Member
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-02-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

What a difference a few days can make! Now at day 10 of my 3rd cycle of FEC. Plunged down into the abyss on Monday - felt so drained and low that I barely moved all day. Was only marginally better on Tuesday but thankfully since Wednesday have been rapidly improving and feeling pretty good today. Sadly I have been plagued with thrush - the downstairs kind as the local pharmacist put it! Even after the medication it has been so itchy that I found myself at 5.30 this morning applying yoghurt to my nether regions just to get some relief!! Why couldn't I just have had the mouth ulcers again - the mouthwash is so much easier to manage!
Still have hair but now also have a random mostly bald patch on one side. Took ages to realise that it's the side I mostly sleep on and the hair is just rubbing off. Still not that comfortable with the wig so have started wearing a scarf to cover it. However I am going out for lunch with the girls tomorrow and may just give the wig a proper outing.
I am heading to the office today for a wee catch up and lunch which should be fun and might bring back some feeling of normality. It'll probably also make me feel quite glad to be off as they're preparing to move out to different premises and are frantically busy. One of my jobs today is to pack up my desk. Hope I don't find anything nasty!
Thanks all for letting me offload. It's good to know that I'm not alone xx
Enjoy your weekend and hope everyone gets a bit of sunshine xx
Member
Posts: 420
Registered: ‎01-01-2010

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Predictive text changed Bibi to Bobo! Oops!! 😂
Member
Posts: 420
Registered: ‎01-01-2010

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Bobo
Good point re:crop tops and mastectomy. You’re right, movement is tricky immediately after that, especially if lymph nodes taken, so front opening clothes and bras are best in those early days. I used the crop tops for my lumpectomy and sentinel node removal, which wasn’t so invasive, and because my surgeon wanted me to wear a bra night and day for 3 weeks to support the surgical layering he’d done. As a result, I have no dent at all! Arm exercises after mastectomy are vital, and really worth it. I used to flex while watching telly. Smiley Happy

Macneech, this is one place I can share this stuff and know there will be people who understand. In real life, some just don’t know how to react! I’m philosophical about things. What is meant to be, will be. I’m just inordinately grateful I’m getting so much amazing treatment, for free, to keep me alive. My gran died of this, in the 1960’s, at my age. I’d be dead too, if treatments hadn’t advanced so much. We’ve a lot to be thankful for.
Member
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎22-01-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Morning everyone - doesn’t the sun lift your mood ? 🌞😍😀

Macneech hope you continue to feel well - I had 2 great days after T and then hit a bad low when steroid high had gone - so take care of yourself xxx

Flora thanks for the reminder about hydration - it really does help .

Interested to know if you were able to get the soft crop bras on easily after mastectomy- could you lift your arm easily to manoeuvre? Heard it’s quite hard to lift arm high so looking at getting bras easy to get on and off and shirts to wear. I will be having a mastectomy in a couple of months - don’t know what they offer at the hospital I’m under so interested to hear about people’s experiences.

Hope your return to work goes smoothly xx

Have a great weekend everyone - I’m off to a college reunion to see my friends from 40 years ago! Should be fun . 

Stay well x 

Member
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎21-01-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Flora - glad you are feeling mostly normal and back to work is on the horizon.I have heard that although radiotherapy is easier to cope with it can still be exhausting. Was hoping to work through mine but a long way off to me yet.

Thank you for the advice re mastectomy bras.

So sorry about your pregnancy difficulties - another reason to hate this disease.You are amazingly strong to share all this on here.

I had my first T yesterday and so far feel ok! High on steroids I think.Had an unexpected good night sleep too with no aches and pains yet.Did take cocktail of anti sickness and painkillers plus  Loratidine however.Not even a hint of nausea and eating well - not sure if this will continue with steroid drop tomorrow 😞.

Hope everyone else is doing ok xxx

 

Member
Posts: 420
Registered: ‎01-01-2010

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Ladies and welcome Annie

Like Miss Green, I've been a bit quiet of late, but more because I feel mostly fine apart from 4-5 days of bone aches after each chemo (which is the T many of you are now moving on to).   

 

I've just had my final treatment, as I only needed 4 of them, as the main aim was to get me onto the herceptin.    My first cancer was aged 36 (I'm now 45, and this is a new primary, not a recurrence), but no children. I was trying to get pregnant when I found the lump, but bthe first round of chemo put paid to that, and an urgent, single round of IVF to freeze an egg didn't work.

