I did the induction day at The Haven in January this year and have also had some treatments there. I had three sessions of counselling which I found to be excellent and hugely helpful. It's a very tranquil place and I've met some very nice people there. I highly recommend it. The only downside is that there is a Whole Foods store nearby and I've spent a fortune there on my visits to the area.
I'm from the October 2015 group. This time last year I was a couple of days away from my first chemo. I am now feeling pretty well and enjoying life. You can do it ladies.
I know a lady who had BC in 2014. She is also the owner of a beauty salon/spa in a well known chain of posh hotels. She told me you couldn't have a massage unless you have a letter from your doctor. Presumably for insurance purposes.
Have a great day on Saturday! Congratulations and I hope the weather is fine for you.
Thank you Jo, that's interesting that your friend found it easier having more frequent doses.
Also, Belle, I see that you found EC easier than FEC and that EC is becoming more popular. Honestly, I haven't a clue what I'm talking about, but hopefully it will all become clear.
Ive just booked myself into an introduction day at the London branch of The Haven. Has anyone tried it? I've heard very positive stories about it
Hello everyone. Another newbie for the October club here. I'm 57, married with three teenagers - all living at home. I was diagnosed with oestrogen positive BC last September following a routine mammogram. It was caught very early and I managed to get away with a WLE plus sentinel node removal and radiotherapy. I pretty much sailed through it and then threw myself back into work at the start of this year.
Unfortunately, as a result of my first annual check up, I was diagnosed with a new primary in my other breast. Again it was caught early, but it is triple negative this time. I don't fit the normal profile at all, but here I am. I have had a further WLE. One node out of 19 removed was affected.
I start chemo on 26th October. I'm having a port fitted as I have had nodes removed from both sides. The oncologist said that it would probably be ok to use my right arm as I have had just the sentinel nodes removed from there, but I'm terrified of getting lymphodeama in my right arm as I use it an awful lot!!
My treatment plan is 4 x EC at fortnightly intervals followed by 4 x Taxol at fortnightly intervals. The oncologist called this an accelerated procedure and said it was fairly new in the UK, although it has been used for quite a while in the USA. Does anyone know anything about this? Ive been reading up as much as I can. I like to have the relevant facts at my fingertips, but I feel I need to step away from Google for a while as it all looks quite grim.
I have had my hair cut short and seen the dentist. I have an appointment for an ECG and the flu jab and have all the info about getting a wig. I'll be going through these threads to find other tips to prepare. I've been fairly upbeat up until now when reality is sinking in. I think the main issue is that I don't feel ill at all. It all seems surreal that I'm going to have to go through this. I'm sure you all feel the same.
I'm so sorry for hat all you ladies find yourselves here. I hope we can help pull one another through.
CT results still not with oncologist so have to go back next Wednesday, no other reason to see him yesterday so why not phone and cancel the appointment, would have been better than sitting waiting all day.
I spoke to BCN who confirmed I need to go this Friday to the day unit for the Chemo Information talk and to arrange appointment dates so that's a step forward, will also be getting another 50ml in chest expander on Friday.
Just want to get on with it now, Hugs and Best Wishes Mary xx
Hi everyone ! Thanks for sharing all your posts - it's so helpful to know there are other women out there going through the same thing. I too am starting chemo on Monday proposed drugs are AC x 4 (every 3 weeks) then T x12 weekly doses. I'm 47 & was diagnosed with Grade 3 9mm triple negative tumour at end of July but when it was removed extensive DCIS was also found so I had to go back under for more surgery to remove that too. No spread was the only good news !
I've gone from feeling extremely anxious about chemo to now being ok with the idea of it. I did have a terrible couple of days after having a flu jab though when the nodes above my collarbone swelled which logically I knew was probably not the cancer spreading but I still panicked until I was given the all clear & for info they went down about 5 days later in case anyone else has this problem (but still get them checked just don't worry too much). I think any ache / pain from now on will put me on high alert !
