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February 2019 chemo starters

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Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Trixie, crying as I read your post. You are definitely doing the right thing, by keeping busy and surrounding yourself with family. I'm day 5 following first cycle and I'm doing fine at the mo, just feel washed out. Both my boys came home from uni for the weekend and we've had a lazy time and I've even baked a banana loaf this morning for them to take back tonight... Though I'm lying down now, knackered now. Will be thinking about you tomorrow and all of you waiting. 

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Oh Trixielady I am right there will all those mixed up emotions. Good luck for tomorrow. I think a productive day is a good idea. Bed changing always gives a sense of achievement. I have two long more weeks to wait before my chemo starts. The waiting is torture. Hope to hear how everything goes and how you feel. 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Morning Trixie, I hadn't realised your chemo was tomorrow, I don't know why, but I'd thought it was the 18th. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you and sending a hug. I'm sure spending time with your family today will help xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Well here goes ! The morning before chemo sat here looking at my keyboard deciding what to write, feeling I'm not even sure what it is I'm feeling is it low, sad, annoyed  anxiety, scared do I even have the right to feel like this as there are people with a lot worse happening to them and having to cope with a lot more  but this is a but and  it's a big but and unfortunately, I now have to admit something awful is happening to me I can't see the keyboard for tears because it will soon be tomorrow and I'm scared and as scared as I've ever been so I've decided to change the bedding, go shopping collect my son from work later today and make is dinner (he doesn't live with us) but having my family around will definitely help. To all you lovely brave strangers I wish you all the love in the world because this is one hell of a journey and theses are wonderful threads. Hopefully I will manage to drink plenty and fast as I read this really helps so here goes xx

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Seaside Sa

I read your blog and thought it was really great. (I posted earlier today or at least I thought I did, I can't have passed the robot test!). My story is very similar although my BC was detected on a routine mammogram. My tumor was 30mm and I decided to have a mastectomy with reconstruction. I have also had a lymph node clearance and I also decided not to do the POSNOC trial. I did have an ONCODX test done (as I am 65 then they will do it with a positive lymph node). My score was 27. I saw the oncologist 2,weeks ago and my experience was very different to yours. He just said oh you have come for chemotherapy this is what you will have these are the sideffects sign here. I will weigh you now. Out in about 5minutes. When I got home I looked up all the drugs and started to panic worrying about if the risks outweighed the benefits. In the end I had to ring my BC nurse for advice. I have to wait until 18 February for chemo, the wait is endless feel as if I am living in limbo. Also my pre chemo check is one hour before my treatment starts so I am not going in prepared. Therefore your blog has been fantastic for me. Please let us know how treatment day goes. 

Like you I stress shop, before Christmas I bought a 65"QLED TV whilst sitting on the settee (now there's a challenge to beat😆). Well my excuse was we had to cancel our holiday to Australia. 

I have also bought makeup, bedding, wigs, and hats. At this rate I will be broke. 

Good luck to you and Trixielady for Tuesday. I will be thinking about you. 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thanks Anniej for your reassurance and helpful tips. I had heard about honey being beneficial and have a local supplier near us so will get some.  I haven’t been given any anti sickness meds yet maybe I will at appt on Thursday. Xxx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi SeasideSar Thankyou for the link to your blog. It does sound as though we will be having similar treatment. I too am having 3 FEC & 3 T but not herceptin and received very similar information. I haven’t been given any meds for nausea or mouth ulcers yet as I’ve seen some have. I’m having a weekend of indulgence, takeaways, meals out & wine 🍷😂 xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi sandraindurham 

I have been having 3 cycles of FEC so haven't had the need to use it yet. I have bought it in preparation for next 3 cycles of THP as it's the T that causes the problem.

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Kitkat, thanks for your post, it was really helpful. Having had one round of EC on Wednesday, I seem to have new symptoms everyday. Today I've had a dead arm and feeling of light headedness on and off. I'm finding it all overwhelming but your post was reassuring xxx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hello ladies, just popping in to say that while I am sorry you find yourself on here, welcome to the club! It is great as a support group and if you read previous months threads you will get lot of your questions answered. Feel free to drop in to other threads with any queries as someone will have been there and done that. I found that this time before you start is probably the worst bit as you really don't know what to expect, followed by the first cycle because you don’t know what your new normal is going to be, so if it helps I would offer the following:-

Don’t suffer in silence, if your team don’t know you have a problem they can’t help fix it and they have lots they can do so don’t wait til your next appointment to discuss.

