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Starting Chemo - 7th April

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi ladies.
Had my first FEC at lunchtime today. had a little trouble with the first vein she tried, but bigger vein in elbow worked fine. it wasn't anywhere near as bad as i thought it might be, just a little dizzy for 10 mins. The nurses are so kind and stop anytime you want. haven't got a funny taste at the moment, just a headache nd head a tiny bit fuzzy, for which i've taken 2 paracetamol, seems to be doing the trick so far. Feeling ok nausea-wise at the moment, but plan to take a couple of tablets in an hours time, I think. i want to nip it in the bud if i can.

Thinking of how you were, Paula, I'm expecting to feel rough later and for next two days. it's good to be prepared for it, I suppose. i do hope you are coping alright, and getting the help you need with your little angels. praying for you. ( HUG )

I bought four Indian cotton headscarves, Lyn, which I'm washing today to soften them. I could only afford one Buff, but it's so lovely and soft i can imagine i'll be wearing it more than the scarves. Mine's grey with a black flowery design. I've heard they sell them in Millets. maybe get another in a lighter colour for the "summer", if we have one!!
Thinking of summer, I've had a brainwave to start using that fake tanning lotion, on my face to start with. I'm fed up of looking at my pale face in the mirror! Then I might put some on my legs. Because we'll be smothered in high factor sun cream this year, i don't expect we'll develop much in the way of a real tan, do you?!!

Polly, i see you are on here at some unearthly hour! I expect I'll be awake a lot tonight, too, with these steroids. So may join you for a chat! if I'm not hanging over a bucket, that is! I'm hoping I'll be ok, but you just don't know,do you? If you don't hear from me tomorrow, you can guess I'm not so good. Hope I don't get any allergic reaction to steroids.I can feel my stomach starting to churn a bit as i type this. Oh dear.I've got my bucket ready upstairs,anyway,in spare room.

Lyn, enjoy your day tommorow.And I'll be thinking of you on Thursday.Don't worry! Hope you can let us know you're ok.
I had planned to do housework yesterday but in the end i didn't bother! Did some ironing this morning, that's all. My OH is great, he wiped round the kitchen this morning whilst I went for a lovely walk for an hour! I didn't want the whole day to be dominated by the chemo session! I was very glad i did that, it put me in a better ,calmer frame of mind. When i came home after chemo i almost went for another walk, but thought that would be pushing my body a bit too far with all those chemicals circulating around! However, i did have a lovely hot shower and washed my hair,in case i don't feel up to it tomorrow. And i think i'll go for a lie down now, be kind to myself.
Love to you all, and WE WILL SURVIVE!! Ann xxxxxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Well done Polly, good to hear you sounding so well, hope tomorrow isn't bad. Thanks for the tip Louise, I'll try Word. Everybody else seems to manage so I thought it must just be the line speed! My son has an ice pack round his leg, horizontal all day but did hop to the kitchen to cook, bless him! He'll be home all this week although he really wanted to go to a gardening job, on his motorbike! Luckily they insisted he stay home, he wouldn't listen to me.

Identifying with so many of you, I too have remedies for every eventuality, plus lollies, sweets, snacks and drinks for every whim. I don't suppose triple-dosing on caffeine tablets would work with tiredness! Ann, what kind of scarf did you get? I’ve ordered some Buffs, including a pink one that perhaps my son will not borrow! Didn't get around to the big haircut I’d planned this week, may just let my daughters have a go at it. I expected to have a wig ready by now!

Lyn xxx

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi all

Hope everyone is fine.

Sukes - how did your tax go today and how are you feeling? Hope it wasn't as bad as you were expecting. Wishing you all the best for the next few days - only 2 more to go now so counting down!
Ann - Will be thinking of you tomorrow and hope all goes well - I will be looking on here to see how you are!
Paula - Haven't heard from you for a couple of days - hope you are starting to feel better!
Rachy - Hope you are OK - thinking of you!
Sophie and Louise - Glad to hear you are both feeling better - enjoy the days ahead and avoid those germs!!
Lyn - Good luck for Friday in case I am steam-rollered tomorrow!!
Naz and Sarah - hope all is OK with you both!

I am OK- I had a better sleep last night although I was up several times to the loo - not surprising with all the fluids I was pouring down me!! Had a bit of an allergic reaction this morning with the shivers, a red face and streaming eyes although my temperature was fine - it only lasted a couple of hours – I phoned the hospital who thought it could be a reaction to the steroids but told me to carry on. I’m feeling fine now and am hoping for the best tomorrow when I am tablet-less and am preparing myself for the crash! lol

Take care ladies and hang on in there!
Love to all
Polly x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Polly Hope you're not feeling too fragile today, I know the steroids help and you will be prepared for the crash in a couple of days, I am glad you managed the journey Ok. Will it be the same when you have your radiotherapy? I am on Day 8 after my last chemo and finally feel like my cheery self (have been like Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh over the weekend lol) Take care of yourself.

Good luck to Sukes as well today (HUG)

Rachy How are you doing honey? Hope you are looking after yourself ready for the next onslaught, you're right, no one understands until they do it themselves.

Ann I actually havent used everything I bought from Boots, I am one of those just in case sort of people who likes to be prepared. This seems like a lovely supportive group on here and as you say we will all get through together. I seem to be miles away from everyone as I am up in Yorkshire.

Sophie you are on day 8 like me, when is your next one? mine is 22nd. I am glad to feel better and to start getting out and about. Well done on the Race for Life plans, I thought to myself "this time next year" when I saw it advertised last night.I work from home some of the time too, and then go into work on the third week of each cycle.

Paula Hope you are starting to feel better, don’t despair, it does suddenly LIFT. Big hug to you

Lyn How are things? How's your son? Re only being able to post short messages, I do my posts in Word (in a different window) and then copy/past them onto the thread, that way I can take my time and check out what people have written. Don’t know if that helps?

Love to all

Louise x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Polly,
so glad your first day went well. I do hope you managed to get some sleep last night. You must be whacked! maybe you will sleep most of today to make up for it.
I didn't realise you were having Tax straight away.

