Many thanks for the replies; it is so so good to be able to share on here isn't it!
Do many or any of you have sleeping problems during chemo? My treatment is to be FEC T with herceptin and bi-phosphates with, and radiotherapy too after chemo. No hormone involvement. I'm having sleepless nights already with the stress, and the oncologist suggested I I obtain some zopiclone from my GP. Are there any rules about who supplies drugs? (I mean GP or hospital?) I'm off to the GP tomorrow morning to ask about a few health niggles I want to check out before I start the chemotherapy, e.g. A rash that is very itchy and close to bleeding, and may be an infection risk. Just want to go in to all of this with as much of a head start as I can.....
And well done one to those who have braved getting shaved! Let's all hope that we only have to do all of this once in our lives!!
Thanks again GG x
I did have further tests after surgery......a bone scan and a ct scan. But it was because my lump was quite large, 45 mm. My oncologist said they normally do them if the area is 50mm or more and so , as I was near, she did them anyway, just to be on the safe side. Luckily all clear.
The chemo will do it's job by killing off any stray cancer cells. The radiotherapy will target the specific area and again will kill off any stray cells. You are having all the right treatment and the oncologist will do all the right things for you.
I hope this reassures you.
Thank you ktk too; I really appreciate your reply.
Can I ask another question here please? When I saw the oncologist, I asked about having a further scan, as surgery showed a grade 3, HER2+ve, hormones -ve 29mm tumour and 2 lymph nodes involved plus some micro metastasis. The biopsy was taken in late May, so I asked about another scan as it is now at least 6 weeks ago. Have had a few pain and breathlessness episodes so am a bit concerned about possible further spread. The oncologist started to shake her head before the end of my question, and said they would not be doing any more scanning.... and yet I hear on forums that others have had these. The tumour grew 4mm in about 2 weeks so of course I am wanting to rule out anything else before chemo. I am going to speak to breast care nurses too on Monday and also seeing my GP about the extra symptoms...
Thank you Sue C,
That has already reassured me....... I feel like I am on the starting line for a long and gruelling race, but things just keep stalling the start. I do want to lose some weight (not loads, just a bit....) get ready and prepare as best I can, so yes, I will take your advice about meals and head coverings. I'm especially concerned about having steroids, as I know they can pile weight on and as I already struggle with weight, it's seems just another thing to add to the cancer. I do read the forum with interest, as people here know the ropes. I'm finding that people I know are all over their own 'shock' at my diagnosis, and they so often ask 'when do you start the chemo?' but then they seem to lose interest when I say I don't know yet!! Thanks for reading xx
And welcome to the forum thread.
My chemo started 6 weeks after surgery , which I think is about average. I was told it needs to start within 12 weeks. I managed to speed things up slightly by signing the consent form on the day of the oncologist appointment. She did say go away and think about it, but for me, there was nothing to think about. I just wanted to get on with it.
Use the time to prepare and relax. The first week of chemo is the toughest and you may not want to do too much. So you could prepare some meals and pop them in the freezer. Also have a think about what you are going to do about your hair. If it's long, I would suggest getting it cut short. If you would like to get a wig, then also do this in advance, as it can take a little while to come through.
Well I thought I would be joining this July community, but after seeing my oncologist on Wednesday, for what I thought would be my appointment to start me off next week, I was told that I need to wait another couple of weeks to go back and sign for consent. Then chemo may start 'in another couple of weeks'.
I just want to get on with all of the treatment, and I know it's not going to be a walk in the park..... has anyone else had these delays? Sorry to be moany! I'm just getting tearful and so frustrated.
I'm trying to straddle the June and July starters threads, as I had first cycle of FEC (after that TJP) on the afternoon of 29 June. Just realized that I hadn't updated here, for those who aren't reading the June thread.
Last week I noted that I'd been pretty SE-free. But then, last Saturday, my Day 9, my temp started to climb -- first 37.5, then 37.7 (my usual temp is around 36.2-36.4)... so I called the chemo hotline. Only other symptom was dull lower back pain, sort of like I'd get with PMS. So the onco on call had me monitor with a plan to call back if it went up. It was the hottest day of the summer thus far, and there was a chance I was just overheating, though I was taking it very, very easy and drinking about 3 litres of water a day. But my temp kept rising.
