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Starting Chemo April 2015

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

so I might not be an April girl Smiley Sad

 

Oncologist appt today and I had an infection in my SNLB wound so I need to get it cleared before I can start chemo. OH and I disagreed on what we thought he said so not sure if will start week after next or the followig week. kind of hoping it will be after May bank holiday as have plans that weekend (for some serious partying!) which will obviously need shelving if I am starting chemo just before Smiley Sad

 

Also found out I definitely have radiotherapy in my future. So after chemo will have boob off then radiotherapy around new Year. Then will obviously need to wait for reconstruction. So a long long haul.

 

The good news is I have a little longer to go before I need to stop enjoying life - but to be honest I just want to get on and begin to reach the other side. I might need to leave you ladis and be a pioneer for the May group - should know more later this week about their plans for me.

 

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi ladies

 

I was part of "The Amazing Augusts" in August 2013. I am nearly 2 years from dx, had a double mastectomy, chemo, herceptin and tamoxifen. Chemo is definitely the scary bit, but it is very doable and you WILL come out the other end. I want to wish you all good luck and lots of love, you can all do this and be fit and healthy again, like I am. Take care, Gill xxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Well done for getting through it storminateacup.
Went to gp today about my low blood pressure and they were going to call an ambulance! Still i got to a&e myself and my bloods are all fine. Even my white bloods count is normal. The only thing is I am anaemic! Smiley Happy
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Re: TTRe: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Val and Molliana etal

also back from first chemo - EC for me.

Took senna and movicol last night so ready in that department!

Tried the cold cap and take my hat off (or maybe that shoud read hair) to anyone that can take it. Tried twice and failed even 5 hours later still feel like I have frozen head! That was the only bit that reduced me to tears.

The chemo itself was fine. A bit of a cold feeling in the arm and one of meds makes you tingle in the strangest of places :-)

No SEs so far and now enjoying a pineapple fruit lolly.

 

have been told if youre having the cold cap take paracetemol about 1.5 hours before so its at its peak when it starts

 

 

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TTRe: Starting Chemo April 2015

So far so good, just got back from 1st FEC-T, I was scared I can tell you but it really wasnt too bad at all.  I feel really tired, but think thats the relief that its over tbh.  OH cooking dinner, fish fingers lol, might as well while i feel like it. Came back with loads of pills, will be rattling soon lol.  Hope everyone else got on ok today and good luck to those that have it to come - will keep posting - Val xxxxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

yeah the wigs are great arent they.  I was greedy and got two lol one short blind silver one and one bob light auburn one for a change.  fooled many people with theshort one as looks like mine .......took senokot last night in readiness and Will have more tonight.   hope I can keep fancying my bran flakes too as that sorts me out every day.  good luck at docs. xxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Definitely take something for constipation to preempt it.
I have an appointment this afternoon with my gp to see about blood pressure.
On the plus side I got my nhs wig today and managed to fool half my family when I came back wearing it! I asked them what they thought of my hair and they looked very confused coz they thinking it was my hair!!
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hi was due first FEC at 11.  hospital phoned and as its m...

hi was due first FEC at 11.  hospital phoned and as its my first time and am, s are manic they changed appointment to 2 30 to spend more time with me lol hey ho, could have realise d that last week doh x

T3D
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

So pleased to hear that you're feeling better mollianna . It's made me add to my shopping list so thanks for the info. Off for my first FEC this afternoon. Good luck to the other brave ladies that are also starting today x
Member

Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Thanks storminateacup. The movicol and senakalt has done the trick this morning. Will definitely not be getting like that for my next Fec tho!!
Blood pressure is up to 101 / 61 this morning too so maybe things are looking up!
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Missty

 

Welcome to the BCC Forum.  I hope you will find lots of information and support on this thread. 

 

We also have a Helpline which is open form 9-5 on weekdays and 10-2 on Saturdays.  The number is 0808 800 6000

 

Very best wishes

 

Janet

BCC Moderator

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

hi, lowblood pressure is worrying - that said  in most cases better than high. mine is always low so have tomargue to get home after an op. go to the gp tomorrow and get suppositories or you'll end up in a+e.... or dial 111 and say youre in pain because you will be..... dont take no or ok for an answer. xxxxxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

I rang the chemo number today but it was next to useless.
My blood pressure was low this morning and it's worrying me. They told me to go to my gp and get it measured! er I did that myself this morning. I also said i had been having to take movicol and senakalt and she just said ok.
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi all i hope you dont mind me joining this thread. 10 years ago i had a Lumpectomy with Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy, This time i  had a double Mastectomy follow by reconstruction of the Diep. My first Chemo was  on 1st April. Wasn't bad at all but the getting use to taking the booster jabs was a bit awkward at first as i had never injected. A new thing this time round and having to have a Portacath. Anyway i am eager to learn and go on this journey with you.