Rachy, so sorry to hear you've been so low. Your story will encourage us all to go to GP if we are not feeling good emotionally. Glad you've got meds sorted out now. Hope you pick up quickly, honey. Look after yourself. ((hug))

Sukes, thinking of you today,sweetheart. What time is your appointment? try to stay calm. deep breathing! I'll be telling that to myself, when it's my turn.
WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS!

I'm off to Boots to buy a big tub of aqueous cream, senokot, anusol cream, and lemon or lime cordial. We should all buy shares in the company! I've ordered some pretty headscarves on the net.Got to sort out some forms to try and get free prescriptions, as OH out of work, forever probably. ( 60 yrs old ) A blessing in disguise, we'll maybe discover later.

Love and hugs to you all,
Ann xxxxxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Rachy

Just came back to this thread and saw your post - you must have been typing it the same time as me! So sorry to hear that you have been struggling along feeling so low and glad to hear you've been to your doctor for some help. You are not a misery and we all have days when it is hard to put a positive face on. Just wanted you to know that I am thinking of you and sending you hugs - we are all here for you as you are here for us - we will get through this together with each other's support.

Hope you soon feel better!
Love
Polly x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi everyone

Thanks for all you kind messages. Just a quick post tonight as I'm feeling whacked after only 2 hours sleep last night due to the steroids. All went well with the chemo today. I am having my treatment at Derriford in Plymouth although I live nearly 50 miles away in North Cornwall so it was quite a trek there and back. I was there for about 3 hours but I think it took longer today as I was a newbie and all was explained to me about side effects, etc. The tax took the longest to drip through- an hour but luckily I had no reaction. The nurse was lovely and I was in a small comfortable treatment room with my husband and even was given a free sandwich for lunch so not a bad experience at all. I am feeling fine - no side effects yet apart from the red wee! The nurse warned me though that I will probably feel rough from Weds onwards when the drugs start kicking in and the steroids have worn off. I came home with a bag of drugs to keep me ticking over for the next 3 weeks.

Hope this post is encouraging for you, Sukes, Ann and Lyn! Good luck tomorrow with your first tax, Sukes - will be thinking of you - only 2 more then for you. Ann and Lyn, I'm wishing you both a good first treatment day like me. At least we'll all soon have only 5 more to go - I'm pleased that I've got through today OK and hoping the best for the rest of the week! LOL!

Hope everything is going well with all you other ladies out there - will try to catch up with you all tomorrow!

Thanks again for your great support and love to you all!
Polly x

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Ann, Still not feeling so good but mostly emotional. So went to gp today and got meds sorted out. No steroids next time as made me feel suicidal. I am feeling better but back on Monday for epi again as on accelerated treatment on tact2 trial. I shall just take every day as it comes. Sorry to be such a misery and not more positive but cannot help it. I am on day 8 after epi today. Working is not working out so need to rethink.
Thanks for your concern

Rach x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

hi Sophie,
glad you are feeling so well, on day 8. it's amazing how different people can feel on same drugs. let's hope it continues.

Paula, hope you pick up from today and that each time will be easier. bless you.

Personally, I am now quite concerned about the Taxotere, having just visited the website. I tend to be sensitive to things, and wonder if I'll be one of those who have an allergic reaction. I'll have to ask them to run it in very slowly indeed - I don't care how long it takes! Oh dear. Still, I'd rather know about it, and be prepared. I'm not worried about the FEC at all now!

I've hardly done any housework,again! Was going to wash and polish my living room floor...... but spent all afternoon on the internet! Oops! We've had our boiler fixed today, so it may keep going a few more months. Don't want that breaking down in the middle of chemo.,please Lord. must have a look at the headscarfs someone mentioned they saw on ebay. Was it you, Lyn? I'd better order some. I've got a Buff, which is nice.Still need to buy a couple of things from chemist tomorrow.

Sukes, I now share your concerns about the tax, and will be praying for you tonight and tomorrow. I have a feeling you will be fine, and it might be me that has a reaction. I'd rather it was.You've got young children at home to be taken care of. Let's hope we all keep free of infections, too.

Rachy, how are you? not seen you on here for a couple of days. hope you are ok,honey.
Love to you all, Ann x

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Polly,
I have been thinking about you today.

It is day 8 for me and I have been feeling pretty well. I have managed to work all day from home. Keeping my mind busy, plus feeling useful is all part of the process. I understand that not all of us have the choice to be working from home, and consider myself really lucky.
Much more upbeat today. A shame about the cold wheather. I would love to go for a walk, but I am afraid of catching a cold or something.

Wow Ann, you are planning ahead...Good on you. We need to get things to keep us going. As for me end of treatment will be in 18 months (I have 18 Herceptin after the 6 chemos), I haven't started looking that far ahead. I am in South Oxfordshire, and yes at some stage it will be nice just to be able to put faces to post on this site...
My short term goal is to walk the race for life with my two daughters. I just hope that the 7th June will be a nice day, as I don't know what my onc would say if I told him I intended to walk in the rain....

Sukes, We all have our dark thoughts hanging above our heads. We wouldn't be human if we did not have doubts. We are all here to help you push them aside, and be positive. I sometimes find that I am under tremendous pressure to cope, because everyone thinks I am strong. I don't think I am. I am just trying for my kids,' sake; they don't deserve having their teenage life ruined by their mum's issues.

We will support eachother. Together (and with our families), we will get through this.

Thanks for all your support ladies.
Sophie

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi, Lyn
Yes it's so lovely in Norfolk, isn't it. My brother and his family live just over the border in Suffolk, so we've gradually got to know that lovely part of the country. The pace seems slower doesn't it? you can still buy some home grown veg from someone's front gate and pop some money in a basket! Amazing.
I do hope you can get away at some point, too. The coastal paths are magnificent. Don't know that we'll be able to walk as far, but the scenery and fresh air would do us good.
It's cheering me up just thinking about it!!

my OH uses a photo of the sunrise looking out to sea, taken in Cromer last year, for his desk -top wallpaper.I used to get up early while everyone was still sleeping and go walking on the cliff top while the sun was rising.Beautiful ! That was the only morning he managed to get up before me, and it was worth it!
How many years have you been going over, Lyn?
p.s.if you want to email, i'll send it to you on private messages later. We are in the same neck of the woods.
Ann x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hope it went ok Polly, and you're not feeling too battered now. How long were you there? A lot of us are feeling this with you today, you have lots of support here.

