Welcome to everyone starting chemo in January.. we are now the "" January Jems""
Didnt think I would be posting in this section of the site.... had good news though... no spread to the lymph nodes :-)) ...it seems due to it being a high Grade 3 Im to start on chemo first... then Rads.. then Herceptin....dont think I took it all in to be honest... this part has always scared me as i associate it with Ca.. daft I know.. but loosing all family members to Ca.. it just scares me....so I think I will be dealing with it one day at a time... i should hear next week from my onc... get the ball rolling... any advice, tips, wigs etc would be grateful... thanks ladies xxx
Too true Rhonda and Gay...couldn't have put it better...just to forget about this awful illness for even a few hours is wonderful. I did manage to get to a tea dance last week and really enjoyed it. A few weeks ago I could never imagine doing that. Sending hugs to all Jems. Irenee xxxx
You are so right Rhonda it's good to take time out and forget about Badboy BC for a while so that we go into the future with it occupying a smaller and smaller part of our lives. I'm certainly fed up of it dominating every aspect of my life from diary planning to relationships. It is lovely that people care about us but I am so sick of telling everyone how I am feeling all the time. I think it's my hubby's first question every morning and it just goes on and on through family, friends even people I don't know that well who have heard the news and want to know how I am constantly (I sound really ungrateful as it would be awful too if nobody cared enough to ask). I am so bored with talking about and focusing on myself and really need to get out and about more and start doing stuff again for other people. It's just that all this bl**dy treatment takes up so much time and energy doesn't it? Hopefully after 5 wks of rads which should finish mid-July I can stop being so self-absorbed and people will start to forget that I'm the one who has had cancer.
Sorry small rant over - actually feeling quite good today (day 9 of 5th FEC-T chemo) after a horrible week since 2nd and penultimate Taxotere. Like everyone else I'm counting the days until final treatment (8th May) although dreading the last session more than any other as I find it harder knowing what lies ahead in the feeling unwell stakes. I've described it to people as like the worst hangover ever alongside daily unpleasant SE niggles from sore mouth, watery eyes and itchy sore bits down below to joint and back ache and cracking skin round my finger and toe nails. There seems to be something new appearing every day. Oh yes, and most of my eyebrows and eyelashes have fled the scene giving me a real cancer victim look unless I really go to town with the accessories and make-up. But lots to look forward to with a family wedding, grand-daughter's 1st birthday party and plans for a house move when rads are over. Actually the above sounds really moany - things aren't looking too bad at all at the moment.
Morwenna - I'm gaining weight too but Onc said it was a good thing as it was helping my body to cope with the chemo. Trouble is I wanted to start on Tamoxifen drug (starting at the same time as rads) at lowest possible weight as it looks like most women gain quite a bit on it. Hey ho, when was I ever at the weight I wanted to be at the right time!?! Yvonne sorry your happy plans are cancelled. It's the diary planning that gets so messed up with this whole treatment thing. It will be lovely in the future not to have to consider how we will be feeling every time we plan something or someone tries to arrange to see us.
Thinking of all of you every day although I don't post as much as many (although when I do they are rather long-winded I'm afraid). I'm going to try and do some short sharp posts without having to give my life story!!!! Take care everyone - Gay xx
Hi Ireenee,Yvonne, tomorrow will be, so happy to be reading that you's are also near the finish line! Great news Sarah the Taxol is working its magic for you, keep chugging along Morweena you will get there too, happy the SE are not too bad for you. I had a great girls night our last night, went to our crown Casino to see the Jersey Boys show! Lots of laughs & champers with my girlfriend! It was nice to forget all about Cancer for a night! hugs to all Gems Rhonda! Xoxo
hi jems not been on here for months but have kept an eye on you all.cannot believe friday is my last chemo and fec. looked back at some of my posts when this first kicked off....i was so scared no terrified. Didn't think id ever get this far. Its a strange feeling like leaving another life behind me with no safety net. Had my last pre chemo bloods today ....it felt great no more poking needles trying o find a good vein. Gonna start my new life asap.... i know ive changed.
Just want to say good luck god bless please god please get acure asap. love you all .xxx
Just back from onc clinic. Bloods were OK so FEC5 here I come. It was booked for Monday so I'd made lots of plans for this weekend, including seeing my son for the first time this year, BUT they've changed it to this Friday so all happy plans have to be cancelled. I'll be SO glad when this feckin FEC is finished and life can get back to normal.