 

At today's treatment, they did the herceptin first, and after that as they were putting the cannula in (2 attempts needed), I had a low blood pressure crash.  I went woozy, distant, hot and my BP dropped to 97/54. I guess that's what it feels like to faint, although I didn't black out.    I came back OK, obs for an hour, drink more water, then they gave me the abraxane (which is taxotere/docetaxel in a fancy format) when my BP came up to 105/67.   It was either an allergic reaction to the herceptin (but this was my 4th, so unlikely), or I was dehydrated. So, the lesson is, make sure you drink plenty the day before and the day of treatment!  I think I had forgotton that yesterday. 

 

M&S is the easiest source for mastectomy bras. They have quite a range, and they are reasonably priced.  You can claim the VAT back on mastectomy bras too, as they are medical aids.  You'll probably get given a 'softie' insert initially (like a little pillow!), but I found it rode up as you moved about.  The proper sillicone prosthetic is heavier and sits more nicely, but I found that I needed higher tops as you're missing cleavage and the gap feels obvious, especially when you lean forward.  The mastectomy bras also tend to be fuller than other bras.   I had reconstruction (back flap) 3 years after my initial mastectomy and am really pleased with it.  I didn't bother with creating a new 'nipple'. Ain't no-one but my husband gonna see it!   M&S also do some slip on bra vest/crop top type things, which I used after my WLE this time around to give gentle support.   I'll probably revert to these again during radiotherapy if I get sore. http://www.marksandspencer.com/2-pack-non-wired-crop-bras/p/p20138158?image=SD_02_T33_7001A_YZ_X_EC_...

 

I'll be back to work in 2 weeks, but will do a kind of phased return - basically, I'll be sensible and do what I can, and my boss trusts me to do the right thing.   I'll do short days during radiotherapy, which starts on 10th May. 

 

Best wishes to everyone, especially those moving on to the next stage.   xxxx

Member
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎17-12-2017

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Oh macneech you have made me laugh so much with the Dennis healey eyebrows and hair ! Great comments!

i was brave yesterday had to go into work for another sick review they do them every 4 to 6 weeks (do others have this harassment?) and when I saw the girls I work (ed) with I showed my head ! 

 

The look good course is fab . I also attended the breast care workshop in Solihull west mids that was good too but a shame so far away as too far to remain in contact with people who attended.

 

Good luck to everyone I too got oncol appointment Friday to discuss the T part of chemo on Tuesday will be interesting macneech if I have Gcfs as they are not too keen here have had 3 doses for last 2 cycles but only because I asked as was neutropenic and chemo was delayed.

 

kitty75 the reiki is at a local cancer support group I don’t hear from the bcn at our hospital think they are really busy.

 

hugs to all xxxx

Member
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎21-01-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Well - went to the Macmillan 'look good feel better ' session this afternoon.Good for a laugh if nothing else!Came out plastered in make up(applied by oneself)!! Lovely big mirrors but difficult with fuzzy/ drippy eyes,some Dennis Healey eyebrows and gappy eye lashes.Should be grateful I suppose for some hair hanging on🤔(still got some on the wrong places though which is annoying).

It was interesting how some ladies there were hairless,some had very convincing wigs.One lady promptly took her wig off at the table when we sat down - she says she struggled to keep it in place,we were able to give her some tips.It was a bit like the Specsavers advert (long haired guinea pig in this case)-lol. I don't have the courage to de- wig in public yet.

Came away with a lovely bag of goodies😁.

 

Member
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎22-01-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Macneech that is great news about the shrinkage of your tumour 👏👏👏

Welcome Annie - hope you find the thread useful for support - I have .

I feel for all you ladies coping with all this and also having your young children to look after - tough times but sure you are getting lots of love from them to help you cope.

My baby ( she’s 26 lol) has been home for a couple of days and that has certainly helped to lift my spirits. 

Heart scan this week for me to check effects of chemo on it 🤞it won’t be too much.

Have a good week everyone xxx

Member
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎21-01-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Welcome Annie, - hopefully you will find like the rest of us that posting on this site helps, even if it is just to have a good rant or just to share the horrible bits we are going through.

I too am a nurse - a palliative care nurse of all things.Really scary being on the other side!

Like you,I  am doing Fec T.Have had a 8cm grade 3 tumour that I didn' even feel.Had onc review today following 3rd Fec - tumour shrunk to 3cm - whoop whoop! 1st T weds - again like you bit scary not knowing what side effects I might experience but know like our fellow Feb chemo girls - we will get through it!!

