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December Angels 2013

Re: December Angels 2013

An elderly gentleman in our village stopped me yesterday and asked why I had had such a drastic haircut - had I had it shaved for charity? I laughed and said, no, I'd been getting treated for cancer since December, so I'd actually been bald under my hats that he had seen me in. He said he had no idea because I always looked so healthy every time he saw me! lol

Re: December Angels 2013

Just practiced going out without any head coveting. Enjoyed the freedom. I did it in a park, noone was looking. My hair needs fresh air 😉 thanks ladies for encouragement

Re: December Angels 2013

Petal, I was also self concious on first couple of days but now i feel great not having to hide behind head gear.

serateh, I also had long hair past shoulders (highlighted blond) but thought as I cant colour it for several months and will take forever to get back to that length why not bite the bullet and go out as i am.

I have had a very positive response and compliments from people so there is no turning back now. I am sure when you are ready to face the world with your new look you will feel more confident too.

My son said I looked really cool (lol) he has never saw me with short hair in his life, he is now 31.

 

Tomorrow will be the end of my first week of rads and I must say it's been a walk in the park in comparison to chemo so far.

 

Hope everyone else is doing well and moving on

Take care

Wyn x

Re: December Angels 2013

Well done wyn and petal! I still need my wig, hat and scarves. I always had long hair and don't feel comfortable to go out with my new hair style 😉

Re: December Angels 2013

It really is nice to see how we are all coping these days. Jules, I am still having problems with my arm and mobility but physio has helped and I am still taking the painkillers to do the exercises and now seeing results. I have my rads planning coming up soon but don't have a start date yet. I thought I wouldn't be able to lift my arm high enough but it has got so much better in the last two weeks I think I'll be ok.

Wyn I took a brave pill too and this morning was the first time I drove since my operation and I went shopping and didn't wear any head covering despite being very thin on top still. I felt a bit self conscious but nobody stared any more than they would have if I had been wearing a scarf in hot weather! I have accepted the new me so that's that! I have already found that a sun hat will be needed outside as my scalp has gone a little pink just from being out and about and it would be very easy to burn.

Re: December Angels 2013

thanks jules, you must be so glad you dont have to get seroma aspirated anymore and it's great to have some kind of normality back in our lives,

Well I took a brave pill and I have ditched the wig,caps and scarves and have been out all week with my new very cropped salt and pepper hairstyle, it's amazing that anyone who doesn't know me hasn't batted an eyelid and whose who do said I looked amazing and hairstyle suits me ( my sister said I looked like a celebrity lol).

My eyebrows and lashes have grown back and I can now see" myself" in the mirror again Yayyyyyyy.

Onwards and upwards angels. hope everyone is doing well and moving on.

 

Take care

Wyn x

Re: December Angels 2013

Wyn - glad the first rads went well - fingers crossed it continues that way for you!

 

SJB - well done on the seroma - that's great news!

 

I had my 6th Herceptin yesterday and had the seroma aspirated for the 11th time. That will be the last, as the consultant wants to try and get the fluid to re-absorb so I can start rads. I am also having physio on my arm to get more movement back. 

 

So - pretty good all round. Working in London today so looking forward to a bit of normality!!!

 

Jules xx

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi all, its so lovely to read everyone's posts. I know many still have some side effects going on but our posts are so different to our scared, anxious and desperate ones from just 6 months ago. We've come such a long way angels. Things can only improve now. 🙂 x

Re: December Angels 2013

My BCN checked my seroma today and there was virtually no fluid there, so we are going to leave it now. If I feel it building up again, I can call her, but probably won't need it aspirated again. So that was just twice in the end, not bad!

 

Quick tip for anyone moving on to Tamoxifen. I have been taking Citalapram for quite a while now (anti-depressant), and just found out that it can be prescribed to lighten the side effects of Tamoxifen. Basically it lightens the night sweats and hot flushes. So nice to know that a drug I'm already taking is actually going to help when I start another one!

 

So if you start Tamoxifen and suffer badly from sweats, you can ask for a light dose of Citalapram to ease them.

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi angels,

 

Nice to see everyone is doing well. I have just returned from my first radiotherapy session, I was called at 10am and out again 15 mins later, very quick and painless and staff was wonderful, once they line you up in position its just like having an xray so one down and 18 to go.

 

Take care

Wyn x

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi everyone,

Thanks for your replies.  I've been away from the computer so couldn't reply sooner.

 

I've had my last chemo yest !! such a good feeling.  It went ok execpt I was a bit nauseas and had the terrible trots to the loo before the treatment, I think I was so excited at it being the last!  Taking all the meds now which I hate but hey it's not for long and hoping to be feeling better quite soon.