Ann, it's lovely talking about Norfolk. I don't know Cromer very well, I've mainly been to Wells with a friend. There's a caravan site just behind the beach, unlike most seaside sites, no pool or clubhouse, very civilised! We can get there for a day easily enough, sometimes I take the girls and ponies up to Holkham, my favourite place, and ride along the shore towards Burnham Overy Staithe, it's also nice to walk the coast path from Wells to Blakeney for the best fish and chips! I like the sound of the retreat in Cromer, what a good idea, especially going through this exhausting treatment. I had been invited to a friend's house in France but the onc said not to go abroad during chemo, so Norfolk it will be! Lyn xx

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Polly.
I've been thinking of you all day. hopefully you are at home by now.I didn't know what time your appointment was.
I do hope you are ok. Send a quick message if you can. I will try to do so on wednesday evening! Which part of the country are you in,btw?

Paula,I've been thinking of you a lot,and praying things will improve, sweetheart. I've been feeling a bit angry about this blasted cancer, have you? It's a pity these drugs have such nasty side effects. I have to keep minding myself it is still the lesser of two evils. Grrrr..

Lyn, hiya. We visited Cromer for the first time last August ( the only 2 weeks of good weather last summer!! ), and really liked the laid- back atmosphere. Rented a house, 10 mins walk from beach. The fresh air and coastal walk was a HUGE tonic. We travelled there by train, as we don't own a car. I am hoping we can go for a week, maybe in june between chemo sessions, if I feel up to the travelling. Since that visit i have made contact with a couple in Cromer who run a sort of retreat house, where people can go for recuperation and relaxation. So, that's where we would like to go. They have said, very kindly, that they will keep a room available for us all year! ( I told them about my situation ). There's lots of places to visit, and the beaches are lovely and clean. You really feel away from it all! Not much for teenagers to do,but great for younger children.
Do you hope to get away? I don't know how I'll cope with all these treatments without at least a week's break at some point, do you? I'm thinking it had better be in the first half of chemo, because the Tax seems to wipe people out more.

Thinking of you all. Sukes especially, praying for you for tomorrow. I'll be in the same stress about the Tax, I expect. But you will still be alive, I'm sure. try not to worry.( easily said). Strong medicine needed for the best result. I'll pray no bad side effects for you.

Love and hugs to you all. Ann

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Just wishing you all the very best for tomorrow Polly, will be thinking of you and hope you'll be able to tell us it was fine. We're all here to support you however you feel, you know that. Lots of love, Lyn xx

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi everyone

Thought I'd just come on and say hi before I attempt to get some sleep tonight before starting chemo tomorrow. I am feeling quite calm today - I think I've run out of nervous energy!!

Sorry to hear you're feeling rough, Paula. I'm thinking of you and hope things get better very soon. From what I've picked up on here you are at the point where everyone feels at their worst but then they pick up again - sending hugs and wishing you good days soon.

Rachy - glad to hear you are feeling a bit better - hoping you are taking things easy and getting plenty of rest. Take care!

Sophie - pleased to hear you are coping OK. I've bought some manuka honey too but haven't tried it yet- I like honey anyway so will probably like it. I've bought so much stuff - hopefully I have something to take for most side effects - mouth wash, prunes, pineapple juice, etc!!

Lyn, Ann and Sukes - good luck for your chemos too this week - I'll be thinking of you!

Sarah, Louise and Naz - again thanks for your wonderful support and hope all is well with you!

Well, bye for now. Hopefully I will be back on here very soon telling you I'm coping OK - if not, I know that you will be here for me!!

Love and best wishes for a good week!

Polly x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi all, I do wish my computer would send long posts - we've only a slow 512kb broadband as we're so far out from the exchange, maybe that's why they always time out if I try to send more than about two shortish paragraphs! My son is determined to go to work tomorrow, he's been at the village pub again tonight, probably embroidering the story of his injury. He's been working outside with some landscapers, so quite how he'll do that on crutches remains to be seen.

Ann, I walked my old horse out in the lovely late sunshine about 6pm, wishing we were at Holkham and wondering if I could get up to Norfolk this week, before stepping into the abyss on Friday. I'm not meant to drive for another week but did take my daughter's little car out to get some nuts for the birds, a 3 mile trip to restore confidence and independence. Probably not a great idea to drive 80 miles and back just yet, but I do love the north Norfolk coast. Where do you visit?

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Paula,Lyn,Polly,Louise, Sukes,Sophie and Rachy,
Sorry to hear about your son,Lyn. Funny how things sem to happen together in one week. next week will be great,I hope!
I haven't seen Elaine Sassoon's book, no. I've seen it mentioned before, so I'll look at buying copy. It's just something to think about for now. I'm not thrilled at the idea of long hours under anaesthetic, to be honest, as it makes me sick.But I've heard such good reports from women who've had recons, that maybe I'll do it at some point. I've just read a couple of comments on another thread about new primary diagnosis in other breast, and that is why I'll be seriously considering the possiblity of an elective mastectomy of my right breast, rather than go thru' all that again! I'll need to know the statistics then decide. You are not far away from me, we travel through Cambridge on our way to the Norfolk coast.

Paula, so sorry to hear you are feeling so rotten still. Hopefully things will get better in the next few days, and your energy will gradually return. I get the impression we have to learn to be very patient with our bodies. They are taking a serious hammering!! But, i appreciate that it must be very difficult with two young children to look after. Do you have anyone to help you? I am thinking of you.

