WTP - I too am suffering from lovely hot flushes and spoke to my oncologist about it last week. She said that although chemo 'could' bring on an early menopause she thought it was unlikely. I'm 44 and she said that as the average menopause age is around 51 plus I would be unlikely to go through it yet, even if I'm having chemo. I'm not sure what age you are but she reminded me gently that our bodies are going through a hell of a lot with chemo. As a result, periods stop as your body has other things to deal with! She said flushes are a normal SE and I should return to normal once they wear off. Hope that helps a little.
Nicky - big hugs - re the moving on course... the standard Moving On course is open to everyone and has been running a while, have a look on the BCC website to find one near you. Alternatively, these courses are also run by Maggie's Centres and local hospices too. Ask your BCN as there will hopefully be one near you. There's detail and resources here: https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/support-you/local-support/moving-forward-aft...
Blue/Egg/Beedot - on the veins issue. I just had my first physio appointment to help me with the cording and vein damage in my arm from my first FEC (before I had a PICC). She gave me a load of guided exercises to do to release the scarred tissue which involves stretching and breaking down scars. Worth seeking out a referral to physio to get it sorted if you can. It's obviously a lesser issue now compared to our Tax/other SE but could be worth sorting in the long term.
My Tamoxifen started the day after my final chemo last week, and before I even have a date for radiotherapy.
However, this IS Spain, and my oncologist is all for throwing the big guns at me.
Good luck to all having final chemo this week.
Let me know when it's done so I can award the badges.
I'm not enjoying the SEs of my final Tax.
regarding the "fear" and moving on after all this treatment, I just thought I would tell you about a friend of mine who visited today. She had it 12 years ago, at age 40, she had chemo, RT, mastectomy, reconstruction. She had a consultation a few months later about whether she wanted more children and concluded not so her treatment plan was amended to take account of that. She remains on extramasane because she has refused to come off it. Her recent 3 year scan was fine. She has a wonderful attitude to it - it changed her life, she rearranged her priorities, got a balance, stopped putting up with people she didn't particularly like and is really content with life. She knows she did everything in her power and she doesn't let the fear creep in. She has been very supportive and a great role model. I would like to be able to follow her example!
good luck everyone this week.
Afternoon all, just catching up with the last couple of days.
Blue2 - thanks for your comments re my questions over hormone therapy, I am also 45 so not in the very young bracket, think i was just thrown a bit because i had also been told that Tamoxifen would be my next treatment, so to be given a different drug combo just unsettled me.
OldDawn - thanks for the Allred link I found that really helpful.
I phoned my BC nurse in the end to talk over why my onco was suggesting the combo of Zoladex/Letrolzole and to try and establish why the deviation from what I percieve to be standard treatment for pre menopause. She explained that this combo for my hospital (and my pathology) will now be standard treatment and not Tamoxifen. This has only be the case for the last 8 weeks or so and is based on some recent studies. I have asked if she could let me know which studies so i can do some further reading, happy to share if people want when i get the info. In addition re Dexa scan they continue to say that due to my age there is no indication to scan despite chemo and planned Hormone therapy as i will also be able to take a bisphosphonate. This should have bone protective properties as well as other recent studies indicating protection against bc reoccurance in the bones. Greatest benefit to women who are post menopausal or pre menopausal women who have been treated with drugs to supress their ovaries. So much to take in but still would love to hear if others have any alternative experiences or been given other advice.
Wtp2016 - I would echo some of the others advice/comments re fertility- chemo doesnt always turn off your ovaries, hence the reason why i am being told i need to do this chemically despite my periods stopping between cycle 3 and 4. Make your team aware of your plans and they can share the options with you.
Nickyh - My last tax is Tuesday too - we are nearly there!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have RT planning just before so busy day ahead. be keen to hear about your hormone therapy plans too as it seems you have also been given different options and then back to Tamoxifen.
Love the Tax teddies in tabago - one of the chemo rooms i use has a whole wall print of a carribean image i will try and take a photo to share and we can dream!
