@Shi Txx for the tip! And I've already picked out a contrasting green gift bow for my drain bag! Tis the season! 🎅🎄🎁
@ktk Eyebrow hope! I've retained a few resilient individual hairs and lashes, but I do miss them. Keep seeing a naked mole rat when I glance in the mirror. Even found myself musing around the glitter make-up section at Boots today, trying to imagine some way to make myself look festive next week, murmuring, Which glitter would go best with my drain bag? I ended up with some sort of blue glitter lipstick topper, because it was cheap. So relieved and happy to hear your report of the return of yours!
(I do have my eyebrow pencil etc. from the LGFB goodie bag, but no matter how hard I try, I always look like a doppelganger of my grandmother, who claimed that at some point she'd shaved off her unruly eyebrows and they just grew back more unruly, so from then on she drew them -- a doppelganger, that is, but for the buzz cut.)
Saw my BCNs today for my Pico vacuum dressing removal on the mastectomy / reconstruction side. Wounds are healing very, very well. My surgeon has left me with tight little scars that are positioned in such a way that I doubt I'll notice them in a year's time. Still a bit of swelling and some bruising, and ever so slightly raw (so I'll be covered a few more days), but all looks good. Because of the sort of surgery I had, the drain stays in for another week -- won't come out til the 27th. Can't wait. In other good news, the runs seem to have finally stopped today. Could be stopping the antibiotics, starting probiotics, or the combination of the two. Still waiting for word from the lab on whether I've had a recurrence of C. difficile infection, which might require some treatment. For some reason they tested for everything but that, even though the lab order was quite specific. At least I know I didn't have salmonella, E. coli, or some odd tropical bug.
@RedRose Just recalled that if @Kip is done with RT, you must be done now, too. I hope it went okay for you, and that your wedding planning has been a good, dreamy distraction. Thinking of you.
@Kip Cheesy is good! Especially right now. And I don't mean Christmas-time. Your children look so happy in the photo -- though not nearly as happy as you, the definition of bliss. You're glowing.
@SallyG63 I'm assuming that if you're taking your antihistamine at night, you're taking Piriton or another version that *causes* drowsiness (and so should help with rather than hinder sleep). Just thought I'd throw it out there in case you're taking an anti-drowsy form...
Thanks everyone, I know the bell etc is a bit cheesey, but it definately marks a point in time and meant a lot to my kids to ring it with me. Feeling emotional today still, hoping i can fend off the worry gremlins until after Christmas at least!
p.s. @Kip: I just saw that they mounted the bell right under the "Way Out" sign. Nice touch.
Ack! Edited to add: 🎊CONGRATULATIONS! 🎊
@SallyG63 Gah, I snort-laughed at your comment. And that's even though I teared up when I read the quote on the bell when @Kip shared it. I'm a sentimental cynic or a cynical sentimentalist -- just can't determine which.
An American friend of mine -- diagnosed and treated for ER-, HER2+ DCIS a couple years at age 37, who just got word of something amiss in her follow-up scans and so is having an MRI-guided biopsy -- US shared a link to a poem, "The Fourth Sign of the Zodiac" by Mary Oliver, that she turns to at times. It wasn't my thing -- well, cynically and sentimentally, there were lines I liked and loved, and others at which I rolled my eyes -- but it might be exactly right for some of us...
Sally, Yes he probably was! The bell ringing marks the end of active treatment.. there is a poem engraved on it which says "Ring the bell 3 times well, its toll for all to say, my treatments done, the journeys won and now I'm on my way".
I've done it and rung the bell (that's my lovely children supporting me) did get the doctor to take one with my husband in it and when I got out, it hadn't worked! Grrr.. never mind nothing can dampen my smile today... hope the happiness lasts and I don't hit a low tomorrow... but for now... smiling!
