Hi lovely May ladies
It's heartening to hear how well people are doing after a rough year (to say the very least!). Christmas is such a special time of year and more so after what we've all been through, spending time with our loved ones and friends seems all the more magical and wonderful; so I truly hope each and every one of you has had the Christmas you longed for and the extra mince pie or two (or whatever your particular vice is).
The past few months have been both tough and positive for me, I've finished my radio and am so pleased I was lucky enough to have very minimal side effect - apart from a sore nipple for a week and a little pink skin, I came through very well; mind you I did use bottles of Aveeno making sure my skin was thoroughly moisturised the whole time and it paid off thank goodness, quite pleased to only putting it on thinly twice a day now and not by the thick trowel during treatment - I have to look really hard to see the faint 'tan' patch that remains but I don't care I've never been a topless sunbather or bikini wearer. I've got a totally grey full head of hair, about two inch long now, it's getting rather thick (I've even needed to use a hairdryer to dry it) and has the chemo wave, I find this really amusing as I never had so much as a kink in it before. Still debating whether to dye it again or not, it's ok being grey at the minute as it's still short but I don't think I'll like it when it grows longer but I've still got until the end of feb to make a decision (only because that will mark the recommended post chemo length of time before dyeing it - waited so long for it to grow don't want to risk the bugger falling out again by dyeing it too early). My eyebrows grew back within a month of chemo finishing which was good, I didn't lose my eyelashes so didn't have to worry about them. I've still only got very sparse leg and armpit hair - not enough to shave yet but have made up with hair growth on my top lip and chin.
Emotionally its been particularly tough at times but heck I think I'd earned the right for that. Returning to work was, shall we say interesting. I'd so looked forward to it then found myself throwing up the first couple of times prior to getting there (what the heck that was about I'm not sure). I did underestimate just how tired I would be - heck I'd gone through chemo and radio without any problems! ended up absolutely shattered and had a couple of meltdowns. The chemo brain really frustrated me and then just when I was about to give up work (after 6 weeks post return), it suddenly disappeared, well very nearly, I came home one day and thought that I'd had such a good day - the first one since returning and ever since have gone from strength to strength and am practically back to my pre diagnosis self.
I guess what I'm saying ladies is don't give up, keep moving forward and you'll get there, my belief is I needed to hit rock bottom before I personally could move forward and I'm pleased to report that I have turned the corner and am very positive about the future (whatever that may be), it's not that I'm in denial about what has happened but have consciously made the decision to acknowledge it and move on, onwards and upwards, I can't change what happened but I can control (occasional meltdowns permitted) how I deal with it in the future and am very determined to eat a healthier diet (not that its poor now) and get more exercise in the new year - just want to enjoy eating my choccies, cake, crisps and nuts first, a girls got to have some fun.
Ladies I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year and for those facing further treatment - YOU'VE GOT THIS, you are strong positive women and you will beat this and come out stronger than ever.
I will raise a glass (pop not booze as I still don't drink, too many other vices) to each and everyone of you amazing ladies at the New Year to toast a long, healthy life for us all for 2020 and beyond. MAY 2019 LADIES WE GOT THIS
Its lovely to read your posts and hear that things are going well for you all 😊
I'm now 2 and a half weeks post mastectomy and axillary clearance and just starting to feel the swelling and pain is settling down. I don't know why but I was expecting post op recovery to be a doddle after the chemo but it's been harder than I though it would be. I've struggled with not being able to do every day things and not driving. I definitely need to ask Santa for a bit more patience!! Still on a positive note the histology results showed 100% response to the chemotherapy so it was definitely worth it and it is a good feeling that its now all gone with the surgery. Next stop radiotherapy in the new year.
I've now got about a centimetre of head hair and lots of leg hair but eyelashes and brows are still taking their time to reemerge!!
Hope you all have a lovely relaxing Christmas with your loved ones I think it will definitely have a special meaning for us all this year and thank you all for your support over the last year. Hears to a happy and healthy 2020 for everyone
Love Rose 🎅🥂🧡xx
Merry Christmas to you all. I hope your celebrations are everything that you want them to be. The only gift that is on my list this year is that of good health!
I am well. I have eyebrows, eye lashes and mega short hair! I’m coping well with the Letrozole and am now getting back into the gym as well as continuing with my walking! My only issue is a continuing low neutrophil count....caused because it’s my second chemo regime. But, I feel well so just have to give it time to recover slowly!
When I started this thread in May, the world was a scary place. That’s why I started it!! The support that we have been able to give each other has helped enormously. For me, just knowing that I was not the only one experiencing this trauma has helped greatly. The quietness of the thread now should be seen as a positive because I’m sure it means that we are all getting our lives back. Thank you for your kindness and friendship. We are strangers, yet we know such a lot about each other in what has been a devastating period in our lives.
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2020. The saying that “your wealth is your health” has never been truer. May we all stay cancer free.
I think we are all now owed some fun...and calm! Holidays are high on my agenda for next year....
Take care and stay well!
Hi all. It's been very quiet on here lately but I hope that's because everyone's getting on with their lives after chemo 😊 Hope everyone who has had further surgery/treatment is doing well.
Merry Christmas to all - we've come through loads in the last year. Best wishes to all for a happier and healthier 2020!
wishing you all a very happy Christmas 🎄 and a wonderful and healthy new year.
Thank you for being such a great support this year, I certainly wouldn’t have got through it so well without your support, advice, empathy, honesty and humour. 🤗😘
Love Ruth xxxxxxx
I hadn't had a general anaesthetic before, but you go under so quickly. I just remember taking two breaths of the oxygen and nothing after that until I came round. And it is so good to wake up and know the tumour (or whatever was left) has gone. It all seemed so minor after the months of chemo and side effects. I was the same as you: surprised at how much energy I now have. You forget that the chemo had gradually sapped you energy and character, but after 5/6 weeks you start to become the person you were before. You have had a particularly long and challenging treatment, so you should be so proud of your inner strength. Hairwise, my eyelashes have started to come back on the upper lids and I can just about use mascara on them, but don't bother unless it is a special occasion. Annoyingly the mutant chin hairs have also made a bit of a reappearance and I have a few underarm hairs too!
