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Welcome to everyone starting chemo in January.. we are now the "" January Jems""

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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
1,243 REPLIES 1,243
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Hi Jenny, yes it's hard not too check in here every day as it has been such a big part of our lives checking in each day, I suppose I'm still here as I feel my journey has not finished just yet, having a biopsy tomorrow on a lump on my implant side of Masectomy, as there is as my surgeon says, he thinks its fat necrosis but can't be 100% sure so back having more tests..While on holiday in a hot climate I stopped wearing the wig my hair is extremely short but thickened up, have had to be brave going without it at home & went out tonight in the city for dinner, I can see people looking at me, give it another month & I'm sure it will be OK I cant wait to look normal again, bones still ache a bit, but tolerable! Also got Eyelashes & eyebrows back, not like before but its a start, I had both tattooed when I was away on holiday. Take care Jenny, I'm still checking in on here if you need someone to chat with I will be here! Love Rhonda xx
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Hi
Glad that you had a great holiday rhonda i had a weekend in liverpool and was shattered not used to be on the go all the while. To be honest im feeling anxious now treatment has finished and a bit lost ,this thread has dried up now and i miss it, the others seem to be going strong its a shame and i feel as much to blame for not posting. Hows everyones hair growing mines thickening up but only half an inch long really. Eyelashes and eyebrows back .its scary been on our own now.
jenny x
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Hi Chrissie, I am sorry you didn't cope so well with treatment, nice to see you come back & let us know what's been happening with you, I also survived Fec-T and on Femara (letrozole) for the next 5 yrs, so far coping ok on it & no real SE. Hope your results come back good news, I am having another scan this tues, to make sure all is OK.. I have just to back from a awesome holiday of sunshine cocktails & fun, feel like my old self has come back. Hi to all the other Jems who have all gone quiet, which is good, you are all getting on with life! Cheers love Rhonda x
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Hello Jems,
I have been missing for rather a long time from the January Jems thread (since almost the beginning) as I got to be not very good at dealing with all this. I have been keeping up to some degree with your exchanges and your shared support has been so good to see.

I have got through the FEC-T and the radiotherapy, and am now on Letrozole for the next five years. I had a mastectomy and lymph node clearance for invasive lobular cancer with 23 out of 24 nodes cancerous last November. I then had a prophylactic mastectomy to my other breast last week and will get the results to that next Thursday. The reason for this was two fold, the first as a risk reducing process, and the second was being a ' double G; it was always going to be hard to compensate - there was no way I was ever going to have a ' double G' reconstruction! I am happy to be breast free from now on but will need to have some scar revision on both sides, probably in the New Year. I have been told that the radiotherapy needs to settle down first otherwise I won't heal. My 15 year old grandaughter nearly fell off her chair when I told her I was going for a 42" A cup mastectomy bra (yes they do exist!) - she said that she 'hadn't been an A cup since Year 6' !!! I have found the on-line 'Bra Clinic' to be fantastic (they are not 'rip off' prices). I completed a declaration to say that the bra I was purchasing was for personal use and that I had undergone breast surgery, and got the bra VAT free. Once I am in a position to be able to wear it, I'll get some more.

