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Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

joan47
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Nellie, I was told the reason for the MRI was to measure the exact position and size of the lumps at the outset so that they could see whether the chemo had shrunk them sufficiently to do a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy, which was the original plan. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The surgeon out some markers in so it should be possible to see the original positioning on the new MRI.

My temperature has been fluctuating wildly all day. Bought a new, ear, thermometer today because they are supposed to be more accurate. It also measures differently in each ear. I don't feel as bad as I did last time when I had neutropenia so hoping it doesn't go over the magic 38degrees. Apart from anything else I have an appointment to have my nails done tomorrow.

Like others I thought the TV programme was quite lightweight and not much use to use. But I thought there were some interesting bits, eg emphasising that young women are at risk, the attempt to make schoolgirls aware of what their breasts feel like normally, and the developments in mammograms which should make scanning more accurate. On the lifestyle issue I confess I was quite relieved it didn't focus on this- given that I have been overweight and also quite fond of the wine. But I'm going to a Living well course on Tuesday at our local cancer care centre and I suspect there is going to be a lot of emphasis on lifestyle. Last time I went I was eating quite healthily, the effect of FEC was to make me only want to eat vegetables, fruit, nuts etc. but with TAX all that has gone!
nellie2099
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Hi all, 

 

Cassie sorry to hear your PICC line experience has been a bit of a mess - I hope you manage to get it sorted very soon.  My chemo nurse found a vein first time today and all went smoothly (apart for having to send hubby out halfway through for a chocolate bar….. getting ridiculous!)  They messed up my meds again but had the sense to check before leaving this time so all fixed.  Think I have one vein left for next time so won’t need a line. I had thought it sounded a good option but am glad now I won’t need one after hearing the complications!

 

Rosie I know you won’t get this for a while but I hope your break helps to recharge your batteries ready for your busy time ahead.  Also that you manage to keep DH away from your fixed? Ipad!

 

Joan I am glad your temperature has come down and hope runny nose quickly resolves.  I am interested to hear you have MRI scans - all I got was a mammogram which did not pick up the clearly palpable lump followed by an ultra sound scan of the breast as part of diagnosis. (oh and cat scan to locate sentinal lymph nodes) Nothing else at all!?  Is this normal!

 

I have heard the ITV program was disappointing from several sources - lots of chat at chemo clinic today.  The general opinion was that it was fairly useless lots of bits but nothing comprehensive. Perhaps we should resort to doing it ourselves I know a lady presenter specialising in lifestyle programmes who works for ITV,  but perhaps the BBC would be better!

 

Cheers

 

Nellie

jos
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Hello everyone

 

Cassie - so sorry that your picc insertion wasn't straightforward.  A district nurse comes to flush mine and change dressing every week.  I would be nervous about doing it myself as you do have to be careful and it would be a bit fiddly to do it yourself one-handed.  The first week or so after mine there was a bit of bruising further down and some dried blood around the line but I was told that was normal.  The bruising went quite quickly and after the blood was cleaned up, it didn't happen again.  Well done for making a cuff for it - glad I'm not the only one discarding the regulation hospital bandage!

 

Rosie - have a lovely time in Kyrenia, I hope you get some sleep and good luck on Monday for the final chemo.

 

Nellie - good luck today.  Interesting re side effects list.  My onc said the muscle/bone pain is the most usual one with Tax and it seems that all of us have had it to some degree so odd that it wasn't on there.

 

Wildpurl - interesting that you've found Tax 2 SEs a bit less than Tax 1.  I will hold that thought and cross my fingers for next week.

 

Joan/Lovewine - I hope your colds/sniffles improve. 

 

I didn't see the programme last night (was enjoying a cheeky glass of Prosecco with a couple of colleagues!) but it sounds like I didn't miss much.  Not being overweight, breastfeeding and being under 50 - well I can tick all those boxes and I still ended up with breast cancer!  Oh were it all that simple.

