I go for my 2nd lot of chemo on wednesday and im brickin it as i was so sick after my first lot spoke to my BC nurse and district nurses and they convicing me it will be better this time as they will give me the anti sickness injections straight away this time as i was so ill after my first lot i said i wasnt having anymore, i felt more for my kids too seeing me so unwell. im also confident that im going to be fine this time, . Im usally running round like busy bee.. Ive been great since about 8-9 days after and i now know it was only coz i was so ill that i was saying that.. i know i have to go through and have all 6 sessions. one nurse said to me its like puttin weed killer down for the first time, it always has a greater effect the first time... I shaved my head to a number 4 last wednesday, I had it cut into a bob the saturday before but then on wednesday it was comin out in small clumps and it was in my mouth when i was eating it, is now everywhere so i have just shaved the last few thin see though bits i had left, i just used the clippers with no guard on so i have a big white bald head i need to get out in some sun haha.Im actually loving not having to worry about getting up and having to wash and blow my hair, just jump in shower get dry through slap on my face and put my hair on and go haha, My family arranged a strawberry tea event yesterday and we raised £2615.00 for Breast Cancer Care. We had an amazing day and we got great donations for raffle prizes everybody was ever so generous....
Thanks Sandie73 - I am so glad that you are nearly through and found the side effects manageable. I am dreading this next stage - chemo - even more than the two surgeries. I feel I am now wishing my life away and just feel that the next 18 weeks will be so slow. I have a big birthday coming up on Christmas day and my husband was already planning a surprise party (I never have parties as it is at Christmas!) but now I have to have chemo it has been cancelled as I'll be still on the chemo. And it is unlikely I'll feel like a big party. So depressing. It has taken over my life and I just want it back. Two months already and it seems like a lifetime.
Good to hear about your university plans, and your trip to see your sister. You are right of course - we need to believe that this will all be over one day and that we can do nice, positive things, rather than focus on cancer all the time. Stay positive Sandie - I need t0 see you safely through and back to full fighting fitness!
Yeah you will be on a similar chemo regime to me - the only slight difference is that I was on EC whilst you will be on FEC. Been told that on FEC/EC you tend to get more sickness symptoms (even though I didn't suffer any major sickness just one incident of mild nausea on at the beginning of the second cycle). Tax is more aches and pains which don't hit until the 4th day and is due partly to the chemo and the injections you have to administer to yourself over a 5 day period. Took my first injection today in the tummy area. So expecting some side effect to hit me at the weekend. I will keep you posted of any side effects.
I thought about using the cold cap but was told having the EC part of the chemo makes the hair more likely to fall out and the cold cap won't work with the EC chemo. It looked like torture anyway so just resigned myself to losing my hair but I have found the hair loss part difficult even worse than the actual chemo. So you could try it and see what happens.
I am too sick to death of thinking about cancer. Its all I have thought about since 14th April this year. It does take over your life completely. From the moment I wake up to going to sleep I think about it. I even dream about it - there's no escape from it. I still can't believe this has happened to me as still feel physically well. Keep expecting a phone call from the hospital saying they have made a mistake and I haven't got cancer after all. If that happened, I wouldn't know whether to hug them or punch them for putting me through this trauma! Think i would just break down in uncontrollable sobbing.
Been trying to focus instead on life after cancer and making plans on what course to do at university in September 2015. I am looking at podiatry which is feet and lower limbs - which is nothing to do with cancer. Some women want to retrain to be breast care nurses or work in oncology but I don't think I could do that as it would just be too close to home for me and would bring back horrible memories that i want to try and forget I am also looking forward to going to NZ to see my sister in january 2015. I am determined that this dreadful disease is not going to take me or my dreams away from me. Otherwise all this treatment I am going through would be for nothing.
