Hope everyone is having a good weekend, it's nearly 3 weeks since my last chemo and I'm feeling so much better. I've been motivated by you all to try running and have started the couch to 5K, which feels really positive - it's been really good to get me out of the house as well as I've become a bit of a hermit (not a good thing). It's made a real difference reading your positive posts - thank you!
@Love running yes, that's exactly how I felt when my colleague was tearful with me - the shock they felt seeing me and the confirmation that I look different. It did really shake my confidence (and I do struggle with confidence generally). However, I've now got over the first couple of team meetings on zoom - I've tried to be resolutely positive and they've now started to treat me normally which is a relief. It's actually made me feel a bit more bullish about my lack of hair and I've started to leave my hair coverings off. I've got a v thin covering of grey hair with shiny bald patches on my crown, and if people don't like it I don't really care! So... I'm embracing my new look with a bit more bravery now.
@Michelle21 really good luck tomorrow with your op, I will be thinking of you and hope it all goes smoothly.
@gardengirl200 Yes! I found it really upsetting - reading it after the last chemo was v stressful - she has a manic tone which really brought me down as well, and like you I need to believe in my Oncologists and conventional medicine. I've got the Complete Guide to Breast Cancer and have re-read that - much more balanced and objective. I've done the same as you, foodwise although have been enjoying tea and coffee again after not being able to stand it during chemo. Also had a glass of red wine for the first time in months last night - actually didn't taste nice which was a disappointment! I start radiotherapy on the 27th - good luck for you tomorrow! I'm started letrozole also this week.
@Sammy73 thank you for your kind words, I'm so sorry to hear about your shingles, I hope you're okay! Awful to have to postpone any treatment, I know how emotional that is. It did feel so amazing to do my last one and get the hideous pic line out - hoping this last week wizzes by for you!
Thank you again everyone! for all of your bravery and your wise words, I hope everything is going as well as it can be for you all.
Lots of love Nicki xxx
All the best for tomorrow. I think I was so chilled from isolating for 4 days b4 I was ready and felt so glad after it had happened. Be your strong self and you will be fine xx
@TicTok so glad to hear, I felt so much better being in control and ready. So so pleased, 1 more to go for me!!! Cant wait for a planned break b4 radiotherapy xxx
Thanks @TicTok I am looking forward by to getting it done. Good to hear you had a better time on docetaxol. X
Sammy 73 …..just to say thank you for the tips of dealing with Docetaxal 👍 had a much easier time ….. thanks ever so much 😁.
hope all you ladies have a good weekend xx
😂 no problem, its easily done!
Thank you, I am having a nice weekend, although i wish I’d got some face masks and feet masks in. I could of made it a real pampering weekend as we are stuck at home!
Thanks again for sharing and supporting
Hi again @Michelle21
Just a quickie to say, sorry, I got you mixed up with love running, ref your friends friend who lost her daughter at 16.
I sooo hope all goes well with your op on Monday. I'm sure you're being so healthy will stand you in good stead for your healing and recovery. Hope you have a restful weekend. Cosset yourself, flower.
I'll be thinking of you 🤗 ❤️
Lots of love to you all, DoolallyDelly xX❤️Xx
Hi @Love running well Done on your 10.7k, it is true running with friends does make a run easier, chatting is a good distraction. Good luck with the Forest femmes I hope they are able to help you set up a group.
I would be more than happy to travel to London for our meet up next year, I’m looking forward to it already! Mind you my diary is pretty empty at the moment! I’m happy to help organise it as well.
Hi again, brave ladies
@Love Running - Thanks for your thanks, darlin. But really, I'm only giving praise where it's DESERVEDLY DUE ❤️ But of course it's leaves you/us with a huge empathy for any other women having to go through this gawd awful Ffffflippin disease (exchange that F word for a less polite one!) as you all are on here. I've certainly found I'm faaar more sympathetic and compassionate towards ANY one going through major struggles, be they physical ones, or, since my own major probs with Bipolar - mental ones. I don't have kids, but it must be one of the worst things to lose a child at a any age, whether from a fatal disease or tragic accident. But to lose an otherwise physically healthy daughter at 16 to suicide. Jeeeez - your poor friends friend. My brother hung himself 2012 and he was 56, so at 16?!! My god. What a horribly dreadful thing to be left with, have to deal and cope with. Leaves you with a load of "If Onlys" - if only I'd known how bad he/she was, if only he/she had said something, talked about how bad they'd been feeling.
Don't forget to add Alicia Vikander in Ex Machina to your list of stars without any or little hair. She looked stunning 😊 Even though it was "deliberate", as opposed to a side effect of treatments that many of you are going through. Uh-Oh, Delly's bra's coming off again to you all again! lol 😘
Incidentally, love running, have you had your torn knee "cruciate ligament" fixed?? I had an ACLR op (Anterior Cruciate Ligament Replacement) in 1995. It was fantastic. The surgeon who did the op (am in S. Manchester area) helped "pioneer" the procedure, so I felt myself extremely fortunate and honoured. Even more, when he told me as I was lying on the op "table", that I was his first "woman" - to give the operation to that was!! 😃 Often a male footballer injury, mine was from a skiing accident, and needless to say, I never wanted to go skiing AGAIN!! The operated knee is actually stronger than the other one 😍 Been absolutely brill.
