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Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

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Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hello Betsy
How did your appointment go last week - I wondered about you and the lump? Wishing you all the best.
big hugs
DiMillie x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hello Betsy0,
How are things going? Hope you are surviving the waiting game and that your father is on the mend. Not too much longer now till your next appointment.
Hello Lesley,
Hope your tattoo appointment went well. I was surprised at just how big a site Mount Vernon is. I'm back there on Thurs for a chat with the wig lady. Had my first FEC last Monday (7th) so am hoping that the wig arrives before my hair goes 😞 The staff all seem wonderful. So glad you have finished your chemo, that must be such a good feeling. I've been lucky with my first and have had very few side effects, almost dreading going for number 2 as I'm expecting it to be worse. I'm on for radiotherapy and taxmoxifen too so will be interesting to hear how you are doing with your treatment. Hope all is good at the moment and you didn't have too many SE's after your last chemo.
Hello Evadne, I've just seen your comment about aqueous cream and been out and got some!! Won't be having radiotherapy until November but have decided to start with it now!! HOpe you have recovered from your skin reaction.
Hello Linda, you sound busy with 2 boys to look after!! Hope the rest of the radiotherapy has gone well.
Wishing everyone well,
Gill xx

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Lesley

Sorry I didn't get back to you earlier. Unfortunately I've had quite a skin breakout. My skin peeled quite badly and was very sore, owever I will say that the nurses at MV were really good. I went back and was given some paranet gauze and dressings to put on the skin. It's taken a couple of weeks to get better and is still quite sore, but then there's a lot of breast with me! 🙂

Only advice I will offer is to be aware of how you feel and deal with it on a day-to-day basis. I've found that the best way, you are the only one that knows how you feel so listen to what your body tells you.

LA9 was my second home to - such a great team of ladies there 🙂

Evadne x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi All,

I'm so sorry you're all going through such a tough time - I feel a bit of a fraud being on here when I've yet to be diagnosed. But I'm pleased to have started a thread that's helped you guys 'meet' and support one and other.

In answer to your question Lesley, they don't think it's a cyst as it seems to be irregular in shape and not 'liquid' if you know what I mean.

And friends, yes - I've been told what I should / shouldn't been feeling a fair bit...!

Hope everyone is ok.

L x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Betsy0
I was in a similar situation with my aging parents (79 and 84). My mum was in hospital with depression and I was trying to keep my dad in the dark about my suspected breast cancer. However, when the results were back and I was booked in for a lumpectomy I had to come clean and tell him. I had to let him decide whether to tell my mum or not.

It's hard when you are looking after others interests/emotions ect... but if it comes down to it you have to think of yourself too. Fingers crossed that it won't come to it.

Lesley. x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hello All and thank you for comments.

I am at my parents (father is in hospital) so it's tricky for me to post but I didn't want people to think I was rude and not replying!

Hope everyone is ok - I finding it difficult not telling my parents about my situation but can't whilst dad is in hospital - it needs to be all about him at the mo.

Will pop back when I can

Happy Bank Holiday to all x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Can I join in here? 🙂

I live in Watford and am currently having Radiotherapy at Mount Vernon.

I'd just like to echo the comments that the tattoos are no bid deal - one in the centre of chest and one under each arm. Planning appointment took about half an hour (despite all the warnings in the letter/leaflets to allow half a day!) and the staff are lovely. I was told about the aqueous cream and given a tube at planning and at my first appoitment so started using it a week before my first session.

I've now had 10 out of 15 zaps and so far my skin is holding up ok, My chest area is pink like a mild sunburn but not yet sore and that is despite having a 'bolus' to treat the top layers of skin which I was warned could make any skin reaction worse. I'm also having treatment to the area around my collarbone and that is barely noticable.

I haven't had any nausea or fatigue so far - in fact yesterday we took the boys (3 and 5) to London and spent the day at the Science Museum then went to Chinatown for dinner, it was a long day but I don't think I was any more tired than I would have been before all my treatment started (I've already had chemo followed by Mx and ANC). The most wearing part of rads is having to attend the hospital every day though you do get into a routine and see the same faces each day - I'm starting to feel like LA9 is my second home!

Betsy - I'm sorry your original thread has been hijacked! I really hope when you finally get your results that all is good for you. The waiting really was the worst part for me, I've found everything since far less stressful so I really feel for you having such a prolonged wait.