 

x

 

booksandwine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Cassie you can get arm shower covers at boots blue only five pounds
Mel51
Member

Re: PICC Line is in

Hi Cassie,

I'm jumping in from the March thread to offer some advice about PICC lines. I had mine removed last Friday after my chemo was finished.
It is true that you will need to have the dressing changed and the line flushed once a week. My district nurse did this for me every Friday and on chemo Friday the nurse did it before chemo. You can have someone trained up to do it, but I preferred a nurse doing it as it has to be kept very sterile.
Obviously it needs to be kept dry so I bought a Limbo, but I bought it from ebay. It was delivered 2 days later!! It was an excellent purchase - nothing got through it!!
The best piece of advice is to allow the line to settle. I used a wheat bag three times a day for ten mins on the top of my arm. It reduces the risks of clotting and your arm rejecting the PICC. You do eventually get used to it, but I still couldn't wait to get rid of it!!
If you have any specific questions about the PICC, then drop me a line or a PM and I'll try and answer it. I am a control freak so tend to find out every piece of info about stuff if I'm having it!!
Lovewine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Joan, my cold doesn't seem to have turned into much, so think it's just side effects! Temperature ok, nose streaming, bit of sore throat and excessive snoring!! Hope you get on with your ironing- unfortunately that is my business - I run an ironing company!! So have been at the iron most days this week, much less than the long hours pre cancer, but still enough to need a sleep every afternoon!
joan47
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Wildpurl. Pity the programme was disappointing. I didn't watch it last night, husband watching Wimbledon but will catch up on it today.

Cassie, so sorry the process of having the PICC line put in was more complicated than it need be. I am surprised that you have been told there is no need for it to be flushed in between chemos, I was told mine needed to be flushed every week and the dressing changed. I get mine done by the nurses in the treatment centre. My hospital supplies the dressings and there has never been any question of doing it myself or by a relative. The bit where the line goes in needs to be cleaned carefully and everything has to be sterile. I wouldn't worry too much about the blood, I think that's quite normal initially. Re tubing rip there are different sizes, it shouldn't be painful. Re the limbo, I got mine through the shop in the on ology centre and coukdnt manage without it. I hope you manage to source one soon.

Rosie, glad you are beginning to feel better. hope you have a lovely weekend away and also manage to get your I-pad fixed. Are you going to keep it for your sole use? Otherwise I can envisage your husband borrowing it and getting stuck into his emails as usual while you are away. Good luck with the chemo on Monday and then the surgery. You certainly haven't been dealt an easy hand at any point during this process.

My temperature started to go up yesterday evening and I started to get things ready in case I had to go into hospital again. However it then subsided and has stayed down. I still do have a cold, which is a pain with no nose hairs to catch any of the drips, but can cope with that. How is your cold Lovewine? Otherwise I think I am beginning to feel a bit better, contemplating doing some ironing later. I have an MRI on Monday to see whether chemo worked so hoping will be feeling more robust. Last one I had just after first chemo, felt extremely sick and then threw up.
wax2014
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Wildpurl, I watched that program too and was disappointed as it seemed to concentrate on finding a lump and there was not enough information on other breast changes to look out for. I have lobular breast cancer and only had a change in nipple direction as a symptom, I couldn't feel the thickening in my breast at all as the tumor grows flat like a spider and are usually large when found..mine was 5cm and I was told had been growing for around ten years to get to the stage it was at..quite scary but they didn't mention any of this..just to look out for changes..I didn't understand what changes meant or what I was supposed to look out for so how many other women don't either.?? Yes very disappointing program!!
Wax xx
Lovewine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Rosie, have a lovely, relaxing weekend with D/H, it will be nice to have no distractions and you can have some good time together before next week, hope all goes well for final chemo- can't believe it's your last one!!😄😄😄
Wildpurl. I was totally disappointed with breast cancer programme too last night, it gave no new information really at all, thought it was supposed to be more groundbreaking research!!
Cassie, what a bloody nuisance wasting time and money on sourcing things which should be available free, hope you get sorted out!
Nellie, I think my symtoms are not a cold after all, but same symptoms you described! Runny nose, sore throat and snoring really loudly like a pig, waking myself up too with loud noise, in fact O/H said he could hear my pig noises downstairs over the t.v!!
Joan, rolicarpit, jos, tij,Booksandwine, sorry if chemo brain misses any of you ladies, have a nice weekend with lots of nice good! I enjoyed my fondue and crusty bread so much the other day that I am going to have it again tonight and make a cheats version of Eton mess!!
pinky3
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Hello Wildpurl,

