Just jumping in on the conversation - I was told that my next mammogram would be a year from the end of my radiotherapy. I told them I wasn't happy about this and asked ifI could have one sooner. They said they'd be no point as things need to settle down from the surgery and radiotherapy treatment first before they'd be able to get a good image. They assured me it wouldn't be detrimental. It sounded reasonable at the time but given most of you have been told it's a year from surgery its making me a bit unsettled. I'm a bit lumpy around my scar but I don't think it's changed from since I finished my rads. The oncologist examined me at the appointment where it was diacussed and didn't have any concerns. I examine myself monthly but with chemo brain I'm struggling to remember how I felt previously but there's nothing that has me running for the docs. I did used to get aches and twinges but they've recedeed over last few weeks so it's either things have settled down after radiotherapy or now I'm back at work I don't have as much time to notice and analyse every ache and pain.
Still suffering a bit with achey joints - I feel it's getting better and then end up having a bit of a bad patch. Anyone else like this.
Congrats to those that have ditched the wig. I'm still clinging on to mine - mainly cos I'm very grey and curly tho those that have seen me without says it's just looks like I've had a short crop, that it suits me and that the silver grey brings out the blue in my eyes! I've either got very kind friends are they are just bull$h1tters 😁. I'm back at the hairdresser in a few weeks so I'm hoping I can convince him to colour it for me. I'm off to France in July hiking, rafting, biking and hitting the beach so I'll definitely have to ditch the wig for all of that.
Have a fab week all
Thanks Tarnia and Jude,
That makes me feel a bit better about the lumps and bumps. My shoulder plays up a lot at the moment if I forget to do my exercises.
I had surgery at the end of June, so I will see f I receive anything in the post.
Hi Jo & Tarnia
I’ve still got lumpy & tender areas particularly where the nerves have knitted back together
My surgeon advised that it would be June for the first mammogram, 1 year from surgery - I’ve not had my letter yet though...
My surgeon said your next mammogram is usually a year after your last surgery. I had more surgery in December after chemo so I should be called in December this year! Not sure if it’s the same at all hospitals though 🤔
I sometimes feel tender round by where my surgery was and like you I keep poking at it to see if I can feel anything🙄 It’s only natural to feel concerned about every ache and pain after what we’ve through! I’m hoping it gets better with time.
I also think about a recurrence. I think it is fairly usual in our circumstances but it doesn’t make it any easier. I have a bit of tenderness all around the chest area and shoulder bone but maybe that is because I keep poking it to see if it still hurts!
I haven’t heard anything yet about my mammogram - diagnosed in May 18, finished radio mid Jan 19. Should I have heard anything?
Hope everyone is getting on well and enjoying life.
I won’t be getting a mammogram until December! I wish I could have one sooner to put my mind at rest! I constantly think about a recurrence and I’m definitely not a negative person either. I think it’s completely natural and I also agree that you try and prepare yourself so if anything does show up you won’t feel as devastated as the first time round 🤔 I was a complete mess last year and I was like that until half way through chemo when I realised I could actually do it and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
Good luck for next month 🍀
Thought I’d just mention I’ve dyed my own hair today out of a box like I used to do and it’s been absolutely fine...it’s growing quickly....but a even quicker would be nice😂
Take care all
Cheers Tarnia , I’m feeling a lot more confident now, I still feel inside like the girl with a bob... I’m sure you all know what I mean
Well done on easing back into work Cat, try not to overdo it. It’s easy to think that you are back to normal when you are not quite there
Sorry to bring this up, but how’s every feeling about recurrence?
My first mammogram since diagnosis is due next month & in the back of my mind I’m expecting something to be found. I’m not worried or upset about it, I’m just expecting it. I’m not a negative person at all so I’m not sure whether subconsciously I’m just preparing myself just in case or it’s a little bit of a physic feeling.
I’d be interested to see how anyone else is approaching this milestone
Love to all
Jude, Congratulations! Another milestone to celebrate 🍾. I bet you do look lovely. It’s such a great feeling not having to put a wig on every day isn’t it.
This is is my third week back at work but still only doing a couple of days a week so it’s okay. Will gradually build up to full time over next couple of months although right now I still can’t imagine having the energy and brain power needed to work full time!
Take care everyone and enjoy the sunshine.
Thats brilliant that you feel confident now to ditch the wig. People are really good at saying the right things and it’s because they want to help you to feel confident and good about yourself! ......and who cares if they are lying, we’ve all come such a long way and this is hopefully the end of the journey! .....onwards and upwards as they say.