Much love to all. xx
Congratulations Jackie, our posts crossed last night, well done for finishing!
I don't know if it is the Tax or just cumulative chemo fatigue but my mood is definitely lower now. I feel like I have PMT - on a short fuse and ready to snap at things that would normally wash over me. I don't think it is hormones in my case and at my age (59) so add to that hormones for you younger women and what a mix that is, no wonder you are up and down, well done for keeping it together and as the others say, let it out here.
I am am pleased to hear reports back of the prep for RT, it doesn't sound as daunting as chemo, thanks for the reassurance Robin, Nicky and Dawn.
Hugs to all Beedot x
I finished chemo end of 2013, we were a large group of around 40
One of the young girls had an embryo frozen But unfortunately at the end of last year her last chance failed. However we have just found out that she naturally conceived against all the odds.
So don't give up all hope, it could still happen x
Please don't ever feel sorry for sharing your emotions with us.
If not with us, your chemo buddies, then who?
In general, I think we all have spells where we are weepy, and just downright nasty to our OHs.
They, poor sods, have to just stand and watch us got through all of this, and feel powerless.
My OH has not put one foot wrong all the way through, but there are times when I just want him to shut up and leave me alone.
I think you will find many others are the same.
But we hit out - because we need to offload those negative feelings, and they are closest to hand.
You are for me, a prime example of the bloody unfairness of this disease.
I've said before that at 65, I feel I've dodged the C bullet for long enough to have had most of my life.
You young women are the true victims.
You simply don't deserve it.
I have been blessed with 2 beautiful children, and if someone had told me I had to stop at one, I would have been like you - utterly devastated and bitter that this vile illness has potentially robbed you of the chance of another child.
So don't ever apologise for letting it out to us.
We are here with love, support and virtual hugs to help you through.
I pray that your SEs lessen so at least your physical side can strengthen.
Jackie - congratulations, you made it despite everything the chemotherapy threw at you, including BOB and Roberta. Now you have finished their days are numbered. I hope your SEs are mild and you will have enough time to recuperate before radiotherapy starts.
There is a May 2017 Radiotherapy thread which you can join when you start. If there is anything you want to ask about radiotherapy in the meantime, I will do my best to help if I can.
Congratulations Esther, Fen Hen, Slowski and Suze! Flooding across the line now!
Jackie, fingers crossed that you are done too?
I have 5 of 6 on Tuesday so a few weeks to go yet, then rads. I will think of being on that sunbed in Tobago, cocktail in hand, with my fellow teddies on Tuesday.
I really feel for you younger women who are coping with children and also menopausal symptoms from the treatment, I sure remember those white hot flushes and sweats - always a good moment to check the contents of the freezer - followed by shivering. They didn't go on for long at that intensity though.
I know we will move on to discuss hormone treatment more as we get to that stage but just to say, I was put on Anastrozole for 2 or 3 months because my chemo start was delayed (onc said it was just as effective as chemo as an adjuvant treatment). I dreaded it but I can honestly say it had no obvious immediate SEs at all for me except a vaguely strange smell/taste at first. I did have a DEXA baseline scan which was arranged as soon as I started it. I came off it during chemo but will restart afterwards.
I hope everyone has a good bank holiday weekend.
hugs Beedot x
IT IS DONE!
Final TC for me today, and the vein held up - though it really was touch and go. Every time the bags were changed it was painful, but I held on, and it got better.
Thank you for all your good wishes - now waiting with baited breath for the next three weeks to pass.
Radiotherapy starts in 4 weeks time - I think I will be having 30 sessions, but I am prepared with my R1 and R2 creams.
Tamoxifen (for 10 years) starts tomorrow.
So, as the badge monitor, I hereby award myself the graduation badge and certificate.
Looking back, it seems to have flown by, and like childbirth, the bad parts are a distant memory.
To Suze 123
For bravely and successfully completing 6 rounds of chemo, complete with stomach cramps and marshmallow tongue, I am delighted to award the graduation certificate and badge given to all Tax teddy warriors.
