Hi, just an idea; a thread specific to NI ladies, regardless of whether recently diagnosed, in middle of treatment or post- treatment. If you think this is a good idea, post your thoughts, or if you prefer simply post a hug. If there looks to be interest I'll post again. My first comment is, that the City Hospital Cancer Centre has been, for me, exceptionally good, especially rads team. Hope all out there are managing to cope with their BC, as well as can be done. It's far from easy. Me, I finish rads next week, following surgery. (No chemo). Shell shocked over what I have gone through, but find this forum really helpful and keen to make the most of it going forwards. Best wishes to all, Wonky.
Thank you for sharing your experience, we're sorry that you haven't had a reply yet. Hopefully someone will come along along soon to share their experience.
We hope that over time this will become an active thread for those living in Northern Ireland.
Laura at Breast Cancer Care
I too am from NI and have been treated at the city hospital, I have been looked after extremely well by all members of staff I have met. I was diagnosed on 3rd July and had amastectomy and diep reconstruction on 6th August. I start 6 sessions of chemotherapy next week, it is daunting not knowing what to expect. Following that, I will be having radiotherapy too. It really is such a shock, eveything has moved very quickly for me, which I am glad off, but I don't think mentally I have caught up with it all yet. I hope you are feeling as well as you can after finishing your rads ❤️ Heather
Hello there Ladies,
I am from Belfast and I too am being treated at the City Hospital...… I didn't have anybody with me when I was given my news because my little dimple that I went to my Dr with had disappeared by the time I went for my appointment so I just thought I would be straight in and out at the City Hospital...….. how could I have been so silly!!!! The Surgeon and the Breast Cancer Nurses and the rest of the team in my opinion are absolute Angels.....I am so grateful that they are actually going to be able to help me...… x
Hi from N Ireland. Had Lumpectomy and removal sentinel nodes Christmas Eve. Few weeks wait now for biopsy results from op. Feeling bit sore and impatient to get on and do whatever comes next.
Hi AMA......definitely not the Christmas Eve any of us would want!
I hope you don’t need to wait to long for your results.......has your Dr been able to give you any idea of your next steps?
I had a mastectomy, reconstruction and all my lymph nodes removed during the same operation on the 19th Nov......where my lymph nodes were removed was definitely much easier to deal with around the 5 day mark if that’s any help for you 🤞
Hi thanks for reply. I’ve been told 4mm lump, invasive ductal, grade 2, oestrogen receptor,lymph nodes showed clear on scans. Nothing more discovered during surgery, just awaiting pathology and hoping for clear margin and lymph nodes. Been told likely 3 weeks radiotherapy and 5 years “little pill”. Feeling quite tender on wound from sentinel nodes removal, removed dressing in shower and Sterri strips came away with it. Quick trip to a&e to have it checked over, all was good. Feels like a long wait until next step. Hope you’re doing well.
AMA the waiting is crazy.....I am well today I don't think I need radiotherapy at the minute but that might change with my response to chemo.....I really hope that your margins are clear. The radiotherapists at the City Hospital are Angels......my dad had five weeks there last year and they are so calming and reassuring
Debelina glad to hear your well, and hope things go well for you. You sure do need patience for the waiting!
Haven’t been on here in quite a while and only received an email notification of a response on this thread a few days ago. I had my final chemo today and my picc line came out, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed that it is over and I made it out the other side. There were some difficult days but I will be forever grateful that my treatment is to prevent a return of the cancer as it was all removed during surgery and my sentinel node was clear. I have 3 weeks of radiotherapy beginning of Feb (had an intramammary node inside tumour) and got my prescription for Tamoxifen today for 10 years....10 years, seems crazy to be on a tablet that long! But I said at the start, I will do whatever the doctors advise me to, they are the experts after all and have looked after me incredibly well this far.
AMA - hope you are recovering well and I have to agree with Debelina, not exactly how you want Xmas Eve to go! Have you a date yet to return to see your consultant? The waiting game is so very hard, but I keep my fingers crossed for you that u get the best news possible. I know what it feels like when you just want to get on with things.