I also watched it and also found it disappointing. It was billed as a programme aimed at discussing lifestyle choices to reduce chances of developing breast cancer but concentrated far more on self examination and screening and genetic testing! They hardly discussed alcohol consumption for instance. It was as if they wanted to discuss lifestyle choices then wimped out when they perhaps realised they could not back up with relevant statistics.  Typical ITV. So, it's not just you being grumpy, I think there will be many others who feel the same.

 

Wildpurl
Member

Re: PICC Line is in

My practice does not have District Nurses either, but they do have Practice Nurses, if you have them they could do this kind of thing for you.
Wildpurl
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

I watched the breast cancer programme last night and found it quite disappointing. It was promoted as being about how women can help to protect themselves as much as possible by adjusting their lifestyle, but most of the programme seemed to focus on new screening techniques and on teaching women and young people to self examine more effectively. The message I received was that early detection is the main defence, a little inconsistent with the message that too many women are being diagnosed. The few lifestyle pointers they did give were to do with not being overweight, breast feeding and avoid being over 50! Not exactly new and not exactly empowering either.

They did mention genetic defects but these are hardly lifestyle choices. Maybe I am being grumpy but I really did not know what the message was supposed to be apart from regular self examination. What did others think?
Wildpurl
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Good morning Rosie, I just wanted to say that I have also read some people saying their expanders were uncomfortable, but I have never had any discomfort from mine, which is still in after 6 months and will not be swapped out until I finish chemo. So I would not worry too much. You will have some pain and discomfort while you heal, of course, but that is not to do with the expander implant particularly and I found this had gone after about 4 weeks or so.
Hope you have a lovely weekend with DH.
Cassie86
Member

Re: PICC Line is in

I will speak to the GP today, there are no District Nurses based at my surgery and I go to the hospital for the bloods the day before chemo, as I said before the services really do need to pulled together somehow.

Jbf57
Member

Re: PICC Line is in

Hi, sorry to hear of your problems with the insertion of your picc line. I don't know if this will be of help but I go to the district nurses clinic at my GP's surgery each week to have my line flushed out and a new dressing applied. They also do my bloods the day before chemo (btw, I'm on the June thread). This was all arranged for me at the time my line was put in. Also if you go on line, Limbo do a waterproof cover for picc lines, and with p&p it costs about £15 if I remember correctly. I do agree though, we really shouldn't have to pay for a cover as we all need to shower and take baths! I think my cover arrived within a couple of days. Word of caution though, if you have skinny arms like me, you may want to ring to give your measurements, as they can make size adjustments at no extra charge. I think in hindsight I should have contacted them for one for a teenager! Anyway, it does the job. Hope this helps. Take care, best wishes Janexx
Cassie86
Member

PICC Line is in

Hi All,

 

I must say the process of getting the line in for me took nearly two hours 😞 I don't know why but nothing ever seems to go straight forward, it all started well with "you have a lovely large vein here just above the elbow on the inside if your right arm", "to I can't seem to proceed any further and I will have to call my consultant, I may have formed a clot."  I am not one to panic, but as you can imagine I was not feeling too comfortable with the situation after about an hour.

 

You were right ladies its not painful but just a little unpleasant. I was then given a booklet about care of the PICC line and a card to carry at all times, A tubigrip was put on which was so tight it made my eyes water, then told you can take it off when you get home, which I did and put on one of the cuffs I made which is much more comfortable.