Evening all - and congratulations to Suze and Slowski for reaching the final stage of chemo, and getting you graduation badges. Hope the SEs are mild/ under control.
Jackie - glad to hear that Roberta is being beaten into submission by the antibiotics. As Friday is graduation day for you (at last) does this mean you have to award yourself a badge and certificate?
Robin - OMG not you too! The worst cannulation I've ever had was done by the MRI technician last time I had a MRI scan. She was very nice but made a terrible mess of my hand. By the time I got home it was all bruised and swollen, and I thought it was infected. Fortunately it wasn't, but it took weeks and lots of Heparinoid cream to put right. Hope the radiotherapy planning went more smoothly and that they sorted out your PICC. CT scan is easy compared to MRI - you're lying on your back, there are no noises as though a gang of workmen are building a new road in the room, and it only takes a few minutes to pass through the big white doughnut!
Lighthouse - I am on Letrozole (AI) as post-menopausal so not sure whether you have Zoladex instead of Tamoxifen, or as an extra thing with it. There is a brief overview of hormone therapy on the Cancer Research UK website but it doesn't really explain. Here's a link to the Cancer Research UK information:
Blue2 - I am ER+ 7/8 too. This is the 'Allred score, based on your biopsy results - the higher the score out of 8, the more likely you are to benefit from hormone therapy. The score doesn't affect the type of hormone therapy, but it does affect the decision over whether you should have it. If you have a high or moderate Allred score (anything over 4/8) it is assumed you would benefit from it. As a general rule, if you are pre- or peri-menopausal you get Tamoxifen, and if you are post-menopausal you get one of the aromatase inhibitors (AIs), usually either Anastrozole or Letrozole. For further information see:
Ebim - I haven't had a bone density scan and it doesn't look like I am going to get one any time soon. I asked the oncologist about this when I went for my 3 monthly review on Monday. He is of the view that I won't need it for at least 5 years, given my age (53). I will have regular blood tests to check calcium levels, which at the moment are normal, so combination of diet and calcium/Vitamim D supplements are currently working.
I am in the hot flushes/ hot and cold club as well as some of you. I thought I'd done with all that but no, the last lot of chemo seems to have triggered it, and the Herceptin and Letrozole are keeping it going.
It's not too bad to be honest, because I only get the flushes two or three times a day, but it's annoying the way it suddenly happens at random any time of the day or night. At</span> night I have found the best things are loose lightweight pyjamas and a light summer duvet with a throw on top. When you get too hot you can just remove the throw from your side, when you get too cold you can pull it back on again.
Egg thanks for the best laugh in ages...Tax Teddies in Tobago!!! Now that is a good film title. Best one yet.
sorry chemo brain set in can't remember who mentioned the DEXA scan. I was lucky as my rheumatologist organised it for me, the main reason being that he will use it as a base in the next few years to see if my bones have been affected. Having had osteoporosis it made good sense. I think the same philosophy should apply to all who have chemo simply because of the damage done to the bones.
Still chuckling over the Tax Teddies in Tobago, what a wonderful thought, we all turn up at some exclusive resort with our moth eaten heads, dripping crusty noses, swollen running eyes and with all the other indignities that we have gone through to start our Tax Warrior war cry! Should cause a stir.
jackie thinking about you tomorrow, best wishes for an easy time.
love to all you wonderful Teddies Ebimx
I am done with chemo! 6/6 FEC-T done today! Thanks Slowski and Egg for your support. 👍😘
i await the Tax SE (for me, it's horrible stomach cramps but have had my Buscopan dose upped to 8 tablets a day by my Onc today and marshmallow tongue aka oral thrush - so my fluconazole tablets were also doubled today). I'm rattling!!
Still got Radiotherapy starting in four weeks plus ongoing physio for my arm cording and a BRACA gene test in the offing. But, as triple neg, no further meds and surgery was done in Dec.