Debelina - hope you are doing ok. Have you a chemo start date? I received my treatments in the Bridgewater Suite in the City Hospital. The staff are all lovely, and for me the weeks passed relatively quickly and I was lucky to get no infections, hence no delays. If you have any questions regarding chemo treatments please ask, I will do my best to answer.
Wishing you both a Happy New Year ❤️❤️
Weewoman79 so pleased that you have now completed chemo. Sounds like you have had a time of of it. Good luck for 2020 hopefully an easier path ahead of you.
No date as yet for consultant. I guess the holidays will hold things up, but next week maybe normal services will return! Wasn’t the greatest way to spend Christmas Eve but on the plus side side after general anaesthetic I never sleep for 2 nights, so I was able to do all I needed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day before I crashed and burnt!🤣
Hello Wonky. The Belfast City Hospital is amazing. That's where I was being treated until last Saturday when I moved over to England to live x
Hi Heather..... I to am having Tamoxifin for 10 years. My 2nd FEC is tomorrow in the Brdgewater too.....no radiation planned as yet.....my dad had it for 5 weeks two years ago......they are a fabulous team too....are you feeling nervous about this next stage of your treatment?x
AMA - glad to hear you got some good rest after the anaesthetic 😀 you have to take the positives where you can on this journey! How is your wound now? Any date yet?
Debelina - best of luck for today’s chemo 🤞 how were you after your first treatment? Are you having 3 FEC followed by 3 Docetaxol? I’m not nervous as such about the radiotherapy, keen to just get on with it. Im hoping it will pass by quickly as it is just 15 sessions over the 3 weeks. I have further surgery later in the year so each ‘step’ that I complete brings me closer to the very end.
Weewoman. Spoke to surgeons secretary and appointment being sent out for me for Monday. So hopefully I’ll know results of path report then. Had been told 3 weeks radiotherapy and pill likely, so just want to get on with it. Wounds seem to be looking good, nodewound a bit puckeredlooking, despite many showers strips still clinging on to breast wound so can’t see scar yet! Not big and right at the side of breast. I’m quite sore (Im not usually a moan) like barbed wire under arm and tender on that side. But early days and I’ve been doing exercises religiously! Thinking of all of you on this journey.
Hi Heather.....Yes I am having FEC-T over the 6 cycles......my last two cycles I am having Herceptin & Perjecta added in and then a further 16 cycles every 3 Monday of just the Hercepin & Perjecta. I am having Tamoxifin for 10 yeats but I don't know when I start taking that yet. Hopefully around 2022 I will have my right breast lifted to match my tummy/boob.
My cancer is invasive with a high chance of recurrence I am so so grateful for the chance of having both the Herceptin & Perjecta.
I am finding today really difficult physically but I know if I can get to Monday I will have 2 great weeks and I am hoping to be able to work over week 3...….you are so right....you need to take the positives on this journey when you can and so far I have experienced some pretty wonderful ones...….Debbie xxxxx
Well today was post op appointment with surgeon for results. Relieved to know clear margins and lymph nodes, but my 5mm lump was found to be 1cm. But it’s gone now so trying not to focus on size but on the positive results. App next week with Dr McCarty Oncologist to discuss radiotherapy and the “wee tablet”. Anyone else met Dr McCarty? 3 weeks post surgery tomorrow and just want to get on and get done. Bit depressing listening to bc nurse speaking about potential side affects for rads/pill but needs must. Good luck to all onthis journey xx
AMA..…..I am so so relieved for you that its all out and your lymph nodes are clear...…do you feel relieved that that you can take another step to getting through your treatment?
It's scary when you look at a ruler and see how big 1cm actually is.....I am so glad for you its out
I haven't heard of Dr McCarty.....maybe at the City there are different Oncolgist Doctors for radiotherapy and chemotherapy depending on their area of expertise......