Love Tarnia xx
Hope you are all ok
I finally ditched the wig for work today!
Felt quite proud of myself, everyone was very kind, I do think they were lying through their teeth but who cares!
I’m still mega tired but am pacing myself better now & have learnt not to overdo it
Sounds like we’re all facing the challenge of short curly hair....I can already tell as mine grows it’s going to get harder to manage! 😳
Jude &Sue, you’ll know when you’re ready to ditch the wig. For me the trigger was having my hair tinted but it will be different for everyone.
I think it’s fab that we’re all getting involved in walks/runs etc just shows how far we’ve all come!! 👍
Enjoy the long weekend!
I have no idea what to do with my curls either! 😂 parts of my hair are still dead straight parts are curly and in damp weather I’m just one big frizz!! Hoping it starts growing straight soon!!
Well done on signing up for Race for life, I wouldn’t worry about how much time you have to jog atm as you can pretty much run, jog or walk round the fact that you’re doing it is fab 👍🏽.
hope you are all ok & looking forward to the long weekend
well done if you’ve binned off the wig - I’m hoping in another week or so I can go to work without mine...
how’s everyone managing the curls? I’m struggling to style it in any shape or form as some areas are a lot thicker than others
I’m also doing a Race for life in June but since been back at work I’m not managing to go for as many walks/jogs due to a mixture of tiredness & can’t be arsed!
So pleased to hear everyone is doing well and well done to those of you who have ditched the wigs - I'm still mainly wearing mine partly cos my head still gets cold but mainly because I just don't like the grey look! I too am quite curly but I've been told a bit of length will pull it out so fingers crossed.
I've been back at work 4 weeks - still on a phased return but boy I'm knackered. We've also got a guy in doing the bathroom so the house is a dust-fest and he's working over the bank holiday weekend so no chance to relax then either.
I'm also doing the race for life in June with friends who did it last year due to my situation. Unfortunately I'll be walking / hobbling due due to an Achilles tendon injury.
So hopefully you'll all have a lovely break over the long weekend - let's hope we get some good weather 🤞🌞😎
Thanks and yes lovely feeling to ditch the wig, although it served me very well when I needed it 😀 My hair is still very short but can already see it’s going to be very curly so it will be very hard to control as it grows!
I felt exactly the same about wanting to give something back. I have a few family few family and friends joining me too which is lovely. Good for you for signing up for the race for life. 👍
Take care everyone, Cat 😘
Its a great feeling ditching the wig isn’t it and so glad your first day back at work was ok.
Good luck with the walking, I’ve signed up to do Race for life in July - feel like I want to give something back. I was looked after so well during treatment makes you appreciate our NHS so much!
Hope everyone is doing well.
I hope you’re all keeping well.
Jude, the thing about being on Herceptin and Tamoxifen is that your never sure which one is causing which side effect! 😂
It was my my first day back at work today. I’m on a phased return which is good but at the moment I can’t even imagine being able to work full time again! Glad to get the first day over with though. I braved it with my short hair....so wig has most definitely been retired for good!
In other news I’ve signed up to do the Breast Cancer Care Pink Ribbon Walk at Blenheim Palace in a few weeks time so trying to walk a few times a week to build up my stamina! 😀
Take care everyone,
Crikey you had a double whammy - on herceptin & tamoxifen. Obviously it’s great having the targeted therapies to treat the specific cancers but you must have side effects galore!
I’ve just been on some of those hairstyle apps where you attach a hairstyle to your photo to see which style/colour looks good & I've decided I look dreadful with all of them 😂😂
I hope you all had a fabulous weekend in the sunshine.
Jo and Sue, I’ve developed fair downy hair on my face too, no idea why (I’m on Herceptin and Tamoxifen).
Jude, I know what you mean, I feel very conscious about my face being exposed, can’t hide behind my hair anymore! Feel like I have to pay more attention to my makeup now....and there’s no hiding my double chin 😂. Sounds like your hair is growing well, a parting is progress. Hoping mine will start to grow a bit quicker now...although that will mean more frequent trips to the hairdressers!