@Michelle21 and @Cumbrian Lady - Michelle, I'm sooo pleased your appointment went so well, with a different surgeon. And Cumbrian Lady, that you had a much better experience, with a sudden and fortunate change of surgeon from your original one, who didn't evoke much confidence. As if it isn't bad enough, hey. Despite my not having a much wanted immediate recon with my 1st, he was a lovely guy, and did a great job. Many doctors and medics have often remarked "What neat scars" when I've HAD to take my "top", and "bra" off (for, not TO as you all) for various checks 😆
Much love to you all, Dellywelly x X ❤️ Xx
Hi @amy46 I have also said amongst friends that I am the fittest of the lot and thought doing all of the right things seems to have got me nowhere. Like you I have myself a talking to! It is easy to look at other people and wonder why I have cancer and they don’t and I was having that exact thought when I was walking with a friend in the park not long after my second diagnosis and two women similar age to me jogged passed chatting. I was so envious of them with their perfect lives (in my head). Once they had passed my friend told me that last year the daughter of one of the women committed suicide, she was only 16. That has to be the worst thing in the world. It made me realise I don’t really know what’s going on with other people and I just have to try and be grateful for what I do have. It’s not always easy though especially when I hear friends moaning about trivial things! 😠
I changed to vegan when I was diagnosed in March. I agree with you I don’t think it changes prognosis , I didn’t eat a lot of meat before but like you say it made me feel in control of something when everything else seemed so out of control.
Im back to eating fish now but we haven’t gone back to milk.
On paper we sound quite similar don’t smoke or drink, healthy eaters and runners both with TN BC. I strongly believe that being healthy helped me through chemo in 2018 and recently, and I’m sure running or walking if you can’t do a run will help you.
I have been through the carboplatin regime so if you have any questions I’m happy to answer them if I can.
@amy46 ps - also shaved my head after 2nd chemo to no 2. It fell out fairly soon after that but not completely, even though I didn’t cold cap. I left little dark hairs wherever I went over a few week period. But I have a black lab so I was never sure whose hair was whose!
@amy46my kids are 18 and 16 so a bit older than yours. I thought long and hard about how to tell them. I am a single parent, my husband having left very unexpectedly ( for me and the kids anyway ) 3 years ago. I decided to wait until I had all the results from the BC clinic ( my BC is lobular so I needed an MRI scan at the outset) so that I didn’t worry them until I had all the info and I was as able as possible to answer questions they had. I told them 2 or 3 days before my mastectomy and I have always been very positive on the info I have given them. I knew nothing about BC before diagnosis and it is a steep learning curve. I realise in some ways I am lucky as I had my mastectomy at the outset and was able to tell my kids ( echoing what the BC nurse told me) following the mastectomy that I am ‘now cancer free’ and the follow on chemo and rads being belt and braces. Of course I know it’s not that simple; I was stage 3 with 2 lumps, the largest being 50mm and positive lymph node. I think ( one can never be sure) that the kids aren’t worrying too much. As teenagers they are fairly self absorbed. So I am doing all the worrying for them. I did tell my daughter’s school. My son was at Uni. I am glad your kids are coping well. I suspect they take the tone you set.
Have you been following Rosamund Dean’s articles in the Sunday Times? I’m fairly sure she had triple neg BC snd her articles in Style follow her journey. I found her really inspirational and I now follow her on Instagram. She was diagnosed last December. First article in Jan I think. I like surrounding myself with positive women! ( hence being in here!) . Xx
Good morning @delly
What a tough journey you had. Despite all the downs you have gone through and the brown c... coming your way, you are there cheering for us and sharing your journey, knowledge and wisdom. Thank you.
I am looking forward to be like you a xxxx year survivor telling other women how awesome they are and to keep on fighting. Thank you.
Hi @delly thanks so much for your reply. It’s good to hear from someone else with two primaries, especially someone who is still here so many years on.
It sounds like you have had a really difficult time getting a recon. I completely understand about life getting in the way, I lost my mum in June whilst I was having chemo. I spent so much time crying I didn’t know if I was crying for me, for her or for both of us.
I don’t have the option of implants as the surgeon said they never really get good results when out in post rads. I have a lot of rad damage on my right side. Here they don’t do immediate DIEP and the waiting list is 3 years but actually I am fine about waiting because I want to spend those years travelling and living life!
It’s good to hear you don’t have any problems with having both arms full ANC. I have just visited the lymphoedema clinic this morning and she said there is only 1% difference in my arms so nothing visible. I am already very protective of that arm and will continue to with the left side too.
Thanks again for your reply it’s always good to hear the story of a ‘survivor’ especially as like me you have been unlucky enough to have it twice.
All the encouragements from your side about the running club for BC patients are making their way into my brain. I will dig into it. Most of the physical activities are post cancer and on the rehab side. From my reading, I found other women that run through chemo, but it seems like a lonely activity. I did the same, I run alone until now.
This morning I went out with my old running buddy. I had not run with her because I am so slow nowadays. We used to talk all the time while running (2 French girls running and talking about their Swedish husbands 🙄) and I thought I would not be able to talk and run and it would ruin it for me. You know the feeling of the life before which is gone... But this morning I reached out to her and we run slowly as before talking all the way. I was quite breathless at times and asked her to do the talking and I answered by mumbling, we also walked up all the hills. At the end, I run 10.7 km with her. I am so proud of myself. It comforted me that in teams or group, it is easier. So, it is worth looking into creating running club for us.
There is a female only running group in Stockholm, called 'forest femmes'. It is free to join and they run in the forest every Wednesday evening together in group depending on your abilities (from beginners to advanced runners). The group started because when it gets dark in Sweden in the fall and winter (and it gets really dark, believe me), women did not feel running alone in the forest. I will reach out to them and see whether I could branch out a group.
And if we are serious about running together next year as a 'May starters' group in one of the BC event, where would it be most convenient? You are all spread across the country (Wales, Scotland...) and it would mean some travelling. Would London be the easiest to reach from across the country? and from Sweden 😀
Anyway thank you all for your support and encouragements. I got so much energy from you. I cannot thank you enough.