So here is wishing you all well - I would like to say I have 'bounced back' but maybe I should think of another expression!
Kind regards to all,
Chrissie
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Thanks so much girls for your holiday wishes, you made me laugh Yvonne, Sex anywhere is a distant memory here too lol I'm a Margarita girl myself but I won't knock back Sex on the beach hahaha my OH says the exact same thing about me, to delicate & scared he may hurt me! So think maybe I will need two of those cocktails. 😄 your Xmas holiday sounds fantastic Lee, something to look forward to. Thanks Sarah we all deserve a holiday after what we've been through. hugs to you all Take care.. Love Rhonda x
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Wishing you a fabulous holiday Rhonda!! You totally deserve it.
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Rhonda - you go and enjoy your holiday. It's not point telling you not to worry, this BC has turned us all into hypochondriac worry-warts, but a good holiday will recharge your batteries so you will be able to cope with tests and biopsies when you get back. Have a cocktail for me , my favourite is "sex on the beach" and since the real thing is still a memory (OH seems to think I'm too delicate) maybe you should have two! LOL
X Yvonne
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Morning Jems
Yes Rhonda just wanted to say like Irenee that am sure lump will be harmless. Hope you enjoy Bali and have lots of lovely cocktails and put this out of your mind for your holiday. You certainly deserve it. We have just booked our flights to South Africa for a month over Christmas and new year to be with my family (cant wait). I too have finished 20 lots of rads and now hair is growing back and so are eyebrows and eyelashes (yippee ). I too have developed mild lymphodema in left arm and have compression sleeve to wear Rowenna but is seems only to swell up when doing gardening or heavy lifting etc. Starting to feel more like my old self day by day, but a lot more of me now than there was before.
Happy hols Rhonda.
Lee x
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Thanks Irenee, for your encouraging words, yes I'm sure it will be fine, can't see how anything could be there after Chemo and with Masectomy, surely not! I have looked forward to this holiday for so long, it was my light at the end of the dark tunnel, so nothing is going to spoil it! Cheers & I hope you are doing really well now & enjoying life! Rhonda xoxo
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Dear Rhonda, Sorry to hear about the little lump but I'm sure it will be nothing to worry about. It's to be expected that we all think the worst after all we have been through. Wishing you a lovely holiday,,,Irenee xxxx
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Hi girls, you are all sounding like your doing well, not long now & Rads will be over Morwenna & Yvonne & you will be able to get on with loving life again. Yay Jenny 6 months of freedom, enjoy & try to forget about the big C. Good also to see your going well too Irenee, I still hate my little hair & in the wig still.This place has certainly gone quiet, with everyone finishing up treatments. I was back to the surgeon this week with rippling in the implant in my masectomy reconstruction breast, surgeon did a ultrasound & he said implant was fine, but he found a small lump which he thinks is Fat Necrosis but it needs to be biopsy the cells in it to make sure, I am off on holiday to Bali on Monday so it has to wait till I get back, he said go have a great holiday & don't worry, easier said than done, as we all know any lump is damn scary until we get results back, just when I was thinking tests & crap was over. Oh we'll going to make sure I enjoy my holiday no matter what, & deal with this when I get home! Try & put it out of my mind.... Pool & cocktails here I come.. hugs to you all. Love Rhonda 🙂
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Nice to hear that about TN Yvonne as I am TN too. I also like the short hair, no fuss, no bother. Know what you mean Jenny about feeling lost after all treatment has finished but like Yvonnes onc said we have to get on with life and enoy it. Good Luck to all who are still having treatment. Irenee
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Hi all,
I've been for rads planning today including CT scan and tittoos. Start first of 15 next Wednesday then I'll be FREE Yay 🙂
I asked onc what are my chances of a recurrence as I'm TN and he said that having chemo and rads bring it back on a level playing field with the hormone positive cancer ladies - with the added bonus that I don't have to take tablets for the next 5 years and put up with their side effects. He told me to get through rads and then go away and get on with life! That'll do for me 🙂
I hope you're all coping with the heat. Normally it would be getting me down and making me ratty by now, but the very short hair is keeping me cool and I'm loving it
Bye for now
X Yvonne
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Hi
I had my appointment with docter yesterday she examined me and said well see you in six months, feels really strange after all the treatments and appointments, i feel a bit lost to be honest its scary.

jenny xx
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Hi there!

I'm still here Yvonne, just so you know you are not alone. I also start radiation therapy next week. I can hardly contain my excitement! 😉

I'm at the dentist right now, waiting to get my tooth fixed! And I'm gettingy portacath removed on Thursday, so it really does feel like I am done chemo!!

I have to make an appointment to be fitted for a lymphedema glove and sleeve. The excitement never ends!!! Fortunately my swelling is fairly mild and intermittent, so I don't currently have to wear it fulltime.

Is anybody else having lymphedema issues, or am I the only lucky one?? 😮
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Hello Ladies,
I hope you are all enjoying summer while it lasts.
I've finished chemo at The Christie Hospital and start rads at Salford Royal Hospital next week. We moved the boat this weekend so we can moor closer to Salford Royal. It will only be 20 minutes each way by car or I can get a direct bus if necessary. I feel so sorry for those ladies who have long journeys for their rads but it will all soon be over and we can get on with our lives. I expect most of you Jems have already finished as I do seem to be lagging behind.
Take care
best wishes
Yvonne
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Hi Sarah, I am also having Herceptin. Had no 6 2 weeks ago. I get some bone stiffness but no tiredness, Everyone is different. Iv elected to have other breast off. Possibly in August. It was very weird going back to chemo unit to have herceptin only.

Hope you are all well. By the way - my language changed from blue to lilac over night - post chemo.

Caroline
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Hi Morwenna, first congrats on finishing chemo YAY.. I do hope you are not getting Lymphedemia, you certainly do have a busy week ahead, good you have some fun stuff included. These damn SE still linger on, I have still got cording in my under arm which I am getting sick of, and numb toes. I changed my profile back to what I was like 1 month before this hell ride started, if only I could get back to that happy person again, my hair has started to come back & shock horror it's friggin GREY.. LOL I have highlighted it blonde for a very long time.... Can't wait until its long enough to go back blonde again. Continuing with the wig for a bit longer... Cheers everyone Rhonda xxx
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Sounds like most of us are moving on, moving on ...

