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Starting Chemo in December.2012

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Good to hear from the old 2012 crackers. I'm still in limbo land wondering why I have so many ailments despite normal bloods and scans. Think doctors are sick of the sight of me and have me down as a neurotic.

Glad to hear you're doing so well depite your secondary diagnosis SPO!

This time 2 years ago we were all contemplating the start of chemo and we got through it. Enjoy the festivities.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

 

Hello all,

 

I've just popped in & conscious that I was a low key 'straight to secondaries' Dec chemo participant, thought you might be interested to hear how i've got on.

 

Topline is I'm well and working  Like many of you, the side effects of Tamoxifen, Herceptin and now Xolandex are taking their toll.  But... I'm alive and well, 2 years later, even with secondaries!  I'm just about to go on holiday, travelling around India, covered by Insure Pink.  I skied (gently) last March, which gave me an incentive to start exercising.  I had a wonderful time at the Edinburgh festival in Aug.  I'm having my ovaries removed in Dec (to reduce oestrogen) and am re-aligning my cancer-free breast at the same time.

 

My point is, although I too, feel like I'm one hundred and three, despite my dire original diagnosis, quality of life is good, future of treatments is optimistic.

 

I'm not pretending it's not hard.  I returned to work full time a year ago and amidst change am in the process of stepping down.  I find it very difficult to reconcile the fatality of secondaries with no evidence of tumours at the moment (I responded well and was lucky).  I just hope to dispel fears of any other Dec groupees who progress to the next stage.

 

I have this weird notion that there's an element of my situation that's easier than those post-primary.  I'm not fearing it coming back, as I'm forced to accept I have it, as it's in my blood stream, even if tumours are not currently visible on the CT.

 

In hair news, the 50% I lost from my head has grown back curly, which has made for an interesting 80s perm / farrah fawcett major effect.  But the black hairs which grew either side of my nose are long gone and I have reasonable eyebrows!

 

If anyone pm's me, I think it forwards to my email. 

 

Wishing you all well... Sarah Parris

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hi Maire and Shellebelle,

Like you I lurke a bit and pop in on the odd occasion.  Most of the time I'm trying to forget any of it ever happened but like you I'm now two years from diagnosis and will have my second check up early January.  As the time draws nearer my anxiety increases and I tend to draw closer to the group for comfort.

 

I too am full of aches and pains mostly in my muscles due to taking statins for several years.  I've come off them but the pains go on!  I'm not on any other meds and apart from muscle ache I'm doing ok.  So glad to hear from you ladies that you,  too,  are getting there so to speak.  Two years ago I thought the end of the world had come - doomed in fact, but I'm still here and life is pretty good. Just wish I could push the worry of the check up out of my mind.  No good worrying, can't change the outcome whatever it is, but somehow I can't seem to stop.  Are we all the same or is it just me?

 

Good to hear from you.

B.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

I'm pretty sure Tamoxifen is the cause of many of my ails Maire. Aches, pains, stiffness, thinning hair, dry skin, headaches, nausea, sweats, mood swings.... the list goes on. Feel rubbish a lot of the time but I just plod on with it hoping it's doing its job. When I was told I'll be on hormone treatment for "as long as possible" at my last oncology appt. I couldn't decide whether that was a good thing or a horror story. Seems the original 5 year plan has been extended!
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hi Shellebelle.

I still pop in. Mostly to see how people are doing on Tamoxifen. Still struggling a bit post treatment.

Hope all are well and moving forward.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.

I don't know whether anyone from the thread still drops by, as I don't really check in myself that much anymore, but as it's been 2 years since my diagnosis I feel drawn back,  just to say hi.  I'm still here, alive and kicking and hoping that all who shared a good 6 or more months of their lives with me through chemo, are all still doing well and enjoying life, as I am. 

 

Lots of love

 

Michelle xxx

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.

Hello everyone!  Louise - I have sent you a message - it should show at the top right of your screen.  If anyone wants to contact me - send me a PM and then I will get an email alert.  I don't check in here very often, but I love to hear from people, xxx

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.