Love to you all
Same here for me - my 13 (then 12) year old shaved my head when the time came. At the moment, I was quite emotional. Like @TicTok and you I left the stubble (cut it to 3 mm). According to my kids, I look cool with my cow pattern, bald patches and hairy patches. It took may another 2, 3 weeks to get it more even. But I never went all bald and I never shave it fully either.
I became a cap fan... and embrace the hiphop, skater look 😂 at 48 year old - my kids love it, so I try to owe the look.
My hair has started growing back lately - now at paclitaxel 10, it starts to look almost like a hair cut again. Still missing the thickness (my hair are still social distancing - one hair every 2 m). But I see a change every week. So I have decided that as soon as one don't see the scalp any more (and my huge scars from a sledge accident when I was 10) I will go capless and try to embrace the 'Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Nathalie Portman in Vendetta or Charlize Theron in Mad Max'... Just to say that I am short and curvy so the similarity with these women stops with the hair cut 😎
Hi Amy yes my husband shaved mine just after my 2nd chemo , as like you left the stubble but I didn’t actually go totally bald as the stubble stayed there I also use oil on my scalp , just starting to grow now after my 6th chemo x
I have one more question for you lovely ladies. I shaved my hair to a grade 2 at the weekend as loads was coming out. How long will it take until I’m completely bald?? I was advised not to shave to the skin as you can get problems around the follicles - red and bumpy apparently. But I’ve got this lovely scalp oil to use and I’m wondering how long it will take for the rest to come out. Did any of you do a total shave? Any problems? Thank you x
Thank you. I am hopeful it will do the job for me too. So far no real side effects from the injections so who knows maybe the running does help!
I had a great run in the rain yesterday. Increased my distance just a little bit. Xx
Your post really struck a cord with me when you said you answer the health question with ‘I’m totally fit and healthy apart from the fact I keep getting cancer’
Apart from my triathlon loving husband I am probably one of the fittest people I know!! It’s so bloody unfair!! I eat well, no red meat, plenty of fruit and veg, exercise regularly, pretty much hit 20,000 steps every day, don’t smoke, not much alcohol. Living a healthy lifestyle was a big focus for me and then wham. BC hit me like a tonne of bricks. It really made me question why I bothered. I kept walking past people smoking thinking why me then? Even getting a pedicure I had to tick a box saying I was having treatment for cancer which really upset me. It felt like I had to completely reassess who I was. My image of myself as fit and healthy had gone. But eventually I had a word with myself and decided to try and be a fit healthy person having treatment for cancer. So I looked to improve again my diet, cut out alcohol and have tried to keep up with my exercise inspired by some of you ladies on here that it was possible. If I’m honest I don’t think becoming vegan or completely cutting out alcohol has any impact on prognosis as long as you are eating a well balanced diet. For me it is more about regaining some control when I felt totally at sea. Anyway I’m rambling on - been up for ages as once i am awake that’s it, the old brain goes into overdrive! Have a good day xx
Morning. All of this is scary but I find things easier to deal with when I’m well informed and I find all you ladies here inspire me with your strength. It gives me lots of hope to see you coming to the end of your chemo journeys. I’m ok with the injections. I’m a doctor myself so lots of the medical things probably bother me less. I have been lucky so far and had few side effects although tomorrow I get the double whammy with Paclitaxol and Carboplatin for treatment number 4 (I’m having 12 weeks Paclitaxol with the Carboplatin every three weeks then 4 cycles of EC not sure why it’s this way round as from
what I can see most people get the EC first) my cancer is TNBC which really scares me for the same reason one of the other ladies mentioned - it could come back elsewhere and I won’t know until I get symptoms. I didn’t have lymph node involvement but even so it’s bloody scary. I’ve had to put this in a box to deal with later as I need all my focus for the chemo at the moment. I have a lot of things in boxes at the moment!
How old are your children? Mine are 11 and 13. I have been in awe of how well
they are coping so far. It helps I think that I haven’t looked or felt poorly yet. Xxx
Oh, and Michelle
I don't know how long you're likely to be in hospital with your op, but I'm guessing a few days.
Tips - If you didn't wear them before for your previous op, button top pyjamas, and start doing your exercises religiously, as soon as poss, due to your extra ANC op. Gently at first, so not to injure your scar areas, but yeh, religiously, to avoid chording and get your mobility back asap. If you do develop chording, ask to see a physio through your team, for specific exercises to sort.
Then, and ALWAYS, take serious note of protection information for your arms. ANC leaves you immuno-compromised, so at much higher risk of infection and developing lymphoedema. All the avoiding blood pressure cuffs, injections, bites, sunburn, scratches. I haven't developed lymphoedema in either of my arms. But DID rapidly develop an infection, after a dog bite to my hand broke the skin. Visibly started spreading (red streak tracking up my arm) within an hour. All the business about taking antibiotic cover if you're going to a mosquito biting country etc. - take it all very seriously. Hope all goes well for you on Monday xXx
Hi again, all you brave "warrior" ladies ❤️ That may be a good name for your running groups/clubs, Running Girl and Michelle xx So sorry for this lengthy post. Hope you don't mind me answering Michelle's questions.
Michelle - Hi again flower. !st (2006) was small lump, but grade 3,E+. I was offered lumpectomy with rads, or mast with full ANC and no rads (at that time SNB hadn't yet been approved in this country) with implant recon or without. I was still single, so desperately wanted recon, as I knew it would affect badly me without. However, my original lovely surgeon was due to retire, and my BCN recommended a new surgeon on the block, who was up to date with all the "self tissue" recon techniques, and was very skilful. Recommended a Latflap, as I'm slender, so not much extra elsewhere to use. I didn't want a big scar on my back, or another on my chest - due to the extra risks of infection. But also, I was a serious walker (rucksack straps and chaffing) and swimmer, so didn't want to compromise one the strongest muscles in my body with a Latflap. So, my desire was only for implant recon.
