just popped in from the May 9 thread - and I am currently day 8 after my 2nd FEC.
I did have my hair shaved to a Sinead O'Connor style about a week before I started chemo. It grew for about one and a half weeks before it gently started shedding. Whilst I still had my hair, I wore my new wig out to a business appointment and shopping. Needing to know, whether people noticed and whether I would be self concious wearing it. I thought - if I feel uncomfortable I can just whip it off - and deal with it when the time comes. Having the hair short made it easy to wear the wig. And - as it was - it was comfortable, no one noticed and I felt ok. It gave me a lot of confidence for when the time came, that I needed to wear it.
When I went for my 2nd FEC I had lost about 50-60% - mainly over the preceeding weekend,washing my hair. Yes, despite it being so short - there was a lot of hair in the basin - however I was surprised how much I still had left! It looked a lot thinner and I could see my scalp peeping though, but still. Now 8 days after 2nd FEC it is nearly all gone, just some fluff...kinda looks cute though
Having scarves and perhaps some beanies might just be a lifesaver - Wearing them all the time, when at home, warmer that way - and it certainly helps to keep the shedding hair out of the food and off the surfaces, lol.
Wearing mine 'Pirate style' and they have long ends - so much more elegant and sort of mimicking long tresses, lol - nicer also, as I have a long neck. Emphasising the eyes, even if it is only with a bit of eyeliner pencil and a coat of mascara does make a huge difference in the way you look
Warning though! - Finally having the energy to do some vaccuuming with a short nozzle into all the nooks and crannies - caught one of the long 'tresses' in the hose and it sucked my scarf right of my head! LEo, my cat, looked shocked - I laughed - had a real belly laugh. Humour essential!
This is such a great thread with some fantastic,feisty, fighting ladies. So much good information being passed around too. Thank you all for taking the trouble to post.
I've made it through day 1 without too much difficulty, actually still waiting for the bad stuff to kick in and so far it hasn't, which has to be good. Only low point was my oldest daughter came home from Uni for a weekend and has a stinking cold so I didn't get a hug and she's keeping as far away as possible, I reckon that has to be one major downside to chemo.....also husband working 4,000 miles away and only able to offer support via phone and skype is pretty crap too. Oh well at least I can cuddle the cats!
Enjoy the rest of the evening
Oh bless you Charissecarson!
I'm day 10 and thinking it's all a bit imminent. My scalp feels a bit on fire and I have a low dull headache. Can't decide whether to go for the shave sooner rather than later ...
Have you sorted out scarves and whatnot?
always happy to re-post - it can be so challenging to go through pages and pages.
So any questions - just ask - I shall do my best to answer them on the thread - especially as I am a little bit vain, lol - and have researched an awful lot to make sure I stay looking good, am healthily fed and ensure I do not do anything that could increase risk of reoccurance.
Also - will aways be delivered with a healthy dose of common sense, lol.
Hope everyone is doing fine after your first chemo - and all my best to those who are still due to start.
Currently day 9 post 2nd FEC
Yes there is. I think this should be a link to it, but if not it's around page 6 https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy/Chemotherapy-Tips-and-Tricks/td-p/1017289/page...
just popped across from the May 9 thread - and have just posted the answer to your question on the thread
How's everyone doing today? I woke this morning to an absence of rain which I'm hoping lasts the whole day - that would be a novelty, wouldn't it?!
Thought I'd draw your attention to a thread running on the Chemotherapy board, Chemotherapy - Tips & Tricks https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Chemotherapy/Chemotherapy-Tips-and-Tricks/m-p/1017289#U1017...
I've picked up all sorts of helpful information and there's currently a discussion on parabens free make up which I'm thinking could be handy. I don't generally wear much in the way of make up but I'm thinking once my eyebrows have gone, I may need to up my game a little.
Hi Judith & RosieFlower,
Hope you get a good night's sleep and aren't too troubled by side effects. I found the first few days a bit rough but the first day/evening was by far the worst and you're through that now.
I was just scrolling through earlier threads and saw you were due to start today too. I'm doing 4 cycles of AC first. How did you get on with the cap? I didn't think it was as bad as I'd imagined, very heavy though! Will persevere;-)
Had some major hot flushes since getting home, been having them for years, but these are 3x as bad....
Look after yourself and sleep well.
I had my first chemo today. So far not too bad, but am already in bed! My tumour is too big to operate now so am having chemo first too. I had sentinal node removed on Tuesday, so really feel I've had more than my fair share this week. Looking forward to no appointments this weekend.
Sending healing vibes to everyone.
