Debi - Congratulations on your last chemo session and glad you were able to ring the bell! You may be high on the steroids but at least you know this will be the last lot of chemo side effects which is a good feeling. Also really good news that your tumour has shrunk so much and hopefully this last round of chemo will make it even smaller. Do you have a date for your surgery?
Christine - glad to hear that you are also coming to the end of your chemo. Thanks for sharing the link on the on-line course about exercise and disease. I truly believe that small lifestyle changes, exercise and nutrition can make a difference to our physical and mental wellbeing post cancer treatment. I'm looking forward to getting back to the gym when I have some hair! In the meantime I'll continue to walk/run every day as it makes me feel so much better in myself.
Mandy - hope your chest infection is getting better and good luck for your sugery on 3rd September. Like you say each stage of treatment is a worry as you don't know what to expect but hopefully it will all go smoothly and it will be another step closer to finishing treatment.
RunningSue - hope you are feeling a bit better now after your final chemo. I'm sure the sea air will help with your recovery. I loved being by the sea for a week after my surgery. It was just the tonic I needed. Good that you have your radiotherapy planning meeting next week and hopefully can start soon after.
Hope everyone else doing ok. xxx
Well i had my last chemo today and i am at the moment on a high - although that might just be the steroids!! I did ring the bell even though i will be going back every 3 weeks to have my Herceptin and Pertuzumab. My MRI had shown another shrinkage some i am down to 5mm now from the 2.8cm at the start of treatment, hopefully it will shrink a bit more with this last dose.
Hope everyone is ok and moving on to next stage of treatment.
Catch up soon
Hi Mandy and Nicola,
I also have TNBC. The rate of reoccurrence has only just started to worry me as I come to the end of chemo. As much as I will be so so glad to get Chemo over and done with as it has been a hell of a slog, I’m worried that it is nearing the end of treatment altogether. I have surgery to come and radiotherapy after so will be likely finished at the end of November/beginning of December. I think when the end is here I’ll be so relieved yet that’s when I will really start panicking about it coming back.
I just keep telling myself that it’s not 100% reoccurrence so I’m hoping we are all in good hands and fighting this. I’m doing a course at the moment about exercise and disease (it’s free on a website called www.futurelearn.com so might be worth looking at) but basically it goes into depth about the relationship between exercise and fighting diseases like cancer. So my main aim after treatment finishes is to focus on getting really fit!! That will focus my mind and keep my body healthy. The course is free to join and there are no tests or anything like that. You can pay to do the final exam at the end and get a certificate, which I might do as it could help me at work, but otherwise it’s just a really good information tool.
Hope everyone is having a good weekend and not getting too blown away!
i havent posted on here for a long long time as I’m also a member of a Triple Negative group and I find it hard to keep up with everything. I checked back in today and found your post asking if anyone else has TNBC, I have and like you I am also concerned about recurrence. I finished chemo 2 weeks ago tomorrow although I still feel rubbish as I have a chest infection. I have a mastectomy, full node clearance and DIEP reconstruction booked for 03rd September which I’m so worried about. I keep telling myself I worried about chemo too and now that’s over so hopefully it will be the same with surgery. Then it will be rads and like you I am hoping it will all be over by Christmas.
It it sounds like you are doing really well and getting through everything, chemo will soon be done for you and although you are worried about surgery I’m sure it will be a fantastic feeling to know that the tumour has finally gone.
Good luck with the rest of your treatment.
Congrats to everyone who has had their last chemo this week and good luck to everyone awaiting surgery and results.
Im 7 days post my final chemo and unfortunately ive felt rough all week. Ive had hot flushes, stomach cramps and the nausea seems to have got worse not better. I felt so rough i asked for my bloods to be checked in case of infection. The bloods came back clear but my neutrophils are low so i need to check my temperature to make sure it doesnt drop or go too high.
Today ive come on holiday with the kids in a caravan for a week in yorkshire. We had it booked since last year and we have all been looking forward to it but i feel so lousy. We are right by the sea and im hoping the sea air and rest will perk me up.
I have my radiotherapy planning appointment for 19 august so i should start the week after. Has anyone started theirs yet?
Hope u are all keeping well?
Afternoon all and what a windy rainy day it is! Managed to do my usual walk this morning first thing but glad I had a raincoat and hood over my wig! May have lost it otherwise, lol... I'm not allowed to run post surgery so walking quickly in this weather!
Kelly - good news that you are finally back on the chemo band wagon after months of uncertainty. Can you believe that we see that as a positive to be back on chemo, side effects and all. What a strange journey we are on. Lets hope it is a smoother ride for you now and you can complete your chemo treatments. Good luck for the start of your weekly Paclitaxel in a couple of weeks. So sorry to hear about your brother which must be just devestating for you all I'm sure you will do everything possible to fulfill his wish to get through your treatment plan and be well on the other side. In the meantime be kind to yourself and take the time to grieve in your own way. xxx
LynsH - great news that you have now finished your chemo. Fingers crossed for your MRI and a straight forward guide wire lumpectomy and home by the evening. Hopefully you will find the surgery easier than the chemo part of treatment. At least you have some energy back with the children being off on school holidays.
I'm like a cat on a hot tin roof and I can't sit still. I will get my results next week and I can't think of anything else at the moment. Just don't know what to do with myself but have to keep busy. I'm currently working through loads of cupboards in my house clearing them out. I'm sure it won't last after next week.....
Have a good weekend everyone and keep well xxx
firstly Congratulations to all whom have finished their chemo and good luck to those due surgery.
Well I saw my Oncologist on Monday and following months of uncertainty, I am finally getting back on Chemo. Due to start the week after next and will be having 12 weekly sessions of Paclitaxel.
Got my heart mri at last today, so hopefully that won’t change anything.