Sadly, it didn't happen, due to a miscommunication in implant versus self tissue info. But. . . I was happy to still have one of my own boobs left. I have read many other reports from women, some celebrities, who’ve said exactly the same thing. I quite happily made do with a prosthesis and specialist bras. Always had thoughts to still have an implant recon at a later date.
But then . . . Yep, 2nd was another primary thankfully(?!?), rather than from spread. Found it myself, just before my annual check up for/after my first, so obviously mentioned it then! Ultrasound doc said "just a group of cysts". Wished she hadn't - gave me a false sense of hope. Fortunately, my surgeon was conscientiously suspicious, and did a biopsy pronto, so it was just under a year later. My attitude with that one, was to just get rid of the b****r, and deal with recon later. So had another mast and full ANC. But it really smashed me up mentally,
It would have been difficult, anyway, to do an immediate implant recon on one side, and install an expander on the other, to gradually inflate and then have to match up.
One BIG positive about having a bilateral mast, is it’s much easier to match them up for recon!
Yet another but. . . . ”delayed” recon implant recon can take nearly a year to complete from nothing, to expander, then inflations, to permanent implants, and then final the “icing on the cake” (or should I say, icing on the boob!) of nipple recon. Numerous appointments, 3 ops and waiting for things to heal post-op or settle down between inflations. Takes a lot of perseverence, patience and inconvenience. Plus, as happened with me, life can throw a whole load of other brown stuff your way, in the meantime that you’re considering “when” to start it all. Took me until 2014 to get on the recon horse, so 7years (!!), after loss of my 3 immediate family members and a whole load of other stuff (s**t) that also happened following, and has caused and had a massive impact and serious mental illness. I got through all my expander expansion appointments, but then fell off the horse again, due to mental problems, and “still” haven’t got back on it.
So, I always stress, if you are at all thinking of and wanting recon, and it is offered as an immediate option, take it. Get it all over and done with in one go and get it out of the way, rather than delay. Because you just never know what other s**t is going to crop up….. Bear that in mind before your op on Monday. I don't know if you're not bothered about recon, are thinking later or what, but you still have chance to change your mind before then.
Cumbrian Lady - I actually stopped wearing a bra, recently (unless I'm dressing up for something spesh) So specially for you, I take my cami or T-shirt off. If your name indicates where you live - Cumbria's one of my favourite counties for stunningly beeautiful scenery and rambling the fells, valleys and lakes.
To ALL of you, from a now 14yr survivor. Yeh, you’re always left with that seed of doubt that BC leaves you with. But that seed DOES get smaller through the years, no longer becomes your waking thought, and gets more and more pushed to the back of your head. Yes, it can rear its head again. But try NOT to live your life “in fear” of that happening. It may NEVER do. But always be vigilant, with anything new/out of the ordinary body wise, though.
Incidentally, Michelle. Ref the annoyance and frustration of losing a lengthy post. There seems to be a “time-out” for responses. Similar frustrating experiences, with some of my looong posts (such as this one! Sorry again girls) led me to type up my responses in Word then "copy and paste” onto my then opened Forum reply.
Much love to all you “Warrior Women”.😄 Dellypoos xX❤️❤️❤️Xx
@TicTok like you I had chemo first, then an op, which was a lumpectomy and Full lymph node clearance. Then I had 20 seasons of radiotherapy. My oncologist took the belt and braces approach!
I can understand why they are trialling whether to remove the lymph nodes or not I suggest you find out more about that, I wouldn’t like to have to make that decision. Then I had one year of herceptin injections. X
Michelle 21 thank you so much for explaining this to me and I yes I am having my last 4 with those drugs and docetaxel , I did read where it had improved the chances with the target drugs used now …. How does that end then , Do you still have an opp ? But I did have a lot of calcification around it which they said would have to come out 😏it’s hard when you don’t get to speak to anyone to explain during this process only to be offered a trial to have lymph nodes cleared or not 🤔I have no idea on that one . Thanks again for your knowledge xx
@Cumbrian Lady yes a little empathy goes a long way. Because my last surgeon was all I knew I didn’t know it could be this good!
@gardengirl200 I don’t envy you being lopsided, it must be difficult trying to match up. Have you tried the supermarkets online for bras? I’ve had friends who have bought mastectomy bras from ASDA and Sainsbury’s online. At least you have the matching up op to focus on and next year will soon come around once treatment finishes.
Covid has really hi-lighted what the four nations governments have control of due to devolution. I live in Wales and I think our first minister either follows what Scotland does or waits for England and does the opposite! 😂 xx
Hi @TicTok I completely understand your fear, I think it is what we are all scared of. You are right HER2 is more aggressive but if it is going to turn up elsewhere it usually happens within 5 years. I assume you are having pertuzamab (Perjeta) and herceptin. If you get a pathological complete response which has become more common amongst HER2 since the use of those two drugs it increases your overall survival rate.
My original cancer was in 2018, it was HER2+ and in my right breast. I had a complete response and as yet it hasn’t come back. The cancer I am being treated for now is in my left breast and is Triple Negative.