Just back from 5th cycle of the poison...really didn't think my bloods would be right as I have felt so tired this last week. Only one more to go now...yipeee. Hope all you gems are doing as best as can be...and to anyone who has had to go hospital my heart goes out to you. Irenee xxxxx
I'm just chugging along with my weekly Paclitaxel (Taxol) treatments and doing pretty ok really. Gaining weight (ughh!), but fairly minimal side effects.
I do get sharp jabs of pain, but they are so transient that by the time I have gasped "Oof! Oww!" They are gone, so I haven't yet resorted to painkillers.
My best news is that after this week my treatments are moved to Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays, so I should be able to attend my singing rehearsals, having missed 4!!
I suppose my other concern is my voice actually. I haven't been doing any vocal exercises (lazy), and when I tried to sing this week I was quite discouraged. I hope my voice doesn't change in the long term!!
Hi good news girls, the taxol has shrunk my lung nodule and the breast one is showing signs of getting smaller, need to carry on with taxol for 2more cycles and re scan , but have small blood clots at base of lungs so on heparin injections daily for a few months , great ! You can,t have it all .
best wishes to all
Thanks Carolyn, I still feel crappy one week on, but ONC said it would take a month to start to feel human again, not sure how I feel about being finished it hasn't sunk in yet! I just want my hair back, so over wigs & bandanas! Eyes are really bad sore & watery! Everything tastes terrible, & very dry mouth! Not much action on here the last couple of days, hope you are all coping well with dreaded SE. Hugs all. Rhonda x
Hi ladies, I hope you are all doing fine. Saphirness, I think the eye thing is one of the side effects of chemo. Sometimes my eyesight is apalling. Iv normally got goos eyesight. Apparently it gets better when chemo finishes. Im still weak but I also had a cheast infection. But feeling better now.
I am having Paclitaxal no 2 of six - next Tuesday.
Well the CT lung scan on Thursday didn't find anything nasty which I'm really pleased about but I knew that they wouldn't find anything. I'm pretty convinced the breathlessness is just a leftover from my chest infection, in fact I haven't been as breathless over the past 3 days so I'm thinking the hospital was panicing for no real reason but I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry. It makes sense to me though that I wouldn't recover as quickly as I might have in the past as my white cell count is always so low now. I went for an ultrasound yesterday and they drained the seroma which had appeared where my lump had been removed so my boob is comfy again.
This morning the sun is shining, the birds are singing, there are butterflies fluttering around and we're going cruising
Because they've delayed treatment again by 10 days we've got enough time to head off up the canal to a lovely place called Bugsworth. I've got a bit fed up sitting in one place for so long. I'm definitely a "water gypsie" and I'm not used to staying in any one place for longer than 2 weeks. 5 months in Macclesfield has just about fried my brain, I need to be moving!
Hope everyone has a good weekend with minimal SE's.
Went to a tea dance this afternoon...really enjoyed it. Even the wig didn't feel too bad. Have to have some good times before the next blast of chemo. Re:- eye problem... When I first had chemo I had a few migraines. Ireneexx
Morwenna - you are right - he is a Dick but also a 'Clever Dick' and knows his stuff, luckily my Breast Consultant is an Angel, a great listener and good at answering questions. Weird joint pains kicked in yesterday, some are like bad peiod pains or labour pains! It feels like nerve ending pains, because they jump around my body from head to toe. Hopefully won't last too long.
Yvonne - your comment about your ONC with his eyes closed made me laugh out loud! However, I hope you get your treatment back on track, so you can get it out of the way and move forward.
Rhonda - if anyone desrves a wonderful holiday in Bali - it is you. I have stopped all the 'treats' that I would never eat before chemo and hope to not gain any more weight. You look very slim in your photo...
Took a trip to the 'Waiting for results' Forum - that was definitely my worst time too and I feel for these ladies, especially the ones that were diagnosed as cancer. How scary it all was... I feel I've come a long way since then, even though I have 3 sessions to go. Feeling informed is one of the most important aspects of the treatment, we ladies like to know what we are up against!!