Hi Cressida,

Your name came up when I searched for GemCarbo. I am 38, diagnosed at 8m pregnant in Feb, triple neg and have done FEC-T. FEC shrunk it a cm but tax did nothing, in fact it showed marginal growth after 2 sessions. Soo Onc advised surgery but surgeon wasn't confident of clear margins so back to either radio or chemo to shrink it back from the skin. Result is GemCarbo is to be my poison, there is not much info on it for breast cancer so I was hoping you might share your experience with it if that's ok.

Cheers, hope you are doing well.

Louise
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Good luck with return to Work Cress. Another wee step away from the big C.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

hi Cress

PM me for my email address

 

QD

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

hi all

 

hope you all have a fab easter. i would normally say dont eat too many eggs but dyu know what? go for it! life is just too short!

 

QD x

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hello ladies!  Have just popped in because I met with Lolly and Coyote on Friday night and I wanted to let you know that we are all still here and doing OK.  And then I saw a couple of new posts.  Hello Maire and Mandy.

 

After 2 years of this cancer sh*t I am going back to work tomorrow.  Eeeeek.

 

Love to everyone, don't forget to message me your email address if you want to keep in touch,

 

xxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hi Mandy-glad you're on the road to recovery. I feel I've turned a corner recently. I still have aches and pains but some things have resolved-like my twitching eyes-6 months of twitching has now gone. Must've been the Herceptin. I feel 100% better in terms of tiredness etc. Still got weird things going on (latest is tingling on tip of nose) but generally beginning to feel back to normal. I just wish they would be more truthful about side effects of some of the treatment. It would have saved me months of wasted worry.

Hope all the occasional crackers are beginning to have a skip in their step!

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hi all. Not been here for a while. But good to hear that in the main everyone is ok. It was year ago that I finished chemo thank god and yes cybelle it is a little like a nightmare. Still **bleep** myselfvevery now and again but trying to remain positive. My surgeon said to try and think of myself as someone who had cancer. I found that quite useful. She also said most women say it takes 2 years to feel normal again.

Anyway love to you all xxxxx
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Sorry about the lymphoedema, QD - fingers crossed they'll be able to sort it.

 

Good luck with the final oncology appointment, Maire - and I agree with you about the ultrasound idea. That would be very reassuring.

 

There isn't really any follow-up, I don't think, apart from the annual mammogram. I've got another oncology appointment in May, but only because I took part in the Fast Forward radiotherapy trial (although I was in the control group, so still had to do the normal 3 weeks of rads). Otherwise, my next appointment would have been in 2 years' time, when I am due to change from Tamoxifen to one of the AIs.

 

I'm OK with that, actually, I have developed a huge aversion to doctors and hospitals in general. Don't want to go there or think about cancer anymore. The chemo is now starting to feel like a particularly bad dream. But of course it's impossible not to think about it entirely - like everyone else, every time there's an odd ache or pain, i start thinking 'what if it's back?' But on the whole, have got to the stage where cancer is no longer at the forefront of my mind.

 

Went to the dentist for a check-up the other day, which reminded me that at this time last year I was having chemo AND root canal treatment - ah, happy days..

 

The dinner party went really well, thanks, and felt very symbolic of getting my life back. I must recommend Nigella's lemon almond polenta cake - it was fabulous, like lemon drizzle cake, only better. I'm going to experiment with making a sour cherry version.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Oh QD, that's pants! (As my kids would say).

Good they've caught the lyphodema early.

I'm off for my final (?) Onc. appt today-I have a list of niggles to moan about :sore side, sore hip, niggly headache, eyelid twitch. The worry just never ends.

I don't know what sort of monitoring we get after all this. Wish they would give regular 'womb/overy' ultrasounds to us Tamox ladies if only to put our minds at rest and help us with the psychological hurdle of popping those pills daily.

 

Hope the meal went well Cybele. Good to get normal life back on track.

 

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

hope you enjoyed your food Cybele.

well its rant time for me.

 

I went to hospital today - driven by pain in my arm and side.I have:

 

1 Mild lymphedema (damn damn damn!) so am being referred to lymphedema clinic. Hopefully thay can "catch it early " before it develops any more.

2 Pulled muscles  - am being referred to physio!

3 Following my surgery I am now asymetric!  (This is probably the cause of 2 above).I was offered surgery to reduce the other side but can't face any more so tomorrow I get to meet the lingerie nurse who will fit me with a special bra - which has a pocket in which i can store a "chicken fillet". Oh the joys the joys!!!!