Hi Ladies. Not long back from Belvoir Park Suite at City Hospital. Good news for me today; but much love and sincere thoughts to those still dealing with the worry and stress of BC. x
I'm through my dear. All done. Op, rads. X But would always try to support others who have still the miles to walk. X
OMG Wonky I am so so so happy to read your post......that's fabulous news! I wish you every bit of strength. Thank you for setting up this thread......much love....Debbie x
Debelina - I hope that now Monday has passed you are physically feeling stronger and able to get back to work in week 3. It’s hard isn’t it? 🤗 U really do have to take the positives as a milestone! I had the diep reconstruction after my surgery, I wondered if u did also when u mentioned tummy/boob? I unfortunately developed a haematoma so had a further emergency surgery afterward and longer hospital stay, when I came home for a few weeks my wee sons aged 8 and 9 had to put my socks on.... the day I could bend down to put them on myself, it was like winning a gold medal at the olympics!!!! I hope you are feeling as well as possible 🙂
AMA - so so happy for you that lymph nodes and margins are clear. I know 1cm may sound alarming, my tumour was 4.7 cm when examined after removal, however lymph nodes were clear but that’s why a mastectomy and reconstruction was the only option. And as u say, concentrate on the fact it is gone. I named my tumour Fred, I decided to acknowledge it and accept it and give it a name, and it helped my kids understand a bit. They hate Fred lol My oncologist is Dr McCarty, she is a lovely lady. She was always happy to answer any questions, never felt rushed or that any question was stupid. I am still under her care until I finish radiotherapy.
Wonky - so happy for you that you good news, are you discharged from care now? I also agree with Debbie, thank you for starting this thread up 🙂 I hope that now your treatment and surgery are over you can get back to as close to before bc normality as possible 🙂
Debbie I do feel relieved that I can take another step to getting through treatment, it’s like you just want it all over and done with. But part of you knows no matter how realistic or positive you are, it just isn’t a simple straightforward journey.
Totally agree AMA and because we are all have different forms of BC and different options of treatments its a 'journey' you can't plan for you just have to deal with it each day
Heather I had a DIEP during my mastectomy operation and had my lymph nodes removed too...….looking back I can't believe what a long operation we went thru! I took pneumonia 3 days after just when I was getting ready to go home and had to spend another week in the City......I remember that 'sock' moment too.....I was like a peacock getting them on.....I have a 13 yr old son who was a total expert in helping with the stockings you have to wear.....you wonder what they must think when they see their mum getting excited about being able to do simple things again
Meeting an oncologist at the cancer centre really brings it home to you, what it is we’re dealing with. “The Cancer Centre” says it all doesn’t it. I’m a very positive person, and for me since routine mammogram through to post op appointment this week it’s been quite a busy time with me thinking just get it done. But the past few days reading the various literature given by bcn about rads and pills does bring a more serious tone to things, for me anyway. It’s a bit like, I have to do this, whether or not I want to, or whether or not it agrees with me, I NEED this treatment and I NEED these pills, this is it. Because I’ve had previous surgeries for non cancer related issues, I think I had almost, albeit not intentionally, approached this with an attitude of its just another surgery. Except this time you don’t just go home, rest recover and carry on. This time there’s more to think about. Sorry don’t mean to be despondent, but maybe just a reality check moment for me. Anyway onwards and upwards. I’m pleased you’ve had a positive experience with Dr McCarty, that’s reassuring for me. Wonder how long the appointment will be, as bcn said It’s just to discuss rads and pills 🙂. By the way I think you do deserve a medal Heather, and not just for putting your socks on! Good Luck x
Hi Wonky, I have just seen a few posts from NI which is nice.
I am now 5 years post BC waiting on results of my last yearly scan, please God it will be good!
I am up and down struggling with menopause, headaches, mood swings, sweats etc etc! Mine was invasive lobular no node involvement and had lumpectomy plus rads, all went very well.
Just nice to chat to women who have been through similar so a big hello to all x
Hi Rosebud, I feel bad that I started this thread and then walked away from it. All the NHS staff are amazing, but what is imprinted on my heart (and soul) is the faces of women in the waiting rooms. So stoic and so brave, yet that strange silence of fear.
BC has taken it's toll on me, yet I am one of the luckier ones. Cannot imagine what chemo is like.
As you say Rosebud, its nice to chat, and hopefully the lovelies already doing so, on this thread will keep the great work going. Now, simply for a bit of fun girls ..... you are stripped naked from waist upwards. Oncologist examines you and pronounces you 'good to go'. Me - I just wanted to hug him, but nooooo. LOL and big hug to all with a BT postcode.
Hi wonky, I understand completely, our minds are all over the place afterwards. I have read that statistics re BC are about 7th in line as biggest cause of death in women! My problem is that estrogen is contraindicated for women with history of BC especially hormone sensitive ones but there is even a change of thinking on this now so who knows really.
