Reading your post you made the right decision to opt for a second surgery. I too only had partial response to chemo - although it was a good response it didn't get rid of the lumps (breast and lymph node) completely. I will certainly be opting for second surgery if suggested.
My recovery from surgery on 4th Sept as been quite good, i am doing the arm exercises 3x daily which are helping loads and i seem to have most of the full movement back. My arm is numb from under my arm at the back down to half way towards my elbow which i can put up with. I had to have my drain taken out on day 4 because it had a blockage in it and started leaking at the wound end, but the district nurses come out every 3 days to check the dressing and any swelling.
I have booked myself in for the Look Good Feel Better and my aromatherapy and nutrition sessions all in October so thats to look forward to.
I am going to have a read of the Daily Mail articles, thanks for the info Bramley.
I will update you all when i get my results next week.
Stay strong we've all got this.
I've seen the Daily Mail are running a series of articles every day this week written by Harvard Scientist, Dr William Li. He has spent his career researching how certain foods can help to prevent and manage disease including cancer. It's been quite interesting to read and I've picked up a few tips. Not sure how practical some of it is though! If you are interested here are the links for the first 3 days (hope links work!):
Day 1 -
Day 2 -
Day 3 -
Kelly - very good news that you are back on chemo after the issues with your heart. Hopefully the rest of your weekly Paclitaxel sessions will go without issues and your neutrophils behave well and keep above the minimum required.
Debi - glad you are recovering well from your surgery. Fingers crossed your results will be positive and you can move onto radiotherapy.
I had a bit of a set back with my results after surgery. The mammogram and ultrasound before surgery suggested that chemo was really successful and the tumour in my breast was no longer visible. However during surgery a tumour of 1.6cm was removed and found to have active cancer cells i.e. the chemo did not achieve a complete pathalogical response. The consultant was happy everything was out of my breast as there were good clear margins. I also had 5 lymph nodes removed during the same operation; I already knew one was positive for cancer from initial biopsy at diagnosis. I was very relieved to hear that the other 4 nodes were clear. However, there were a few cancer cells in the fatty tissue surrounding the one positive lymph node (on the outside of the one lymph node). I was given the choice to go onto radiotherapy which would kill any remaining cancer cells under my arm or have further surgery to take more tissue away and also remove the rest of the lymph nodes as a preventative measure. I opted for surgery and had the second operation for a full ANC clearance 3 weeks after the first surgery. They took out 20 lymph nodes and found a further 2 with cancer cells so 3 out of 20 were affected (all on the lower level). I now feel it was definitely the right decision to have second surgery as I would never have known that a further 2 lymph nodes were affected. I have to say it has been more painful to have all the lymph nodes out rather than just a few in the first surgery. I have developed cording down my arm from my armpit to my wrist so trying to stretch it out lots every day and massaging the very hard veins. It's definitely starting to improve but very slowly. I've been on quite a emotional roller coaster journey over the last 7 weeks since finishing chemo. I'm gutted that chemo didn't kill all the cancer cells in either the tumour or lymph nodes. I had full dose chemo for all 6 rounds of FECT without any delays. I'm not sure how common it is for chemo not to achieve a complete response or whether I have just been unlucky? I am very relieved and grateful that all the cancer has been removed and hopefully radiotherapy will kill any stray cells. Just can't wait to start and get through radiotherapy now. I've already started taking Anastrazole hormone tablets. Knees are a bit achey but it could be because I've started running again post surgery. Hopefully they will settle soon.
Hope everyone is doing well. I think most of us have probably moved onto radiotherapy now? x
update from me. Well after a few months break from chemo, due to heart probs, I’m now finally back in it.
I’m on weekly Paclitaxel and have had 4 so far. I have to say that up to now, I’ve not really had any side effects. Few aches, tired n picked up a cold that I can’t seem to shift. Neutrophils are 1.6 so on the low side, but obvs still ok to have chemo.
Lizandsaeah- who runs the ‘moving forward course’. I may look at this when I’m closer to finishing. Got 8 more chemo then 3 weeks or Radiotherapy left yet....but I’m counting down.
Deb- glad to hear your op went well. Fingers crossed all ok and you can crack on with your Radiotherapy x
Happy to know your surgery went well. Make sure you get plenty of rest🛋🛌🏾 and keep going with the arm excercises🏋️♀️💪. Fingers crossed🤞 you'll have good news when you go for your results and are soon able to start radiotherapy.