 

QD x

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hello, all.

 

today I'm giving a dinner party for the first time since I got ill. I've made Nigella's lemon almonda polenta cake (one of the guests is coeliac and can't eat gluten), and at the moment I'm happily making dinky little canapes: parma ham spread with goat's cheese and rolled up with a bit of rocket and watercress inside, similar thing with smoked salmon, cream cheese and asparagus spears, and hard boiled quails' eggs, to eat dipped into celery salt.

 

My dilemma is this: I used to go to a restaurant years ago where they served quails' eggs like this, unpeeled - you had to peel your own. But all the recipes I've looked at suggest you peel them before serving.

 

I think they look pretty with the shells on, but they are quite fiddly to peel. So. anyone got a view on whether to serve them with the shells on or off?  #firstworldproblem.

 

Isn't it nice to be able to be preoccupied with something other than cancer?

 

Life goes on... :))

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Wish we had snow! Pouring here.

14 hour sleep sounds delicious.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hi everyone. congrats Maire!

 

ive not been on for a while because i directed the school production - "Annie" . it was fab and my students did a fab job. At the weekend i slept for 14 hours!!!! i mustve needed it. like most people here im sufferning from tamoxifen sleep loss!

 

stay positive and enjoy tyhe snow!

 

QD x

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Maire  and Shellebelle if it's any consolation at all I too have awful sleep problems.  Aways tired, fall into bed then can't get off to sleep for hours, then sleep spasmodically for a couple of hours then lay awake till it's time to get up - still tired.  The point being that I've been like this for the last five years and I'm not taking any medication for BC  I put it down to the menopause.  The doctors are sympathetic but don't do anything to help.  I've been so desperate for sleep at times that I've bought sleeping pills from internet pharmacies.

 

Also know what you mean about the odd aches and pains becoming secondaries in your over active mind.  I have chronic back problems but have had these for years so they don't really worry me but for the last 9 months I've had an ache/pain in my neck, shoulder and arm on the side that the SNB was done plus the lumpectomy.  This has really worried me but I now realise it's repetitive strain injury from where I sit in my armchair with my laptop and use the mouse on the arm of the chair.  Also one's posture is probably not good when bending toward the screen.  It wasn't until my husband decided it was too cold in the computer room and dusted off his own laptop and sat in an armchair using it, then began to complain about a pain/ache from his neck to his forearm on the right side, that the penny dropped.   What a blessed relief - do understand where you are coming from though.  It's so good to talk about these things to others who understand.  It makes me feel less of a hypochondriac.

B

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

I'm just the same. I get tired, go to bed and as soon as my head hits the pillow I'm wide awake and it takes ages to drop to sleep, then I wake up 2-3 hours later, then drop back off again if I'm lucky, then wake up 1-2 hours after and toss and turn then maybe get another hour's sleep before I get up. I'm shattered 😞
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

It's rubbish Shellebelle. I mentioned the short sleep cycles to my doctor at the breast clinic recently and she confirmed it was a side effect of the Tamoxifen.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Marie I echo your fears and sufferings. I too have numerous aches and pains and sleep problems which I'm positive are due to tamoxifen. I seem to cycle through one problem after another and no two days are alike. There are some days I don't feel too bad and others I feel horrendous. The price to pay to try and keep the blighter from coming back!
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

I think It will be a very, very long time before I lose the fear. I have just so many inexplicable aches and tender areas that I can't shake the notion some evil seed is lurking somewhere. And it's so difficult to keep taking tamoxifen when it could be causing some of the problems. I am fed up turning up in distress at my GP's surgery. Add to all this the fact I can no longer sleep for more than 2 hours at a time-def. the Tamoxifen to blame for that one.