 

I noticed straight away the dressing underneath has some blood under it, so proceeded to read the booklet, now I am a person who likes to be organised and ready for any given situation, but it says you will be shown/or a relative will be trained on how to change the dressing (impossible with one hand) this did not happen, no dressings were given and it does not say how often they will need changing except it varies. Before the procedure I did ask about flushing the line each a week I had heard and they just said no thats not necessary the chemo nurse will just flush it before and after the chemo. (fair enough)

 

I telephoned the McMillan Nurse to as for advice and she just said she was not sure and I should check with the chemo suite, they had all gone home by then, so I will ring later this morning, but its just so anoying and unorganised  I am still to get any waterproof cover for the arm, its a joke the services just need to be pulled together somehow. I have tried Co-Op pharmacy the hospital pharmacy Boots, Mc Millan Nurse and the chemo suite, Amazon have limbo but it is not really right either its like a whole arm costs £25 plus we really should not have to pay for items needed for cancer treatment. Next step ask the GP to prescribe one/ask my daughter to have a trek around some larger Boots! They are not capable of ordering in for you, I tried, I also cannot find it on Boots website. All in all not very helpful and to be honest I could do without yet more complications, I will now have to take more time off work today ro get it sorted out.

rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Goodmorning Dear Ladies!
This will be my last post until Monday night. Today is DH 60th birthday and we are travelling to Kyrenia for 3 nights. Hope fully I will sleep better there as he cant sit up all night on computer no wifi in bedrooms!!!! The phones don't work either once we have crossed the boarder. Really looking forward to escaping and not battling DH washing up! He uses far too many items! We need time to talk also without him going to sleep or his phone going. He is really going to have to support me the next couple of weeks because there isn't anyone else here that can!
On Monday on our return we now stop at Nicosia for final chemo 3 days early on day 11 of 14 day cycle. I just hope it goes ok. Then ladies on day 5 Friday I will be having surgery! I can't believe this is happening. A friend is going to come and strip my nail polish on Thursday. My other close friend here has had to go back to UK suddenly as her mother is very ill and not expected to live!
Next post will be Monday evening after final chemo!
Do have a very good weekend all enjoy the ice cream eat chocolate sparingly!!!!
We have to call at the shop in Limassol on the way today were DH purchased the I pad as have managed to make errors with the set up 24 hours with it and I had managed to weave a tangled web!! Spoke to my daughter and son in law last night on Skype and we tried some options to get back to factory settings but It was having non of it. My son in Law said they would be able to do it in shop. Fingers crossed! My daughter told ne not to leave the shop until they had set it up for me and created and Apple ID.
Do hope none of you ladies have a cold from time to time I get a sore throat think its down to A/C at night and in the car! DH has not packed his bag yet he is still in bed at mo. I will start crashing the pans away in the kitken from last night at 7am!!! We have to drop dog at 9.30am. xxxxxx

rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Nellie that were I read about the expanders on this site !!!!! I have just come out of my 3 days of pain I am now on Day 8 and stating to feel more normal. I slept for 5 hours with 1 visit to the bathroom and a sleeping tablet!
nellie2099
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Hi all,

 

Taxing day tomorrow! Ho Ho!

 

Having read what Joan and Whirlpool have written I am now undecided as to try the extra steroids gradually reducing over a few days to try and deal with the pain regardless of other effects, or go with the extra pain killers and Clarytin and hope to manage.  Almost!?? a shame we only get 3 chances to get used to the treatment and get a coherent plan sorted!

 

I think this is why the forum is so helpful as at least we can learn from each other. Rosie is there an equivalent thread re expanders that may help put your mind at ease?

 

Reading about those suffering cold symptoms reminds me I had similar (all be it mild) situation first time round.  I thought it was possibly the reason for my slightly raised temperature days 4 to 9 (ish) and was probably a virus.  I had a very sore throat, semi blocked nose (not runny as such but just thick) and snored every time I dropped off waking myself up again!  Does that tally with any of your timings and symptoms?

 

Just heard girls off school Thursday due to teacher strike.  Will get icecream ingredients in ready to give them something useful to do!

