Just back from a few days with my Dad and feeling very anxious again. Poor Dad not doing very well at all, had to make an emergency trip to the GP and he has been referred to a Cardiologist again but more worryingly, he seems to have lost the desire to live now and wanted to talk to me about his getting his will updated. It is so much worse seeing people you love suffer than going through it yourself, I can hardly bear it. Hardly even mentioned my Mother this time around as when we did, we both welled up with tears. Sigh. Being a grown up is much harder than it looked when I was young
I'm still doing OK, aches and pains are a nuisance but nothing too serious and I'm making an effort to be out and about as much as possible at the same time as jobhunting just so that life isn't all grim. Riverdance was fun (but not as good as the original) and the V&A have a fab shoe exhibition coming up so that's something to look forward to.
Hope you're all doing OK.
Hi my special ladies. Like Chezz, just wanted to say hi and hope everyone doing ok. Still have achy boob but slightly better. Hope you enjoyed the theatre Sharon, thinking of all lol xxxxxxx
Morning all and thanks so much for all your comments, it really does help to know I'm not alone
Well I'm still an achy boobed/ribbed mess and feeling shattered but no signs of any bug or illness so it must just be a radiation side effect. I'll wait it out and if I do get a radiation follow-up meeting at the hospital I'll ask about it then. I haven't been given an appointment yet so maybe I've fallen off their monitoring list which, I have to say, I wouldn't object to as I'm rapidly becoming phobic about hospitals
Bit of an emotional mess at the moment too as today is the second anniversary of my Mother's death, so I'm off to the theatre (Riverdance) and afternoon tea with a friend before heading off to see my Dad tomorrow. Hopefully that will keep the blues at bay.
Hope you all have a good day
Hi to all,
Even though I haven't been positing I have followed the posts here. It is amazing how many animal problems happen simultaneously to our BC. My little Fifi, adorable 14 year old Coton de Tulear had to be put down two weeks ago as she had develped cancer of the liver among other probs and was on her last legs. She stopped eating, staggered around and could not even lift her head. It has left William our other little Coton a widower. I do miss her, she was always under my feet (literally often). Anyone interested can see her and our other animals at http://www.la-couscouillette.com.
Sharon, I suddenly developed a backlash as well. Having finished rt at same time as you until a week ago was pretty active and not too tired. Gardening, made lemon marmelade etc. Suddenly the tirednes has just hit me, tired when I get up, dragging myself around all day. Think it must be after effects of rt.
Next worry on the list is my high eye pressure which can lead to glaucoma. Have talked a pharmacy in the UK into sending me Ganfort uni (eye drops without preservative) which are great, no more red inflamed eyes. You can't get the stuff in France. But the eye guy was not happy with the eye pressure, thinks it's still to high at 13 and I fear he'll try and put me on something worse or, heaven forbid, operate.
As for BRCA, I had the 23andme internet testing kit done some months ago after my diagnosis. That is quite fast and among other info tells you about the BRCA. I came out ok. Probably not as reliable as having it done via a bloodtest and the official channels.
Leave you all for now, keep posting, keep pushing on,
Hi ladies, hope everyone doing ok. Just got back from a break in Dorset, mainly for me to visit monkey world as I just love them. Anyway lovely hotel and food and plenty of walking. Sharon, I saw my surgeon on Friday before we left as I had been getting awful stabbing pains, in my boob. Felt like pieces of glass, plus nipple sore. My BCN very kindly got me in to see him although she believed it down to after effects of rads. He checked me over and said it was the rads and can go on for upto 3 months. The pain has been awful, aching,throbbing basically flippin awful! He advised a sports bra and said it is a bad time now with the rads still working. I am 4 weeks post rads today. Also, about this time for emotions to play up, so really we all need to be given whatever we ask for. Would be good. Anyway just when you think you are over whatever hurdle we get to, another one pops up and says Jump higher! So all my lovely ladies, stay strong and nimble, to get over these hurdles, and we may then run the marathon. Love to all xxxxxxx let me know how you are Sharon xxxxxx
Well done you Kim. I would have done much the same
I am actively looking for a new puppy/young dog. My lovely collie cross died the same week I had my diagnosis, but hopefull I am now fit enough to have a new walkmate.