Take care, Susie B ❤❤
Thank you everyone for the reassurance and wishes. After all the worrying and being anxious it was all fine.
Well its 3rd day after surgery and i don't feel too bad. A little sore and tired ( i usually sleep on my left where i have had the surgery!). i have a drain in which will be taken out on Monday by the district nurse. My results should be back on 20th Sept when i have an appointment with the consultant 🙏. I am doing my arm exercises three times a day and it does feel more moveable after them. If my results come back ok next step will be radiotherapy.
I hope everyone is doing well, is everyone staying on this forum or moving over to the radiotherapy one?
Wishing you a speedy recovery after surgery tomorrow.
I had node clearance in January and you have to look carefully to find the scar now!
3 more rads sessions to go now, then it's time to plan my return to work in November.
Anyone else doing the Moving Forward course? I'm starting one next week so I hope it'll help me to be realistic as I try to return to a more normal life as I know I'll need to pace myself, which I've never been good at!
I had ANC and WLE back in June after chemo. I was absolutely dreading it😰😰😩😩 despite everybody in my Feb 19 group assuring me that surgery was easier than chemo. (I was taking anti-anxiety meds in the 3 weeks prior to surgery💊💊💊). And do you know what? They were right🤗🤗😊. I spent my time prior to surgery chatting to the girls on here and playing games on my tablet. Admittedly I did have a bit of a wobble when I was taken for my surgery. Then it just got surreal. As in a comic book sequence one second I was having a cannula put in, followed by anti-sickness meds, pain relief, relaxant by one aneathatist whilst the other was putting probes and a blood pressure monitor on me. I have no idea when the aneasethic was administered. Next picture I'm in the recovery room with a nurse telling me that it was all over, I had a small oxygen mask on, that she would check my BP and other signs. When she was happy I was recovering well she arranged for me to go back to the ward to continue my recovery. I wasn't in any pain. I was a day patient and didn't have a drain. My surgeon thinks they are unnecessary but they all seem to have their own preferences. My wounds were also stitched and glued so no dressings. After the three Ts, tea🍵, toast🍞 and tiddle🚾 I was discharged along with a 'what to do after surgery' leaflet and a list of arm stretching excercises to start the next day.
Good luck for tomorrow. You're a strong girl💪💪💪💪and you can and you will get through this.💕💕💕
Susie B xxx
Good luck Debi. Thinking of you. I’ll be having the same but on 25 September but I will come home the same day. Thinking of you. We’ve done the worst part. X
Good luck for surgery tomorrow Debi. 💗
i had mine 2 weeks ago and it went absolutely to plan thankfully. I’ve had a good recovery and I’m just waiting now to start radiotherapy...the last hurdle!
I hope you are all doing well.
Ive just signed up to do a charity skydive for Beatson cancer charity with my friend on the 12th october! Just hoping I’m fit enough for it after radio. Raised over £835 already so will feel very guilty if I can’t do it!
Debi - just wanted to wish you well for your surgery tomorrow. I'm sure you are feeling apprehensive but it will all be over before you know it. Hope it all goes well. xx
I hope everyone is enjoying the warm weather! I am boiling what with the hot sweats and the weather. My surgery date is 4th Sept and i am very nervous. I am having wire guided wide local excision and auxiliary clearance. I will have a drain in for 5 days and stay in hospital overnight. Can't wait for this part to be over.
Stay strong lovely ladies 💪
😁post ops, no heavy lifting for at least 6 weeks, so no hoovering or carrying heavy shopping 😁 you will be amazed how quick your bodies knit back together after op, just be gentle with yourselves. My surgeon had me wash in hibiscrub for 4 days before op and then continue to use it after for about a month and I had no problem healing. I slapped aqueous cream on post surgery and got minimal scarring, ❤️❤️ keep 💪💪💪you are beautiful and amazing 👭👭💕💕✨✨Shi xx
Congratulations Christine18 on finishing your chemo, the cold cap looks to have worked a treat for you. i too have finished chemo and this morning am on my way to see surgeon for date. I hope you don't have too many side effects and your surgery goes well.
Shi thank you for the advice, i wouldn't have known to go up two sizes either.
Hope everyone else is doing ok and hopefully enjoy the sun when it appears!!
Thank you for all that advice! Very very useful. I had planned to go bra shopping after my SE wear off from Chemo. I wouldn’t have thought to go two sizes up so that’s really helpful.
I love a good excuse for buying new PJs too!
