71092members
373653posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Not expecting cancer!!

19 REPLIES 19
artemis17
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Morwenna,
Sorry things havent been straightforward, hope you get through the next treatments and can start to feel better, or sleep for a week!!. Ive just had bone & CT scans so am back waiting. Should be seeing the oncologist in the next 2 weeks so will have a better idea what chemo cocktail i'll have, i guess it depends if the C has spread anywhere else.
I still have moments when i think "how the heck can i have cancer", but mostly ive accepted it. Back to work Monday after 3 weeks off, then if im up to it start my gym/fitness classes again. Anything for some normality. The MX wound isnt too bad, although the expander is like a cricket ball lol, and ive got about 80% movement in my shoulder, no cording or swelling thank goodness!.
many thansk for asking how im doing, its nice to be able to talk to others who are going through it, none of my friends have any C experience..
Anyway, take care, hope things soon pick up for you.
xx
Morwenna
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Artemis,

Just wondering how things are going. Chemotherapy is decidedly #not fun!, but not everyone gets severe side effects. Some people are able to work all through their treatments! I have found mine to be manageable so far, except I was unlucky enough to get blood clots in my leg and lungs on Adriamycin/Chlorophosphamide. But I also have an underlying blood disorder, which increased my risk of that!

I have three more weekly treatments after today's Paclitaxel, and I'm just starting to struggle with increasing fatigue, sore nails, and some numbness, feet and hands, probably peripheral neuropathy. I think the last three weeks will be the toughest, but then I'll be done!

I'm really not feeling too well this week, so we'll see what they say when I go for treatment today!
Lynn_Davey
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

my name is Lynn. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 8 March. Am 44 yrs old. |No children but we were trying. I have stage 3 invasive breast cancer. I found 1 lump and th mamogram found another, all in same breast. I started chemo on 3 may, due m second one on 24 may. Due tohave 8 rounds of chemo them lumpectomy but i am seriously considering a massectomy, then chemo and radiotherapy at the end.

After 2 weeks from chemo i started to lose my hair, so today my hairdresser is coming to cut it all off. I am sooo sad a this. All too soon for me.

I am struggling right now. had major melt doen at weekend as feel I am not strong enough to handle all this.

I csn talk whenever you need me. xx
artemis17
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi again, really appreciate the responses. Yes Morwenna i am due to have MRI and bone scan next week i think!. The DCIS was described as high grade, but the bits that ahd started to change werent "labeled" as such. I just feel as if i am told very little, the surgeon was not a people person at all and has spent no more than 10 mins all in with me (apart from in the operating theatre of course) so ive not lerant anything from her. When i see the oncologist will i get more info then such as the degree of risks and how it will be lowered by each lot of treatment?. Also the type of chemo and hormone side of things, reading through thsi site everyone seems way more clued up than me. Ive started to look at chemo, but the side effects all seem horrendous, im scared of it especially as its just me and my 16 year old son at home, i dont have family and none of my friends have any "cancer experience".
Sorry to be all "me me me", I guess its just the start of the journey and we all become self obsessed for a bit, but im hoping this site and you lovely people will give me a helping hand.
Been off work or a week, hoping to go back after the bank hol as being home alone is driving me loopy. I dont want to get dragged into jeremy kyles world, though the alternative "homes under the hammer" hasnt won me over yet.... 🙂
Ok guys well heres to a long and beautiful friendship,
Take care and if anyone wants to PM me then thats cool too. I wouldnt want to impose myself on anyone though..
Morwenna
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Artemis,

I seem to remember from your initial post that your cancer was described as "high grade"? If so, it is likely grade 3 (cancer is graded 1-3) so will be the most aggressive, i.e. rapidly dividing, with a high risk of spread. You should have a meeting with your oncologist to discuss all your pathology and what the "stage" of your cancer is, i.e. how far it has spread. Or your surgeon might go over your pathology at your surgical follow up visit. I found sometimes they don't tell you everything at once, unless you ask. It may be to do with not wanting to overload you, and I guess sometimes some people really do not want to know!

You might also be sent for bone and CT scans to check all your organs for signs of spread as well.

In my case, I had a large tumour >8cm, with one node out of eleven positive for cancer, which was also grade 3, mix of invasive and in situ ductal carcinoma. The usual protocol for grade 3 cancer, when the nodes are affected is, I believe chemo and radiation, and that's what I am getting, despite having had the mastectomy (Mx) and axillary nose clearance (ANC) just as you did.