Louise, thankyou for your positive comments.Hope they help you, too, Paula.
Sophie, we are not too far apart. I'm in north Buckinghamshire, an hour from Oxford by road. I noticed on another thread that a group of ladies had exchanged email addresses and were getting together after their treatments had finished. I suppose we would need to do that by sending private messages? if any of us were near enough to each otherYou can see from my comments that I'm fixing my eyes way ahead when these treatments are all finished! (Hopefully the time will go quickly, like you say, Louise.) Sophie,sorry you are worrying, I will probably be the same! It's only natural, and it's hard to occupy your mind with something else isn't it? I'm finding chatting on here SO helpful.I think that's the main way women deal with things, by ust talking about it, even if we have no answers, we feel better for getting it off our chest. (sorry).Talking of chests, I found i was getting a bit teary-eyed when watching the Nancy competition last night. All the women had such beautiful breasts. Oh, dear, here I go again! And all the magazine covers,too,catch my eye! Gulp!
Sukes, what drugs did you have for your first 3 chemo sessions? Do you have any tips for Paula? We'll be thinking of you on the 8th. It's the Tax I'm dreading, too. I'm trying to think of a visualisation to help me on wednesday.Maybe a little army attacking and killing the nasty cells. Hence the feeling rough,because there's a battle going on! Any ideas?
I'm sorry to hear you've been having morbid thoughts. I've had a couple,which surprised me, but i just told them to go away in no uncertain terms!! You want to vist people because you've realised family is so important and you want them rooting for you, that's all! And your friends are phoning because they care, and have picked up on the ether that you need encouragement! That often happens to me,someone comes to mind and I know I need to ring them.It's a positive thing,honey. I'll pray for you to feel more peaceful, and hope it helps.
Keep in touch this week if you can. You are all VERY SPECIAL, remember that, and we will get through it, as thousands are doing with us ( sad to say ).Thank God for these drugs which will help us, and the expertise of the doctors and nurses. They are special people too, aren't they?

God bless, hugs to all, Ann

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi All,

Lovely to read the threads. I'm due my ist tax on 8th and am really worried. Was talking to my sister today and told her how frightened I was. She said my imagination is playing tricks on me as i know i'm being silly but sometimes when people pass away they always seem to visit there nearest and dearest first. Well as its been half term week I have visited all my siblings and also for some strange reason all the friends that mean somethin to me have phoned. In addition to this I have also dreamt of my gran 2wice this week and i keep on asking myself is this a sign????? I know i shouldn't think negative as I do feel I'm doing so well but sometimes you can't help the vivid thoughts crossing your minds

Sophie - I have tried visualisation and as part of the alternative therapy at the hospital they offer healing and they help you visualise. I do think it helps. I also do something called Kundanili yoga which is more to do with meditation and relaxation rather than putting my legs around my neck . I find this also helps.

Polly - i'm sure your'll be fine with the chemo. Its very nerve racking first time around but its not as bad as people make out - honestly. I have suffered more from constipation but prune juice did the trick. I have noticed recently my eyes seem to get irritated even by been on the pc but will mention it to the onc on tuesday.

Take care
Sukes

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Friends

sorry I've not been in touch - day4 now since first Fec and feel pretty S***y to tell the truth, don'nt want to scare others that are starting this week!!

I've had headaches and my mind just wanders everywhere, not sure whether I'll be able to keep up with another 2 FEC then another 3 Tax, Feeling low today and pretty useless, not like me at all, I'm normally on the go but just can't and its real frustrating.

Hope you guy's are all well and keeping ya chins up, mines definately below my knees today

sorry for being a miserable so and so

love and hugs

Paula xx

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi ladies from a very white Oxfordshire,

I could not believe my eyes when I got up this morning. I wanted to go ou for a walk but it is too cold. I can't take the risk of catching a cold.

Day 7 and I should not complain, everything is fine except that I worry for absolutely everything. Scarerd of getting a temperature, scared of not coping, scared of letting everyone down, you name it...
Tea and water taste strange and for the first time in my life I actually took to Apple and black current Robinson's high juice.The thought the mouth wash turns my stomach.

Any of you have done any visualisation, I think I will need something like that to keep me positive. Do you do this at home? in class?
Keeping busy seems to help, but I can't be working 24/7. I do like my job but I should be a bit more content around my family, shouldn't I?

I have started the Manuka honey on bread in the morning for breakfast. I liked it; well I have a very sweet tooth...

Lyn, I hope your son gets better soon.

Have a great week.
Sophie

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Good morning to all you lovely ladies

I can see from your comments above that there are some nervous girls here. Believe me, the waiting is much worse than the doing, You will all get through this in your own way. And the time goes much quicker than you could imagine; here am I halfway through already and it doesn't seem five minutes. Take courage, we are getting the very best treatment that we can and at the end of the day, what we want is to kick this bl**dy disease in the teeth!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lyn Sorry about your son, and as for your daughter isn't it typical that it is her bad week when you have your own stresses to deal with? Mind you, I have two teen boys and they dont have the female hormones as a reason, but they still seem to behave the same, bless them. Your Mum is bound to be anxious, you're still her little girl. I found once Mum had seen me after the first chemo (and saw I hadn’t transmuted into a white, skeletal spectre overnight) then she relaxed.

Sophie Glad I made you smile with my chins! I like the idea of laughter yoga. Have you started on the Manuka yet? It is very, very sweet.

Rachy and Paula hope you are getting through Ok, the first is the hardest and after that you will get to know your particular “pattern” I am feeling much better this morning but it is now Day 6 for me, I have had bone pain for the last two days, it is just a chemo effect they have said and so I have to take ibruprofen etc.

AnnaG and Polly All the best for the coming days, we will be here to hold your hands in cyber space. As you say Ann, we could all do with a big hug. Just think of the sunny days ahead and new hope and new life.

Love to all

Louise

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi all, what a day. My son (19) got taken to hospital during his football match, nothing broken but a torn muscle from an opponent's studs, he's out for the rest of the season. On crutches, milking it, but gone to the pub with pals. Youngest curled up with a hot water bottle, 'wrong week' and she's suffering. I'm remarkably energetic today, just counting down to the black hole that begins on Friday. Stocked up with remedies for just about everything but hair loss and fatigue, hoping I won't need any of them. Mother rang earlier, she worries for England and it makes me edgy and irritable, unfairly on her.

