New to this but here goes....

Hi everyone!
Had to get up early so as not to disturb my partner. Losing sleep due to having being diagnosed with BC about three weeks ago. Will start chemo next week, FEC. Have read some threads and actually find it a bit terrifying, I’m not usually an ostrich but I’ve found it easier not to research or discuss things too much. However, I am worried that my grade 2 tumour is growing at a great rate of knots!! It may be psychsomatic but I do think it has grown significantly over the past week or so. Has anyone else any similar experiences? It doesn’t help that it is Xmas, so no-one to ring and juts haging around waiting for MRI results and to see whther I have to have an additional biopsy for the lymph nodes.
I think I am really going to need this forum. There is some good news for me - they are offering to do the chemo at my home - which I find very comforting.

Hi lotty400 slow down its never easy to deal with cancer you will get through this horrible ordeal try and not let your mind work overtime when you start your treatment everything will fall into its place take each day as it comes you will get a lot of surport on this site they are are good people and we are always happy to help day or nite some of us have problems sleeping too lol ive just finished my treatment found my tumor last xmas so i do understand where your coming from i only had surgery after my 6 months of chemo had finished it was 90mm and it shrunk down to 20mm at the end of my session so sometimes there is good after bad had my mx 3months ago and then 20 sessions of rads at clatterbridge just trying to restore myself now everything will work out for you to you will learn patience at the end of it all if nothing else please take care of y/self and relax a little

Lotty,
Just wanted to wish you well and echo what Elaine said. Also, please keep in mind that everyone reacts differently to chemo. I was also terrified, but was one of the lucky ones with very manageable side effects.
We all worry about the cancer growing, thats a very natural reaction.
I wish you the very best and hope for minimal effects.
Marguerite

Hi Elaine and Marguerite
Thanks for your really supportive responses. I’m pleased I looked here. I actually develop an online support service in my work but have never used one myself.
Patience, I’m afraid is not a quality of mine! So, I suppose I have another learning curve ahead of me.
Thanks for your good wishes.
I have a 33mm tumour and probably 6 months chemo before surgery.
Best wishes

Lotty400

Hi Lotty,
So sorry you find yourself here.
I’m half way through my up front chemo- so like you, still have the lump. Have done 3 FEC. You sound like me, bit of a control freak, dare i suggest?? it is hard to let go, but the other posters are right- it is just so much easier when you have started. It’s a bit like being on a conveyer belt, but sort of comforting, because you don’t have to make any decisions, just take care of yourself. You start to see things on a more day to day basis: taking your meds, perhaps feeling a bit crappy the first few days or week ( maybe not, I was fine most of the time), and there days when you feel great- you’re getting on with it, one more day/week/month towards getting better, your seeing friends, laughing about hats and wigs, whatever!!
I’m not belittling it for one minute- it is def. not something you would chose to do for fun! But really, truly, for me, the shock of diagnosis, and waiting for the treatment to start has been by far the worst bit so far.
Good luck,
Tracey

Hi Tracey

Thanks for your positive response. OMG! I admit, I am a control freak but had no idea that anyone would guess from reading one post!! No wonder a close friend of mine calls me OCD. Well, they are delivering my Cold Cap today, so I guess things are moving.
You words were very comforting and encouraging. Perhaps my experience will be slightly worse than I am imagining. I would just kind of like to get it started now.
Best wishes Lotty400

Hi Lottie400,
Any news? Had my first round of different chemo on Tues, just when I thought I had the first one cracked!!
On the subject of control freaks…it takes one to know one…I’m not blessed with ESP!! Seriously though, all offers of help, just accept- don’t know whether you have kids, dogs whatever, but just say ‘yes please!’ when people offer! I found that really hard, my natural response is always, ‘i’m fine, don’t worry!’
Let me know how the cold cap goes, a friend of mine used it and kept almost all of her hair right through the process (FEC-T).
Tracey

Hi Tracey
Good to hear from you again. Know what you mean about the control freak thing - I do tend not to ask for, or accept help. But I am willing - I know this is going to be a tough process for me.
Interesting that you have changed your chemo - they may do that with me too depending on how it responds - so I have 4 x FECs and then perhaps FECT?! I had FEC#1 last Thursday - I have been lucky they are conducting a pilot so I have my chemo at home, and had a wonderful nurse who made the experience as comfortable and bearable as it possibly could have been.
I’m trying the cold caps and found them OK too - just a bit uncomfortable and cold, obviously. Worth a try I guess but I’m not really too hopeful. Fingers crossed, however. I take it you have experienced the hair loss? I’m trying to decide whether I will go wig or scarves - I’m not sure scarves are really my thing. I’d like to think I’d have the guts to go bald, but I don’t think I do!
I don’t have pets or kids - just a partner. He’s been quite good but he’s not the emotionally supportive type - perhaps we cobntrol freaks don’ attract those? lol!
Take care and let me know how you get on with the change of your chemo.
Best, Lotty400

Hi Lotty, I’ve just noticed your thread. I had my first FEC last week, and the SEs have not been as bad as I feared so far. I had a lumpectomy and lymph nodes removed first, so I’m not doing things in the same order as you.