I previously mentioned that my brother was diagnosed with lung cancer, well sadly he lost his fight last week. I am completely broken but one thing he wanted more than anything, was for me to get better, so I will try to be strong and get through the next few months for him. It’s gonna be tough emotionally but I’ll give it my best shot x
Hi girls, sorry I’ve been rubbish at posting of late. Kids being off just now is taking all my time.
I had my last docetaxel 2 weeks ago today and I’m feeling good so far. Probably the best I’ve felt since chemo started. More energy and taste has come back. 🙌🏻
I had had an MRI on Monday and will hopefully get results next week when I’m back at consultant. The surgeon seemed fairly confident it would be a guide wire lumpectomy and I would be home same day. Fingers crossed.
I am keen just to get the surgery out the way and also the radio done. I have some holidays booked for end of year and really would like to be done by then so I can fully enjoy them without worrying about coming back to more treatment.
To all the ladies coming to the end of your chemo, I hope you’re all doing well and good luck for any final sessions.
Lovely to hear about everyone’s progress as we approach the last stages. Xxx
Evening April Ladies!
Everyone is a bit quiet this week, I hope you are all ok?
Good to hear from you NikNak5. Sounds like you have been on a long chemo journey which must feel like a lifetime! Only 1 more to go for you, Yay!! September surgery will soon be here. Try not to worry about the surgery; I know that probably doesn't help very much. I had my surgery 2 weeks ago today, and honestly it was absolutely fine. I found it so much easier than chemo. They put you to sleep and you will know nothing about it until you come round in the recovery ward with a lovely nurse sat by your side talking to you and taking your blood pressure. Yes you will be a bit bruised, swollen and tender on your breast and under arm for a couple of weeks but it soon settles down. I have no visible bruising now, very little swelling and my scars are neat and have healed well. I still have blue dye on my breast from the dye injected during surgery. Apparently it can take weeks or months to come off. Make sure you start doing the arm exercises as directed the day after surgery as it will make a big difference to your mobility. It will also help in preparation for radiotherapy as your arms will need to be above your head. I also had a partial node clearance as one node tested positive at the original biopsy. My consultant took out 4 nodes including the positive one. If the other 3 are clear, she is happy to stop there. If they are positive, I'll have the rest of my lymph nodes taken out in a second operation.
I'm not tripple negative but there will be April ladies who are. Hopefully one of them will reply on this post. I would say, the best bit of advice I was ever given by my BC nurse from the outset was not to use Dr Google. I haven't dared to look at rates for recurrence as I don't want to think or worry about it once I get through treatment. I believe the recurrance statistics published for breast cancer are based on old information and maybe not reflect the progress in breast cancer drugs, treatments and research in recent years.
I lost finger nail number 8 yesterday but still hanging on to the last 2 for now! On a positive note, hair seems to be sprouting well but not quickly enough! I'm 5 weeks post chemo and still look like a boiled egg! NikNak, like you I have a mixture of white and dark hairs coming through, particularly at the sides and back. Still a bit shiny on top though . It's definitely going to take quite a while but my hair was very fine before I started chemo so I'm not expecting miracles. I continue to wash, condition and massage my scalp every day in the hope it will increase blood flow to the hair follicles and encourage growth. I've been using Green People, unscented organic shampoo and conditioner throughout chemo and I'm really happy with it. Its very gentle and natural with no parabens or harsh chemicals.
Would be lovely to hear from a few more April ladies with your progress. xxx
Hi lovely ladies
ive not posted on here for a while but I only have one more FEC to go - 20 days and counting. My lumpectomy is booked for 25 September, I’m really scared as never had an operation before, I’m also having partial lymph node removal as I has been diseased so I’ll come home with a drain for 4-5 days. It’s been a long slog paclitaxel weekly for 12 weeks along side carboplatin every 3 weeks. Then I switched to FEC every 3 weeks for another 12 weeks. After surgery then it will be radiotherapy but should all be done & dusted by Christmas hopefully.
Are any of you ladies triple negative? I’m now scared about the reoccurrence rates.
Anyway we we are all doing so well to think back in April would we ever make it to the end of Chemo & here we are. Truely remarkable you all are.
I have the same thing, my hair is growing back but it’s coming through white & dark on the back. I only had a grey patch over my right ear before it fell out. I’ve heard the pigment comes through again when your hair follicles recover so I’m hopeful this will be the case. Glad to know it’s not only me x
I'm back home from our week away and just about surfaced from the washing and ironing
RunningSue - congratulations on finishing chemo and ringing that bell Such a milestone to finish chemo and hopefully the worst part of treatment done and dusted! I'm sure you enjoyed that glass of champagne. I'm not surprised you were emotional by the end of your final dose and hope you had a good old cry to release some of the frustration. Do you know when you will move on to radiotherapy?
Christine - hang in there with the cold cap. You have come so far it would be a shame to stop now. I didn't use a cold cap, so I have no idea how it feels but I know my hair is growing back incredibly slowly now! Sounds like you had an adventure with your penultimate chemo on Weds. Nightmare about the split in the PICC line. Still only one more to go and you will be done.
I'm doing well although I lost finger nail number 7 of 10 today. I'm pretty sure I'll lose the last 3 in the next week or so to complete the set. Docetaxel (T) has certainly worked it's magic on my finger nails despite wearing nail varnish and using vitamin E oil on my cuticles during the last 3 chemo sessions of T. Still I have half nails under each one lost and hopefully they will grow back soon! Note to self - never take finger nails, eyebrows or eyelashes for granted ever again! Bruising is reducing quickly around both scars although still feeling tender around scar under my arm. My thoughts are now turning to the results in a couple of weeks. I'm trying to stay positive and upbeat although inside I'm really scared of what they will tell me. I keep telling myself that I can't do anything to change the results and if I need second surgery or more chemo then so be it. The waiting, worrying and feeling scared never seems to get any easier on this journey.
