Everything just EVERYTHING!

Since I was diagnosed with breast cancer 3 months ago, I had to come off dianette, which was the pill i was on for the last few years to stop the acne and the some of the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome symtoms I had…since coming off the pill and all other meds, I’ve broken out in the worse acne since my teenage years. painful, under the skin spots all over my face when just months before I had clear skin.

I start FEC chemo next week and it’s just one thing after another that’s getting me down. They won’t freeze my eggs as it involves pumping me with hormones that may agravate the cancer cells. So though there’s the chance I’ll be ok after, there’s the chance I may not especially as my mum went through early menopause.

I’m not allowed to take any immune boosting meds such as immunace…though don’t really understand why!!!

Once the chemo is over, I have radiotherapy and 5 year hormone treatment.

I have short permed straight hair…which will most certainly snap off as I can’t put chemicals in my hair. I’m getting fed up of people saying it won’t be much different going bald as I’ve already got short hair…(I won’t even repeat what runs through my mind as I’m smiling at them)

Is there anyone suffering from acne, or had suffered from it while going through the chemo and other therapies. Is there anything that’ll make it better, I want to at least control something!

I feel like I’m having a rant but I’ve just lost my patience with it all!

x Erica

Erica,

About the only benefit from chemo (apart from the obvious one of a better chance of a cure) was that my skin was clearer than it had been since I first started getting spots as a teenager 30 year earlier… There was a thread on here last year when I was going through chemo where a lot of women reported the same beneficial side effect.

As for the hair - don’t worry about it snapping off due to the perm, or whatever. The chances are (unless you opt for the cold cap) you will lose it anyway. My hair started coming out about 10 days after I started FEC, and I was wearing a scarf after three to four weeks. It doesn’t all fall out at one go - rather it is a gradual process.

My advice to you would be to shave it all off as soon as you get to the point where it doesn’t look ok to go out & about with. then start wearing a wig/scarf/bandana/ hat - whatever feels right for you. I found the process of losing my hair very distressing, but strangely shaving off the remnants and thereby taking control of the situation was liberating.

I’m sorry you’re feeling down with everything- it is a lot to cope with isn’t it. But you will get through it all and come out the other side again.

I was dx Feb 07, and will finally have my last herceptin in a couple of weeks. It has been a long haul, but here I am feeling much better at the end of it, and you will get there too.

Best wishes

Erica, ask if you’re allowed to use Sudocreme (usually for babies’ bums) - this is excellent stuff for spots! Dries them up overnight - honest.

P.S. Erica, don’t smile and bottle it up with those fools - BLAST 'EM! - it’s allowed in these circumstances. It will make you feel so good. I’ve always been one to speak my mind, but just lately people quake when they see me coming! lol

Erica,

I can’t help you with your acne problem at the moment, but it may help you to know that I used to suffer quite bad spots until I started tamoxifen, which I think you’ll be on once you’ve finished your chemo and rads. It made a big difference and I had the best skin I’d had for years and also didn’t need to wash my hair so often.

I have heard of other people having better skin once on tamoxifen.

I know this doesn’t help you at the moment, but might give you some hope of clearer skin in the future.

Best wishes,

Sally x

Hi Erica, I can’t help you either with your acne, but I will say to you I have noticed my skin is so clear and soft since being on chemo so this could work for you as well. When my chemo finishes in January I will have to have rads and 5 years of treatment but hey we have got this far. Take care hope you feel better soon love junieliz

Hello lovely people! Thanks so much for the messages and advice…it really put a big smile on my face especially 'BLAST ‘EM’!! I’ll try the sudocreme though if I’m allowed, you guys seem so positive, how do you do it? Mine’s all fake, I’ve started crying every day and I don’t even see it coming anymore!

I was all ready for the baldness though in my head I imagined it to just be very short hair not actual baldness! so bring on the head scarves! x

Hi Erica

I too have PCOS and all the lovely side affects (acne/spots, facial hair (not too bad mind)) have you tried the Verity website, they have a really helpful site and discussion board which has loads of recommendations for all aspects of the PCOS, I’ve attached the link below. I hope it helps.
I’ve not found anything that clears the spots completely but I try to eat healthily and drink lots of water and clean/wash my face at lest 3 times a day to help with clearing the excess grease, I did try lots of spot creams and scrubs but none really had much effect, but they may work for you, however TCP is great when you have a major breakout of the really sore ones, but it doesn’t smell great.

verity-pcos.org.uk/board/

Like you, they’ve not offered to freeze my eggs (not enough time?) before my chemo starts which is upsetting as my hubby & I were undergoing fertility treatment before I was dx with bc as we had been trying for a family for 2 years, I will just have to wait and see what affect the chemo has had on my eggs and hope they aren’t all destroyed.

It sounds like the chemo may help with the spots as like you I was worried about the hair lose as well (mines long thick & wavy), in fact as I also have spots within my hair I was worried how that would look if I did loose my hair and was left with a spotty scalp as I didn’t fancy having to wear concealer/foundation on my head as well to hide them!
I don’t start my AC chemo until 8th December but will let you know if the spots clear up.

Good luck with it all and let me know if you find a miracle cure for the spots!

Claire
xxx

Hi Erica,

I had the occasional spot but also have psoriasis on knees and elbows which cleared up while going through chemo.
The hair thing, when you get over the initial shock of your hair coming out in handfuls its not too bad. I found that I could get ready so quick in the mornings without doing your hair. There are alot of nice wigs, I wasnt a wig person so wore a scarf most of the time which I found more comfortable. I wore my wig if I went out on an evening.

I had Fec also and tolerated it quite well and carried on with most things like before. I hope its the same for you.
Best of luck
love Andrea x

Hi Erica,

After my 1st chemo my skin broke out terribly and I had a good old moan about it to my chemo nurse who recommended witch hazel lwater. WELL - it is fabulous! I’ve never had clearer skin! You can buy a bottle from Boots for about 3 quid. Hope it does the trick for you!