secondary cancer in distant lymph nodes

Hurrah - my CT scan is arranged for this Friday and my mammogram this Thursday. I will certainly be glowing by Saturday.

Apparently I don’t need a blood test before the CT scan after all. When I told the receptionist that the blood form was not enclosed, she told me that I didn’t need one as that part of the letter had been printed in error and did not apply to CT scans. Aargh. I hope they know what they are doing.

Thanks again for your support ladies.

That’s great news Sappho

Hope you get on ok on Thurs & Fri - keep us posted

Have been told now that when I have my chemo if I don’t think I can cope with the travelling there is a house or somewhere that I can stay in in Edinburgh during the week. While this seems like an easier alternative, I really don’t want to be away from my family - especially my 9 yr old who is worried enough as it is. It’s not like they (or anyone really) would be abe to visit me - all my family work so I couldn’t expect them to do a 5 hour round trip after work just to visit for an hour or so.

Will have to think about that one !!


Hi Margaret.

Poor you. What a difficult decision to make. When does your radiotherapy begin?

May be you could stay in Edinburgh just Wednesdays and Thursdays and then travel the rest of the time if they would let you do this.

With my little girl of 5, I tried to keep the same routine as normal but this is really difficult for you with all those hours of travelling. On a couple of occasions my daughter stayed overnight with friends to give us a break. She was really excited by this and thought it was a special treat for her. My husband and I explained about my illness in simple words to her and she seemed to accept what was happening. However she did react badly when she was 20 and I had a mastectomy and we then had several months of her being really touchy and bad tempered.

I think that there are some people from Edinburgh who post on the website. Maybe you could arrange to meet up in the evenings so you’re not so isolated if you do decide to stay there.

Wendy x

Hi Wendy

Thanks for your comments. I think I will alternate it, and stay one week travel the next - family have been great and offered to the driving if I want to travel.

I have an older daughter too who is 21, so the 9 yr old quite often goes to stay with ‘big sis’ which she thoroughly enjoys and sees as a bonus to mum being ill ! They have both coped incredibly well with my op - the oldest hasn’t dared to see my mastectomy scar yet (but she’s very squeamish lol) but the youngest saw it after 2 days and just said ’ ok that’s enough I’ve seen it now, put it away’ lol - but she still wanders in and out of the shower when I’m in there and it doesn’t bother her (though she does occasionally ask if it’s going to grow back !

Had my head shaved last night as it was falling out in handfuls - she isn’t too impressed with that!

take care
Margaret x

Hi Margaret,

That’s great that your 21 and 9 year old have both coped really well. I think it probably has to do with how well one handles the situation oneself.

My daughter was 5 when I was originally diagnosed and then 17 when my secondaries were found and I had a further surgery and chemo. She seemed to cope well on both occasions maybe because I was also coping well with it. However when I had a further recurrence in 2005 and had a mastectomy, she was really distressed when I told her about it and the treatment. She was really good at the time of the mastectomy travelling over from Manchester 3 days to see me. Unfortunately even though this was the third episode and was 15 years after my original diagnosis, it semed to effect me much worse - almost like I could not bear anymore emotional pain- and I pressed the surgeon for a mastectomy even though it was secondary cancer because I couldn’t bear the “bad” breast anymore. I became very anxious and overprotective afterwards which of course really irritated my 21 year old daughter who had grown used to be independent at university. Fortunately I have now improved mentally and my daughter has matured and I’m glad to say we are much closer now.

Having had your head shaved, have you decided to go for a bandeau or wig?

Wendy x

Hi Wendy

I do admire you - having gone through so much, and come out the other end so positive - you’re an inspiration!

I do have a wig - which I absolutely hate lol.

I bought a variety of bakerboy style hats, which are ok but I also got a couple of buffs which are absolutely fantastic - and so comfortable and easy to wear, so I’ll be sticking with them I think!

Margaret x

Hi Margaret, what is a buff?

I had my mammogram yesterday and my CT scan today. I got to the scanning department at 8.15 to find that the CT scans had moved to the other end of the hospital. Aargh. When I eventually arrived at the relevant area, I went into the waiting area and read a notice saying please report to the reception area. Was there a reception area - no, there wasn’t! In the end a friendly porter wandered by and checked with someone that I was on the list.

I was eventually called at 8.45, late apparently because there had been several inpatients waiting for scans and they needed to be done first. When I eventually got into the scanning room, the radiologist had difficulty finding a vein to put the needle into for the CT scan because the dreaded FEC has caused my veins to go into hiding. She eventually found a vein after several tries to insert the needle and I have a lovely purple bruise and lump where she made her first attempt. Ouch, ouch, ouch. I get the results in a weeks time so keep your fingers crossed for me.

Have you started on Taxotere yet?


Hi Wendy

If you google buff you should find them lol. They are a long ‘tube’ of stretchy material that convert to a scarf, a bandana, a beanie hat - and you can get them with fleece on too for the extra cold days - they really are brilliant !

Poor you with the veins - I will keep my fingers crossed for you - let me know how you get on.

I won’t be starting the dreaded tax for some time yet. I have my second of 4 FEC’s next Wednesday, after the FEC I start radiotherapy for 4 weeks - then I go onto the Tax after the rads - so will be about March / April time I guess. Have read a few posts where people have said their hair has grown back while on Tax - I’m hoping this happens for me because my eldest daughter gets married in July - and I really don’t want to be bald for the wedding lol !

take care
Margaret x

Got the results of my mammogram and CT scan today and amazingly all seems to be well with no evidence of recurrence in the armpit. I have been offered the chance of a further CT scan in 4 months to recheck the situation so think I will go for this option just to make sure.

The results also mentioned that I had extensive scarring on my right lung which I assume relates to the radiotherapy treatment I had at Christies in 1990. Not sure if this means that I was one of the unlucky group who got overdosed at Christies that year. Hey ho, some you win and some you lose.

As you can imagine, I’ve been walking round today with a big smile on my face and annoying everyone by being irritatingly cheerful.

Thanks so much for your support.


Hi Wendy

That’s great news - not surprised you had a big smile on your face!

good that they have offered you the option of a recheck.

I had second fec today - and feel amazingly well - nothing like the first one - so long may it continue - or at east till crimbo day so I can cook the turkey!

take care - and keep smiling !

Margaret x