The start of a new week tomorrow. Good luck to those having chemo or starting radiotherapy this week. xxx
Hi sharon it was such a relief to finally have the PICC line taken out. It bled when the nurse took it out but only for a minute, so the nurse pur a dressing on but i was able to take it off a short time later.
Congrats on finishing chemo! I am due to have my picc out on Friday (I was advised to wait until the end of week 2 of my final cycle). Do they put a waterproof dressing on then? I can't wait not to have to worry about the blasted picc line!
Good luck to all still with final doses and/or surgery to go.
Thank you Liz and Susan,
Hopefully it’ll be ok. I’m trying to stay optimistic but I could have made a wig out of what has fallen out just today! I’ll keep going. I’ll try not to run to the razor yet 😂
Agreed do stick with it my hair still shedding a bit after chemo - it has been weakened by treatment - but new hair coming through !
I continued to cold cap despite my hair thinning a lot. The second one definitely does more damage.
I'm hoping the hairdresser will be able to blend it when it has grown a bit more.
Well done to those coming to the end of chemo! Must be such a relief! I get emotional just thinking about my last one...not long now!
Bramley, glad your op went ok and the scars are looking good. It’s amazing what they can do! Sounds like you had a nice week too.
My penultimate chemo on Wednesday wasn’t quite what I had planned! Got there, called up within 20mins (usually I have a 2 hour wait!) and went to get my PICC line dressing changed and then they found a split in the top connection. And the PICC team said they wouldn’t be able to fix it! So back to cannulas! Was so frustrating, so close to the end!!! And man does FEC hurt the veins! Wasn’t a pleasant day. Thankfully my sickness was so much better controlled. I still feel nauseous now but having some frozen grapes, which helps.
Another thing...I’ve been managing to keep my hair with cold capping but the second FEC seems to have taken a hit. Lots more hair falling out and I’m in such a dilemma. Do I continue cold capping and end up with very thin hair or do I shave it off?! I still have a fair amount left but it’s very disheartening always having hair attached to your tops and not your head!! So close to the end, such a shame!
I had my last chemo yesterday and i rang the bell!!! I was a bit emotional but i actually cried more once the machine had finished pumping the drugs into me!! Once it started beeping i said "thats it, im finished!!". It was such a relief to get the PICC line taken out and once i had a glass of champagne at home i had a lovely cool shower (i did intend to have a soak in the bath but weather was very humid) and nice not to have to wrap my arm in plastic to keep my PICC dry.
Bramley i hope u are recovering well from your op and you enjoyed your little holiday.
Debi i think its a marvellous idea that we arrange to meet up!! Would be lovely to put a face to all our names !!
Lizandsarah hope u have got over the grotty stages from your last docataxel and u are enjoying the sun. Do u move onto radiotherapy soon?
Take care ladies
Hair is growing, but its very white!
It wasn't white before, just a little bit of grey scattered through looks like it's been growing for a while as some is about an inch long in places! .More on top than anywhere, it'd been cut to hin length but there are still thin patches round the back
Roll on 6 months for the hair dye!
Last night of our holiday and been out for a nice meal. Has been just the tonic to be away for a week post surgery. I've done far less here than I would have at home so more time for me to recover. I took my dressings off my 2 x incisions yesterday (7 days post surgery). They probably would have lasted another few days but my incision under my arm was feeling quite tender and I wondered if the dressing was causing it. Anyway both incisions look really neat and appear to be healing really well. The steri strips literally came away with the waterproof dressing on top. I'm amazed that my Consultant has made the incision on my breast around the top side of the outer areola which I can hardly see even at this early stage. I won't have a visible scar on my breast which is such a lovely surprise and not at all what I was expecting. Breast is still a bit swollen and tender above the incision but it's not looking disfigured after lumpectomy. They both still look pretty even I'm more tender under my arm, after partial lymph node clearance, and more bruising but I guess this part of the body is far less fleshy and quite tight. I'm still able to lift my arm straight above my head, both elbows out to side and arms up my back so mobility is pretty good all things considered. I keep doing the exercises which seem to be helping.
Liz - glad you are doing well after your last dose of Docetaxel. Let us know how your radiotherapy planning meeting goes on Monday and when you are starting. I hope to start radiotherapy in Sept providing I heal well and don't need any further surgery. Thanks for all the info on Zolodex and Zoldronic Acid. I think I'm more post rather than pre menopausal but just wondering why nothing has been mentioned about Zoldronic Acid in my treatment plan. I can ask my Consultant or BC nurse when I see them in a couple of week for the pathalogical results following surgery.
Debi - hope everything gets sorted with your work. It's a worry you don't really need on top of going through treatment. It's a lovely idea to meet up at some point in the future, hopefully when we are through our treatment plans. I'd be up for it
We haven't heard from some of our ladies in April starters for a while. I do hope you are all ok and progressing with your treatment plans. Would be lovely to hear how you are doing.
Have a good weekend everyone xxx
I've started a monthly radiotherapy thread for Augusy starters, I know some of you have already found it.
I've bounbced back well from the 50% dose of Docetaxol, got so much more energy. Ive managed to get home and am enjoying the coast walks and seaside fun with my child and old school friends. Fingers and toes almosat back to normal now from the neuropathy. Got my planning scan on tuesday.
Christine18 - I work permanent nights, and I'll be returning to the same post. My manager suggested some days to start with, but the distance is too far to make it worthwhile. I've never really got back into the swing of sleeping at night anyway. I did ask about the best time to take the daily AI's and my consultant said it was up to me. Ill; be starting them soon so I can see what end of the day gives more side effects
Bramley - in answer to your questions, there are two drugs out there that may be offered, Zolodex and Zoldronic Acid.
