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advice please

69 REPLIES 69
Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi all.

Gennie and Annie my seroma went down after I had it drained once but came back. The sloshing around is uncomfortable and heavy but believe me it will be absorbed back into your system. It is still early days for you both, just look after yourselves and try not to worry too much it is quite normal. If it is really uncomfortable your breast care nurse will be able to help. She drained mine and got 40ml from me, but after a few days it started to come back so I persevered and it has now gone completely.

I had my op 6 wks ago this thursday and am now back at work with full movement of my arm and no pain. Make sure you just look after yourselves and get the rest, you really will benefit from it.

Take care girls

Sandra
xx

Gennie
Member

Re: advice please

Annie - I have the same problem, pretty sure I have a seroma as I'm getting more swollen, not less and it's painful if I drop the painkillers. I can also hear the fluid sloshing around in there which is quite alarming! It's been a week today since my surgery. I'm finding it harder than I expected to get mobile as the weight of it when I'm standing up pulls and makes it worse - I can't wear a bra because my underarm wound runs exactly where the top edge of my bra goes. I'm seeing the practice nurse at my GP's surgery this afternoon. I'm torn between leaving it well alone as I can cope ok so long as I stay on top of the painkillers, and getting some relief by draining it.

Jo_BCC
Member

Re: advice please

Hi anniemac

If you give the helpline a ring one of the nurses will be able to give you some support on this one. Lines are open today until 5pm, calls are free, 0808 800 6000

Kind regards,
Jo, Facilitator

anniemac
Member

Re: advice please

seroma... the lump around my wound is getting really big, how long can I leave it before I need to go get it drained.?
I can manage the pain with painkillers, but I want to make shure Im not doing any harm by leaving well alone.

Eliza
Member

Re: advice please

Thanks, Sandra.

It probably hasn't been helped by the fact that I've had problems with that shoulder in the past. Ironing sounds a good one as it feels productive, although I was told not to for 3 weeks (vacuum cleaning and hanging out washing too). Anyway, the 3 weeks are up so I've started again and hopefully that will help too.

I know what you mean about not being able to sit down although I used the first few days to catch up on a reading backlog so felt I was doing something useful.

Eliza xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Eliza,

I have not really had any problems with movement in my arm right from the word go. I don't know if this is common for everyone, I guess Im just very lucky. I did my excercises for a few days, but didnt have any stiffness so just did some ironing, thats a good one to do instead of those ones on that sheet. I have full movement back just soreness under my arm around the wound. Washing your hair in the shower aswell is a good one. Just try and do a little bit more each day that you didn't do the day before. My trouble is I can't sit down, Im very active normally anyway, it killed me resting those first few days, and thats how you can get stiff.

Hope this helps

Merry Christmas

Sandra
xx

Eliza
Member

Re: advice please

Hi Sandra and everyone,

I too went back to work for the day yesterday - although it was mainly a Christmas lunch! Good to see people again.

I'm still waiting to get my appointment to see the oncologist.

My underarm wound is still quite sore and I haven't yet got back full movement of that shoulder, but I an doing my exercises and hopefully it will improve over Christmas. Can anyone give me an idea of how long it took for them to get full movement, please?

Merry Christmas everyone!

Eliza xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi all, feeling a lot better now, both wounds are healing nicely and went back to work for the day today which was lovely. I have broke up for the christmas holidays now and looking forward to the new year.

Have been taking Tamoxifen for a week now and so far having no side effects so very lucky.

Just waiting for the dates of my radiotherapy treatment now in January.

Hope everyone is ok, and just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year.

Sandra
xxx

Eliza
Member

Re: advice please

Hi all,
Glad to hear from everyone that they are home and okay. I have been staying with a friend for a bit. Despite my worries I was sitting up eating toast an hour and a half after I got back to the ward.

I have had my results and the margins and the 2 nodes were clear and I too am waiting to see the oncologist and go on to radiotherapy and hormone treatment. The underarm is still quite sore at times but the breast one is healing very well, although I feel as if someone has sat on me!