Drink, drink, drink, chemo is quite dehydrating and I find I need to drink 3 litres starting the day before you are dosed (to plump your veins) for 3 days (flushes the chemo out) then at least 2 litres a day throughout.

Keep a diary of how you feel throughout with chemo day being day1. This gives you evidence to talk to your team but also helps with getting ahead of any side effects before they kick in, as on further cycles you will recognise the pattern e.g. constipation (usually caused by anti nausea meds, needs to be treated asap). Don't worry that you are going to feel ill all the time for the next few months - there will be good days and weeks during your treatment and keeping the diary will help you identify and plan for them. 

Cold capping or not, everyone dreads losing their hair which is such a big part of our identity. For those who don’t cold cap, many of us found that the worrying about when and if to shave was the worst part and actually doing it brought a huge sense of relief, but do what is right for you if and when the time comes

I notice a few queries about nails and having just completed 4 fec my nails are longer and stronger than they have been for years. That’s because I have started using rubber gloves, and a good quality hand cream and nail oil several times a day without any polish. It is the T that does the damage apparently and I will be trying polybalm and/or dark polish during the next phase of treatment.

Wishing you all well ladies, keep talking and we will get through this x

 

 

 

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Seaside Sa.

I have just been reading your blog and really enjoyed it. It brought back so many memories and feelings of my own cancer experience. Some the same and a few different. Mine was diagnosed from a routine mamogramme in October. It was bigger than yours 30mm so  I decided to have a mastectomy and reconstruction (not an easy decision and my pain and recovery  have been challenging) Like you I also decided against the POSNOC  trial but did do the ONCO DX trial (I am 65 so having a positive lymph node was acceptable for the trial) .My score came back as 27 so I am now waiting for FEC-T to start on 18th February. My oncologist appointment was nowhere near as informative as yours he just said oh you have come to me for chemotherapy here are the sideffects let me weigh and measure you, job done. I spent the next 4 days worrying whether to have the chemo after reading all the awful sideffects. In the end I had to ring my BC nurse to discuss my worries. I am not having my pre chemo appointment until an hour before my treatment begins which I think seems a bit pointless. So it's great to read your experience as it gives me something to work with to prepare myself. I am not sure about the cold cap as I spoke to my hairdresser and she said in her experience the hair is not good and grows back better when shaved. But I am still not sure. I have bought 2 wigs though and hats. Like you I am a stress shopper. I bought a 65" QLED TV before Christmas whilst sitting on my settee (now you need to beat that!). I look forward to reading more episodes of your blog, please write about your day on Tuesday. Good luck I will be thinking about you and Trixielady. 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi DiKat, does it really work?

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Stargazer1, yes I could not find anywhere else, so I will buy it from the website, if it is a way of helping my daughter's nails.

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Morning Seaside sar, I've read your blog and you appeared to get a lot more information then myself. Like yourself I start my first round of Fec on Monday the Nurse said she wouldn't go into the T just yet!! Like you I already know that herceptin will start with my first T, but I'm also having an injection with Fec to help my White blood cells as they are already low. The nurse said nothing about getting bloods before appointment so hopefully she will say more on Monday .I got One Netupitant/Palonoestron of which will cover me for 5 days & 2 Dexamethasone to take One hour before chemo on Monday. & free parking,my voucher was £150. Best of luck that all goes well on Tuesday xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Stargazer 1 - It looks like you and I will be going through this at the same time. Please let us know how it goes. How many cycles of FEC are you having? I'm having 3 FEC and 3 T along with Herceptin.

 

There was certainly a lot of information to take in at the pre-chemo apointment. I have put all the detail into my blog which you are welcome to read: 

 

https://breastcancer1.home.blog

 

I started writing the blog because I wanted to keep track of everything that was happening. I hope it will help some of you going through the same thing.

