Thanks Jaybro. I really have been very lucky with side effects this round but don’t expect it to stay that way through all my treatments!
ive been pretty determined to keep working and am lucky I can work from home at times so I did that for the first week after treatment and then returned to work after that. Thankfully they’ve been really supportive and it’s been such a helpful distraction. The last 2 weeks have dragged so much that without work and my little one I think I’d have lost the plot.
but you’re absolutely right that everyone of us needs to find our own way to get through it and there’s definitely no right or wrong way that’s for sure. I’m very much loving by the motto of “one day/appointment at a time!”
hope your treatment is going well x
Wow Thomaschix, I almost feel like I want to bow at your feet. Not only a 3-year-old but still working! I was almost bed-bound. Then I remember we’re all different. But I really do take my hat off to you and hope you stay in such good health, even if you hit a trough or two. Go girl!
it sounds like our chemo treatment might be quite similar so wanted to share my experience.
I was diagnosed with invasive ductal bc her 2+ve which has spread to lymph nodes so I am having 6cycles of 3 weekly FEC-T with herceptin (Pertuzumab, trastuzumab and docetaxel) for the last 3 cycles and then the herceptin will continue for the following year at 3 weekly intervals. I will also be having a mastectomy and radiotherapy once the 6 cycles of chemo are complete
i had my first cycle 2 weeks ago and have been really lucky with side effects. Little bit of nausea and tiredness the week after but have been able to continue working and running around after my 3 year old. Day 15 and I’ve just started shedding some hair (I used the cold cap which was uncomfortable but bearable) and will try to continue doing so.
biggest side effect for me was the aching after the bone marrow/immune boosting injection.....felt like I’d done some sort of body combat boxercise class!!!!
more than happy to chat and support in any way I can x
Thank you for your kind reply.
I start chemo next week too.
Good luck with yours. It is a difficult place to be.
I have also been recently diagnosed and I have been told that I would be in treatment for a year beginning with eight cycles of chemotherapy and then surgery. I totally echo how you are feeling just now...reading into everything the doctors say... it is very scary, though I am trying to keep it under control and am finding that I don’t want to know every detail to keep myself calm. My lump is quite large and is triple negative so I will be having longer chemotherapy than most people to shrink it before surgery and then maybe oral chemo as well. I have visited my local Maggie’s Centre and have found it to be a calming and amazingly helpful place. If there is one near you it is worth visiting. Please let us know how you get on with chemo. I am due to start at the beginning of next week. It is frustrating to have to wait to have surgery but I have been told that it is safer and best to have the chemo first.
love Artycart xx
Thank you so much for your reply. My chemo is a year long, I've been told this on two occasions now (and took my sister along to take notes). In some ways this may be what is making me feel more nervous. My oncologist told me that they no longer use staging, but didn't give me an alternative either but did say that with the treatment would hope to move from the 70s to 80s% of 5 year survival. I only had one node removed and this was infected so we don't really know if more are. I got the impression that 1 drug was relatively newly available and passed along as 'lucky you' you qualify for this drug too.... but it just made me think .... it must be really bad then! However, you have given me lots of good advice and I can go back and ask more questions. I know that the FEC-T is 6 cycles so that will be 18 weeks but they didn't really say how often the other drugs would be but did say that I would be on chemo for just over a year followed by radiotherapy. I also know that this has to be intravenous because the drug combo has only been tested this way. It's great to be reminded that it might not be all bad. Thanks so much. x
You must be reeling from all this. I know that I found it well nigh impossible to take in anything (all I cared about was would I be sick) but I had a friend with me to take notes and ask a few questions. It’s great news that your scans are clear - some of your treatment will be precautionary now.
I haven’t had the same chemotherapy treatment as you but it does sound remarkably long. Usually the PTD are given together, like the FEC, so how it would extend over a whole year I can’t imagine, unless they are allowing long breaks between, which seems unlikely as they like to be a fast as possible. I had EC x 3 (9 weeks) and Paclitaxel x 9 (10 weeks - they gave me a week off because I couldn’t manage any more, but they didn’t even delay when I had a car accident and had a chest injury!) Perhaps your circumstances are exceptional? Otherwise, I’d question the accuracy of the details. There would never be an error in actual treatment (there are fail-proof checks, as you’ll learn) but there might be an error in writing it down and knowing you have less to face might help you feel a bit more positive. Maybe you could ring the nurses at the number above and ask their opinion? They are very knowledgeable and reassuring.
You would have to be superwoman not to feel pretty scared right now. You’ve had a huge shock, you face what was once a death sentence and the prospect of a daunting treatment regime (you’ve not mentioned the 5 or 10 years of hormone therapy that follow lol) which is already probably making you feel pretty s***. It’s a huge physical trauma and a huge emotional trauma, world upside down, sense of safety whipped away, betrayed by your own body and no escape. If this sounds familiar it’s because it’s what I felt and what probably every person on this forum has felt. It takes a while to get accustomed to it.
You won’t know till you are in your chemotherapy how you will be affected. Everyone responds differently. A lot of women manage well in the circumstances; some, like me, feel they’ve been steam-rollered and left as zombies. There are many methods they have to mitigate the effect of some drugs - I never once even felt nauseous, let alone sick (my obsession). Hopefully you won’t be as badly affected as you expect.
We only seem to hear bad stuff about cancer and our fear of it is perpetuated. But on this site you have thousands of women who are in the same situation, many of us through to the other side. I was given the definitive (with reservation) all clear last Friday. I’m not daft: I am high-risk, with 19 of my 21 lymph nodes infected, but my MRI showed nothing now. The next 2 years are high-risk too but I’m really not going to waste time worrying about what might happen when, as easily, it might not happen. Extraordinary in a woman like me who’s suffered anxiety and panic disorder all my adult life but for some reason I can keep the cancer in perspective. All I can say is that every one of us finds our own ways of dealing with each aspect of cancer treatment and you will too.
Focus on things you CAN do something about. You need to look after your emotional health and reduce your level of fear. Find out what services your hospital offers (is there a Maggie’s Centre, a Macmillan centre or a Haven nearby?) - there may be loads of complementary therapies to help you right now and certainly people to talk to about your fears, people who can help you get things in perspective. Your breast care nurse would be a good starting point - they will willingly help you. Meantime, keep off Google if you can - it’s the scariest place if you have cancer - and remember it’s not the death sentence it once was and your chances of recovery and a long life ahead are high nowadays if your cancer is caught early enough, as yours seems to have been),
Sorry to have gone on so long - I can’t break a bad habit. I wish you all the best and hope you can get those fearful thoughts into perspective. Take care,
I have recently been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy 2nd Jan plus just 1 node removed which was cancerous (macro plus some spread). All other scans are clear though. I can't help but feel terrified though. I lost my sister in law 5 years ago (only 49) and I just feel that this will happen to me too.
I seem to have been given a very extreme chemo plan:
FEC-T for 6 cycles followed by Pertuzumab, trastuzumab and docetaxel .... chemo will be given for just over a year altogether and then radiotherapy. I am scared about how ill I might be this next year and would love to hear from anyone with positive experiences of the same regime.
I am also finding it so difficult to believe that I am not going to die.... I am usually so positive, but how do you amazing women actually live with this without feeling so distraught?
Thanks in advance for any support. x