I have got to have right mastectomy and axillary clearance - hopefully early July,then radiotherapy so we can discuss mastectomy bras nearer the time.

Thinking of everyone having chemo this week - have my survival kit ready for T. Loratidine,Brufen,Lansoprazole,(double steroids- urgh!),Been told I shouldn't need Emend this time as shouldn't feel as sick 😕.Will have Ondansetron ( prunes seem to work for me ).Have Aveeno moisturizing cream.Oh and 7 days of Gcfs  injections for me - had 5 days previously. 

Big hugs to everyone xx

Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎24-01-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Thank you for your lovely comments!! Glad to see theres a few nurses in here, i Have struggled to seperate the nurse from the patient lol. But im getting better. I havnt even started looking at masectomy bras? 🙈.
Highlighted
Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎27-02-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi everyone

Sorry have been very quiet on here for past 4 weeks been really struggling with side effects and feeling really down. It's nice to know I m not alone and am sorry everyone seems to be struggling a bit.
I'm now due my 4th TC on Weds and have only really felt well since weekend. Although have terrible swollen legs and fluid retention am really breathless and feel 99 yrs old as I reach top of stairs!!
Easter holidays were tricky with my children think they are over mummy being unwell! It' goes on for so long doesn't it? Was diagnosed in Dec and I think they want things back to normal as do I!

Welcome Annie I too am a nurse and have 3 children 13,11 and 7.

Cuddles great news about tumour reduction. Great to know chemo is working. I too would love to run away to the hills.

Weeburd aveeno cream is fab isn't it. Constipation is just the worse. I used senna this cycle which helped a lot. Think it's the ondansetron which is so constipating not forgetting the rest of poison they are giving us!

Chrissy glad to hear your on the list for counselling and reiki sounds lovely. Did you get that through your BCN?

Macneech and Bibi I too will join your drippy gang drippy eyes drippy nose and sometimes a drippy bladder another gorgeous side effect!

Good luck Bibi with your counselling hope you find it helpful.

Miss Green hope your arm is feeling better now. So unfair to have more injections on top of everything else.

Take care everyone let's hope the sun helps lift everyone's mood..
Member
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎16-05-2014

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Welcome to this fabulous thread Annie.

I had my mastectomy and immediate tram flap reconstruction back in 2003 when I too was 33 but I had it before chemo. Afterwards I found wearing sports bra helped, I don't have a sporty bone in my body lol, but as the months passed I slowly moved to normal underwear bras. I am sure you will find what's best for you.

T

xx
Member
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎17-12-2017

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi Annie welcome to the thread and guess what I’m a nurse and there are quite a few other nurses on here too . That is a concern is it a NHS Thing LOL !
Glad to here you not been too bad I too am due to start T soon but have been really ill with FEC . I have a 12 and 16 yr old so GCSEs this year .
Let’s hope if you’ve not been too bad you’ll manage with the T part . Good luck .
There’s quite a few of you due to have mastectomy well I had mine first probably in hindsight I should have done chemo first as I’m triple negative with node involvement . So anyone who wants to know about surgery feel free to ask me .

I’ve had right mastectomy and reconstruction and sentinel node biopsy but unfortunately have node involvement so now need radio. So after my radio I may have more surgery to remove other nodes. I’m also having repeat bone scan end May as lumbar changes seen . So I’m keeping my fingers crossed and it’s a shame I had reconstruction as the radio may cause capsular contraction .

Anyway I wanted to say I was advised to buy front opening bras they were brilliant and comfortable and when I’m better I can use them again for exercise (which I feel is in my dreams at the mo !)
I ordered them off eBay and Amazon . They had removable pads in them and if wanted could put a softie in it. I’m now 4 months post surgery and back in normal bras but no underwire. George is very good and much cheaper for bras to .

Anyway good luck can’t believe how much Tumor has shrunk cuddles that’s fantastic news.

Weeburd I found movicol great for constipation and works quickly.

I rang back cancer support again and have got date in June for reiki so looking forward to that and on waiting list for counselling .