Does anyone know why an Oncologist chooses one drug combo above another as most people I know are having FEC T & I don't know why I'm having AC T ?
Sending hugs to everyone on here xxx
Good morning Anniedee so sorry that you have ended up here too! But the forum is the best place to turn to. Here you will find support understanding and empathy! So sorry to hear that so many of your close family seem to have also had to get on this journey!😬 You sound very positive keep on going lass!
The injections are to boost your white blood cells as they are effected by the chemo for BC. Without them your immune system would be very low! We are all different and experience different side effect and aches and pains in parts of the body are normal! That being said it is worth mentioning to you BC nurse if you are worried about the headaches and certainly if they persist!
CT results today at 4.45 all indications are positive but still can't completely silence the little niggling voice at the back of my mind so going to try and distract myself until then with some shopping and coffee with a friend, hopefully by the end of today should have a date for my picc line to be put in and for my first chemo session. Hugs Mary x
Good morning all, I'm another October newbie. This site has really helped me over the last few weeks, thank you to all...I feel I'm ready to post now !
I'm 49 and was diagnosed with triple negative BC in August and I'm on my first week of FEC-T chemo. I have had a lumpectomy where they managed to remove the 4cm tumor and luckily it has not spread to my lymph nodes ...thank goodness I caught it early. Unfortunately however I have been tested for the BRCA gene and I am BRCA2 positive which means that I am undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy. After chemo, I will then have surgery , having my ovaries removed and then a bilateral mastectomy...phew! So a long way to go...but I'm feeling very positive as the cancer was caught early by mammogram before it had even formed a lump.
My mother died of breast cancer at 52 and my sister earlier this year was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, hence the genetic testing. It's been a horrible and quite simply unbelievable 2016 (my father has also just finished chemo for prostate cancer ) but we are soldiering through together and have incredible support from friends and family.
I have a couple of questions..
- I have been given the g-sf injections to self inject daily for 7 days. Neither my sister or father were given these as part of their chemo treatment plans, is this specifically for FEC-T chemo ?
- I'm on day 8 of my first chemo and I've been very tired and had slight nausea but I'm taking each day as it comes. However I am getting headaches, a real tiredness headache at the front of my head. I'm taking paracetamol and taking my temperature beforehand ( which has been ok ) is this normal? I can't see headaches on the chemo book ..the paracetamol does help ..could this be a side effect of the injections ?
many thanks again to everyone posting ...it really does help and is a great comfort.
Good luck to anyone starting chemo this week XXXX
If all ok with my bloods tomorrow I should be getting my first dose of fec. Got picc line on Monday, so fingers crossed. Thanks for all advice from those who have already been there.
Not sure I'll sleep much, and got an early start!
Hi , I was diagnosed in June further tests found I had cancer in both breasts I have had a mastectomy on one side and lumpectomy on other, positive margins on lumpectomy so further surgery required. I have just recently found out I will be starting chemo on the 12th (fec-T) . I cannot have picc line as had lymph nodes removed on both sides so having a Hickman line put in. I have had lots of waiting around between appointments and feeling a little scared of starting .
i now have a start date, i start the 3x Fec-t on the 12th and then followed by 3 tax so 6 sessions in total. i was told it will be with 2 to 3 weeks and yeah just about 2 weeks nctice befre start date.
sue thanks for the advice buts will have a read.
so sorry to hear you are having such a struggle on top of your diagnosis. It just seems to be so unfair, especially at a time, where you need all of the support in the world. Do point out to your legal team, that you have this diagnosis, it may be of help, should the legal case, not be resolved as yet. I.e. you may have challenges around making court dates,etc.
I hope your chemo appointments will be in place, soon. I am wondering, whether it may be worth checking back with your treatment team with regards to your chemo regime. FEC-T usually means 3 x treatment with the drug combination of FEC and 3 x with the T, also known as docetaxol or Taxotere. So it may be worth checking whether it will be 3 x FEC and 6 x T?