 

Hope you all have a good weekend with minimal or preferrably no worries. X

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hello lovely Feb Ladies,

 

just popped in from Oct 18 chemo to wish you all the best for your treatments this month. I will be have my last chemo this month, ⚡️🤪🎉but I can sympathise with you all at the the beginning of your journey. It’s hard but doable! 💪👍

 

Chins up! 😉

 

Keep safe.

Hugs x

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Ladies,

 I am 49 years old. I am married with 2 teenagers and I am a full time special needs teacher (currently signed off). 

I am grateful for my my friends, family and the breast care team here in Sussex.

 I am grateful for this forum too as I wouldn’t have voluntarily taken up this adventure!!!!

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thanks Trixielady,

did you swim during chemotherapy? I used to swim x3 every week but I have currently frozen my membership.  

I have been advised against swimming during chemotherapy.

I am walking and doing a daily routine of stretching instead.

 I also massage my arm from hand upwards (in the shower, at bedtime).

 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Stargazer1

I bought the poly balm direct from their website. You need 2 tubes as you have to use one for fingers and one for toes. It says it only lasts for 2 months once opened x

Community Champion

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi everyone, just popping in from the May 2017 thread to wish you all good luck.🍀 Emend was prescribed for me pre chemo session and i found it wonderful. No sickness at all. Just remember to take all your meds as prescribed. Do get as organised as possible with care and comfort items. Some ladies will just sail through, and for others it will be more strenuous . I found excellent toothpaste, natural  deoderants and Manuka honey 15+ at that big shop we all know and love. Wait for the penny sale for the honey, though. Never had any mouth ulcers or thrush taking a tea spoonful every day. As my hospital recommended Aveeno cream I just changed all my bath stuff to that brand. My best ever pressy from a friend were a handful of baby terry face mits. So lovely and soft for a quick wipe down when you're wiped out! Best of luck ladies, it's not easy but doable. X

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Trixielady 

Thanks for the info pre chemo. I suppose it will be similar everywhere. I have already bought a tympanic thermometer to monitor my temperature. At least you got your info before your chemo mine is just an hour before they attack me. Well I am sure it will be ok. I am glad you like your wig. The waiting is never ending I almost feel envious of everyone starting before me as at least you will have one done out of the way. 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Are you looking for the poly balm? I am too, I can only find it on their actual website where you have to buy 2 tubes for £39, I can’t find it on amazon xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Sarah

Lovely to hear from you. Im starting FEC on Thursday. I feel a little prepared, I haven’t been given any medications yet, maybe I’ll get them on the day. 

Im going to try the cold cap too, I’m so hoping it will work. 

Theres a lot to take in at pre-chemo appt isn’t there, it felt like brain overload! I’ve been scouring the forums & the Internet for every tip possible to help, it’s such unknown territory.

Good luck for Tuesday, if you are up to it let us know how you get on. 😘😘

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi, could not find at amazon, do you know where I can find this? Thank you

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Good luck, Sarah, keep us posted Smiley Happy

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi everyone,

 

I'm Sarah and I was diagnosed with grade 3, HER 2+, ER+, ductal invasive breast cancer in October last year. So far I've had a lumpectomy with 2 lymph nodes removed, followed by a full axillary lymph node clearance as one of my nodes was positive. 

 

Today I had my pre-chemo appointment and I will be starting my first cycle of FEC on Tuesday 5th February. The nurse gave me Emend to to take on the day to prevent nausea and she went through lots information with me, including what to bring, etc. I have decided to try the cold cap, so I will be taking painkillers beforehand to combat the ice cream headache!

 

I am feeling quite well prepared at the moment but I wil let you know how it goes.

 

Good luck to all of you starting treatment this month/going through treatment at the moment.