I've had an infection in my arm this week, and I'm pretty sure I'm developing lymphedema, which is a big worry to me, especially as I still have radiation to come, starting later this month. 😞
The pain, swelling and redness has responded well to the antibiotics I started last Thursday, and I have an onc appt tomorrow, a counselling appt on Thursday, and a lymphedema appt on Friday, so its a busy week! I also have a deep water exercise session and singing rehearsal on Tuesday, and lunch with work colleagues on Wednesday, so its not ALL medical appts!!!
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Yes Rhonda, my hair is growing back well, no bald patches now. Big relief.
Sorry you've no sun but there'll be plenty in Bali!!!
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Hi Sarah, WOW 14 to go, that is such a lot over a long period, Thank God your not having bad side effects, will your hair grow back on the Herceptin? I do hope it all goes well for you, & your heart scans are SE free. Yes the mammogram is the scary one, I have one on my remaining boob mid August & a ultrasound. It better damn well be clear! & that goes for all of us having check ups! Sure as hell don't want to go through this again EVER. Love to all Rhonda xxx PS no sunshine here freezing cold! Bring on Bali & sunshine in 2 weeks YAY party time LOL
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Hi all,
I have herceptin three weekly via an infusion through my port. It's a breeze compared to the horrors that we all experienced with FEC/Tax/AC etc. I get a little tired day 2/3 but other than that its fine. So much so that walking back in the chemo unit after 3 weeks having been side effect free and sometimes even managing to forget about the Big C is very strange. The smell hits me every time.
I see the oncologist at the beginning of August for a check up and I have a 2nd heart scan on 2 Aug to make the herceptin hasn't effected It. Then a mammogram towards end of year. That'll be the real test!
Hope everyone's loving the sun!
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Hi, all, Yvonne I had a follow up appt. 8 weeks after chemo with blood tests, mainly to see how I was coping with the 5 yr. drug Femara, then kicked me out & said see you in 12 months, I was ever so glad to see the ass end of that place! Also interested Sarah To hear more about the herceptin, only seem to research what we are having. Hope everyone is on top of this and feeling sp much better! Cheers hugs Rhonda xoxo
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Good one Sarah - how are you finding Herceptin? Yvonne, can't comment on the appt, but I did have an Echogram before chemo and after my 7th chemo - all was normal.
Enjoy the weekend on your boat - lucky girl!!