In the NICE guidance for treating BC it says that:
Discuss the benefits and risks of ovarian function suppression in addition to endocrine therapy with premenopausal women with ER‑positive invasive breast cancer. Explain to women that ovarian function suppression may be most beneficial for those women who are at sufficient risk of disease recurrence to have been offered chemotherapy. (This is the Zolodex injuections every 28 days). I was already having hot flushes for a couple of years, so I've been put on it to send me into full menopause, but my new consultant has agreed I can have my ovaries removed if I wish, which I will be agreeing to as I want to remove the food source for the future!!
Havoing the Zolodex also gives them more drug options as there is only one drug for pre-menopausal (Tamoxifen) and four for post (Tamoxifen and the three AI's)!
Zoldronic Acid: guidance says this should be offered as adjuvant therapy to postmenopausal women with node‑positive invasive breast cancer. It should also be offered as adjuvant therapy for postmenopausal women with node‑negative invasive breast cancer and a high risk of recurrence. I've had the first one and had no obvious side effects, but the Docetaxol would probably have masked them anyway! I'm also taking a daily supplement after discussion with my consultant as my Vit D levels were extremely low and had to be treated during chemo.
Hope this helps
Suanmanchester - glad your energy levels are coming back. On with the rads.
Bramley - Hope you are enjoying your break and recovering well.
Interestingtingtimes when do you start your rads?
Christine18 it sounds you are in a similar place in your treatment plan then me. My surgery i think ( i haven't seen my surgeon yet) will be mid Sept. Don't know how long rads will be after. My last chemo is Aug 13th and i can't wait!!
LynsH - i have been off work since March too, my workplace is closing down and they are in the process of redeploying or redundancies. It's a mess at moment so not sure if i will have a job or not when i go back. It's just another worry. I have been in touch with Macmillan as they have great info on work rights etc.
I have been reading some of the other groups and some of them have had a meet up, i was wondering if any of you would be interested in meeting up? what are your thoughts on this?
Christine - glad your bloods are good for your penultimate chemo tomorrow. Getting close now to the end of chemo I've never tried Lorazepam but was very nauseous on FEC. By the 3rd dose I was prescribed Emend (Aprepitant) tablets; took one on the day of chemo and one tablet for 2 days post chemo. I was told it was the most effective medication for nausea but unfortunately it didn't seem to make much difference to me. I felt I had morning sickness from the minute I woke up until I went to sleep at night. Hopefully your Oncologist has found the right prescription to help with your nausea. October will soon be here for your surgery. Psychologically I'm sure it helps to have the tumour finally removed after all the months of chemotherapy. I was so happy to get surgery out of the way knowing the tumour would finally be gone.
Lynsey - your surgery will be fine in comparison to chemo. Let us know when you have a date. Will be interesting to hear if they have to use mammogram rather than ultrasound to insert guide wire next to marker on morning of surgery. Ref returning to work, as Christine says, don't feel pressurised into going back sooner than you feel ready. If you can afford to be off for longer, go with what feels right for you. I was signed off work for 6 months from March (day I started chemo) taking me through until September. I have given it quite a lot of thought and don't think I'm going back until January. I really want to have some hair and look like me again before I return to work. I also want to go on holiday somewhere warm at the end of treatment (hopefully by October). It's my birthday in October and our 26th wedding anniversary so would be lovely to celebrate after such a difficult year.
SusanManchester - glad you are feeling better and enjoying your food and wine again Will be interesting to hear what they tell you at your radiotherapy planning meeting and how you get on with the Letrozole. I need to wait 6-8 weeks after surgery to allow scars to heal before I can start on radiotherapy. I'm not sure which hormone medication I will be prescribed or when I will start taking them.
Sharon - glad you are also moving onto radiotherapy. Let us know how it goes.
Jencat - many thanks for the info on Zoldronic Acid. I'm 51 and was going through the menopause with plenty of hot flushes at the time of diagnosis although I hadn't had a period for around a year or regular periods for around 2+ years. My consultant described me as peri-menopausal (on the transition) so I guess I'm in the middle somewhere. I'm still having hot flushes having completed chemo. Maybe Zoldronic Acid is not be suitable for me.
Have a good week everyone xxx
Clinic appointment done. They’ve given me a small dose of lorazepam to take tomorrow to control my nausea. Has anyone else taken this? They’ve also made sure the nurses give my IV anti-emetics tomorrow rather than tablets like they did last time.
Thankfully all my bloods are ok so I can go ahead with my next FEC cycle. Fingers crossed it’s a smoother ride tomorrow. Penultimate chemotherapy! Can’t wait for this part of treatment to be over.
Try not to feel pressured to go back to work. I haven’t been at work either since my diagnosis in March. Thankfully they haven’t pressured me but I’m going to speak to them in a couple of weeks to discuss going back. I too don’t feel ready and am thinking of going back in January. Luckily I have another 5 months of half pay but I’ll be using my annual leave in December before I go back. I have a very stressful job too working nights, days and weekends all 12.5hour shifts. I certainly won’t be able to do that but your employer has to adapt work to you! I’m going to get signed off nights for at least a year and try to see if I can work shorter shifts to start with. They legally have to adapt work to suit you so make sure you speak up if you just can’t do what you used to be able to do.
Macmillan has a lot of support and people to talk to about returning to work and your rights so might be worth using them or speak to the helpline before going to see your boss.
On another note, it’s good news to hear you can have a lumpectomy. Hope it all goes ok!
Oh ladies, it feels like most of us are seeing the end in sight. Christine, I hope the dizziness and nausea goes soon. Can only imagine how awful that is. You sound very upbeat and positive however and I hope it does ease.
I saw surgeon this morning and will get my surgery soon hopefully. (had last docetaxel
last Friday and feeling ok so far, just very tired and but achy but otherwise good). The surgeon was very positive that surgery would be super simple, a guide wire inserted in morning of surgery then a simple lumpectomy and then node removal. Relieved to know that it’s not going to be too invasive. Radiotherapy I don’t think is anywhere as tough as chemo so feeling also very positive that we are on the home straight ladies.