Ann, I'm glad I had recon (DIEP), the surgery for that was far less painful than the axillary clearance. New breast aches a bit in the evening, it's a bit harder than the other, numb skin, scar isn't bad, has a flat circle of skin instead of a nipple, but it looks ok in clothes. Tummy's healing well, nice and flat but numb too, I'll have nipple recon and any tidying up when chemo and rads are over. What type of recon are you considering? Have you seen Elaine Sassoon's book? Lyn xx

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi ladies,
Hope you have all had a good day.
Rachy, sorry you've not been good after the epi last monday, but glad you are a little better tonight.We can be honest about how we are feeling, better to know beforehand that we may feel rough, I think.
I am getting a bit tense again thinking about the chemo ( Wed. FEC ), but have to keep reminding myself it's the much lesser of two evils.

I've been reading a thread about how scary it is going back to work after months away, and already wondering how I'm going to do it. Silly really, as I have no idea whether I'll feel fit enough for work straight away or not!
I've been doing health care assistant work at our hospital for less than a year before this happened,so it might not be suitable work for me to return to,with all the lifting we do! I've been thinking I may try voluntary work in the hospital for a few months first to build up my confidence.But who knows, really. I do miss being at work.

Polly, I too have found it encouraging that we have found this group of ladies all on chemo together. I'll be thinking of you on Sunday night and monday, and praying all goes well. I made a mistake, thinking that my chemo cycles were only 3 weeks apart, but realised today they are 4 weeks apart, The months stretch out before you don't they,but hopefully we will all get a chance to get away for a week or two inbetween sessions.I'm not relishing the Taxotere after reading thru the info again today.Hope none of us get bad side effects, but sail through. That will be my prayer for us all.

Lyn, how are your wounds healing up after your recon.? Are you glad you did that? it's something I'll maybe consider later. I may end up having my right breast removed aswell, at sometime. There's quite a risk something may start there too, and i don't want to be worrying about it for the rest of my life! I've to go for MRI scan on it.Don't particularly like my remaining breast much,seems rather saggy now! Would like a recon of nice neat size 34A!
Louise,Sophie,Paula and Naz, hope you are getting through the weekend ok. Please let us know how you are doing.
Las night I was thinking of you all and wishing we could get together and put our arms round each other! I was feeling a bit sad, I think, at what we are going through. maybe a bit angry even.But we'll get through it and we will be so glad for each day we wake up to!
Goodnight, hope everyone sleeps better.
Ann xxxxxx

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi all,
The good feeling did no tlast after first epi. Have not felt good since Monday. However, feeling a bit better tonite. i think me working is not helping matters and is too much. Soon as i feel ok i work then i feel bad so must pace myself better !1 you live and learn. Listen to your body is v important!!! I am learning all the time what improves my welbeing. Do not want to scare the chemo newbies this coming week !! Started mine last Monday. Yes watching some good funny telly is good distraction. i like blackadder but my favourite has always been the fast show with Paul Whitehouse.

Rachy

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Ladies

It's lovely that there are so many of us on here now to chat to each other and keep our spirits up.

Rachy, Sophie and Paula - I hope all is still OK with you and that you are managing to cope with the after effects of your first chemo. At least you're not frightening me yet! - but good or bad days we will get through this together.

Sarah, Louise and Sukes - thanks for sharing your experience of chemo with us. Good luck for the rest of your treatments - nearly there Sarah, with 5 out of 6! - best wishes for your 1st Tax on Tues. Sukes, I can't believe we were diagnosed around the same time and you are so ahead of me!

So, Ann and Lyn - you are joining me this week having your first chemo - scary, isn't it? We are all around the same age, 50, 51 & 52 but having different chemos. Best of luck for this week - hope all goes well - will be thinking of you!

Thanks everyone for the funny films you've suggested. My neighbour has offered to loan me any of her collection to watch so if I come across a good one will let you all know! I'm usually a period drama person so will get out my Jane Austen favourites but will probably also have another laugh at Bridget Jones!

I've had a lovely few days going out with friends - they've all made an effort to take me out before the chemo starts and offered to come visit, do errands, etc. I've been enjoying the time not working and, at least, we will all have the summer ahead to get out in the garden and enjoy the long (hopefully sunny) days when we feel up to it! Well, after all my gallivanting over the last few days I think I'd better go and put some washing in and do some chores LOL!

Anyway, it's great chatting to you all. As Paula says keep ya chins up (however many you have!)

Sleep well and keep laughing!
Love
Polly x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Naz, sorry I forgot to reply to your comments! Apologies!
I've not seen Gavin and Stacy. Which channel was it on? What is it about?
To be honest I don't usually watch much tv when I'm working, but of course now I'm at home all day since dx, I'm getting a bit bored with my own company! ( sorry, hubby, I know you're here too! - he spends a LOT of time doing family history research, which I just cannot get my head round so it's a bit of a conversation stopper! )

I've been wondering about getting a satelite dish and digibox so we can see some more interesting progs like history channel,etc. Anyone have those? Hope you ladies don't mind talking about other things aswell as chemo. I'm trying hard to get my mind off it for at least a few mintues each day,but it's so hard!! My life will never be the same again! I hope I will be a stronger person after this. Think we all will. Hope I'll have more compassion for other people and not be so selfish!

Well that turned out to be another whole letter! Think I'm suffering from lack of conversation.I'll probably enjoy going to the hospital on Wed for my chemo and having a good old chinwag! I used to be so shy,you wouldn't believe it!!
Bye again. Ann

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi ladies.
I've not seen Early Doors, sounds good though. I'll look out for it. I'll try to get some episodes of Black Adder, they are really funny aren't they!
Paula, so glad you're ok after first session, hope it continues. hope funny taste doesn't spoil your appetite too much. That's one thing I'm not looking forward to. They say you can go off your favourite things, which is a nuisance because you probably stock up on them before chemo! Hope the children are well and coping.
Thinking of you all. Hope we all sleep well and have good dreams! And no hot flushes!
.Ann : )

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Louise,
You made me laugh aloud, not at you obviously but with you. No need for a good comedy show, just login here.
Sophie

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Paula

Looking in the mirror, I have several chins all of my own to keep up!!! lol

Louise x

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Guys

I think we've got two threads running here!! Well that's 1 down and 5 to go, so far so good, I think the anti-sickness tabs are working and the manuka honey I had on toast for breakfast was bearable, but I do have a funnt taste in my mouth.