How are you now? I’m not sure where you are on your journey xx
OMG Wonky...….too funny....I am sure your Dr has had that happen many times
Rosebud......Wonky's NI thread ladies are increasing......pretty not nice that others find themselves here but I think a lifeline that we have a wee place to chat and have Wonky and now yourself to remind us that there is light at the end of the tunnel x My breast cancer is also Invasive Lobular also and I am so lucky that when my lymph nodes were removed I only had one that was 'bad'...…. I am ER positive and HER2 positive so have decided that its nearly time for me to start gathering info on how I can help myself as I am starting to feel less scared about understanding what this actually means. I hope you don't need to wait so long on your results x
Hi girls 🙂
Had my first radiotherapy today, glad to get started because the end of it is now in sight. Staff were all lovely and you don’t feel a thing, just hoping the dreaded burnt isn’t too bad when it happens 😕 already have the fatigue from chemo
AMA - hope your appointment went ok, have you a start date for radiotherapy? I started my tamoxifen today also, 1 down, just 3559 tablets to go 😂 u have to laugh at the ‘take one tablet each morning for 10 years label’ lol I hope you had a good experience with Dr McCarty also 😊
Rosebud - good to see another member from NI 😀 I hope you have gotten your results now and everything was positive.
Wonky - hope you are well 🙂 I certainly felt the strange atmosphere amongst the patients when I attended the Bridgewater Suite for chemotherapy. Its the unspoken words written on people’s faces, realising we are all in this same rubbish boat just trying to get through each treatment. But I met some lovely people throughout my chemo sessions 😀
Debelina - glad u had some help from your son after the op, it really is a huge surgery. And then developing pneumonia afterwards, you have been through the mill. How have you healed up afterwards? Mine was all healing fine and then I developed a reaction to the glue they use, resulting in my 1st chemo being delayed by a week. How are you coping with this round of chemo? I hope your side effects aren’t too bad 🙂
Hi everyone, thanks for lovely replies. Weewoman plaster yourself in prescribed cream in that area 3 times daily and you will be fine, do not let it dry out! I did this and I had No problems.
Debelina, I’m glad only one node was affected and treatment these days is very good. You really have been through a rough time developing pneumonia as well! be very kind to yourself.
warm wishes Xx
Hi all you lovely ladies. Bit tired tonight, but wanted to post something positive. The cafe in the City Hospital cancer centre is very nice. But if you paddle down the pathway outside/ past the cafe you come to the Friends Centre which does free tea & coffee and had a very pretty garden. Also, although you have to stay inside the building, your bleeper works everywhere, so you don't have to stay put in the waiting-rooms, if you would feel more comfortable waiting elsewhere. Obviously not to the point of giving the staff the runaround, but something to think about. Very pretty garden opposite to rads reception desk ( down the corridor). X
Heather good luck with the radiotherapy. I don’t know yet when I’ll start, I’m seeing Dr McCarty tomorrow, and will also find out which pill I’ll get. I’ll watch with interest how you’re getting on with both rads and tamoxifen. How long after app with Dr McCarty did you start rads. Also maybe silly question but how exposed are you during rads? Are we provided with gown, or just left totally uncovered. How are your children coping? I’ve my granddaughter living with me, but haven’t told her anything, due to high anxiety levels. But I have to admit dreading being hit with any side effects, things are hard enough. Good luck all xx
AMA - thanks for the well wishes, hoping the next 3 weeks fly by! My appointment with Dr McCarty was 18th December, but I was due my last chemo on New Year’s Eve so the earliest my radiotherapy could start was today, 3 weeks after my last chemo. I’m not sure how long the wait would be if not receiving chemo. You likely will get your little tattoos tomorrow also, they are just tiny pinhead marks, not exactly a pleasant experience but necessary for lining up the lasers correctly during each treatment. The hospital gave me a cape to take home and bring with me to each treatment, you get undressed to the waist, put on the cape and lie on the bed, then the cape is opened and you are pretty exposed, so many people have seen me half naked by now it doesn’t really bother me, what’s a few more lol
The kids have been my rock and reason for getting through this all. My eldest is 19 and he probably took it the worst, being older he fully understands the severity of the word cancer. My daughter who is 16 and 2 younger boys have generally been ok after the initial shock of being told, kids are resilient little things ☺️ It must be very hard for you keeping it under wraps from your grand daughter, I hope you have very little side effects from the rads and it starts soon so you are closer to finishing 🤞
Ama, hi. Chances are you will go to the same 'lane' ( makes it sound like an MOT centre -lol) for your entire rads stretch. So your lane-team will soon build a rapport with you. You will be shown great sensitivity as regards the fact you have to 'strip off', but tbh as the days go by these rads teams are so fantastic, you might be stripping-off with little concern. Channelling your inner Demi Moore. X I cannot rate them highly enough for their sensitivity and how much effort they put into making us feel comfortable, and cared for. Once you get into the routine it gets easier. I know we are not allowed to reference specific NHS staff on here, but I secretly hope you are Lane One.