Boob is still uncomforatble and if I move wrongly it feels like a tight piece of elastic across it. As I am still sore underneath where the infection was i am still in 'granny' bras. I long for the day when I can wear some fancy underwear
Does anyone have a really painful shoulder on op side? I am getting a bit worried about it as it seems to be getting worse.
Thanks ladies, you're all very reassuring as always
Francine you are so right, nothing like BC to give you a bit of perspective. Although oddly enough, I can only seem to find perspective when other people are playing up: when I have a hissy fit over something it is completely justified of course I don't know anything about the BRCA testing I'm afraid so can't help but I think our Lynne (Loubyloo) had it done very recently so hopefully she'll be able to tell you.
Jo I finished my rads 5 weeks ago and other than the normal skin reactions and tiredness at the end stages, had no real problem with it and have been reasonably active ever since. The achy/throbbing ribs/muscles thing has only come on over the last few days so I've ditched the wired bras again and gone back to the softy things that are meant for nighttime but even they are hurting. I think it's probably a reaction to the rads too so hopefully it will solve itself.
Seems never-ending doesn't it.
Reading these comments about employers I'm pleased i'm out of it, mind you to get out of it was not that straight forward - still that is very much in the past.
You do wonder how some of these men would feel if it was their lower glands affected don't you
So pleased little westie is on the mend. Dog searching here now, but still unsure whether to go for a puppy or a young rescue.
It's funny how the feelings and aches suddenly catch up on you when not expected. Still catches me out.
I have found that stretching sometimes aggravates under my arm, especially after gardening or other stretchy exercise.
Hope you have all had a good day -
Thanks Cheryl, you're right and it's probably something very minor but I've turned into a worrywart on any and all health things these days Fortunately I do have some of the new M&S Rhubarb & Custard sponge cake in which I hope will work as well as Tarte au Citron and I can have a lazy day tomorrow to see if that helps.
Gah, bodies ey!
Hi all, hope you're at least enjoying the time away from work over the weekend although a bit of sunshine wouldn't go amiss would it As for you all having to face it again tomorrow...
Not sure why but physically I seem to have taken a big step backwards over the last few days, boobs is twanging and achy and the ribs/muscles underneath are sore. So much so that I had trouble sleeping last night. No idea why as I haven't done anything other than my normal stuff and if anything I've been less active than usual. I'm also physically tired - went for a walk this morning and gave up and got the tube home after 20 mins and normally I can walk for hours.
Anyone else getting this?
Rose I can't believe YOUR employer is being so incredibly insensitive too - having a junior team member do your refresher training?!!! Have they NO understanding of how anybody would feel about that?! Not in the least bit surprised you want to get out but it is entirely wrong that you should be put in this position. I can understand why you don't want to make a fuss about it as it's yet another drain on your energy but I think it's worth mentioning to your boss that this is more than a little insensitive. Honestly, some employers are just unbelievable.
I'm beginning to think that not having a job to return to was a stroke of luck...although I expect my mortgage company won't see it that way
Cheryl, I don't know what to say about your treatment from work. OK they may have procedures to follow but their timing and lack of consideration for your circumstances is APPALLING. I'm undergoing refresher training, which is useful, though the person who gives the bulk of my feedback does not give it in any kind of positive or constructive way. She was very much junior to me before my "break" and seems to enjoy pointing out any areas she feels i am falling short. I can't be bothered disputing it, just thank her for her input and go home feeling inadequate. I am looking round for some kind of part-time job which I can do, and go home and forget work. I'm lucky that i have a little pension from a previous job which started once i turned 60, and it would sub part-time wages. I was trying to reduce my hours before BC hit, but it's fulltime or nothing.
Good to see on fb that Millie is doing well and really hope that continues. Animals are such a huge part of a family. Two days after my 1st op my daughter's cat was killed by anti-freeze, that hit me much harder than BC. She lost a second one to the same thing a couple of months later.
Good luck with bring forward your appt. Would they let you call each day to check for cancellations?
So sorry you have all this to cope with at once
Bless you, were not braver than you honestly! In your current circumstances we would all struggle!