 

Love to all,

Nellie

rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Sometimes you can do too much research and read things you don't want to! I have just read that the expanders they put in during mastectomy can be painful afterwards! Oh dear!
rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Nellie I hate cannulas too! I can't believe your questionnaire didn't deal with the side effects that we all seem to get! The chocolate bug seems to be spreading maybe this should be listed as a side effect!
Joan a bacon sandwich with HP sauce yum! We had gammon for tea and I told DH it was tasteless he said it was ok!
I don't think you do anything about a cold unless you have a temp but let's hope you don't have one you don't need anything else!
Lovewine I hope you don't have scold either!
Wildpurl I hope you got the fizzy drinks you wanted !
Lovewine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Bacon sandwiches and raspberry ice cream- sounds lovely, Wildpurl banana and choc cake also sounds nice think I might google recipe and have a go tomorrow!
Joan, yes just noticed trailer for tonight programme on at 7.30 p.m, looks very interesting and apparently looks at the link with breastcancer and unhealthy lifestyles!! I think we would take issue with that !! I was told by onc it's just random and landed on me !!
Wildpurl
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Just to add I see you had a yummy bacon sandwich instead Joan, also quite envious.
Love wine, OH said that to make the raspberry ripple ice cream he would make a vanilla ice cream and just before it has set he would sieve fresh raspberries and pour the pulp into the ice cream so no seeds, stirring a bit but not too much to get ripple effect. Sounds plausible! He has a Lakeland ice cream maker so it stirs the ice cream and freezes it in one go.
Wildpurl
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

That is so strange Nellie, my onc told me straight away that I could get joint and bone pains with Tax when he was going through in preparation for the changeover. I think this is also in the list of side effects on the Macmillan site for Tax. Maybe you could print that list out and give it to them to improve their questionnaire? It's a pretty reputable source, you would think they might even have started with that rather than making up their own. Perhaps you could add more side effects which are not listed at the bottom of the questionnaire?

So far I haven't had sore hands or feet, or peeling skin apart from on the soles of my feet which I get every year in the summer as I'm too lazy to exfoliate and moisturise regularly. I think it's now safe to say that the Tax 2 SEs were very similar to what I had with Tax 1 but a bit less. Here's hoping Tax 3 will be similar again.

It's very hot here and I am quietly sweating away after going out earlier to put more washing on the line. I've picked pea sticks and done a few other things so am feeling quite pleased with my day. OH is at the supermarket doing the weekly shop at the moment, I go with him when I'm working in the office but when I'm at home it is more efficient for him to do it as it's on the way home from work. I'm hoping for some new fizzy drinks!

I have to go out again in a bit to do the watering but I can't face it until I have cooled down.
Joan did you really eat chocolate and raspberry sorbet for lunch, if so I am very envious!
Lovewine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Joan, I feel as if I too have a cold! No high temperature, I think if it stays stable and you don't feel unwell it's ok not to go to hospital, a lady on another thread did take honey and lemon for a sore throat and cold and it seemed to work! Good luck, but if worried maybe double check with your chemo unit. Wendy
Lovewine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Hi everyone, I seem to have escaped peeling feet and hands so far(TAX 2) although I do have restless foot and sometimes fingernails feel like they have been trapped in a door, list of side effects oncology team doing seems a good idea, but they have no idea it seems on various common effects we all seem to have in bone pain, sleeplessness etc, I also have increased appetite and eat almost continually throughout the day as keeps nausea Away, so far haven't gained any wright, so assume I am fretting and worrying the weight off!!
All the best to everyone who isn't feeling that great, hope you all improve.
joan47
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Finished up with a bacon sandwich with loads of HP sauce. At least it tasted of something. Saving the choc and raspberry sorbet for tonight.

Rosie, sorry that you also have the peeling but also glad it's not just me. My fingertips are also a bit numb.

I know seem to have a cold, not just the usual runny nose. Does anyone know if I need to do anything about that if my temp doesn't go up?

Nellie, in principle it seems a good idea to systematically monitor side effects through a survey. But what a pity their list is so restricted. Hope the munchies have subsided.

I see there is a programme on ITV tonight at 7.30 called Beating Breast Cancer. It says it is investigating what is being done to reduce the risk of breast cancer and how women can save themselves from it.
nellie2099
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Hi all,

 

Joan and Rosie sorry to hear you are both suffering from tiredness and bad hands and feet - sounds quite debilitating. I am sure chocolate and raspberry sorbet will cure everything! 

