fact it’s the worst bit oh and the lack of use in my arm.

Well going now can’t type one handed that easily Jen xxxxx

Hey Jen!!

I was a little luckier than you - I had the muscle taken from my back rather than from my tummy, so recovery is a little quicker and a little less painful and I’m told it’s not such a big job. I did ask my Consultant for the tummy thing instead of back as I was sort of hoping for a tummy tuck at the same time (!) but he told me that it was a really big op and using my back muscle would be far more beneficial for me and I would recover much quicker. I would imagine that’s why you’re still feeling like you don’t want to do anything. The boob lift is SO minor compared to the recon. My excuse was that if I had waited until after the Chemo to have the lift, I may never have gone back!!! Anyway, it’s done, I’m please so everything is marvellous!!! Is everything numb?!!! Mine is - and my right arm is especially painful. Getting dressed and undressed is a complete trauma!! Don’t think I will see my Onc until week after next to find out what my CHemo plan is, so just waiting game now. Driving me mad - I’m not blessed with tolerance or patience!!!
Take loads of rest and let me know how you’re getting on. I have found that so long as I stock up on the pain relief before I get into bed I’m in a better frame of mind the next day as I have had a reasonable night’s sleep!!!

Shelly! Good to hear from you.Patience has gone out the window!! I am getting so frustrated-grrrr. Yes my tummy is numb.Unfortunately a bit weepy too-I have an appointment with the dressing nurse Thursday who will hwlp tidy it up though.Also have physio same day for my arm. Does it feel like a bad case of pins and needles to you? My hubby has been fantastic but as I show more independence each day,he seems to be dissappearing too! No shouldn’t be mean he has been fantastic!

I’m pleased with my new boob though. When I feel up to it I will have the other reduced and lifted to match.I look awlful at the moment- Big mama knickers cotton vest(skin is reacting to corset) and to bloody tight corset!! No wonder I’m getting snappy…

Taking you advice on sleep.Couldn’t stop if I tried today,slept for 1.5hours this afternoon,luckily hubby took daughter in the garden and played on the trampoline-at least he will sleep well tonight!As for pain releif,I’m only taking paracetamol.Anti inflam’s upset my tummy and don’t think i need them anyway.What are you taking?

well going now to tell hubby time to cook dinner.Didn’t eat till 8.30 last night. Sleep well Jen x

Hey Jen,

I’m taking Co-Codemol and Ibuprofen now - the tablets given to me by hospital ran out a little while ago!! I do get nerve tingles in my arm where the Nodes were taken from. Sometimes they really give me a stabbing pain - made me jump in surprise at first!! I am pretty numb on my right side from the top of my arm, armpit and most of right boob. My kids (and husband!) have pretty much forgotten that I had the Op in the first place!! I am finding vaccuming hard and wiping worktops down is still painful, but ironing is OK now and cooking dinner is a cinch!!! Good job really - my husband would SO not feed me well if I didn’t do it myself!! Have just had my date for visit with Onc - 17th April. Seems liek ages away and am pretty apprehensive about it. I want to know, but I don’t - if you know what I mean! I’m going to see The Chuckle Brothers at the theatre with the kids before the appointment, so at least I will be in the right frame of mind when I get there!!!
How goes it with you?? Pain getting any easier?? My chest sort of feels tight - a bit like having a really tight bra on - but under my boobs rather than accross my chest. ALso, I still can’t lie on my side - only my back. Everything else is still too painful!!! Easter hols next 2 weeks - have yuo got help?!!! I haven’t!!! I’ll manage though! I think a couple of trips to the cinema are in order!!!


I know exactly what you mean! Hospital gave me Diplathenic. It gave me a serious upset stomach,so stopped taking them so just on paracetomol. I am getting sooooo frustrated at not being able to do things although I am improving. My arm feels exactly the same.Are you doing exercises given by your physio? My hubby has excelled the past 2 weeks and I’m going to “milk it” just a little longer!!! He has been trying so hard,we even had a full roast last Sunday-it wasn’t until 8.30 in the evening though!!!