We will all be thinking of you Rose, on Friday, I hope it all goes smoothly so that you can see the end of your treatment in sight. Do you have radiotherapy scheduled too?
That's great news Deezee that your surgery is done and you're feeling ok afterwards I must admit I'm strangely looking forward to my surgery as it will feel like progress! I am a little anxious about the anaesthetic as I've never had an operation before but just want it all done now!
I finished chemo proper 6 weeks ago and have loads of energy now I didn't realise quite how tired I was until I suddenly felt so much better. I'm still having targeted therapy every 3 weeks at the chemo unit but only side effect from that seems to be very watery eyes which is great after all the variety of side effects from chemo! Eyebrows and head hair making a bit of a comeback but still no sign of eyelashes. I spoke to a lady at the look good feel better session I went to a few weeks ago and she said it was about 10 weeks after chemo that her eyelashes started to grow back so I'm not expecting anything imminently!
Ruth I hope your prostheses and bra fitting went well and you have a date for your radiotherapy starting it would be nice if you could start the new year with all your treatments done.
Well take care everyone and enjoy your Christmas planning.
Love Rose 🎄
I haven't posted in a long while, but I am now 5 weeks plus post chemo, eyebrows are slowly returning, perhaps helped by the Rapidbrow I am using. Eyelashes are taking longer, despite Rapidlash. I was thinking of microblading until I read that you couldn't have it done until 6 months after chemo, so there seemed little point in bothering. On the plus side, my surgery (lumpectomy and sentinel node excision) was yesterday. So pleased I didn't have to wait too long after chemo. Slightly tender, but surprised how straightforward things were, and like you Ruth have felt quite euphoric after surgery, as I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My blood pressure was a little high when I attended the pre op assessment, so I was more paranoid about that potentially affecting surgery than the surgery itself. Good luck Rose with your mastectomy on the 29th- not long to wait now. I have a follow up appointment on 6th Dec when I should find out when and how long radiotherapy will be. It means travelling to Southampton every day, which is about 90 mins drive away, so I may ask if I can swap hospitals, perhaps Bath or Swindon are closer.
Have you started your radiotherapy yet, Ruth? If so, how is it going?
How is everyone else coping with a return to work and normality? And has anyone started to plan for Christmas? I intend to make the family reunion more important than present buying this year: I am looking forward to the 2 out 3 daughters who live away from home coming back for a few precious days and perhaps appreciating the time spent together even more so than in previous years.
its wonderful to hear you have been ‘signed off’ Mangomum, but I can imagine it feels unnerving. I image without really noticing we will fall back into normality??
I hope your return to work has been positive Joemic and your employers have been supportive.
SP, my eyelashes took ages to start coming back I think it was about 8-9 weeks after chemo finishes, but I nearly have a full set now and .........eyebrows😀. I also got a few chin hairs back before the lashes and eyebrows 🙄.
Rose, we will be thinking of you on the 29th, I am 5 weeks post Mastectomy now, and feeling really well, I did find the first couple of weeks very positive, (pleased it was another step completed and desperate to get back to fitness) then I dipped for a week mood wise, but it didn’t last too long. I’m going to my prostheses & next stage bra fitting tomorrow, it’s a lovely shop in Altringcham (Bette & Belle) if anyone lives nearish, it’s about 30mins away but well worth it, they make it like a special occasion, it’s lovely.
I am am waiting for a date to start radiotherapy and hoping this will be over by Christmas 🤞.
sending lots of love to all, also I would be up for meeting up.
Hi lovely ladies,
So pleased to read that everyone is getting there with the treatments and sounding so positive!
I finished my Rads on the 20th October and went on Holiday on the 25th for half term. My arm still aches and my skin feels tight but no burns or peeling ( touch wood). I also had my follow up with Oncologist and I've been signed off from him so i wont see anyone will until my next appointment in March back at the breast clinic. I do have an open door though if i need to see the oncologist regarding any concerns etc. Feels a bit surreal to be honest and scary. He was very positive though and told me to go and enjoy life as the small chance of a reaccurance / spread should be observed (as in any symptoms check them out after persisting for 3 weeks) but it shouldn't let it dominate my thoughts. Easier said than done 😏.
I guess its just back to the roll of a dice now - a bit like the chances of the lump being malignant in the first place and need to have faith that the treatment has done its job.
Sp, Rose, Joemic it feels good to be back to some normality doesn't it. I cant quite believe we have got this far. I saw a lady at the Oncologist outpatients who was clearly in the middle of her chemo. I remember sitting there aching all over, feeling sick etc and seeing her made me realise how much we havebendured and survived. Definitely something to celebrate.
I hope we all pop back, when we aren't too busy getting on with life, and give updates etc. I'm going to try and pop on to give support to others as much as i can. It would be lovely to meet in person, as i have seen other groups have if anyone is up for it?
Take care for now.
Rose, your post has motivated me to send a message. I’m so pleased that your treatment is gong well and your MRI scan results were so good. It bodes well for a successful mastectomy. I do hope it all goes well for you.
My life is slowly returning to “normal” but I do still wonder on some days what normal actually is? I’m now 6 weeks post chemo. I still wake up on a Friday thinking I will be going for chemo treatment!! I’m still walking and I’ve just strayed some gentle exercise back in the gym. My hair is growing well, but it is snowy white!!! The top is starting to darken a little so it is now an interesting look, to say the least! Before chemo, my hair was dark blonde with blonde highlights!? I’m using Rapidlash products on my eyebrows and lashes to encourage growth...but so far, nothing is emerging!!