Member

Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Molliana.

Not the sort of thing I thought I'd be giving advice on but seriously suggest you speak to your Brest Care nurse and get some suppositories or even an enema. Constipation is soooo painful - I ended up being readmitted after my mx as having had 2 generals in 24hrs I just couldn't go!

 

The only other things I know of was recommended by my practice nurse - she drank a whole bottle of syrup of figs after her first chemo.

 

My first session is tomorrow so thank you for reminding me to take all the laxatives I have.

 

take care xx

 

T3D
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi jane1978. Hope you're feeling better soon. I intend to ask about the spa situation as I'd thought it was whilst I was having treatment but now not so sure! I too love a good spa day so fingers crossed! Xxx
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Iv just had my second fec and this time am suffering with indigestion and one min constipated the next squirts! Lol sorry for terminology ! I'm always frightened of something that's makes me go as hate the cramping sensation but last night was awake most of night so my advice girls is take as
A preventative !!! And as for spa n hot tub situation do y mean forever or just while on treatment !! I love my spas !!!!!😞
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Thank you Tweasel
I have been to the shop and bought some senakalt too now.
My blood pressure is getting really low on and off. Might have to get some all round advice tomorrow Smiley Sad
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

hi Tracey thanks for the info

 

Guess I need to fit in some brie, fresh chocolate mousse and a day at the spa before chemo starts then. Have sorted babysitters for Fri and Sat nights to go out for a couple of last nights out before it all kicks off. Cant really plan a spa day till after Tue when I know dates for chemo - but guess I need to factor in spa before the picc line goes in and needs to be kept dry. So much to plan to make the most of that we normally take for granted!!

 

Not so bothered about the no spa thing during chemo, will be behaving during chemo in order to get it over with ASAP and not delay any cycles - its the fact that the risk of lymphoedema means I shouldnt really have a sauna/hot tub at all ever again. I might decide to risk it occasionally in the future... Smiley Wink

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Molliana. I think the trick is to start taking the laxatives straight away. I didn't take them until a couple of days after my FEC and I did get constipated. Once I took the pills though they did work, but not for a day or so. Licquorice has a laxative effect too, if you like it. Hope things sort themselves out soon xx
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

T3D  SO funny, good, over indulge in everything before it begins, feel a bit like that myself.  I was told exactly the same diet as you, but noone mentioned alcohol.  Was hoping If I fancied it I could have it.  Will have to look that one up.  chances are I wont fancy it anyway judging by what others say. I am off out with a girlfriend to the best restaurant in the area, tomorrow night, before my first FEC-T on Tuesday.  I intend to have exactly what I want then and as much as I want to drink,yes I know its only a Monday, but its a special Monday, my last night feeling almost normal, apart from strange boob lol.  good luck everybody look forward to hearing how you are all getting on.  I hope to post tomorrow, depending on how I am.  What do I mean depending, I AM GOING TO BE FINE - NO SIDE EFFECTS WHATSOEVER, wishful positive thinking  might work xxxxxx

T3D
Member

Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi whenmy2become1. Having the picc line is fine. It's a bit like when you go to the dentist and they numb you up. You can feel the pressure but no pain. It was a little sore yesterday but no worse than a bruise really I think it's mostly just where the dressing is pulling the skin a bit. But it's really no problem. You'll be fine.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I've been told the spa is a no no as the risk of infection is high so no swimming pools saunas etc. also no massage around the tumour sites including the arm. As like you I have lymph problems. Also the picc line has to be kept dry. The hospital gave me a prescription request for a thing called a limbo which is a plastic cover that goes over your arm so you can shower. Also I've been told not to have pedicures once I start chemo again because of the infection risk. On the positive side reflexology is good I've managed to find someone that can come to my home to do treatments.
On the food front my lovely nurse advised me to eat like I'm pregnant - sadly that doesn't mean twice as much of everything. But does mean no soft eggs no unpasteurised cheeses and only well cooked meat and avoid alcohol -so this weekend I've had a manicure a pedicure two rare steaks and two bottles if wine and am off out this evening for a nice meal followed by the cheese board Smiley Wink. I think I am going to go wild once this is over haha I'll have a week at a spa and as much wine and soft cheese as I can manage.
I've just realised how much I've rambled on. Hope you haven't fallen asleep! Tracey x
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

T3D did it hurt having the PICC ine put in and how long did it take? No idea what is involved?

 

Tuesday seems a busy day for a lot of us - having treatment or (For me) seeing oncologist. Want to get moving along now.