Anyway hope you feel better tomorrow and hope that all of us are coping with whatever cancer is throwing at us xxx
So pleased to hear things are going OK for you with cycle 4. I heard today I am to have the same as you - 3xFEC, and 3xtax, so am pleased to read that this has been manageable for you. SO much advice! Go to GP and get pneumonia and flu jabs; go to dentist and get him to check if I need anything done and get it done immediately; do NOT take any supplements or vitamins as they might interact with the chemo drugs; get a heart scan done as one of the drugs can affatc the heart muscle ... and so on! I still feel I'm talking about someone else here. I'm glad my sister was with me as she was calm and asked good questions that I forgot.
Said I'd try the cold cap, though not really settled on this yet. Was told there was no evidence that anyone get cancer back in their scalp, though some consultants simply don't do it and I wonder therefore if I should think again. Yesterday has 5inches cut off my hair, and had a fringe cut in, and was told today I'd be better to get it cut shorter if having the cold cap. Still don't even recognise myself with today's new hairstyle!
After today I am sick to death of thinking and talking about cancer - it seems to have completely taken over my life. So sorry to moan ladies - and will have a better perspective tomorrow, I promise.
Fourth chemo (tax) yesterday at around 2pm and feeling absolutely normal but may not be saying that in a few days time lol as been warned that when the possible side effects may kicked in. Later on today i have to give myself the first of five daily injections in the fat of my tummy to avoid my white blood cells plummeting and been told that these injections could make my joints ache. However got my pain relief ready and I am going to take them before any pain kicks in as don't do pain lol.
Been told by other women about the horrors of TAX but i think we all experience different side effects with chemos and have different tolerance levels. I have tolerated 3 lots of EC quite well with no sickness and relatively minor side effects. So with TAX, its the matter of just waiting and seeing what may come my way. Will keep you posted. Anyway the positive is that four chemos are under the belt and only two left to go
sisterjayne - glad you nearly finished radiotherapy - must be a relief to see the end in sight.
PaulS - good luck with the chemo and even though its not easy at times - it is very doable. Its a short time out of your life to give you the best outcome possible. i have been reading posts on breastcancer.org about women beating and surviving cancer for a very long time (most of them was before the age of chemo treatments) very inspiring and gives hope when feeling great despair and worry. The hair loss for me has not been pleasant but what is hair when your life is at stake and it will grow back once its all finished.
Mel66 - how have you been? how did your first chemo go? hope it went ok for you and you are not experiencing many side effects.
Good luck and big hugs to all the other ladies on here that are going through this horrid time xx
You ladies are so brave and so positive - it is so comforting to hear your views and thoughts. I had an MRI scan on Monday and go to the BC clinic tomorrow for full analysis ie extent of cancer and treatment that will be required. I am actually scared but trying my best to stay positive. The last two weeks of not knowing how bad the cancer is has been torturous. I am 42 yrs old and will have to tell the kids at some point - another very difficult task but reading the threads on this website is a wealth of information that really is very helpful. Wishing you all the best in your treatment.
Sisterjayne is right you are a strong, positive lady who have overcome diabetes and beat it into submission with diet, exercise and sheer determination. Chemo is tough but doable and you will get through it and kick cancer's ass. My first three chemos (EC) have been easier than what I thought and only had minimal side effects. In fact the worse bit for me has been the hair loss but it will grow back and think I will look good with short hair
Chemo no 4 is tomorrow and i am back to crapping myself as its a new chemo. I am having docetaxol (tax) for the next 3 chemos and no idea how its going to affect me. Been warned that I could get more aches and pains in the joints. Also need injections in either the tummy, thigh or bum to boost my white blood cells as this chemo can cause them to go and stay low longer Hoping for minimal side effects again but its the case of waiting and seeing what happens again.
sisterjayne - hope your radiotherapy is going well and not making you tired. Are you taking tamoxifen yet? Think I will be taking it for 10 years which has its positives and negatives. Positives - it reduces local and distant recurrence even further and improves survival. The negatives - the increased risk of womb cancer and blood clots but studies say that the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Wish you all best in whatever comes next in this horrid, rollercoaster journey called BC xx
I go back on Thursday. They did a WLE and took 6 sentinel nodes on 7th July, and did not expect it to be in the nodes, but it was in 5/6, so full node clearance on 4th August. I was told it makes no difference now how many more it is found in, and that because it was in the nodes to expect chemo. So having to get my head round this. I am in such a state now about the chemo - though I have read lots of posts and women who cope OK and get through it.
