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.
Just got in from dropping my daughter off at school its definitely turning autumnal out there! I will have to start putting the heating on the timer as I hate getting up at the best of times.
Joemic - hope your daughter enjoyed her birthday celebrations and good luck for the first radiotherapy session today 🍀how many sessions are you having?
Bannanabrain- hope the first day back at work goes well, once the first day is over you will feel like you've never been away!
Dezee - hope the weekly chemo is still going ok. Did you enjoy the wedding? How did you get on with the false eyelashes?
I hope everyone else is still doing ok post chemo and are coping with the next challenges?
I'm off to the hospital for bloods this morning prior to my 7th lot of chemo tomorrow I must admit its taking me longer to recover after each one but at least the end one is in sight!
Take care everyone and keep warm!
Good luck for your first day back at work Bananabrain, like you say a long journey but you made it🙆♀️, like you I have been using the lush soap, can't say if it's working or not seeing as though I don't know what normal hair growth should be😏. My eyebrows are growing back, increasingly weird very thick, well they will be if they keep on growing like they are😂. Also getting the furry fuzz on my face - the fastest growing hair is my tash😱, the hair on my chemo arm is growing back but still none on my good arm🤔. Definitely some strange stuff going on😂.
Dezee and Rose - Keep going ladies you'll soon be getting to the end of your chemo👍🏻you are 💪ladies and will get there, I'll be cheering you over the finish line when you're ringing that 🛎.
I hope everyone who has just completed or is about to complete your chemo is as well as possible.
Hi all, thought I'd drop in and say hello. It's been nice to see how everyone is doing. Can't quite believe this is the May starters group - we've come a long way since then!
I had my last chemo nearly 3 weeks ago and now I spend half my time checking my head for any signs of new hair 🤣 I have some bristly bits but I didn't ever lose all of it so I'm not sure if it's new or not. Although I've been fine wearing my wig during treatment I'm now so impatient for my hair to grow. Had a terrible experience with a lovely stimulating shampoo bar from Lush - forgot that I don't have any brows or lashes to protect my eyes and got the spicy shampoo straight in my eye - it was a bit like rubbing it with raw chilli and I swear my eye is still a bit twitchy a few days later! Learn from my mistake, ladies 🤣
Like a couple of you have mentioned, I've noticed that walking on the flat is ok but walking uphill or lots of steps is difficult - my leg and arm muscles feel very weak. I hope it doesn't last too long.
I'm starting back at work next week which is scary but I'm also looking forward to it - will be good to get into a routine that doesn't involve hospitals.
Keep going everyone, we're all getting there 😊
Hi May ladies
Glad to hear people are managing their treatments fairly well - i'll soon be over with, fingers firmly crossed nobody has any further cycles delayed.
I've never tried false eyelashes either Dezee, I only tried stick on eyebrows once, disastrously I may add, I don't know how I did it but the darned thing ended up stuck to my glasses, never tried them since. My eyebrows are starting to grow back now but the tail end of them are as wide as the end near my nose, it's coming half way down my eye, a bit more and they'll be touching my eye lid. I haven't tried to pluck them yet as they are still very short but I'll have to soon otherwise I'll start looking like a werewolf. My hair is starting to grow back and I now have a covering that feels like bristles and it's white, wonder how that's going to pan out.
Been for my radio planning today and it starts on the 16th Sept, day after my daughters 16th birthday, so at least I'm free to celebrate her day, we might even go away for the weekend, if she can drag herself away from her friends for more than a few hours What else have I been up to, oh yes I've started my Letrozole, so far so good and the Ibondronate as opposed to the Zolendronic acid infusion I'd been having with my chemo; I started having a few issues with that but I think I've managed to sort it now, time will tell.
I finally got an answer (off the Radiologist!) as to why I had only been given the grade of cancer as opposed to grade and stage apparently things are continually progressing in the BC department and there are now several sub sections within the staging process i.e T0, T1, T1a, T1b etc it gets a bit confusing when Oncotype scores (in some) are added as well so they base their treatments around tests results rather than by stage. I suppose this makes sense in a way as I worked out I would be stage 1A, which generally doesn't require chemo but because I was grade 3 and my Oncotype score was 40 it was recommended in my case. She says they are recommending treatment based on the tumours characteristics and not by stage. That's good but I'm still happy I know my stage now.
Keep going ladies, you are so near the end of your chemo (and although I finished on 9th Aug I still get rather breathless walking up a hill or small incline, the fatigue is improving all the time though).
Have a good weekend everyone and enjoy the wedding Dezee.