Wishing all January Jems a smooth journey forward.. Hugs, Joyce x
Hi Yvonne, so sorry you are delayed again how annoying, I had a bit of fuzz on my head a couple of weeks ago and I completely shaved it off, there are a couple of prickles there but nothing you can see, Onc said give it a month & it should start growing! I hope I have enough to go wigless, on our holiday to Bali end of July! Good luck with your Ultrasound. Thanks Irenee & Morwenna, yes I'm looking forward to the day of setting that wig ablaze 🙂 Agree with others Joyce your ONC is the FEC head, but as long as he is doing right by you, it does seem the norm everywhere 3 & 3...also need to lose some weight too, got 6 weeks before surgery so want to drop at least 8lb. Cheers to all you lovely ladies. Love Rhonda x
Congrats Rhonda, hope the wig burning party happens quickly. Is your hair growing again yet? I have some sparse hairs growing well, they are now about 1cm long but are all white! I'm tempted to shave them off in the hope some nice dark brown ones grow instead
I went for bloods today but again they are too low so FEC no 5 has been postponed. So far only one treatment has been on time. The ONC tried to book treatment for next friday but was told there are no spare chairs so I now have to wait until the following monday. He wasn't happy. This just shows how busy they are at the Christie. They treat 130 people every day and are open from 8am till 11pm.
He was worried about my continuing breathlessness so I'm having a CT scan tomorrow and then on friday I'm having an ultrasound scan and a seroma drained.
Joyce - your ONC doesn't sound very nice at all! Mine is lovely but he does have an annoying habit of closing his eyes when he talks to you. It was a bit disconcerting at first but I've got used to it now and he's the same with all his patients so it isn't just that he doesn't like looking at me.
It will be interesting to compare weekly vs three-weekly Taxol. So far I have had the merest twinges of pains here and there, and thought uh-oh, but they really are fleeting, and I have not taken any painkillers. I'm not supposed to take ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatories due to being on Heparin for my thrombo-emboli!!
Thanks for your messages of congrats Lee, Sarah & Joyce, feeling a bit ordinary today, achy & tired the steroids kept me awake all night, the ONC said the fluid retention & weight gain was from sleep meds he gave me, so there out... I thought I'd bare my bald head, wig in hand! I think I'll have a wig burning party when my hair grows back. hahaha Just so glad the Chemo part is over. This nightmare will be all over soon. Then what will we have to talk about as this has consumed us for so long already! I wore a Hula lei for my last Chemo and took a cocktail glass too, no frozen Margarita though, They just put a frozen icy pole in my glass, I will post the pic soon, made the nurses laugh. Had to do something funny for last one! Hugs to you all, we are so brave, We should be very proud of ourselves. xoxo Rhonda
Hi Morwenna, no I am on 4 every 3 weeks, but like I say, I think once the 'feel good' steroids have worn off, I may develop SE's. They have given me a huge prescription for Ibuprofen... which is an indicator. I am not taking any anti-nauseau meds only the once a day acid-reflux - more for prevention, because I hated it when I had it on AC.
I did request a full explanation why I was to be given Taxol as originally my regime was 6 x AC. My Oncologist does not like to be questioned (he's a 'shoulder patter' or 'toe tweaker'). When I asked him he said "This is the right cocktail for your type of breast cancer." and that I could choose between "life and death". Very nice. So I got all my answers from my Breast Colultant. He said that research has shown that by mixing AC or FEC and Taxol chemos, they get a better result in reducing the size of the cancer. I also got a chance to get answers to other questions that I had, which made me feel more informed and confident.
It's so nice to feel well and relatively normal, even if it doesn't last long. I do have other side effects, which I consider non-medical and that is obviously hair loss, whch I have embraced and don't wear a wig, just a hat if I am cold, black nails, no eyelashes and rapidly diminishing eyebrows oh and I have gained quite a lot of weight, but I will deal with all that later.... as long as I can still look after my family in as normal way as possible, then I am happy... Joyce x
Joyce I forgot ... Are you on weekly Taxol comme moi?
If so, I must tell you, I've just returned from Taxol #3 of 12, and feel a bit wiped, but if its like the first two, I'm sleepy for a couple of hours then really wired, but apart from gastric reflux the first night or two, I have had no discernable side effects, and I'm feeling really good! Well and happy for the first time in ages!!
Had my first Taxol yesterday and have felt great! Even though I didn't get much sleep, I had an absolutely manic cleaning session today and did all my washing, took the dogs out for a long walk and cooked lampb chops, cauliflower cheese and roasted veg. Even felt like a glass of wine but didn't - mainly because I was put on anti-biotics for cystitis which developed 3 days ago. I know this feel might not last and it is down to the steroids, but it is a good start to the new regime, which I was so frightened of.
There have been so many postive feelings coming through lately on January Jems, which is so nice. Rhondacat you are setting the pace and I admire you so much because you have managed to carry on working - that must have been difficult at times.