👏👏💪💪👏👏well done Christine and double well done cold capping 💪💪👍👍rest up, surgery is a doddle after chemo, get some short sleeve button front pj’s a pair of sliders and a dressing gown for hospital, take some hand cream and lip balm too, it gets dry after the op. Post op bra a M&S zip front sports bra is good as has racer back so plenty of room, go 2 sizes up I.e. if 34 get a 38 you could be a bit swollen after. Get some sticky dots that you can put on the door for post op exercises you can see your progress daily as you reach that little bit higher and further 👍👍hope that helps and jump on a surgery thread and rads thread too 👍 rads get a vest top, keep slapping cream on, dr organics aloe Vera and tea tree gel from Holland and Barrett good, moo goo, Aveno and e45 are used a lot. Keep 😁😁💕💕✨✨Shi xx
Well done on finishing, the time will pass quicker than you think.
I'm already halfway through rads, don't know where the days go!
Hey lovely ladies,
I had my last Chemo yesterday. Decided to dress up and make a day of it! Was very emotional at the end! But also a little anxious as I now don’t have surgery until the 3rd October so I just hope that the chemo has done it’s job and the cancer doesn’t start growing and already in the mean time!
Then I’ll be starting Rads in December. Such a long way to go still.
Im just chilling in the garden today eating frozen grapes to help ease the nausea. Very tired today but can’t sleep because of the steroids. Can’t wait to chuck that last bottle of steroids in the bin!!
Hope everyone else is doing ok.
I've not been getting the alerts for posts so am now in catch up.
Hope everyone is recovering well from chemo, I've got way more energy and being able to taste again means I've been eating everything in sight! Got most of my feeling back in my fingers which is good.
Had session 7 of 20 rads today, does anyone else have breast swelling?
Its like going back to post surgery! They've done another planning scan today due to the level of swelling, as it's increased each day since no 4. They were concerned about a possible infection but there's no evidence of that fortunately.
Started Anastrazole today as well. Oncologist will see me again in October then I'll be put on an open access system where I have to go through the breast care nurses to be seen.
Looking forward to my short break in late September, consultant suggested it would do me good before I go back to work. Just waiting to see occupational health to work out how my return will be managed.
Heard someone ring the bell today, we didn't have this in my chemo unit, I got very tearful as I don't feel it's the end of anything, when looking at ten years of pills and three of injections and infusions. Couldn't even wipe my eyes as I was all lined up 😭 on the rads table.
Trying lots of new things at Maggies during rads, liked tai chi and the choir, but I've confirmed I'm not artistic at all in the art classes!!!
most of the time is spent lining me up
like a slab of meat ! There is nothing to it really but I live 20 miles from the hospital so a two-hour round trip is pretty tiring . Like everyone else will be so glad when it is all over already taking Letrozole and Vitamin D . No SEs as yet best to all x
Susanmanchester - how are u finding radiotherapy so far? I had my planning appointment this morning. All seemed to go ok and im booked in to start next tuesday.
I enjoyed my holiday last week, didnt have a great week for weather but i got chance to rest. I felt grotty most of the time and kept checking my temperature as my neutrophils were low but my temp stayed within the guidelines.
Hope everyone else is doing well?
had 2nd radiotherapy today 13 to go don't know about anybody else but pretty much at end of tether and exhausted . Will be v pleased to hand back wig tomorrow as never got to use it ... roll on Sept 5
Its been a bit quiet on the April thread the last week, hopefully you are all side effect free and doing lots of things. I have been not too bad since my last chemo i just had some throbbing in my hips and lower back last night but took some paracetamol which helped me get to sleep. Hot flushes have also been quite regular this cycle too, but other than the other usual SE doing ok.
Christine - hope you are doing well after your last chemo, do you have surgery to go? I am looking into more healthy eating and trying to get out for a walk every day, even if its only very short.
RunningSue - i hope you enjoy the sea air, we are going to the coast at the weekend all being well as i seem to be craving fresh sea air too.
All the other ladies on the April thread - take care and say strong.
Debi - Congratulations on your last chemo session and glad you were able to ring the bell! You may be high on the steroids but at least you know this will be the last lot of chemo side effects which is a good feeling. Also really good news that your tumour has shrunk so much and hopefully this last round of chemo will make it even smaller. Do you have a date for your surgery?
Christine - glad to hear that you are also coming to the end of your chemo. Thanks for sharing the link on the on-line course about exercise and disease. I truly believe that small lifestyle changes, exercise and nutrition can make a difference to our physical and mental wellbeing post cancer treatment. I'm looking forward to getting back to the gym when I have some hair! In the meantime I'll continue to walk/run every day as it makes me feel so much better in myself.