Take care all, Cat 😘
Hi Jo & Sue
I’ve got very fair hair on my face it’s like a fine down! My cancer was HER2+ so I’m on herceptin rather than tamoxifen. I think it might just be hair growth but it could be due to lack of oestrogen as I’m post menopause
Had my hair coloured today & thinned out at the back in the neck area! Didn’t have it trimmed round my ears today as I’ve decided to let the length start to come down & I’ll just tuck it behind my ears until the layers come down.
I’ve also got a side parting!! But it’s on the opposite side to before as my hair is growing the opposite way - very strange
Take care all
I went out today to buy facial hair removal wax strips!
Like you I’m not sure if it is just the luck of hair that makes it more noticeable. I can’t believe I have actually removed hair from my head.....spent the last few months wishing I had some!
Are you on hormone therapy?i wonder if it is the reduction in oestrogen that is causing it?
Have a good Easter
Congrats to those of you that have braved going wigless - it's a big step isn't it? I went wigless in the Peak District last week but not yet ready to do it at work - partly because my head still gets cold. I'm even still sleeping in the caps I bought over winter.
I too am suffering from joint pain so I've been taking glucosamine and chrondrotin for about 3 weeks now and there has been some improvement. Not heard of the magnesium spray so will look into that.
In other news I seem to be developing facial hair - never had this before and the women in my family aren't particularly hairy so not sure if it's some weird chemo side effect or if it's just a menopause thing or if I've always had a hairy face but just not noticed so much when I had hair.
I'm doing the moving forward course in June - mine is also on a Friday so a good excuse for a long weekend - I've got so much leave to use I'm not sure what to do with it. My partner already gets fewer days than I do and I'm running out of friends to have breaks with - I think I'll need to advertise for people to do spa breaks with 😁.
Have a lovely Easter break all - enjoy that sunshine and chocolate
Well done Cat! Good luck, I hope you feel ok
i went wigless to the pub last week & felt ok - but no one knows me there! Might go to work next week wigless but am very conscious of my frown lines which no one saw previously as I had a fringe...
Have a great Easter 🐣 all & eat lots of chocolate
Well, I am now wigless! I had my hair tinted yesterday for the first time, it’s still very short but I’m going for it.
Val, best of luck for the Radiotherapy, it will fly by once you start.
Enjoy the sunshine and chocolate everyone!
Happy Easter, Cat 😘
my fingernails have been fine but lost 3 toes nails and toenails have also discoloured! Joint pain more of an issue however is does seem much better atm but that might be because I’ve had a week in Mexico not doing very much whereas back home I’m extremely active! Next week will tell 🤨 I too like Jude use the glucosamine and chondroitin tablets snd I think they help ....worth a try.
good luck with radiotherapy ... a walk in the park compared with chemo. Just make sure you use the cream regularly,
Good to hear from you
I lost one toenail but by the time it came off luckily one had grown underneath, it is a little tender but other than that it is fine
Joint pain is tricky, not sure how long it lasts but the glucosamine & chondroitin tablets help. I also saw the other day that magnesium spray helps - I bought some & it does work
Hope your recovery from the ops goes ok.
The radiotherapy isn’t too bad as long as you keep hydrated & use lots of moisturisers
Hi, I have exactly the same thing happening to my finger nails, I’ve had to glue one ad it was breaking half way down. My small toe nail looks pretty awful too, I think it might come off.
i actually can’t back on this thread to see if anyone else was having problems with joint pain, I’m glad to see it’s not just me! I can totally associate with the feeling 90 and creeping along for the first few steps. Does anyone know how long it will last for?
I finished chemo in December like most of you but I’ve still got radiotherapy to come in May, chemo was the first treatment for me followed by surgery, twice, now just a few more weeks to go.
Best of luck to you all, I’ve followed you over the months but not posted much.
Cheers Cat, I might make some enquiries re the course
Tarnia we were on the Caribbean side at Riviera Mayo - enjoy
Sue, well done on going back to work, take it easy, I imagine it will be all too easy to take on too much too quickly.
Jo, Devon sounds fantastic. I'm just back from visiting friends in Dunster (Somerset), another beuatiful part of the country. I'm due to attend the Moving Forward course in May so pleased to hear you found it beneficial.
Jude, I'm wating for the details of the course to come through but I think it's once a week (half day) for 4 weeks. Where I live it's on a Friday.
Tarnia, have a fbulous time in Mexico and yes please do bring the sunshine back!
Take care all, Cat xxx
sue, good to hear you’re back at work with a return to work plan in place. Definitely need time to settle into your normal routine.
