Hi my experience is not exactly the same as yours but I did need MRIs to identify the extent of my bilateral tumours. I did not have an MRI guided biopsy - once I’d had the results of the MRI I had an ultrasound of the tumours and they were biopsied then. I went on to have a therapeutic mammoplasty- a breast preserving surgery which in my case removed about a quarter of the tissue in each beast (including the tumours)and then the remaining breast tissue was redistributed to form a smaller, perter breast shape. Wonderful! However, they were unable to get ‘clear margins’ on the right side and I had a re-excision. The biopsy of which shower further areas of cancer beneath the nipple. This is very, very personal to me bu I do wonder if I should have had my right breast removed from the start. I only opted for the TM because initially my team thought the tumour was 2.2cm. I will have to have a full mastectomy after I finish my chemo in Dec/Jan. I’m not looking forward to the more surgery. The tumour on the right was over 5cm (double the size my team initially thought) which is considered large. I also had very small signs of spread in the sentinel node. I am also considering a mastectomy on the left as, although they removed the tumour, 2.5cm in total and there was no spread to the sentinel node,I have a very high familial risk and I’m worried about recurrence. Do you have any family history? If you can face it I would go for the MRI wire guided biopsy then you have more of an idea of what you are dealing with and it might make decision making easier either way. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but ultimately I cannot regret my breast preserving surgery. I am very happy indeed with the sensation and look/feel/size and if they’d managed to remove all the cancerous cells I would have been so happy with the results. I will be very, very sad to see them go!!
PS I am also facing an MRI scan 5 days after my 2nd cycle of chemo to check out my liver and gall-bladder. Not looking forward to it but I’ll be pleased to get confirmation that my team are right and what they have seen on the CT scan is nothing to worry about.
Hi Daisy 200, pleased to meet you!
I'm in the town, near Darley Park/Five Lamps. I know where Draycott is. It would be great to meet up sometime. How are you feeling?
Do you have a dog? (I do)
Oh blimey, a lot to think about. No one can tell you what to do, what choices to make, including your medical team, they wont give you any steer as it has to be your decision but here's my experience:
I was told I had a smallish lump and that lumpectomy was sufficient, with node clearance, followed by chemo and radiation. My first surgeon said 'there's no need to lose a breast for a lump that size'. Turned out it was 3 times bigger then the scans showed so I then needed more surgery to clear margins. I was given the option of another lumpectomy or mastectomy. I had found the first surgery so easy to recover from that I went for the second lumpectomy telling him to take more than the minimum. My second surgeon said it was a 'very reasonable decision'. Turned out there was another 2 stealth lumps not showing on scans so then I had no option but to go for a mastectomy. If I had known how easy it was to recover from the surgery - and if I hadn't been crippled with fear, hindsight is a wonderful thing - I would have / should have gone for the single mastectomy in the first place. Obviously, it's not pretty but I don't miss it. However, that's just me. Not you!
I've sailed through the surgeries (with a few hiccups). Once you get to the operating theatre, it's all in their hands, you go to sleep and you wake up - hopefully - cancer free. That's got to be good eh?
For me, the worst parts so far have been:
1) The fear of the unknown, I've been crying, sobbing, terrified over things that were actually okay
2) Having a drain bottle. I had one on the first surgery, I caught the tube and it failed. I had one on the third, big, surgery. I took more care and it was fine but it does make you feel like a patient and can restrict your movements. Once it's gone, you feel free free free, outside world here I am.
3) The fear of needles - early days I had a few diazepam but learned to live without them. I'm a big girl now.
4) The fear of the picc line - having it put in while awake, turned out to be fine. It now means I drive in like an electic car, plug in, charge up, and go.
5) Not had to address this one yet but it will come soon - the looking like a cancery person. So far, I've felt and looked the same as I always have. Now, I'm going to be looking sick but we'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. This might just be the hardest bit.
Good luck with making your decision,
By the way, back to me, ha ha!!
I had my hair cut off, v v v short. In my mind, I saw Katy Perry or, more age appropriately, Annie Lennox. In the mirror, I'm seeing Daniel Craig.
The hairdresser I went to, in Derby, is an agent for Trendco the wiggy people. She's been trained with Trevor Sorbie and cuts the wig to suit you. I had planned on a long one but in the end went for a shorter, neck-length, one. It's really nice but so far, I've only been out in my panama hat or with no hat at all as I do still have hair. In fact, it's grown since Friday but it'll be on its way in the next week, I know that.
In other news, this bloody good weather is killing me. I would normally be lying in the garden near-nekkid every spare minute of the day but I've been told to wear SPF50, keep in, cover up, avoid exposure. The one bloody decent summer we have for years and I have to stay out of it.
Hi there, checking in again! I've been AWOL because I've been living life and generally gadding about.
Right then. It's six days after my #1 FEC. I have not, yet, felt ill, tired, anything particularly negative at all. I did start to get a tiny metallic taste the other day but it seems to have gone again. I am aware that this could change at any time but for now I do not feel one iota different to the day before they poisoned me. I know that I'll be tripping towards 'low immunity week' now and that I need to be careful.