Narnia, so good to hear that your husband has been able to talk to you about everything.

Eliza xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

well, got there, and was really worried, and just before we went in, hubby took my hand and squeezed it tight, then said to me 'you know, this isn't forever, it's temporary and you'll soon be how you want to be.................that's what they told me when i lost my eye'........now, it made me cry because, he has NEVER told me that about his eye before (and we've been together for 40 years nearly, and he'd lost the eye (childhood accident) long before i met him.It made me cry and i realised, finally, that he really does care about all this and will be there whatever happpens.In fact my bcn decided to leave my dressings in place, as she thought they were all clean and dry. so they will come off at clinic on Tuesday, when i also get my results.She did have a look at my reduced left boob, and when we came out, hubby turned round and said 'crikey, we're going to have to be careful of that new nipple...........it'll have my eye out, it's a beauty!!' 🙂 Now, i don't think he was joking and even if he was, i don't care........it was an act of pure kindness and love, and i simply adore the old fool! So, let's see what Tuesday brings...........we did discuss what happens if surgeon has to go in again and bcn seemed to suggest that it might be necessary (hubby picked up on something she said too, but it might be us just imaginaing the worst!), and that i'd need to arrange how quickly it could be done as the surgeon has a long list.Still. no point worrying too much until/unless it happens.feeling good today!

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi all, hope you are ok Narnia and Eliza and not too sore. My boob is still very tight and itchy so think this must be common, especially on the scar edges, driving me mad itching.

Had my dressings removed yesterday and still very sore and bruised, especially under my arm.

The good news is my results were back and the doctor took 2cm and pathologist said they got all of it, and out of the two nodes they took they were clear. I now have to have radiotherapy in January and Tamoxifen for 5 years, just waiting for my appointment with the oncologist now. I feel very lucky and grateful to all the Breast Care team who looked after me, and still are.

Narnia your husband loves you dearly and is very supportive. Im sure he is happy to have you with him every day of your lives no matter what is missing. Reconstruction is something you can think about at a later date if thats the way you want to go. Get yourself well now thats what is most important pet.
Take care of you

Sandra

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Eliza
Hope things have gone OK
Kharga

Guest user
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Re: advice please

boobs hurt and feel tight today......................is this normal???particularly so under my right boob, the one with the cancer (or not, now!!), also rather itchy, but see my bcn tomorrow to have dressings removed.Now i'm concerned about what it's going to look like and whether i will cry when i see it.Hubby will be with me and i don't want to see him look horrified...

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi all. I hope everyone is ok.

I had my full Axillary clearance on the 19th. It wasn't as bad as the previous op. Had drain out on day 6. Saw my BCN on Monday. She told me that they had removed 13 more lymph nodes and one of them was cancerous. So in all 3 of 18 nodes affected. Next step chemo. I see the Oncologist next Tuesday, chemo probably wont start till after Christmas though. I've got all my hats and scarves etc. I bought a wig a couple of years ago for a bit of fun but my kids said it looked silly, my husband liked it though so I'll get to wear it last. I'm hoping I may have a bit of fluff on my head for my birthday in June lol

Helen xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi all, glad your op went well Narnia, keep strong you will get through this. I find out thursday whether its spread to my nodes, feeling positive tho, the docs were very hopeful they got everything. One step at a time tho, get better first, worry about what comes after when you need to.

Eliza hope yours went well too, been thinking about you all and how positive you have made me feel about everything.