If you really don't want radiation therapy, nobody can force you to accept it, but have a full discussion with your oncologist as to the difference in risk of recurrence with or without it. These days they are able to pinpoint very accurately where they irradiate, and my radiation oncologist explained that the risk of heart or lung damage was very small, compared to the risk of recurrence if I don't get it. She said they use some sort of artificial tissue cushion over the chest wall which concentrates the rays superficially so less risk of irradiating the deeper tissues.

A long daily journey is a P.I.T.A. for sure, but this is a very effective and proven intervention. Just talk to your doctors. You are also entitled to request copies of any of your reports, and to ask the doctors to go over them with you, so that you are perfectly clear what you are dealing with.

I'm glad your surgery went ok. Take care. 🙂
Melrose15
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Artemis
You will have a better picture with regards to what was removed, grades, stages etc when you go back for your results, usually two weeks after your op.
It sounds like you are doing well with regards to movement but be careful not to over do it. Take it easy and don't expect too much from yourself.
I had a mx and anc and will start chemo on 13/6 then rads and tamo, so basically the same as you. As the rads is targetted therapy it blasts the chest wall area and kills any cancer cells that may be still lurking around. As yur cancer was in your nodes it had already started to spread from the breast. Its good to cover all bases, so to speak.
Be sure to write all your questions down to ask the consultant when you see him but in the meantime contact your BCN who will be able to answer anyworries you have. The BCC helpline is also there for you as are the lovely ladies on here.
Good Luck and best wishes to you
Emma xx
artemis17
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi all,
Well the op went well i guess although the drains were the worst part adn have left me with a very painful back/shoulder. I have almost full range of movement in mt arm though despite axilla clearance.
Unfortunately the results showed that 3 out of 12 nodes had cancer signs so i need to have chemo then radioation then as its estrogen positive, drugs for 5 years that will cause an early menopause. So not the result i was hoping for.
One thing, a lot of people posting on here seem to know loads about their cancer..I have only been told about the 3 nodes, i dont have any idea of the grade, stage, whether theres a greater risk of it returning etc. Wuill i get this info as a matter of course?..
Also, if i have had a mastectomy and chemo, why radiation therapy, as with the meds surely im covering evry angle. I know i was told initially it was DCIS, so early stage but there were signs it was starting to change and was fairly wides spread in the breast so lumpectomy wasnt an option.
Nothing has been added to this, so surely radiation is a step more than necessary??. I understand the belts and braces idea, but also the little i have read about radiotherapy makes me think i could damage the heart, lungs and skin as well as the sheer hassle of having to travel 40miles aday to get the treatment, which means work disrupted as well as cost of buses/trains and how my poor body will manage with so much happening in such a short space of time.... it just seems that i havent got a really advanced or seerious stage of cancer so is my risk of cancer returning without radiation significantly reduced by having it??
Would love some feedback...
taffy10
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

good luck with your op, wishing you a speedy recovery. Remember to take the painkillers xx
Alto
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Good luck Artemis, and have a look at this thread for an explanation of the abbreviations and acronyms http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/community/forums/abbreviations-acronyms-used-forum

Jane xxx
artemis17
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Wattie thank you. I will be back with all the updates but not for a while as i wont have internet access in hospital. (only person under 50 in the country to not have a smart/i phone i think..)xx
Wattie
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Artemis
I know all this is a shock still at the moment, but I think that once Friday is out of the way you will feel so much better, I could not wait to get rid of my LF as I called it and went into my surgery positively excited to get rid of my cancer! Odd I know, but true.
You will start to gain some control once you know your treatment programme.
Like you I always have a problem with my mouth moving quicker than my fingers and spell check does not help!
Good luck for Friday, and as they say over here in France 90% of your recovery is mental so keep strong
Big love and hugs karen xx
artemis17
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Ah thank you for all the positive comments.
Apple I dont know any of the shorthand or what the initials mean, but i guess thats something else you learn.
As a single mum its all about managing myself and keeping things normal for my kids, although one has left home & lives ove seas and the others going through GCSes just now so I need to keep things calm...we have had to cancel our holiday for june though 😞
Although im scared about Friday, i also want to get it done, to get the results and know what the next step is. Ive not even considered that yet as i can only do one bit at a time. Thank you again for your reassurances, and to know you have all gone through it and that life carrys on and gets back to normal on some level too.
Thanks again, i will be back!!!
Artemis
PS Ive never made as many typing mistakes as since ive been diagnosed, i think the words are just falling out of my mouth onto the keyboard and my fingers cant keep up....
applestreet
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Artemis..I can echo the other ladies on this thread..yes it can suddenly just appear...I am 12 months on from my last chemo and 20 months from my dx...grade 3 er+ pr+ and her-..I had right Mx in Oct 11..followed by 6FecT..I was v good in checking my breasts as BC runs in my family genes..I had a clear mammo in Nov 10 and had checked regularly every month..in the Aug of 11 my grandson caught my right boob whilst we were playing..he was 3 at the time..and a lump just appeared nearly overnight!!!!...of course it was there all the time but the gp thought that the kick had somehow revealed it..lucky or what as I hadn't had any symptoms..boob was normal..I felt OK..I found this site invaluable for info and for support...I too don't have much family so support was at a minimum but with my 2 daughters and my OH we managed to muddle through the treatment..once you have your surgery and get your treatment plan..things seem to fall into place..I know it's hard to get your head around it..it's quite surreal at first..but at least it's been found and is being dealt with...good luck for friday..I was terrified of my op but it was ok really..I had no pain and was quite relieved when my boob was gone to be honest as the cancer went with it...life is slowly returning to "normal" whatever that is....once again good luck and best wishes ...apple