Jo, sounds like you’re having a lovely break in Devon - just what the doctor ordered 👍🏼 I went wig free during my radiotherapy treatment as I had to travel quite a distance and no one knew me! It felt great so enjoy the freedom of being wig free ☺️
Jude, when I got diagnosed and was told I needed chemotherapy it suddenly became all about my hair! Hated the thought of losing it I guess like most ladies 😏 so glad we’ve come through it all and it’s all positive now ....hair growing instead of falling out (albeit wild 😂) !
I’m off to Mexico tomorrow for a week for a well earned rest and a bit of sunshine on my bones ☀️
So Adios for now! I will try and bring the sun back for you all.
Hi Sue & Jo
The hair malarkey is quite difficult isn’t it! I’ve not been upset about any of the diagnosis or treatment but my lack of hair dues make me feel emotional!
My latest plan is to ditch the wig after Easter, if I’m brave enough... My wig feels a tad tight now I’ve got some hair underneath.
Dont push yoursekf self too hard with the returning to work, even though I’ve had an holiday I’m still very tired & find it if do 2 things in a day ie go to work & then go out in the evening I am absolutely knackered the next day. It’s all about management.
The moving forward course sounds interesting - is it a one day course or over a few weeks?
hope everyone is ok
Well done for getting back into working ways, another step forward.
We do need to pace ourselves though. I went back to work in Feb but only for 4 hours hours a day and even now Im not really working full time hours, mainly as I have so much leave to take😀
Im away for a short break days with the family down in Devon, having a great time and enjoying being wig free.However, when I’m back at work I will be putting the wig back on....it’s still too short for me for total freedom at work. I will try again in a few weeks.
i attended a BCC moving forward course during March which was really helpful, emotional at times but good for me in the long run. It was so nice to be able to speak openly to others who are going through similar, a bit like this forum.
Taking my girls for a hack across Dartmoor this morning.....well I’m driving them to the stables and the instructor will take them....I might take a walk across the moors while hubby plays golf!
Hope everyone is well. So I've just had my first haircut to get rid of all the fluffy ends. So ive now got a very short pixie cut. I've decided I'm still going to wear the wig for a while though. My hairdresser is still reluctant to colour it and wants me to wait another few months. He's also given me the joyous news that my hair has been naturally grey for 'a few years' but says it's never looked grey at the roots as the highlighted blond has always reflected off the very pale grey. So I'm definitely stuck with the grey though he says it will colour well once it's strong enough to hold the colour.
In other news I started back at work yesterday. Being in the office was fine but getting there for 10am was a chore. I never realised just how much I do everything at a much more leisurely pace than before. 🐌🐌🐌I certainly need to speed up my morning routine again. Thankfully I've got a few more weeks to practice before I need to get myself there for 9. I've been whacked today though so pleased I've decided to do day on / day off for a while.
So how is everyone else doing?
You are right Cat, we have come a long way
I do think this forum has helped a lot, communicating with people who are going through it & understand the mental & emotional side as well as the physical
Friends, family & work have been great but they don’t fully get it however hard they try
Gave a brill weekend evetyone
Agree there are definitely benefits in going back to work with short hair straight away, and hopefully it means getting the questions / conversations out of the way sooner rather than later. Although in my role I work with different people at different times depending on which project I am on so likely to be a while before I see everyone for the first time! I imagine it's going to be quite difficult to have the conversations initially but after a while should get used to it. I know where you're coming from Tarnia, I definitely feel in a very different place now compared to all those months ago. We've all come a long way!
Hair on rest of my body pretty much back to normal now other than under my arms where hair has barely grown back at all so I won't be complaining about that!
Take care all, Cat xxx
your hair looks great! Coming along nicely. Nice and thick too!
Jude my hair is very curly at the back. When it first starting growing the waves looked very 1920’s!!
My body hair is also back to normal! Can’t believe I’ve got to pay to be waxed next week before my holidays 🙄. My eyebrows are back and bottom lashes. Top lashes are short and still a bit gappy 🤨 but getting there!
I was also very anxious about going out and about with short hair but after the first couple of times it became very normal and I stopped even thinking about it! I even explain to people about my diagnosis who comment on it! I feel that now I’ve come through it I can talk about it easier!
Great piece of advice about the wig and people forgetting you are not 100%. That is so true.
i have to remind people that Ive only just come back so going in with short hair will be a constant reminder.