Good to here your all doing well, keep ya chins up

Speak soon

Paula xx

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

I agree, Early Doors is excellent too - very dry, and excellent for it - I think its called 'observational comedy' - rather like The Royle Family (one of the actors from the family is also in Early Doors) and the Office. The Catherine Tate Show is also very good - but may sometimes cause offence. I've also enjoyed Smack the Pony
(which can also be a little rude but not explicitly) and Alan Partridge.

Naz

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

I know you want things rated under 15, Ann, and the thing I watched last night which made me chuckle (2 stars?) was a DVD of Early Doors, rated 12 but I would rate it 15 myself. It is one set in a pub where the same regular (sad) characters come in every day, a comedy of human behaviour. I see something new in it every time I watch. I love watching the same comedy things over and over again. My other faves are Little Britain, Blackadder and Dad's Army (even the old episodes on radio) I haven't watched many episode of Friends or Frasier but I like these when they come on the TV.

Good luck to all

Louise x

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Ann, just stumbled across your - really infectious - post - I'm with you absolutely on the movies, films etc - anything that can raise a laugh. My better half bought me the first series of Gavin and Stacy on dvd recently - and yesterday I watched all 6 episodes - twice over - once on my own during the day and again in the evening with him - I giggled just as much the second time around as I did the first time - and to see how pleased my partner was to see me smiling again just made me want to smile even more. The trouble is I've missed the first few episodes of the next series on TV and I want to watch them all sequentially - so I'm now on a mission to find episodes 1-3 (series 2) online. Have you watched it at all - I'd really recommend it.

I look forward to other recommendations!

All the best with your treatment everybody (I'm on Epi-CMF and so far have had 2 out of 4 courses of epirubicin).

Lots of love, Naz

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Sophie,
Glad you are ok so far! It's such a help being in this together as a group, isn't it. Hope you keep well throughout.
I don't know much about the manuk honey, but it was recommended, so I got some last week. I presume it's ok to eat during chemo. I haven't asked!
Mmm... laughter yoga, I haven't heard of that before. Sounds like we are onto something dosn't it! I can't imagine doing much yoga at the moment.I may look into pilates excercises after all treatment finished. I do enjoy putting some upbeat music on whilst doing my post-op excercises, though! Walking out in the fresh air is my favourite thing, and seems more natural to me. I find the trees and water and birdsong very refreshing. We are blessed to live only 5 mins walk away from a lovely lake and the path leads onto an old village where there are horse paddocks. All this in the middle of a new town! Absolutely lovely, so glad we moved here from rainy Manchester - although we miss the friendliness of the mancunians and the hills!
I must go for a walk now, spnding too much time on computer and getting a stiff neck!
Bye for now, Ann

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Ladies,
I have been feeling really well, I must admit. I even started working from home supposedly part time. It ended up being a very Big part time. I enjoy my job, so won't complain. I find that if I don't keep busy my mind wanders in dark places. So let's keep busy.

I stopped the sickness tablets on day 3 and finished my course of steroid this morning. It did affect my sleep a bit, but as I am a good sleeper, two hours of insomnia here and there is pretty bearable. I slept quite a lot during the day on Tuesday and Wednesday, but seem fine now.
I am still anxious at what the next day will bring, but need to learn to cope with it.

I am going to start on the Manuka honey to boost my immune system from tomorrow. Should I have started earlier?

My sister in France goes to Laughter Yoga classes. She told me how well she sleeps on the night of the class. I must try to look it up to see if this is available here.

My Maggie Centre contacted me as they are starting a new Yoga class, but I am afraid of being in contact with strangers on day 7 of my first FEC. So it will have to wait until they run it again.

Take care of yourselves.
Sophie

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Lyn,I see your chemo starts two days after mine and Polly's is two days before mine. Thanks for comments, louise.
Sophie,how are you doing? You are on day six, i think? Hope you feel well enough to come on here and let us know how you are. Hope ok! Thinking of you. Hi Polly, how are you today? I'm hoping to buy some scarves/hats this weekend.
Paula, your first fec was on Thursday. How did it go. Hope you are ok, too! prayed for you last night before I went to bed at some unearthly hour! Good thing was I had such a tonic reading comments by FizBix, laughing out loud, that I slept really well! I read about the incredibly good effect that laughter has on our immune system, bringing neutrophils back up to normal levels. Now I'm determined to build laughter into each day, somehow! especially those days when they could be low. Can anyone recommend some movies to do the job? Not rude ones, if possible! I'll even watch kiddies films, I'm so desparate to get through this chemo as easily as possible! I've got the old Pink Panther films lined up, but that's all.
I know! Laurel and Hardie!! It does the trick for me, I know it's not everyone's cup of tea! See if we can get hold of some from charity shop.
Anyone else up for the "Laughter Trial - A slightly random exploration into the potential good effects of funny movies on the depressed immune systems of chemo patients!!"
And let's start a list of favourite funny movies you would recommend....with a brief description, and a rating of it's laughter- producing factor.One star = raises a few giggles. 2 stars = laugh out loud. 3 stars = side splittingly funny! Preferably films that are rated 15 or under,to avoid the "cringe-factor" for those of us, like me, who are not keen on explicit bedroom scenes, swearing, etc. Is that ok? Anyone with me on this? It'll distract us a bit during this time and may actually do us a whole lot of good!! I'll pray for a good sense of humour for us as a group going through this together, and then let's line up the movies ready for the appropriate week for each of us and give it a go, and see what happens! I feel positive about it already! Hope I'm not proved wrong!! let me know what you think, and any further suggestions, like You Tube clips.
For a quick 10 min laugh, I recommend a clip on You Tube, called " The difference between men and women's brains" by Gungor. It's so funny, and true. ; )
Have a great day everyone. catch up with you later. Hoping to go for a walk while the sun is shining! Love, Ann XXXXX