Thanks again

Sandra
xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

had my op on Friday and all is good...............................surgeon says he believes he got the whole thing (they xrayed it while i was still on the table, apparantly) and he found the sentinel node easily, so only removed that one and no others.He says that it wasa good sign that the snb injection went through my system very quickly (suggestive of no tumour in them).I get the news on 9th December and all being well, will only need the radiotherapy and no more surgery.If he didn't get all of the lump, he says a mastectomy might be the best option then, so i will try to make a sensible decision.I'm trying not to get too excited, in case he didn't get it all, i am keeping it there, in a small corener of my mind, that Imight need more surgery,but right now, things are really hopeful........................much more hopeful than i ever dared hope.He has reduced my 'good' boob to match and removed my nipple from it, moving it to a better position..trouble is, it looks like one of Marty Feldmans's eyes right now, sort of bulging out and looking up at me, instead of down at the floor, its more usual position!! I will have nipple reconstruction on my affected side, but am in no rush just yet, he had a good look for possible donor sites while i was asleep, so 'he knows where to get it from when the time comes'!.And yes, i did wear my nipple stickers......telling him to do a great job, please! Apparantly, he laughed his head off as for him, it was first! and they let me keep my ipod in, so i could listen to my favourite band as i fell asleep, right after hubby whispered ' i love you, it'll be alright' in my ear. so, fingers crossed for very good news on 9th, but i am prepared for whatever happens now and am not scared.All will be well!

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hello everyone, I had my operation on thursday and am now recovering at home. Don't know if anyone else has felt like this but I was told to expect a tight chest, but when I lay down my breathing is laboured, is that normal? It isn't painful just a bit frightening when I can't catch my breath. Im going to ring the Breast Care helpline at 9 when it opens cause i am a bit concerned. Other than that I feel ok, just a bit sore which is understandable.

Thanks for all your comments, they are helpful.

Sandraxxx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

damn....thats what i feared..................mine is in my nipple............... 😞 off to have it done tomorrow, and op on Friday, so i'll let you all know how i get on when i'm back in the land of the living!!

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Eliza, yes I live near Watford, Herts and have had my 2 ops at St Albans City Hospital
Narnia they inject the blue dye near the lump and from there it drains to the nodes

Helen xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

ps.................is anyone going to tell me where they inject you for the snb blue dye thingy???is it into the armpit where the nodes are, or into the breast itself???

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Just back from Sainsbury's.........................have done a massive shop, so family don't have to think about it all, they can spend their time pampering me instead!! 🙂 🙂 Hubby has finally admitted to being 'concerned' about what lies ahead for me.............he said today, (quote) .' I'm not worried, 'cos they have to do what they have to do to make you better, but i am concerned about it all'.............which is a huge step forward for us as a couple, because up to now, he has refused to say anything.And he wants to be there on Friday morning when they take me to theatre, which is really lovely

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hope everything goes well for you tomorrow Eliza.Take care xxxx

Eliza
Member

Re: advice please

Well, I'm just about to go to my friend's house as she will take me to hospital tomorrow morning ready for op in afternoon. I'll stay with he again when I come out.

Sandra & Narnia, I'll be thinking of you on Thursday and Friday. Look forward to hearing how you got on when I'm back home.

Walton & Kharga, thank you for your reassuring comments - I'm looking trying to hold the hot chocolate part in my mind to keep the fears at bay.

Eliza xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi
Like Walton I was dx on 11 th July,pre op on the 14th and WLE and lymph node sampling on the 28th. Surgery was 3.30pm and I was drinking hot chocolate at 9.00pm and home after breakfast. Results were 10 days later - clear margins and nodes so had 3 weeks radiotherapy at Christies in Manchester and am now on Arimidex for 5 years as was hormone +++. Rads was not a problem, no irritation and just very slight pink when I had a bath etc.Mind you I was in the IMPORT Low trial and had reduced dosage to the rest of my boob! I put E45 on three times a day from well before my rads!

Eliza
Member

Re: advice please

I'm really encouraged to hear that, walton so thank you for posting. The thought that you were eating your lunch is particularly reassuring and you've made me feel a bit calmer about it all - for now at any rate!

Thanks too for the tips/ things to watch out for.