You have to take the positives of your situation and that you are having a good response to chemo is great. After your op they will tell you the pathology of your cancer ie what was left after the chemo has bashed it, I think once they go through that with you you will feel a little more relaxed and other than that it is time cancer free that will make you feel better. I hope this helps, any other questions ask away xx
Michelle 21 Hi thanks for reassurance , my worry is that I will get mammograms probably every year for a while but I have heard of it popping up somewhere else 🤔 where I won’t know till it’s to late as happened to a friend of mines wife 😟…… I really need to get this out of my head and as you say the further you go it gets easier I guess , do you mind me asking how long it was before yours returned ? You must have been absolutely gutted and so strong of you to have dealt with it so well . Take care and love to all xx
Hi @amy46 . I hope nothing we are saying on here is making you more scared. How many chemo treatments are you getting? I found the beginning the hardest mentally, and that I felt less overwhelmed once I reached the half way point. I didn't have any side effects either with the filigrastim, and my bloods were thankfully ok throughout. But I did hate doing them. I had to do them for 7 days after each of the 6 chemo sessions I had, so if I remember my times tables correctly ( and honestly with my brain at the moment that is not a given 😊) that is 42 jabs, which I think is pretty standard for my ER positive /HER negative treatment. It was silly really that I dreaded them so much because,as you know, the whole process only takes half a minute, and isnt sore. I think it just becomes symbolic?? I was SO SO happy after I had done my last one. I have no idea what difference they made to my bloods but they may have made all the difference.
I think chemo is a bit liked childbirth. It's all very well for me to say try not to be scared, because already I think I am blocking it from my memory. It is daunting but you will get through it. I'm pretty sure your running on your stronger days will help loads. Sending you lots of strength.
@Cumbrian Lady @Michelle21 Bras have been a complete headache for me and I envy your respective freedoms!! I must have ordered almost as many as I have had filigrastrim injections! John Lewis/ M & S/ Bravissimo/ Ameona and Nicola Jane - Ive had placed orders with them all and really struggled to get anything that fits. At one stage they were all over my bedroom and trying to match the right bra to the right back to send them back was a challenge! I am a 30G and have had a single mastectomy. I have been given a prosthetic boob which is ridiculously heavy and like a large beige jellyfish. Having breast fed my two kids my one remaining boob is not a thing of beauty and needs a lot of scafolding but trying to get that in a post matectomy soft cup bra seems near impossible. Ive actually reverted to my old sports bras. I hope next year to have a significant breast reduction on my remaining boob and a reconstruction on the other side. I know it will be a big operation, not without risk, and I cant imagine how they will ever look like a match! It doesnt make me feel great about myself physically but of course, as we all are, I am so so grateful and hopeful that my BC was caught in time and so I try to keep the physical impact in perspective.
@Love running - also think your running club for women with BC is a great idea. If there was anything like that round here I would definitely join. And it's pretty well Covid safe. I also love your playlist and your writing and the Carrie Fisher quote! I also love your songs @Purpledaze and I'm going to make a playlist with everyones fab suggestions.
@Michelle21 Dont worry at all about the booster thing. Each gov's approach is unpredictable. I'm in Scotland and its never a given that the scottish gov will follow the English one. In fact they really like to do their own thing🙄. That's great you.ve got such an early date for surgery! Good luck, good luck, good luck.
@TicTok really good news about the MRI!!!!
Love and strength to all
That's a bit like my story - the surgeon I first saw was not nice, he hurt me, never looked at me, and mumbled I was not looking forward to him operating on me.
The morning of my surgery a lovely young female surgeon came to see me, she was SO different to him she explained he could not do my surgery (the feeling of relief I cannot begin to tell you).
After my surgery, before I was released to the ward she came to see me - just to say 'it all went well'.
I don't like to criticise the doctors but some empathy would be so welcome - we are terrified and totally in their hands.
I wonder if they start out with good kind intentions, but lose them along the way, do they stop seeing us as people and just another one for them to operate on. When I went back for my surgical check-up I saw her again and she was just as nice and even shared a joke.
Oops I forgot to say I am also up for meeting everyone at a run when we are through our various treatments xx
I have had a couple of busy days. Yesterday I had my pre op assessment and today I met my surgeon, a female. Well what a contrast to my last surgeon who was uninformative and showed no understanding. I only saw him once I never even saw him or anyone after my op. He has now retired.
So my surgeon today was so simpathetic to what I have been through, which obviously made me cry 😭 But then she made me cry in a positive way as she said she can do my surgery on Monday which is earlier than even I had anticipated!
The negative thoughts had started to creep back into my head ie it’s growing and dreading again, event though I’ve just had 20 weeks of chemo. I didn’t say they were rational thoughts!
Once again COVID is a pain because we all have to isolate from Thursday but I know it is the same for everyone here and I really don’t want to take any chances.
So after Monday I will not need a bra as I won’t have any thing to go in it! xx
Hi @gardengirl200 I’m sorry if I caused confusion it looks like we will now be getting the booster jab, hooray!
@Purpledaze congratulations on finishing chemo but sorry you have been feeling low. I have had similar feelings whilst waiting for my surgery date. Chemo is a reassuring comfort blanket whilst also being something that physically drags us down. I’m sure you will be able to pick yourself up, maybe getting your trainers out will help with that.
I am not looking forward to rads for that reason, feeling like a piece of meat on a slab! Last time I had 20 sessions, my skin broke down and I became fed up with showing the world and their dog my breasts!
I love your play list and a great idea to share it here! I have 2 songs; Fight song
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me
and In my Blood - Shawn Mendes
I have never put my bra back on - the poorly boob is much larger than the good boob so bras are out😀
I wear cami tops (very pretty) not that they are on show - and at 64 my modelling days are long over 🤣 so me and my boobs hang free...
Love running …..see another pic for your book 😂…… think I need a smaller bra now I seem to be shrinking 🙄…..that journal sounds lovely what you have done for your mum and sister ❤️ That’s unbelievable all those ladies in the same boat it really is scary , must be awfull not understanding the language though …..like the quote 👍
hope you all have a lovely day xx
Good morning @delly
Thanks for popping by. You are right this group is amazing. I am so glad I joined it.