I'll maybe be back in a few days moaning about joint pain or whatever, but for now, I feel so good. Nighty night ladies... Joyce x
Thanks Mandy xxx I pop over to 'Feb. Valentines' sometimes and I did see that you felt very poorly and the symptoms you described were exactly like I was a little while ago. Touch wood the last two cycles haven't been too bad. We just have to keep going as best we can... Love to all you 'Valentines'. Irenee xx
Just popped in from February Valentines to say 'hi' and to thank you all for being honest and coping throught this BC cr*p. I'm FEC 3 day 6 (FEC3/TAX3 total + rads) and was feeling so down.... Like , will this ever end, how can I cope? Moan, moan. Then I looked in on you girls and realised all of you have been here but are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. (Chicita I have good friends with a boat based on Huddersfield Narrow but often at Portland Basin I spend quite some time around the Ashton area so will look out for you to say hi).
You are an inspiration to those who follow. Thank you.
Jenny - interested to hear about 5 rad sessions instead of 15. Mine has gone from an expected 15 treatments over 3 weeks to 25 over 5 weeks! Advised this is to prevent too much damage to skin so wonder if you will have as big a dose in just 5 sessions.
Lee - you and I seem to be on exactly the same timescale. 5th of FEC-T tomorrow and (fingers crossed) last one on 8th May. However Onc (female and very user-friendly) said rads would def start 3 - 4 wks after chemo although haven't got a date yet. Now thinking maybe she meant 3 - 4 wks after the end of chemo ie. when all the SEs are finished etc. so maybe another 3 wks after treatment. I'm going to check as I keep doing count ups of dates in the diary to see when I can fit in a house move.
Not sure about scans at end of treatment although my understanding is that unless there is a reason to suspect a spread they don't do scans as v small tumours would not be detectable. And that is what I am sure we are all worrying about - recurrence, new primary and spread. I am a bit pre-occupied with that at the moment and I know I have got to try not to be so that I can remain sane when all the current treatment is finished. I'll be on Tamoxifen for five years which I understand is to stop new primary cancer in other breast but still worrying about the other two horrors.
Jan - I live fairly near Reading, 3 miles outside of Henley on Thames en route to Marlow, but under hospital at Wycombe. Presume you are at Royal Berks?
Morwenna - absolutely loved the eyelineher blog and have bought some sealant and used eyeshadow powder and well-sharpened eyebrow pencil to do some fairly impressive fake brows. Hubby says they look great but then he would never say otherwise. I don't think they look that real but they are the best I have managed so far. Now going to try her other make-up and scarf-tyeing tips although I think the fact that she is absolutely stunning and very youthful will mean the end results won't look quite so fab on me. Hey-ho that's how it goes with the whole age thing anyway, BC or not.
Nice glass of red wine is in the plan for tonight before poison-pumping tomorrow and another fortnight on the wagon as I cannot even contemplate a sip of anything even vaguely alcoholic while my liver is probably in overdrive trying to deal with all the pills and drugs that are thrown at us. Hopefully no infections this time and a relatively peaceful and copable-with round 5.
Love Gay x
If all goes well I will be having my last chemo on l5th May. No rads as clear margins. I have male dr's who are fine.
I worry about recurrence a lot of the time but find it best to take one day at a time. Wishing you all well. Irenee xxx
I've had all women and can't fault anything. Wouldn't have minded either way tho as long as they knew what they were doing!
I finish chemo 1 May and start herceptin for a year at same time. Every three weeks still but won't be harsh and an in and out jobby hopefully. No rads because of reconstruction. Also start tamoxifen for the five years.
All good fun! Thinking of you Rhonda!!
Good luck today Rhonda and CONGRATULATIONS on crossing the finish line (YIPPEE) . I have 2nd Tax tomorrow and last one on 8 May. The onc said after last chemo it is between 6-8 weeks before radiotherapy starts (I thought it should be 31 days). Anyway I am having 4 weeks of rads. Does anyone know, do they do scans or anything to check all okay when treatment finished or not. Morwenna, my breast surgeon was male and my onc is female. I dont mind because everyone has been lovely, cant fault treatment. Good luck to everyone having treatment this week.
Mmm, it seems I have to have rads because my tumour was judged to me >8cm in diameter, even though at my second surgery (mastectomy) there was no evidence of disease. Guess I'm just lucky that way ... Also I suppose being grade 3 puts me high risk. Well la-di-da!