Eliza

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Ladies I was dx on the 9th July,had the lump removed on the 23rd July 6mm,and 6 nodes which i pleased to say was clear.5weeks after opp i had radiotherapy everyday for 3weeks excluding Sat and Sun also have to take Arimidex for 5yrs.The opp itself was ok,went to theartre at 9am was back on the ward a couple of hrs later eating my lunch,took co-codamol,which i must say gave me constipation so went onto nurofen,They put a blue dye into you,the best way to get that out of you is to drink plenty of water.Yes the scar area was tender but went easier day by day.was driveng a few days later.The rads were also fine,the most tirig part was going back and to from hospital.I was lucky that it only took me 15mins to christies in manchesterso in all was out of the house approx 1hr.Yes towards the end of the 3wks the area under the bust was fairly tender,but ok if I didn't wear a bra,through out rads i put E45 cream on 3times a day.I went back to work wed just gone.I hope the very best of results for you please let me know how you all go on.xx

Eliza
Member

Re: advice please

Thank you, Lucy.
My bc nurse gave me one of your packs yesterday and I think it is going to be very useful having somewhere to gather together information and notes. She also has a stack of your factsheets.

Eliza

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Sandra, i'm having my op the day after you, on the 28th.I was lucky enough to meet 'my' bcn the same time as diagnosis, she's been there to hold my hand ever since and is always on the end of the telephone if i have a question, or a worry, so don't be afraid to call yours too when you need to.And i have found veryone on here to be a tower of strength, even when they're going through difficult times themselves, there is always sound advice and humour somewhere! Shout if you need to, ask away and there will be an answer............they've all been through it, so are there for those of us who are just at the starting line! My tumour is grade 1/2 and small, but attached to the nipple (pesky little devil) so after lots of discussion i am having a WLE and sentinel node biopsy.Like you, i am hoping for clear nodes, so my surgeon is on a warning to get in there, get rid of the nasties and allow me to get on with my life.Good luck with your op, and fingers crossed for clear nodes xx

ForumMember
Member

Re: advice please

Hi Eliza and welcome to the BCC forums.

You may find BCC's resource pack helpful, it has been designed for those newly diagnosed. If you would like a copy just follow the link below to order a copy:

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk//content.php?page_id=7514

In addition to the support you will receive here, if you feel it would help to talk to someone in confidence about your upcoming surgery or any other concerns you have, then please give the helpline a call, the staff here are all either breast care nurses or people who have personal experience of breast care issues. They can offer you a listening ear, support and information about other services we can offer you to help you through this difficult time. The number to call is 0808 800 6000 the lines open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm and Saturdays 9am - 2pm.

I hope this is of some help to you.

Best wishes
Lucy

Eliza
Member

Re: advice please

Hello Sandra,
I was diagnosed 5th November and met with my surgeon and breast care nurse today. I will have pre-op on 20th and surgery on 26th. I have grade 1, 7mm tumour. So quite a bit in common with you, and like you I am worried it has spread to my nodes. I have never been in hospital before, so I am finding the whole prospect a bit overwhelming. I've found reading the posts on here really encouraging and really helpful today - so thank you everyone.

Eliza

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Sandra,
Sorry you have had to join us here, but the people here are great and very supportive. It has helped me very much.
I found the first couple of weeks after diagnosis were the worse. I was diagnosed beginning of September. I was so scared it felt like a giant knot in my tummy, I got some diazapam from the gp which has worked well at calming me down. I had lumpectomy and Sentinal node biopsy on 10th Oct, in hospital for 36 hours, hated it. 2 weeks later got results, 2 out of the 5 nodes they removed were cancerous so I'm back in hospital next week, 19th, for a full Axillary node clearance. After that will be chemo, rads and hormone treatment. It isn't fun and we all have our ups and downs but we do it because we have to. I try to stay positive and eat well and get a good amount of exersize and enough sleep, and laugh as much as I can. It isn't always easy but I try my best. Take care of yourself!

Helen x

ForumMember
Member

Re: advice please

Posted on behalf of new user Sandra

Hi everyone, I have just been diagonosed with breast cancer on 7th November and saw my nurse for the first time today. My pre-op is 19th and op is on 27th. I have a grade 1 10mm tumour, still taking it in so not quite sure how im going to feel. Everyone above seems to be incredibly positive, am trying but worried it may have spread to my nodes.

Sandra

Guest user
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Re: advice please

oh Ostrich sounds like you have been through the mill some what!!!