To them too, I am taking my bra off 😂😂😂. I just got a flash back from the beach In France in the 80ies and 90ies, and my mum and her friends all topless. This will be the picture of the day.
Wish you a fantastic day
Good morning @amy46
I wanted to share my experience with Filgrastim.
I started my chemo in May with 4 EC two weeks apart and I was injecting in my tummy one shot of Pelgraz (one type of long lasting Filgrastim) after each cure. I never had any troubles with my white blood cells, on the contrary, Pelgraz was so potent that I always had more leucocytes than normal.
After the EC, I went on the weekly paclitaxel and at first I was not given any Filgrastim. But after my 5th cure of paclitaxel, my white blood cells were down the drain and I have to postpone one week and was given again Filgrastim: 2 shots of Zarzio after each paclitaxel. It did the job until cure nb 9. I am now borderline each time (1.4 - 1.5 leucocytes). I suppose that it is because my body is starting to wear out now (so much a gril can take😉) but the medical team thinks it is fine as I am almost done. Only 2 left.
Personally, I did not experience too much side effects from Filgrastim, no much bone aches or joint pains. I know that it is common though. Can it be my training that help? I don't know.
So overall, Filgrastim does the job.
Lots of hugs,
Thank you for your lovely words about my writing. In a time where myself confidence is rock bottom, these made me feel so good.
I am not so sure about writing a book. I love the idea though but I am not a confident writer, neither in French, Swedish nor in English. When writing on the forum, I just follow the thread and answer it with my feelings. The words come easy, it is a conversation between us.
Sometimes, I read my self again and see that my brain goes faster than my typing... and I see all the typos, grammatical mistakes, the with that should without...
Beside writing here in this forum, I keep a journal for myself to put down my emotions. I also started a photobook with pictures and comments for my mum and sister. Since I have not told them about this all BC, I wanted them to be able to read my journey. I hope I can finish it before going to France in October (if nothing prevent me to go) or at Xtmas. May be this photobook could turn into something else later. We will see if I will ever build the confidence. If I translate it to English, I will share it with you.
@TicTok you are right about a big sisterhood out there. Since starting this Cancer journey, I have met many sisters. Few weeks ago, I wrote to two of my collaborators to let them know that I will be away a while longer and to tell them why. I was supposed to start working again in August but decided otherwise. They picked up the ball in May when I started chemo but they did not know why I was gone. One of them wrote back to me yesterday in private to let me know that she too went through BC 5 years ago and offered her help. I was so touched! I have a new colleague that just go diagnosed with a triple negative BC and she reached out. And Thursday, I will meet a French friend of a French friend here in Stockholm that also just found out she has BC and is really scared to start her treatment here in Sweden as she does not speak Swedish, and does not know how the health care system works. Although knowing that it is the most common cancer in women, I was surprised to meet so many sisters in such a short time. May be my experience especially around training and running through can help them.
I finish by a quote that I found from Carrie Fisher, which fit with today's post about confidence.
'Stay afraid but do it anyway.
What is important is the action.
You don't have to wait to be confident.
Just do it and eventually the confidence will follow'
Who knows the day is young.... and with that i wish you a wonderful day
Hi @delly thanks for your support and great to know that you have got through cancer twice. You are right these are an amazing group of incredibly supportive women.
Do you mind if I ask a few questions about your cancer/op? Was this a reoccurrence or two primary? Did you have a recon and how is it with both ANC? My situation is I had HER2 in the right in 2018, had a lumpectomy with ANC now I have TN in the left. I will be having a bilateral mastectomy later this month with ANC, I see the surgeon today to find out the date. I was wondering if you have any words of wisdom for me.
I'm not going through chemo, (Bilat masts and both with ANC 2006/07), and been a supporter on here since 2014. But I've just been reading through some of your posts on here, and could NOT pass you all by without saying -
What an amazing bunch of women you all are, and what an incredibly supportive thread this is.
Despite the seriousness of what you're ALL going through, I've been sat chuckling!! 😆
Especially at Tictok's ref to your lump as "Boris"!! So blummin funny😄
And Purplehaze - you're husband's "playlist" addition - him saying you look like an "Alien" without your eyebrows and lashes!! Comical, ha ha 🤣
Talk about making light of something soo serious, hey!!! Gutsy women, all of you.
I not only take my hat off to you ALL, but more relevantly, take my BRA off to you ALL as WELL.
Thanks for the giggles, lovely ladies. I sooo hope you all recover well, from your various different "Boris" treatments, and NO longer look like "Aliens" (be it beautiful ones, though) very SOON 😆
Wishing you all STRENGTH to keep kicking that BC BUTT, girls. Am sending lots of love and speedy healing thoughts to you, DoolallyDelly xX💓Xx
@Love running I also love reading your posts. Maybe you could write a book as one of the other May starters suggested? I think it could be a winner (maybe not a best seller as your market might be a bit limited 😂) but certainly a popular choice for those in the BC club!
It’s so interesting but also a bit scary reading the posts on here as I am near the start of my chemo and you guys are closer to finishing. They give me filgrastim injections for three days after each chemo but it sounds like many of you have still had to delay treatments due to low white count is that right?
I think the cancer run club is a great idea and I also love your plan to get together to do a run at some point. If you’ll have me I would like to join even though I’m actually an august starter and high jacked my way onto your thread when I spotted the posts about running 🏃♀️ xx
Purpledaze &Loverunning thank you for your good wishes ….you just made me nearly cry I had forgotten about that Bon jovi song I will put it on Alexa tomorrow when my husbands not here 🥲, love your list also , that cancer running club sounds a great idea , there is lots of people out there with that life sentence overe there head😱….. ok mine has shrunk but it’s not going to go out my head wondering where it’s going to turn up next as it’s an aggressive Hr2 positive which is known to turn up again ! It’s like prison sentence without going to jail ……you really should write your journal it would be amazing how you write, it would be a best seller in uk , fiancé and Sweden 😁 …….love to all you ladies xx
Good afternoon to all of you beautiful ladies,
I hope you started well this new week.