As for sleeping on my back-I’m now just using 3 pillows and hope " bed hair" comes back into fashion! I’ve got to back to the dressing nurse today-routine appointment but my tumy is a bit weepy so does need looking at.Then I have physio at 3.I’ll be ready for a nap afterwards.Luckily my sister in law is coming over and taking the kids to the cinema so no worries about them today.I think you are being very brave going out with the children in the hols,try and pace yourself a bit.

good luck with the hols and we wil speak soon-take it easy!!! Jen xxx

Hi Jen,

How u doin’?? I see my Onc on Thursday - sort of desperate to see him, sort of desperate not to see him!!! I am 2 weeks behind where I should be with my treatment as the Onc (very thoughtlessly I feel!) has just taken his Annual leave and today is his first day back. Scars are getting better and I have loads more movement know than I did. EVery day I manage to do more. HAve been keepign the chemists in business with amount of scar-reducing oils that I have been buying!!! I have noticed actually that a few of my internal stitches have popped through to the surface to make an appearance so will need to show my Consultant and see what action needs to be taken now!!! Apart from that, everything has been really normal!! I don’t even remember that I have got BC day to day until I stretch too far and wince!!! I guess that may change when the Chemo starts!! Sleeping on my right side is still a complete trauma but everything else seems to be getting so much easier - even the cleaning (unfortunately!). I have completely re-assumed my pre-BC role for whaich I only have myself to blame, but it feels good to be me again for a while!!!
Let me know how u are.

Shelley- go girl!!!

I have been feeling rather low lately.

Told affected 2/18 lymph nodes which isn’t too bad.I’m seeing my oncologist Mon 21st. It will just be for a chat as my tummy is slow on the mend and no tratment can start till it recovers. I can’t pick things up still and it is driving me mad!!! Put some washing on the line yesterday and it took me 3 trips to carry it. Our garden is about 100 ft so had to sit down for a while afterwards!!!

I still sleep propped up but have found this lovely bolster pillow that fits snuggly between the v shaped pillow so things are improving on the sleep front.
It is reassurring to hear such a positive attitude and with that you are beating it-good for you!

let us know how you get on Thursday-will be thinking of you Jen x

hi, hope you do not mind me joining this thread. I have been reading posts on this website but this is my first time posting. I found you from searching under Swindon. I am being treated at the Great Western in Swindon. I was DX in January and had my first Epi 3 weeks ago. I have agreed to take part in the TACT 2 trial and would be interested to hear your comments about how you have found the team in the hospotal. Lynda

Hi Lynda!!

When I was Dx at GWH on 15th Feb they were really good. The Consult. and the BCN were kind but firm and didn’t give me any room to misunderstand the situation!!!
I am 37 with Grade 3 IDC, had the Masectomy and Mastopexy (recommend it to anyone!) and am starting my Chemo on Thurs (24th). Because I have Private Health, I chose to go down the Ridgeway Hospital route, but I have to say that my Cons Surgeon and Cons Onc are on the Medical Team at GWH, so I’m pretty sure you are getting the same advice as me!! By BCN at Ridgeway is fairly inneffective (nice but not very interested in my predicament if you know what I mean!) - she is always forgetting my name, current status etc. I don’t really care as I am really up there with doing it all myself but it is annoying when you consider that my private Health Co get charged £42 per quarter hour for the priveledge of the BCN!!! Check that out!!! However, the Chemo Nurse if FAB!!! Really old school Matron-type. Bossy, dictatorial and very, very lovely!!! She totally keeps me in line - no mean feat I have to say!!! And she doesn’t mince her words either! Who is your Onc and your Surgeon? How’s it all going??

