Hello, just back from Rads planning session. All painless, tattoos in place and only took about 10 minutes. I saw a lovely nurse and when I burst into tears (been very emotional recently) she was very kind and talked me through my diagnosis and treatment adn explained its all normal to feel this way at Rads as its another treatment but also the light at the end of the tunnel. They got me to fill out a form to say how I was feeling and will offer me some therapies and counselling should I want it. Annoyingly before I could start the planning scan she said they hadn't got my results from the ANC (panic moment as thought I had been given someone elses last week) so she had to see the ONC as they had written I needed Rads to middle of chest. ONC told her the nodes were clear so I don't need the rads to the middle of the chest after all! Good job she checked. Wish they would talk to each other. Now going to start Rads on 29th November for 3 weeks. Still haven't got the Tamoxifen as the GP hasn't sorted it yet. I hope I do as well as your Mum does CDC, can't decide whether to take them last think at night or first thing in morning?
Hi Ladies, sorry for not replying over the weekend, had Mum to stay as OH and step dad took a boys holiday for the weekend. Been very busy.
Georgia Gee - hmm your seroma problems sound like mine, I am getting movement back in arm and the seroma is definately going down but its still there and tight around the joining bit from armpit to breast (or what was my breast). Its not painful but tight and still feels like a lump when I put my arm down. I guess I'll keep on with the exercises and see what happens. I keep my heart cushion pressed under there most of the time and that helps too. Just hope my arm movement is enough for the CT scan tomorrow.
JacB - good to hear that your seroma went eventually, although not great about the scar reopening. Nothing is ever straight forward is it.
Meesh73 - your post made me smile... I imagined sticking to the fridges in the supermarket with my knicker magnet.. I haven't read any very convincing posts about it helping but worth a try sometimes I guess. I haven't got the Tamoxifen yet as need to get to GPs to pick it up. Do you take yours in the morning or evening? Any ideas for whats best?
CDC - how did the chemo go, hope you are fairing ok this time round.
KTK - how are the rads going?
I've got CT scan tomorrow and rads planning, looking foward to getting this bit started, but actually after the euphoria of gettting good news on Thursday I've felt a bit down really, it seems its up and downs all the way doesn't it? Just now feels like another huge hill to climb and then the unknown after that?
RedRose - how are the nails? I'm going to remove my nail varnish and see whats what with mine, they keep breaking very short so not exactly attractive at the moment!
Hi Kip, Shi asked me to pop on here and let you know about the magnets. I've been wearing mine for months and I don't think it makes any difference but I'm still wearing it in case it's making even a tiny bit of difference 😂 I do find I sometimes get stuck to metal things if I'm not careful (like my work pass or handbag) 🙄 I tried acupuncture first but that didn't do anything either and I'm now taking sage tablets to no avail. That's not to say that none of those things would work for you. The best things I have to deal with the flushes are foldable fans (I have a few in different bags) and the cool pillow and they were also the cheapest 😂
Good luck with the rads, they're nowhere near as bad as the chemo 😊
That explains a few things..... my left breast and connecting bit to my arm is what is so enlarged - was so much bigger that I didn't fit into my clothes, but I think it has reduced a bit now as I said before.
I mentioned this to my oncologist last week, and she advised the same as you, about the gentle pressure, but didn't want to have a look at it. I was concerned that it might be breast lymphoedema, but I have radiotherapy planning next week, where I hope that might be ruled out. Its good to be able to chat through things on here isn't it, and to swap experiences as and when we need to. I'm sat here doing a bit of 'gentle pressure' liquid pushing out as I type with the other hand!.... I will also try to dig out the exercise sheet with the details as well.
I found it interesting that your team had been similar to mine about the seroma business.....
I was told that I would likely have a seroma, but that I shouldn't worry, because the nurses or the surgeon would drain it after the surgery. My particular surgeon does not even use a drain on anyone, but I was reassured when they told me they would drain anything that popped up.
So I called and made an appointment for this with BC nurse when a swelling began, and she said she could not drain much, and to wait to see the surgeon, which I did, and then he said that it would disappear on its own over time, and that he did not want to introduce another opportunity for infection by draining it. So I never had anything drained, and this was in June! I think it may have reduced slightly, but I'm not sure it's going to go away completely. The affected breast is now at least 2 cup sizes bigger than the other side! My op was a full node clearance plus lumpectomy. I know we are all different, but has anyone else had this?
Oh thanks for the heads up on the exercises, makes sense I guess... mental note to self... do the exercises!
Hope you get some answers regarding the complaint.
Hi Everyone, firstly let me just say I did feel a bit wary about posting my news yesterday as I am aware that some of you are still in the throws of chemo and all the other problems going on... please forgive me if it seemed crass but I'm rooting for you all, and will be waiting for you all in the rads department to compare tattoos!