SP0
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Artemis,
Yes, it can just appear. I had a similar experience to Martha - one morning the lump was suddenly there, mine too was grade 3 (aggressive) & unfortunately had already spread to the liver & lungs.
So, take heart, the benefit of the treatments proposed for you are about reducing the chance of it spreading while you still have time.
Mine was very quick. The consultant assessed from the biopsy results that it had grown from scratch within 6 months. I was healthy beforehand, there were no other symptoms, so you haven't missed anything, sometimes it just happens that way.
Sarah
MarthasSOS
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Artimis

Just to let you know, I check my breasts every month however, with moving house and a few other issues, I hadn't done my checks for over 6 months. I was getting out the shower one evening when I remembered I hadn't checked for ages and to my horror, there was a lump.

I had no symptoms what so ever. My breast looked normal, my nipple looked normal. The only way you could tell that I had a lump was by feeling it.

I had a grade 3 IDC - Now gone as it was removed on Friday 😉

In all honesty, if it wasn't for me checking, I would have been non the wiser and would still be sitting here with it inside me. My BFF has never checked her breasts and doesn't know how so I'm going to her house this weekend to show her.
Take care
Martha xxx
artemis17
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Hi Ladies, and thank you for the replies. Its difficult to get my head around, and at the moment im just wanting to get the operation out of the way and then deal with the next stage on bit at a time. I suppose becasue its all been a shock with no symptons really that its taking a while to sink in, plus i cant see that its going to need laods of follow up treatment??. can it rlly just "appear" in your body silently with out any clues etc??. I may be a frequent visitor to this site as i dont people to talk it through with in real life...
Oh well all the talking is going to change things and just now its hard to believe its really happening...
:-/
tabitha1969
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

have you tried the macmillan site as well as this one? also facebook has lots of groups, the more the better i found, macmillan has a live chat room, not everyones cup of tea but some people enjoy chatting online, good luck for your surgery xxx
poemsgalore
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

Artemis,
So sad that you find yourself as part of the club nobody wants to join. They won't know what size or grade your tumour is until after your surgery. I am also sorry that you have no family to discuss your fears with - that must be very difficult for you. But I'm very glad you have found this website (the Macmillan is another useful website) as on here you will find all the information and support you need from others who are going through, or have already gone through what you are enduring now. May I wish you good luck for your surgery on Friday. My surgery was last December, so I've moved on a bit from that but I can remember how daunting it was. So I'm also sending you (((BIG HUGS))) to let you know I am thinking of you.

Poemsgalore xxx
June_BCC
Member

Re: Not expecting cancer!!

hello Artemis17


Whilst waiting for replies you may find it useful to contact our free helpline on 0808 800 6000 and have a chat to one of our staff, opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.00 – 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 – 2.00.


Best wishes


June, moderator

artemis17
Member

Not expecting cancer!!

Hi, i have been advised to post here as well as the new members thread to see if there are any ladie starting their treatment round about now. I was diagnosed 2 weeks ago and have a mastectomy and axilla clearance planned for friday 10th May. I dont know any grades etc of my cancer, just that its both DCIS and beginnings of invasive caner, plus suspicious lump in my armpit.
I dont have any noticable lumps, even my own GP couldnt feel anything, but i had the mammogram, biopsy etc, the result was most unexpected for me. I have 2 children, only 1 living at home, dont have a live-in partner, though a boyfriend who lives over 40 mils away-has its advantages sometimes!!.
Both my parents are dead, and not close to other family so really dont have a whole heap of practical support going on. Anyway just wanted to introduce myself and hope to get chatting to others in a simlar start of teh journey..
Many thanks for anyone who replies
:-)