 

I am menopausal and I was told I would take both Anastrazole and tamoxifen over the coming years.  It was left to me which I preferred to start with.  I read about side effects and decided on Anastrolzole as it seemed, rightly or wrongly, that I may be better with Anastrolzole and as I am going back to work in the next few weeks it was decided.  I am only going back for 12 months or so and then retiring!  Hooray by then I may be able to cope better and not have to worry about time off.

 

I am also getting some hair growth back on my head - and some in places where I wish it wasn;t!  Feels good, more normallity to be resumed asap.

 

I had my 60th birthday not long after my operation last Oct and have not spent money/vouchers I rec'd then , so soon I hope to feel up to going out an spending it - and maybe a delayed celebration!  I have been into town once over the last months and felt so vulnerable and a bit wobbly and drove home in an axious state so haven't been since.  Just another hurdle to get over as I am waiting to have 2 cataract ops soon, my eyesight has got much worse too.  Still enough moaning it'll all be sorted.

 

Sending the best of everything to you all

 

Maz x

 

 

 

 

Re: December Angels 2013

Well, I successfully drove myself the 50 mile round trip to hospital and back this morning. I am now a tattooed lady! However, whereas I thought I was doing really well with my arm exercises, I was horrified to discover that it was intensely painful to stretch it as far above my head as they needed me to. They put the clamped arm rests up as high as they could so that I didn't have to stretch it as far, but there was a single intense pain down below my armpit that would not ease off for the entire time I held it in position. They said it was likely to be a nerve that had not yet settled back into it's natural position - hope it does before I start rads!

 

They noticed the pocket of fluid that has already reappeared but were pleased that I'm having it aspirated regularly by my BCN now so they were happy to set up and ignored it.

 

I got really tired on the drive back, and literally went straight to bed when I got home. One of those "battery drained" moments. It's frustrating, isn't it! I have just slept solidly for about 2 hours in the middle of the day! 

 

 

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi All

 

SJB - I have now had the seroma aspirated 10 times since surgery. My surgeon did it again this morning and said it will probably be another month until it stops completely. However, he is hoping that it will soon start to reabsorb so fingers crossed. 

 

I am seeing my oncologist tonight about starting rads.................

 

Glad to hear everyone else is coming along well; it's just great when hair starts to grow back and you don't feel as rotten!!!!

 

Take care everyone

 

Jules xx

Re: December Angels 2013

Thanks, that's very helpful. Petal x

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi Petal88

So far my skin looks ok as I applied aqua max cream on at least 4-5 daily. This cream was recommended from the hospital. I was told yesterday that the radio will still carry on working 2-3 weeks after finishing rads. Therefore important to carry on applying the cream. Also to keep hydrated going thru treatment.

Re: December Angels 2013

Nice to hear from you again Jacx especially with the good news. Well done! Any tips for those of us just about to embark on rads?

Re: December Angels 2013

My eyebrows have started coming through in the last 5 days or so, no lashes yet though. And yesterday I noticed growth on my legs and down below. None in armpits yet. My head hair is now about 15mm long but whereas it naturally lies flat round the sides, it still insists on sticking straight up on the top!

 

Our bodies are slowly getting back to normal.

 

Had my seroma aspirated yesterday. I am driving over to Canterbury today for the planning session for my rads. Little bit concerned that I already seem to have a small pocket of fluid at the end of my scar again this morning, and hoping it doesn't cause a problem.

 

 

Re: December Angels 2013

Yay setareh, eyebrows are ace!
Well done jac!
Xx

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi Angels

Yaaaay I finished my 15 sessions of radiotherapy today. I now have to wait for a follow up appointment in the next six weeks to see the oc. Jacx

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi angles, how are you doing?
I now have hair, eyebrow, a few eyelashes and appointment for radiotherapy consultation! I'm going to start hercrptin this Friday.
Take care everyone ♥

Re: December Angels 2013

Thanks Lucy and SJB, it's good to understand the choices.

Re: December Angels 2013

Tamoxifen works for both pre- and post-menopausal women, but the others only work for post-menopausal women.

 

Because I was peri-menopausal when diagnosed with cancer, I am starting on Tamoxifen but was told I will probably be switched to Anastrozol after a few years, if they think I would have gone through the menopause naturally by then. My oncologist said that research has also shown that this switch from one hormone tablet to the other can also be beneficial in preventing the cancer returning.

