First step on the treadmill - WLE and SNB in Jan

Hi all

Just feeling sorry for myself, so starting this thread for myself and anyone else who’s starting on the treadmill at the start of 2011.

Core biopsy 1st Dec, diagnosis received 8th Dec (Grade 2 IDC, 16mm), then MRI because the tumour hadn’t shown on the mammogram, and another core biopsy (which was clear, fortunately so only one lump to deal with) and now WLE and SNB tomorrow. I’m exhausted through not sleeping properly in the run-up to this, but relieved in a way that it’s all starting, while at the same time wishing this were all a bad dream - I know you will all be familiar with THAT thought!

The good thing is that at least I’ll know when I wake up whether there’s any lymph node involvement as the hospital I’m under uses OSNA, an analysis thing that they can do while you’re still out, so they know there and then whether they need to do a partial or full axillary clearance rather than having to wait for a fortnight for results on the nodes, and if they need to, they just get on with it. Obviously there’s still the 20% chance of having to clear more margins, but we’ll just have to deal with that one if it happens. (How quickly I’ve picked up the terminology, that’s scary!)

So anyway, just asking for some crossed fingers please, I’m dreading tomorrow. But I’ve got some good books on my Kindle (don’t expect I’ll remember a single word) and need to load some music onto it too, if I can get round to it in the morning.

Thanks to all of you for being there, but I really wish you weren’t.

Hi Choccie just wishing you good luck tomorrow and hope you have as peaceful a night as poss. BC induced insomnia really is the pits ( well it all is) sending you hugs Jackie x

Good luck, and in particular I hope the SNB is all clear. The waiting is often the worst at this stage.


Good luck Choccie I had the same op in Nov and they told me straight away that SNB all clear- at least once you know that you can begin to deal with it. Waiting is worst part. I then had rads which finished on 22nd Dec and am on Tamoxifen. Now I await my next appt with onc which is in March. Am recovering well although still very tired But I feel I am one of the lucky ones as I didn’t need chemo. Hope your results will be good too. xx

Hi CM,

good luck tomorrow, I will be thinking of you.


Thinking of you

SJ xx

Good luck tomorrow CM. Think you’ve offered me support on another thread. Just to let you know I had a SNB on 30th Dec with no problems. Unfortunately I have to wait till 13th Jan for results. I had op around 1 pm and was home by 8 pm and have made a good recovery - just hoping and hoping that nodes were clear. It’s awful, all the waiting and wondering isn’t it?
We seem to be around the same stage, although I haven’t yet been told of size, grade, type etc. I expect to get that info on 13th.
Let us know how you get on.

Pauline x

Good luck honey.

Thinking of you today, hope all goes ok x

Hi Choccie
Hope all is ok. I have cancer cells in lymphs but no op due to sleep apnia, chemo started 7th Jan then rads. Whatever the outcome you WILL deal with it we will all make sure we are all behind you. lots of love and hugs and fingers crossed for all clear. Alison x

Good luck for your op - keeping everything crossed for you today. From my experience it really was a huge relief to wake up (nice and floaty on morphine!) and know that the flippin’ thing was out.

It’s a huge psychological boost to start treatment and to know you’ve taken the first step along the road.

Sending you loads of hugs - and make sure you take it easy when you get home! Mollycoddling is definitely in order!

Jane xxx

Molly is definitely in action, coddling as hard as she can.

Surgeon told me in recovery that the nodes were clear, so I’m very relieved.

What a busy day though! Arrive at hospital for 7.30, answer the same set of questions I’ve already answered 5 times. Anaesthetist popped in to say hello and introduce herself. Then the consultant’s registrar, (who has just had news that he’s the new consultant at Eastbourne so a very qualified registrar!) came in, had a feel and drew an arrow pointing to the relevant boob. First of many scribbles on my chest. Not complaining about that though, it’s reassuring that they make sure at every stage that they’ve got the right person with the questions and the correct boob!

Then a forced march to the other side of the hospital at 9am to nuclear meds, with another lady who was having the same thing with the same surgeon. The nuclear meds dept did the injections which I was expecting to hurt much more than they did - slightly more uncomfortable than fine needle aspiration for cysts but quicker, and still not as bad as a wasp sting even though the lady who did it said the one under the areola might be painful. Unpleasant, but not what I’d call “painful”.

Then to x-ray for ultrasound to locate the tumour and yet more drawing. Not very artistic at all, they should give these people art classes! :wink:

Back to the ward, and due to distinct lack of sleep the previous night a snooze was in order. I’d brought in my new Kindle, and had also put some music on it, so I plugged myself in and listened to “chilling” music. For those who haven’t had their surgery yet, I can highly recommend bringing in some calm noises, to cut out the hubbub around you and help zone out a bit.

Back to nuclear meds at 12 for the lymph node scan. It does get a bit close to your face, but turning your head sideways helps with any feelings of claustrophobia you might have. Yet more scribblings, by this time my left boob looks like they’ve been playing noughts and crosses on it!

Then back to the ward. I was 5th on the list so wasn’t taken down until after 3, and the porter (or whoever he was) who came to get me most definitely wins the prize for insensitive remarks. “Right then”, he says, “let’s carry on with all this fun you’ve been having.” I nearly blew my top! “THIS is NOT fun, and that remark was NOT FUNNY!!!” By that time in the afternoon I was in a real state anyway, I certainly didn’t need some berk to make light-hearted jokes about me having cancer! (Yes, I did complain, as I was very upset by that, and I was having enough of a hard time keeping myself together. Actually I don’t think I managed it very well at all.)

Down to loiter waiting to go into theatre, and I was browsing through my notes that they left on the bed, and got told I wasn’t allowed to do so! I carried on anyway - after all they are notes about ME, ffs! As it happens I was only reading about the births of my children, and was reminded of the experiences by reading the notes.