Linda
xx

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Thank you Evadne,
I wasn't really worried about the tattoos to be honest; they can't possibly make my 10 inch scar that replaced my breast look any more hideous!! But thanks for the Aqueous cream tip I will start using that soon.

Have you had any side or after effects from the radiotherapy? Only my breast care nurse has warned me that my that my skin might feel sun burnt, I may, like chemo get nausea and fatigue which could last for 6 months after.

Lesley. x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hello Lesley,

Hope you don't mind me commenting on this. I finished my radiotherapy at Mount Vernon 2 1/2 weeks ago. It's not that bad really and the tatoos are not a lot to worry about, they prick your skin with a needle with some ink on it, my daughter thinks that the one in the middle of my breasts looks like a blackhead and she wants to squeeze it - apologies for the distgusting analogy but it's about the easiset way to give an example of the size.

One piece of advice I will offer that was a big help to me is to start using Aquaeous Cream on your breast now, apply night and morning, I did this for about two weeks prior to the rads and it helped protect my skin.

The teams in the Radiotherapy department at Mount Vernon are fantastic people and really very friendly.

Good luck with the treatment.

Evadne

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Gill and Sandra
the stage I am at (we all seem to have ops and treatments at different stages throughout), is I had a lumpectomy just before xmas. The results from the 'lump' taken, the cells around it and 13 lymph glands removed exposed different cancer cells too (lobular), around the 'lump' but none in my lymph glands. This lead on to having a mastectomy.

I have just FINISHED, (HURRAH) 6x FEC chemo on Thursday so although I am elated that that part is over I am feeling rough and will be until Thursday at least before I start picking up. This is not the same for everyone having chemo so I don't want to scare you both. Some amazing women still hold down full time jobs. You will find after the 2nd one you will know what to expect and you just have to go with the flow.

My next torture (I'm hoping I'm wrong) is radiotherapy which I will be having at Mount Vernon. Got appointment to have tattoos (lovely!!) on the 11th of June then the treatment should start a week later.

AND THEN I've got to look forward to 5 years of tamoxifen so even when it seems over, it isn't!

BUT I'm getting there, we all are, and I imagine like me you have been going through a wide range of emotions. Mine have been illogical at times but even those are settling down now.

Good luck with both your chemo treatments; it will be interesting to hear your experiences with it.

Take care
Lesley. x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Gill
Sort of good news you have your date to start chemo! I am hoping they will tell me on Tuesday when l start chemo, but l may have to wait until the 'letter' arrives! This is the first time l have met the onc, so he probably want to see how my mx is, make sure it has or is healing, seems to be healing well to me!
So it may be another 2/3 weeks! then you will be almost on your second! makes it sound fast when you say it like that! lol
Love
Sandra xxx

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Liz,
So sorry to hear that you have to wait another month to find out about the lump. After having prepared yourself for the results it must have been a huge disappointment. At least one of the lumps is ok so you must hold on to that during the next few weeks. Let's hope you can keep busy so all those negative thoughts don't have time to surface.

Lesley, I will also be having my treatment at Mount Vernon. I've got my prelim appointment next Tuesday and then start my chemo on Mon 7th June. Have been dreading the letter arriving :{ How far are you through your treatment?

Sandra, yes friends try to be helpful but .....

Hope everyone has some relaxing time over the weekend.

Gill xx

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Lesley
Not anywhere anyone wants to be, but you are more than welcome Lesley!
I agree with you, when friends start telling you about people they know that are fine now..........
I am meeting the onc on Tuesday 1st June, it has been a long haul, but it will be 'good' to start the chemo, then another stage over! very up and down at the moment, but holding on in there
How about you, what stage are you at?
Take care
Sandra xxx

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi I've just discovered this link so I hope no-one minds me joining in the chat. I live in Stevenage but am having my treatment at Mount Vernon.

BetsyO, it is strange that your lump didn't show up on the ultrasound I can only think that it is a good sign because shadows on the scans are always scary, have they said that it maybe a cyst?

I know what you mean about friends 'helpful' advice BestyO and Sandra. When I first felt my lump I couldn't believe the amount of people telling me about how many women they knew that had a lump confirmed to be nothing. I know it was to make me feel more positive but actually I felt much worse because my logic said that if that many people are ok then statistically my chances are lessened, and I was right unfortunately.