Re: December Angels 2013

Thanks Jules. It seems I have some fluid build-up but it is more widespread than a seroma and the BCN said it is probably just from the surgery and should subside. Also the slight puffiness and pain I get in my wrists and ankles is to do with the Letrozole and should subside too. I hope the physio helps you. At last I am able to move my arm more but still have to take painkillers to be able to do the exercises.

Maz, nice to hear from you again. I am sure they would have told you if they were concerned about the ECG results. I have 3-monthly echocardiograms as I am on Herceptin so perhaps you could ask about having one if you are still worried? Good luck for Friday, it's such a nice feeling when you know the chemo is all done.

I am interested in the choice of hormone tablets. What is the difference between Letrozole, Tamoxifen and Anastrozole? Does it depend on whether you are oestrogen or progesterone positive or maybe triple negative?

Petal x

Re: December Angels 2013

Well done maz, the finish line is well within sight now for you, at long last! Hopefully the chest tightness isnothing serious just your body rather ravaged after so much chemo. X

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi, I haven't posted for some time. I'm afraid I got rather disheartened as I have had 8 cycles of chemo and most of you who started at the same time seemed to be finishing several weeks before me, I was so envious!

I'm having my final chemo on Friday no radiotherapy so I'm fortunate there. Can't wait for it to be over and I 've been prescribed Anastrozole starting early July.  I've been reading up about it but told myself to stop now as the possible side effects were starting to worry me.  I should know better!  I will take things one day at a time now and keep positive thoughts.   I'm hoping to go back to work part time on a phased return at the end of July.

 

I have have some tight feeling in my chest and mentioned it at my last review.  My onc asked me if I was worrid about my heart, I said I was worried about anything the chemo may have caused!  She sent me for an ECG and I've heard nothing so presume no news means I'm ok.  She couldn't explain the tightness except to say she was sure it is not angina.

 

Are any of you taking anastrozole I would like to know how you are getting on.

 

best wishes, good luck to you all, hope you are coping well.

 

Maz x

 

 

 

 

Re: December Angels 2013

Petal - the seroma is very visible - a build up of fluid where I had the mastectomy done. it feels squidgy and full of fluid and is uncomfortable, rather than painful. 

 

I'm having my 10th aspiration later today and am also starting physio as I don't have enough range of movement in my arm.............

 

I hope everyone is doing well this week 

 

Jules xx

Re: December Angels 2013

Thanks for all the posts. Kim, I'm glad I've found someone else on Letrozole even though I am sure we all get different reactions. The back of my hands and wrists and around my ankles feel sore and tight but they don't look too puffy so I don't know if I need to get it checked.

Jules and SJB can you tell me how it feels before an aspiration? I sometimes think my breast is going to explode and it hurts all the time and there is definite swelling but the doctor who saw it recently said it was hard and not like a bubble that a needle could be put into. I really don't know if I am just too impatient to be pain-free or if I need to get it checked again.

I can move my arm a bit better at last but it is still very painful right down to my wrist and I can't get it above shoulder height. I have done the exercises as much I can manage and pushed a bit more each day but I am so fed up and now I am a zombie on all the painkillers. Sorry to be negative but after the euphoria of chemo being over I feel I am going backwards and there is still a dark tunnel to get through.

Re: December Angels 2013

My seroma has built up really quickly over the weekend, and it is really uncomfortable again now. My appointment to get it aspirated is wednesday afternoon. Wish it was sooner - it is so uncomfortable to sleep at night.

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi angels,

 

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the weekend. I woke up to Yeti legs this morning ( oh well back to the razor) lol.

 

Take care

Wyn x

Re: December Angels 2013

Got my appointments for my rads today. 15 sessions starting June 25th. looks like I can enjoy a few weeks of health and happiness first.

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi All

 

I  had my eighth aspiration today - things seem to be slowing down. However, the BCN said I need physio to help get the range of movement back in my arm - the constant seroma hasn't helped. 

 

I need to do this before I am considered for rads, so looking forward to getting going. It's a bit frustrating as I have been doing my exercises religiously - I'm a marathon runner (well, I was before I got BC!!) so know how to do exercises well!