Luckily I just had my lump removed and although its a larger scar than I was expecting its healing well and can even shave now but might not be an issue soon!!!

I am hoping to find out fully what I am expecting to have, like whether my hair will go - have appointment with occ monday.

Hope you are ok and your back is healing well and that you can jump into a long hot bubble bath sometime soon.

take care and will let you know how it goes on monday, funny really my youngest brother is laughing that I might lose my hair but his hair line is going further back than the tide and at least mine will grow back!!!

Vicky.

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Vicky.

Bearing in mind I am 14 days post my first FEC and some effects kinda accumulate tough wood its not too bad.

My hair began departing on Sunday big time and all over but is managing to do it in an organised way so that my hair is gradually getting thinner but no bald spots yet. It is soo loose though that a gust of wind is likely to see another 20 hairs leave! I am hoping it will hang on until after tomorrow lunchtime as I am seeing old work colleagues tomorrow and don't think I can face it without hair. If it makes it that long then I think it will be clippers tomorrow cos my head and everywhere else with hair hurts.

I wasn't too bad for the 4 or 5 days post chemo, felt tired, felt sick (wasn't sick but drunk LOTS of ginger beer to help), flushed from steroids, hungry from steroids but overall a general sense of having been poisoned. Not nice but not too awful. Its different for everyone and some people are very sick.

From day 6 I sank into an awful deep depression and cried at the drop of a feather, at times a gibbering wreck. NOT nice and I wasn't warned of it so thought I was going crazy. Managed to do stuff but if active for more than 3 or 4 hours was absolutely cream crackered. Sore mouth, cold sore, very sore and pink tongue, itchy eyes also.

Pretty much most of the side effects listed really. By day 11 I was feeling better really and apart from the itchy soreness of soon to be gone hair and still pink sore tongue I felt ok. Am going to make the most of this week before do it all again next Tuesday!

My only really cr*p bit of chemo was that my back wound from my LD recon opened up the day after and now I have a wound on my back with ucky sluff in it that needs dressing and special stuff put in it every day and my healing will be slowed down by the chemo.

For me that is the worst part because you expect surgery to be behind you (ha!) and move on to the next stage. I am a girl who loves deep bubbly baths but am not allowed and haven't been for 7 weeks now. I hoped to be soaking away the chemo side effects surrounded by bubbles but sadly that is not to be - at least not for a while.

BTW - tamoxifen is tablets (if you are + for oestrogen and or progesterone), herceptin is injections - I think every 3 weeks(?) ( and given if you are + for HER2). Unlucky if both! So you could go back to work after radiotherapy no problem.

xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

thanks ladies!!!

I have really no idea what all the treatments are - there are so many types. I presumed that herceptin and hormone treatment was an oral medication but from looking on here thats not always the case.

Ostrich - what is chemo like?? Has it started to take a toll yet?

I thought that I would be back to work after rad but if hormone is IV then thats a totally different ball game.

Thanks Walton for your good wishes, I really take strength from it. I have now found a woman at work who had BC in 2005 and she has been fantastic - just having people who have been there really helps.

thanks again ladies.

Vicky.

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Snotty,

Glad to hear your results were positive. Keep thinking on the positive, clear margins is good as is being positive for hormone receptiveness (triple negative is not good) as they can give you treatment to treat any reoccurance in that or the other breast other than just the chemo. I had to have a mx but was positive for hormone receptive with one lymph node involved and am 2 weeks past my first FEC chemo so if you want any advice just ask. Its a long road but one trod by many who can give you support, x

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Vicky Pleased you got the clear margin and it hasn't spread to you lymps,so yes you should be counting the pluses.
Yes it a long road you ae going to be walking but am certain you will get to the end.Take each stage as it comes,throw everything you can at it.I wish you well take carexxxxx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hooray indded, what a relief it must be!! Fingers crossed my surgeon does as good a job for me on the 28th! Enjoy the wine..!!