I had hoped to do the surgery and radiotherapy and not tell anyone but now ths is impossible and it will all be so public. This is not good where I work. I hoped to work through it but again this is not looking as if I'll cope with that either. Feeling so negative now, having been so positive before.
So sorry to moan!
Thanks paulS they have all been fantastic too my BC Nurse is fab but has been off she was back today. Everythin so far has been expected wot they said apart from this sickness lark. I am goin to insist that somethin is in place so i dont feel like that again as i feel like i cant continue with the chemo of fear being like that again. Never in my life have i been so ill, and its not fair for my kids to see me like that either :-(
No wonder you feel let down! You were! I know it is easy to say, but make a fuss and complain and insist they do a much better job the next time. This simply is not good enough. I am in Edinburgh and being treated by the Breast Cancer Centre in the Western General Hospital. They have been BRILLIANT so far, and I don't believe the BC nurse would say these things to me, nor the oncologist, if they were not true. So far they have told me exactly what to expect, and how I might cope, and it has been completely accurate. You do NOT have to cope with this awful sickness! I feel like coming to Liverpool to fight on your behalf. And to deck (a Scottish word for punch and make someone fall to the ground) your GP who should have dealt with it immediately for you and helped you to feel better. Please do complain!
paulS i too was told that it didnt have to be like that, that is why i feel so let down.I live In Liverpool. im covered by Clatterbridge Hospital. I was given anti sickness tablets before my chemo they dont give intrvenously anymore at my hospital. My daughter rang the 24 hr helpline an they advised that i could take one of the anti sickness tabs, but they should have known that it wouldnt work if i was vomiting. So really i was left from wednesday till thursday 4.40pm an i just feel if it was nipped in the bud early it never would have been that good :-(
I was so relieved as well after reading so many people on here saying they had been able to continue on as normal through chemo. So was a big disappointment.
Doing fine Sisterjayne, thanks. Doing the exercises faithfully, and back on the treadmill - 5k today! Not running though, brisk walking, as advised to take care not to jar the wounds and prevent healing. Hope to be back to proper running in a couple of days though, as exercise definitely keeps my blood sugar levels lower. No real problems with the node clearnace, though under my arm is still numb and feels a bit strange. But they told me this would happen, and I remember it from the first surgery - it began to ease after a couple of weeks. No pain at all.
I am very pleased to hear that your radiotherapy is going well Sisterjayne and that you are coping with it. I am so glad you are taking the advice and resting as much as possible. You are very nearly finished - which must feel GREAT! Keep resting and keep up with the moisturising - and look after yourself.
I go back for the results on 21st, and to hear if it was in additional nodes, but know they will tell me that I need chemo whatever they found and I'm therefore trying to prepare myself for this. But whatever they say I need I'll do it, as I want to be rid of this once and for all! The BC nurse called today to see how I was - I am SO impressed by the care and attention I am receiving - and she said to remember that there is a whole team focused on getting me well, and that even if there is to be chemo I'll cope fine. There is apparently a 24hr helpline, but they know what problems can occur and they head them off at the pass. So I just have to trust them to do the best for me, which I do.
