Hi Nicki, I had chemo last year and the oncology team said it's important to let them know if we have a high temp because it can be a sign of infection and if that happens they wanted to get us on treatment at once because you can get very poorly if you have an infection while on chemo. So we all have a thermometer and become temperature taking experts! It happened to me and i was on antibiotics in no time and all was well. Im sure you will get lots of advice about it all before you start. The nurses on here are great, I think their number is just open during office hours but you can leave a message or send an email and they will get back to you, I've found them so helpful. Take care and good luck, love Mo x
Thank you so much for all the info and tips, why do I need a thermometer and also can you call the 0808 number at any time? Thanks Nicki x
I’m so sorry you find yourself in this situation. It’s a huge blow that sends you reeling and changes your whole perspective on every aspect of life. There is no correct way to think or behave - we’re all unique and we come up with our own coping strategies, with a few helpful hints.
How do you get through this without worrying constantly? Most people don’t, I’m afraid, but there are ways to deal with the anxiety, particularly if you are already known to be prone to panic attacks. I suffer from general anxiety disorder, emetophobia (vomiting) and panic disorder so you can imagine my reaction when I was told what was coming. I can honestly say I had no fear of the cancer - it was nothing compared to my fear of how I would feel and behave!
Ask for an urgent appointment with your GP if your anxiety is worse. They may be able to help you short-term - mine increased the prescription for medication I only resorted to when I had a panic attack (fairly frequent but not always resorting to meds). Just the knowledge that I had these tablets meant I had fewer attacks. Look into helpful strategies to give you some peace - meditation, mindfulness, running, whatever suits you. I tuned in to YouTube videos like Progressive Hypnosis, guaranteed to turn my whizzing brain off for an hour or so.
Tell your oncologist if you are afraid of having an attack during chemo. The last thing they want is someone doing a runner. Mine prescribed a small dose of lorazepam to be taken on the morning of treatment and I just felt normal, unfazed and able to cope. It was a wonder and, by the end of treatment, I didn't need it.
As a result, I can honestly say I’ve had only two attacks in the whole 22 months since diagnosis, which is nothing short of miraculous. Nor did I fear the breast cancer or the treatments. Something just changed in my mind. I guess I had something more important to deal with (and I would never have believed anything would be more important than panic). I steered clear of Google (researching breast cancer online is a BAD idea - use your breast care nurse and the nurses here when you need accurate information). Myself, I just handed myself over to my team, asked only the most essential questions (mostly related to panic lol) and trusted them to do their job. I still couldn’t tell you the details of my specific diagnosis without referring to a letter! What difference did it make when there was nothing I could do about it except go with the flow. Despite my less-than-great prognosis, I’m still cancer-free and almost panic-free. I must stress however that is is purely MY way of managing anxiety and cancer. It’s not a pattern for everyone to follow!
Adding to Shi’s advice, I would suggest you test your thermometer at the start and at regular intervals during chemo, or have a back-up thermometer to check your reading is ok. I learnt the hard way that new thermometers are not always accurate.
I wish you well in what lies ahead. It isn’t easy but it is all manageable and definitely worth it. Start on the anxiety immediately as you don’t want that dictating your life during this crisis. Take care,
Hi Nicki, sorry you’ve found yourself on here ❤️ Take it one step at a time, read the chemo, surgery and rads threads and join the chemo thread that’s the month that you start and you and other can travel the journey together 👭 and others who’ve done the journey before pop on an share tips to help you 💃🏻💃🏻🕺🕺💃🏻💃🏻 Through the treatments. Also there is the ask the nurse and someone like me options on here that you might find useful too ❤️ Do you know which chemo you are having yet and how many sessions? Also if you know which typ of breast cancer you’ve been diagnosed with? It’s all like having an out of body experience at the start, but you will settle into routine and all the love, support and 😂😂 that you find on here can make it not a lonely journey because it’s shared with people who understand ❤️ You should be assigned a breast nurse by your unit and also have been given a rapid response card. Get a thermometer if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to keep eye on temperature. Always ring your unit though even if you don’t have temperature during chemo but feel strange 👍 they will be pleased you have so they can get you safely through. Others will be along to offer support and advise to you ❤️ 💕💕✨✨Shi xx
Hi, I was diagnosed yesterday and my head is in a spin, how do you get through this without thinking worrying constantly? I want to turn my brain off, I've been told I have to have 6 months of chemotherapy and then surgery and I am scared of everything to come , I have panic attacks anyway and have just spent yesterday and the whole night feeling sick and ill. Just don't know how to think or be or do.