 

Do we have to avoid soft cheese during chemo? THe more I look the more I find lifes pleasures denied eg lympn node removal means i should "avoid" saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms THere goes that bit of pampering then  Smiley Sad Although I suspect I wll choose to indulge in the odd quick visit as its only once in a blue moon I get to visit them

 

Member

Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Sorry girls. Too much information alert!

Haven't been to the loo now since first Fec on Wednesday. Bought some movicol but hasn't done the trick yet Smiley Sad

Word of warning really and wondering if anyone has any wisdom Smiley Sad
T3D
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Val. Have saved lots of work to keep myself busy so will probably be rushed off my feet Monday and Tuesday morning! Lol. Hope you get on well on Tuesday. Speak soon Tracey
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi T3D I too hope tuesday comes round quick, it does seem to be. I am starting then too, no PICC line for me though, i am expecting injection in the hand. good luck let us know how you are getting on. Val xxx
T3D
Member

Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Had my picc line put in yesterday and it's fine, I managed to catch it on my handbag this morning which hurt a bit but honestly it feels no worse than a bruise. Really hoping Tuesday comes around soon as the control freak in me needs to know what happens next! Happy weekend to you all x
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

thanks so much for popping in Tweasel - some useful info there. I am reading through the forums that started chemo earlier in the year following their progress so get an idea of how it all works.

I have read loads about side effects - now just hoping they don't ALL apply to me!! Smiley Happy

2/3 of the way through sounds amazing. Hoping this five months doesn't seem like forever.
Member

Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Claire. I am a January starter so hope you don't mind me gatecrashing! I am also having FEC-T. I have completed my 3 FEC sessions and 1 T so far. Hope some of the following may be useful info for the questions you have.

1. I had an ECG and an Echocardiogram before the first FEC. This is to get a baseline reading of your heart function just to check that there are no underlying issues that might mean they need to adjust the dose or use an alternative chemo regime. Both tests are painless and it takes around 15-20 minutes. The Echo is an ultrasound scan. I don't know about the Picc line - I chose to have a port (porta-cath) fitted instead
2. The chemo infusion doesn't hurt. Mine goes directly into the port so it's just the initial needle going in that you are aware of.
3. I googled everything first, so was aware of what side effects I might experience. Forewarned is forearmed as they say, although I understand that's not for everyone
4. Pineapple is good for a sore mouth. I was also advised to do regular salt mouthwashes. Anti constipation stuff definitely - my chemo nurse advised Dulcoease rather than something harsher. I would say take it regardless because constipation is common with FEC and it's very uncomfortable.
5. You should be given anti-sickness pills to take before each session, on the day and for a day afterwards. FEC commonly causes taste changes so you may go off food and drink that you normally like. For me this lasted for a few days after each treatment and everything tasted horrible. It's important to drink plenty of fluids though and to eat whatever you fancy. The E part of FEC turns your urine pink, so don't be alarmed!

I know it feels like a very long road ahead, but it does go quickly once you get into a routine. I felt exactly the same as you back in January but I am already 2 thirds of the way through my chemo and the time has passed really quickly. This forum is great, and there is so much support. Hopefully you will get lots of info when you see your oncologist, it sometimes helps to write down any questions because there's an awful lot of info to take in xx
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Claire, I'm 4 weeks post op. I had double mastectomy with direct reconstruction. Now in the process of egg preservation. Yesterday I had a pet scan, results on Monday, hoping for the best of course. I had the slnb before surgery and it showed no trace of cancer. So I'm very hopeful. The tumor was 2.1cm, grade 3, idc, Er+, pr+, her2-. That's pretty much it.
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Julia I am glad to know that someone else will be similar timescale to me at the end of the month - where are you at with pre chemo appointments?

 

Claire

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Mint tea! I'm glad you already are on the way. One down!!! Well done. And I hope this time it's much easier for you even on those 5&6 days. Have a great weekend! Xxx Julia
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi whenmy! I can't give much of advice. But! I'm the end of April starter too! In about 2-2.5 weeks. So we will pretty much be on similar schedule.
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

hi ladies

 

I believe I will be starting my chemo in April so hope you dont mind if  I join you and tap you for tips from those who have started already this month. I am recently diagnosed, have had SNLB and one node was affected so am having chemo first (FEC-T) then will have surgery.

 

Am seeing oncologist on Tuesday and feel in limbo till then to know what needs doing before chemo begins and not able to plan anything. I hope to cold cap but have bought an ebay wig "in case"

 

So a few questions for you all if you dont mind as some of you are ahead of me on the chemo journey...

 

1. what needed doing before you started chemo? I have heard mutterings re "scans"? Wha is involved in those and I need to have a Piccline put in - which sounds really scary as someonewho doesnt like needles - does anyone have any info of what is involved and how long it takes?