Mandy - hope your chest infection is getting better and good luck for your sugery on 3rd September. Like you say each stage of treatment is a worry as you don't know what to expect but hopefully it will all go smoothly and it will be another step closer to finishing treatment.
RunningSue - hope you are feeling a bit better now after your final chemo. I'm sure the sea air will help with your recovery. I loved being by the sea for a week after my surgery. It was just the tonic I needed. Good that you have your radiotherapy planning meeting next week and hopefully can start soon after.
Hope everyone else doing ok. xxx
Well i had my last chemo today and i am at the moment on a high - although that might just be the steroids!! I did ring the bell even though i will be going back every 3 weeks to have my Herceptin and Pertuzumab. My MRI had shown another shrinkage some i am down to 5mm now from the 2.8cm at the start of treatment, hopefully it will shrink a bit more with this last dose.
Hope everyone is ok and moving on to next stage of treatment.
Catch up soon
Hi Mandy and Nicola,
I also have TNBC. The rate of reoccurrence has only just started to worry me as I come to the end of chemo. As much as I will be so so glad to get Chemo over and done with as it has been a hell of a slog, I’m worried that it is nearing the end of treatment altogether. I have surgery to come and radiotherapy after so will be likely finished at the end of November/beginning of December. I think when the end is here I’ll be so relieved yet that’s when I will really start panicking about it coming back.
I just keep telling myself that it’s not 100% reoccurrence so I’m hoping we are all in good hands and fighting this. I’m doing a course at the moment about exercise and disease (it’s free on a website called www.futurelearn.com so might be worth looking at) but basically it goes into depth about the relationship between exercise and fighting diseases like cancer. So my main aim after treatment finishes is to focus on getting really fit!! That will focus my mind and keep my body healthy. The course is free to join and there are no tests or anything like that. You can pay to do the final exam at the end and get a certificate, which I might do as it could help me at work, but otherwise it’s just a really good information tool.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend and not getting too blown away!
i havent posted on here for a long long time as I’m also a member of a Triple Negative group and I find it hard to keep up with everything. I checked back in today and found your post asking if anyone else has TNBC, I have and like you I am also concerned about recurrence. I finished chemo 2 weeks ago tomorrow although I still feel rubbish as I have a chest infection. I have a mastectomy, full node clearance and DIEP reconstruction booked for 03rd September which I’m so worried about. I keep telling myself I worried about chemo too and now that’s over so hopefully it will be the same with surgery. Then it will be rads and like you I am hoping it will all be over by Christmas.
It it sounds like you are doing really well and getting through everything, chemo will soon be done for you and although you are worried about surgery I’m sure it will be a fantastic feeling to know that the tumour has finally gone.
Good luck with the rest of your treatment.
Congrats to everyone who has had their last chemo this week and good luck to everyone awaiting surgery and results.
Im 7 days post my final chemo and unfortunately ive felt rough all week. Ive had hot flushes, stomach cramps and the nausea seems to have got worse not better. I felt so rough i asked for my bloods to be checked in case of infection. The bloods came back clear but my neutrophils are low so i need to check my temperature to make sure it doesnt drop or go too high.
Today ive come on holiday with the kids in a caravan for a week in yorkshire. We had it booked since last year and we have all been looking forward to it but i feel so lousy. We are right by the sea and im hoping the sea air and rest will perk me up.
I have my radiotherapy planning appointment for 19 august so i should start the week after. Has anyone started theirs yet?
Hope u are all keeping well?
Afternoon all and what a windy rainy day it is! Managed to do my usual walk this morning first thing but glad I had a raincoat and hood over my wig! May have lost it otherwise, lol... I'm not allowed to run post surgery so walking quickly in this weather!
Kelly - good news that you are finally back on the chemo band wagon after months of uncertainty. Can you believe that we see that as a positive to be back on chemo, side effects and all. What a strange journey we are on. Lets hope it is a smoother ride for you now and you can complete your chemo treatments. Good luck for the start of your weekly Paclitaxel in a couple of weeks. So sorry to hear about your brother which must be just devestating for you all I'm sure you will do everything possible to fulfill his wish to get through your treatment plan and be well on the other side. In the meantime be kind to yourself and take the time to grieve in your own way. xxx
LynsH - great news that you have now finished your chemo. Fingers crossed for your MRI and a straight forward guide wire lumpectomy and home by the evening. Hopefully you will find the surgery easier than the chemo part of treatment. At least you have some energy back with the children being off on school holidays.