Here is a link to some more information on the FEC-T treatment - https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/publication/fec-t-chemotherapy-bcc233
When the time comes, so ask for a PICC line to be installed in the arm not affected with the node removal. I am sure you know by now that you have to be very careful with that arm. i.e. no injuries, injections, blood pressure taking - as to reduce the lymphoedema risk.
Your additional drug regime will be decided close to the start of your chemo and steroids and anti sickness medication will be part of that. Some may feel nauseous, but never actually get sick, others do get sick - it is very individual. Some suffer longer, some less so. The important thing is to let your treatment team know, should the drugs you have been given not work for you. They can be adjusted for the next time. Generally side effects are very individual - you may get hardly any or a few more. Most side effects can be made easier with an accompanying drug regime.
Considering the removal of your nodes and the diagnosis of them, chemotherapy will be very important for you to ensure the best possible outcome for you. It is for many, far more doable, than initially expected - whilst for some it can be quite challenging.
Hoping you get your date soon.
just had a quick read, sorry not been back on but not been feeling too well, had so much to deal with non bc related. I was on court battling my ex over a non molestation order and then had oncology last week.
i now know i had 25 nodes removed and 6 were infected but they only class as 2 positive the others had a small amount and not countable. i have asked for bone scan just incase and other scans. i have my heart scan monday and was told i will be having 3 fec-t and 3 tax, not sure what the difference is. I have asked for extra antisickness as this is what i am dreading most of all and then losing my hair as well as all the other side effects.
i should be starting this month as i was told it will be within 2 to 3 weeks but still no date yet. i dont want chemo but know being tn i need to have it but wished i could now get a date as i just want to get it over with and the unknowing is horrible.
sue you look lovely without hair and with xx
sorry cant remember any more personals
love and hugs xxx
Thank you for all of your compliments - they really are appreciated. I. like you, was very apprehensive, too.
I wore my wig out - over my then existing hair - to see whether anyone noticed and to gain some confidence. And no one noticed - such a confidence booster!
I never wore it indoors - wore scarves mostly - not purchased, but the ones I had already in my warderobe.
And when it finally got really warm - the wig became too warm and I gained the confidence to go without.
Again - no one looked at me strangely, no one commented, which gave me the confidence to make a statement of it, rather than hide.
Tip for new wig owners! - Before you start wearing it - give it a wash with the special wig shampoo! You'll find it will soften the hair and the whole wig.
Thanks for sharing Sue - you look fab in all the photos.
My hair has come out in bucket loads today, so from tomorrow will have to start wearing headcovers. Trying to get the hang of scraves and getting in a tangle.
I am having this fitted this afternoon. It means that you can continue to bath and shower etc without any issue of getting it wet.
I have very shallow veins and my first chemo session I ended up with my arm in a bucket of hot water to bring the veins up in order to have my chemo.
thank you so much for the compliments - sooooo appreciated, considering how old I really am.
And a bit of make-up works miracles - you should see me without it - especially just post chemo treatment!!!
Not a good look, lol.
I evenutally gave up on wearing my wig, when the hair was gone - it was just too hot in the summer.
Nice make up - dangly earings - and no one batted an eye lid! It certainly made my life easier. Mind you - now where the colder weather becons - it does get a bit cold 'up top', lol. So have to think of something until the hair is thick and long enough to keep my head warm.
Good luck to all new starters next week. I hope all goes well and that you all have very few side effects. If you have - just post - sharing is likely to help others. And perhaps there are some tips to be had to deal with things. It does help tp know whether a side effect is normal or not - or when to do something about it.
I have had a PICC line from the beginning and I think it is wonderful! They put it in a couple of inches above your elbow using a local anaesthetic so you don't feel a thing. Then they send you for an xray to make sure it is in the right place.
