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September 2016 starters


Re: September 2016 starters

I'm just starting to feel better after my final round of chemo. It seemed to have hit me harder than previously, although I think some of that is my subconscious expecting me to feel better straight away! I shall go and look at the hair regrowth link, I'm rather fed up of looking like Humpty Dumpty and I have to confess to buying a lash growth serum. My lashes were my one vanity, being long, black and curling upwards and although I still have lashes they are short and thin and I want my old ones back!

Aine, I'm sorry you have been feeling so down. I agree, most folk are too busy to notice but if you feel self conscious then following the good advice on here is a must. I am naturally lazy but I have to admit to feeling better if I get out for a bit each day, even if its a walk to the shop for milk.

Dawn, I love the badge! I will have to get one to go with the toy blue tit my sister bought me from our RSPB reserve (It's a joke that I am now Mrs Blue Tit as I still have the dye on my skin from my surgery in August, lol) Good luck with your surgery on Thursday, the pre assessment is just weight, bp, an ECG and a discussion so nothing to worry about.

Re: September 2016 starters

Thanks Olddawn for your supportive comments.  I love that badgeSmiley Very Happy

Good luck for Monday and for your op on Thursday.  We will be thinking about you.


Everyone should look at the Blueash link to the website about hair re-growth.  It is very informative.


I am starting to feel that the SE's are settling down and the nausea is lowering again so looking forward to next week and feeling better.

I am a former fitness teacher so I am really convinced of the power of daily exercise in keeping you well both mentally and physically.

I take the dog out almost every day for a short walk and some days I stagger and some days I can get a good pace going. The dog is in heat so you can imagine how ridiculous we lookSmiley LOL


Like you Olddawn the wind outside keeps me awake (would not sleep anyway) and the wind in my stomach keeps me awake too!!  I could go to Australia tomorrow and not suffer jetlag - I'm awake all night and want to sleep all day -  normal so I'm told.


My local MacMillan centre does yoga followed by mindfullness classes and they might help with my sleep.  The last time I did an evening yoga session I had the best night's sleep ever.


One day at a time ladies!




Re: September 2016 starters

Hi everyone! I know I haven't posted for a while as my chemo is now finished, but I have been looking in from time to time to see how everyone else on this thread is getting on.


Congratulations to Auntienanna, SeeSee, Lisad and Aine on reaching your final cycle at last (at times we all thought we'd never get there!), and hope the worst of the SEs will soon be over.


I'm afraid the fatigue will probably be plaguing us all for a long time after the last cycle ends, from what Sue H-S and others have said. I remember Madmac22 saying at the end of her chemo that she felt a bit deflated, and that it was something of an anti-climax because of it, and I now know what she meant! I am still sleeping a lot, although I was kept awake last night by howling wind (outside I hasten to add!). It's doing it again now, but hopefully I will sleep better tonight because I am tired!


I also can't seem to motivate myself to get out and have a walk every day as I used to, even though I know it will do me good and help to fight the fatigue. I don't think the fatigue is entirely to blame for this though - I've just got too used to staying in and vegetating over Christmas!


Aine - I can understand your reluctance to go out at the moment, but I hope you manage to overcome it and feel more comfortable about being seen in your wig. Provided it fits well and suits you, nobody will notice - they are too busy wrapped up in what they are doing themselves to be looking for people wearing wigs! I responded to your post about hair regrowth on the October thread (03.01.17), and - for others' benefit - Blueash also posted a link to a website with information on the likely timescale for hair regrowth. I hope you will soon start to see the signs of new growth (though hopefully not 'green shoots' lol!) - look out for a 'five o' clock shadow' on your head, which is the first sign that the hairs are starting to come through. It is now a month since my last chemo infusion, and my head hair has started to re-grow (so have some of the missing eyebrows), although it is still sparse, patchy and uneven in length. Early days.


And if you're worried about people staring at your boobs, you can always get one of these (I certainly intend to for when I go back to work, as the lumpectomy and radiotherapy are likely to leave me with odd ones):


Whenever I venture out, I am usually shattered by the time I get home, and it's that which gets me down rather than what I look like. I am probably being too ambitious, when I should be doing a short walk every day instead to build myself up and get back into the habit of regular gentle exercise. I'm a bit worried about my lack of fitness, because my operation is next Thursday (and pre-op assessment is on Monday!), so I really must make a bit more effort in the short time left. I'll let you know how it goes, once I am in a fit condition to post.


Meanwhile, best wishes to anyone still battling the SEs - and goodnight ladies!


Re: September 2016 starters

SeeSee and Lisad

Many thanks for your words of support

Im still trying to recover from T6 and the SE's so not feeling like its over just yet

However I have taken what you say on board and am thinking about it all

Aine XX


Re: September 2016 starters


Hi Ladies,


Had my final chemo last Wednesday and it has really wiped me out! Thank God I do not have to go through this again.Woman Sad Feeling very emotional stillWoman Sad


Since I lost my hair in September I have gone out in my hats and scarves and not bothered what people think. Interesting going around shopping malls, just out and about I have never come across anyone else wearing a head scarf! I feel that I am the only person around in my area that is coping with having cancer and the treatment that in entails.


