October Optimists??? 2013

Hi Everyone

I see there is no thread for October yet.  Shall we start one?   First, a bit about me. 

I am seeing my oncologist for the first time on Sept 30 with a view to starting chemo in October for 4-6 months, followed by radiation.    My chemo will be at St Georges in Tooting, S London. 

I had my results today.  My lumpectomy and snb was 30 August. 

It’s stage 1, grade 2  IDC, clear nodes and no vascular invasion.  However, it i, as I expected,  triple negative and also apparently apocrine, which I have found is a rare kind of breast cancer.  I understand this won’t affect my treatment though. 

I have been told I will be off work for 9 months.  I teach so this makes it more difficult to maintain while undergoing chemo due to infection risks. 

What do you think of the name October Optimists?  My daughter also suggested October Olives.  Any other ideas?

Regards and good luck to all,


Hi Anne was wondering when a thread for Oct would start.  Sorry Im an August girl.  IM sure people will join Oct soon enough though.  Think the name is great Octimists for short!!!

In meantime it mzy be useful to read other monthly threads for tips on dealing with chemo.


Good luck xxxxxx

Hi Anne
Love the name - October Optimists !! haven’t got set date for chemo yet but may end up in September. I have to have 6 cycles of FEC so we will end up travelling this toxic route together.
I live in the southwest and treatment being carried out at Torbay. I’ll let you know when I have a start date. I hate all this waiting around, the sooner it starts the sooner it’s all over !!!
Lisa x

Hi All

I have changed the thread name to include the year!!  Hopefully this should avoid confusion and a very good idea to carry forward for any of our new monthly threads.

Best wishes


Hi October Ladies,


I am currently waiting for my appointment to see onc, I had a partial mx 2 weeks ago (2 tumours in my right breast), I have grade 2,  IDC HER+, clear nodes, but because I am 39 and HER+ my treatment plan is the full works which is chemo, herceptin, radiotherapy, tamoxifen for 10 years, I am planning on having reconstructive surgery once all treatments have completed.


So I reckon I will be joining you lovely ladies in the October Optimists chemo thread, currently in limbo as I do not know what type or dosage of chemo I will be having, my poor once has no idea what’s about to hit him, have 2 pages of questions to ask him :slight_smile:


Thanks Anne for starting up October thread x

Hi Anne,


Some of your questions were on my list, some others I came up with were


Because I am HER 2+

Can I have a test to see what level the above is in order to see what % of recurrence

Is my family history relevant to my diagnosis

Life expectancy for my type of cancer and age

Test to detect whether I an intolerable to attention

Oncotype DX - a test to check if I will benefit from chemo and % will this give of recurrence

Hydrochloric acid - does this reduce the chances of bc coming back by a third

Fertility issues from chemo

Cold Cap - how effective is this

What happens if I cannot tolerate chemo and herecptin


So sorry, honestly im not a hypochondriac at all - bet you wished you had never asked now :slight_smile:



Hi, I am posting in both the September and October thread as I’m due to start Chemotherapy in two weeks time. I had my mastectomy on the 20th August and they found the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. I had my bone and body scans last week and have been told unofficially that they look OK (whew). Like everyone else I am dreading the Chemotherapy, I thought I was dealing with everything OK but it just seems it’s one thing after another just now. I had to have a scar that starts just under the collar bone to just under the breast due to the position of the two tumors and it is still giving me a lot of pain so the idea of more is very daunting. Any tips or support would be so welcome as I’m sure my family must be getting fed up with talking about it all the time. Thanks in anticipation x

Hi guys just popping in from the September stars to say you will find this group invaluable ladies. Chemo is tough but with help and support you will all get through it. Don’t forget to get your wigs sorted and your Annabandanna order in maybe before you start as you may not feel like it after. I have had sore teeth and found Xylotene invaluable, google it, it’s not cheap but I absolutely wouldn’t be without it and its sorted my mouth right out, although it is like brushing your teeth with sugar…bizarre!! Good luck girls hope your side effects turn out to be minimal Barbs xxxx

Hi October Optimists (2013) – sorry you have needed to set up a thread!  I am a member of the February Valentines (also 2013),  I noticed some of you querying the cold cap and wanted to tell you my experiences.  I used it throughout (3 x FEC, 3 x Docetaxel).  I never found it terribly uncomfortable.  It wasn’t overwhelmingly successful - - in that I couldn’t possibly have gone around without a head covering (one lady in our group however, could) ; but I always had a bit of a fringe of hair that looked quite good under a small turban.  It came into its own however after I was finished, as the hair began to grow back very quickly.  Once I had a good covering of fuzz I went and had all my hair cut off to the same length, so I did look kind of cancer-ish, but that seemed sensible as the hair that survives is very straight and lifeless and the new hair is all bouncy and fine.  I am now about 4 months post Chemo and I have quite a good covering of hair.  I still can’t really style it – which drives me mad – but at least it is there, which is a great comfort.  I think we all became obsessive about our hair!  Also, at least for the present, it has changed from a rich chestnut brown to black – and I have a lot more gray – but perhaps that is not a surprise, as I am 68!  I also used a hair loss serum from Boots, called Natur Vital.  Don’t know how much of my “success” was due to that.