I just got my 10th paclitaxel this morning. As every Monday I was worried about my white blood count but this time, it made just above the threshold. Only 2 left now.
@TicTok : so happy to hear that you beat the crap out of evil Boris 👹and you exterminated its potential offsprings 💣. Good luck today for your 6th chemo.
@Purpledaze Well done, you made it to the end. What you and others describe of the post chemo emptiness scares me. The weird safety net that chemo brings, the reinsurance that chemo is the killing the bad cells in us, the living in the present day by day and embracing the good days and suddenly nothing. Good luck with radiotherapy. Like you, I have not been drinking since the diagnosis and I have ordered my favourite champagne (not wine) : Ayala Brut Nature. I will probably end up giggling like a 5 year old after my first flûte. I am so looking forward to it. Actually I would top it off with oysters, for which I got a craving when the bad taste in my mouth started again. I have this strange idea that the fresh salty sliminess from the oysters would help .
Welcome back to the running/walking mood. Take one day at the time, your fitness will return. Don’t put pressure on you, just listen to your body. It will guide you.
Great playlist you made, I could add :
1 -Its my life by Bon Jovi. I heard it on the radio while driving and it was at the beginning of my BC journey, and for some reason it spoke to me and I cry each time I listen to it.
‘It's my life
It's now or never
But I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive
(It's my life)’
2- The operation by Charlotte Gainsbourg. Love hate relation between me and my body that failed me and produced this BC.
‘Our love goes under the knife
There is no room for doubt
Our love goes under the knife
Two lives may be saved’
3- I am a survivor by Destiny’s child. My motto when feeling down.
‘I'm a survivor (what), I'm not gon' give up (what)
I'm not gon' stop (what), I'm gon' work harder (what)
I'm a survivor (what), I'm gonna make it (what)
I will survive (what), keep on survivin' (what)’
@Sammy73 So sorry for the delay in treatment. I remember how devastated I was when I had to postpone due to low blood value. It just sucks and I got so upset with people telling me that it is just one week. Any delay just makes it so much harder to project yourself at the end, when we have been going on for months already. We will finish together more or less, I should get my PICC line off the 27th of September. Can’t wait.
@gardengirl200: I am glad that your nurse confirmed the salt tip. I am always a bit cautious giving non medical advice. I have received some many funky ones from well meaning friends from doggy mushroom, to holistic therapies, gurus etc… I am not against trying alternative approaches, but just in the middle of chemo, I decided to stick to one course of treatment.
@Michelle21: Hurrah congratulations for finishing your park run and reclaiming a piece of your old self.
I did my own park run yesterday – run around the lake behind where I live. No real cheering but I could still hear them in my head.
I have thinking for while, about reaching out an old running club I went to before I torn my cruciate ligament and see if they would be interested in starting a running group for cancer patients. I have not found any group in Stockholm when I started my journey and I can’t imagine I am the only one looking for such group, especially when seeing all the ladies in this forum who had been running before they started their journey. Let’s see if this idea can take off. I would like to encourage others to give it a try even when undergoing chemo.
My surgeon suggested to reconstruct my nipple using part of my left one and tattooing the areola. I have also a smaller bust, so the difference is not visible with clothes or with a padded bra. Just some imbalance with a firm nippleless boob 😃 and a little sagging one 😔.
If you want to come to Stockholm, I would be happy to host you and guide your around.
@Coastal Well done for finishing chemo and I am so sad about how this book made you feel. Not every reading is helpful, unfortunately it never comes with a warning. I wish I could give you a real hug, instead I give you a virtual one.
In May 2021, I attended a conference by a French research group in Bordeaux (NACRe (National Alimentation Cancer Recherche): https://www6.inrae.fr/nacre/Accueil/NACRe-network (english site). Three objectives to help prevent cancer was presented:
The conclusion of the conference was also that there is still a lack of evidence and a lack of proper studies to specifically pinpoint one type of food that could influence cancer development. It is mostly multifactorial.
I consider that I have lived through the principles above and I got BC. Reading testimonies, there are many women that had an extremely healthy life style and still got breast cancer. For my own sanity, I decided to not try to search the reasons why I got BC. I can’t change the past and as you said we can’t go back.
Like @gardengirl200 and @Sammy73, I have adapted my diet to some extend, giving up alcohol, caffeine and I tried to eat less meat and to cook my meals from scratch. I want to be gentle on my liver that needs to process the cancer drug.
Life is also about enjoying ourselves.
For me, food is a big part of my life. When it is over, I want enjoy again the occasional glass of wine (may be I will become more selective or snob with the wine I drink), a piece of meat once in a while and sweets of all kinds when I feel like it. I can't imagine my life without it.
I know I can’t control the future and the cancer might come back regardless my diet. I will be scared at time, but I hope that I can do as in the Bon Jovi song, 'I just want to live while I'm alive’
I wish you all a good week. may you overcome the challenges, the deceptions, the pain, the sadness and the tiredness.