I have an apt with my Radiologist next week to start my treatment plan - 15 sessions but hope that that will not start until 6th Feb as have my granddaughters first birthday and Christening on the 5th and want to be the best I can be without feeling tired again from the radiation.


Like Cathy, I have experienced this mixed reactions and support and often those closest give the least support!Woman Sad


My friend of 45 years has been my biggest support, attending 4 out of the 6 chemo sessions and never had to ask her if she would come along, she was just there!Woman Happy


Once I have had radiation treatment I already know that I will have to have another reconstruction as the radiation hardens the saline, and I also need to have some lipo suction filling done as I have some hollow areas in my breast issue.


I am too quite pale whereas before I had a good colour and have dark shadowing around my eyes which at 62 have ever experienced before - I know I can use concealer but just another sign of what has taken place to your body.


I need to lose weight so thinking of doing the Lighter life plan but not sure whether to start now or wait until I am a lot better health wise and once radiation treatment has finished?


I feel I need a plan for 2017 - not sure what it is but I know I need something for just me. I feel just because you out on a brave face and have tolerated the chemo treatment quiet well that everyone thinks that your fine and great but instead I feel like screaming.Woman Sad


Sorry for the ramble - must still be the effects of last week’s chemo!


Lisa x


Re: September 2016 starters

Hi Aine,


I really feel for you. I had my last chemo on fourth Jan and start radiotherapy on twenty fifth of Jan till twenty eighth February. 


Losing my long, thick, luscious hair was a real wrench for me.


I attended counselling after finding it hard to cope emotionally with chemo. One of the results was that I went from using the cold cap to getting my hair shaved off by my husband. By then I had bald patches despite the cold cap. The reason I made this decision was that my counsellor pointed out that after going through this experience I will be a different person - e.g. I don't get so worked up over little things and I have a different perspective on life, having been forced to take one day at a time.


Also, I won't look quite the same after cancer - in my case I now have a flat stomach, at present I'm even paler than I used to be and I have no hair for now. I have come to accept that I look different. I don't have a choice really.


If other people don't like what they see, my view is that quite frankly that's their problem. I make an effort by wearing my wig and make up when children are around as I don't want to worry or upset them, but my view is that adults who are in my life need to cope with how I look now and the fact that I've changed. I think people who stare are rude in the extreme but to be honest I haven't experienced this, though my reconstruction is so far quite good. It may shrink during radiotherapy, but I'll talk to the plastic surgeon about that.


Unlike you I have told quite a few people about my diagnosis as I felt I needed support. Some were fab, others found it harder to cope with, but I did get the support  I needed, often from the most unexpected of places.


I joined a choir attached to the centre where I have chemo. All the ladies have, or have had cancer and I've found that to be a real support. I'm also going to do the Moving On course soon which comes highly recommended and which it sounds like you might benefit from.


I hope this post is some help. If not, take no notice of it.


Best wishes and hugs. I hope you find what you need to move forward and get your confidence back.




Re: September 2016 starters

Hi all!!

Day 5 of last T.  Very rough few days but starting to come round now.  Codeine is a great pain reliever but does cause constipation.  Usual SE's.  Even typing is uncomfortable!

I am not having Radiotherapy.  The chemo was a 'preventative' therapy in case there were any stray cells.


The october thread made some good points about how I feel.  I am so reluctant to appear out in public at all.  Im still waiting for my new wig in the correct shade so am wearing bobble hats out.  I have spend months avoiding neighbours and people that would ask me why I'm not at work.  I have never had to explain myself to anyone yet - I am not having my health discussed as hot gossip locally.


I still don't know how I am going to adjust back to being seen out and what I am going to say to people.  I would love no one to ever find out and my life to just go back to 'normal'.  I think that by September when I go back to teaching that I will be able to talk about it but that's when I have hair again and no one can stare at me.


Does anyone else feel this way?   I am soo self-conscious about being bald.  And about people staring at my boobs if they realise it was bc I had.  I have told only family and a couple of best mates.


Big hugs to all of you like me on the final cycle.  It still hasn't sunk in yet.  Think its the January blues getting in the way. 

Girls we made all of you still on the journey it isn't much comfort but take one day at a time and you will be in a better place soonSmiley Happy



Re: September 2016 starters

I'm having 5 weeks of rads. It's spread out as I've already had reconstruction and the surgeon prefers this timescale, presumably as she thinks it will cause Less damage. Got my planning meeting tomorrow after chemo!


Re: September 2016 starters

Hi Joanne, I have my last chemo tomorrow and start radiotherapy on 1st Feb. I'm having 3 weeks of regular rads and an extra week where they target the tumour bed.

Re: September 2016 starters

Hi See See and Aine, 


Well you're both on the home stretch now, hope it all goes well and not too many SEs.