On another note, I had a call with my boss tomorrow about work. I think she’s going to ask me when I expect to return to work. I’ve been off since my diagnosis in March and to be honest don’t feel anywhere ready for going back. She’s apparently told some
of my colleagues that she thinks I’ll be back sept/oct but I think I need more time to recover. My pay stops soon but thankfully can afford a few months of unpaid so I’m thinking January. What’s everyone else’s employers been like? Any pressure to return early? I’m feeling very anxious about the conversation tomorrow in case I feel railroaded into agreeing an earlier return date. I have a fairly stressful job and spend a lot of my time out and about on my own and my worry is I find the workload too much and tiredness takes hold.
Any advice would be hugely appreciated.
Just a little update 11 days after last chemo and energy levels already massively better ! Had a couple of glasses white wine for first time in months really enjoyed them . Radiotherapy planning next Monday and start Letrozole in two weeks for next 10 years 🙏 My eyes look dreadful as no eyelashes bought sunglasses today my hair is a bit of a train wreck but most still there .. and one of my toes is numb . Otherwise all feels so much better now no chemo every week !
Just wanted to say well donate all of us making it through (or nearly through chemo!).
Good luck to those ladies with surgery still to go. And for those of us moving on to radiotherapy, they assured me when I got my markings at the CT scan yesterday that it's all downhill form here. A friend who has just finished rads said radiotherapy was a walk in the park compared to chemo! It's looking up ladies!
Be strong. The end is in sight!
Bramley, losing 6 finger nails sounds sore! Glad you're recovering well from your surgery A stay at the seaside sounds lovely and just the thing to help aid your recovery!
Re Zoldronic Acid-I think it is offered to post-menopausal women as a bone strengthener and to help stop bc recurring in the bones xx
Debi - hope you have turned the corner on side effects from your chemo last Tuesday. Only one more to go for you and then your surgery in September. Do you have a date yet?
RunningSue - I daren't ask about the nausea - 102 days feeling sick is a complete nightmare! It looks like its not going to change for you until you finish chemo. Hopefully your final chemo will go ahead this week and you can ring that bell loud and proud! I think most people feel emotional at the end of chemo so let those tears flow freely. I'm sure other chemo patients will smile and clap to celebrate with you. I've never walked out of oncology so quickly as I did on my last chemo. I knew I was going to cry but just wanted to get into my car to have my own space to bawl my eyes out!
Linsey - congratulations on finishing chemo. Yay!! Hope side effects aren't too bad after final dose. Do you have a date for your surgery? What surgery are you having?
Susanmanchester - congratulations to you too for finishing chemo. So nice that quite a few of us have now finished or nearing the end of chemo. Such a milestone in our treatment plans. There seem to be endless different options for treatment plans for breast cancer. It's good that you had a choice to have surgery first and chemo second. Have you got a date to start radiotherapy yet? You will be leading the way in the April starters with radiotherapy so will look forward to hearing about your experience.
Liz - I was going to ask about Zoldronic Acid. It's not been mentioned at all in my treatment plan so assume I won't be having it. I've noticed quite a few ladies talking about it but not sure if it's recommended for certain types of BC or why it is recommended for some but not others?
I'm recovering well from surgery and enjoying the sea views from the balcony of the apartment we are renting. Just what the doctor ordered and the sea air feels wonderful. 4 days post surgery and the waterproof clear dressings are holding well. They haven't started to peel off yet and I'm now showering every day. Can see dried blood under both dressings (boob and under arm pit) along the steri strip. Nurse said to wait around a week to remove dressings but I'm not in any rush if they are holding well. Bruising is coming out on boob (looks a bit yellow around incision) and under arm. Both incisions feel tender and boob is a bit swollen but not too bad at all. It also has blue dye on it. Not sure how long that takes to wash off? I'm wearing my soft sleep bras at night which are comfortable and my post surgery bra (£5 bargain from M&S outlet store) during the day. The post surgery bra definitely offers more support when walking to stop boob jiggling. I haven't needed any pain relief since the day after surgery which I'm really happy about. I'm walking every day to get fresh air and doing my arm exercises. I still have nearly full range of movement in my arm although it feels a bit tender if I extend arm fully above my head.
My taste and appetite is returning after chemo which is fab but I will need to be careful not to gain any weight! I finished chemo around 4lbs lighter than when I started so very keen to keep it steady. I lost just over 2.5 stone with Slimming World over an 18 month period before I was diagnosed with BC. I was just about at target weight too. I kept going to SW through chemo and actually got my 3 stone award after chemo 6 I'll be dammed if I put on the weight I've lost now after everything I've been through.
On the downside I've now lost 6 finger nails out of 10 and I'm sure the other 4 will fall off shortly. It's amazing how difficult it is to open things and do every day tasks without finger nails!
Hope everyone is doing ok? Another week and another step closer to getting through treatment. xxx
Bramley its great to hear your surgery went well and you are back at home.
I had my treatment on Tuesday and felt ok up to today which i feel lightheaded, achey and tired. Back of neck is sore too. Stayed in bed this morning and i am going to have an early night.
Its good to hear that we are all getting through the treatment plans we have and most are on the last part.
Take care everyone
Bramley so pleased the surgery went well for you. Hope u are getting lots of rest and hope u enjoy the little holiday.
I must admit im really struggling with this heat. I have lots of hot flushes but combined with the heatwave its unbearable. I try to take cold showers to cool down but i have to wrap my arm in clingfilm to prevent my PICC line getting wet.
Ive been out for quite a few walks lately. I went back to my local parkrun last weekend, i hadnt been for 3 months and it was so good to be back and lots of my friends shouted out support to me. I dont have the energy to run so i walked it all while chatting to the lovely tailwalker.