If you are used to being the person in charge and the person helping others, it can be very difficult to change roles, but think of it like this: it is gracious of other people to offer help and it is gracious of you to accept. Your OH may find it easier to show support in practical ways, as many men do. Mine, for example, will do all the chauffering to appointments, but can’t bear to wait with me. He did very reluctantly offer to attend part of the first chemo session with me, but I let him off.

Good luck with your treatment.

Cheryl

PS There is a thread going on for women who have just started or are starting FEC about now, if you want to compare experiences and exchange support. It’s the Anxious about FEC one. Or you might find some of the other threads helpful.

Lotty400,
I agree, if you have never been the ‘needy’ type, we might only have ourselves to blame! And Cheryl is right too, men are so much better on the practical - this is what you can do- type of stuff.
That’s great you are having chemo at home. Much more calming I imagine. Mind you, it has got to the point with me when it is an opportunity to go out, hee hee! Finding the Tax quite tough, but manageable.
On the hair thing, I didn’t bother with the cold cap, partly because I just wanted to get the whole hair-loss thing out of the way, but also because I get a lot of migraines, and that can make them worse. Have got lots of soft hats from Suburban Turban- who I would recommend. They also look good, if you’ve got thin hair, but enough to frame your face round the hat. They are cool enough to keep on inside.
Tracey

Hi folks!

Sorry for nthe non=response from me but I have been in bed for 4 days. Apparently I have an inflamed nerve in my head that is nothing to do with the chemo (thank goodness - don’t think I could put up with that excruciating pain another 7 times at least) so I am now on a cocktail of drugs to reduce the inflammation and pain - they have just started to work. Hope it doesn’t affect FEC#2 - I’d rather start to cross each of themoff now. Have started to get quite a number of the side effects from FEC too - including some very annoting itchy blisters that I first thought were insect bites - anyone else experienced this?
Cheryl, sorry you’re ‘going through the mill’ too hope things improve for you. I just want to see some kind of pattern so that I might be able to predict when and how often the bad days are going to occur - I would like to go back to work at some point in the not too distant future.

Best Lotty400

Noticed your SE question on a diff thread, and sent you a message Lotty.
Sounds like you are having a rough time- hope you are keeping your spirits up! It is tough, especially in all this dark, horrible weather,
Tracey

Hi Tracey

You are fab! And give people loads of advice and support! Thanks!

pirits are up but head pain isn’t going - I’m now worried I won’t get the next FEC on time and I do want to start ticking them off.

Thanks again for your post.

Lotty400

No, don’t be silly, it’s nothing, in fact it is positively beneficial to feel of some help! This site is great isn’t it? I have one good friend who went through this a couple of years ago, and she is brilliant, but I don’t like to put on her too much. And I am surrounded by a lovely family and friends, people have been truly amazing, but it is also so comforting to have people on here who just 'get it, ’ isn’t it?
One thing that did occur to me, and may be completely irrelevant, is when I was asking about the cold cap, I was advised that it was not recommended for migraine sufferers, be use it brought on attacks. Could that have aggravated things??
Tracey

Hi Tracey

Yes, I totally agree. This site is brilliant. And I’m kind of in the business but not with people with cancer, so it’s strang being the other sided of the fence! Never really thought I would be here - but there you go - you never know what is around the corner. I have a brilliant friend/colleague that has also been through it, and, like you don;t want her to feel like she is carrying any kind of burden. So the site will help a lot. Have you done the live chat - I think I might give it a go this week.

Best

Lotty400

Hi Tracey

Sorry, have a brain like a colander at the moment, forget evrything within seconds! Cold cap, yes. I have had migraines, but don’t suffer from them regularly, but I am thinking the same as you that the head pain might have been triggered by the cold caps. Will talk to the oncologist next week.

Thanks for thinking of it.

Lotty400

Lotty,
Yes, I don’t have them regularly, have always been quite hormone induced- so worse in my teens, when I was pregnant etc. But they did say that it was still likely to trigger them.
Re live chat, no, I have not tried it! Only getting used to forum at the mo - never thought it would be the type of thing I would do! When my teenagers are using Facebook etc, I have always been a bit dubious- dinosaur!! Let me know all about it, and I might join you.
Going to a LGFB session today, so that should be fun,
Tracey

Hi Tracey

Interesting! They asked me about migraines but didn’t recommend I didn’t have the cold caps - I’m increasingly thinking it is them that has provoked this head pain thing. Let’s hope next week will shed some light on it!
Know exactly what you mean about using forums - if I wasn’t in the business I would never have even thought to try it - as it happens think it’s great - and if I remember will do the live chat on Thursday night.
Hope your LGFB session goes well - apparently you get lots of lovely freebies!
Best

Lotty400

Hi Folks, Oh my goodness - surely better freebies than the Oscars! Quite enjoyed the session. I must admit when I arrived at the cancer care centre it did feel rather like I was heading into a world I did not particularly want to inhabit, but the people were nice enough. I wear make-up anyway, and did not learn anything especially different. Had hoped for a bit more help with eyebrows and lashes, as they are getting sparse, but the lovely Lancome pencil made up for that!!
I’ve put my name down for the younger womans’ forum in Manchester in May. That looks good, and very informative. I have high hopes of some useful exchange of information, as well as professional advice.
Hope all well,
Tracey