Joyce xx
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Well done Sarah. I don't know anything about herceptin as I won't be having it. How often do you have it? Is it tablets or another infusion?
I've got my rads planning meeting on 17th July so am having a bit of a break from hospitals until then.
Did anyone have a follow up consultation with the onc 3 weeks after their last chemo? I was expecting an appointment but nothing has arrived in the post. Do they just assume everything will be OK?
Also, did anyone who had a heart scan before chemo have another one after finishing treatment?
Lots of questions today 🙂
Have a good weekend everyone. At last the sun's come out and I'll be slapping on the factor 50 and making the most of it while it lasts.
X Yvonne
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4th herceptin done, yay! Only 14 to go!
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Hi everyone, not much to contribute either, but dropping in to say HELLO I am feeling so much better, getting my energy levels back now! Hair just can't grow quick enough or my liking, it's moving along but I am so sick of wearing a wig, can't wait for the day I can go out without it! Eyelashes are there, I can feel them but not long enough for mascara yet. My implant Re/construction has softened a little and starting to feel a lot better, very pleased with the lift on the other side too. Glad Gay your happy with your eyebrows, I had my eyeliner done last year, it needs redoing a bit now, & I will get my brows done at same time, just letting my body heal from last surgery first! Love Hugs to all Rhonda xoxo
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I intend to shave my head in a few weeks time, like you, Irenee as I am sure it will grow back thicker, rather than the silly bits of thin fluff that has started to grow...
One thing I have noticed is that my skin has aged dramatically since I was diagnosed. Hands are wrinkly and dry from all the hand washing and my facial skin is wrinkly too. Right now, my face is still puffy from the steroids. I am going to wait until the steroids are out of my system and then I might try something like microdermabrasion, my facial skin is in desperate need of a pick-up.
I'm sure time will improve my looks...!
Joyce x
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Iv taken a really good vit b suplement and vit c. This has helped me re energy.
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Hi Mandy, TAX is horrible and fatigue is pretty awful. For those going back to work - good luck to them. I didnt and havent gone back yet. Been off since Oct 2012. Im 5 weeks post chemo and still feeling tired. Dont be hard on yourself and compare yourself to others. You are doing all the right things.
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Hi girls - I have been keeping an eye on you all but haven't had much to say just lately (that would help anyone else that is).
Fifth and final week of rads this week (hoorah!). Mind you it has been an absolute doddle compared to chemo and I have had no soreness or tiredness so far. Five sessions to go. I also can't praise the rads dept in Oxford highly enough. They are so efficient and such nice people. It's been a 2-hour round trip but really quite relaxing and pleasant. The journey is time to listen to music and think without interruption!
Real reason for posting was to chip in on hair regrowth. I too shaved my head two weeks ago and now have a much more vital looking pate. Locks are not exactly going to need blow drying or straightening any time soon but hair is definitely on the move. No sign of any eyebrows or eyelashes though so I took the bull by the horns and had eyebrows tatooed - and I love them! My brows were pretty thin and mangy from all the plucking in the 70s and I have spoken to a couple of ladies of my sort of age who had chemo years ago and didn't really get much back in the way of brow hair. I did go very expensive end of the cosmetic market (Debra Robson in Harley Street) but I am really pleased with the result. Need to be refined and retouched in three weeks time. I'm just delighted that I don't have to draw them on every day and when I start swimming again I won't lose them. Verdict from often very critical family members yesterday was a huge thumbs up. Brows much higher than originals to make me look more youthful and I do actually think it has worked. Money very well spent.
Good luck to everyone with all your ongoing treatment and for the future. Hopefully looking at BCC forum will be a pleasant but distant memory one day. Gay x
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Hi Jenny. Had my head shaved two weeks ago and now my hair is coming through stronger. Eyebrows are coming back but eyelashes very sparse. irenee x
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Hi
Have not posted for a while but wondered if anyone is getting good hair growth my eyelashes and eyebrows are very slowly coming back i can feel them more then see them. Hair on my head very fine and uneven not much at front.
I have finished rads last week so far my skin has held up but it can still break up so fingers crossed.
Jenny xx
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Hi Mandy,
I am now 2 months post final Tax and am happy to say I feel back to normal. It took the usual 3 weeks to get over the last chemo and then a little longer for the tiredness to fade but I think I'm doing pretty well now. Don't worry yourself too much about not feeling great yet, it's not been long and with the cumulative a effect of all that poison it's bound to take a little longer. You're doing really well to be working so much already.
Sarah
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Hi Mandy, I had AC x 4 and Tax x 4 and I had my last Tax 10 days ago. I have been told that tiredness lasts a long time, so don't expect too much of yourself. I think you are doing very well if you can go back to work. I have surgery and rads to come and don't expect to be back at work until xmas. Yes, my income is halved but don't honestly think I could cope physically or mentally for quite some time. Don't underestimate what you have been through and it doesn't hurt to remind people that some of your side effects will last for quite a while. Your manager and HR / Occupational Therapy Depts should be phasing you back into work at a pace you can deal and with flexibility. I intend to suggest 2 days a week for me at first when I return to work. I wish you all the best and you have done well to get through everything, like Irenee suggested - don't push yourself too hard...
Joyce x
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Hi mandy...Welcome. I started my chemo journey on 28th Jan and finished on the 15th. May. Can't help on the Tax question as I only had FEC but I can say it took a good month before I really got any strength back. I was exhausted for most of the time. I am now picking up a bit but I am thinking of getting myself a tonic to help. At the beginning of treatment I couldn't sleep then at the end of treatment all I wanted to do was sleep. Don't push yourself too hard, and most important try not to get stressed out. I'm sure someone will be along to talk about Tax as most of the ladies have it. Sending hugs Irenee xxxx
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Hi ladies, just popped in from Feb Valentines to see how you are all doing. As I was diagnosed in November I'd expected to be a December lady but things got complicated and I didn't actually start my Chemo until Feb 28th. I had FEC x3/TAX x3 with my final Docetaxel on Thursday 13th Feb. I've felt quite low this last week as like so many of you said non BC people all congratulate me on being better when in fact I still feel really crap.
I'm trying to found out if anyone else who's just finished TAX is so exhausted. Lots of people are talking about getting out to excercise - running, cycling etc. I've just gone back to work for 3 days per week and it's as much as I can do to stay awake. On Thursday nightI slept 11 hours, woke up for 1 hour (quick wee and a bowl of cereal) then went back to sleep for another 4 hours. Similar story today. Is this 'normal' or should I be worried?
Good luck to you all on your continuing journey.
Mandy xx
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Brilliant news Joyce! Well done.
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Hi Ladies, I have had 2 weeks of rads and having 1 more week. Saw surgeon this week and having left breast off in August. Then having new implant in January 2014. Iv also decided to have hysterectomy as well. All precautionary.
I am really tired with the rads and somewhat grumpy. However, this is a breeze compared to chemo.