Ladies - I hope you are all OK, and coping with whetever you are facing this week. Thinking of you all and sending you warmest good wishes. Take care. P xx
OMG i had my first chemotherapy last wednesday and boy it kicked the hell outta me. I was home from hospital about 2 ish had a little sleep an woke up at 5pm feeling nausea by 6pm i was vomitting and didnt stop until friday although the vomitting stopped i still felt nausea. I feel let down by everyone and never felt so alone. My family have been great and have all railled around but before chemo i was told no need to be ill as we can change anti sickness an do this an do that. My daughter rang hospital wednesday night to ask them if this was normal to be vomiting this much and could i take any of the anti sickness tabs ( not thinking that i was vomiting so they would be no good anyway) but hospital should have known this and they just said yes i could take one of the tabs that i was given. So then thursday morning 9am i ring the hospital back as i was not keeping any food or fluids down and they told me to contact my own GP for a visit so i does this, but GP doesnt come out till 1pm ish then tells me he cant give me injection he will have to see if he can get the district nurse out to give me it.. So i was just left until 4.40pm when the district nurses came out an gave me injection which really wasnt much good either i had a sleep an had to ring them back at 9pm when they got out to me at 11.30pm. they came back out friday mornin and put me on a syringe driver, which stopped the vomiting or that there just wasnt anythin left in me but i was keeping fluids down now so that was a bonus but the nausea finally went by yesterday (tuesday). I really didnt expect it to be that bad. Im hoping to speak with dr before next session as i need to know i wont be left like that again.
This is what I put in another thread on how to turbo charge our immune systems to help us deal with treatment and prevent it returning:
Pleased to hear you got the final surgery out of the way and that you are recovering well from the axillary node clearance. This is the operation along with another WLE or MX that I am due to have after chemo finishes and I am absolutely dreading it i am so worried I am going to get lymphodeoma in my arm as a result of it. The arm that could be affected is my writing hand. Also heard that afterwards that there is a lot of pain and discomfort. Can you give me an tips in relation to the pain and what I can do to minimise the risk of lymphodeoma? have seen pictures of how bad it can be and I do not want my arm to end up looking like that and end up with a life-long disability.
Chemo is tough but doable. I have had three chemos so far with minimal side effects. The worse bit for me has been the hair loss but its only temporary and will grow back. The fatigue though does build up physically and mentally with each chemo treatment. I do feel tired all of the time and can spend hours sleeping wake up and still feel tired. However do get bursts of energy where I can go for long walks and do normal everyday stuff. I am due to be switched on to docetaxol chemo regime for the next chemo which makes me a bit nervous as do not know how its going to affect me.
I am interested to hear what sort of body environment does cancer cells need to grow new tumours elsewhere in the body. What foods do I eat or supplements do can I take to prevent this from happening? I am looking to the future now and I want to ensure that cancer is not a part of it!
Hope you and all the other lovely ladies have a good day xx
So, operation on Monday - full node clearance - and got home yesterday, Wednesday, 48 hrs later. Still have the drain in but call each day at 8.00 am and let them know how much has drained. Once it is less than 50 ml in a 24 hr period then I'll go in and get the drain removed - which they think will be tomorrow as it has really slowed down and is the colour they were looking for - pale pink!
Two operations in 4 weeks was not fun, but this second one was much less stressful that I had imagined and built it up to be in my head, and I am recovering very well. I did the exercises faithfully the last time, and though I was tempted to stop once I knew I was to have more surgery I didn't - and the physio told me this is why I already have such good movement on my arm and shoulder. Once the drain is out I can do the next set as well. No swelling as yet - so fingers crossed! Apparently only 30% get lymphodema, so 70% don't, and I plan to be one of the 70% and will do the exercises!!! And will take all the other advice the fab physio gave me to try to stay free of it!
I am so impessed by, and grateful to, the staff in the BC unit. To a person they have been incredibly kind, attentive and supportive. My surgeon told me their aim was to get me completely cancer free and cured!!!!! I think we all need to hold on to the fact that this is awful, but there will be an end to it and we will get our lives back again. I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I will most likely need chemo, since there was node involvement, but the surgeon told me this was most likely the best thing as it will kill (obliterate he said) any rogue cancer cells. And he also told me that even if cancer cells have escaped in any of us they won't necessarily become tumours - cancer needs a conducive host environment. I told him about the food changes and supplements I had been taking and he was very positive - and said he truly believed that women who took some control and developed a determined positive mental attitude were likely to by far have the best outcomes. He is FOR supplements and said that most drugs were derived from plants so there was no reason to think they were a waste of money. But, he suggested I spoke with the nutritionist at the Maggie's Centre, so the day after the surgery I put my clothes on and took myself and my drain and walked over to the Centre, had a cup of tea with a pyschologist (who told me I seemed very sensible and balanced which amused me!) and made an appointment with the nutritionist. She cooks lunch for us on two consecutive weeks and we help and then we eat together and discuss good nutrition to build up our immune systems and help us with the fight. We can also have individual sessions. I will let you know!