Guest user
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Re: advice please

finally got the results - good news after all that waiting!!! they got a clear margin and its not spread to the lymph nodes. So Hooray there. It is grade 3 invasive and was 18mm. however I am taking the plus's where I can!!!

I am now to expect Chemo, Radiotherapy, hormone therapy as it was hormone receptive. I am still waiting for HER2 test and if that comes back positive then on to herceptin. Sound like a shopping list but bring it on!!!

Not sure what hormone treatment is so will go do a search on it.

I see the onc next monday so expect to get more info about what types of chemo and such.

going to have large glass of wine!!!

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Oh Vicky I think you are allowed to sulk yes you do build yourself up and it is so not fair that you have yet another wait and the weekend aswell,Will be thinking about you on monday and wishing you the very very best of results xx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

well the results are still not back. My BCN was very apologetic and didn't want us to think it was really bad just that it needs checking by a second consultant before they release the results. So back on monday afternoon. I feel really low, you build yourself up and come crashing down, lost my desire for food and had a long sleep when I got home. I know its not that long but I just want to get on with it.

going to have a cup of tea and sulk!!!

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Vicky Hope your results are through to put you out of the awful waiting,and the results are what everyone is hoping for xxxxx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Oh what a pain you build yourself up to it don't you.I ended up having a scan as they have now found a cyst under my scar,they are hopeing it goes on its own but need to let them know if it gets any bigger,they said they will drain it if it's not gone by the time I go back in 4mths.Keep me posted xxxxx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

well am back - results not back yet so have to go back friday for results. took dressing off at least so can have a proper shower at last. might even stretch it to a bubble bath - know how to live it large!!!

hope you get some good results, Walton.

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Yes praying the words i hear today are we will see you in 3mths ,wish you well xxx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Thanks walton!!

I have been really positive till this morning when I realised that I might need more surgery!!! its not the actual surgery (although would like to keep my lymphs if possible - am left handed and its on my left side!!) but it will put everything back and I just want to get started to get finished. My hip started to hurt last night - I think that they gave me anti-sickness jab in my bum but it really hurt when she did it like it hit a bone - and I am not shy my Bottom is not one you could miss!!!! I will speak to my BCN about it.

Hope you appointment also goes well today.xxx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Hi Vicky just letting you know will be thinking about you today and hoping your results are good xxxxx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Know what you mean about the flowers I had to borrow vases from neighbours.I work at M&S at handforth dean so lots of ppl from work sent them.Yes mine itched at first but it did get easier,just rubbed it with the palm of my hand.
Yes i've made lots of friends from this site and now chat to them on Facebook.we also meet up.though not with everybody as they are all over the country.Have met Kharga,I think she has also posted to you.I wish you all the best keep in touch xxxxx

Guest user
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Re: advice please

you know have so many flowers now can wear a red rose!!! realised I have no vases to put them all in - laughed as hubby never ever got me flowers - now have so many from people!!!

I might phone BCN to see if can change dressing as really itchy but in the end its not a problem and certainly not important. I don't blister from it so its ok. Hubby is very interested in all thats going on and wants to be there. we have been really lucky with his employer as they deal with NHS systems and his manager is a women (not saying men are insensitive but in this circumstance understanding is helpful) so she has been really supportive and helpful. Hubby is very interested in the details and really needs to know - must be being in IT code stuff that does it to him. when we went to see my sons consultant it was like a job interview for the consultant as he had his pen and paper and list of prepared questions. they got used to him after 2 years of it. My BCN has already picked up on him being like that!!!!

I am really lucky too as two of my best friends are nurses so they help with terms and proccedures - insider info is alway a bonus.

thanks all you lovely people - you really have helped over this very quick process - enlightened me on the scarey points and made it real and possible to see the light at the end of the tunnel!!!

Guest user
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Re: advice please

Yes will have to wear a red rose .I also felt better once the lump was out.Yes I agree about waiting till they can give you whole picture and what treatment they are going to offer you.Hope you can take someone in with you a extra pair of ears.Though on saying that I did actually go on my own throughout,personal choice.I hope everything goes ok for you xxx