Like Sharon said its hard to know quite what to say, but rough times lead to peaceful times and although your in the middle of what seems endless problems you will get through.
I will pray for you as I do for all the dear cancer sufferers and a special doggie prayer for your dear little westie.
I dont know whether you are a believer but all I can say is I am and my faith has been my amazing saving grace. All my friends, cant believe how well I look and how strong I have been, even now I look back on whats gone and my forthcoming operations (double mascectomy and reconstruction due to me having the brac2 gene) and have a peace inside me. If someone had said this to me years ago that I would become a Christian and that I would cope with cancer, I would have laughed in their face!
Im sending you big hugs and love that little by little each day will give you peace and healing.
Ps keep posting on here, its a brilliant forum with such lovely people and we can hopefully give you a little lift when your feeling down. Xx
What?!!!! Cheryl that sounds AWFUL, I cannot believe your employer could be so totally insensitive, you must dread going into work each day now. As if you didn't already have more than enough to cope with.... and your little Westie, oh no, heartbreaking! Will say a little prayer for her that the operation is a success and she will be OK.
Is the health thing connected to your previous treatments or something altogether different? Oh, I just don't know what to say, I just want to jump on a train and come and weep with you and hug you and do whatever I can to help you feel better.
Have sent you a PM
*Ears prick up* did someone mention cake? Yes please, I'd like some 70s style cake to go with my Eurovision evening, although I've no idea what sort of cake we ate in the 70s: was it all black forest gateau or was that a 60s thing?
Like both of you I also feel a bit of a fraud because I didn't need chemo and I feel the need to tell everyone who asks that I was lucky in that respect, but I agree that the reaction I get is that somehow I haven't had 'real' cancer because of it. Wish I was brave enough to show them my scars/misshapen boob as I expect that would convince them
Ooh, you must let me know next time you're in town visiting your daughter Francine as I'm just moments away and would LOVE to meet you.
I'm just putting the final touches to my Eurovision Contest Scoring Sheet (we have the obvious categories to rate the songs, singers and general pizzazz of each act but we are always given a couple of blank categories that we can choose ourselves so I've gone for 'likelihood of inviting the group/singer to a sleepover' and 'how much alcohol would it take'). I'll be playing along with various friends scattered across the country and swapping notes via WhatsApp so that's my evening entertainment. Right, time for dessert and then I'm hunkering down for the long haul fabulousness that is Eurovision....enjoy your evening too
YES to your question, to the point that i almost feel guilty for escaping chemo.
I know I'm fortunate, but we can only fight the battle we're given. I really feel for those who have had to undergo chemo but they are not doing it for "cancer brownie points", it is not their choice. Does that make sense?
I am guilty of playing this down, maybe because i no longer have to "be a brave little fighter" that's why I'm a fully signed up member of your snivel club.
I trust the AGM will have lots of cake on offer to follow the curry buffet?
Glad to hear it Rose, I took an antidepressant when I was falling to bits during treatment and it did help - it sort of took some of the heat out of my emotions and allowed me to process them a bit more easily. You might find that it will help with some of the side effects from Tamoxifen too. Still think counselling is a good idea too though as all sorts of issues pop out that I hadn't managed to articulate clearly even to myself! Anything that gets us through this in reasonable shape is a good thing in my book
Thank you for helping me put this into pespective and accept that it's "normal"!
I'm going to ring my GP on Tuesday and see if he can offer me some immediate chemical help, Counselling is definitely an option but I want a quicker fix. (That old impatience thing creeping in again).
You are such a wonderful group of women, and I said this before but it's worth repeating: meeting you all is a huge positive from this whole hideous experience.
Love to all
Hi Francine, see, proof that we really are soul mates because I feel exactly the same having to show my boobs to anyone in the hospital who wanted to see them was horrible and that has left a few emotional scars and it must be even worse for you as you've had much more treatment. At the time we all sort of make a joke of it but now that I've popped out of the end of the treatment process I can recognise that that aspect felt like a violation. Think that is one of the reasons I'm keen to be a trollop just so that getting my boobs out becomes associated with pleasure again rather than humiliation and pain!