 

Hope everyone has a great weekend,

 

Jules xx

Re: December Angels 2013

hi petal, i have been taking letrozole for a month now and (touch wood) have been ok with it, i have hot flushes tho and put on a little weight and i also feel tired but i have just finished rads so the tiredness may be due to that, maybe your feeling down is due to the problems you have had with your arm, i hope it is a temporary blip for you, radiotherapy compared to chemo is fine so lets hope you get to start yours soon, hoping your arm gets better and your sickness feeling passes quickly, stay positive! x

Re: December Angels 2013

I've been to see about rads today and the consultant said she thinks I can move my arm enough to be able to start in a couple of weeks. She has prescribed Amitriptyline to relax the nerves in my arm. I'm not starting them today though as I now feel very sick. I don't know if that is from Letrozole. Anyone else on this hormone? I've only been on it a week and have become very weepy. After all the chemo and op I feel very down if this is the new normal for me, I thought I would be ecstatic to be nearly through it all and all I want to do is go to sleep so I can forget how I feel. I really hope this is a temporary blip. I have some build up of fluid too but they don't want to aspirate as it is hard, next to the wound and also under the arm. One good thing is that the chemo is over so I haven't got to start that while feeling so rough. I am trying to stay positive!

Re: December Angels 2013

SJB - I hope you feel better after the aspiration. I'm back again tomorrow for my 8th!  

I am still struggling to get full movement back in my arm, so will check with my BCN to see whether I need any physio  - hoping not. 

 

Good luck to all - we ARE getting there! xx

Re: December Angels 2013

I just lathered aqueous cream, literally loads and just let it soak in especially overnight. I also was given some mepilex lite dressings, I used once or twice but felt better just with the cream. If you've nowhere to go and no visitors I would just plaster yourself in cream and expose it to the air. If its just that top layer of skin thats gone mine was just sore for about 4-5days. It will get better soon x

Re: December Angels 2013

Hi Joanne
I have a sore bit of skin under my boob , what did you put on your skin when it was sore ? I was told to put on E45 for moisture and hydrocortisone if it got itchy but given no advice for soreness .
Thanks Kaz

Re: December Angels 2013

Eyebrows are cool! lol (I still don't have any)

 

I've been to see my oncologist this morning. Should get appointment for the setting up session before radiotherapy in next week or two, then due to start rads in about a month.

 

My breast care nurse aspirated my seroma for the first time this morning - she virtually filled the kidney bowl! Have another appointment for a repeat syringe next Wednesday to keep it down.

 

I've been prescribed Tamoxifen to start taking after my radiotherapy finishes. Might be taking hormones for 5 years, but might be extended to 10. Will probably switch to Anastozol (is that right?) after 3-5 years. 

 

It's all good. I feel on top of the world. Woman LOL

Re: December Angels 2013

Wow Joanne great news about eyebrow! I check my hair every morning and a few times a day 🙂 it started coming back. Life is getting better ♥

Re: December Angels 2013

I woke up this morning with eyebrows! Yes eyebrows, remember those little hairy things above your eyes?! I have them. Exciting isn't it! Though I then caught my fingersin a drawer and pulled off two nails. But I have normal eyebrows!
Actually the nail thing doesn't hurt at all so don't worry, I have about half a cm of normal healthy nail at the bottom. They feel much better, not tender.
And those finishing rads, I'm two weeks post now and my skin has healed, it became a bit sore and lost a bit of top layer of skin but all healed now, still an odd colour. But I have eyebrows, did I mention?
X:)

Re: December Angels 2013

Well done Kaz and Kim, thrilled for you both now that you have finished rads (hooray) its time to celebrate.

RO21 - great you have returned to work but hope you take it easy, must be a fantastic feeling of getting some kind of normality back in your life, I am hoping to return on phased return in August (fingers crossed)

 

everyone seems to be doing well throughout treatments  ( amazing where we get the strength from )

to think six months ago we were all scared and anxious about the future, look how far we have come and what we have all been through so keep going angels we will all cross that finishing line (it's in sight).

 

Take care

Wyn x

Re: December Angels 2013

Jules, my BCN is going to sort out my prosthesis at the hospital. She said I'll get an appointment to see her around the end of June. Odd that you need GP referral to a special clinic!

Re: December Angels 2013

hi kaz i too had my last radiotherapy session today, the staff there wished me lots of luck and hoped not to see me again (in a nice way) i had my final review also and was told that the red rash i have on my chest and back will reach its peak over the next 10 days and gave me some oatmeal cream to use,after the 10 days it should all start going back to normal then hopefully i can get back to some kind of normality, i wont miss the hosp appts either but even so i did feel a bit sad saying goodbye today the staff have been lovely and have after all helped save my life,good luck to all the dec angels and i wish i had the courage to have posted earlier and got to know you all better, xx

Re: December Angels 2013

Petal - I hope you have a lovely time with your family. 

 

SJB - good luck with the return to driving. I started back after 17 days and have been fine - just building up slowly. It makes a lot of difference being able to drive myself to all these hospital appointments!!!

 

Wyn - I hope all goes well with rads - will be interested to hear how you get along with it all. 