When I had my biopsy I was warned that it looked very much like cancer but the tests would confirm this so, although I didn't like what I was hearing it prepared me for the test results somewhat.

Anyway I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you Betsy0.
Keep your chin up

Sandra have you stated your chemo yet?
Lesley. x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi BetsyO
Friends! what would we do with them? but what would we do without them! My friends are always telling me to stay positive and so on.....and the cancer is 'out' then l mention the node involvement, and they say,"oh the chemo will sort that out!" scream!!!
But bless them they mean well! l suppose we would all do the same, if we had not been in the 'position' we are in!!

Really good news that the first lump is benign, so that is positive. But yes we all hate the waiting game, it never ends, no matter what stage you are at!
Fingers crossed for the 16th to come quickly for you and you get more good results. If suregery is needed hopefully you will not have to wait too long. but at the moment you have had some positive news, so hang on to that

Sorry can't help as to why the other lump cannot be seen!
But l am sure someone will come along with suggestions
Take care
Sandra xxx

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hello, thank you for your post Gill. Apologies for the delay but yesterday was not a great day... or a bad day...Results have come back as inconclusive

The good news...The first lump they and I thought was benign is indeed benign (fibrodoadenoma). And all biopsies have come back as 'clear'. Hurrah!

The bad news... I still have a lump they are concerned about. Despite mammogram / ultra-sounds / biopsies comming back as clear, there is a lump that can absolutely be felt but isn't showing on any scans (anyone know why this would be the case?). Had an exam with the Consultant who said he could feel a distinct lump that he was was 'interested' in. It's the one they did an unguided core biopsy on but the consultant, the nurse and me can all feel it. Consultant said it feels 'rough' and 'irregular' and he wants to perform another biopsy on it but can't do so until the swelling from the first lot of biopsies has gone down. So, I have another appointment for the middle of June (16th).

So, I'm in exactly the same place as I was yesterday. Only this time I have a month to wait for the next lot of tests. Great.

Spent the evening with friends saying, 'This is good news, at least you've not been told anything negative!' I'm sure I don't have to explain how all of these comments make me feel as guilty as sin for feeling the exact opposite.

I'd prepared myself for this but can't quite believe how exhausted I feel. And how numb I feel about waiting a month. Is just too surreal for words.

Hope you are all ok xx

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Liz,
Hope all goes well at the clinic today.
Gill x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

HI Liz,
Good luck for Wednesday. Hope you managed to enjoy this lovely weather. It's difficult to put the results to the back of your mind though wine can sometimes help. Unfortunately it can also make things seem worse!!
Hope you are not too sore after the biopsies. On my visit they took 6 biosies, 2 from under the arm and I was really swollen after. Had to buy some larger tops!!
All the best.
Gill x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi,

Well I'm back and it went exactly as you described Gill (apart from the results).

I saw the Nurse Practitioner who examined me and found two areas of concern - the same I had found. Had a mammogram, followed by the ultrasound. The Consultant could only really find the 'thickened' area which he then did two seperate core biopsies on. He thinks it is a benign Fibrademena (excuse the spelling!)

Went back to see the NP who was concerned that he hadn't performed a biopsy on the 2nd lump (and this one is much more of a 'lump' - the other area feels like a thick 'mass') so she called another Doctor in, who agreed there was another lump so the NP did another core biopsy! Going to have a very bruised breast!

I have to go back on Weds for results as you said. But I have to say, I feel so much more reasurred and calm now that I've started the process - more 'what will be'. The team were just amazing - there was a lot of laughter!

Fingers crossed for Wednesday (may need a glass or several of wine to get through the weekend!)

L x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Liz,
Good luck for Friday, I'll be thinking about you. Let me know how it goes.
Gill x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Thanks Gill - that's really helpful to know. I have a bad family history (mother, mums mum, mums aunt all had breast cancer and also have a strong bowel cancer history via mums mum (again) and dad) so am feeling like it's going to be bad news but we'll see. Starting to feel very very weepy today but got to hold it together to go to work.

But it's great to know what to expect tomorrow, so thank you.

Really hope you're on the road to recovery and feeling well.