I’m coping with the Letrozole thus far. My most challenging side effect is constipation, which I’m trying to manage and improve.....?! My BP can drop drastically because of this so I’m experimenting with medication to see what suits me best. But, it could be worse!?
I’ve been on an a cappellla singing coaching day today with my choir. It was lovely to do this as it demands a lot of energy and focus to sing all day....as we stand all time to sing!! I’m tired now....but, I did it!! This is part of my well being plan as there is no doubt that singing is good for the soul. I’m trying hard to look after my physical and emotional needs as I’m determined to stay positive. We are survivors and this should be celebrated!
My oncology review is later this month but it is truly brilliant to be returning to a normal life!
I hope you are all doing well?
Hello May ladies
I hope everyone one is well and enjoying the lovely autumn weather? It's been very quiet on here I'm hoping that's because everyone has been too busy doing normal things again to think about posting? Joemic I hope your 1st day back at work went well for you?
I'm now 4 weeks post chemo but still going every 3 weeks for targeted therapy(herceptin and perjeta) It was nice to have a treatment last week but without any side effects afterwards. My fatigue is definitely improving and my biggest moan at the moment is still sore watery eyes so I cant complain too much! Head hair is starting to come back but still no sign of eyebrows or lashes yet.
I've now got a date for my mastectomy and axillary clearance on 29th November. My post chemo MRI results were positive with a 100% radiological response to the treatment. They hope to do a reconstruction at the same time but I've still got to make decisions about type of reconstruction and whether or not I want to keep my nipple so am going to see the breast care nurse this week to talk it all through again with her. I didnt realise there were so many options but it is good to be onto the next stage!
Hope everyone is doing well physically and emotionally. Look after yourselves ladies.
Love Rose xx😊
Hi May ladies
Dezee - So pleased you had your last chemo and it's great to read how positive you are feeling, fantastic you so deserve it. February isn't very far away at all and then you'll be done too. Stay positive, you can do this too.
Rose - Hope it won't be too long to your surgery now, glad your chemo side effects are starting to settle now, not too sure how long it will take for the chemo brain to settle mine is still fuzzy at times. I'm a little concerned that the lack of clarity I have at times will affect my work but I'll never know until I give it a go; mind you I'll soon be finding out - two weeks today in fact. Just take it slowly and the more you physically recover I'm sure the brain will too
Mangomum - Have you finished your rads now? how are you bearing up, I hope the aches and pains will start to ease soon. I'm now past the 2 weeks where the skin side effects should peak and they should start healing now. To be fair my skin remains intact with no peeling apart from the skin on my nipple which had darkened during treatment but because I've kept it well moisturised the darkened skin has sort of come off without me noticing (apart from the two toned nipple), the rest of the skin is a dirty brown colour - yuk! with spots, however the spots seem to be hair follicles where the radiation burnt the hair - not that I had hairy boobs but it does look like hair follicles. Not a good look but I'm not a topless sunbather so I'm not too bothered. Hope your fitness is continuing to improve.
Ruth - Hopefully you are continuing to recover well and that your drains are now out and you can get a bit of normality back in your life.
To all the rest of the May Ladies
I hope you are all well on the way to recovery and I wish you all well for the future.
Brilliant news Dezee that you have had your final chemo. That's all of us done with it now. The May 2019 starters are all officially chemo finishers!🎈🎉.
It's a great feeling to be finally finished. I've found I've coped much better with the side effects this last week knowing it's the last time of doing it. Hopefully you will be the same.
Ruth: hope your post mastectomy recovery is still going well and you didnt get any delayed post op problems. Is it radiotherapy next for you to?
Joemic: I'm so pleased for you that you have made it to the finish of all your treatments and have a date to go back to work that is such a huge milestone in putting all of this in the past where it belongs.
Mangomum: you are nearly at the end of radiotherapy now, I hope you are still only at gas mark 1 and the aches and nerve pains are more bearable.
SP: I hope your post chemo recovery is continuing and your energy levels are continuing to increase every day.
I had my post chemo MRI yesterday just waiting for an appointment to see the surgeon with results and plan for surgery now. The physical side effects of the 8th chemo are starting to settle apart from the tiredness but my brain definitely isn't what it used to be! My memory is terrible and writing even a simple post like this takes ages I can't imagine being back to work and having to be writing reports and holding sensible conversations with people!
Keep going everyone
Thank you for your positive message. Yes it was yesterday - no bell to ring as there wasn't one! However, despite being a long day (they took 2.5 hours to get bloods/ chemo sorted), the nurse took out my troublesome picc line immediately after the taxol. I finally finished at six and was so happy to finish. Out for lunch with my old colleagues at lunch today and enjoying the good weather for once. Feel like therre is tons to look forward to now. Glad to hear you are finished too. Can't wait to join you although that might not be until next Feb.
Dezee - I'm sure you will be having your last chemo this week, I think it is tomorrow👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻, good luck☘ you go girl, you've got this, you've had it tough but you've made it, I'm in awe of your determination and resilience - be proud of yourself, you have come so far😘. One more then you're on the up, sound that darned 🔔 good and loud, you so deserve it🙆♀️.
Thank you so much. It got better on my two days off but back again now. Its at night that itw most annoying as it wakes me up so will definitely try the pillow.
Forgot to say try sleeping with a pillow between your bad arm and body - it helped me with frozen shoulder and it helped during rads too. Also do the same with a cushion when you're sat down😘
Good to hear things are going relatively well so far. As for the pains and aches, they're pretty normal, I think the radiation causes irritation to them, they did to my scars but they are feeling better now.
The shoulder pain is due to the way you have to keep your arms during treatment - a bit like a trussed up turkey🦃😁. Only thing to do is take some painkillers before treatment, if you need them and just keep up with the exercises - particularly shoulder roles (both forwards and backwards) and slowly extending your arms and lift them up until they're pointing as far upwards as you can get them then out to the side up to shoulder height, I can't say for sure if the exercises have definitely improved the shoulder ache but it is alot better now.