As of today I have lost 6st 7 lbs (this is because of my diabetes and the trial I am on). But I get as much healthy food down my throat as possible.
Good luck everyone with whatever you are dealing with this week.
Sisterjayne - you are nearly finished! I am so pleased for you and hope you are doing OK and are not too tired.
Sandie - have read your posts and have been thinking about you. Nearly there!
Big hugs to you all.
Hi all haven't posted for a wee while lots of things going on! My other half recovering from back surgery so have had to look after him, which has occupied me during daylight hours,however as all you brave gals know only too well the nasties arrive when darkness falls. I start chemo tomorrow have had two lots of steroids today so now I feel I could have run a marathon too bad not last week as it ran past my door!! I know that many ladies experience s.e. but if you look at se of paracetamol closely it would put you off. I am wide awake and it is now02.18 and I refuse to allow myself the wallowing in the se of chemo thread. We are all different and many people get through with minimal se. You Bright gals know where this is going....power of positive thinking!!! We must...every time I feel I'm heading for the dark side I block the thought its very hard sometimes but what's the alternative? That's not to say I don't have a good greet...Glaswegian for cry!! But I am lucky to be able to pull my self together and get on with things so far! A good book for anyone who can't pull themselves up from the dark hole is the black dog its a book about a mans experience of depression. I found it very good a few years back when I was about to leave my ex after 25 years I felt so low I didn't think I could ever recover. But here I am . yes fighting the b....r cancer but I'm damn sure its not going to beat me so I see the chemo as an ally in this battle to get rid of it for good. Maybe not the easiest of allies but you can't be too choosey!! I've ranted enough ! I wish you all strength and whatever it takes to get you through this battle ahead. Love to you all ....yes and I will be bricking it tomorrow but will smile and take a deep breath and get right in there!!! The not so sane maz on steroids!
I start my chemo tomorrow on would have been his 66th birthday, and im scared witless just dont know wot to expect, it just makes me believe more and more that they are with me through this horrendous nightmare journey. I went shopping again today for a wig still cant find one that i like thought i loved the one i tried last week but wen i tried it again today i hated it :-( when i walked in to a different shop today a guy opened the door who i booked the appointment with we took a seat an then a lady appeared an said to me "Linda isnt it" i said no its Jane. My auntie didnt bat an eyelid an wen we left she said the way she called u by your middle name i said i no funny i didnt even give them my surname never mind middle name its quite freaky coz my mums name was Linda. Again another sign that my parents are guided me through this nightmare time.
Thanks everyone for the advice i havent really been sticking to the exersices i have been doin a few of them each day an doin other stretch type movements with it an it is gettin better all the time will try an stick to them now though.
I am stuck in the cancer bubble too and its awful I wake up every morning and think I have cancer. The thought is unbearable so I go back to sleep until lunchtime. Sleep is my own escape from the awfulness of it all. Everyone around me is acting like normal whilst all I want to scream is that I have cancer. I have no motivation or enthusiasm for life at the moment and just feel incredibly worried for the future. I hope this is just temporary and can move forward at some point in the future. I have had 3 chemos so far and the side effects have been minimal but finding with each treatment the fatigue and the chemo fog getting worse. It just mentally draining having to go through the process every 3 weeks getting strong drugs injected into the veins. I am due to start a new chemo regime (tax) so no idea what side effects I may get. Not looking forward to the change but got 3 more to go before it ends and can look forward to my hair growing back
Its lovely you have close freinds that are keeping you sane through this horrid time and you are going to have some fun before choosing your wig. The break you have planned sounds lovely too and hope you enjoy the experience. I have a short break planned end of August to Center Parcs, a overnight stay at a spa hotel in leicestershire in September and attending a younger womens BC event end of September in Leeds. All just in time for chemo to finish on 1st October. Then its decision time on what surgery to have. Truly can't wait for the whole ordeal to be over but then its getting back to a new normal and having to come to terms with what's happened and move forward. That is going to be very difficult for me xxx
PaulS - Glad surgery went well. Hope you get home soon and recover quickly.