I got a waterproof cover called a Limbo on prescription so free. I had to buy my other covers but I got them from Live better with cancer. If you don't get a cover you have to have the stockingette which the hospital supply - which is alright but I prefer my own covers.
Probably far too late now but I had my eyebrows tattooed on before chemo but could only manage the one session and had to forgo the top up they like to give 3 or 4 weeks later. They still look OK though.
The injections were a bit of surprise to me when I did my chemo (FEC-T). The Oncology nurse gave them to me out of the blue when I was on the FEC part. It could be because I had an infection on my first cycle. Policy on giving GCSF injections seems to vary.
You may be given the injections to do at home after one of your chemo cycles. I did them myself (as used to self inject) but some people get husbands or friends to do them or the local district nurse.
Chemo can deplete white blood cells and the injections are to build them up again.
Bone pain is one of the possible side effects.
When I had bone pain I tried Ibuprofen but it didn't work for me. Did some research and came onto the histamine connection. This may be particuarly useful if you are normally allergic? I've had allergic reactions before so tried Claritine (antihistamine) and Benadryl. This worked for me in controlling the pain finally.
Here's some more information if anyone is interested
Hi Sue......from another Sue
I so understand how you feel about not being able to be part of those childrens life for the moment - fingers crossed, that you shall have the same opportunity again next year, when your active treatment is completed and you have recovered.
PICC line - this will be put - usually - in your upper arm on the side, which has not had a sentinel node biopsy or further nodes removed. It stays in throughout the chemo treatment and usually for about 4-6 weeks afterwards. It is a godsent - I started without, but due to my veins burning out - had one for chemo 5 and 6 - so brilliant, as bloods are taken that way, too. No more need for cannulation! so very useful, too - should something unforseen happen.
It should be 'flushed' one a week. In my case the district nurses did this - and they also took the bloods, when they were due pre chemo treatment. It really did not bother me at all.
It also must not get wet - so shower and bath may present more than a challenge than usual. You may wish to look out for a waterproof PICC cover. Now with winter on the doorstep, you can hide it easily under long sleeves, as long as they are not too tight - otherwise - I hid mine under a fashionable scarf tied around it in the summer. People thought it was a fashion statement, lol.
As you have shoulder length hair (mine was a little longer still) - I would recommend to get it cut as short as possible pre chemo, especially if you are not cold capping. When the follicles go to sleep - one may experience itching/tingling and/or a sore scalp and headaches. Although we think a hair does not weigh a lot - it does to a follicle. Cutting as short as possible , or even shaving- can minimise those symptoms. Shaving or clipping is no longer an option, when chemo has commenced, due to the compromised immune system.
It may also be an idea to get a 'sleep cap', which is available at many cnacer headgear specialists. it'll catch the hair you have lost during the night. It can be distressing to some to have to collect all of the lost hair out of the bed and pillow in the mornings.
It is surprising, how many posts I have read by now of women, who love their long hair and identify it as being a key part of who they are - have taken to a clippered style quite easily. Some of them actually found it liberating. Surprising, but true. Some of us, of course, can get away with a clippered cut better than others. A certain amount of make-up also becomes more important to highlight our good facial features - such as eyes, cheeks and lips.
Just to give you an idea - how looks change - before chemo - from - to -
and with wig
Thank you Blueash! Thankfully my husband and I both work from home, and so staying away from people should be fairly straightforward, it's just the children that have both just started new schools so they are whole new sets of bugs for them to get immune to as well 🙂
I've got my info session tomorrow, and I'm writing a really long list - I like being organised, and this whole process has been difficult for me as you can't really plan anything, as the diagnosis and then the treatment is a step by step, see how we go process. My breast cancer nurses are absolutely brilliant, so I have a lotof support from them and the people I have met in the chemotherapy unit seem really nice, so although i'm not looking forward to it I feel like I'm in good hands.
should you experience bone pain, usually standard over the counter painkillers, such as paracetomol, can be of much help.