Oh Sally nothing is ever straight forward is it, hope they sort the appointments... 12 hour days is not doable especially as they harp on about the fatigue kicking in! And as for the mammogram... just grrrrrrr
Thanks for tips Sally unfortunately im so small i cant reach the door frame!! Hope planning went well. Im now booked in foe the Hope Movjng on Course jn February and also gots lots of information about other therapies available, may have reki and reflexology after xmas. Was quite surprised to be told as a cancer sufferer uou are now classed as disabled! And as such have all the benefit rightsnof a disabled person. A sobering thought. I aas also given an exercise dvd especislly designed for breast cancer patients to help with gettjng movement back and preventing lymphoedema. So a productive afternoon.
Yayyyyy that is such good news Jencat! So pleased for you.
Reddi - oh dear sorry to hear you have another bout of tummyness! Hope it sorts itself quickly for you.
Kip, your last post made me laugh re music played whilst havingscan/rads!
Michelle and Kip, I had good news yesterday, CT scan was clear of cancer! (A bit of 'fluffiness' on my left lung, but onc said it was in the exact spot where I had rads, so it is inflamation from that and she's not worried) Onc said I'm now in remission and has discharged me! I wasn't expecting that as I thought before I started chemo she'd said she'd see me alongside consultant for a few years as I'm TN. Tbh, I'd rather I was still seen, but perhaps I should think of it as good news that she doesn't feel she needs to! xx
Michelle thanks for the response, funnily enough I saw the radiotherapy nurse yesterday for a catch up and she said I will see them again 4-6 weeks after finishing the rads and then it will be a mammogram and an ultrasound (sounds promising but I'll wait and see) 1 year after diagnosis (so May) and then regularly check ups after then. I think I am being seen by ONCs to check on progress with Tamoxifen too, so sounds the same as you. It was good to see the nurse because I finally know that I do have Cording!!! All the way from wrist to armpit.. .fabulous! She showed me how to massage it gently and I am on the list for an appointment with the Lymphodema clinic so that they can have a go too. So glad to know thats what it is. She was lovely and I told her about the fear after finishing treatment and she said that its so so common but that they have lots of therapies and counselling and exercise classes to help and that I will always have an open door to Radio, Oncology and Breast clinic so I can call at any time for evermore if I need to chat or am just worried about something. She said some ladies just come in when they are feeling fearful just to have their minds eased. I asked about my aches and pains too and she thinks its chemo hangover plus a bit of Tamox thrown in.. She said it should ease over time (not sure how much time mind!). She also advised to keep a note of how I feel on the different brands of Tamox as some can make you feel different and you can request the chemist only supply you with the brand you like.
Reddi - I hope you are feeling ok today, sounds nasty and something else you can do without. Take care.
Sally - That is a nightmare time for an appointment for Radio isn't it.. hopefully they can get it changed for you?
Well its the penultimate radiotherapy session today... still doing ok, not sure if I am feeling more tired. I think over this last year I have just got used to feeling tired so its become the norm! Had christmas music playing as they did the rads yesterday.. that was a very bizarre thing.. not sure entirely appropriate... as the song was "Simply having a wonderful Christmas time" as a machine buzzed over head and routinely fired beams at me! Oh well I had the theme from Titanic playing as I had my initial MRI so can't expect too much.
Alas, I am not feeling well today. Had some shivers last night but just thought it was the cold weather. Woke up with a distinct facial flush and discovered I have a fever. Thighs ache. Lower back aches. I spoke to my BCN this morning and she advised regular paracetamol and visit to the clinic tomorrow morning to see if they should extend my antibiotics. However, my bowels have become overactive and my most recent visit to the loo was decidedly loose. So I am wondering if my C. difficile infection may be recurring. Now I have to decide if I call again... I think I will wait to see what next visit to the loo brings.
Good luck Jencat with those results today. Hope this gives you the all clear and you can move forward. Its good to hear you are finding counselling and therapies useful. I think we all need something to help us move forward once we are done with active treatment.
Reddi - how are you now, glad you got home!
CDC - well my dear what can I say! How dare they!!! What a nerve! That is so out of order, after everything you have been through, all the information you have gathered and provided them with. Don't let them wear you down Clare... when you feel good and ready you give them hell. To blatantly get all those details wrong just beggars belief. I really do believe that if, for one minute, they had to walk in our shoes, they would be taking these things much more seriously and understand how we need assurance and good honest guidance in every step we take. To even insinuate that they did all they could and "tough get on with it" is...well... can't even begin to put that into words that wouldn't be taken down by this forum!! Big big hugs to you... they better watch coz CDC is coming for them!
