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Finishing treatment after 10 years!

17 REPLIES 17
helen39
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi 

I’m glad that the sertraline is helping with the anxiety. I suspect I’ll need to look into something similar when I’m out of main treatment. I have proprophanol (wrong spelling) at the moment, to take as and when.  I hope that your hormones settle down. It’s quite annoying that you’ll prob have to go through another natural menopause again in a few years but hopefully your body will remember and adjust quickly. 

thanks- it wasn’t too bad yesterday. I prefer docetaxal to Ec and still have steroids for today so waiting for it to hit me tomorrow then only one left! 

xx

 

Hoshi
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Thinking of you today Helen with the penultimate chemo session.

I'm ok thanks. For me - it's dealing with all the effects that 10 years of hormone suppressants has had on me - just as I said in the original post on this thread.

I'm on sertraline now which has really helped with the anxiety and I'm back in the flow (!) with my periods after being without them for a decade. I've found a good counsellor too so I'm working through the trial of the last decade.

Your comment about your counsellor trying to get you to deal with existential dread with breathing techniques made me chuckle 😁 And you're right, sometimes all that you need is hope for the future and people who have walked the path you're on. That's what I was searching for too when I originally posted.

Big hugs for today and the next 💞

helen39
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi

 

ive pasted the link for you below regarding the new drug:

https://www.nice.org.uk/news/article/nice-recommends-step-change-targeted-treatment-for-people-with-...

i’d definitely ask.

I have my 2nd docetaxal tomorrow - I’ve also found it easier than EC but finding i’m tired for longer after each round so I hope it isn’t too bad for the last two rounds.

 

I will be thinking of you too and let me know how you get on with the next part of your treatment/ counselling.  I did do one reiki session which I found helped but I don’t know if it was just a placebo effect or what really.

best of luck with it all xx

 

jules_n
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi again Helen

Good to hear from you, and thanks for the reminder about Abemaciclib. I’d heard about it, and wondered if it might be applicable to me, so I’ll try to get more information. I’m post menopausal so no ovarian treatment for me.
Good luck with your remaining chemo cycles, I’ll be thinking about you XX

helen39
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Thank you delly. I’ve not tried it but will have a look into it. X

delly
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

"HI" to all you girls on here

I haven't been on the Forum for a while, but still receive emails of any posts, and I just couldn't HELP but reply to those from here. I'm LOVING your FANTASTIC support to each other.

You're soo flippin (polite F word!!) YOUNG to be having to go through this. PLUS with young kids too!!! I had none of your considerations - 1st boob at 46, 2nd at 47, with NO partner or kids to have to think about.  

I soo feel for you, and just wanted to send you LOADS of LOVE, HEALING thoughts, and STRENGTH to keep kicking that BC BUTT, girls

Delly xxXXxx

Ps. Helen - Have you ever tried Hypnotherapy? It has a more DIRECT mental impact/results than "Talk" therapies. Would recommend finding an RTT (Rapid Transformational Therapy) hypnotherapist if possible. But otherwise check what qualifications they have. xXx 

helen39
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi Jules

 

Thanks for your message. I am glad you’ve gotten through chemo; I’ll be so glad to have that part out of the way S life feels on hold.

yes, I’d definitely push to have your lymph nodes removed or radiation to them if they offer that as an option (that op was a harder recovery than the lumpsctomy and I’d have taken radiation if offered). 

I did try counselling but she was trying to resolve my existential dread issues with breathing techniques and it just wasn’t working for me. The only thing that I find helps is when people had a similar picture and are further down the line and ok. I can’t even bear to think of the alternative at the moment. 

have you asked your oncologist regarding f the new abemaciclib drug? It would be a good question if not as you can start this within 12 weeks if hormone therapy. It was approved only a week ago and they’re meant tk have this in place in three months for those with 4 nodes positive or 1-3 nodes and a large tumour, grade 3 disease or a ki67 of 20+.

I won’t have any follow up scans as my chemo was post surgery so it’s just a case of waiting to see if it comes back :(. 

are you having ovarian suppression?

x

jules_n
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi Helen

I’ve just seen your post, so I’m replying just to offer some solidarity with you!

It sounds like you’re on a very similar path to me- my cancer was also Grade 2, with no initial evidence of LN involvement, even on MRI and ultrasound. But the tumour turned out to be much larger than originally thought, and the LN biopsies were positive when I had my mastectomy back in November. Other nodes started to grow post-op.

I totally recognise how you felt when you got your results. I’ve really struggled with the news getting worse and worse as time has gone along, and also that I didn’t find the lump sooner. I’ve also had EC (awful) and just had my last Docitaxel, which hasn’t been great, but not as bad as EC. Have you had any follow up scans yet.? My lymph nodes responded well to the EC, shrunk down to normal size, but I’ll be pushing to have them removed.

I just had my final chemo, but tested positive for Covid yesterday- as if things couldn’t get much worse!

I think I’m going to try some counselling once I’m feeling better, in the hope of moving on in some sort of way. It’s quite difficult to feel any kind of optimism isn’t it, and I’d like to find some strategies that might help.

Sending you best wishes Helen, you’re not alone on this journey, XX Jules

 

 

helen39
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi Hoshi

thanks for thinking of me. I have my penultimate chemo on Wednesday and final one three weeks on from that. I didn’t find docetaxal quite a bad as the EC, so that’s something.  Still feeling very scared about the future but I’m trying to take things one day at a time. Hoping to squeeze a holiday in maybe between chemo and radiation.