I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof and I can't sit still. I will get my results next week and I can't think of anything else at the moment. Just don't know what to do with myself but have to keep busy. I'm currently working through loads of cupboards in my house clearing them out. I'm sure it won't last after next week.....
Have a good weekend everyone and keep well xxx
firstly Congratulations to all whom have finished their chemo and good luck to those due surgery.
Well I saw my Oncologist on Monday and following months of uncertainty, I am finally getting back on Chemo. Due to start the week after next and will be having 12 weekly sessions of Paclitaxel.
Got my heart mri at last today, so hopefully that won’t change anything.
I previously mentioned that my brother was diagnosed with lung cancer, well sadly he lost his fight last week. I am completely broken but one thing he wanted more than anything, was for me to get better, so I will try to be strong and get through the next few months for him. It’s gonna be tough emotionally but I’ll give it my best shot x
Hi girls, sorry I’ve been rubbish at posting of late. Kids being off just now is taking all my time.
I had my last docetaxel 2 weeks ago today and I’m feeling good so far. Probably the best I’ve felt since chemo started. More energy and taste has come back. 🙌🏻
I had had an MRI on Monday and will hopefully get results next week when I’m back at consultant. The surgeon seemed fairly confident it would be a guide wire lumpectomy and I would be home same day. Fingers crossed.
I am keen just to get the surgery out the way and also the radio done. I have some holidays booked for end of year and really would like to be done by then so I can fully enjoy them without worrying about coming back to more treatment.
To all the ladies coming to the end of your chemo, I hope you’re all doing well and good luck for any final sessions.
Lovely to hear about everyone’s progress as we approach the last stages. Xxx
Evening April Ladies!
Everyone is a bit quiet this week, I hope you are all ok?
Good to hear from you NikNak5. Sounds like you have been on a long chemo journey which must feel like a lifetime! Only 1 more to go for you, Yay!! September surgery will soon be here. Try not to worry about the surgery; I know that probably doesn't help very much. I had my surgery 2 weeks ago today, and honestly it was absolutely fine. I found it so much easier than chemo. They put you to sleep and you will know nothing about it until you come round in the recovery ward with a lovely nurse sat by your side talking to you and taking your blood pressure. Yes you will be a bit bruised, swollen and tender on your breast and under arm for a couple of weeks but it soon settles down. I have no visible bruising now, very little swelling and my scars are neat and have healed well. I still have blue dye on my breast from the dye injected during surgery. Apparently it can take weeks or months to come off. Make sure you start doing the arm exercises as directed the day after surgery as it will make a big difference to your mobility. It will also help in preparation for radiotherapy as your arms will need to be above your head. I also had a partial node clearance as one node tested positive at the original biopsy. My consultant took out 4 nodes including the positive one. If the other 3 are clear, she is happy to stop there. If they are positive, I'll have the rest of my lymph nodes taken out in a second operation.
I'm not tripple negative but there will be April ladies who are. Hopefully one of them will reply on this post. I would say, the best bit of advice I was ever given by my BC nurse from the outset was not to use Dr Google. I haven't dared to look at rates for recurrence as I don't want to think or worry about it once I get through treatment. I believe the recurrance statistics published for breast cancer are based on old information and maybe not reflect the progress in breast cancer drugs, treatments and research in recent years.
I lost finger nail number 8 yesterday but still hanging on to the last 2 for now! On a positive note, hair seems to be sprouting well but not quickly enough! I'm 5 weeks post chemo and still look like a boiled egg! NikNak, like you I have a mixture of white and dark hairs coming through, particularly at the sides and back. Still a bit shiny on top though . It's definitely going to take quite a while but my hair was very fine before I started chemo so I'm not expecting miracles. I continue to wash, condition and massage my scalp every day in the hope it will increase blood flow to the hair follicles and encourage growth. I've been using Green People, unscented organic shampoo and conditioner throughout chemo and I'm really happy with it. Its very gentle and natural with no parabens or harsh chemicals.
Would be lovely to hear from a few more April ladies with your progress. xxx
Hi lovely ladies
ive not posted on here for a while but I only have one more FEC to go - 20 days and counting. My lumpectomy is booked for 25 September, I’m really scared as never had an operation before, I’m also having partial lymph node removal as I has been diseased so I’ll come home with a drain for 4-5 days. It’s been a long slog paclitaxel weekly for 12 weeks along side carboplatin every 3 weeks. Then I switched to FEC every 3 weeks for another 12 weeks. After surgery then it will be radiotherapy but should all be done & dusted by Christmas hopefully.