 

I do hope the worry fades with time.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Congratulations Marie on reaching the end , I too didn't feel joyful , in fact I felt more anxious after treatment , think it all hit me what had happened where I was very happy in denial , I also felt very emotional too , still do , menopause ? No idea , my periods still haven't returned so could be , they won't check my hormone levels until a year after , so guess ill just have to put up with it , I'm going to try evening primrose .
Had the lump checked , the surgeon examined me and thinks it's fat necrosis again , I have to keep a check on it and come back in a month , if it's still there they will give me a scan , I had an ultrasound beg October so he thinks it's very unlikely anything could have grown , but you all know what it's like when the seed has grown in your head , so ill wait another month , I agree with you border , it is like living with the shadow of fear over you , most of the time your ok then every now and then it just takes your breath away , I had a breast reduction so I've got a few scars and my breast is just lumpy breast tissue so it's hard to know what's what , I'm also getting anxious now that the breast care team think that I'm just paranoid too , phew think I need a kick up the jacksy, I'm blaming having tooth ache , the dreaded chemo tooth has flared up , I'm off to dentist tomorrow , lv to everyone xxx
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

So glad you've reached another milestone  Maire and hope the mammo result is good.  As for feeling fearful - well I think each and every one of us will live with the shadow of fear hovering in the background, probably for the rest of our lives.  When I had my mammo and ultrasound and was given the all clear I felt wonderful.  I didn't even check myself that night in the bath because of the result.  However, just a week later each time I check I wonder if something has started to grow again.  Most of the time my life is just as it was before and I don't think of BC (don't even like typing the C word) but every so often something reminds me and one of Cybele's Anxiety Demons pays me a visit.  I think you have to have gone through what we have to understand how our minds work.  I'm sure my husband and family are oblivious to my inner thoughts and are convinced I'm "cured".  I'm afraid I'll never be that confident.

Love to all.

B

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Congratulations, Maire!

 

The end of treatment is very strange - I was emotionally all over the place for a couple of weeks after finishing chemo. You need time to come to terms with it..

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Well, that's another milestone reached: had final herceptin yesterday and first post surgery mammogram last week. Don't feel the rush of joy I experienced on finishing chemo. Felt quite emotional and in all honesty a bit fearful!

Through it all I have received outstanding care, patience and support from the wonderful staff at the Western and Beatson in Glasgow.

Now for the next 4+ years of Tamoxifen!!!

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hi everyone.  Had my first mammogram and ultrasound scan today since treatment finished and also had a consultation with my surgeon.  Couldn't sleep last night for fear of what they would find but the angels were with me and both mammo and scan were clear and my lovely lady surgeon couldn't find any problems either.  The feeling of relief is enormous and I don't have to go back for another year.  However if I should be worried about anything I just telephone my surgeon's secretary for an appointment and don't have to bother with my own doctor.  This time last year I was having my third chemo and couldn't even envisage this day.

 

I so hope that you are all doing well and like Lisalouw I want to thank everyone for their support during the whole ordeal.  It was such a comfort to be able to talk to someone who knew exactly what I was going through.  You ladies on this Forum are just wonderful.

 

Thinking of you Teej although you are nearly cooked by now aren't you.  I'm sure they'll deal with the little blighters this time and thinking also of Suzie64 (hope I've got the correct lady - it's so annoying not being able to scroll back whilst posting on this new forum and my memory is not what it used to be).  Keep strong ladies.   Love and hugs to all.

B

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Hi ladies , happy new yr and hope you had a good Xmas , sorry not posted for a while things have been abit hectic , I too keep finding lumpy bits and now found another , which sends me into a panic , I've had fat necrosis and lumpy breast tissue so far , I suppose I best give the breast ca nurse a ring to check this one out , is is near my scar , my bad breast is full of lumps and bumps so it's very hard for me to tell what's what .
I just wanted to say that though out our horrible time from diagnosis to surgery , chemo, rads , I honestly don't think I could have got through it without the support from everyone , and I want to thank you all , only you know how it felt , I can't put it into words what I want to say I'm having a brain malfunction , but sending hugs and kisses xxx
Cybele and cress so glad to hear everything ok and really sorry you had to go through that hell again xxx
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

So relieved for you. Think these scares are going to be part of our new selves for quite some time. But for now it's worth a celebration!

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

More good news - my lump was scar tissue, no cancer cells found.

 

Oh God, the relief... I knew it overwhelmingly likely that it wasn't a recurrence, but I was so, so scared.

Shellebelle, thrilled to hear you are also ok, and thanks to everyone for their support, especially Cressida, who talked me down the day I found the lump and was on the verge of losing it entirely xxx

 

And a new, very short, very happy blog post:

 

'Bullet dodged…': today's post on http://chemonights.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

nice one Shellebelle!