Liz

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Betsy0,
I went to the St Albans breast clinic as I live in Watford and I found them really good. At the appointment I saw the breast surgeon and then went to have a mammogram, an ultrasound and then because they found a lump and enlarged lymph nodes they did biopsies straight away. After the biopsies I went for a drink in the cafe and they called me in to see the surgeon after he had looked at the scans. I was actually told on the day that it was almost definitely cancer but that was because there were 2 lumps and 2 enlarged lymph nodes and there was no doubt in the surgeon's mind. On Wednesday morning they have all the specialists together to look at your scans and results and they decide on your course of treatment. This means they call you back in to clinic on the Wednesday when they have finished their meeting to discuss your treatment plan or to give you the good news that it is benign. Waiting times can sometimes be long but that is because they give you all the time you need in your appointment.
I think they are a brilliant team so don't worry. If there is a problem they will get you through it.
Good luck for Friday.
Gill x

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Darcy and Ruby,

Thanks to you too for replying also. It really is reassuring to have found this forum - so much support already. And it's really useful to know that I may not get the results this Friday - I'll just try and treat it like a 'normal' doctors appoinment...

thanks again Ladies and hope you are keeping well.

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Sandra4,
Thanks for replying. I'll try and ring the Breast Care Nurse tomorrow - thanks for the tip.

I am normally a 'sharer' and would tell friends and family about this but there are a couple of things stopping me - my mum came out of hospital last Sunday after major surgery and I don't want it all to suddenly become about 'me', especially as she is elderly. Also, she had 3 seperate malignant breast lumps when she was around my age, so she'll feel guilty etc. I will of course talk to her if my news is negative but don't want to worry her unnecessarily. Also, I was in hospital myself for an unrelated issue a month ago (it's not great, health wise in my family at the moment!) and I feel I used up quite a lot of sympathy back then. Believe me, I am not being a martyr and will definitely seek / take all support if I need it - I just dont want to worry people unnecessarily yet.

Also, I don't want people to tell me not to worry, if you understand?

Thank you again, I appreciate your thoughts and time.

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi

I'm new to this forum business and the first thing i would say is everyone's treatment/appointments etc are different so try not to get too freaked out. Maybe easier said then done!

I am also at St albans,I had my first appt on a Thursday and got my results the following Wednesday. I was first examined then sent for an ultra sound.

I also didn't tell anyone apart from my husband.

Hope that helps x

Darcyb

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi BetsyO
Cant help you with your Breast Clinic, l am in Enfield, but a friend went to the Breast Clinic today, had some biopsies taken and was told to come back in a week. Whereas a friends, friend got the results on the same day, so they are obviously all different. I suppose you could ring the breast care nurse at the clinic, l am sure she will tell you the procedure for tests and results.
No, you don't sound 'needy' we all like to know what is going on, and everything seems to take a while for results. Always very difficult when you live alone, always helps if you can share your feelings, do you not have a close family member that you can talk to, a trouble shared.........
Good luck for Friday
Sandra

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi Betsy0
I hope that your lump turns out to be something benign which obviously you will too - it's a very worrying and difficult time I know.

I think each hospital depends in terms of results, some have a one stop shop where you get everything done in one day and I think get your results that day too. I don't think it's always clear cut though and it may be that sometimes the medical team need to do more tests or scans.

I'm sorry you are going through this on your own but you have come to the right place to chat with others who know and understand your fears and worries. You will get a lot of support here.

Hugs
Ruby xx

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi, thank you - that's really helpful. Thanks a lot.

Member

Re: Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hi BetsyO

Whilst you wait for the other forum users to reply with their advice and experiences you may find the BCC publication 'referral to a breast clinic' useful. It gives information about what to expect at the clinic and details of the different tests you may have. If you would like to read this on line or order a copy just follow this link:-

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/healthcare-professionals/publications/quick-order-list/*/changeTe...

I hope this helpful.

Kind regards
Sam (BCC Facilitator)

Member

Anyone in Watford / St Albans area?

Hello,

Just wondered if anyone had been to the Breast Clinic at St Albans Hospital? I have an appointment to investigate a lump in my left breast on Friday and I wonder if anyone knows how long I'll have to wait for the results?

I called the secretary there and she didn't seem to know - said it might or might not be the same day. Is that because they can't always tell from the initial tests do you think?

Sorry to sound so needy - I live on my own so don't have anyone to chat to about this yet as I'm not telling anyone about the lump unless I have to.

Thanks in advance x