I only had a brief 24 hours of feet on fire and then a few days of sore peeling but the moo moo cream seemed to calm things down pretty quickly but I guess I was only tax 1 so not really relevant.  I wonder if any other 2’ers are finding similar symptoms.

 

Cassie I hope the line went in ok - slightly envious as the nurses poking needles about in the back of my hand sends me up the wall. I have to really try hard to keep calm.

 

Our new oncology team gave me a questionnaire to fill out re SE’s - apparently they will be giving one to everyone each time.  It basically has the same old generic list, with no mention of Bone pain!!!!  Steroid effects insomnia/hyperactivity/increased appetite/frequent loo trips, not included either.  I mentioned the slight temperature rise over the first week some of us experienced but she said it could have been anything.  Grrrr.

 

My steroids are starting to kick in - I went for a lovely lunch with friends today and had quite a substantial meal.  Then had to stop on the way home for a chocolate bar and packet of short bread…….. !

 

Best wishes to all for a restful night,

Nellie

rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

I had a 15 min sleep but am still wobbly Joan! Yes I have peeling finger tips and toes they seem to be ongoing! My fingertips are also a little numb!
Wildpurl
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Glad you found the link helpful Rosie.
Joan, your suggested lunch sounds great! It has fruit in so it must be nutritious 😉
I've decided to make a banana and chocolate cake tomorrow. I quite often use up overripe bananas in a banana cake but fancy adding chocolate to it for a change this time. I know who I blame...

I had fried potato and cheese omelette for lunch and it actually tasted of fried potato and cheese omelette yay! I still have a nasty aftertaste but things are improving thank goodness.
joan47
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Sorry about your bad night Rosie, hope tonight better. I slept better but still feel like a zombie today and like you very unsteady, with jelly legs. I think although the tailing off of the steroids has helped with the severity of the aches and pains it has also prolonged the period of feeling grotty.

Did anyone else have peeling hands and feet from their previous TAX? If so, did it clear up before your next one. Mine are still merrily peeling away and since my fingers and toes are all tingling and numb again I'm wondering whether it will clear before it all starts again.

Cassie, hope all goes well with the PICC line insertion; it doesn't hurt and should make the process less painful.

Wildpurl, summer pudding is my absolute favourite. We don't grow our own fruit though so it tends to be a once in a season extravagance.

I see an oncologist every three weeks. So far seen one consultant once, another twice and the senior registrar twice. But I've been very happy with all three and never felt rushed. The only slightly irritating thing is that they book the assessment for 8 days before the chemo which means I have to arrange to have bloods done at the health centre. But it does leave week 3 free to get out and do things.

It's.now lunchtime and I can't think of anything savoury or nutritious I want to eat. Chocolate washed down by raspberry sorbet perhaps?
rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Thank you Wildpurl for the you tube link about our choices I found it really useful and I would recommend that anyone facing mastectomy looks at this link
jos
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Good morning!

 

Booksandwine - sorry you haven't been feeling too good and hope that improves soon.  Your helicopter and spa plans sound great.  Good idea to have something to look forward to and aim for.

 

Nellie - sorry the clinic was a shambles.  It's nice to have some continuity with staff.  This journey is hard enough and I find myself getting very irritated when things aren't as they should be!

 

Rosie - sorry you had a bad night with all the interruptions. I hope you manage to catch up a bit with rest today.

 

Cassie - good luck with the picc this afternoon.  it will be over before you know it.

 

Wildpurl - have a good day with pilates and walking.  I shall be doing a bit of both of those later.

 

Welcome Kels and good luck with the FEC.  As others have said everyone is different.  I had heard bad things about it and expected the worst but actually it was ok for me.  I was always sick on the day of treatment itself but was up and about the following day and was pretty active throughout.  I felt more tired, had a few headaches and one cycle had a couple of ulcers but that was about it.  The anti-sickness meds should hopefully keep the sickness at bay.  I lost my hair at the end of the second week but was well prepared for that - had wig and scarves sorted out and had my boyfriend shave it off when it got to the point it was looking a bit patchy.  I do find I have a really horrible low mood for a couple of days in the first week when I come off the steroids (Dexamethasone).  That is the only thing that has consistently happened on every cycle, FEC or Tax.  It's horrible at the time but I can tell myself that it's a side effect and it will pass.  I have found that more difficult to deal with than any of the physical side effects.  As for the treatment itself, FEC doesn't take long (at least not in Oxford).  30 - 45 mins for the actual drugs.