That said, I think I've come out of the process with a whole new respect for my body because I'm just astonished at how quickly and well I have healed. So much so that a few days ago I decided to tackle a very visible skintag on my collarbone that has been mildly annoying me for over a decade because I thought that if my body can deal with having big lumps chopped out of it without any trouble, it should be capable of a coping with a little bit of DIY cosmetic surgery and hey presto, it worked! A cotton tie and sharp sterilised scissors has dealt with it so that you'd never even know it had been there. Am now looking for other bodily bits that I can 'improve' by DIY
Is the BRCA test you're having done via a new biopsy/blood test or can they use the tissue they took last time around?
Typed a long post here about post-treatment reactions and how they could be addressed by the NHS but then realised that I'm really just 'thinking out loud' and it would be of no interest to anybody so I've deleted it. Think I'll spare my ramblings on the subject for my local MP who gets to bear the brunt of a lot of my musings and probably dreads my emails
Hi Rose, sorry you're having a hard time but you are definitely not alone.
I'm seconding the counselling suggestion, I also think that the emotional impact of BC is underrated by pretty much everyone we come into contact with. To me it feels like we are, for the most part, a set of physical symptoms to our medical teams (and not even particularly interesting ones given that our treatments were less traumatic than many of their other patients so not worth much time or attention) and to our colleagues/friends/partners we are people who have had a disease but should now be over it and neither are true.
I think that part of recovering means having to identify what has changed for us so we can recognise what we've had to sacrifice (loss of security, fear of the future, unhappiness with our changed relationships with old friends/partners...whatever it is that feels 'different' in our particular circumstances) and come to terms with it. Sometimes I think it is just recognising that nothing is different and we feel that it should be. For me it has been recognising that I panic when I feel I don't have control over my life so having surgeons just 'announce' what they are going to do to me, without explaining and listening to my views, was my personal nightmare and has really shaken me because if I don't even have control over the controllable elements of what happens to my body, I wonder what the point of life is? We all have different concerns though, and I'm lucky to have a career coach who has become a sort of life coach over the years and I know I can talk to him about anything and everything and that helps enormously as he is able to give me new ways to think about things.
Sorry to ramble on, but just wanted to say that I absolutely get what you are saying and as everyone else has said, I think almost all of us are in the same position now and this is precisely the time that we need some help to deal with it all.
Love to you
Counselling I had helped me so much - said things I would never have said to anyone - also say stuff on here I would not normally say, but having someone who can guide you through the 'grieving' and help you see through the feelings was great.
Would recommend it - I used Haven but I think there are servces offered elsewhere.
Yes I do take care what I say to others, Most don't know I had Invasive Lobular Cancer - that word Invasive seems to terrify people. Let it slip to my friend in France - she was horrified.
Having flown now I can assure you my new boob didn't swell, harden or explode when in cabin
In fact now the infection has cleared it feels softer and has even begun to 'droop' in a natural way
I have thought of speaking to McMillan about counselling, also seeing the GP. Can't help feeling I'm making an unnecessary fuss about what is probably something which will pass. As an over-thinker,I worked out that it could be that I never really believed I had cancer, always seemed like it was happening to someone else so I kind of breezed through it all in a state of denial. Or is it Tamoxifen creating havoc with my eyeballs as well as everything else?!.
It may be good, if i can pluck up the courage, to get counselling in place. Does anyone else feel they are tailoring what they say about the experience to whoever they are talking to? eg family, friends, colleagues all get their own answer to the same questions? A dispassionate listener might be helpful.
Just when I thought life was returning to normal, I start being crazy.
So very sorry
I was going to start a new thread and then eveything went bottoms up!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My lap top totally crashed and I am not a techno phobe, then my friend cme over from France and had to be entertained,
In all this was antibioyics and infection and can I fly or can't I fly - Wednesday of that week I was finally given the go-ahead to go - flight was on the Saturday, so I have just returned from a very pleasant time in France with my friend,
She didn't 'stifle' me like OH had been and slowly I have begun to not only heal (I think properly this time) but slowly have become to feel oh so much better - YAY
I had a quick read back and see, as ever, some are getting there and some need a shoulder to cry on
Come on girls we will get there - don't push yourselves too fast though