I had my surgery first but I do know it is quite common to have chemo first - I'm sure you're not the only one here in that situation. You could always start a thread on the main Chemotherapy board to ask others?
Hope that helps,
Now we're all either well on our way to treatment or part way through our first cycle, I thought it might be worth a quick reminder about the risks of lymphoedema. I was quite shocked when I went to my pre-chemo chat as the chemo nurse I spoke to was adamant that my 'at risk' arm would be used for chemo. I did a lot of research when I got home, including speaking to my BCN, and I am right, nothing has changed - we are to avoid all iv access & bp monitoring in our affected side except in cases of emergency. I have only had SNB so the risk is smaller than with a full clearance but it is still there and I want to do all I can to minimise it.
I'm not sure why my chemo nurse said it was ok but I have since bought a medical id bracelet which I make sure is prominently on display whenever I go to the hospital. I got a silicone one from Amazon which was cheap and cheerful as I'm allergic to metal but there are some lovely ones out there:
More info on Lymphoedema here:
Hope that helps,
Well today is the DAY! Feeling sick already - hope the anti sickness tabs work! Feeling nervous as hell, and feel really sad that from today onwards my body has to cope with a whole lot of crappy medication for the next 10 years - find that hard as i'm someone who doesn't take tabs easily. Anyway will let you know how it goes - have a good day all xxx
Well I went to my hairdresser today intending to ask him to trim my bob ready for coping with 'treatment'.
'Treatment' was certainly not a reality until I met the Oncologist on Friday... 😳
My word for that meeting was 'brutal', although Prof C himself is actually lovely.
So I decided to go and ask for a 'Chemo Cut'....
Gareth refused to scalp me, said it was too much of a shock. He just said leave it with me ...
Its fab - short and stylish. He will trim it shorter in a week or so if needs be.
He's offered to come with me to help me choose my wig - if fact he's insisting, lol. With a cocktail included if I can! He showed me pics of 2 customers ( cancer patients) in wigs he had helped choose. I had no idea - they looked amazing!
Gareth is a friend now. I was taken to him originally by a friend after I came out of teaching with stress and burnout and my hair had fallen out! In 10 years, Gareth has made me feel fab and 10 yrs younger(without the surgery), at my lowest moments.
And he will help me through this!
After my cut, I decided it was too fab to call it a chemo cut and anyway that was a defeatist title. My daughter in law said "It's a KICK CHEMO cut .... " I really like that - and that's what I'm calling it!
There is "Kick Cancer Cut" or "Kick A** Cut" etc etc ... 😀
Will post pic when I figure out how to get rid of my lob-sided profile photo.
Nice to meet you. I'm not very positive at all, I might sound it but I'm actually really scared but I think it's normal to feel scared and apprehensive prior to chemo.
Thanks for the name of that website, will check it out. Another one is Hats4Heads, they're really reasonably priced and I've already mentioned the Annabandana website.
Sonya and Sue, we've spoken before. Belle, lovely to meet you, if only it were under different circumstances. Ah well!
Belle, I have asked to see a "cancer specific" counsellor ages ago from one of my local cancer charities but they have a huge waiting list. The Nurse I spoke to yesterday at the Oncology Dept said she would refer me to someone there. I have a CPN who I saw today but their speciality is Mental Health so I think I would find it very helpful to have some counselling relating to cancer. Fingers crossed.
Thanks all of you for your helpful tips.
just popped across from the May 9th thread - as I remember you well, from your earlier stages of diagnosis.
It is great to read how caring your treatment team is, ensuring that the treatment is as effective as possible and managable for you and also for you to get the best possible outcome!
One of your questions was regards living on your own, and how chemo is maneagable, especially in the early days.
I live on my own - my nearest friend support is 20 minutes drive away, but if all fails I have neighbours to call on. I am now post 2nd treatment - revving up for number 3 of FEC.
When you go to your chemo information meeting you should be given a card with telephone numbers on. One should be a 24hr helpline to call, if any untoward symtoms, temperature etc happen. It is your safety net/life belt in case of health issues. I had to call them a numbe of times - they are fantastic!
The chemo appointment itself - I personally prefer to be on my own - no one to keep entertained/ to be worried about getting bored, etc. I drive myself to the appointment - bit of a muzzy head afterwards, but fit to drive.
At home - the first 3 days post treatment are quite fine, as still on steroids. Day 3-6 = you are likely to feel much more tired and washed out. I tend to live off the food I pre-cook before the treatment and have it stacked in my freezer. I now know there is no point to plan anything for that one week, as the tiredness, sometimes dizziness can interfere with pre-made plans. The flat is a mess, but I am eating well, sleeping ok AND I am working from home - full 8 hr day still. So it is very doable. But it has to be said - all of us react differently to our treatments.