My onco nurse has checked on me to see how I feel, and he seemed very surprised to hear how well I feel but it's true.
On the down-side, I've still got all my taste buds and my general feeling of well being is making me want to eat everything (bad) in sight. Soon there will not be a icelolly or loaf of bread left in Derbyshire.
There doesn't seem to be too many new joiners compared to the previous monthly boards, am I right?
Anyway, lassies, how are you all getting on?
Hi Ladies, just wanted to wish you all the best as you start your chemo. I finished mine last October, 8 rounds of neoadjuvant FEC-T and still here to tell the tale! Here's my blog which has lots of tips which we learned along the way: http://lifeafterlola.blogspot.com/
Hi Willie, I've just finished FECT and I live in Derby too (well Draycott, just outside), if you want to meet up and chat about the chemo etc xxxx
Hello Ladies, I thought i would join the July thread had my first Chemo 20 June all went smoothly. Just felt a bit tired. Had my wig appointment last week, the ladies are so amazing and fun. I know how a lovely wig that i will wear from time. This page is so helpful, and it help me a lot. My second chemo is next week. all the best to all of you.
The gscf injections are usually given in the first week to boost the white blood cells and so help fight infection. The number and availability of these seem to vary from one hospital to another. I had 5, and were very effective. May be worth asking ?
@Karen942 What a tough introduction!
I had a late start (2:30pm appointment, chemo drugs starting around 4pm), and they syringe-pushed my E first, then syringe-pushed my F, then gave me IV bags of the C with saline -- the protocol it sounds as though they're advising for you for your next round. My experience was tMUCH better. My vein was wide open and free flowing, so I was done with my final saline flush and out the door by 5:30pm.
The Friday chemo date is a drag, isn't it? My OH and I used to have "date night" on Friday, then we're usually out for a walk in the country, followed by the pub, one or both days of the weekend. That routine was already rejiggered, of course. I was, though, hoping for a Monday start so that I might have a chance to squeak out 2 old-routine weekends. But after the long wait to start treatment, I took the first date they offered.
Hope the hydration regime keeps you feeling more steady. With the heat, it seems even more essential.
@Karen942 I'm also a 2 May diagnosis, first chemo Friday, 29 June. I am delighted to be starting treatment after all the waiting.
And hello everyone!
I decided I'd join both the June and July chemo threads, as there were a few later folks in the June thread and I found reading that thread from start to finish was enormously helpful in preparing myself for the possible rhythms of the next 3 weeks.
My Tx is 3x FEC, followed by THP -- either 4 or 5 THP, I've was told 5 at consent, but order is for 4, which I'll need to clarify with the oncologist at my next meeting.
I've got bilateral, left is grade 2, 15mm mucinous type ER+ (8), PR+ (4), HER2-; right presented as 2 areas of microcalcification only visible on mammogram -- one is grade 2 IDC ER+ (8), PR+ (6), HER2+, the other is DCIS/LCIS, labeled "pre-invasive" rather than non-invasive given the givens. The right side is 63mm, per the MRI, and the oncologist explained that's for both areas (IDC + DCIS/LCIS) combined. (Still nagging to get a copy of the MRI reading for myself.) SLNB was 0/4 left, 0/5 right -- best news in months.
In any case, Dx that means chemo, then surgery TBA, then (probably) radiotherapy, continuing Herceptin injections, and hormone therapy.
I hope all us July jumpers are doing well today. I feel lucky thus far, just a bit of nausea overnight and hardly any sleep, thanks to the steroids; of course, I'm only 18 or so hours in. I'm glad I start hydrating before cycle 1 -- getting in my 2+ liters of water before and day-of, as well as now -- per advice from the June starters. I think it's helping (though there are a lot of loo trips).
Also relieved when my first neupogen injection this morning went off without a hitch. It's one thing to read about giving yourself a subcutaneous injection, but I'd never done it before. (My mother, who was a nurse, assured me it would be easy... but she was a nurse.) Are any of you getting the injection at your shop? I think some folks get a course of antibiotics, but it might also depend on your regime.
Hi I am another one saying hello from the June thread. I had my first dose on 19th June Next one due on 10th July. However, I am having 4 AC followed by 4 T whereas many people seem to be doing 3 FEC and 3 T. I may well be starting T with many of you July ladies. Do take it easy after your first chemo. I overdid it in the first few days and thought "Well this isnt so bad". Hit a brick wall between days 4-6. Extremely fatigued and what I can only call 'other-worldy'. I was also very depressed. My oncologist thinks it was the steroids I had to take for 3 days after the chemo. They are known to cause severe mood swings in some people and I seem to be one of them - Lucky me!! Have to say after that and once I got the timing right for my anti-sickness medicine, I have been feeling pretty 'normal'. It's good to know that the god awful feeling I had didn't last and I'm going to ask for advice on how to manage it after Cycle 2. The forum is a fantastic place to share the good, the bad and the ugly! I also find It's also a good place to ask questions. Good luck everyone and hope you can enjoy the weekend. xxx
I had a broken sleep, more to do with the heat and a fan as noisy as the large Haddon collider. Felt as normal when I got up, walked the dog (8000 steps). I spoke to the oncology nurse because I'd forgotten to put the Pegfilgistram syringe in the fridge yesterday. He said it was okay.