Many thanks for the tip on eye drops, and I have bought some from Boots as I cannot imagine having to put up with this for the next few months until the eyelashes start to grow again. Thankfully the picc line was unblocked on Tuesday, so that panic is over! By the way, I have bought some Eylure C-lash false lashes, specially designed for chemo patients, for the wedding I am going to tomorrow (Saturday). I have never worn falsies, so I will let you know how I get on. Very interesting about the ice cubes, as I have had tongue ulcers with carboplatin/paclitaxol, so I will give that a go too!
Many thanks again!
I use Hypromellose 0.3% eye drops which really helped when my eyelashes first started to fall out! I initially used them 3 or 4 times a day but now only use them morning and before bed. My eyes were sore watery and gritty feeling but are great now and I've been able to wear my eye makeup again.
Sorry no ideas about Picc lines though!
Another unrelated tip I've done this time is to suck ice during my chemo my tastebuds are still odd but my mouth is much less sore and I can eat this time around!
Just a quick post to all of you still enduring chemo. It sounds like most of you are nearing the end, which has got to be uplifting although it must be tough on you Mangomum with the fatigue and aches and pains. I can sympathise on the sore and runny eyes front- mine have been getting progressively worse over the past few days as the eyelashes have pretty much disappeared. I have tried not wearing eyeliner/ mascara today, but they are still weepy and sore. Has anybody out there got any tips? I wonder whether it might be my foundation which is seeping into my eyes, leaving them itchy and puffy. Also, has anyone else had problems with their picc line? The district nurse couldn't flush mine nor draw up blood on Friday evening, so I will have to get the hospital to try and sort it out tomorrow. Worrying as it might delay my chemo if it cannot be sorted tomorrow and I have 7 more weekly treatments. I suppose I have been fairly lucky so far avoiding problems, but still have a way to go.
Good luck Mangomum with your 6th and last chemo on Wednesday, and you too, Rose with the side effects of the last round. It must be nice to have a month or so to recover before you have to prepare for surgery. Finally, SP I hope that you will enjoy your day of singing. I am sure the regular exercise of walking 3 miles a day will help with stamina.
It’s good to hear that some of you have managed to get away and enjoy some normal activities!! Well done you!!
I’ve just had my 6th weekly chemo today. Three more left!! It’s been going well and the side effects have been much milder each week. I’m still walking 3 miles a day!!! So, I haven’t gained any weight!! Must be the walking and healthy eating!! Well done me?!
I’m planning to attend a singing day tomorrow with my choir. I’m not sure I’ll last the whole day but I’m going to try....We’re learning “A million dreams” from The Greatest Showman” which seems quite appropriate for me at the moment!! I could end up in tears as the words are so emotional for me!!!!
The heat wave last weekend did affect me! I don’t think my body could cope with chemo drugs, regulating my body temperature and digesting food. So, digesting food must have been last on the list and I struggled. However, as soon as the weather cooled, I felt ok again!!
My neutrophil count is a weekly worry. It is low but so far it hasn’t delayed my treatment. I’m desperately hoping that I can keep up the weekly schedule to get this trauma done!!
The consultant has now sorted what will happen on my last chemo. I will have my first Zolodronic acid infusion then and start on Letrozole post chemo. I’m also going to have a bone density scan to give a baseline for this to be monitored in the future.
So, it’s starting to feel like the end is in sight!! There is now light at the end of this chemo tunnel!!!
It's nice to hear people are out and about and enjoying the last few weeks of summer even while coping with all the side effects of treatments!
I've just had my 6th treatment and am waiting for the side effects to kick in I'm well stocked up with medications and soft foods but still getting that feeling of dread wondering how bad it's going to be this time! Still at least we are all on the homeward strait now of this part of the journey and some have even finished! I've started doing a bit of reading now about surgery and reconstruction options just so I know what to expect I didnt realise there were so many types of reconstruction available its all very confusing! I'm sure the options will be clearer when I finish chemo and see the surgeon again in October!
Hope everyone keeps as well as they can over the next few days. Look after yourselves lovely ladies!
on my way back from Dartmouth after a lovely week away and no chemo this week! After being slightly anaemia the week before I noticed that walking on the level or downhill ok but oh boy every set of stairs or uphill stretch left my breathless every few steps. Also lashes and eyebrows even scantier and like you Joemic my eyes keep watering and have been quite sore this week. I think it must be the mascara. The hospital has put the scan forward to Monday so fingers crossed all goes well then. Still have 7 consecutive weeks of chemo to go - I just hope I don’t get even more tired as I have a big family do in London tomorrow to celebrate my mum’s 80th then a wedding back in Wiltshire the following Saturday. Not sure I have a lot of stamina for these full on days!
Hi lovely ladies,
I did post a long message a while ago but it disappeared. I then tried again a few days later abd was halfway through and ping! Vanished 🙄. So im just checking in to say I'm still around and will do a proper update once the kids are back to school next week.