Thanks Morwenna, I wish you well and hope the time flies by quickly for you & you can say your finished too. I will stay on here and let you all know how long before I feel good again etc. & check up on you all. I have all male Drs and ONC they are all great & doesn't bother me at all! I am so lucky to have escaped radiation as I had a full Masectomy & they said they got it all ! Love Rhonda
Congratulations Rhonda! What a fab feeling to be done!
I had my first meeting with my rad onc today, turns out its another woman doctor! That's three for three with my med onc and breast surgical oncologist! I'm surprised how pleased I am actually; I wouldn't have expected to matter as much! Do you guys have male or female docs? Does it bother you either way?
Anyway I don't finish chemo til June 17, but I do have a date to start rads to chest wall and axilla: July 15!
How many of us are going on to have radiation therapy??
Thanks Girls, Jan & Sara, thanks for your thoughts & wishes for today. I can't believe it's really the last one today..... my veins will be glad I look like Junkie, veins are shattered! Give it to me baby one more time! The last one I had, has certainly got into my bones, I ache all over! I know it will stay with me for awhile yet. I lost 8 lb on Fec to gained 10lb on Docetaxel. Maybe next month I will try to lose a couple before surgery! This journey is not over yet! All started enf of October. But at least that dreadful Toxin part is. WhoooooHooooo! NO MORE POISON EVER!!!!!!! I HOPE! Thinking you all on all here. Hugs Rhonda xoxo 🙂
Good luck to everyone having chemo this week - my 6th is on Weds and will be 75 % through - yippee!
Rhonda, will be thinking of you tomorrow, what a relief to get through. I had chemo last time round at the same time as a friend and it was her last one - I found it so inspiring watching her finish and have her Picc line out. It's kept me going and thinking I can get through it too.
My taste buds are still virtually non existent which is really boring but am on the wine again tonight at last, gearing up for Weds!
Has anyone actually tried the 5:2 diet? A friend mentioned it to me today, not sure I could cope with it for the moment but maybe after chemo?
Lots of hugs to you all
It's 6 months tomorrow since I first went to the breast clinic for mammogram and biopsy after finding the dreaded lump. How quickly has that 6 months gone? It's been a whirlwind of 2 ops, 2 recoverys, Christmas and chemo. Just wanted to say we've all done so well and after another 6 months I hope we will all be in a much better position following all the treatment. Keep going everyone!! And congrats to Rhonda for being nearly done on the toxic stuff!!
Hi Jan just wondering about your voice, i have lost mine for nearly 2 weeks had a viral infection which has floored me, spent one night in hosp, thought i had just caught a sore throat and cough from my son. My voice is only a whisper at the momment, soreness improved, how long will my voice be gone for .
I am on taxol had 3 cycles so far fo bc recurrance and lung mets.
Hi Ladies, I forgot to say - have 5 more Piclitaxal's to go. But weekly - so should be finished at the end of May. I had a very weak moment out shopping today - probably over did it. I am also having herceptin for 1 year.
Anyways, the sun is shining here in London and Im still upbeat.
No energy at all on Sat. Today got up did all the housework...made cakes..and did the washing. So nice to have a nearly normal day. Went out in the wig and came back looking like Rod Stewart (very windy here). Have got my appetite back but I am eating too much sweet stuff. OH is planning a holiday in June 🙂
Hi All, thanks Jan for your comment on my granddaughter she is adorable & gives us lots to smile about, I have 5 grandchildren all beautiful 🙂 You asked about when we were all finishing Chemo, well my last one is in 2 days Tuesday, bring it on I can't wait. Got the champers chilled ready to celebrate! I was the first to start amongst us Gems, I almost feel guilty as I know some of you have a way to go, I have very achy legs and my ankles are swollen up. Love & hugs to you all. Xoxo Rhonda
Hi all, Iv have 1st Piclitaxal and 2nd herceptin today. Im feeling spaced out and very tired. However, im still upbeat and determine. Achey bones - but got out of bed at 5.30 am so probably tirdness has kicked in. My buddy from the South East London Breast Cancer trust attended the appointment as my hubby needed a break. He attended appointments with me on Wednesday and Thursday.
Spoke to my surgeon yesterday and Im still on for having left sided mastectomy. And port taken out of other breast as do not want my recnstructed breast any bigger. Have to see him again at the end of June.
Keep you cin up - as the song goes " Things Can Only Get Better". HAAAA