Feel a bit flat really, I'm starting on the Breast Cancer Care 'Younger Women Moving Forward' pilot course in Manchester in a couple of weeks. Their first course that's designed specifically for under 45s which will be rolled out if it's a success. I think it will help lots with the worries, anxiety and finding my new normal.
Keep soldiering on Teddy Warriors, we will ALL get there together 😘😘😘
For successfully completing 6 sessions of chemo, and coping with the steroid insomnia and joint pain like a true warrior, I am delighted to award the badge and graduation certificate that such bravery merits.
Morning all, I am loving hearing all that are graduating, it brings a smile to my face each time one of us gets across the line!
After some advice/thoughts please teddies, had an onocology appointment yesterday that has left me confused, but I do seem to recall someone else on here talking about the drugs but not sure who and even if the indications for the treatment were the same. I had assumed and previously been told that i would go onto tamoxifen as strongly hormone receptive 8/8 and pre menopausal. However now been told that current evidence suggests ovarian suppression is recommend and advised to start Zoladex to stop oestrogen production from ovaries and Letrozole to block enzymes that can change other hormones from fatty tissue to oestrogen. I understand the principle but unclear if this is considered standard treatment as i thought from my other reading tamoxifen was standard treatment? Does any one have any experience of this? I also asxed about a baseline DEXA scan and was told this was not indicated due to my age - i thought any one starting hormone therapy was offered one??
Off to try and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts, much love to all. Looking forward to hearing about the next round of graduates! xxx
Slowski, chemo buddy... well done on getting to the last one! 🎉🎉😘
I have my last Tax tomorrow too. Then on to rads...
i got bad jaw pain on the last two and thinking about it, I've had surgery there, so the weakest joint theory is obviously 'a thing'!
Good luck to everyone else getting their doses this week.
Robin, canulas are items of torture, so sorry it has gone so wrong at the very end of the chemo.
Hope you get it sorted very soon. So difficult to sleep if its placed in the wrong position.
Egg - hot / cold sweats another tortuous problem. Having been through the menopause I thought they were behind me, but no back with a vengeance....and worse just after Tax. Vitamin C might help.
Slowskie - yup pain in newish left hip and left thumb, both problem areas, The weakest points for me.
Scotty / Egg - we are the army of JAN 2017 - we have been through too much togerther not to stay together.
We will stay together until the last warrior finishes.
And Jackie, bless you for all the messages and now the badges - Gigantic Hugs for Friday.
Love to all, Ebimx
Had chemo 6/6 yesterday with Herceptin and Zometa, apparently its only available for primary BC in some areas and we are one. Steroid insomnia and some joint pain, mainly in previously arthritic hip - has anyone else had this where Docetaxal seems to pick on the weakest joint? I have no dates yet for rads and in for the long haul as 15 more Herpectins 3 weekly so I don't think anyone needs to worry abut beng left behind, we can all continue to suppport each other long beyond the last chemo.
Very best wishes to all of you Xx
To everyone asking about Roberta, I am pleased to say the antibiotics seem to be working, and my surgeon was happy to let me go home.
So I am on track for my final Tax on Friday.
However, this morning, in a chemo fog, I cracked my head on the very ornate front door handle, and now have a hole in the middle of my forehead! You just couldn't script it could you?
I must be missing extra holes!
Truey - enjoy your spa day. It's well and truly deserved.
RobinJ - the breathlessness and leaden legs are the pits. I can only say that you should just rest, rest and rest some more. I have found it less after Tax 5, but not until week 3.
Wtp2016 - I have only had the flushes at night. but then I am well past normal menopause. I hope it imporves for you.
EggG - please don't worry about the finish line being late. I will still be here, no doubt whinging about my radiotherapy, and then whatever hormones the oncologist decides to inflict upon me.
I will be here to award the badges and certificates until all of us have finished the chemo.
It is my absolute pleasure and delight to award the badge and certificate this morning to Esther c.
For bravery and fortitude in completing the chemotherapy marathon.