Hope you are all well? xxxxx
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Great news Joyce, enjoy the rest of your weekend worry free 🙂
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Yey Joyce!!! You go girl!!!!

Hey while you're getting your portacath pulled, would you ask them to get mine? 😉

Moving on, moving on ........ !
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Yay! I am (almost) cancer-free. Have 1cm (in total) of invasive cancer left in the breast which will be removed at surgery. Rest of my body is completely cancer-free. I talked to my Cons about the bilateral masctectomy idea, which he did not dismiss completely. However he said that my priority is to get rid of the existing cancer. Also as my cancer is hormone related (as opposed to other reasons), he felt it was unnecessary to go so far and also it would undermine my ability to have rads, which he feels is an important part of the 'belt & braces' treatment that is planned for me.
So thus, on the 31st July, I will have breast reduction and uplift on one side only, then 4 weeks of rads. Once my reconstructed breast has settle into its 'normal' shape and size, then they will operate on the other breast so that they can match it. I mentioned my fears of the future and he said that now that I have been through 'the system', I will never be left alone for long and they will continue to monitor me aswell as keep me on meds.
He did say that the double MX would be a consideration if my cancer had been say, genetic, but that is not the case for me. I really do trust my Cons and agree with him that the priority is to get rid of the MF cancer quickly and hopefully, forever. He is also going to remove my Portacath at the same time - yippee!
Thank you for your good wishes my friends - they worked!
Joyce x
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Everything's crossed Joyce! xxx
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Good luck Joyce X
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Best of luck Joyce...I think the worst part of all this bc crap is waiting for scan results. I'm sure you will be fine after all the chemo. It will be interesting to hear what your Cons say about surgery. love Irenee xx
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Joyce I pray your scans come back 100% Cancer free, this time and forever, I'm sure you will be fine, after all the crap they poisoned us with we should definitely be cancer free. I have a mammogram & scan next month in the good boob, not trying to think about it, but it better be clear! I have no intention of doing this again ever. Love Rhonda x
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Wish me luck - CT & MRI Scan today and the conversation with Cons about surgery. I really hope my body is cancer free.... have a great weekend ladies! Joyce x
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Because we live on the boat getting our mail can be a bit of a problem but my lovely onc has arranged for all my rads appointments to be made over the phone. A reply helpful lady from the rads dept at the next hospital just phoned, she couldn't have been more friendly accommodating, and my rads planning meeting is set for 17th July. That gives us plenty of time to move the boat closer to this hospital and also clear our house ready for the new owners to move in. Rads will start the week after but I'm not sure yet how many I'm having.
X Yvonne
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They don't really taste the same, but you get used to what you have, I suppose!

To begin with I thought the pieces of fish were SO tiny, but now they seem normal. They have some odd fish I have never heard of here as staples, but you can often choose haddock, or sometimes cod. We eat a lot of salmon at home as it is relatively cheap!

The "chips" are usually more like fries "a la McDonald's", but when I had fish n chips last time I was back in England, I just found the chips too greasy and soggy! Sad really 🙂

Hubby had "mushy peas" , billed as the typical British accompaniment, but they were a pale grey-green, and virtually tasteless! Loads of salt and pepper needed .. and vinegar, and they were almost edible ..... LOL!
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Joyce - he just said "we don't do that". He did say though that if I had a wle this time there was the possibility of further surgery if it returned or, in an extreme case, if I really couldn't live with the worry - "but we'll deal with that later"
I must say that his whole attitude and treatment have been very caring and his needlework was brilliant as I hardly have any scarring and what I do have will fade to nothing with time. He's a plastic onco-surgeon and in retrospect I concede that he was probably right to make me wait.
One thing I must say is how impressed I've been with all my treatment on the NHS. From my initial GP visit to surgery it was only just 3 weeks and, apart from one horrid nurse who looked after me when I didn't come round enough from the anaesthetic to go home as a day case, everyone I've come into contact with at both hospitals has been wonderful. My chemo has been at The Christie hospital in Manchester. This is the main cancer centre for the north west and the staff are amazing. I know not everyone has had such a good experience, but I couldn't have wished for better treatment.

Morwenna - so glad your chemo is over mine is too! We've all decided 7 doses of FEC will have to be enough due to my breathlessness, next step is rads but I don't have a date for that yet. Hope you enjoyed your fish and chips. Do they taste the same in Canada?
X Yvonne