Round 5 has been my toughest to bounce back from but its probably more to do with being busy and pushing myself when i can to do more. We went to Swanage over the bank holiday and dats out etc. I don't feel at all ready for chemo on Wednesday (last one) aa still have lots of side effects from this one. Mostly muscle and bone pain plus a bone dry mouth despite how much i drink. The skin on the sole of my right foot is peel off and my eyes feel sore and runny. Apart from that im ok 😂.
Joemic i bet you are so pleased the chemo is now over. I wonder how long it takes the body to recover completely. I feel about 20 years older in terms of fitness. This round i have found just walking is an effort. I have also started to have quite a few downer /weepy days when i convince myself every ache and pain is the cancer spreading but its probably just the tiredness / fatigue.
Anyway got to go now as its the last few days of feeling remotely well we are going out to a local National Trust house for a wander.
Love to everyone and will do a proper catch up next week.
I hope everyone has enjoyed the sun and are feeling much better for it.
I went to the seaside Fri night and came back Sun, it was relaxing even though I probably walked much more than I usually do. The B&B we stayed in was good, only downside was it was 4 sets of stairs up, not a problem going down but they did seem never ending when I'd been walking for a long time, funny how you don't realise how far you've walked when you potter around in and out of shops and along the beach. The B&B was literally a 5 min walk to the beach and sea front and an 8 min walk from the high street. It was great (apart from the stairs) going out for a walk coming back to the B&B and going out again at least 4 times a day. Only down side was the darned midges that decided to attack both my feet on the last night, I'd only taken my shoes off for a minute to shake the sand off them and they attacked - I swear the little blighters were laying in wait for me, ended up with 7 bites in that minute
By the time I'd got home Sun night my legs and feet had swelled, mind you I think the swelling was due to the heat and the fact it took 5 hrs to get home using buses, trains and taxis and the time waiting in between. When I'd finally hobbled in to the house, I was shattered took my shoes off and yes you've guessed it got bit on my big toe twice and once on my wrist, spent the next hour with my feet in cold water, took some of the itch out of the bites but didn't reduce the swollen legs or feet. Spent 2 days lounging in bed before my feet and legs got back to normal. On the positive I enjoyed it and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed spending some quality time with her friend.
Dezee - I hope you had a good time at the seaside and it wasn't too hot for you. It's great to hear you are coping well with the new drugs and less steroids has got to be a good sign, hope the scan goes well on Tuesday. I'm a bit like you in that I prefer to prepare for the worst then its a lovely bonus when the news is better. I went to the feel good session and picked up a few great tips, unfortunately by the time I had got home the mascara had irritated my eyes (serves me right its always irritated me so don't know why on earth I put it on) but I had a great time and met a great bunch of women, very inspirational.
Ruth - Control freak!!!, I don't think so, I think we've got every right to know what is happening, reasons why, treatment we are prescribed in fact everything to do with everything - you're right I'm a control freak as well but there again who knows us better than ourselves. I think we all go through episodes of feeling low, sometimes it seems like there is no rhyme nor reason but with everything we are going through it does catch up with us, usually when we least expect it. Hopefully you are continuing to feel better in yourself and good luck with the rest of your treatment.
Sewbuddy - I hope you are feeling better in yourself and made it to your granddaughters birthday celebrations. I hope she got the GCSE results she wanted, no matter what I bet you are one proud grandmother
Rose, SP, Mangomum, Ilovehunny, Banabrain and anyone else I have unitentionally forgotten (chemo brain is still present and active) are bearing up and managing to march on relatively side effect free, some of you will be very close to the end of your chemo journeys, good luck and focus on ringing that bell, you will get there
Ruthgr - I have only been given a grade (3) not stage. Good luck with your treatment today. I think fatigue is the worst culprit for making us feel low. Sometimes there is no real reason to feel that way otherwise. I think you are nearly finished with the paclitaxol, so that must be great news and should help to keep you going.
Joemic - I meant to let you know that I have seen my oncologist 4 times now, normally after each 3 week round. Have a great break away, the weather is looking fab from this weekend.
I saw my oncologist this week and she confirmed that the CT scan as well as the ultrasound(which I already knew), both at the start of August, showed little reduction in the size of tumour for EC chemo. However, both me and my husband thought it significantly reduced a week after the first carboplatin/ paclitaxol, and seemed further from the surface. After her physical examination she agreed and so has booked another ultrasound for the 3rd Sept, which will be 2 rounds into these drugs. From this I hope to get a clearer idea whether surgery might still be a lumpectomy rather than a mastectomy. I would rather prepare for the worst in advance. However, as I am coping well with the new drugs I will have the full 4 rounds. The other positive was that she cut down my afternoon steroids for the first 4 days as I haven't been nauseous. Slept so much better last night and hopefully with injections starting today there may be also be a better night ahead.