What happens next???

What happens next???

What happens next??? My wife was diagnosed with BC eight months ago, and in that time she’s been through hell. Anything that can go wrong for her has done!

From the start, when she had the mastectomy, she managed to pick up an infection in the hospital which knocked the stuffing out of her. And delayed the start of the chemo. Then, during the chemo, her body decided to reject the expander they put in, which meant yet more surgery, and more delay to the chemo.

Then, half way through chemo, she contracted Chicken Pox, which entailed an almost two-week stay in isolation in hospital (and a husband who, had he not already been bald…erm, I mean shaven-headed, would have been pulling out his hair in frustration, anger, and most of all, fear). And of course, yet MORE delay to the chemo!

And, the chemo itself? Well, every rotten, lousy, horrible side-effect going she’s had. And she’s not complained. Not once. Yes, we’ve had our cathartic moments - but, trust me - had it been ME going through what she has, everyone would know about it…but I digress. She started radio therapy last Tuesday, and in just two weeks, we will finally see an end to our nightmare (well, apart from reconstruction - which incidently, I don’t want really want her to have, it involves yet more surgery, which I’d rather she didn’t undergo but anyway…and five years of tamoxifen!). But, what happens then? We asked her oncologist if she’d have some kind of scan at the end of her treatment, to make sure that it’s worked. He said that there wasn’t any kind of scan that could do this. Is this correct?

I guess I just want to make sure that everything’s worked ok, and we can start celebrating! But, I’m going on a bit…thanks for reading, and if anyone can help, I’d be grateful!

So sorry to hear of what you and your wife have been through. This disease is horrible enough without added infections and chickenpox!
I haven’t had it quite as bad - dx Dec 06 - a lumpectomy, 5 weeks rads and 5 years tamoxifen but in answer to your question I was told that there would only be 3 monthly physical examinations and a chat until a year after treatment finished which takes me up to March / April 08. This is because I was told I am supposedly at my safest for that year and further bloodtests / scans can throw up wrong results straight after treatment. Also my treatment has been private as we are in BUPA. I don’t think there is any difference with treatment I just got my results a little quicker and had a nice room after my op!! Treatment and follow up care depends on the authority / hospitals whether it’s private or NHS. So for now I think we have to go with what our consultants say but if we feel any changes or aches and pains then get them checked out asap. I hope your wife has now turned a corner and you can have that big celebration.
Love Shorty2 xx

Scans etc. Hi tykes,
sorry to hear that your wife has had such a rough time. She does have one blessing - a very supportive and caring husband in you.

As for what happens next, I can only give you my own experience. I had a lumpectomy and sample node removal - 3 nodes were cancerous so I had full axillary removal a month later., with another node being positive. Started FEC chemo in about a month as I had a nasty haematoma which had to be drained every 2/3 days. Once I started chemo I had a chest x-ray, liver and bone scans. All thankfully clear. Started on tamoxifen when undergoing rads, and transferred to Arimidex by Onc after 2 months. He didn’t explain why and I never thought to ask. I was ER+ and HER2-, so no Herceptin. Oncologist said this was a good prognosis.

That was all in 2003. Since then I had a Mondor’s lump in affected breast and had a mammo and ultrasound - both clear. Surgeon said he had never seen Mondor’s in a patient with bc, but had otherwise. Just a coincidence, but was thoroughly checked out. Protocol at my hospital in Devon is to only give mammos every 2 years because of radiation risk (sounds like a Catch 22 to me - why do we have radiotherapy if it can cause cancer?). However, if there is anything suspicious, the surgeon will order a mammo in the intervening 2 years. I believe some hospitals do yrly mammos for those dx with bc.

I hink every bc case is different, and therefore there is no “catch-all” treatment, which varies with individual patients. I was surprised I needed chemo as this was never mentioned during and after surgeries, just rads. Believe it was because my tumour was 2 cm.stage and grade 2 with associated DCIS, and had spread to the lymph nodes.
Hope this is helpful.
Liz.