 

As for appointments, I see an oncologist (not always the same one) every three weeks, the week before the chemo and the district nurse takes my bloods a few days before via the picc line (they can take things out as well as put things in!).

 

Have a good day everyone. 

 

x

Lovewine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Yes rosie! Hope you get more rest today!!
rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Whatever reconstruction we have we will never be the same again so we may as we'll go for easiest option!
Wildpurl
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

The other thing I liked about the interviews was that they were all women who had been through treatment and come out the other side and were comfortable with their choices. It showed me that people do get through this and rediscover a normal life
Lovewine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

I agree about the implants- it's not like you walk out in public with your boobs out is it! I know some ladies are very concerned about their lack of boobs- I am small busted so have not been that bothered about cleavage, although I do realise I will feel differently I am sure at an obvious loss of feminity, I find I am more upset strangely at my loss of hair and eyelashes which is such an obvious sign as a woman, Wildpurl I agree that as long as you can look fairly good in your clothes with implants that would be good enough for me, but that's just my opinion and I know other ladies feel much differently, each of us have to decide what's right for us.
I also see my oncologist every 3 weeks the day before chemo, it seems a bit varied from region to region!
Cassie good luck today!
Have a decent day everyone and it looks like it is going to be hot- particularly London and South East- so get that ice cream at the ready!! Yum yum x
rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Thank you for the link Wildpurl I will look at that link in a bit! Glad you are feeling ok today and hope your plans go well.
Wildpurl
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Good morning, forecast to be a hot one here in the South East of England!
I slept almost normally and this time did not have any back pains in the night which I am very thankful for, I had ibuprofen and wheat pack on standby but did not need them.

Rosie how annoying to have your sleep interrupted like that just as you had got yourself all organised. Hope the voicemail was important! Cassie people from work keep trying to call me on my chemo days too. I text back to say I am off sick and to call my deputy and I haven't listened to the voicemails yet, that is Friday's job when I will be working from home.

Louise, it seems to me that if you are having to wait at least a year for reconstruction to be discussed, it is very difficult for you to know what you will want by then. In a year you will have time to assess your situation and how you feel about it and I think that you will probably come to a conclusion in that time as you assimilate what has happened and what it means to you.

I found some very interesting videos on You Tube made by the University of Ulster, which you can see here http://m.youtube.com/user/friendscancercentre

They are a series of interviews with women who had BC and decided to have or not to have breast reconstruction. They all have different situations and decisions and in many cases decided several years after initial diagnosis and treatment. They each explain their story and how they felt and what influenced their decision. When I was deciding about my reconstruction I found these very interesting just to hear their stories, they might be helpful to you in the same way.

Rosie I initially wanted an LD flap recon but after researching it decided that implants would be a simpler procedure with no impact on any other site in the body, plus a shorter operation. I also don't sunbathe topless! Too fair skinned! and all I really wanted was a reasonably natural looking breast shape with a cleavage so I could wear the same clothes as before, which is exactly what I have got.

Cassie, I also have been seeing my oncologist every three weeks before each chemo. This next time as I have been OK and it is the last one they asked if I would mind going to the nurse led clinic, which of course I don't. I think it's reasonable for people to see their consultants at least some of the cycles to check how things are going.

Well, today is my last non working day this cycle, I am feeling pretty OK and think my taste is slowly improving thank goodness. OH is getting me some more cranberry and lime drink today I hope, I found that so thirst quenching last time, plus I shall be on the cider at the weekend as well. I am off to Pilates later, then plan to go for a walk and collect some more pea sticks for the next row of mangetout. I'd like to do some gardening, but it might be too hot, we shall see.

