New to the forum

Hello all.


After putting off going to see the GP as I’d discovered a lump in my armpit last year, I finally bit the bullet in June and I was diagnosed with third stage BC at the beginning of July.


Horrified and in shock.


After many many tests and feeling like I was in a sausage machine, I was started on FEC-T - and just finished the third one of the FEC bit, next three to come, hopefuly done by the beginning of November.


The first cycle was like torture. I was extremely sick and for 24 hours after the chemo I was throwing up, then needed to go into hospital for 48hrs to be rehydrated. Pretty weak and sorry for myself, but after a good rest my appetite came back a bit and over the next fortnight I felt like doing a bit more, but then all my hair fell out.


The second cycle was far better as I was started on Emend, so I had no nausea, but had some weird irritation with my PICC and panicked, so went in to get checked out again and was pronounced absolutely fine. (This is some definition of fine I’d been unaware of).


All sounds pretty straightforward? Yeah, but the rollercoaster of emotions has been extreme at times. Mostly I’m ok - got some very good support from partner, friends and family and work have been great (I work in mental health, so I’d be surprised if they weren’t). On top of this I’ve got access to the fantastic resource/support facility that is the Penny Brohn centre.


I still don’t know at this stage whether I’m facing a mastectomy. As far as I know, the bloody nuisance (I’m not calling it cancer) is shrinking as it should be and at the beginning of treatment I was told that the expectation was that it would probably shrink so much that there’d hardly be anything left to remove…and then several specialists have said that’s not by any means a guaranteed outcome.


I get it, that there’s no definite outcome other than I’ll live…and that, believe me, is amazing…but I wonder whether a surgeon who’s in charge of your case ever stops to think what it means to be hit in the face with the baseball bat of a statement that after all this, “you may still need to lose the breast”. I mean, can they hear themselves? Do they practice in front of a mirror? Do they actually have any concept of how attached you might be to the pink squashy things on your chest and how devastating it might be to even consider losing one or both. I know these aren’t really answerable, I was just musing on my experience so far.


Ok, I’ve wittered on long enough but I’ve probably forgotten something vital anyway. Just wanted to launch in as I found this forum three months ago and realised I hadn’t done anything about joining in.


Best wishes to you all, Fran x

I knew I’d forgotten something :slight_smile:


I was offered a random mammogram last year (April) and nothing was found, which was why there was such an enormous sense of disbelief when I was diagnosed over a year later.

:frowning: Fran sorry you’re going through this. How big was the lump and did you have any nodes removed?

Hi Fran,

You are in a very quiet part of the forum. You may find more support if you post in the newly diagnosed or going thru treatmenrs sections.

One booklet i found really useful was Cordelia Galcuts Emotional support thru breast cancer, and alternative guide. It covers the whole range of feelings and the author is a clinical psycologist with a diagnosis herself.

Penny Brohn centre is amazing, i attended the Living Well course and found it very useful.

Thinking of you at this time xx