Ive had more mouth ulcers this week and of course the nausea which ive had now for 102 days!!! Ive been keeping a little diary since my first day of chemo. I know it will be nice to look back on in a year or so. I did the same when i was pregnant.
Fingers crossed that this time next week i will have had my final chemo. Looking forward to ringing the bell but i know ill cry as i have done when ive watched others on the ward when theyve rung it. I must admit the last 3 months have flown by. Cant believe im so close to the end of chemo.
Take care ladies, speak soon
Bramley, well done on your post, that’s great for me to know what to expect. I’m due surgery end of August.
im just home from my last docetaxel treatment. So glad it’s all over and just want to get through this week feeling ok and focus on surgery. I always feel tired after my infusion and today is no different. Thankfully kids are overnight with my parents tonight so I have opportunity to just rest.
I hope everyone else is doing well and feeling ok in this heat.
Take care lynsey
Hi Bramley and all ..
I think you are immensely brave coping with all that . Had my surgery with node clearance back in Jan as I was desperate for cancer to be gone and opted for chemo afterwards which I finished last Friday . Saw surgeon Weds for first physical examination and all seems well so on to radiotherapy in couple of weeks . Not having chemo is marvellous !
I'm back in the land of the living after surgery and back home Thank you for all your good wishes xxx
So I can now tell you about my experience just in case it helps anyone else worrying about having a lumpectomy and sentinal node clearance after chemo.
Guide wire - First appointment yesterday was to have a guide wire inserted next to the titanium marker. The marker was injected into the centre of my 3cm tumour before I even started chemo. The doctor tried to use ultrasound to get up to date info on the size of tumour and locate the marker in order to put guide wire next to it. She explained that ultrasound is not very good for locating the marker as it is so tiny and she may have to use their newest and most detailed mammogram to locate the marker. This turned out to be the case and she actually inserted the guide wire whilst my breast was gripped on the mammogram. I had a local anaesthetic before she inserted the guide wire and she took pictures to make sure it was right next to the marker. I had a wire hanging out of my breast but covered up with a dressing and was able to wear my bra on top.
Radioactive Dye - Next appointment was to have some radioactive dye injected into the breast to make my lymph nodes light up during surgery. It was a small injection and because my breast was already numb from the guide wire, it wasn't particularly painful, just a sharp scratch. The injection was literally a couple of seconds.
Surgery - I didn't arrive on the day surgical ward until around 11am so found out I was last in the queue for breast surgery. I was pretty thirsty by this time so the nurse gave me one of those spongy lollypop things with a small cup of water to keep my mouth and lips wet. I was given 2 x paracetemols around 1.5 hours before surgery with a small amount of water to swallow. I was fitted with surgical socks - they measure your ankle to give you the right size. Thankfully the Nurse put them on for me as my finger nails are not in good shape and I've lost 3 already! My Consultant came to see me before surgery to explain that she would do a lumpectomy and as agreed take 4 x lymph nodes out to test. One of my lymph nodes has tested positive for cancer on the first biopsy at diagnosis. Anaesthetist also came to see me to ask a few more questions. I eventually went down for surgery at 3pm. I was wheeled into a small room just outside operating theatre and a blood pressure cuff was put on my calf and heart pads on my chest. A small canular was put into my left hand (cancer in right breast) and the anaesthetic was put into that. They explained I would feel a cold sensation going up my arm which I did. The butterfly pictures on the ceiling started blurring and that is the last I remember. The next thing I recall was a nurse saying my name in recovery at 4.45pm (surgery was around 1.5 hours). A few blood pressure and temp checks and I was wheeled back to the ward by 6pm. I was really emotional coming round from surgery and just couldn't stop crying in recovery and back on the ward where my husband was waiting for me. I think it was just sheer relief of having the cancer cut out of me after 7 months (I found the lump in January). I had a cup of tea and a couple of digestives back on the ward but was still starving so asked for a sandwich and some water. I was discharged at 8pm armed with some codeine tablets to take as required. I was advised to take 2 x codeine tablets and 2 x paracetemols before bed to try and get a good nights sleep.
I took the painkillers as prescribed before bed and had a pretty good nights sleep all things considered. I had a fan going in the bedroom and an extra pillow to rest my arm on. I put a sleep bra on to come home in and kept it on to sleep in. I have to say it is very comfortable and just enough support without adding too much pressure. I have internal stiches and a steristrip on the top of each incision. I have a clear waterproof dressing on the top; both on my breast and under arm. Unfortunately the dressing under my arm leaked a bit during the night so found blood on the sheet this morning. I'm feeling a bit sore, more under my arm today but have taken a couple of paracetemols and it's really not too bad. I've done my arm exercises this morning as advised the day after surgery. Breast is very slightly swollen but nothing major so far. I'm sure the bruising will come out over the next few days. Breast has blue dye over it and I'm weeing blue at the moment from another dye put in during surgery.
Taking it easy today and just chilling. Decided not to have a shower today to give dressings more of a chance to stay on longer. Will see how next few days go but feeling very happy and relieved that surgery is now over. Now looking forward to getting away to the seaside for a week to recover with lots of help from my husband and boys Sorry for long post but if you are worried about surgery, hopefully some of this will help.
Liz - glad the side effects are slightly less on the reduced dose of docetaxel. Hope your trip home to the North West to see family goes well. It will be so lovely for you to be back with your family again. xx
Hope everyone else is doing ok. Keep posting so we can all keep up to date with everyone's journey. There are currently only a few of us posting in the April monthly thread. Sending hugs to you all xxx
We are now seven days on from last Docetaxol and first Zoldronic Acid. Looking forward to radiotherapy now.
Never noriced any side effects from Zoldronic fortunately.