Lot of hugs to you all.💕
@TicTok that's great news to hear that your last MRI showed Boris is shrinking and lymph nodes now clear. So pleased for you! Hope tomorrow's chemo goes to plan and things move smoothly for you to the end of chemo xx
Sammy 73 …. So sorry your treatment has been delayed 😟 you must be so gutted , I know I would be , good luck for the 30th ..
gardengirl200 …. I have been taking vit D and zinc since the beginning I asked and they said that was fine .
purpledaze ….well done for reaching the end of your chemo … I get where you are coming from as everything drops off and you are alone after like you say always having appointments,good luck with radiotherapy …. Ps like the song list 👍.
love running …I would definitely be bringing up the rear , I try a bit of run / walk but do loads of walking 🤨.
well my bloods are ok for my 6th chemo tomorrow so I will be following Sammy 73s tips and hope for a better time 😄
I also got good news from my MRI Boris has been destroyed significantly and my lymph node is now clear 😄 so looking forward to hopefully finishing him off with my next 3 chemo’s
Love to all xxx
@gardengirl200 sorry, I don't know anything much about vitamin supplements. Asking your oncologist sounds like the best bet. I can say, however, that I will be joining you in bringing up the rear in the group run 😂 - am definitely going to dust off those shoes; love the idea of all doing a run together!
Sorry to have been so out of touch. I'm not sure where the time goes in this strange BC landscape we are traversing. I think the chemo fog that I have read about has definitely enveloped me as I have found it harder to concentrate on more than one thing at a time, or for very long!
Sounds like we've all been through some really challenging times over the past weeks. I really hope that for all of you things settle and no more nasty surprises or setbacks in treatment schedules.
I have now reached the end of my chemotherapy and can't quite believe it. I had my final paclitaxel last week, but couldn't celebrate in any way until I had finished the last of the filgrastim injections (ughhh), which was yesterday. It's strange, I was so looking forward to this moment - the end of the dreaded chemo, and don't get me wrong, I am sooooo happy to have that behind me, but now it's happened I find myself feeling kind of adrift, almost as if there is nothing to 'hold on to'. It's like it's been 'chemo-chemo-chemo' and then suddenly nothing - no blood tests, no check-in calls with the oncology team, no follow-up appts, etc. This and the tsunami of tiredness have made me much more emotional than I have been before now. Like others of you have mentioned - I've been getting weepy at the drop of hat... However, I've been having a good talk with myself - LOL - and am determined not to let lack of chemo derail me (that would be ironic since chemo-world certainly didn't exactly fill me with joy)!!
Next step is radiotherapy. Had my planning scan last week - felt rather like a slab of meat at the butchers 😂 but have to say the doctors were really lovely and set me at ease. First RT session is on 22nd Sept - I'm only having 5 sessions, so should have finished by end Sept. I've ordered a bottle of my all time favourite wine in readiness - I haven't drunk alcohol through treatment so i will likely fall off my perch when I do have a drink, but it will be with a big smile on my face!
The posts about running are very inspiring - can almost hear the cheering and feel the heart pounding. My running shoes have been winking at me from the back of the cupboard and I think I will give them a knock-kneed wobbly out of breath outing soon. Like some of you have shared, I have also felt the pounds piling up as eating was either the only time I didn't feel nauseous or the only thing I had energy to do! So getting back out there for longer dog walks and going for a run would be good; I'd like to increase my energy levels and fitness as I feel so terribly unfit at the moment. It would be good to have a challenge as well. This is what I love about this forum, through your advice, sharing experiences, and encouragement, I have found inspiration - wonderful!
Music has kept me sane during this last push to the end of chemo, and I've started making a playlist of songs that for different reasons resonate with me about this crazy BC experience - I have quite a warped sense of humour so some songs play to that - and I thought I'd share some of the list with you lovely ladies who have helped to keep me sane!
* Tightrope - Janelle Monae (how it often felt/feels in treatment... and failing that a great dance tune to get me off the sofa)
* Hear My Voice - Celeste (because sometimes having cancer can feel like having no voice)
* Who Needs Sleep - Barenaked Ladies (for all the sleepless nights)
* Loving The Alien - Bowie (made the list because my husband lovingly calls me his "alien" thanks to the no eyebrows, no hair, no eyelashes 😂)
*Gonna be Sick - The Do (with lyrics of "I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna throw up" how could it not be on the list 🤣)
* Just Face Your Fear - Curtis Harding (says it all...)
* Que Vendra - Zax (reminds me that cancer doesn't define me or have to shape my life)
* This is The Day - The The (for last chemo day / test results day / end of treatment day)
* Brave - Sara Bareilles (for all the words unsaid)
* Pink Panther Theme tune - Henry Mancini (because in amongst all the seriousness, a little silliness really helps)
* Hang on Little Tomato - Pink Martini (resilience)
* Beauty in The World - Macy Gray (despite the s*#! of BC there's still lots to love out there)
* Talk To Me - Cavetown (sums up this forum and the support and reassurance I have found here)
* Don't Stop Thinking about Tomorrow - Fleetwood Mac (mantra running thru my head on the worst days - keep looking forward)
* A Pocketful of Sunshine - Natasha Bedingfield (love the idea of having a pocketful of sunshine to draw on when needed - uplifting song)
If anyone has other suggestions, I'd love to hear them to add to the list!
In the meantime, I hope you're all doing better than yesterday and running, sofa-surfing, dancing, walking your way closer each day to smashing BC way over the horizon xx
Hello all, I have another question ( sorry).
Does anyone have any info on vitamin supplements? Ie whether they are safe post cancer or not. I know the official line is not to take them during chemo but what about afterwards. A friend mentioned to me that they are not recommended post BC on the basis that they stimulate new cell growth and this can stimulate cancer cells in the same way. I’ve googled it and there does seem to be research that backs that up. I will ask my oncologist when I have my final call with her post rads but I just wondered if anyone had come across this issue, as it surprised me.
@Michelle21 do you think we won’t be eligible for the third vaccine/ booster? I thought we would be as all have compromised immunity. Covid numbers really high in Scotland at mo.