I went to town to buy some stuff - Movicol laxatives recommended by the nurses as its very important to avoid constipation, SPF 50 (ffs), Jungle spray insect repellent as its important to avoid bites or any entry point for infections - and had my hair cut v v short. My new hairdresser also had a wig for me which she cut to suit me. I was worried it'd look too 'wiggy' but I walked home in it and I think it's fine.
When I got home, I was supposed to give myself the immunity boosting injection but just couldn't do it. Gary offered and tried but I couldn't let him do it. I called my surgery but they had no practice nurses in do I went to the hospital. Took 3 seconds, didn't feel it. I really am a Muppet.
I told John, the nurse, that I feel amazing today and he warned me not to overdo it or even to behave as normal as this is not a normal time. It's a false high because of the steroids and when I stop them tomorrow things will change and its important not to go into that time without energy in the bank. Slow down, basically. Listen up, ladies!!!
As I have to avoid the sun, I had a little read on the sofa which turned into a 2 hour snooze, again the heat more than anything, I think. Anyway, despite what I just said above, the dog won't walk himself and that dinner won't make or eat itself!
Take care my lovelies, I look forward to meeting you all over coming days and weeks.
Hi everyone, just checking in to let you know how it went.
I got there at around 10.10, had to go through some formalities, double check and sign the consent form again. I had the pics line checked and some steroids and anti sickness drugs given to me. We got cracking with the serious drugs around 11.30. I thought it might be a boring old process for Gary, my OH, to sit through so I sent him off to the gym.
Dr Pollyanna had told me the treatment took 1-1.5 hours but the nurses, again, had rolled their eyes so assumed that was wrong. Turns out he was right, in theory. The first drug, the E in FEC, went in first, took 10 mins, very gentle. Then the other two lots of drugs went in and we were done in about 50 mins in total. Dr Pollyanna, I apologise for my cynicism.
I had some lunch and was home just after 1.00.
It's now 22.45 and I feel fine so far, been out for a walk with the dog, made the dinner and now I'm social mediating. I'm assuming the next few days will be interesting.
Night night folks.
And welcome to the thread.
I hope everything goes alright for you tomorrow. Drink lots of water, and take it very easy for a few days. Here's hoping for a 4/10!!
Hi there everyone,
My name's Willie (I am a girl! Well, a 56 year old girl, ha ha), I live in Derby and I'm starting my chemo tomorrow (Thurs 28 June) but think I'd rather join the July thread as we'll all be new together. I'm sure I won't be drummed out for breaching the calendar by 3 days!
My oncologist - or Dr Pollyanna as I call him - told me I had a combined 51mm tumour (removed in 3 operations - 2 x WLE and 1 MX), grade 1 with 1 positive node out of 17 ("good news!!" he cried), ER positive ("more good news!!) and HER-2 negative ("and THAT'S good news!!"). He also told me that, on a scale of 1 to 10, I will not feel any worse than 4/10. If I'm lucky it will be 3.5/10 and if I'm unlucky it might be 4.5/10. I said I'll take 4/10. I didn;t tell him my hangovers are generally 7.5/10 these days, ha ha.
When I told the oncology nurses this though, they side-glanced each other and said "oh ... okaaaaaay". We'll see.
I had a PICC line fitted yesterday. I had been super stressed about it, all the while knowing it will make life so much easier for the next six months, but really it was nothing to fret about. I'm going to be having 8 x FEC-T (4+4). I dont know why I'm having 8 and not 6, hopefully if I can catch the oncologist tomorrow, I'll ask him. The nurses tell me I'll see him fleetingly tomorrow.
I'm trying not to rush out and buy everything I've read about on the earlier monthly threads as not everything will be relevant to us all.
I've had my long hair cut to a short back and sides a few weeks ago and I'm having it cut even shorter, crew cut, on Friday. I've got an appointment to buy a wig in the same shop; the stylist has been on the Trevor Sorbie course where they learn to cut wigs to suit your face. I had planned on getting a long one like my previous hair - it's almost identical to my own hair only much better! - but having had short hair for a few weeks now, I'm thinking of getting a short one. Bloody typical that we're in the middle of a heatwave which shows no sign of ending, just when I'm thinking of wearing a boiling hat made of plastic hair.
Anyway, enough about me, I'm looking forward to meeting you all and we can help each other on our road of discovery.
And welcome to the thread. I'm sure there will be others along shortly .....
Congratulations on your wedding! That is a lovely distraction xx
Welcome to the forum.
This thread is for anyone starting chemo in July and would like to chat, share tips etc. Hopefully you can all help and support each other along the way.
I had chemo in 2016, so please ask if you have any questions and I shall do my best!