 

We all seem to be having differing things as we are coming forwards in our journeys. I now have to arrange an appointment to go to a clinic regarding a prosthesis following my MX- has anyone done this yet?  I have to start off via my GP so although I won't be able to do anything until the seroma has gone down, the referral route may take a while. 

 

Good luck everyone, Jules xx

Re: December Angels 2013

Well done Kaz! I'm so looking forward to finish my treatment and I'm not going to miss hospital. Apart from radio I have herceptin and have to go to hospital for another year.

Petal have a great time with your family tonight!

Re: December Angels 2013

Hello everyone
Just finished my last radio therapy treatment HORRAY ! At the end of the session the radio therapist said to me "the worst bit is to come now " What's that then I asked ? Apparently I will feel really down because I will no longer have all the support and attention from the hospital........hmmm.......don't think so. I accept that I may feel anxious because none of us knows quite what the future holds but missing support and attention from the hospital - don't fell I've had much.
Any way I feel so happy to have finished my treatment and am now looking forward to slowly getting back to normal and putting this all behind me. I know it will be a struggle but missing the hospital is something I'll get over quickly !
Love to everyone on our continuing journey and thank you to all the Angels for being there for me x
Kaz 16

Re: December Angels 2013

I'm doing really well here. My arm is almost back to normal. The exercises get easier every day and I can almost raise it directly above my head. No pain at all.

 

There is some fluid building up now though so they are going to aspirate it (1st time) tomorrow. I have an appointment for 9.30 tomorrow morning to see my oncologist to start arranging my radiotherapy - only got a phone call to make the appointment yesterday.

 

Going to take the car out for a short drive today to see if I'm ok to drive again (now 20 days since mastectomy) - I feel confident that I am ok to drive, so I should be able to drive myself to the hospital tomorrow. Feels good to be getting back to normal.

 

My nails look horrible but I still keep painting them. They feel so tender, I can't bear to use them for anything.

 

Energy levels are back to normal - I have been taking a walk across the fields whenever the weather is nice enough and intend to keep this going to get myself fit again.

 

Edit: Forgot to say, since I started going out after my mastectomy, I have been going out without any headware. Not using wig any more. My hair is about a centimetre long, and mainly white, but I don't mind. Everyone accepts it, no funny looks, and it is getting too warm for hats!

 

 

Re: December Angels 2013

Wyn, very interesting about the nails. I kept all mine but the top halves are dark yellow and ridged and some have white splodges and they are thicker, like nails with a fungal infection. It never occurred to me either so please let us know the outcome. Funnily enough I wore socks on my feet all winter and the toenails aren't discoloured or anything.

Thanks about my arm. I feel like I've been in a car crash this morning after the physio worked it a bit yesterday and she was gentle at the time! I. Guess it is early days yet as surgery was less than three weeks ago.

Jules, poor you having to keep having seromas aspirated. I thought I had some fluid under the wound but the physio thought it was scar tissue forming as it is very hard. Is fluid softer?

I'm taking two of my children out with all six grandchildren for a pizza tonight to celebrate getting through the last few months. At times I never thought the day would come when food would taste nice again so I am really looking forward to it and I know the children will keep me cheerful and entertained. Good luck to anyone still struggling, we are getting better every day!

Re: December Angels 2013

So true-RO21 the days always seem more bearable if you can find something to laugh at even if its at your own expense.

Talk about horrible nails - I mentioned to my GP today about all my nails being yellow (hands and feet) and deformed she looked at them and gave me a sample bottle to put my nail clippings in and hand back to surgery for them to be sent to lab to test for fungal infection !!!!!!!!!!!!, I would have thought this might be the case for maybe one or two but " 20" lol. I have never heard of anyone providing nail clippings before haha.

She said as immune system is rock bottom during chemo its possible for this to happen, so something else I have learned.

Jules - hope your seroma drains stop soon and good that its healing

Petal hope your arm gets less painful soon and hope your rads are not delayed.

 

Take care everyone

Wyn x

Re: December Angels 2013

Evening ladies, really nice to see you haven't list your sense of humours, laughter really is the best medicine!!!
Walking through Boots the other day, a sales lady asked if I'd like to try a new mascara. Really wish I'd said "oh yes please" just to see her face seeing as I've no eyelashes. But as usual I didn't think about it 'til afterwards...really made me chuckle tho.
Week 2 of phased return to work and getting really fed up of people telling me how good I look-"yes because it's a wig & your not looking at my horrible deformed nails!!! I know they mean well but outward appearance doesn't mean you feel good inside.
Jinny hope you managed to talk to someone & your feeling a bit better now x