When I got a reading of 38.2 under the tongue while on the phone with the onco, she had me go to A&E. Bloods came back and I was neutropenic; they admitted me to hospital for 48 hours of IV antibiotics, more filgrastim injections (I did them myself at home Days 1-5), and close monitoring while in an isolation room. Thankfully, the temp didn't spike again, and I was discharged with 5 days of antibiotic tablets.
All this to say: Please do watch your temps, especially as you start to approach your white blood cell trough in Days 10-14. Febrile neutropenia is serious. Stay safe!
Hi CDC1811, Thanks for you message on here had my Treatment on the mobile bus yesterday meet lovely people. Came home and slept for a few hour''s.
Take care, have a lovely weekend.
Hi Warcol, have a lovely weekend. My first time on the bus for chemo just love meeting new people.
All the best for Monday.
Hello all, have my second Chemo tomorrow on the mobile Chemo bus, my first Chemo i was a bit tired and a sore mouth, but that was all. Good luck to all of you going through treatment. It really lovely that people are sharing their experience,
Hi there, checking in.
It's Day 14 for me. Still no side effects, nothing. I'm aware of a few hairs coming out, in my fingers, although it's not dropping out in lumps - yet. Luckily it's really really short already, I'm happy I did that.
I've got a catch up with my oncologist today, I'm sure he'll be expecting me to trip in with a list of woes, but I've got nothing. Well, one question. His letter laying out my treatment said 4 FEC cycles and 4 T cycles but a document I got from the oncology nurses showing my drug list from the first chemo session and it says I'm having 6 cycles. If I could reduce it to 6 from 8, I'd be cockahoop! Although, then the sensible side of me says maybe I should just blitz those cells with the extra cycles.
I'm also going to try to get a definitive answer about exercise. I don't know what I can/can't do with a picc line in. I don't want to do anything to compromise it. Also, I wondered if doing intensive exercise might cause a problem with blood pumping through it at an increased rate. Anyway, I did a spin class last night and I'm still alive, for now!
Hiya Willie,, it just so happens I'm doggy sitting for the next two weeks. We could meet up somewhere pretty like Elvaston Castle and walk the pooches xxx
Hi Sam , I'm Kate and I'm 52. I will also be starting chemo on the 13th ! I was diagnosed in Feb and had several operations and still have to go through a mastectomy at the end of the chemo . Feeling a bit anxious about next week as I feel so well at the moment .
I wanted to wish you the best for next week ..... we can do this !!
So, it seems my 'prison haircut' looks better on me than my previous full head of hair. Everytime I meet someone who hasn't seen it yet, they say the same. I must've looked a right state before if a No 2 all over is an improvement!
I'm definitely going to have to put some practice in with the make-up though as I look like a geezer. I might audition for the next James Bond.
I work from home and only go out to walk the dog or go to the gym, neither of which requires any make up at all, so I'm out of practice. That's a job for this weekend, along with scarf tying.
Anyone got any insight into fake tan and chemo poison? I'm a little bit apprehensive about anything chemical. I might turn green.
Reading your post reminds me of what we have both been through, drain , picc line, it's been the un-knowing for me because left hand had not been talking to the right hand. (Hospital) But that is now sorted. Thanks for sharing your post.
Yes, I had surgery first. I think - I don't actually know! - that it was considered to be one small lump, removable then they'd follow up with chemo and rads. I definitely had it in a node so they removed 17 of those but it was only in #1. Each time they went in, they found something that hadn't been on the ultrasound, CT and MRI. Maybe if they'd seen multiple lumps they'd have gone for chemo first, who knows?
Reconstruction was never offered to me as an option as, the way I understood it from the BC nurses, the implants get in the way of the radiation (maybe one of our champions here will have more info on that?). I understand I could have reconstruction later - a year after rads? - but that version of reconstruction sounds tough so I'm not going to put myself through that. To be honest, I don't need it. I'm not 26 or 36 and I'll still wear bikinis just slightly bigger tops.