 

how are you doing? 

x

Hoshi
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

It's been a few weeks since we messaged last. How are you getting on? Where are you up to in your treatment?

helen39
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Thank you!!

 

I am considering having my ovaries out (if offered) as those injections look horrible;  but will cross that bridge when I get to it.

I had all my nodes out too- but no more were effected after the four they initially took so that ended up being for nothing and was a painful recovery. The lumpectomy wasn’t really a drama. 

so glad you’re 10, prob 11 now, years clear.  It definitely gives me hope. 

xx

Hoshi
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

That does sound hard to get your head round - that what you thought you were dealing with changed after surgery.

And you have my utmost sympathy for going through chemo. I found it incredibly hard to get through too. You're half way through, fair play! I always remember my oncologist saying that some women drop out before the end of treatment because it can just feel too hard to bear.

I followed 6 rounds of chemo with radiotherapy and then hormone suppressant meds (zoladex and tamoxifen) for (nearly) 10 years - so sounds very similar to you.

I had all my lymph nodes removed on the affected side in the end. The first surgery removed the lump and a few lymph nodes but they judged that they needed to go in again to take more of the surrounding breast tissue and all the lymph nodes. I worried about lymphoedema but so far (touch wood) it hasn't happened.

I think the thought of recurrence is always in the back of my mind but the medical interventions and medications, although pretty brutal, are pretty effective. I had an appointment fairly recently with a specialist menopause oncology practitioner and she confirmed that the regime I had been on would give me the best possible chance going forward. And as you know, thanks to the treatment, I have been with my kids as they've grown from babies into teens which is pretty amazing.

Use your energy to get yourself through the horrid chemo and know that you're giving yourself the best possible chance at a good life ahead with your family.

Please feel free to keep in touch. I'm here if you want to share any of your thoughts or ask anymore questions. X

helen39
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Oh thank you so much for your reply, it really does help. Very kind. 

I’ve had three rounds of EC which I found incredibly hard and am moving onto three rounds of docetaxal this Wednesday. After that I’m having radiation, ovarian suppression by implant and tamoxifen for ten years.

My pathology report was horrible with lymphovascular invasion, extra-nodal spread etc and a total shock as my lymph nodes had biopsied clear and shown clear on mri. It was also originally a grade 2 on biopsy and changed to 3 after surgery. I just couldn’t get my head round the outlook changing so much. 

do you mind me asking how many lymph nodes you had involved? Did you fear of reoccurrence calm down over time? 

thanks, Helen 

Hoshi
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi Helen,

I'm so glad you messaged. I can completely understand your need to hear from others that have walked the same path as you. I was diagnosed at the age of 31 with grade 3, strongly oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer. It had spread to the lymph nodes on the right side so I had them all removed. My youngest was just 6 months old when I was diagnosed and my eldest was 2 years old. And now, the youngest is just about to join her big sister at secondary school!

Where are you up to in your treatment? Really happy to answer any questions about my experience if it would be helpful. x

helen39
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi Hoshi

sorry to message off topic but I just wondered about your original diagnoses as you have had the same fairly aggressive ovarian suppression/hormone treatment I am being put onto. I have grade 3 IDC in four lymph nodes and I’m just looking for ten years survivors I suppose as I feel so bleak. I’m 39 and just want to see my kids grow up.  I hope you don’t mind the message. X 

Cusa
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Congratulations on such a milestone. I am on year 2 of Letrozole so still a way to go. Feeling better on them now but they really take a toll on the body and skin.

Take care xx

delly
Member

Re: Finishing treatment after 10 years!

Hi again Hoshi

I'm sensing you are feeling somewhat understandably "bereft" from finishing all your treatments now, including hormonal? Have lost a prop?

You mention feeling "damaged". And who wouldn't feel such after all you've been through - only natural. Perhaps more positive and healthy to think "changed", "altered", rather than "damaged". Please Congratulate yourself in having had the strength to get through what you have done, darlin. I too am congratulating you - WHOLEHEARTEDLY. Well done YOU. 

A positive from my own BC experience, was that I found I was that much more compassionate, not just to other women going through BC, but anyone with physical or mental difficulties. Where many people steer away from women with no hair, disabled people in wheelchairs, (maybe embarrassed to?), I make a point of saying "Hi, how are you doing" and having a chat. 

Keep reading that link I sent you, in the "It Never Really Stops" thread -http://www.workingwithcancer.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/After-the-treatment-finishes-then-what...

Lots of love, Delly x❤️x

 

 

Hoshi
Member

Finishing treatment after 10 years!

I've come to the end of 10 long years of treatment post breast cancer. I had all the usual - surgery followed by chemo followed by radiotherapy. And then, because mine was hormone, related I started on 10 years of hormone suppressants - namely tamoxifen and zoladex. I was 32 when I was diagnosed so that sent me into a brutal and abrupt menopause. And I feel like I've never really recovered.

Is there anyone else on here who's in a similar position? Anyone on hormone suppressants for this long? How's everyone feeling with it?

I'm off the meds now but nearly a year down the line I still experience chronic fatigue and anxiety most of the time. I really hope that life gets better, or do I need to adjust my expectations and just accept that I've been permanently damaged by this experience...?

Really hoping to hear from anyone in a similar position. I feel quite alone with it often. Because I'm so far along from initial diagnosis it's hard to know where to find support...