3:50, finally knocked out.

Woke up around 5.30 in great pain. I was surprised they hadn’t dosed me up with painkillers before I woke up, but it was really horrible. Soon fixed with anti-emetic and morphine and god only knows what, but it was not nice.

Back to the ward, but as I’d gone down so late in the day I really wasn’t ready to come home. My daughter had brought me in a sandwich and made me a couple of cups of tea (heaven!) so I finally had something to eat, though I was also on a drip as I was a bit dehydrated. I was trying to persuade them to let me out, but when I sat up to answer yet more questions I went really really green and felt very faint, so we decided an overnight stay would be best. So OH and my daughter left me, and OH came back to get me this morning. Just as well I did stay in really, as I had the same thing this morning so had to have another anti-sickness jab, and also felt a bit dizzy and faint so stayed lying down while waiting. Hardly surprising really, my BP’s through the floor (94 over 57) and I didn’t want to risk fainting.

We took a detour on the way home via M&S to get a good firm sports bra, and feel much more comfortable having everything firmly held in place. I had waited until afterwards as the M&S ones that I liked go on over your head, so I wanted to wait and see what my arm mobility would be. Also popped into Costa for a NICE cup of coffee (bless the nurse, she was lovely but makes a disgusting cup of tea!) and then to bed. Spent the morning snoozing, and will be rolling over shortly to do more of the same. He’s been really good - quietly letting me get on with it and cooked me lunch and made me drinks. JUST what I needed.

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts, this is such a supportive environment to fall apart in!

Hugs (very gentle ones) to everyone.

Sooo glad ur ok CM and that nodes are clear! Enjoy the r & r bit and get em all waiting on you for a bit xxxx

So glad you’re ok and that you explained it all so eloquently. I’m going for the same op on Monday so at least I know a bit more about what to expect now.

Glad you’re back home. I’m very surprised about you waking up in pain, as I was given a big dose of pain killer as part of the recovery and wake up process. In fact, I was warned that my upper arm would be numb for a short time and not to worry if I had trouble using it for a bit. Perhaps you are one of those unfortunates who wake too soon?

Rest is definitely the no 1 therapy until you feel ready to do something, and then treat it like getting over flu–often you feel fine only so long as you don’t do much, but you go wobbly after a few minutes. But so long as you don’t overdo things, you should start to feel better quickly. Go drinking plenty, it really helps.

I’ve been drinking loads (none of it London Pride, I hasten to add!) and no longer have blue wee - it was like I was peeing toilet duck!

As for waking up in agony, it was really, really painful and I was a complete wuss until they drugged me up, whimpering, crying and begging for relief. Then ended up surrounded by fairies who took me away with them… la, la, la, la…

Apart from my little trip to M&S and Costa Coffee I’ve spent the day in bed, mostly sleeping or at very least dozing, with a bit of forum reading in between. OH has been great and offered food and drink at intervals but has otherwise left me to it, though I have had to chase him for a hug. I have a committee meeting this evening (kids swimming) which I intend going to, as it will be brief and very supportive - bit like tummy control knickers. (Sorry, I think I’m still drunk on the drugs.)

I’m also keeping topped up on the Cocodamol and will deal with the constipation if it happens, but much better to be pain-free, I think.

Still feel like punching that orderly or whatever he was.

Time for some food, I think, and more drugs.

The blue wee is even more dramatic than the FEC pink, I think! I had faint blue patches around my eyes, as though I’d smeared eyeshadow. Not enough to show up in the photo I tried to take with my phone, though.

Ibuprofen in particular is an anti-inflammatory, so don’t even think about heroically (=stupidly) avoiding pain relief. One dodge is to alternate between different pain killers as allowed. You get better relief without overdoing one. Eg, paracetamol on waking, ibuprofen with breakfast, etc.

Sore throats are common after anaesthetic, so soothing drinks, ice cream etc for that too. Leave the meeting if you’re tired and let people tell you how brave you are.


Well done, Jenny! I am REALLY please you have no node involvement, and are now at home after your OP. What a weird sense of humour that porter had, though, talk about “black”, you certainly could have done without that comment. No doubt he has said the same thing to women before, like his stock in trade, as it were, but it was in bad taste.
Like you, my B.P was in my boots post Op, scary feeling, mostly due to the enforced immobility of the day, I remember getting up to talk to some of the other ladies on my ward and being wobbly. It quite scared one lady, who asked me if I should be out of bed!
Anyway, I’m soo glad you’re being well looked after.:slight_smile:
If you want to PM me when you’re up to it, feel free.
Hugs, (and don’t overdo things!)

Hi Choccie
I am so pleased for you, just take it easy now and get better and let everyone wait on you. I slept in my soft bras and I think it helped quite alot, but I also took all the paracetamol and ibruprofen that I could. Take Care Love Alison x

Hi Choccie,

I’ve sent you a PM but wanted to add my hugs to the public forum too. You seem to have had a full day yesterday whereas they split mine up. I had the isotope injection & scans yesterday and went home with the piccasso scribbles all over my left boob and underarm. I then turned up at hospital this morning at 0730hrs and was under the knife at 1000hrs. I am clearly very lucky as other than the ‘second skin plasters’ pulling slightly on movement, I haven’t had or got any pain or discomfort (apart from ears needing to pop!!). My BP dropped slightly and the blue dye made me appear soooooo pale that they kept me for a couple of extra hours but I left just before 4pm. I’ll get details of size, type & grade of my ‘bad-boy’ on 21st when I next see my CS.

Debs & anyone else still to have surgery - if your appts are split like mine, take an old or black bra with you and consider wearing a top in bed to save your good sheets!

All the very best to you all x Chris