2. Does the actual chemo hurt? Can you feel it going in?(am such a wuss!!)

 

3. What do you wish you had known beforehand?

4. what do I need to get in pre chemo? eg pineapple?? anti constipation stuff??

5. what else????

 

thanks for your help I look forward togetting to know you all and having people to share this with. The fact I am going to be an "end of April" girlis going tobevery usefulto me although I know I will be VERY jealus when you are all  finished before me!!

 

I am strangely envious of those of you like Molliana who have started and know a little more what to expect and are already able to cross off one treatment . At present I feel like I am on top of a cliff waiting tojump off
Claire

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

1 down for me, 5 to go. Veins not good though so will probably have a PICC line sorted before next one. Wanted to avoid but looks like it's the way to go after all the action my veins have seen. Had forgotten the bags of meds you leave with, even got my own sharps bin this time! Last time around my worse days were 5 & 6, wondering what pattern I will get this time..... Hope everyone is good and ready to enjoy the weekend.

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

What a great news!!!! I am super happy for you. I'm crapping myself too but hope for the best of course.

Mint tea, good luck!
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Thank you for coming to share. It's really is uplifting. I actually don't even feel like I had my first chemo yesterday.

I did a full day at work today and feel totally fine. Weird considering I was crapping myself!
T3D
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Thanks for the encouraging update X
Member

Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Southpool! Omg, this is so nice to hear. It raises our hopes! Thank you. It's impressive how well you are doing!!!
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Mint Tea!! Thanks a lot for the heads up! It really helps a lot. Xxx. Julia
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hello April 2015

I am an April 2012 chemo bunny & thought I would hop in & say hello. 3 years ago I was where you are now, awaiting my first chemo terrified & very sad. Today I am well, have fab hair & am training for a triathlon. The best thing I did during treatment was join this forum & meet my fellow bunnies. Your chemo buddies will support you when times get tough, be your best cheerleaders & make you laugh. 18 of us are still in touch, still 'speak' every day & meet up at least a couple of times a year, we are friends for life. We have also completed the 10 mile Pink Ribbon Walk in 2013 & 2014 and will be walking again this year, chatting & laughing all the way round.

Chemo isn't easy, but it is doable & the support you will receive here is invaluable. Take care of each other.

Love & best wishes
S x

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Molliana! I had expanders put in. So now in the process of filling them up.
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi Sentangelo

I had TAC when I had chemo first time around in 2010 and I had regular PET scans so not that unusual. I struggled to find many on TAC at that time though so just shout if I can help. Although I now have SBC, TAC worked a treat for me (and I was in a pretty grim situation originally).

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Mint_Tea good luck for tomorrow xx

Sentangelo what reconstruction did you have. I have three weeks post single mx and Ld flap reconstruction. I haven't had any diagnostic scans and reading on here it seems most people do have them. I am going to raise it with my oncologist next time I see her.
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Hi ladies! May I join? I'm 4 weeks post double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. Today I start my second fertility preservation treatment after surgery. As soon as I'm done with that I immediately start TAC x6, so that should happen just on two weeks, no exact date set yet. I'm super nervous and scared. And wishing it all start soon. But at the same time I really want to keep my options open and if I'm well and ok in 5 years I hope for a kid. Today I had my pet scan, no results yet. But I'm super anxious about it too. As my doctors said they think I'm clear of cancer (luckily no node involvement) and now suddenly they send me for a pet scan, which I know is not usually done routinely. Roller coaster as usual. It's exactly 10 weeks since the time of diagnosis today, longest weeks ever.
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

That's great Mol liana. 1 down, 5 to go. I worked full time throughout chemo last time around but feel this time I have earned a break so have no intention of returning until I am finished. Off for my bloods now ready for my first chemo tomorrow.

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Glad you're feeling well enough to go to work Molliana. Don't do too much! I'm feeling rubbish atm, got an infection, seroma, in my op site. Had a temp since last Friday. Finally got antibiotics on Monday, think they are starting to work, but area feels like severe sunburn. If redness not gone down by tomorrow looks like IV antibiotics for me. Not looking forward to that. Just hope this doesn't delay chemo on 22nd. Love to all Jackie xx

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

good luck with that.  I went in after four weeks and I must say it did wear me out, took a while for the brain to kick in lol.  Going in again tomorrow, playing catch up and need to do the wages for everyone, before I start my chemo next Tuesday.  Onwards and upwards, hope you continue to feel ok xxxx

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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

Morning all. I was a bit nervous about going to sleep and what was going to happen in the night! But I feel fine! I am going to jump in the shower and head to work for the first time in three weeks after surgery.
Best wishes to you all xx
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Re: Starting Chemo April 2015

You and me both T3D Tuesday for me tooxxxx