Joint pain much less on 50% dose, just managed with simple analgesia, fatigue has kicked in again hugely this week, but I don't think the heat is helping either! Still getting some neuropathy but it's more manageable this time and is starting to lessen earlier. Main problem is the nerve pain from node clearance and I've less range of movement for radio than I had when I saw consultant, but physio has been working on that this week, again only happened since docetaxol came into the mix!
Still hoping to get home t the North West on Sunday to see my family, they haven't seen me since I was diagnosed in December as my dad's not well enough to travel. Be the furthest I've driven in months, but I know where every cafe is on the way for regular breaks. I'd think nothing of driving 250miles non stop before all this. It'll do my daughter good to see her grandparents as well and the sea is only a few minutes away so I can hopefully start to get out walking again and build up stamina again. There's also lots of nice cafes in n the village so I can have a few treats🍰
Keep wel hydrated in this heat today
When i had the dye, it was injected into my breast around the nipple area. I didnt have any anaesthetic and it did hurt but only for a minute or so. The dye will leave a little blue mark on your breast - i still have it and my op was in march!! Im sure it will fade away eventually!! I too had to wait all day to go to theatre so take a book or something to read while u are waiting. My sister bought me a little cushion to put under my armpit while i was recovering afted my op - it really helped to ease the pressure from the scars.
Good luck tomoro - we will all be thinking of you and wishing the best for you.
Thank you Sharon xx
One question I forgot to ask my BC nurse and you will know the answer to. Where to they inject the dye to light up your lymph nodes? Is it into the breast, armpit or somewhere else? Do they give you a local anaesthetic first before they inject it? I have no idea what to expect or how much they inject but I was told the dye may make me look a bit grey and ill in the face. Quite normal apparently and nothing to be concerned about but she just wanted to warn me in case my husband or I wonder why I look a bit grey or ill all of a sudden! Did you just take paracetemol or ibuprofen after surgery for pain relief?
Yes I'll take a few magazines with me and my iPad as I'm expecting to be hanging around quite a while. Apparently my consultant has a full list of ladies for surgery tomorrow.
Really looking forward to getting away on Saturday to the seaside after its all over. We had to cancel our holiday to Cyprus this year so it will be nice to get away for a week. I intend to do nothing apart from a walk every day, my arm exercises and spending time with my family. I always seem to sleep better with sea air so I'm counting on it after surgery when I'm feeling uncomfortable. You lucky thing to live so close to the sea. xx
Good luck with your surgery. I had mine before chemo, complete with wire guides and injection (which HURTS like the devil!). In some ways surgery was the worst, but then I had it on both sides so perhaps that made it doubly horrible and 6 doses of FEC and nausea as well as digestive and sinus complications! Regarding the long wait for actual surgery, take a book or something to keep you busy! I had to report at 7am and only went in at 3pm! Still went home that night at 8 though! The surgeons are extremely skilled and specialise in literally taking lumps out of boobs all day every day, so they know what they are looking/feeling for. I am sure chemo will have done its job and you will be fine! Enjoy recuperating at the seaside! (I live 10mins from a beach so I'm super lucky!).
Thanks everyone for your good wishes. It means a lot to have support from those also going through this same nightmare journey. xx
I heard today that bloods are good so can go ahead with surgery on Thursday. Yay! I think it will be a long day. Need to have a guide wire put in under local anaesthetic at the Breast Clinic at 8.45am. It will be placed by the original marker inserted into the tumour before I started chemo and I'll literally have a wire hanging out of me. Then onto the hospital to have some dye injected in the Nuclear Medical Department! Wonder if I'll be glowing This will light up my lymph nodes apparently so surgeon can locate them easily in armpit. Then onto day surgery unit to wait in the queue. I don't think I'll be in surgery until the afternoon. Not allowed anything to eat after midnight or drink after 6am so will probably be a bit dehydrated by the afternoon. I'm going to set my alarm for 6am to drink a large glass of water. I usually drink loads of water in a day so going to struggle to get to the afternoon on no liquids particularly in this heat!
I have such mixed emotions about surgery. I just want it done and dusted to get the cancer cut out of me but on the other hand a bit apprehensive about being put to sleep. I won't know much about that bit but it's the lead up to it I guess. I'm more apprehensive about the 3 week wait for the results and scared what I will be told in case the chemo didn't work as well as I hope and pray. I can still feel a lump, albeit smaller, and it really scares me. I've booked for our family to go away for a week to the seaside for a week after surgery. The apartment has a balcony with sea views and that's where I think I will spend most of my time recovering. Will take the leaflet with arm exercises with me. I'll have no excuses for not doing them every day as I'll have loads of time. Also want to walk every day and paddle my feet in the sea. Simple pleasures in life I'll never take for granted again.
Phet - how is your swollen boob? Did you manage to get your ultrasound and get it sorted? My finger nails are shocking. Still pretty numb but only lost 3 so far. I'm sure I will lose all of them in time. Just relieved there seems to be a nail underneath each time or I think I would faint! Must remember to take off my nail varnish tomorrow as not allowed it for surgery. Made me laugh in the letter when instructed to make sure I have a shower and wash my hair before surgery. Lol.. what hair, I look like a boiled egg!
Debi - penultimate chemo done and dusted and one more to go! Hope side effects aren't too awful this time. You are so close now and your surgery in September will soon be here. Made me laugh ref the gardening incident. Hope you get on well with your neighbours, lol!
Pollensa - blimey it sounds like you are having a really tough time on Docetaxel. It must be so frustrating to still feel nauseous especially after feeling sick for the first half of chemo on FEC. I think you have been really unlucky Have they sorted your kidney issues out? Hopefully you can get home tomorrow. Reduced dose on your final chemo and stronger nausea meds will hopefully do the trick for the last round. You will be so glad to see the back of chemo now. Stay strong xx
Kelly - have you had your heart scan yet? Hope all ok xx
Busy day for me tomorrow doing a food shop, cleaning the house, getting hospital bag together and packing my suitcase for the seaside. As soon as I am able I'll put something on here after surgery; hopefully by Friday.
