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Recently diagnosed with breast cancer

6 REPLIES 6
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Re: Recently diagnosed with breast cancer

Hi hfc, I hope you got through your chemo today ok, you are on your way and can now start counting off the days to the finish. I hate needles too and worried about the self injecting but i managed it, the needle is very small and does not go in very far, just under the skin and it is doing you good. I'm 66 and finished chemo last year. Keep using this forum, call the brilliant nurses on here if you want to, and tell your team if you have any concerns or problems with side effects. Very best wishes to you, you can do it!  Love Mo x

Community Champion

Re: Recently diagnosed with breast cancer

Hi hfc - I tried the cold cap for 2 of my chemo but gave up after that as I lost hair just in the middle so it looked very odd indeed! I think that may have been because the cap wasn’t fitted quite right/tightly enough so if you do go for it make sure they fit it correctly. I have read lots on here about cold caps so you might want to search for some older threads, or someone else may come along with more advice.

It’s really important that you do or choose whatever helps you. There is nothing at all wrong with being vain - I love that you do hoovering with make up on, you never know who will knock at the door and catch you (as always seems to happen to me!), but also it’s your way of taking care of yourself. You might want to sign up for one of the Look Good Feel Better courses about make up exec during chemo and after. Even though I also love make up, and used it already, I found the course brilliant. I think they may be doing them online at the moment.

So many people have a needle phobia. Personally I always have to look the other way, and I didn’t think I was too bad but one nurse said to me ”screw up your toes while I put the needle in and concentrate on them”. I did and then asked her how that helped. She said it’s what they say to children to try to distract them from what the needle!! 😂 Maybe try it, it’s worth a shot? You may want to speak to your team about having a port or picc line fitted, that way you don’t have to have needles inserted into veins each time, though you do have to go through having the device fitted. It’s always a balancing game.

The waiting is probably the hardest part as you just don’t know what to expect, and your mind can go into overdrive. When I arrived to have my first chemo I tried to run out of the room as I was so scared, but the lovely nurse with me told me I owed it to myself to give it a go and she encouraged me to come back. So I totally understand your fear. We are all here right with you as you go through this, come on here and chat any time. Have you joined the October 2020 chemo starters, I’m sure you would find it really helpful to chat to others going through it at the same time as you.

My very best wishes to you, Evie xx

Member

Re: Recently diagnosed with breast cancer

Well I start my first chemo tomorrow & have been very much in denial until today - absolutely petrified & deciding whether or not to try cold cap as my inclinations is to get treatment and run but I am also very vein & don’t do the hoovering without full make up on!!  I keep being told I am strong but not feeling that today & I have needle phobia so panicking about self injections too. Trying to find my sense of humour but it seems to be hiding. Any advice on cold caps or how to handle needle phobia would be great. Bty I am 62 years young 

Member

Re: Recently diagnosed with breast cancer

Thank you

Member

Re: Recently diagnosed with breast cancer

Hi hfc

There is such a lot to take in, as you’ve already learned. I’m so sorry you’re here but it is the right place.

You hear so much about chemo and it has a terrible press. On top of that, the team tosses you leaflets and pamphlets about all the possible side effects till you wonder is it worth it. YES, it is. You don't know till you’re in there whether you’re going to be one of the lucky ones who can more or less carry on as normal or one of the zombies like me. However, I would suggest you need to reconsider as quickly as possible your current caring arrangements as there will be times when you are too fatigued, at the least, to care about anyone else’s needs and this is a time when your own needs must come first because emotional wellbeing is a major part of the experience. You will need looking after. I know that’s easy to say and less easy to sort out but better forewarned than find the household in a pickle.

How much information you want is a personal choice. Some people want to know and understand everything to feel more in control. Others, like me, take the ostrich approach - there’s nothing I can do about it so just let them get on with it. There is one major pitfall however - Google. We often refer to it as Dr Google and warn everyone to steer clear. It’s outdated, often beyond our comprehension, cannot adapt to the specifics of your diagnosis and consequently is downright terrifying. Beware too of statistics. They are so open to interpretation and what you’re told at the start (if you ask) changes as you go along, only no one tells you so your stats are outdated. 

I wish you all the best with the chemo. They manage side-effects very well so the actual experience is straightforward, if a little dreary and time-consuming. You are sent home with a goodie bag from the pharmacy to help you manage any side effects that might develop once the steroid effect wears off but tbh, I don’t remember anyone being sick throughout. As Shi says, join your Starters group and you’ll get loads of support and the nurses at the number above are great - but do use your breast care nurse. Take care,

Jan x

Community Champion
Community Champion

Re: Recently diagnosed with breast cancer

Hfc, sorry you find yourself on here ❤️ You will need thermometer so you can take your temperature regularly during chemo and diary so you can keep check on when you’ve taken meds during chemo. Do jump on the oct2020 chemo thread, they are amazing bunch and will 👭 help you through as you all step through chemo together. Do use the number on here and speak to someone they might be able to recommend any assistance you might need in addition looking after your husband too ❤️ You always do what’s right for you, your team have seen it all before and know what to do, you keeping vigilant on temperature will help them get you safely through. Just take things at your own pace and be kind to yourself ❤️💕💕Shi xx

Member

Recently diagnosed with breast cancer

Hi. I am 63 and was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 weeks ago the day before my birthday after finding large lump. I have to have chemotherapy first - starting next week and then an operation to ‘mop’ up. I’m also waiting to have a gene test which could mean they suggest a double mastectomy!! So much info being thrown at me that I’m feeling overwhelmed and don’t know whether to read it all now or as journey proceeds.  I have a retired husband who has Parkinson’s and I was looking after him!!