I believe the tightness is down to the radiation, I still moisturise 3-4 times a day plus extra if my skin feels tight, it then loosens and feels better. Also don't forget to moisturise under your arm pit and the skin next to your pit, basically as far as your good arm can reach going over your chest - the radiation manages to reach that bit too and that is the bit which I feel the most tightness.
Hope these tips help you a bit and remember it does get better, but I think you're a bit like me and get frustrated at the length of time everything takes- patience with my health is not one of my virtues😏.
Good on you for making the conscious decision not to let the possibility of recurrence blight your life. We can't spend our time worrying what may or may not happen, we have a life to live and we should jolly well enjoy it🤩
Good luck with the rest of your rads, they'll soon be over with too😘
Brilliant news you have finished all active treatment and thinking about returning to some normality and having an amazingly positive attitude. I'm going to try and carry on as normal afterwards too and face any demons as they arrise. I'm going to consider myself cancer free / cured until proven not and hopefully never will. I think that's what we all crave - just being normal again - boring normal.
I dont have a nipple to cook but i am more than half way in and still cooking at gas mark 1 /2 but i am having lots of nerve pains /aches across my masectomy wound site and my shoulder and arm. It feels like like it did after surgery - like its all knitting together again and the tight feeling is back. Im doing lots of arm excerises but apparently its the funny positioning of my arm that's probably the culprit. I'm still getting peripheral neuropathy too which isnt helping! It seems to come and go but can be quite painful sometimes. Any tips to ease the aches and pains most welcome. So far I've tried pain killers, epsom sea salts and ordered a deep tissue massage roller thingy but getting a bit fed up with it.
Good news is my energy and stamina seems to be coming back as able to walk at quite a pace now and much further distances so hopefully my anemia / bloods are back to normal.
Good evening lovely ladies
What positive news from you all..fantastic, it's always good to hear positive news, means our diagnosis can't keep us down for long, no matter how hard it tries to make it for us what a fantastic bunch of warriors everyone has been. If nothing else this whole sorry episode has taught us just how much inner strength we all have in the face of adversity and how we can face anything in the future with courage and determination. I feel privileged to have been able to share your journeys with you and the support both given and received has made these past months a little easier to bear and for that I thank each and every one of you.
Now the mushy bit is over..........
Mangomum - Hope the rads went well and you are not cooking above the gas mark 1, my boob is still on 1 but my nipple is gas mark 7 at times ooh it gets hot!, I think that's probably because it was sore going into rads, I think the nerve endings were finally starting to heal, hopefully the rads won't have caused further damage to them. Glad they are over now.
Dezee - What a rubbish time you have had throughout your chemo. Doesn't matter how old you are, you're steaming ahead to your LAST chemo, whey hey I am so pleased for you, what a trouper you have been battling through those rough times what strength and courage and here you are ready to have your last one, you go girl you've definitely got this
Ruth - I am so pleased you feel better than you expected and surgery went well and after all that organising and preparation you can take it easy for a few days (although that ironing pile always seems to breed in my house).
Rose - I hope you managed to get your last chemo and side effects stay away this time, you are on the other side now. Fabulous. Being snappy and irritable is all part of the process, it's a very frustrating thing to go through, hopefully you will find things settle a bit for you once you have seen the surgeon, it's all the pent up anxiety and anger we bottle up that causes it - we need an outlet but unfortunately it's not always the outlet we want but remember it does pass and you are well on your way to finishing your treatment plan. Keep on going, you can and will do it, you've done fantastic so far.
SP - Glad you're starting to feel normal again, you had such a tough time but you made it, you've coped with all the treatment so far so I am sure you will manage with the Letrozole, your determination will make sure of that.
My rads are finished and apart from the hot nipple and a bit of skin redness I have done really well, at the moment I am waiting for it to get worse (was told it gets worse for 2 weeks following rads then gets better), I still moisturise 3 - 4 times a day and drink lots of water so maybe it is as bad as it is going to get...... she says with fingers crossed. I've been to see my GP and have worked out a plan to return to work on the 4th Nov - I am so looking forward to it so I can firmly put all the active treatment behind me obviously I can't forget but I can get on with my life and I also refuse to let it blight my future, what will be will be - I choose not to spend my time worrying about what may or may not happen. Good luck to everyone on the next stage of your treatment whether it be active treatment or not.
Glad to hear lots of good news. Sorry if I mislead eveyone. It wasn't my birhtday last weekend but in just under 3 weeks and though not far off 60, I am still only 57 nearly 58. Not that it really matters at the moment as I feel as though I could be 60! Feeling much better after getting yesterday's chemo out of the way and less than a week before the last. Yippee! Good luck Ruth and here's hoping your recovery continues apace with no setbacks.
Ruth, I’m delighted that your mastectomy is done and the surgery went well. Just give yourself time to recover and heal!
My advice is to do the physio exercises every day. My hospital had video clips to show you exactly how to do them all! This was helpful as you need to know you’re doing them right!
I didn’t have any drains as I’m a 34B. I didn’t have reconstruction and don’t plan to have any. I don’t want any more surgery!! No tattoos for me either!!
I had my seroma drained twice. It then went smaller but hard. The healing of the seroma then stopped during chemo. I was told this was to be expected. I’m hoping, now that my chemo is over, it will disperse.
It is good to hear that everyone is reaching the end of their treatment journey. There is a light at the end of this tunnel for us all. Well done us!!
I'm now almost 3 weeks since my last chemo. Hurray! I’m eating better and my taste is slowly improving. I’m still walking and have started some gentle strengthening exercises as I am so very weak!! Today I had a deep tissue massage to wake up my muscles!! Brilliant!! I’m gradually starting to feel like a normal person!!
I’m coping with the Letrozole so far too!! There is hope!! We have to believe this and I refuse to live in fear. We are stronger than we think...because we’ve come through this nightmare.
Be proud of yourselves ladies! We can ALL do this!!