Take care everyone and keep posting. I'll be reporting back soon I hope! xxx
Bramley best wishes for your surgery. I will be pestering you for details of everything from side effects to pain etc. My surgery is in Sept (no date yet).
Just had penultimate treatment today, feeling ok, its usually a couple of days before any side effects raise there head.
Benn gardening all weekend, tubs look nice and colourful even though i wasn't going to do so many this time. We had started to chop down our Eucalyptus tree down (which had grown way too big) on Sunday evening but had to leave it half done due to family needs. Monday morning i went for my bloods doing and when i got back it had blown down into the next doors garden, luckily missing her pond, garden ornaments, plants and washing line. It had fallen directly onto her lawn- thank goodness.
Hope every one has had a good weekend and are keeping well hydrated in this heat!
Stay strong ladies we are getting there.
Most in awe of all those who managed charity runs, absolutely marvellous!
Unfortunately, cycle 5 of docataxel was much worse than cycle 4! Admitted to hospital last week, hopefully leaving tomorrow.
High temp, dreadful nausea, kidney problems.......everything you could think of!
Next dose will be reduced and many more anti nausea tabs. It had better work!
Good luck Bramley!! All fingers and toes crossed for you. I hope your fingernails are also feeling a bit better- Docetaxel just keeps ‘giving’!
Thanks for your lovely comments about my Son's graduation. Just so lovely to have a happy day and feel normal again for a few hours. We need to set ourselves goals, make plans and celebrate the good times along this rollercoaster of a journey xx
It's really interesting to hear of people's experiences on receiving summary letters after oncology and consultant appointments. I can definitely see the benefits i.e. they are a really useful reminder of what was said and agreed moving forwards with treatment. On the other hand I can completely understand the worry of seeing a very factual medical account of the meeting and about the cancer. Everyone is so different in the way they handle such a difficult situation and I guess it depends on how much you want to know. I talked it over with my husband and he asked me if I felt I had missed out by not having letters. He was worried I would focus on the words and things that could be perceived as negative and read too much in to it. So I think I've decided not to request them at this stage and just rely on information given to me at each meeting. To be fair they have always been very good at answering any questions I've had so far. I may change my mind but I think at this stage it feels right for me.
Phet - I do hope you have managed to get your ultrasound to find out what's happening with your swollen boob? I'd be just as worried and frustrated as you are not knowing what's happening. Having breast cancer is very stressful in itself but when you have a reaction or swelling, it just increases the stress and anxiety. Hoping things are happening and getting sorted for you and you can still get away on holiday and have your surgery as planned on 6th August.
Liz - hope your final chemo went well today.
I'm doing well apart from my thumb nail and another finger nail fell off today . I've now lost 3 nails on my right hand which is a bit weird. Thinking about it, after the first dose of Docetaxel (chemo round 4), I had a terrilbe reaction on my hands and fingers. They literally swelled to double the size with red burning sensation for a week. My right hand was much worse than my left. I think my nails were damaged at that stage as they have been feeling pretty numb since. Just wondering if I'm going to lose all 10 finger nails! My toe nails are all fine though at the moment!
6 days until surgery and counting, bloods willing!
Have a good weekend everyone! xxx
Liz - good news that your chemo 6 will go ahead on Friday with a reduced dose. It will be interesting to hear if the side effects are less as a result. In theory they should be I guess, well you would hope so anyway!
Thanks to you and Kelly for the info on follow up letters after each appointment. I had no idea that I could get hold of copies after each oncology/consultant appointment. The only issue is that I'm too scared to ask for copies! I'm just not sure if I want to see a factual medical letter about my cancer. I'm not sure why I feel that way but maybe I'm just not ready to see it in black and white. I know I'm being a complete wimp! For me the diagnosis was just so shocking and I feel it's taken me forever to even get my head around that part. My consultant, breast care nurse and Oncologist are all lovely and very positive and I trust them to make the right decisions on my medical care. They haven't told me too much so far apart from the tumour was 3cm at diagnosis, is eostrogen positive, HER2 negative and is very treatable. A biopsy has also confirmed it's in one lymph node.
Kelly - hope you are doing ok and you have a date for the MRI on your heart? Let us know how you get on and we will be willing you to get back on track with your chemo if it is safe to do so or onto radiotherapy to zap and nuke any rogue cancer cells.
Susanmanchester - good luck for your final Paclitaxel on Friday. The end of a long chemo journey which you will be glad to have behind you. I think it takes a while for the chemo drugs to finally get out of our system but hey each day will hopefully get a bit better!
Before I started chemo on 20th March 2019 I set myself a goal to be at my son's university graduation on 17th July 2019. I worked out if I went through all 6 cycles on time I would be 14 days post my final chemo (number 6). I told my Oncologist and BC nurse that I couldn't afford any delays to my chemo treatment as I just had to be at his graduation. Both warned me of potential delays and pitfalls but throughout my chemo journey that date was always at the forefront of my mind and nothing was going to stop me. Well yesteday I was the happiest and proudest mum in the world to attend his graduation ceremony on day 14 post chemo 6 I wore my trusted wig and applied eye make up as best I could with no eyebrows, eyelashes and permanently watering eyes, not from crying either! It didn't really matter what I looked like, I was just so happy to be there. None of his Uni friends know that I have breast cancer and no one looked at me strangely or sympathetically. I was just a normal person for one happy day at least and I loved it. I was shattered by the time we got home last night but it was a 12 hour day with travelling so not really surprising!
Keep posting everyone, stay positive and hope you are all doing ok. xxx
Hey thanks Bramley
My eyelashes left it till the end to go have drops from Christie's buying chocolates for nurses on chemo unit but waiting till I get all-clear on the bloods . Also got to see surgeon next week for follow-up 😟 But it's routine best to all just want it to be done now xx