Good luck everyone I’m on my last week of feeling normal then back to it again x
Member
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎24-01-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi everyone. I have only just found this thread!! My name is annemarie (annie) dx on 7th feb with inflammatory breast cancer with lymph node involvement. At the age of 33. I am a registered nurse and have two young kids who are 11 and 10. I started chemo pretty much straight away on the 16th feb. Ive now finished the fec part of the treatment and will start the t part and herceptin this thursday and Friday. Feel like im on the home straight now. Had the typical hair loss and incrrased fatigie but other than that i have been well. Ill have a single masectomy june/july time then radio therapy after that. Then hormone treatment and herceptin to continue 😒.its been a lot to deal with and im scared of how ill cope with the next lot of chemo
Member
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎08-02-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi all, oh gosh what a journey this is... 5 days after 3rd EC constant dizzyness weakness and nausea. I do flag sometimes. But at least I had 4 weeks to recover after 2nd one and had some good days to weed and plant my garden. 1.9 cm tumour has reduced by 4 mms so that's something positive. Yes the port picc line thing does ache a bit but I try to ignore.
Bald head gets quite sweaty with hot flushes. Real urge to run away from all this and frolic free in the hills but I'll be good and stay. Lots of love to all and thank you for your stories.
Member
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-02-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Seems like everyone is having issues of some kind as we go along. I'm on day 5 cycle 3 of FEC feeling sensitive all over. All the skin around my jaw line and across my shoulders is sore to touch. Having to cover myself in Aveeno cream otherwise itching all the time. Appetite has been up due to the steroids I think but getting heartburn. Fortunately that's resolved with Tesco's own brand indigestion tablets. Bad constipation this time round has led to sore bottom and a tear - gave myself a fright with blood on the tissue paper. Feeling a bit sorry for myself! But I am halfway through the treatment so it's not all bad. If only the promised good weather would come along!
Thanks for sharing ladies it's good to know that I'm not alone xx
Member
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎22-01-2018

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi everyone- all the things we write about show our shared concerns and problems on this horrid journey.

Jude - bras 😬 I am looking at post surgery bras ready for after my mastectomy- a few months away yet but having a look - apparently if you are a large cup size like me you obviously don’t like pretty bras - at least in M and S - it’s v annoying. Will have to have a look online - trouble is I like to try them on as you can never be sure of sizes from shop to shop. 

Macneech- drippy nose, drippy eyes here too - then sore nose from coping with wiping drippy nose . 

Chrissy - hope you get your acid stomach sorted - I take omeprazole too and find it really good .

In terms of mental well being I think I am finding it harder and harder, feeling low and really fed up with it all at times - but yes the sun does help. Chrissy I hope you manage to get some support- I also phoned my local cancer support centre as they offer counselling and have managed to get an appointment this week. Never tried counselling before , a bit nervous about it but hoping it will help me. 

Have a good week everyone- I feel almost back to normal ( day 11 of  round 4  - 1st round of Docetaxol, Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab) 

Take care x

Member
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎17-12-2017

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hello everyone
Sorry been quiet been in my chemo coma first day out yesterday In 12 after 3rd FEC .
Some of you sound how I’ve been feeling obviously the horrible symptoms as everyone else but yes Jude the feeling of low is horrible isn’t it . On Tuesday I rang a local cancer support place to see if some counselling may help no one has returned my call !
Luckily the cloud lifted with the sun yesterday and I am feeling happier. So hang in there everyone keep telling yourself it’s temporary and I’m sure the weather doesn’t help when it’s so gloomy.
I’ve had the most horrendous heart burn rang unit increased lansoperazole to twice a day but not helped then rang again told need to change so had a bit of hassle getting,had to go to gp in the end on omperazole it’s helping abit but still not brilliant. It’s horrible not enjoying food .
Anyway my last week of feeling alive til I start docetaxel on 24th x
Good luck to everyone it’s so funny for 2 weeks my bank account doesn’t get used and now I feel better I’ve been spend spend spend !!
Member
Posts: 92
Registered: ‎16-05-2014

Re: February Chemo Starters 2018

Hi all

Glad to hear your last cycle hasn't been so bad Jude. Good luck with the Docetaxel Macneech and you're right we all seem to be effected in different ways.

Bibi the tummy troubles settled down thank heavens.

So despite having 5 days of injections my arm is still swollen and sore from the blood clots that have blocked the veins my PICC is in. Admittedly it's not as bad as it was so that must be a good sign. So that on top of, nausea, sore mouth, horrible taste in my mouth and sore hands I am still battling with the mental side of things. I'm sure I am not the only one.

Yesterday the sun was out and I left the house as cabin fever had definitely in. The sun seemed to make everthing seem okay. Plus my boyfriends Mum gave me some Aveeno cream for my hands and it's made a difference already. Highly recommend it.

Hug n love to all

T

xx