Are any of you ladies triple negative? I’m now scared about the reoccurrence rates.
Anyway we we are all doing so well to think back in April would we ever make it to the end of Chemo & here we are. Truely remarkable you all are.
I have the same thing, my hair is growing back but it’s coming through white & dark on the back. I only had a grey patch over my right ear before it fell out. I’ve heard the pigment comes through again when your hair follicles recover so I’m hopeful this will be the case. Glad to know it’s not only me x
I'm back home from our week away and just about surfaced from the washing and ironing
RunningSue - congratulations on finishing chemo and ringing that bell Such a milestone to finish chemo and hopefully the worst part of treatment done and dusted! I'm sure you enjoyed that glass of champagne. I'm not surprised you were emotional by the end of your final dose and hope you had a good old cry to release some of the frustration. Do you know when you will move on to radiotherapy?
Christine - hang in there with the cold cap. You have come so far it would be a shame to stop now. I didn't use a cold cap, so I have no idea how it feels but I know my hair is growing back incredibly slowly now! Sounds like you had an adventure with your penultimate chemo on Weds. Nightmare about the split in the PICC line. Still only one more to go and you will be done.
I'm doing well although I lost finger nail number 7 of 10 today. I'm pretty sure I'll lose the last 3 in the next week or so to complete the set. Docetaxel (T) has certainly worked it's magic on my finger nails despite wearing nail varnish and using vitamin E oil on my cuticles during the last 3 chemo sessions of T. Still I have half nails under each one lost and hopefully they will grow back soon! Note to self - never take finger nails, eyebrows or eyelashes for granted ever again! Bruising is reducing quickly around both scars although still feeling tender around scar under my arm. My thoughts are now turning to the results in a couple of weeks. I'm trying to stay positive and upbeat although inside I'm really scared of what they will tell me. I keep telling myself that I can't do anything to change the results and if I need second surgery or more chemo then so be it. The waiting, worrying and feeling scared never seems to get any easier on this journey.
The start of a new week tomorrow. Good luck to those having chemo or starting radiotherapy this week. xxx
Hi sharon it was such a relief to finally have the PICC line taken out. It bled when the nurse took it out but only for a minute, so the nurse pur a dressing on but i was able to take it off a short time later.
Congrats on finishing chemo! I am due to have my picc out on Friday (I was advised to wait until the end of week 2 of my final cycle). Do they put a waterproof dressing on then? I can't wait not to have to worry about the blasted picc line!
Good luck to all still with final doses and/or surgery to go.
Thank you Liz and Susan,
Hopefully it’ll be ok. I’m trying to stay optimistic but I could have made a wig out of what has fallen out just today! I’ll keep going. I’ll try not to run to the razor yet 😂
Agreed do stick with it my hair still shedding a bit after chemo - it has been weakened by treatment - but new hair coming through !
I continued to cold cap despite my hair thinning a lot. The second one definitely does more damage.
I'm hoping the hairdresser will be able to blend it when it has grown a bit more.
Well done to those coming to the end of chemo! Must be such a relief! I get emotional just thinking about my last one...not long now!
Bramley, glad your op went ok and the scars are looking good. It’s amazing what they can do! Sounds like you had a nice week too.
My penultimate chemo on Wednesday wasn’t quite what I had planned! Got there, called up within 20mins (usually I have a 2 hour wait!) and went to get my PICC line dressing changed and then they found a split in the top connection. And the PICC team said they wouldn’t be able to fix it! So back to cannulas! Was so frustrating, so close to the end!!! And man does FEC hurt the veins! Wasn’t a pleasant day. Thankfully my sickness was so much better controlled. I still feel nauseous now but having some frozen grapes, which helps.
Another thing...I’ve been managing to keep my hair with cold capping but the second FEC seems to have taken a hit. Lots more hair falling out and I’m in such a dilemma. Do I continue cold capping and end up with very thin hair or do I shave it off?! I still have a fair amount left but it’s very disheartening always having hair attached to your tops and not your head!! So close to the end, such a shame!
I had my last chemo yesterday and i rang the bell!!! I was a bit emotional but i actually cried more once the machine had finished pumping the drugs into me!! Once it started beeping i said "thats it, im finished!!". It was such a relief to get the PICC line taken out and once i had a glass of champagne at home i had a lovely cool shower (i did intend to have a soak in the bath but weather was very humid) and nice not to have to wrap my arm in plastic to keep my PICC dry.