And again - I rather be on my own - as I have no one to worry about, I can break wind and burp when I want (sorry - can be an effect of chemo) - do not have to look smart and can veg out of the sofa to my hearts content.
Hope this may give you some confidence that all should be well.
Hi Hazel and I'm so glad you've found us,
You certainly sound like you're getting yourself organised, well done! And your team sound really supportive too. Mine are great too. I've been referred to a psychologist working specifically with cancer patients - would that help if it were available? I meet with her every couple of weeks and we just talk.
Like you, I organised a wig and headscarves etc prior to chemo. I also went for progressively shorter hair cuts. Having had my first FEC a week ago today I'm still waiting for the shedding to begin in earnest but it won't be long. I've had some side effects but many of those will be helped by tweaking the meds I'm on for next time which is encouraging. And whatever the side effects, the increase in percentage rates of survival really do make it worthwhile.
A local friend of mine lives alone and she is coping really well with her chemo. She's two cycles in and has had very few side effects at all. The biggest change she's noticed is she now goes to bed most evenings around 7pm but otherwise is carrying on as usual.
Excellent plan on the eyebrow tattooing - which I'd been more organised there *sigh* and happy shopping on annabandana! I started with two sleep caps, a buff and a scarf from there. I figured from that I can work out what I want to do and then order more. I have since collected a couple more square scarves (freebies) and bought one pre-tied scarf and a hat. Now I'm just waiting for it to fall out!
Do keep posting and any questions, just ask. Someone is bound to be along sooner or later. If you'd rather talk off forum, feel free to private message me.
I may be joining you on the June starters or I might be an early "July" starter.
I was diagnosed with BC on 7th April at Breast Clinic. Had Lumpectomy/SNB on 18th May. When I got my results on 25th May I was told my lymph nodes were clear, had clear margins, ER/PR negative BUT HER positive, oh and an 18mm Grade 3 tumour. They told me then that they wanted me to have chemo but I was very reluctant.
Anyway, met with my Oncologist yesterday, who was really lovely and patiently answered all my questions and spent a lot of time explaining everything in detail. As I am HER positive I knew already that I should really have chemo and in the week before my Onc appt I had been looking at wigs, headscarves, thermometers etc. online and reading all the posts on here of course!
Onc told me that I had roughly 70% survival in ten years with no chemo, however with chemo and herceptin (which is only licensed to be given with chemo) that brought the stats up to around 88% approx, he used the NHS Predict tool. Interestingly though he said that this tool underestimates the good that herceptin does in his opinion.
After a lengthy conversation and me crying, we decided that I would have 4 cycles of TC chemo rather than the 6 FEC/FECT which is probably what most of you are having. I will also get my first Herceptin injection, into my thigh, not iv alongside my first chemo. He is also going to give me lorazepam to take as I have a long term anxiety disorder/depression and have been under the care of a psychiatrist since I was 21, I'm 47, well 48 in two weeks. I have also have a phobia of vomiting so we discussed anti sickness meds as well. I'm hoping the lorazepam will counter effect the side effects of the steriods along with my usual diazepam and sleeping tablets. Being agitated and having panic attacks will only add to my SE's with chemo otherwise.
I'm having a Ventricular heart function test on the 23rd June at another hospital which includes a radioactive dye being injected into my arm??
My assessment is on the 29th June (my Birthday 😞 ) and they said I would start chemo the next day or the day after.
I've got an appointment to have my eyebrows tattooed on Monday (won't bother with top up as I will have started my chemo by then), got my wig voucher and have had a look online at some salons and made an appt for one next Wednesday.
I'll get my hair shaved off shortly before chemo and once I get my wig and some headscarves, can't be doing with my hair shedding all over the place as I have really thick hair although above shoulder length.
The wait from the 25th May to the 15th June seemed like forever and nothing was happening, now it seems like "all systems go". Trying to get things organised before my chemo starts.
I'm a bit concerned about the fact I live alone and how I will cope after the first few days after chemo, anyone else live alone?
Wishing you all well, off to Annabandanna website now.
Hi Belle & Millasmummy, hang on in there it does get better. I am now on day 13th have been feeling more like myself since day 10.We need to listen to our bodies and be kind to ourselves we have been through a lot already it's no wonder it takes a while. I am trying to pace myself as still get tired and find my concentration is all over the place but that's manageable.My hair is still there although scalp beginning to hurt like I've got a tight ponytail, but as I coldcapped not sure what to expect. Hope you both begin to feel much better soon Bubbles62 x