Also, there is a website that gives you some idea about life expectancy with various treatments.  Like everything else in this nasty business, it is only an estimate, so please don’t let it spook you! www.lifemath.net/cancer/breast cancer/therapy


Anyway, love to you all, my sisters in misfortune.  XXXXX Louise


Good luck on your  journey!  I know it doesn’t seem possible at the moment, but it DOES go by surprisingly quickly.

Hi fellow optimists. Had surgery 2 weeks ago and et my Onc for first time today. He tells me that as I’m “young and fit” he’s going to hit me with TAC. Anybody else getting this? I’m going to give a cold cap a try ;can’t let my hair go without a fight. Most people seem to have FEC chemo and I’m really worried that TAC will bring super strong side effects… Hope you are all coping. My mantra is cancer is what I have,not who I am… Xx

Hi Everyone


Just wanted to say hi to everyone and thanks for joining the thread/contributing.  It’s great that we can suppport each other.  Also I like that more experienced people are coming in from earlier threads to offer their advice.


Lulu, is the piece about BRACA in today’s Mail (Saturday) or another day?  I would l

like to see it.





Hi Optimists, just dropping in to wish you all the very best. I finished Fec T four weeks ago.
It’s no walk in the park but it is doable! If I can do it, anyone can!
I had more good days then bad days and I am already forgetting about it without even trying!
The support you will all give each other is invaluable even if there are lots of differences between you in Dx and chemos.
May all your side effects be little ones
Take care
(I am a May Moonbeam)

Hi October Ladies,


I’m due to start 6 cycles of FEC on 1st October. I’ve had surgery WLE and SNB and then a second surgery (cavity shave) in to improve the margins.

I don’t know what to expect when the chemo starts. I’ve read the info and the onc went over everything, but I won’t know until it starts. I’ve been extracting myself from some of the things that I’m involved with because I don’t know how I’ll be affected - it feels like pressing the pause button on everything.


So good to be in touch with you all.

Wishing you all well and will be checking in here during this journey.


Monica xx

Good Afternoon Ladies, I hope you are all doing well today.  I have my Onc appt on the 1st,  so I imagine that I will be starting chemo this month.  Just the thought of chemo is scaring me beyond words.  So far I have been OK with everything I have gone through and been told, I suppose this is because I have had surgery in the past and knew what to expect.  Chemo is a big unknown.  Anyhoo, I am glad that this forum is here, its been a great source of comfort and information.

Welcome to the new ladies.

My onc suggested starting chemo in 1st oct but have a weekend away on 5th so planning to delay till the 8th as this drug Genetespib causes rampant diarrhoea.

My surgery don’t have the flu jab in yet. But had looked up the imms schedule from the department of health including advice for those on chemo and you can still have it after you started but may not be as effective once you actually have chemo so may need a second dose 3 weeks later… I had to do this when I was on chemo last time.

Also if you haven’t had the pneumococcal vaccine it’s best to have that too. You can get at the same time as flu. But again if you already started chemo you will normally be recommended to have it over two cycles… Best time to have is a day or two before chemo as that’s when your bloods are at their highest.

Take care
Lulu xxx

Judith (Belle) how was your appointment?



Hi October optamists,  can I join you’re group (lol).

I was dx the beginning of August had mx 27th Aug, and I begin chemo (followed by radio and tam) on the 11th of October.  I am 33,  I live with my husband and two children (daughter 4 and son 20month). 

I’ve spoke to a few people already on this website which has been invaluable.  I’ve so far not been posting regularly as I think I had put it (the big c) to the back of my mind. 

I’m totally ready to start this treatment,  and even though I don’t mind too much losing my hair, my daughter has been really overwhelmed by recent events plus starting school so was thinking of trying the dreaded cold cap. . However don’t know if it’s going to be worth the bother.   

I’m hope and pray we can all get through the worst (and best) of these next few months together.

Then meet up for a massive knees up at the end…ha!

Love Sarah xxx 

Hi Anne. Good luck for Monday.  I know,  I’m not sure if the extra pressure is worth it. I would be shaving head anyway for it to work well.

Hi Bridget,  hope everyone manages to enjoy the weekend! 

Sarah xx 

Good luck on Monday Anne

I got on my trial for this new WONDER drug ganetispib and I’m starting on 15th. Just need brain scan, pet scan and Hickman line inserted!

Ho Sarah like you I’m not bothered about losing my hair… Have lost it twice before with precious chemos but this new drug doesn’t cause hairloss so I’m hanging on to it for the time being but in the past I just couldn’t face the thought of brain freeze an hour before chemo to an hour afterwards. Chemo one took about 4 hours and last time I was in all day 9-4 and chemo given very slowly because I’d had a reaction so not for me. But I would say if your considering it give it a bash the first time and if you decide you don’t like it then you don’t need to do it next time. But if you don’t try it first time then you cannot change your mind to have it as the damage is already done by then.

Take care xx

Hi all, I’m new to this, I’ve been reading your posts for a while now. I start EC chemo on 3rd October . I’m trying the cold cap, see how it goes. I still have a tiny area that’s not quite healed yet, does anyone know if that will affect my chemo starting?