 

happy new year to all xxxxxxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Good news Shellebelle-delighted for you. Hope the pain and inflamation are resolved soon and MRI shows nothing sinister, xxx

 

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Wonderful news Shellebelle.  Yee-Haa!!!!!

B

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

.....and breathe! Lump nothing sinister, just a fatty nodule. ..hurrah for fat!

MRI next Thursday to see what's causing me so much pain and why blood tests showing inflammation. ....holds breath again 😞

Good luck with your results Cybele, fingers crossed it will be scar tissue and thanks to everyone for their good wishes too x x
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Happy New Year to everybody - may it be not only happy but healthy and fear free.  Special thoughts to Shellebelle and Cybele, hoping all will be well, and to Teej on the October thread who has had a recurrence and is now nearly finished her second lot of chemo.  There for the Grace of God ..........

B.

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

And from me-wishing everyone a better 2014. A year free from ill health and fear. xxx

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Two years ago today I found the lump that changed everything.

 

So I won't do the "next year must be better" thing, cos I know it doesn't work that way, but I want to wish you all a Happy and Healthy New Year and thank you to all of you have supported me throughout 2013,

 

xxxxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

oh Cybele and Shellebelle. my thoughts are with you both x

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

'Holding my breath, fingers crossed…':

 

today's post on http://chemonights.blogspot.co.uk/

 

 

Shellebelle - thank you for your wise words - I very much agree. 

Maire, thanks for your comment on the blog xxx

 

Everyone - sorry I haven't posted for so long, it's been a weird few months and I kind of stopped wanting to communicate with the world..

 

Hope you're all doing well and coping better than I have been xxx

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

excellent poem Cress! x

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Cybele, I can fully empathise with you.  I too have found another lump, although mine is in my remaining right breast.  I have an appointment at the breast clinic next Thursday and am trying my best not to think too much about it. I came to the conclusion that worrying is a pointless waste of energy.  It serves no useful purpose and does not change the outcome of a situation.  Of course it's easier said than done, but I remind myself that I shouldn't miss out on enjoying the right here and now by wasting time worring about the past that has gone and cannot be changed nor the future that I cannot see because it hasn't been written yet! 

 

A wise man once said.......you can carry s**t around with you if you wish, but the longer you carry it, the heavier the load feels and the more your arms will ache!

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

'Why Jennifer Saunders is wrong about breast cancer':

 

 

today's post on http://chemonights.blogspot.co.uk/

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Fab poem Cressida.

Can't believe a year has passed. What a tough year it has been. Still having good days and bloody awful days.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and that 2014 full of health and happiness.

xxx

 

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Cress your poem was brilliant!

Wishing you and everyone on the forum a wonderful Christmas and a very happy and healthy New Year x x x
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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

I think that maybe some of you will pop in over Christmas, so I want to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a Healthy New Year.  Thank you for all your support over the last year.  I am, honestly, not sure that I could have done it without you.

 

Any Crackers (or lurkers) who want to stay in touch and be invited to a get together next year, please send me a PM with some contact details.  That way I will get an email notification.

 

Love you all, xxxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

Crackers (one year on)

 

Remember, Remember!

Starting chemo in December,

Toxic drugs in an IV shot.

I know of no reason,

Why poison in the season,

Could ever be forgot.

 

Maire gathered her companions,

And so the Crackers did contrive

To get through the onslaught of poisons

And to come out alive.

 

Three score barrels of poison,

Will send you mad beyond reason,

But, by sticking together, we got through alive,

Crawling out of the dark; starting to thrive.

 

So give us a break,

A drink and some cake,

We’re tired all the time,

Our joints are just pain,

Our brains work part time

And we want to complain.

 

So, FEC off to cancer,

And all it’s evil treatments,

To hormone interceptors

And scans and appointments.

 

Well done girls, bl**dy well done,

We’re here, we’re alive and we are moving on,

 

Hip hip hooray for the Crackers!

Long live the Crackers!

 

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Re: Starting Chemo in December.2012

It was my husbands birthday yesterday. we had a family celebration in the pub - a far cry from last year when I had my first chemo.

 

"So how did you celebrate being 60 last year"?

 

"Um 7 hours in a chemo ward watching my wife getting poisoned".

 

BUT the poison worked so roll on Christmas!!!!

 

love to all x