Bramley i hope u are recovering well from your op and you enjoyed your little holiday.
Debi i think its a marvellous idea that we arrange to meet up!! Would be lovely to put a face to all our names !!
Lizandsarah hope u have got over the grotty stages from your last docataxel and u are enjoying the sun. Do u move onto radiotherapy soon?
Take care ladies
Hair is growing, but its very white!
It wasn't white before, just a little bit of grey scattered through looks like it's been growing for a while as some is about an inch long in places! .More on top than anywhere, it'd been cut to hin length but there are still thin patches round the back
Roll on 6 months for the hair dye!
Last night of our holiday and been out for a nice meal. Has been just the tonic to be away for a week post surgery. I've done far less here than I would have at home so more time for me to recover. I took my dressings off my 2 x incisions yesterday (7 days post surgery). They probably would have lasted another few days but my incision under my arm was feeling quite tender and I wondered if the dressing was causing it. Anyway both incisions look really neat and appear to be healing really well. The steri strips literally came away with the waterproof dressing on top. I'm amazed that my Consultant has made the incision on my breast around the top side of the outer areola which I can hardly see even at this early stage. I won't have a visible scar on my breast which is such a lovely surprise and not at all what I was expecting. Breast is still a bit swollen and tender above the incision but it's not looking disfigured after lumpectomy. They both still look pretty even I'm more tender under my arm, after partial lymph node clearance, and more bruising but I guess this part of the body is far less fleshy and quite tight. I'm still able to lift my arm straight above my head, both elbows out to side and arms up my back so mobility is pretty good all things considered. I keep doing the exercises which seem to be helping.
Liz - glad you are doing well after your last dose of Docetaxel. Let us know how your radiotherapy planning meeting goes on Monday and when you are starting. I hope to start radiotherapy in Sept providing I heal well and don't need any further surgery. Thanks for all the info on Zolodex and Zoldronic Acid. I think I'm more post rather than pre menopausal but just wondering why nothing has been mentioned about Zoldronic Acid in my treatment plan. I can ask my Consultant or BC nurse when I see them in a couple of week for the pathalogical results following surgery.
Debi - hope everything gets sorted with your work. It's a worry you don't really need on top of going through treatment. It's a lovely idea to meet up at some point in the future, hopefully when we are through our treatment plans. I'd be up for it
We haven't heard from some of our ladies in April starters for a while. I do hope you are all ok and progressing with your treatment plans. Would be lovely to hear how you are doing.
Have a good weekend everyone xxx
I've started a monthly radiotherapy thread for Augusy starters, I know some of you have already found it.
I've bounbced back well from the 50% dose of Docetaxol, got so much more energy. Ive managed to get home and am enjoying the coast walks and seaside fun with my child and old school friends. Fingers and toes almosat back to normal now from the neuropathy. Got my planning scan on tuesday.
Christine18 - I work permanent nights, and I'll be returning to the same post. My manager suggested some days to start with, but the distance is too far to make it worthwhile. I've never really got back into the swing of sleeping at night anyway. I did ask about the best time to take the daily AI's and my consultant said it was up to me. Ill; be starting them soon so I can see what end of the day gives more side effects
Bramley - in answer to your questions, there are two drugs out there that may be offered, Zolodex and Zoldronic Acid.
In the NICE guidance for treating BC it says that:
Discuss the benefits and risks of ovarian function suppression in addition to endocrine therapy with premenopausal women with ER‑positive invasive breast cancer. Explain to women that ovarian function suppression may be most beneficial for those women who are at sufficient risk of disease recurrence to have been offered chemotherapy. (This is the Zolodex injuections every 28 days). I was already having hot flushes for a couple of years, so I've been put on it to send me into full menopause, but my new consultant has agreed I can have my ovaries removed if I wish, which I will be agreeing to as I want to remove the food source for the future!!
Havoing the Zolodex also gives them more drug options as there is only one drug for pre-menopausal (Tamoxifen) and four for post (Tamoxifen and the three AI's)!
Zoldronic Acid: guidance says this should be offered as adjuvant therapy to postmenopausal women with node‑positive invasive breast cancer. It should also be offered as adjuvant therapy for postmenopausal women with node‑negative invasive breast cancer and a high risk of recurrence. I've had the first one and had no obvious side effects, but the Docetaxol would probably have masked them anyway! I'm also taking a daily supplement after discussion with my consultant as my Vit D levels were extremely low and had to be treated during chemo.