Hope you all have good days
rosie14
Member

Re: Hello All

Cassie I would be very impatient with them too! Hope all goes well with your PIIC line this afternoon!
Cassie86
Member

Hello All

Rosie, sorry you had a rough night and are still not feeling to good, I hate phone calls at odd hours too I usually get members of staff texting me at god awful hours letting me know they wont be coming into work even on my chemo days and days off (I only work 4 days a week, sorry I don't have much symapathy for them these days).

 

I am hoping that my PICC line insertion this afernoon is not too bad and I am able to continue working Friday and Mon am next week. It is odd the different standards of care we seem to get and regimes. I meet with my consultant every 3 weeks the day before the next chemo session, I also get the bloods done at the same time ready for the next day. Quite shocked to hear some people have only had a glancing meeting with the consultant.

 

Cassie86

 

 

rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

lovewine so many people seem to have so many problems after massive reconstruction at least if it is an implant it can be whipped out easier if there is a problem! Just 3 days ago I wanted the full works flat stomach etc . But as me daughter said mum you are never going to go topless on the beach! She is right never have done never will do!
rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Especially people you don't know!
Lovewine
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

How annoying Rosie! I hate it when people ring later in evening and leave voicemails! You are going to need your rest before all kicks off with surgery etc!
I do agree with you and Louise regarding reconstruction etc, not sure I want s massive operation next year either, so implants sound less technical than flaps and dog ears whatever! Louise your employer should pay you tho as its hardly a choice you had for cosmetic reasons, but a result of cancer, all this never seems straightforward!
Kels welcome , we all had different side effects and some of us not too bad!! FEC I found not too bad , mainly felt sick, but meds mainly took away, I would definitely join a July thread to get support and have a laugh too with others doing chemo at same time!! Good luck with it!
rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Still walking round like a drunken zombie!
rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Louise they should pay you for reconstruction because you are not electing for plastic surgery you are putting you cancer damage in order!
rosie14
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Louise your employer should pay you as reconstruction is not electing for plastic surgery it is merely completing the dan
mage the cancer has done to you . I am considering the whole reconstruction thing and may just go for implants . I really don't think I want any flaps cut and joined ! Implants would be far less painful.
Blueberries and gooseberry crumble ladies yum yum! My taste isn't too bad this time but I still quite achy and not steady on my legs. Was furious last night DH was on Skype to a potential member of staff in uk for 2 hours , dog baked very loudly at something outside but the worst thing my phone rang by the side of the bed it was a uk number and then the person left a voicemail! Haven't a clue who it was but I was spitting feathers . Had taken painkillers and sleeping tablet! Wobbled downstairs at midnight made tea wobbled back to bed and slept till 4.47am this is
not good preparation for my big week next week is it? Hope this morning finds you all we'll will catch up with you all later . X
Louise3721
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Hi ladies thank you for the suggestions re lavender bought some essential oil at Boots hoping this will ease my veins. The more posts I read it is obvious that there is no straight answers to our questions. I have only met my consultant once to shake my hand and no one will discuss anything re reconstruction until radiotherapy has been completed and then I am looking at a year. My thought is that do I want to go through reconstruction ? Once all this is over do I want to put my life on hold again? Also my employer has paid me but will they continue to do so if I go through reconstruction as this is not life saving surgery Hmmm the plot thickens you think you have it sussed then you get a moment to think.
Wildpurl
Member

Re: Anyone due to start chemo April 14??

Hi kels, welcome to the forum, sorry you find yourself in this situation with us but you will be OK and get through it just as we have. If you look at earlier posts in this forum you will see what kinds of side effects we encountered and how we coped. Good luck and it won't be as bad as you fear! You could also have a look on the July 2014 chemo thread as there are ladies there starting at the same time as you and you might find that helpful to exchange experiences as well.

Nellie sounds like you have a good fruit garden too, I have often thought about doing blueberries which I really love. I have agreement to the raspberry ripple 😉 and I am planning to make a summer pudding as well over the weekend. Come on those taste buds!

I also love gooseberry crumble.
Cassie86
Member

Cool cap

I don;t know if it is available at the hopspital you are attending, but there is a system called cool cap which you can use if suitable to try to retain as much hair as possible, it might be worth a try as you have not yet started you treatment, its worked fairly well for me. Cassie86