Brilliant to hear you are doing well and feeling better than you thought. I didn't want to say the masectomy was easy in comparison to chemo incase you had any complications etc. The only part i found painful was the drain and i had mine removed two days later. This did leave me with a seroma which needed draining for a few weeks but no half as uncomfortable as the drain. I too am considering a tattoo rather than more surgery. Im considering having the other breast removed or at the least reduced in size as i was /am an E cup so im left quite lopsided.
The arm exercises really do help.
Happy 60th Dezee.😀
I am home after the mastectomy and I am feeling much better than I expected today. Yesterday I felt like I'd been though a mangle but a quick turn around. The drains are a nuisance and not knowing how long they need to stay is frustrating but like most of this it's one day at a time!
Mangomum, how long did you have your drains in for? I wont be able to opt for reconstruction for 12months and I am not sure whether I want to....I have been researching tattoos instead!
Rose, I hope you have had your last one today, and I felt exactly the same. I wondered if the menopause moods were kicking in??
sending love to all 🤗
Happy 60th Birthday Dezee 🎈🎁 🎂🎉 xxxxxx
It's a shame you couldn't enjoy your celebration as much as you would have normally done because of these awful side effects but it's a good excuse to organise some belated celebrations once you are over the worst and its not long now!
We will get there and I find hearing positive things from the other ladies on the group who are further along than us really helps!
I met up today with a friend who had a mastectomy and radiotherapy last year she's now back at work and is reconstructed and doesn't have another follow appointment for a year!!! She said the experience obviously has changed her and she had some very low times but she doesn't think about it too often now and definitely thinks of it as being in the past.
Keep plodding on we will get there too.
All the best for your mastectomy today Ruth, I hope it all goes well and that you are back to normal as soon as possible.
Rose - good luck when you finally see your surgeon. Mine made me feel very emotional as she said well done for getting through the worst stage ie the chemo, so I hope that whatever the surgery plans for you are that it will be easier than the trials you have had to cope with so far. It's so difficult being your old self when you are tired and, more importantly, emotionally drained. I had a 60th cream tea celebration yesterday which I should have enjoyed more as there were lots of local friends there, but I was too tired from lack of sleep (botty problems) over the past few nights. I am sure we'll all be back to normal sociable beings when we stop constantly brooding over the cancer.
Love and hugs to all of you
Ruth good luck for your surgery tomorrow and wishing you a smooth recovery and to you Rose for your last chemo on Tuesday and surgery to follow. I had my masectomy prior to chemo but haven't had any reconstruction yet. I was quite nervous begore surgery but i found the nurses so lovely and caring and was able to go home the following day and recovered well from the surgery so i know you two will be looked after.
Lovely to read all your updates as usual.
Ruth: Sending love and keeping everything crossed for you for your surgery tomorrow. I will be having the same surgery as you but I haven't got a date as yet. I hope your recovery is quick and uneventful you should be able to concentrate fully on your post op recovery as you have been so organised at home🧡
Dezee: Sorry to hear you've had problems with your bloods and picc line and I can definitely sympathise with the constipation! But very positive that you only have 9 days to go until your last chemo then its onwards and upwards!
Mangomum and Joemic: hope the radiotherapy is still going ok for you and you are both starting to feel more positive and planning for the treatment free future ahead.
My last chemo is booked for Tuesday if bloods ok tomorrow. I'm still waiting for a date for an MRI and appointment with the surgeon to confirm mastectomy date and discuss reconstruction options but they initially said 4-6 weeks after chemo finishing so I'm hoping for mid November at the latest. I can empathise with everyone having some low days I thought I would be feeling on a high going into the last chemo but instead I've been really anxious and thinking very negative thoughts, I've been really snappy and irritable with people which makes me feel even worse. I'm also sick of my own company and everything seeming to revolve around treatments and managing side effects, hopefully seeing the surgeon might make me feel a bit more positive as does hearing all of you progressing with your treatments.
Sending you all love and positive thoughts.
Hi Dezee...I did find the last few weeks of chemo, and then for a few weeks after, gruelling, and felt quite withdrawn ( and wasn’t sure if this was mood swing from menopause!) I’m sure having your daughter home will ease you through this and knowing it’s finishing does really help.
I am getting ready for my surgery tomorrow, mastectomy on the right-side. I am really keen to get this stage over with now, but am a little nervous. I have never been more organised at home 😆 lunches, meals ready and ALL the ironing done for the week, I have no idea what to expect.
Joemic - are the rads over for you 🤞?
SP - how are you getting on?
Mangomum - I hope you are feeling better.
sending lots of love to everyone
It sounds like you have been through the mill. I too found it got harder to bounce back from rounds 5 and 6 with low bloods /anemia / botty problems which left me feeling quite down and negative for a couple of weeks. I think it's quite common as our bodies and minds have taken a battering. Your daughter coming will hopefully help you get through. Sounds like the chemo has done it's job and you are able to have a lumpectomy - hopefully radiotherapy wont be too far behind and you can say goodbye to active treatment.
I did post a message about a week ago, but lost it in the ether and didn't have the energy to start all over again. Update after my blood transfusion of two and a half weeks ago is that my neutriphils were down (1.2) as well as my platelets the following week, so the weekly paclitaxol was cancelled so that bloods would be OK for my 7th big treatment. Then my picc line was blocked again last week and I thought chemo would be postponed while they took out and replaced with another one. However, the sole male bcc enthusiastically volunteered to unblock it, which he managed to do so, so that went ahead. Then I was in to see the surgeon on Friday who confirmed a lumpectomy to be scheduled the week after 15th Nov. Did anyone else find that meeting emotional? I suddenly realised that the first phase of treatment was nearly finished and that there might be an end to all this one day next year.
I thought I was through the woods chemo wise, but have suffered from bad constipation from last week's carboplatin, so not a nice time since last Tuesday. Seems to have finally sorted itself out this morning, with extra meds from hospital! Only 9 days to go before I finish chemo now and my eldest daughter is coming home from London on compassionate leave from work to keep me company, while my husband has a break from the routine and goes on a charity cycling trip to Majorca. Looking forward to quality mum and daughters time.