Which country are you being treated in?
Hello Lee, When you get your chemo chat you might be there a while! I was in and out because they start of with "do you have a job?" if so they tell you all about your rights including the right to be moved away from meeting the public (germs/infection risk).
Then they move on to "any children in the house?" and proceed to tell you about that, whether thy can have friends round, what to do at the school gates ( you ought not to mix with lots of kids).
If you have children the chances are you have a pet. No cleaning the cat litter box or bird cage for you.
At mine the nurse laughed and said "this will be quick" because I don't work, no children that live with me (grown up and moved away) and I don't have any pets. My chat was about avoiding public transport and letting someone else go shopping.
The biggest advantage I have though is being able to be lazy when I want to be. With a little one that might be harder for you so please arrange for someone else to be around from about the 2nd day after your treatment for a few days. I have a granddaughter that I only let see me in my good week because I am afraid of how it may effect her. She knows that I need strong medicine to make me better and that I need lots of rest. She even asked if I was going to die! I said "not yet" and she was happy with that.
You will cope because lots of women have to cope with children and chemo but I wanted you to be aware.
Good morning everyone 🙂 My name is Lee, I'm 43 and was diagnosed in August. I had a lumpectomy at the beginning of September and intially was told that chemo would not be required, only radiotherapy and hormone therapy. However, when they opened me up there was a second tumour that they did not pick up on the scans, and the lab report regraded me from slow to intermediate growth, so due to my age and that, I'm starting 6 cycles of chemo this week.
I have to say, I am a bit apprehensive. I have two children (11 years and 4 years) two beautiful girls and I'm finding myself focussed more on making it easy for them, but then at 2am in the morning waking up and it hits me. I am very positive about the treatment, and so very grateful they caught it early enough to treat, but as I wasnt expecting to have chemotherapy as well its taking a while for me to get my head around it!
I'm a little anxious of the side effects, but as I experienced hyperemsis on both pregnancies, I think that was practice for getting me through this!
I'm really looking forward to talking with everyone and being able to support each other 🙂
Thanks maryminder, hug gratefully received. The 'proverbial swan' has summed up perfectly how I feel too.
Hope you get a date sorted soon. xx
Hi Karen, I will be on the starting on the same regime as you in the next couple of weeks, just have to wait for my CT results which should be when I see my Oncologist on Wednesday then we can sort a date to start.
Like you i have had my flu jab, seen my dentist and I have ordered some hats and scarves, have an appointment on Tuesday to look at wigs my sister will be coming with me.I am trying to be as organised as possible but feel like the proverbial swan all calm on the surface and paddling like crazy underneath.
It's scary and although surrounded by family and friends you can feel so alone sometimes, that's why this place is so good everyone knows how you feel and if you want to rant and say things stink you can, as you say it is good to share experiences good and bad.
Good luck for Thursday, hugs xx
Hi lovely ladies. My name is Karen, aged 58 and was diagnosed in July.. I have had a masectomy with immediate implant reconstructin which I have recovered from well. I am starting my chemo on 6 th October and have tried to be calm about it but now it's getting nearer I can feel the panic setting in,! I am having 3 X EC and 3 X T followed by some radiotherapy . I am so glad I checked onto this thread. So many with similar situations and so much advice. Good too that people share all their experiences, good and bad.
I was advised to get the flu jab before starting if possible so I had this 10 days ago and have sorted myself a wig (with the help of a good friend to give me an honest opinion) . I decided I needed to do this now as not sure I would have been able to do this if I was not in a good place once treatment started.
i have made myself a list , as suggested, of supplies I may need in the coming weeks. My main fear now is that having geared myself up for Thursday , for some reason they don't go ahead with the treatment . I need to get going now and move forward with this whilst I am still just about holding it together!
Wishing everyone starting on this journey, or already on it, the very best and sending positive thoughts and hugs. Xxx