Hello everyone i started reading the messages on here one month ago when i was diagnosed with stage 2, grade 2 breast cancer that had spread to my underarm lymph node and my world came crashing down around me.
It has only been reading the messages on here that have given me hope and the courage to carry on and get well again.
I had my operation on Tuesday to remove the lump in my breast by lumpectomy with full node clearance. I must say i cannot believe how well i feel after the operation. I have had almost no pain in my breast or arm and have only had to take painkilling tablets twice. My arm is only slightly swollen with very minimal numbness and i can use it. I havent yet lifted it above my head as gonna give it a few more days.
The biggest problem is the phycological pain and stress constantly wondering about results and treatment so i am struggling with that at the moment and a mind that keeps working overtime.
I feel so alone with this and i would love to make some new friends for mutual support. I live in south tottenham London.
I will be returning to the North Middlesex Hospital soon for a body scan and treatment plan and i am dreading hair loss as i just feel it will leave me feeling so vulnerable as everyone will know who looks at me that i have had cancer. I have told my friends and work colleagues so i have been open about my illness but most of all i just want to feel normal and i dont see how this can happen when i am bald and having to wear a wig. Would love to know your experiences of using the cold cap?
But hey i am so thankful for my treatment so far and that i am in a position at this moment where i can hope for an extended lifespan.
Welcome to the BCC Forum. I’m pleased to read you have already found the forum helpful and I’m sure fellow members will soon be along to offer you some support.
If you need to have chemotherapy you might find it useful to join one of the chemo monthly threads. You’ll find them if you click on the coloured box “Going through treatment” You’ll also find some threads on there in the Chemotherapy section, about the cold cap.
I hope this helps
Very best wishes
I’m much further on than you (had my lumpectomy end of January and now just finishing my radiotherapy) but I still remember how awful I felt waiting for results so totally get what you mean and hope all goes smoothly for you. Do you know when you’ll get your post-surgery results?
I’m quite close to you, nearest tube station is Bounds Green, but I’m being treated at UCLH. I’d be very happy to meet up for coffee and a chat if you’d like, or to come to appointments if you want some support, and I’m always on these boards so easy to get hold of
Hi Patricia. Sorry you have found yourself in this position, but welcome to the forum. I am quite a bit further on than you - I have bc that spread to the lymph nodes. Had the suspicious node removed in December and I have now had 4 out of my 6 planned chemo sessions. I will then be having full axillary clearance followed (probably) by radiotherapy. I will also be on Herceptin until next Spring. I completely understand how you feel at the moment - waiting for test results is a horrible time and so incredibly stressful. Once you have your results and treatment plan though you will have something to focus on and it’s just a case of getting through it one step at a time. Regarding the hair loss, everyone reacts differently and some find it quite traumatic. I decided to shave mine off as soon as it started falling out and I had already bought a wig. I also told family, friends and work colleagues in advance so they were prepared for the new look me. In terms of feeling ‘normal’, I think we all have to adjust to a different kind of ‘normal’ whilst we are on this journey. One step at a time is my motto and you will get loads of support from the lovely ladies on this forum. Sending hugs xx
Sorry to hear that you have been struggling wondering about results and treatments. We all understand how you feel. I’m pleased the messages on here have helped you. I had mastectomy two years ago, followed by chemo and herceptin. You asked about experiences of the cold cap. The cold cap was very successful for me. My hair is naturally quite thick. It thinned out a bit but there was still plenty left and my hair looked quite normal throughout my chemo, which was great. If you are very worried about hair loss I would definitely give the cold cap a go and see how you get on with it. I know different people have different experiences with it. Some people find it much too cold and decide not to do it, but you won’t know unless you give it a go. I found it very cold for the first 15 minutes and then my head seemed to get used to it although I was always aware of its coldness So it’s worth persevering for the first 15 minutes as it improves after that. I had it on every time they gave me my chemo. I was pleased I did it. If you try it and don’t like it you can always take it off, so it’s worth a go as you may get on ok with it like I did. Hope this helps. Don’t hesitate if you want to ask me anything else about it. Hope it all goes well for you.
Hi Patricia, I too am further on than you… lumpectomy in December and then started chemo in Jan, next week will be no 5 of 6, then onto radiotherapy. Just wanted to add my thoughts on the cold cap… I have used it each time and yes it is horrible… but in my opinion worth it. The first 15-30 minutes are definitely the worst and then you seem to become acclimatised (I even dosed off with it on during my last treatment!). My hair has thinned, but I have learnt a few tricks along the way to disguise this and hubby (who is very honest with me) says that you would never know. I have worn hats/scarves through the winter but it is so nice not to have to cover up all the time and look “normal” (I decided wigs weren’t really for me). I would just say give it a try as you can always take it off if you can’t tolerate it, but unless you give it a go from the start then there is no changing your mind. I know many ladies decide not to bother, and I guess it is very much a personal choice, but I wanted to try and at least keep some of my hair so when the chemo is done with I have “something to work with” to get back to normality.
Let me know if you want any more info, and good luck with everything… it does get easier as your treatment plan develops.
Love Lou x