I'm pleased to hear all is going well for you Mangomum and Joemic with radiotherapy. Ruth, you are a little ahead of me, so probably have a date for surgery now. I hope you are managing to bounce back a little from the end of chemo. Rose, I cannot remember whether you have had surgery or are starting radiotherapy- blame it on chemo brain. I hope no news is good news? Anyway, thank you all for the strong words of support, we are all getting there!
Radiotherapy all going well so far - although i do find the whole being in a room on my own with a machine full of radiation a little unsettling and i really hate the noise it makes - spooks me out! But i was the kid who hid behind the sofa when doctor who was on- I was scared of the darlics 😂.
My mastectomy wound feels a little swollen today and like you Joemic its at around gas mark 1 in terms of pinkness and heat. Im glad you are nearly at the end now and have managed to avoid too much redness /soreness and your energy levels haven't completely depleted even after a daily treck.
I did pop into the Maggies centre which was lovely and ive signed myself up for a few courses for when im finished as i feel i need to keep on the positive path to avoid another post treatment crash in my mood and stop those dark thoughts gatecrashing again!
Ruth, SP, Dezee and Rose i hope you are all getting there now. Its been a long old journey for us all 🤗
Mangomum - I hope your rads are going well so far, I'm still cooking on gas mark one although the skin is going a little darker and looks a tad mottled however, there is no pain or itching so fingers crossed it isn't going to get too bad. I'm still managing to walk up the hill from the train station although it is feeling a little harder but not enough to look at an alternative route and as I've only two left I'm sure I'll manage it then I'll collapse and sleep for a week.
Rose and Dezee - Keep going ladies you're both nearly done, not much longer, you'll get there
SP - I hope your side effects are subsiding now, to be honest the only side effect I got from the Zometa was fatigue - although the chemo nurse insisted it was the chemo and not the Zometa but didn't have an answer when I asked why it only happened when I had that, I didn't realise initially but it was my family that pointed it out. I guess they don't really understand that we aren't all the same and things can affect us all differently and as unique individuals our bodies don't always follow the rules.
Ruth - I hope you are starting to feel a little less fatigued now and getting your energy back - have you got a date for your surgery yet?
To all other May ladies, I hope you are all coping well and getting some of your energy back.
I'm reassured Gas mark 1 analogy 😂, i hope i can keep to a slow bake!
Fingets crossed for your next few sessions.
Hello lovely May ladies
Mangomum and Ruth, it's nice of you to say I inspire you but to be honest you both inspire me. There's no wonder you're both feeling the fatigue not only going through some very difficult treatment and nasty side effects but also keeping active with you're children- phew fatigue, you'll beat it soon, bodies just need time to recover; it just never seems to do it quick enough for us does it🤔.
Mangomum I hope the water and bit of food after rads helps you too, I've been ok too for the last weeks rads - the water especially helps, only down side is the amount of times I need the loo after, as long as I'm not travelling more than the 1.5 hrs I'm fine, otherwise it's an oops moment, definitely no coughing allowed😂. My skin has only started to go a slight pink after 10 rads so will have to see what the next 5 bring. At the moment the heat in my boob is probably a gas mark 1 so not bad at all. Keep drinking the water and slapping on the cream and hopefully you will only go slightly pink. You can do this😘.
Sorry to hear you've continued to struggle with your treatment SP, you'll get through you have a strong spirit which will help you.
Dezee - keep going you're so very nearly there now - you can and will do it, that 🔔is in sight now.
All other ladies I haven't mentioned but think about often, I hope you are all well and progressing well.
I'm sorry to read you feel the same. Its pretty poo really but i did read that the red blood cells can take 3 to 4 weeks to recover. I've been anemic throughout treatment but never low enough to warrent a transfusion 🙄 I'm hoping this week coming they may start to return to normal so i can get more active!!
Joemic I'm always in awe of your energy and stoic attitude and still love reading your upbeat posts. I. will be following your regime of having something healthy to eat following radiotherapy tomorrow otherwise i will be falling asleep at the wheel! Its only a 30min drive so fingers crossed.
Take care everyone and big hugs to all.
I feel exactly the same as you Mangomum. I am 44 next month. I am struggling with not feeling back to normal by now, but when I look at it logically it is ridiculous and am beginning to realise it's going to take months too. 🙄
I have visited the Maggies centre at Christies in Manchester once, and it was an amazing place. I need to go there for my radiotherapy so will visit more offen, after my surgery.
SP, I am so pleased you have finished, you really have had challenges with this and are an inspiration with your resilient approach to everything.
Joemic, as always you are like a guiding star ⭐️ Showing this is do-able, when it doesn't feel like it. I am assuming from your last post that this is your last week of rads???
I hope everyone is progressing as well as possible and seeing the finishing line getting ever closer 🤗. Sending lots of love ❤️
Thank you SP and Mini Mad,
I'm probably far to inpatient to feel normal and 3 to 6 months sounds more realistic! Hopefully when i go to Maggies I'll be reassured everything i feel is normal. I hate still feeling fatigued after walking, shopping, housework etc and the general aches and pains makes me paranoid it's the cancer! I'm only 44 but feel and look 10 years older with my short fuzzy hair and weight gain 😭.
Do you know if swimming is ok on Rads. I really want to start building up my muscles and know swimming is good for resistance.
I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling so down, Mangomum. It is really important to feel that you are supported so I’m sure you’ll find a welcome and caring network at Maggies. My hospital has a Maggies centre and it is wonderful place.