CDC - good for you making a complaint.. without people like you making a stand these things will continue and it never ever should happen! I am sure it won't affect how they treat you at the hospital, if you had been listened to and treated correctly in the first place you wouldn't have had to make a complaint. I'm glad the chap on the phone was sympathetic and shocked to hear your story, just goes to prove that what has happened to you was horrendous! Be strong, you are doing this not only for yourself but for all those women out there who are facing the same challenges! I hadn't heard of Tamoxifen reducing the breast density but I will efinately mention my concerns it when I come to have a mammogram and will make a nuisance of myself until they do an U/S if I feel I need one!
CDC - hope chemo goes ok and the tingles don't get worse.
Knicker Magnets - hmmm, I'm not sure I believe they can do anything, but if I get to a point when I think I need one I might try it! I wonder if you would set of the alarms in an airport? Could be embarrassing. I had a massive hot flush last night and haven't even got the Tamoxifen yet!
Seroma - my nurse checked me over and it is going down so she didn't want to risk an infection by draining it, Just said to start exercising more to get the movement back before scar tissue sets in. I've got to get my arms up and behind my head for rads so must work on that.
On a different note - whilst with my Surgeon and nurse yesterday we were chatting about donating blood and my Surgeon confessed that she can't stand the sight of blood!!!! Crikey talk about the wrong profession...she said she donated blood and when she saw it she fainted!! The nurse then said she is needle phobic and can't ever donate blood as can't stand the thought of a needle! What a pair! Like to see them getting through chemo then!
take care all
@Shi Thanks! But ages til I actually start rads -- don't finish chemo til early Dec, then surgery, then recovery, then rads in Feb/Mar(?). But I like to plan ahead.
I’m from the September thread but was just looking at your comments below re menopause. I had a partial hysterectomy 9 years ago & started with menopausal symptoms a few years ago. I thought I was past that but having started chemo, the night sweats have come back with a vengeance. Until tonight, I had never heard of the magnet thing, but I have bought a cool pillow. It’s effectiveness is limited. It’s ok at the beginning of the night if you can stand the faint smell of rubber, but it does warm up during the night & gets a bit sticky. I’m always willing to try anything, but maybe you don’t need to spend too much on one - mine was from Boots by JML.
I did however try the tip of using 1/2 an effervescent vitamin c tablet before going to bed - just let it melt on your tongue. I didn’t have my first hot sweat till 4am which is a result for me. Also they’re great for helping with normal thrush, so results all round.
Best of luck with everything x
@RedRose Ouch. I hope that if any of your nails do come off, it's at least less painful, and that they grow back swiftly.
@Georgie Gee I'm taking note of Sally's retort, as I can't think of anything cleverer or more satisfying to say in response to such an unthinking question. I also enjoyed the Titty Gritty blog post that @Linda mentioned. (I guess one upside of having most of my friends and all of my family in the US: most of the time, my support network is weighing in by email, so they have the luxury of rereading before hitting send.)
How did your Herceptin injection go today? Are you feeling better about radiotherapy? I know I feel better about what lies ahead for me on the RT front after hearing from Shi and others.
@Sally You are amazing. I've been trying to work throughout, but docetaxel is kicking my arse, to use the native parlance. (Is "arse" okay to say on the forum? Or should I be asterisking it out? I truly don't know.) I am in awe that you only missed your chemo days! (And jealous!)
@Kip A p.s.: How's your (suspected) seroma? Is it going down?
@Kip Congratulations on your results! You must be thrilled. A bit startling to hear that chemotherapy can frazzle the lymph nodes, however... No one mentioned that this might happen before I started. Good luck with the radiotherapy planning -- it sounds like you will be done with RT just in time for Christmas, which is lovely. FYI, I've heard that your period might restart up to 12 months after finishing chemotherapy; after that point, it's very unlikely that it will restart again.
A magnet in your knickers???? The first thing I thought: another barricade to bedroom antics! A quick little bit of googling has me quite skeptical: https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/magnets-for-menopause#does-it-actually-work
I have heard acupuncture can help with hot flushes, and meant to mention that side effect before my session on Tuesday at The Haven in London. I'll have to remember to mention it next time. (They offer a few sessions for free, so I'm trying it. Seems to help with my tingling hands and feet for a few days -- placebo effect, sensory distraction, acupuncture actually working? Who knows. Hot flushes would be a real test.)