Hope this helps
Suanmanchester - glad your energy levels are coming back. On with the rads.
Bramley - Hope you are enjoying your break and recovering well.
Interestingtingtimes when do you start your rads?
Christine18 it sounds you are in a similar place in your treatment plan then me. My surgery i think ( i haven't seen my surgeon yet) will be mid Sept. Don't know how long rads will be after. My last chemo is Aug 13th and i can't wait!!
LynsH - i have been off work since March too, my workplace is closing down and they are in the process of redeploying or redundancies. It's a mess at moment so not sure if i will have a job or not when i go back. It's just another worry. I have been in touch with Macmillan as they have great info on work rights etc.
I have been reading some of the other groups and some of them have had a meet up, i was wondering if any of you would be interested in meeting up? what are your thoughts on this?
Christine - glad your bloods are good for your penultimate chemo tomorrow. Getting close now to the end of chemo I've never tried Lorazepam but was very nauseous on FEC. By the 3rd dose I was prescribed Emend (Aprepitant) tablets; took one on the day of chemo and one tablet for 2 days post chemo. I was told it was the most effective medication for nausea but unfortunately it didn't seem to make much difference to me. I felt I had morning sickness from the minute I woke up until I went to sleep at night. Hopefully your Oncologist has found the right prescription to help with your nausea. October will soon be here for your surgery. Psychologically I'm sure it helps to have the tumour finally removed after all the months of chemotherapy. I was so happy to get surgery out of the way knowing the tumour would finally be gone.
Lynsey - your surgery will be fine in comparison to chemo. Let us know when you have a date. Will be interesting to hear if they have to use mammogram rather than ultrasound to insert guide wire next to marker on morning of surgery. Ref returning to work, as Christine says, don't feel pressurised into going back sooner than you feel ready. If you can afford to be off for longer, go with what feels right for you. I was signed off work for 6 months from March (day I started chemo) taking me through until September. I have given it quite a lot of thought and don't think I'm going back until January. I really want to have some hair and look like me again before I return to work. I also want to go on holiday somewhere warm at the end of treatment (hopefully by October). It's my birthday in October and our 26th wedding anniversary so would be lovely to celebrate after such a difficult year.
SusanManchester - glad you are feeling better and enjoying your food and wine again Will be interesting to hear what they tell you at your radiotherapy planning meeting and how you get on with the Letrozole. I need to wait 6-8 weeks after surgery to allow scars to heal before I can start on radiotherapy. I'm not sure which hormone medication I will be prescribed or when I will start taking them.
Sharon - glad you are also moving onto radiotherapy. Let us know how it goes.
Jencat - many thanks for the info on Zoldronic Acid. I'm 51 and was going through the menopause with plenty of hot flushes at the time of diagnosis although I hadn't had a period for around a year or regular periods for around 2+ years. My consultant described me as peri-menopausal (on the transition) so I guess I'm in the middle somewhere. I'm still having hot flushes having completed chemo. Maybe Zoldronic Acid is not be suitable for me.
Have a good week everyone xxx
Clinic appointment done. They’ve given me a small dose of lorazepam to take tomorrow to control my nausea. Has anyone else taken this? They’ve also made sure the nurses give my IV anti-emetics tomorrow rather than tablets like they did last time.
Thankfully all my bloods are ok so I can go ahead with my next FEC cycle. Fingers crossed it’s a smoother ride tomorrow. Penultimate chemotherapy! Can’t wait for this part of treatment to be over.
Try not to feel pressured to go back to work. I haven’t been at work either since my diagnosis in March. Thankfully they haven’t pressured me but I’m going to speak to them in a couple of weeks to discuss going back. I too don’t feel ready and am thinking of going back in January. Luckily I have another 5 months of half pay but I’ll be using my annual leave in December before I go back. I have a very stressful job too working nights, days and weekends all 12.5hour shifts. I certainly won’t be able to do that but your employer has to adapt work to you! I’m going to get signed off nights for at least a year and try to see if I can work shorter shifts to start with. They legally have to adapt work to suit you so make sure you speak up if you just can’t do what you used to be able to do.
Macmillan has a lot of support and people to talk to about returning to work and your rights so might be worth using them or speak to the helpline before going to see your boss.
On another note, it’s good news to hear you can have a lumpectomy. Hope it all goes ok!