Sandie - I'm with you on the waking every morning with those thoughts. It's like living life inside a cancer bubble.... I just can't seem to get outside it or see anything beyond the next day or hour. I feel guilty for feeling like this... everyone around me is getting on with their lives but I feel like I'm living in a parallel universe where mine is standing still. I have no motivation or enthusiasm for anything. I think we have to switch off and disengage from reality, to a certain degree, to allow ourselves to be put through all these horrible treatments and procedures. I'm sure that this is just temporary though and there will come a day when we can put this all behind us and start looking forward to the future again. Meanwhile, you really don't need all the stress that your OH's ex is throwing your way. You are right to distance yourself from it. I hope the chemo is going ok and you haven't been getting too many SE?
My close friends have been fabulous and are keeping me afloat and sane. So far, we've practically got a minibus together to go and choose my wig tomorrow (salon 20 miles away). Heading over early for a glass of bubbly or two before we arrive... just hope the wig lady doesn't freak when 5, slightly inebriated, middle-aged ladies turn up! I really don't know what I would have done without them.... they turn up brandishing bottles of wine (and often cheese), at the drop of a hat, whenever a meltdown is imminent! In that respect, I consider myself to be so very lucky... friends like that are literally worth their weight in gold!
Just in the final stages of booking everything for a break before the start of chemo. Heading off to Bath on friday for 3 nights in a lovely hotel, then down to Dorset for 3 nights camping (meeting up with friends who are already out on their camping trip), then 3 nights in a gypsy caravan in Cornwall, arriving home the day before picc line gets put in. Hoping I can push it all to the back of my mind and just enjoy the experience. x
WLE - Wide Local Excison which is a lumpectomy
SNLB - Sentinel Node Biopsy is where they take the nearest node that cancer is likely to drain to first.
Good luck with the op and if you want to cry, then cry. You are perfectly entitled to cry and like Mel66 said they have seen loads of women before you cry. Its really a horrible time for us all xxx
Like Sandie said.... you do all the crying you want. I cried all the time I was at the hospital, from the moment I arrived... right down to the theatre doors. I think they must be pretty used to it judging by the ever available boxes of tissues they always seem to have at hand! Don't worry, you'll wake up afterwards feeling fine and be drinking your first mug of tea in no time.
It's a horrible, scary time, but you'll be ok, and it really isn't as bad in reality as you build it up in your head to be.
Lots of hugs xxx
It is perfectly normal to feel the way you are feeling as you are going through a very hard time. Its a very scary time for you and your husband will understand that you will find it difficult to be positive. I had surgery back in May - a WLE and SNLB but unfortunately need more surgery. I cried before the operation and many of us have so don't beat yourself up for crying. You are entitled to be upset and you need to ensure you have lots of support to get through the day. My tip is to cry and let it all out then you will be more ready to face it.
Sending you bit hugs xxx
Sorry not posted for a while but have been reading your posts. Sisterjayne - glad your radiotherapy is underway and that you are nearing the end of active treatment. PaulS - good that your surgery went fine yesterday and that you are feeling ok with good movement in your arm. Read in one of your earlier posts that the surgeon will only remove nodes with cancer in them and that they can tell during surgery. Is that still the case?
Mel66 - hope you are feeling ok in this horrid journey. I have had my 3rd chemo last Wednesday so at halfway point now. More stress from partner's psycho ex wife who has been neglecting the youngest son and he is now residing in my conservatory over the summer break! Letting my partner deal with it as I can't cope with the extra stress whilst trying to cope with the accumulative effects of chemotherapy.
On anti-depressants and accessing specialist cancer support at the Haven in order to help me cope. Still wake up every morning and the first thought that pops in my head is that I can't believe I have BC. I don't know if the shock will have ever fade away for me and terribly worried for the future xx