My final chemo went ok but it was followed with my first dose of Zolondronic acid. Within 18 hours I had a very extreme reaction to this. Symptoms included flu like aching, nausea and diarrhoea which caused a massive drop in my blood pressure so I felt faint if I moved! Horrible. I think my body went into shock and just couldn’t cope with the chemo drug plus the Z acid in one go? It lasted 24 hours and then the symptoms started to fade, leaving me weak and very delicate. It wasn’t the weekend I’d expected after my last chemo and this was upsetting. There always seems to be a sting in the tail with chemo?!
It it was lovely to have this week without any needles being put in me!! I went out with some close friends last night for a special birthday meal, even though I still can’t eat much. Whilst it was great to see them and do something normal, I also felt like a spectator. They were full of their news of their normal lives whilst I felt I was watching it all from my cancer bubble! My life has been completely focused on treatment so I kept quiet, as who wants to hear about that on an evening out?? Cancer is a conversation stopper. Crazy, that I still feel like I’m watching all this happen to me? I’m sure that a psychologist would have a field day with me at the moment??!!
Of course, the evening exhausted me but that’s ok! It’s a small step towards normality? Tonight I’m singing in a concert with my choir! The first concert for me since I was diagnosed! It will be an emotional evening when we sing “When you walk though a storm” but I’m determined to do it!!
Good afternoon Ruth,
hope you dont mind me jumping on here from The June Chemo 2019 posts.
i am now 5 weeks post chemo and am now only beginning to feel the return of some energy.
i still walk upstairs slowly but am managing to walk my dog a little further and not plodding like an old lady !! Mind you i am 69 !!!
so be patient with yourself and gradually over time you also will see an improvement.
Dr told me that recovery is 3-6 months...so by xmas lets hope we'll be enjoying ourselves .
good luck .mini mad xx 💖💖
Hi lovely ladies,
I'm sorry for not posting for ages. My last round of chemo took much longer to recover from plus i felt really down and thought i had depression but felt much better this third week post chemo. I might stil see the gp as i still feel like im watching myself and it didn't really happen. When i did start to process it i became down and very morbid
Starting Radiotherapy on Monday for 15 sessions at a larger hospital that has a Maggies so im hopefully going to get some support there. My local hospital is pretty useless tbh in terms of support as there are no Mcmillan nurses etc and i think i have received one phone call from my breast care nurse ( who was a grumpy thing) so I'm weirdly looking foward to it 😂.
I was prescribed R1 and R2 from my Gp so ill let you know how it is. I read its really good and formulated for Radiotherapy.
Dezee - What a rough time you've been having, hopefully now you've had the blood transfusion it'll be a tad easier for you, you're nearly there. Our veins seem to cause us so much trouble don't they but at least it's sorted now. Good luck with this weeks dose I'm in no doubt your going to smash it.
SP - I hope you managed to have your final dose without incident. Now you can concentrate of recovering and being kind to yourself.
Rose - Glad you had a nice day beside the sea - a bit of sea air does you the world of good don't you think, especially when you have to stop off for ice creams. Not long now then you can get some well needed recovery time, keep going you'll get there.
Ruth - Excellent news that you too have now finished and on the recovery road, I know you're eager but I think it takes a little longer than 2 weeks to get your energy back, it will start creeping back very soon as long as you're not burning the candle at both ends - even though it's so tempting
As for me 5 rads down only 10 left to go, no skin change yet but they did say that would be from 10 days onwards so by Wednesday I might start glowing a bit but will see. I found the first 2 days very tiring but it is a 1.5 hr train and bus journey there and back, 3 hrs is a long time for a 8-10 min appt but it is what it is. After nearly missing my station on the way home the first two days, I decided to take a wholemeal salad sandwich with me and a handful of almonds to eat after my appointments all washed down with water (very healthy) any way I don't know if it's that or not but didn't experience any fatigue for the next 3 sessions, so I'm going to continue with the same strategy this coming week and hope it wasn't a fluke.
I wish you all good luck with whatever stage is next for you
I have finally got my iPad sorted and can log back in 😀. I have only managed to look at the last few posts so haven't caught up on everything. Sorry.
I had my last weekly paclitaxol on the 6th of September, I found the issues with veins etc really hard towards the end, and my 'bounce back' seemed non existent. Having had two weeks off now I am feeling much better but frustrated that I am still tired.
SP, I really hope everything went as planned on Friday and you have finished. I was surprised I wasn't more euphoric or emotional. I think weary summed it up, the first point I had a reaction was not having a blood test the following Thursday. My surgery is booked for the 7th.
Joemic, I hope your radiotherapy is going well and is not too gruelling, every day.
Dezee, you have had a tough time, but so close now. I hope you are still on tract.
Rose, you must be delighted to have one left. It is a good feeling to know that getting better after the last one is it!!!
lots of love to you all on the thread, sending hugs 🤗 especially to those who are needing a boost.
I hope everyone is enjoying the lovely weather. We've just got in from a bit of a walk along the coast it was lovely but a bit blowy-had to give up after a while for ice creams!
Dezee- Sorry to hear you've had a few bad days, weekly chemo must be so hard it doesn't give you any time at all to recover it's taking me longer everytime to feel "normal" again and I have 3 weeks in between to recover. At least the blood has helped to give you a bit more energy and will hopefully make it easier to get to the finish line! My last chemo is booked for the 8th October so I think we should be done about the same time all going to plan!
SP- I hope your last treatment went ahead as planned on friday and that you got a nurse with the magic touch for your cannula! I had no problems for the first 4 chemo's but the last few have taken a couple of attempts each time. I do sympathise about constipation too as I suffered with it initially but now have diarrhoea on the Doxetaxel so I've gone from sennacot to loperamide in a few weeks!
Joemic - I hope the first week of radiotherapy has been uneventful. I must admit I dont know much about side effects but it must be very tiring if you have to attend every day?
Bannanabrain - how did your first week back at work go? I hope you enjoyed it but bet you are ready for the weekend.
Mangomum, Ruth, Sewbuddy and Ilovehunny and anyone I've missed! hope you are all well and enjoying life after chemo, I'm looking forward to joining you all in a few weeks and getting on with the next stage of the fight!