Thanks for the news on the picc, so it looks like it will be there a bit longer.

Are any of you going on to have radio after as I will be after my chemo? (apparently three weeks worth with weekends off)

Hugs Joanne xx


Re: September 2016 starters

Update on PICC line removal: when I went for bloods and PICC care this morning I was told that it would need to stay in for at least two weeks after my last treatment 'in case you get poorly'. In other words I presume in case I need IV antibiotics again or a blood transfusion becomes necessary. 😟


Re: September 2016 starters


I was told I would get my PICC line out on Tuesday (last chemo) and the nurses would do it.  It does not hurt and I won't feel a thing.


Does anyone know how soon your hair starts to grow back?  I am dying for it to start.  I can't even look at my boiled egg head in the mirror.


I got my new wig last week and it is really good.  I went for the lightest weave so you can see a bit of scalp at the parting (there are 3 thicknesses I am told) and the hairline at my forehead is light as well.  I have to pay £200 for it because I ordered a second one (first one was toooo bright) and I am entitled to another free one 6 months from the first one.  Just for everyone's info in case you also don't like yours.




Re: September 2016 starters

Hi 7oanne,

If they take my PICC out at my last chemo on Wednesday I'll let you know (I hope they do so I can take the blasted dressing off).


However I do know it doesn't hurt cos I've had mine taken out of one arm and put in the other. One of the nurses on the chemo unit did it and just needed a plaster for a very brief time. Didn't feel a thing xx


Re: September 2016 starters

Hi everyone


So happy for you all ( if slightly envious ) that you are on your last chemo 🍾🎉🎉🍾😘. (I've still got 2 Ts to go)

Well done 😊🍾😊🍾😊🍾


Dose anyone know how soon after the last chemo treatment that they take the picc line out and what it involves (i.e. Who does it and is it under anaesthetic - does it hurt?)


HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone and wishing us all a healthy and happy 2017 and onwards😘😘💕

Big hugs Jo xxx


Re: September 2016 starters

It looks like most of us have either finished now or are about to, so the end is in Happy New Year everyone! 🍷🍸🍻🎈🎉🎊 Like Lisad I hope 2017 is a better year for all of us. 


Re: September 2016 starters

Lisad aren't you just back from a lovely holiday?


To all of you due last chemo next week ...Auntienanna, Lisad, etc...yes we thought it would never get to this stage didn't we!!!!!   I hated people saying to me in September sure it will be over in no time!!!


Enjoy New Year's Eve everyone and kick 2016 goodbye.  2017 will be great....let's promise ourselves thatSmiley Happy


It will be so strange to say goodbye to all the hospital staff next Tuesday won't it?  They are fantastic.  I can't wait to get the PICC line out.


Every day of the next nausea session will be the last one of the cycle. Yippee!!  I am going to drink Prosecco if I can stomach it!!!


Be positive Smiley Happy   A




Re: September 2016 starters

Happy New Year ladies lets hope for all us 2017 is a lot better than 2016!


I to have my last chem session on Wednesday.  Still awaiting apt for my radiation treatment and assessment.


I read to use R1 & R2 radiation cream which you can get free on prescription.


Will hopefully catch up with you all here or one another thread.


Take Care Heart- There is light at the end of tunnel Woman LOL


Lisa x


Re: September 2016 starters

Aine, I have my last chemo next Wednesday and while I'm not exactly looking forward to it I'm not dreading it as much as usual. I know a couple of months ago it seemed as if I would never see light at the end of the tunnel.

Here's hoping rads are as easy to get through as most people find them.

Re: September 2016 starters

Sorry 7oanne forgot to say...

first T cycle I had the trots for 4 days from day 10 on.

Was expecting same on cycle two.....never happened - I was you might be the sameSmiley Happy



Re: September 2016 starters

Hi all!

Hi 7oanne

Just to add my info about the second T cyle.


Am glad to say it was no worse than the first.  The aches from day 4 to 7 were no worse and didnt last as many days.  They gave me codeine to take and it was fantastic.  I took 2 on the worst day and I felt a warm glow for hours and no pain!  I took only 1 at a time the next day (total 2) during the day and it got me through.  I took no more cos was afraid of constipation - never became a problem.


I had the usual bad nausea for 14 days then it lifted and I have had a great few days. Same as last time.

When you get a couple of 'normal' days it gives you such an emotional boost doesn't it???


Numb tongue a bit of a nuisance and had numb lips for 2 days too unlike last time.


Fingers are very sensitive to heat since the start of first T.  I find it very hard to shower, cook and wash up.

This has not eased off and I am going to speak to them about it next last T and last chemo.


Fatigue was no worse either.  When you know what to expect then it is easier to cope I feel.


I was terrified of the T cycles and they turned out to be no worse and much easier to endure than the FEC.


I am not worried about next Tuesday...I never thought I would be able to say those two words LAST CHEMO!!!!!

To all you who are about to do the same ...GO US!!!!!