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Rosina, this is a lovely forum very supportive , my doctors advised that If applying cream or massageing do it from the hand upwards  never carry your shopping bags on the affected arm, exercise it slowly and don't let it hang down unnecessary,I found swimming helpful breast stroke  Good luck for starting your chemo, hope you get a better valentine's present next year xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi MBJ, it amazing how the word chemo works, pleased you're getting yourself sorted, my doctors been great. Booking in went well weight, height, bloods medical history ailments. Voucher for wig, mouth wash, steroids & anti sickness tablet for Monday and a free parking arrangement, oh and a red emergency alert card and an oncologist appointment for after first chemo. She also highlighted the serious risk of an infection & the importance of checking your temperature no higher than 37.5 lucky all this information is given via leaflet because my head was done in, I think this was the first day since being diagnosed it felt real. I got my wig today and for now actually love it

Neecy hope your chemo is going OK? and you get plenty of sleep it's awful not sleeping well, xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thanks, I am doing a daily routine called the Core Program ( by Peggy Brill) discovered her book at my local Waterstones when I needed to recover from my c- section in my early 30s. I am 49 now and still doing the routine. Adding in more arm stretches. 

ktk
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Rosina, I was talking to a cancer physio yesterday. She said keep moving and stretching. Avoid heavy lifting especially for a long time. Obviously you need to try to avoid cuts and risk of infection. Kxx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hello, I am starting chemotherapy on Valentine’s Day.  I have had a lumpectomy, lymph node biopsy and a lymph node clearance. Daily exercise sorted out the cording which developed after the second operation. I am worried about lymphodema developing in my right arm. Apart from daily exercise and keeping the arm mobile is there anything else I should be doing?

ktk
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Polybalm is what was recommended to prevent nail damage. I think you can get it on Amazon. 

ktk
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi ladies. Just popped over from June!  It will be the steroids keeping you awake. Don’t fight it and nap when you can in the day. It is Docetaxol that is bad for your nails, something about uv light which is why dark polish may help. It is worth a go, although my nails didn’t start to look bad until about six weeks after I had finished!!  There is something else that was recommended but it was too late for me. I’ll see if I can find the info for you. Kxx

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thanks for the good wishes Neecy. I feel much better today. Now realise how awful I have been feeling and trying to carry on as normal. How miserable to be awake so early. Hopefully you will have a better night tonight. So many things we have to contend with now that we never thought about before. 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi MBJ, I hope you feel better soon with anti B's, great you got seen quickly. Who would have thought chemo opened so many doors?!! I've been awake for 2 hours, I think it's the dexamethasone effect I got after chemo. X

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Trixielady and everyone. 

Well I thought I should ring the GP today as my cough is no better. As soon as I mentioned starting chemo I had an appointment in less than 20 mins. Needless to say it was not with the GP but the nurse practitioner but she was great examined me and I now have antibiotics and feel better already. I should have gone sooner .But we get convinced today that everything is viral. So hopefully I will stop coughing soon. 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Good luck stargazer1 for Wednesday, hopefully you'll have fun trying on some wigs too, I found it very difficult at first but I'm pleased I didn't by the first two as once I got home I hated them, I took photos. Saying that I can't believe how fantastic they actually look but on other people not me ! Think I decided on one called Infinity from natural image but if I'm getting another might just order from the Internet. Yes there's a lot of information regarding fasting and dietary requirements on the previous forums that may help xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

MBJ, it's nice to know a little bit about the ladies we're texting so thank you, I'm 50 and have a son 28 he lives nearby. I've been married twice it'll be 13 years this year. I previously managed a day centre for the elderly and people with other issues. I currently work has a Team leader looking after elderly clients with dementia.

I'm so mixed up about the possibility of losing my hair, I've tried on various wigs having a cry & laugh with family, friends but as soon as I think I've decided I change my mind, so my hubby & my mam are coming yet again to see another wig tomorrow after my appointment. I keep telling myself it's only hair !!! Xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hello MBJ & Neecy, pleased your first session was OK, yes it's awful having to cancel our holidays laddies but at least we can enjoy them when we're recovering . I have a lhas abso and she's keeping me busy she's beautiful but when she was a puppy it was full on training her.Hubster is probably a wise man but I suppose he could do all the training for the next 5 months  , Neecy I read fasting was good to help with constipation and sickness as I suffered after surgery thought I'd consider trying . MBJ hopefully by the time your chemo starts your cold will be gone its worrying incase it set back your start date, My blood count was low when I seen my oncologist so I'm keeping my fingers crossed all is OK for Monday . It's strange at the moment being off work, I've never really been off work before and can't get used to the fact that at the moment I still feel very well but knowing all is about to change maybe ! They also said drinking plenty of water before & after, I've got a box of tricks ie: chewing gum, sugar free sweets, hand gels,, toilet wipes and so on suggested by ladies from other threads, still need a thermometer. Will be thinking about you all going through this journey so take care and stay as well and germ free as you can xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Have another try next chemo session Neecy, hubby might cave in eventually! Smiley Happy x