Well the last couple of days have been eventful as my red blood count was only 83 on Tuesday, I think 120 is normal for a woman. I was due to have my paclitaxol which went ahead as I felt OK (in fact, I had felt better Sunday and Monday than the previous days). Anyway, I had to go back in yesterday to have a blood transfusion, which took the best part of the day, because my picc line was blocked again so they had to put a cannula in, which proved difficult because of small veins (and the reason I had a picc line in the first place). Afterwards, I had to go back to the chemo suite to get my line unblocked for the second time in 2 weeks. The good news is that I was able to walk the dog uphill without getting breathless for the first time in 3 weeks. Thank you for all your positive messages about my shrunken tumour; as far as I can tell it has continued to shrink since last week's carboplatin dose.
Rose - your story about the the eyebrow stencils made me smile; I can imagine my daughters being the same. I find pencilling in eyebrows a bit of challenge when my left one is practically non existent, but the right one is not as bad. One always ends up thicker than the other. My eyelashes are the same: I only have one or 2 lashes on my left eye but a fair few on my right. I calculated that you must be finishing a couple of weeks before me on the 2nd October? I know you had a tough time of it a few weeks ago. I hope the treatment has been kinder to you recently?
SP- I will be thinking of you tomorrow, well done for withstanding such a gruelling experience; you have been so brave given the numerous setbacks you have had to endure. Perhaps you can celebrate the end of the chemo, once you have recovered some of your former energy.
I hope everyone else from May is enjoying recovery time or coping well with the next stage of treatment. I am assuming no news is good news.
Apologies for not posting recently. This weekly chemo seems to have a pace of its own! As fast as I recover from one dose, I’m revving up for the next!!
My final chemo is this Friday, all being well. Hurray!! However, every week I get anxious as my neutrophil count has been up and down like a yo yo. Some counts have been very low, so there could be a delay if it drops again? Who knows?! I honestly expected to be “de mob” happy this week but in truth, I am now just weary of it all.
My veins are shot. Last week I had another cannula trauma, which is both painful and upsetting. Three goes to get the cannula in is not good. With hindsight, I think I should have had a port fitted before the weekly doses started. No one’s veins can heal and recover in a week. There simply is not enough time. I am now dreading the last cannula. I can only hope that I get a nurse with the magic touch!!
My digestive system has slowed with each chemo...constipation has become a real problem, in spite of drinking lots of water, eating loads of veg and walking every day. I’ve resorted to medication as I’m eating a lot less because I feel full for ages. I’m sure this isn’t going to improve until the chemo is done. Not long now!!
Dezee, the reduction in your tumour size is fantastic news!! One of my chemo nurses, calls the chemo “a little bag of magic”. I hope that the rest of your treatment proves to be just this. Then the trauma of chemo will have been worthwhile?
So, my fingers and toes are crossed that my last chemo happens on Friday! Then the real recovery can begin!! Stay well ladies; you are stronger than you think!! When this is done, we are officially survivors!!
Just a quick one to say brilliant news about the reduction in size of your tumour Dezee! You are definitely getting there and the blips with the back pain/cramps and fatigue are to be expected the end of this chemo in sight now!
I've had session 7 of 8 today can't believe in 3 weeks I'll be having the last one!
I know what you mean about wasted buys I've just tried eyebrow stencils- definitely one to give a miss! But at least they were cheap and gave my daughter a laugh!
Hope everyone else is keeping well and making good progress with treatments. Take care
Love Rose x
I haven't posted in over a week, but thought I would update anyone who's interested.
Rose2020- I really enjoyed the wedding, although having bought the false eyelashes I couldn't apply them properly and thought I would rather feel comfortable on the day- not the only wasted money during chemo! The day was fab and I cannot believe I lasted from 1.30pm until 11.30pm! However, came down with a bit of a crash on Sunday. I had been having muscle/bone cramps in my thighs the previous Wed to Fri and had a sore lower back Sunday afternoon (not had that for 16 years, since a prolapsed disc). Then got to sleep OK but was woken with muscular spasms in my back at 2am so was up 3 hours in agony, eventually got to sleep at 5am, and strangely woke to no pain. However, overtired for my hospital appointment. Was supposed to see oncologist to discuss latest scan on 3rd Sept, but saw the senior acute nurse instead. She confirmed my tumour had shrunk from 3.8cm to 2.3cm over the first 2 rounds of carboplatin/pacitaxol (a good response of almost 40% reduction) but wouldn't hedge which way surgery might go. I found the whole thing too emotional and had a meltdown that evening. I think a combination of tiredness and knowing the next day was my 6th big round of chemo but I had 6 more consecutive weeks to go! Anyway, I got through the next day and am feeling much more positive as only 5 sessions to go- it is such a long time to be having chemo, 21 weeks in all. So I am thinking of you Rose, as I been so much more fatigued after the 6th big round. Strangely, my white blood count is above normal, as I am on 3 injections a week! They have also given extra calcium and vitamin D tablets, I am assuming because of the bone ache I was getting (my mum has osteoporosis) and I think the chemo can leach calcium out of the bones.
Joemic- Thank you for all the good wishes you are sending, it really makes a difference. I hope you are feeling fit and healthy for you first radiotherapy session today, and that it is a little easier than the chemo.
Bananabrain- good luck getting back to work this week, it will be good to get some normality back into life, but make sure it is at your pace.. I haven't even thought that far ahead, as surgery and radiotherapy await in the coming 4 or so months.
SP- I think you are almost finished with your chemo. How have the last couple of weeks gone?
It's great that the chemo round for all of us is almost over, and that we have a bit of an Indian summer to help us cope with it. Can you imagine dealing with this in the depths of winter? I finished the Couch to 5k programme last week and have registered to do a Park Run, but won't be contemplating jogging it until I have finished chemo, as very slow! In the meantime, I hope to consolidate my stamina on the good days of the week.