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hello ladies

Glad you are all getting your chemo regimes sorted and got some dates in place. I had my 3rd of 6 this week and am on what I hope will be my last woozy day. The first one is the hardest cos you don’t know what to expect, and for those of you who have two different regimes (eg FEC and Tax), it will be like starting again when you start the new regime. As you can tell from other people on the site, we all get through it and out the other end

Good luck to everyone

Louise x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Polly, I'm tagging onto your thread as my chemo starts Friday 11 April, 4x Epi, 4 months CMF, then rads and 5 years tamoxifen. I'm 51, dx 8 Feb after first mammogram, 3cm Grade 2 invasive tumour, ER+, HER2-, had left mastectomy with immediate DIEP recon on 1 March with axillary clearance, 2/27 nodes affected. My girls are 21 and 16, son 19, separated from their father but still get on and he takes me to my appointments. Youngest has GCSEs next term so I'm really worrying about driving for the school run. I'm probably off work until treatment is over, have lots of animals and they'll hate it when I do go back, the cats and dog love me being home all day! Exploring ideas to boost immune system - manuka honey, raisins, walking... just been told about olive leaf extract and keen to learn more, but the oncology team have the final say on what should be avoided... I was very hostile about chemo at first, now just want it behind me! Lyn xx

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Polly,Rachy,Paula and Sophie.,and Louise,
This is marvellous that we can encourage each other through our chemo.!
Paula, I think you had your first fec today. Hope you weren't too anxious and manage to sleep ok. Will look out for your reply.
How are you, Sophie?
Polly, sorry I haven't posted a reply to you, I've not been on here for awhile.Been trying to do other things! My chemo starts on Wednesday, 9th. 3x fec, 3x tax,then 20x rads. hehe, there's no way to make this treatment sound something glamorous! lol. I'm scared but steeling myself up for it.So many have gone before us and have come out the other side,maybe feeling battered and bruised, but they've made it! Heroines all. I'm praying for strength and a sense of humour to get me through.

Lovely to hear that you are looking forward to birth of your first grandchild. I'll pray all goes well for your daughter.
I'm 52,and was dx with invasive lobular ca. on 20th Feb, just after my birthday! Not nice. Had mastectomy of left br. on 4th March.,and lymph nodes sampled. ( 4 out of 13 involved ).Have had a bit of trouble with fluid build up, but settling now.
I have two daughters,one 23 working, one almost 21 at uni studying fine art. Husband currently at home with me,and glad to be out of work so he can help me with the house. he enjoys cooking! Not so good with ironing, though.

I'm taking a good vitamin and mineral supplement to build up my immune system as much as poss., and trying to eat well.Also trying to go for a brisk walk everyday while I can. Get the oxygen flowing round! I keep wishing I didn't have to do this chemo, as it's not nice for the rest of our body, is it. One day soon they'll have found something more targeted. Still we have to be glad we have something to fight it with. Did you see the new Casualty 1907 prog.? very interesting and well done. Glad we're not living in those dark times! it was a bit too graphic at points!
I've got some funny films lined up for the days I don't feel up to much. Haven't got my wig yet,nor my hair cut! I thought I would have another whole two weeks, but they booked me in for 9th. Want to get started anyway instead of worrying about it. Had scan result today - all clear. Yipee! Thank God. Worrying about other breast, though. To have MRI scan at Oxford. it will show more detail. I'll be on Tamoxifen or similar for 5 years.Having hot flushes with it already.It's working!

Hope to be on here every 2 days, maybe more. let's hope it's plain sailing for us, and that we can keep our eyes on the golden horizon ahead, when we'll be finished!
Hugs to you all, God bless,and sleep well, Ann xxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Polly,

I'm glad you've got your treatment plan. I know my plan is different to yours but so far it hasn't been as bad as expected. I've had 3 epi so far and haven't suffered too much. to date touch wood I've coped and I'm due to start the tax on 8th April. I suffered more so with consipation - but prunes did the trick eventually.

just make sure you take your temperature and make sure you don't get yourself dehydrated.

Take care and I will keep an eye out for your posts.
Sukes

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Sophie, Polly, Louise Rachy and Ann,

Good to haer from you and those that have started chemo (1 down only a few to go). Good to haer youe not feeeling too bad Sophie, and Polly I'm wishing you good luck incase I blip over the weekend. Went to see the cardiologist for my EEG today to make sure I'm well enough for chemo but she would'nt comment on my results she said the Dr would have to look at them first - these are the times that are so frustrating!!

Louise hope your third chemo has'nt been too bad and your managing to stay upright, you are an inspiration to me, like the rest of you its good to go through this with other women who are at the same stage!!

Rachy hope your still on the up too and enjoying work take it easy! I just hope I'm not too wacked out so I can look after my kids although I've a good network of family and friends who are around at the drop of a hat.

Take care - will keep you posted.

Love and hugs to you all xxxxx

Paula xxx

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Polly,
Thanks for asking, I am surprisingly well. I had my first FEC yesterday afternoon. No bad taste in my mouth. I slept OK ( a couple of hours of insomnia between 2 and 4), got up at 8 for breakfast and my medication, and back to sleep until about 11. I am taking it easy today, and hopefully side effects will be minimal.

I had bought most the bits an pieces suggested from the top tips thread and before going to the hospital, baked the "Go cake" on "can't sleep after FEC" thead, sliced it, and in the freezer.
I was a bit unsettled on Sunday night, but we had a good laugh with my kids when they shaved my hair (number 6) kept the fringe. Took lot of picture, of my 10 year old son with my wig...

At the hospital the nurse was lovely. She spent the entire time with me as she is the one administering the FEC, unlike Taxotere and Herceptin where the intravenous works on its own. It was nice to be able to chat with her without feeling I was taking too much of her time.

Good luck to you all.
Sophie

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi everyone

Just a quick note before I turn in. I hope all is going well for everyone.

Rachy and Sophie - how are you feeling after your first chemo? - thinking of you both and hoping you are coping OK.
Ann- any news yet of when your chemo will start?
Paula - good luck for Thursday!
Sarah and Louise - many thanks for your support, it's lovely to hear from ladies who have already begun their treatment and are managing to stay upbeat!