Many thanks ladies for your support and humour it’s much appreciated. Well I saw Dr McCarty, happy with the wounds and proceeded with her explanation for deciding on rads and Tamoxifen. Given my existing joint and pain issues Tamoxifen was deemed the more suitable. However after hearing again about side effects and menopause etc I felt like saying no thank you!😂. Ashamed to say I’ve bawled my eyes out feeling sorry for myself tonight in the shower. Anyway back about the 6th for a scan and another “talk” according to the very nice Dr McCarty. Is that the planning appointment or does that come after the scan? Feel like I’m losing track of things now there’s so much going on!
Ama, best out than in, I say so bawl your eyes out in the shower lovely. You might be freaking, but hey you're squeaky-clean in the process. Xxxx. And don't apologise to anyone - you are going through a very tough time. It does get easier, just takes a while
Hugs from here. Wonky X
Hi AMA, it is very daunting at the stage you r at. When I was there 5yrs ago, it helped me talking to my neighbour and a work colleague who went through same as me and were fine and still are! There are so so many women going through this, what is going on?! I was put on Arimidex and taken off my estrogen, I hope tamoxifen suits u. I’m not sure AMA did u have a mastectomy? Did u get your cream to apply after your rads?
well wishes to you x
Hi everyone 👋
How are you all doing? I hope you are all doing ok 🙂 I have my 7th radiotherapy out of 15 today, so halfway almost. Skin a little red but not too bad. Feeling ok, still tired from chemo so haven’t noticed any extra fatigue, and hair has started to grow, it’s so soft and pure white, I feel like a little lamb lol Ive just turned 40 and will have a full head of white hair 😲 I’m not too worried, all the young ones are dying their hair white/silver these days anyways, I will be trendy for free lol
Hugs to all,
Hi weewoman, doing OK tk God. I'm glad radio is treating you kindly, don't forget to moisturise well. Time fly's by and u will be out the other side in no time. Hope ur doing little things to treat yourself, very important.
Heather I can't believe you are nearly over the half way mark What will you do with all your free time not having to go the the centre everyday
I just found out yesterday that I will have to have radiotherapy but not until next year so imagine how far on you will be by then......stay strong pet xxxx
Hope all you ladies are doing ok at each stage you are at, you have all been in my thoughts. You are all so strong I’m glad I found this forum.
today I went for planning for rads. I’d practiced the breathing, but not well enough, to put it bluntly I blew it! I’ve to practice and go back Friday for another try. But to be honest I’m so stressed and anxious about it now I can’t see it being any better. Came home and I feel so stupid! Staff were very nice, but I just feel so silly. Prior to going in consultant and radiographer stressed not to worry if I couldn’t do it, but it is a big issue now for me, I’ve wasted their time and an appointment lasting over an hour, and achieved nothing. I’m dreading Friday will be just the same. I’ve been pretty optimistic but realistic from diagnosis through, but I just feel knocked sideways today.
Oh AMA I am so sorry you are feeling so miserable and wish I had some words of advice for you...…...I am sending you lots of positive thoughts for Friday x
Many thanks for kind thoughts Debbie, went back today for another go, and thankfully managed it. I still can’t believe how vulnerable I felt after not being able to do it first time round. I guess on this journey we are all strong women, but little chinks in the armour still appear!