Jen - How are you hon??? As you’ve read, I start Chemo on Thurs - 5 hours ('cos my vanity has got the better of me and I’m going with the Cold Cap!!) of it and then spend the next week seeing if any of the side-effects come my way!!! I am one of life’s copers, but I really don’t like feeling & being sick! Spent 3 pregnancies being sick 20 times a day for 9 months and do NOT EVER want to go back there again!! Chemo Nurse reckons because I was really sick in preggers and because I’m a rubbish passenger, I’m likely to be pretty sick on the drugs!! Oh yeah - really looking forward to that - not!!! Got infection in left boob (I did tell them this weeks ago but they didn’t agree with me and NOW I’m on antibiotics - just as I’m about to go into Chemo), so still sore, and I still feel like I’ve got a really tight band around my chest - just under my boobs. Mobility is getting better all the time, but nowhere near the left side - I wonder how long it takes to get back to normal? Can’t excercise properly, so feeling a bit flabby and carrying an extra few pounds (I have a bit of OCD about my weight, about food and about exercise, so not being able do any is driving me insane!!) but other than that I’m reasonably stable!!!

Hey Lynda,
No, haven’t got a wig. Couple of girlfriends are in the hair trade and have been very active looking for wigs for me. One of girlfiends works in A-Lister London Hair Salon and can get the dogs whatsit wigs but I just can’t get excited about it at all, so haven’t thought about it. I suppose in a way I’m expecting the Cold Cap to work, so if it doesn’t I’ll have to re-assess!!! Where did you get your wigs from? Did u try them on first or were they mail-order!!!

I too will need to go to Oxford for Rads at the end of Chemo and like you it will be 5 weeks of 5 days a week. My OH is having heart failure at the mere thought of the cost of the diesel to & from Oxford!!!
When I had the Masectomy & Recon they took all nodes out and my right arm pit feels totally alien!! ANd pretty sore too I have to say. It feels like it’s got a muscle running all the way down the middle of the armpit. In all actuality, it probably has from the Recon, but I naively didn’t expect to feel it for god’s sake!!! HAppily, visually it looks pretty much the same so no huge shocks when I lift my right arm up to shave!!!
I did have a CT Scan but didn’t need a follow-up MRI as the CT was clear. I think my Surgeon was pretty worried about what they might find as my initial Tumour was large and then after more searching a second tumour in the same breast raised it’s ugly little head too. I’m guessing I found it really early because my nodes were all clear and the Surgeon was confident with his clearance. Also, I was told that the IDC was an aggressive little sucker, so they were pleased with the clear CT results. HAven’t had my Herceptin results back yet, but Negative on other tests so will know more on Thurs.
Are you local to Great Western or do you travel in??
Poor you getting poorly!!! My kids are 9, 8 and 3 and I just know that one of the little spawns of Satan will pass something nasty onto me over the next few weeks!!! Hope they fit you in for Thurs. The quicker you get through the Chemo sessions, the quicker it’s over!!!

Hiya! As we talk my kids have been in from school for approximately 30 minutes and are arguing all ready!!! Just breath!!!

I went to see my oncologist yesterday and he seemed quite positve.He is arranging for my ct and bone scan.As my blessed tummy is taking forever to heal don’t know when the chemo will start.But I had a phone call from the unit today asking me to come in next week for a chat. My tumour was a little thing 17mm-but it was IDC.I also had calcifications which were early DCIS.

The unit it named after Helen Rolandson(think thats spelt right) It offers alternative therapies too.So I’m having some reflexology too-can’t wait! I’ve been told what drugs I’ll be on but don’t ask me to spell them I’ll be here all night!

As for side effects of chemo well I was sick as a dog with my son but not my daughter-hmm.Been onto chemo thread and there is some good advice from other ladies which is a comfort.So bring it on! I thought if mine starts mid May it will be finished about Sept/Oct so by Xmas will have some hair back-yeah! Oooh forgot to mention I don’t have to have any rads.Iam positive for everything else so will start Herceptin after chemo.

Anyway kids have calmed down-knew they would if I ignore them.Shelley I really hope it goes well for you-I’ll be thinking of you.

Jennie xxxx

Hi Jen, Hi Lynda,
1st FEC yesterday - for a full run-down see my post under Starting Chemo - 1st FEC on 24th April. Am feeling so crap it’s not real!!! BUT from the looks of things, it’s a 3 day thing, so I’m expecting to get better REALLY soon!!! If I don’t then my OH MAY have to take my shoelaces off me as a precautionary measure!!!

How’s things for you?? Write back, cheer me up with your exploits…