But on a better note CDC good to hear you have a date for surgery and are feeling confident with the new team. How are you feeling now chemo is done, are you suffering any aches and pains? I am stiff and achey in every possible joint know to man! From toes to fingers! Can't work out if its chemo, radio, Tamoxifen, menopause or all of them. Just hope it eventually goes away. Am just trying to focus on getting radiotherapy finished this week and then have a break over christmas to rest up a bit and then see what happens. Don't even know what happens once I finish rads? Whether I get a scan or something? Anyone have any ideas? I know they said I would get a mammogram on the remaining breast around about the 1yr anniversary of my masectomy so that would be May time.
Hi Michelle, thank you for thinking of me. I'm ok, but still struggling a bit emotionally at times. I was offered counselling when I was having chemo and rads, but I didn't need it then and always felt I'd find it harder once I finished treatment and I was right. I've been having some counselling through Macmillan and that has been helping and also I'm entitled to 6 free therapies through a local charity and I've found that beneficial too. So far I've had a hand and foot massage, which was lovely! The therapist is an ex-nurse and comes to my house. I've found it nice to be able to talk about my cancer to her if I want to as I can't really talk about it too much to anyone else because I don't want to upset them or they don't understand as I 'look well'!
I'm feeling quite anxious today as I'm seeing my chemo onc tomorrow pm to get the results of the CT scan I had 2wks ago. It was to check that the last few mm's of cancer has gone from my internal mammory chain. My chemo onc said she'd be surprised if there was anything still there when I saw her in the Summer, but I can't relax until I know for definite, although I keep thinking surely they wouldn't leave me for 6mths after the finish of rads if they were that concerned?! It's been difficult though to move forward when I don't know if I'm cancer free or not.
Sorry to read that you're struggling too and hope you find your counselling helps xx
Hi Kip, I'm from Oct '17 thread and I've being having counselling through Macmillan since I finished rads in the Summer and I've found it's helped, so hope it does the same for you x
Ah thanks Reddi. Yes "are you there Mother..." definately odd!
Just had Rads No. 11 and feeling unexpectedly teary on the way home. Sometimes I just suddently find myself hit full on with the thought "oh my god I have cancer"... tried to explain that to OH just now and how scared for the future I feel sometimes and in true style he said "Life is terminal"! Gotta love him hey....He says hes sick of talking about cancer... bloody hell try living it I thought! I know he doesn't know what to say.. guess he never will really... definately gonna need some counselling after xmas I think...even if just to sit and cry and not be judged.. In true British style... I'm going to make a cup of tea and have a biscuit...
Oh no Reddi! You sound like you had the same patient next door as I had when I was hospitalised for low neuts! He was shouting "kill me" "help me" and "Mother are you there" all night long too.... I thought I was home and dry when put in a single room but hell no...I think every trolley that went by clattered into my door and the lights.... grrrrrrrr.... hope you escape tonight... and watch out for anymore scabby monkey! I'm sure CDC can sympathise with the alarms on the dressings, I seem to remember she had fun with them too!
Well I finally met somebody at Radiotherpay who was in my age bracket.. we have both had BC, masectomy and 6 x FECT. Unfortunately she had BC 10 years ago and had a masectomy then and this was a new diagnosis in the other breast but she has now had the other breast removed and has chosen to remain flat! She was so pleased to be matching finally and said she felt quite pressured to have recon but it wasn't for her. Nice to talk to someone else in the same boat. We compared nails, hers looked pretty much like mine and she had lost a couple and some toenails too eek. We discussed hair.. shes still wearing her wig as hers isn't growing much yet and we had a good old moan about Docetaxol! Oh and she suffered from the neuropathy in her fee & .fingers and had trouble walking, and they are still sore but improving! She even finishes her radiotherapy on 19th too. Made a change from chatting about prostrates!
Well done Reddi! Glad you are feeling ok, hope you get home today, nothing like your own bed is there.
Oh Dear Sally - another CT scan, whats that for, radio?