I'm enjoying my last week before the chemo starts on Monday. I got my wig on Saturday so am getting ready!

Anyway, good luck everyone!
Love and hugs
Polly x

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Good luck to all you people starting chemo. I have had two of my 6 EC chemos and due for my third on April 1st. So I will be popping in to see how you are all doing,. I think it is massively helpful to support each other through it and once it gets going, the time does seem to whizz by. Yes it is awful but you will all cope. Big (((HUGS))).

I would encourage everyone to look at the "Tops Tips going through chemo" thread as there are some fab suggestions

Polly, tell your daughter that's it, there is no way she can have that baby until after your last chemo. Just be firm with her, I am sure she will co-operate!!!!!!!

Love to you all

Louise

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hello Ladies, Went to the chemo unit yesterday and will have my first epi on monday 12pm.
I remember it had a lot of tropical fish in it (the chemo unit i mean) I shaved my head ages ago so has grown back like a fuzz ball already. I am not having the cold cap as make the chemo session so long. I will be hairless. i have lots of hats and zandanas to wear if i want to. It was my second day back at work today and went very well. i think i can call this one of my better days !

Good luck to everyone with their chemo xxxx
Rachy

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Paula

Welcome to the "starting chemo" clan! I look forward to chatting to you over the next few months - as you say, we will get through this together!

Yes, it's lovely to have the new grandchild to look forward to and help my OH and me get through the next few months. I've worked it out that if I have all my chemos on time I should have the last chemo just before the baby is due on 24th July - just need the baby to plan his/her arrival when it fits in with my chemo schedule!

Do you have plenty of people to help you with the children while you are having your chemo? I'm lucky in that respect as I'm that much older than you and my children are grown up. I am not going back to work until after my treatment is finished (work has got someone on a temporary contract to cover my sick leave) so I will be able to get plenty of rest and enjoy the good days (hopefully there will be many of them!). I hope you will also have plenty of time to take things easy and get some rest.

Take care and keep in touch

Love
Polly x

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Ladies,
May I join?

I am due to start on Monday 31st 3 FEC, 3tax, I don't know yet how many rads, 25 Herceptin and 5 years on Tamoxifen Yeah!!!!!!!!
I was diagnosed by accident/luck whatever you want to call it, as I was told the lump I found was a bit of fat and that there was a second one. The surgeon just offered to remove them for peace of mind. I just opted for having them removed, for peace of mind...Little did I/they know it was a 10cm tumour greade 2 (don't have the stage) Her2+. So two weeks after the two lumps were removed, I had a mastectomy. I have been coming to this forum off an on since diagnosis; as the 31st approaches I think I will be here more often.

As Paula said we will get through it together.

Good luck to you all
Sophie

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Polly, Ann and Rachy

I'm Paula and I'm 35 (34 at diagnosis Jan 2), I'm married with two children who are almost 3 and 6 (boy and Girl)

I'm about to start chemo too, April 3rd 3 x FEC 3 x Tax, like you all i'm really scared but I've found these discussions so helpful. The inspiration from my of the women on here is wonderful, you feel like you've known some of them for years. I don't think I could have got this fair without my regular visits to the discussion forums!!

Rachy, don't feel your alone, I've had bad depression episodes since I was 19 (15 years) which was triggered when my brother tragically died. I'm currently on medication again as found this whole BC dx and journey difficult to handle - YOU CAN'T HELP WHO YOU ARE!!!!, and if thats what happens it happens - just believe in yourself that you are strong and will get through this. Like Sarah said it is all do-able and you will find strength you thought you never had.

Polly so pleased you will have a new grandchild to look forward too, my mum told me recently that grandkids are more fun, because as a grandparent you have more time and less pressure to be able to watch them grow up

Ann - keep us posted about your treatment plan.

WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER

Love and hugs to you all,

Paula xxx

Ann - keep us posted about your treatment plan

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Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

Hi Ladies

Many thanks, Ann, Sarah and Rachy for answering my post. I've just returned from a weekend away in Shropshire visiting my mum and the family and have just logged on to see what is happening here and was delighted to see the replies!

Thanks, Sarah for the encouraging message. I have been reading some of your posts on the other threads and, as Ann says, you are always so positive. Good luck with the last 2 chemos!

Ann, I am 50 and my BC was picked up in November last year when I had my first mammogram. I've had 2 ops - mastectomy and then a node clearance. My cancer was a Grade 2 Ductal 25mm tumour with 2/25 nodes affected and I'm ER+ and Her-. I am married and have 2 children (married daughter, 27, who is expecting a baby in July - I am going to be a grandma! - and a son of 24). What is your profile as it will be great to compare treatments, etc when you get your plan? Sorry that you will be joining me but you sound so cheerful and positive that I am sure it will rub off on me!

Rachy, sorry that you are having to start chemo too but I'm glad to be able to come on here and find other people who are in the same boat so that we can help support each other through the weeks ahead. Good luck with your treatment plan tomorrow - at least it's good to know what you will be having and when you start so that you can get your life planned.

I am now waiting for my wig appointment - as I have let my hair go grey I am looking forward to seeing what I look like with different coloured hair - it might even be another life changing event - this time for the better!! I haven't really planned any treats yet but have 2 weeks now to get myself sorted with all the items from the top ten recommendations for coping with chemo that I printed off one of the other threads. Have you seen it, Ann and Rachy?

Anyway good luck everyone and keep posting - I look forward to chatting to you all in the weeks ahead!

Love and hugs
Polly

Re: Starting Chemo - 7th April

hi ladies, i will know my chemo plan on 25th March so will be joining you Polly and AnnG. You are right Ann, Sarah's postings are so warm and supportive. keep it up, Sarah it is helping me believe you me ! I have had depression and mood swings since I was 15 so bc diagnosis was another 'condition' to contend with. Communicating with everyone on here gets me out of myself and gets me focussing on other things and people. Good luck everyone starting their chemo soon.

Lots of love Rachy