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Jencat, yes I have got them on thanks and a couple of anti sickness meds to take. I have a long way to go in persuading hubby to get a pet but will keep trying! 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Jencat, yes I have got them on thanks and a couple of anti sickness meds to take. I have a long way to go in persuading hubby to get a pet of any kind! 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Neecy, glad your first chemo has gone ok and you're not feeling too bad. Did you try the travel sickness bands?

A pupppy sounds a great idea! Smiley Happy I know of a few people who got kittens whilst they were going through chemo! xx

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Morning all, well done Neecy in completing your first sesssion I am so pleased it that went ok, the unknown is so scary. MBJ, I have a wig appt on Weds the day before my first FEC chemo, I’m going to try using the cold cap but was advised to get one as well. We too had to cancel a holiday, a big family one to South Africa, thankfully we were all covered by travel insurance & South Africa just like Australia isn’t going anywhere! Trixielady, I haven’t heard about fasting, is that meant to help. I am having nails painted on Tuesday, I’ve seen that some ladies have gel but I thought only paint was advisable? I have just had my eyebrows microbladed too. Any tips to help get through it would be very much appreciated 😘😘😘😘

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi everyone, I had my first chemo yesterday. It was epirubicin and cylophosphamide. I was nervous as you can imagine and had a headache from the night before which didn't help but the staff were great and spent the entire time convincing hubster I need a puppy to help my recovery, so it was all light hearted. It took around 2 hours in total. I felt nauseous but had 3 lots of different anti emetics and by this morning, I feel fine. Good luck to you all having your first chemo in the coming weeks. Xxx

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Good Morning Trixielady. 

Yes I was disappointed when I had my date for chemo as waiting is very hard. Like you I am going to try the dark nails. I might treat myself to the salon the weekend before I start. I usually have gellish nails so will be horrible having to wait for them to dry this time. I am not sure about the fasting I need to look into the evidence base for it a bit more. I have had a really heavy cold and into my third week of a really horrid productive viral cough. So hoping the 2 week wait will give me time to get over it. My pre assessment is on the same day as my treatment one at 9am and then start chemo at 10 am. Good luck for yours. Please post how it went and any tips of what I should take with me would be greatfully received. 

I have got 2 wigs one is a Bob with longer sides and the second one is longer and fuller. It's really nice it's hand tied and I can use heat on it so heated rollers here I come. I am older will be 65 in March I live with my lovely husband  we have been married for 44 years. We have 2 children  and 2 grandchildren. Our daughter and grandchildren live in Abu Dhabi. We also have a dog and two cats. I am a retired university lecturer, my background is nursing and health visiting. We have just built a beautiful new house which we have lived in for a year. Oh and just cancelled a fantastic holiday to AustraliaSmiley Sad maybe next year???? 

Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Morning MBJ, it's a strange feeling trying on wigs, I've tried on a few and going back to buy one after my booking in appointment tomorrow some call it pre assessment my first FEC is Monday. How are you managing to cope with waiting for the 18th ? are you still working ? do you have children? or animals to keep you busy ?. I've been reading a lot on these threads  so might start fasting and painting my nails xx Good luck xx

MBJ
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Thank you for all your replies. I do feel better today. I have now had a date for the 18th February for my first chemotherapy appointment. A long three weeks to wait. On a lighter note had another wig delivered today very nice but the colour was a bit dark I am a very light blonde (not naturally ha ha). So I have sent it back and ordered another one in a lighter shade. Good wishes to you all.
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Good gracious, MBJ, you ARE amazing! Soon this will be a distant nightmare, you will see, and soon you will be strong enough to partyyyyy Smiley Happy
Keeping you in my thoughts
Member

Re: February 2019 chemo starters

Hi Stargazer1, my daughter starts on the 11th, and we are completely petrified.
Let us know how it went, I am keeping my fingers crossed for you, you are strong and amazing and you will get through.