Your hair is coming back really well Jo, you’ve got some height on top & it looking really thick at the back. Yours also seems to be coming back straight, mine has tight waves at the back which is at bit weird
Cat - this might sound strange but one benefit of not wearing a wig will be that people will realise that you are not 100%, as when you are wearing a wig I do think people forget what you’ve been through, so people may be a bit more considered - going back to work is a little tricky mentally (I’ve got list after list to refer to!)
In other hair areas - body & nasal hair nearly back to normal, eyelashes back fully but short & eyebrows are getting there!
Hi Jo and Jude,
Your hairs looking good, I know it’s a big change but it suits you both short. You have both got a little bit more growth than me.
Jo I’m in a similar situation, I work for a large company and whilst a lot of people will know about me, many won’t. I’m hoping that after I have my hair coloured I am confident enough to go without the wig, that’s my current plan anyway...going back to work with my new hairstyle...time will tell!
Take care, Cat 😘
Well I thought I would follow Jude’s example. This is me with my new hair growth! Wig on for me though for work today.
Your hair looks good but I know what you mean about going wig free at work. The thought of that for me is so daunting...I think because I work in a large organisation and people outside of my direct team don’t necessarily know why I was off- I’m sure the jungle drums have been beating but the wig looked good and it wasn’t obvious that I didn’t have any hair. Going back with hair the length of mine is obvious! Need to build up the confidence first.
Jo - enjoy the break, hopefully you will find it really relaxing. My plan was to ditch the wig at work this week as I’d not worn my wig at all on holiday but I just couldn’t ☹️. However I have been to Morrison’s & out for a couple of walks bareheaded so I’m getting there slowly. My latest plan is after Easter to lose the wig, as I will have had it coloured again & hopefully there may be a bit more style to it.
Tarnia - thank you!
Cat - Santorini does look absolutely lovely!
Take care all
Its good to hear your stories of hair growth and holidays. I actually went to the hairdresser yesterday and had a trim of all the straggly bits. Mine hasn’t grown much in length but has just been getting thicker and thicker, which is good.....I think! Hopefully as it as has now thickened up it will start to grow. I’ll go back in about 4 weeks for another tidy up.
I’ve been having the same problem with the wig movement!
Im going away on Sunday for a few days to Devon. Staying at an activity centre - hubby can play golf, kids can go to activities and I can sit around read a book and maybe go for a swim or a gentle relaxation class! I might venture out on a guided walk across Dartmoor. Really looking forward to it, jut nice to have some time away with the family, away from hospitals and treatment.
Even though my hair isn’t that long, I am going to ditch the wig for the week.....eek.....brave the very very, short hair.....eek...just makes life easier with swimming and classes etc. I’m not sure yet though if I am brave enough to back to work without the wig, might need hair to grow some more. I will try and send a picture of my hair growth, but as I am in my PJs and almost ready for bed, I might leave it for another day 😀
Cat you will definitely feel better about your hair when it’s been coloured I know I did and I’m sure you will soon get used to Your new style and just keep telling yourself it will soon grow and be long again - I remind myself everyday 🤗 I’ve also heard it might go straight again too 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼
Jude your hair looks great! Looks nice and thick already and lovely colour too.
I’m been brave & am posting some photos!
The numbers on the photos relate to the week relating to my last chemo so week 1 was a week after & week 20 is this week
So I can see by the photos that my hair has grown a lot but I still feel quite unattractive. Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t drop dead gorgeous before but it has made me realise how much we need our hair to feel good
In a positive note I’ve just about got mascara on today!!
I tried Yoga years ago and couldn’t get to grips with it at all back then but maybe it’s time to try again. I would definitely need a more relaxed group too!
Not sure how long everybody’s hair is, mine is about half an inch and seems to be thickening up nicely…..I hope the Tamoxifen doesn’t counteract that! I'm taking weekly pictures/videos too, good to look back and see progress. I’m having it coloured for the first time on 18th April (can’t wait!) and as long as the colour takes well I plan to ditch the wig from then, will be a big change after long blonde hair for 30 years!
Sue, I’m using a wig liner and it is definitely helping to keep mine in place.
Your phased return sounds sensible. I will have a session with Occupational Health in the next few weeks so hopefully they will suggest something similar.
Tarnia I think it’s quite common for people who had straight hair previously to grow curly hair after chemo (the chemo curl) but it may go straight again eventually, that’s what happened to somebody I know.
Jude, Santorini in September sounds absolutely perfect!
Take care, Cat xxx