Hi all, just thought I'd drop in to let you know I got the results of my ANC today and all the nodes were clear! Aparently I only had 4 nodes.. seems weird... but apparently the chemo frazzles them sometimes so thats all that was left. I now have a CT scan on Tuesday for planning the radiotherapy and then 3 weeks of radio to follow, starting about 2 weeks after. Also have to start Tamoxifen for 10 years!! Not looking forward to that but I'll do whatever it takes to beat this thing. Doctor said that I will in the menopause now and if I get any periods I have to let them know so that they can stop my ovaries from working. I also asked about future monitoring and she said I will be called for a mammogram on the 1 year anniversary of my first surgery (so May 2019) . I mentioned the fact that I was told my breast tissue was dense and shes said that Tamoxifen and chemo will have altered that but to mention it at mammogram and they may do an ultrasound!
The nurse mentioned hot sweats (as I am having some already) and has offered accupunture if they get too bad, also given leaflets for a magnet you wear in your knickers to help with menopause and a cool pillow thingy too! More bedtime reading for tonight.. anyone heard of these?
Ouch they look painful! I wonder if mine will do that as they have that ridge bit too. Not very useful tips from chemo unit though.
RedRose, I'm starting rads on 26th November too, busy sorting out various chauffeurs to take me each day so DH doesn't have to do it all, especially with it being such a rubbish journey.
Feel for you with your nails not being stable, must be so awkward. Hope your unit has some helpful suggestions for you.
Oh Red 🌹 your poor nails, must make things difficult. I havent got a date for rads yet am hoping tomorrow i may have some idea though. Enjoy the circus havent been to one in years and dress shopping .. very exciting! Enjoy it all and dont think of this crap for a while if you can!
Hi RedRose, sorry you've been feeling crappy again. Hopefully you are coming through it now? As for the nails, have they actually started lifting? Mine never lifted but they did feel sore, like that had been hit with a hammer or slammed in a door. I haven't lost any yet but have noticed since the end of chemo they are more brittle, so I have cut them very short and am still keeping nail polish on them to help. I have large ridges , especially on the thumb nails, but these seem to be growing out. I think i read somewhere on another thread that some ladies do lose nails but actually when they go they don't hurt and quickly grow back, just look a bit rubbish for a while. Have you tried rubbin almond oil into them? Someone suggested that to me. I do have a friend who is 2 and a bit years down the line in this nightmare and she said her nails were fine until about a year after chemo and then went a bit rubbish so I'm still wondering if mine will go at some point? Toenails seem ok tho. Perhaps ring the chemo line and ask for suggestions, they must come accross it. Otherwise, how are you doing?
Thanks Shi.... actually looking forward to a sunbed and a James Bond zapping... perhaps they should offer cocktails at the same time!! Perhaps they can play "Feeling Hot Hot Hot" whist they do mine!
Hi All, thanks for the replies regarding the seroma. I have called the BCN this morning and explained to her how it felt and she thinks is it a seroma but was reluctant to do anythign with it, she says they really like to give it time to reabsorb before draining it as each time they put a needle in they can introduce an infection. It does feel slightly smaller this morning and the drain wound is not weeping anymore so we agreed to leave things be until they seem me on Thursday where they will decide whether to drain it or not.. unless it gets really painful in the meantime. She said to keep a cushion or a rolled up pair of socks under my armpit and apply slight pressure to it and to only gently exercise that arm for 2 days, not to go mad! So I will see what happens.
Georgie Gee - I think that was a bit insensitve for somebody to ask you what your new prognosis is! People do come out with the most insensitive things sometimes don't they. Ignore them! I've never heard that rads can be worse than chemo. I think once you've been through chemo nothing can be that bad again. I do understand that its tiring and can cause soreness to the area, but at least you don't lose your hair, taste buds, feel sick, can't sleep..etc etc. I guess everyone reacts differently and you will always find someone who finds it terrible, but on the whole most people have said its tiring but much easier than chemo. Its a personal choice again though, and you have every right to not have it if thats how you feel.
Kip, definitely call tomorrow.... sounds like a seroma, but let your team check it out 😘
Shi, thanks for reminding me to keep in touch; now I've 'finished' all of the chemo they can safely give me, I'm suddenly having a planning meeting for radiotherapy next Monday.
I took a peek at a radiotherapy thread on here and I am quite reluctant to start it all, plus 2nd herceptin this Thursday. After my first herceptin I wasn't well enough to have docetaxol the next day. Had temp, nausea and diarrhoea. I'm so hoping it doesn't happen again. I feel like if I have one more side effect, I will explode!
Even with only 75% docetaxol, I've lost all my eyebrows now.
I was talking to an occupational health person today from work, and she told me that radiotherapy can be 'worse than chemotherapy'...... I haven't heard that anywhere else.
Then also a relative asked me over the weekend what my new 'prognosis' is, now I'm not having any more chemo. I haven't answered, because I found the question a bit insensitive - is that wrong of me? I just felt upset.....