Just diagnosed with breast cancer

24

Comments

  • KarinSiegerKarinSieger Posts: 64 Cancer Counselling Specialist

    Hi @KitKat,

    Just a quick check-in. 1 week after the first chemo. I hope you are managing ok and that the heat is not causing too many issues.

    Very best.

    Karin

    Karin Sieger
    Psychotherapist | Writer | Podcaster | MA, BA (Hons) | Reg. MBACP (Accred)
    Helping you create new possibilities!
  • KitKatKitKat Posts: 42 ✭✭

    @KarinSieger

    Hi am struggling at the moment. No energy and really feeling down and weepy.

    At this moment in time don't think I can do this.

    Other people seem so brave but I can't muster up any positives

    I'm hoping this is a blip and things will improve over the next few days

    Sorry for the negativity

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KitKat

    Hi Catherine,

    Sending you massive hugs and loads of strong wishes. You are extremely brave, more than you feel right now. Feeling down and weepy is very, very normal. I don't know of anyone who hasn't felt like you do at the moment.

    Cling on to getting through moment by moment. You will see when you look back on today, these first days, it is a blip in time.

    Just know, I am absolutely here for you, feeling for you. Your post was a few hours ago, so by the time you read this, you will have made it through these hours ..another tick, step closer..

    You are a strong, determined person, how do I know? From reading all your previous posts.. hang on tight .

    Thinking of you,

    🤗🤗

    Lou xx

  • KitKatKitKat Posts: 42 ✭✭

    @Sunshinedaff @KarinSieger @Rob70@

    Hi yes you are so right and my mood has lifted since my last post early today.

    I've just done my first injection and that was so easy.

    Had a nice sleep and hubby is going to cook some dinner.

    I'm starting a diary so that I can see how I improve.

    Your post has really lifted me - it's a very lonely journey.

    Love and hugs to everyone.

  • KarinSiegerKarinSieger Posts: 64 Cancer Counselling Specialist

    Dear @KitKat / Catherine,

    I am sorry to hear this. But in many ways I am not surprised.

    As Lou (and many / most?) will agree, this is to be expected. You are not failing or doing anything wrong. It's probably not talked about much, because a) we may lack the energy and inclination to talk about it, b) who can we say it to and c) we may not understand what's happening. So, it is great that you say it, as others may feel the same - in silence.

    Remember, how can we possibly be positive at this time, when our bodies and minds also take a major and unexpected 'hammering" from the drugs - that on top of the cancer.

    And also remember, not everybody gets the same drugs or feels the same for as long with the same side effects. It's a very personal experience.

    On a very practical level may I suggest that you cut down on commitments, any kind of pressures as much as you can in order to preserve your energies. Try and do little, but over time build up a daily routine, that becomes familiar and predictable. Try not to compare it with how things were before. That's bound to be frustrating, frightening, annoying. This is now.

    Things might take a while to settle down, be prepared for that.

    Try not to overthink and postpone any important decisions until you feel a bit more settled in yourself. Or think carefully before you make choices.

    Your number 1 task is to stay calm and get used to how you feel. Which means getting used to feeling unwell and down. It may sound odd, but if we fight all that, then it can be hard to follow the treatment. I don't mean giving in and putting up, but accepting this is part of the course. Get used to how it makes you feel and tell your medical team about it, so they can tell whether adjustments are needed. Get used to it, to know what help you may need, and how you need to structure your days, to give yourself the best possible chance.

    What you are going through is hard, and it is early days. Don't despair. And keep an eye on negative self talk. It is understandable to say "I can't do this". And for some there also comes a point when we may evaluate whether we want to do this. It is all very personal. But for now, be gentle on yourself.

    One of the highlights of my chemo days was to cross off another day on a wall chart. It was one of the toughest times in my life. I was often close to despair. We (and that includes you) find our own way of coping.

    Also check up on chemobrain. I have added a discussion about it in my area HERE

    Feel free to keep in touch. Happy to provide support along the way!

    I hope this helps a bit, Catherine.

    With very best wishes for you.

    Karin

    Karin Sieger
    Psychotherapist | Writer | Podcaster | MA, BA (Hons) | Reg. MBACP (Accred)
    Helping you create new possibilities!
  • KitKatKitKat Posts: 42 ✭✭

    @KarinSieger

    Thank you so much for your message.

    It makes so much sense and I realise that I do have to accept that things have changed.

    Believe it or not I am a very positive person.

    Yes I don't have to get up and rush around, I can take my time and it makes such sense to listen to my body.

    I'm starting a diary too and hopefully it will show more good days than bad days.

    Thank you for your support - your messages make such sense.

    Best wishes.

  • KarinSiegerKarinSieger Posts: 64 Cancer Counselling Specialist

    Great @KitKat Good to hear! I m afraid bad days are part of this. But that doesn't mean we can't cope.

    Have good evening and enjoy the special dinner prepared for you!

    Very best.

    Karin

    Karin Sieger
    Psychotherapist | Writer | Podcaster | MA, BA (Hons) | Reg. MBACP (Accred)
    Helping you create new possibilities!
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KitKat @Sunshinedaff @KarinSieger

    Hi Catherine

    Yes, we know that you are a very positive and upbeat person from your previous posts. You have been through more than most and you are bound to have days when you feel a bit overwhelmed, I know I do.

    I don't think I can add anything to the lovely informative posts you have received from Karin and Lou, but I would like to say that I am here to listen and chat too.

    You are fortunate that I am not your husband, not least because your special dinner would be beans on toast if I was 🤣🤣. By the way, I love your new photograph. Splash looks very happy to have good company.

    Rob x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KitKat , @KarinSieger @RobertA

    Hi Catherine,

    I expect and hope you are resting having been able to enjoy dinner!

    I love everything Karin and Rob (@KarinSieger@RobertA) have mentioned. Looking after you is top priority! I know Splash will be a major part of your 'medicine' , he is so lovely.

    Glad you had a better afternoon, hope you are able to get some sleep tonight.

    🤗

    Lou xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jojodot

    Hi Lorna,

    I hope you are doing ok.

    I know you are seeing oncologist this coming week on 5th. I hope the meeting with the nurse went well and she was able to explain things for you and also that the heart appt and and the CT Scan went ok too. There are always so many procedures and tests to go through at the start. It can seem like you are always at the hospital.

    Thinking of you,

    🤗

    Lou xx

  • JojodotJojodot Posts: 14

    @Sunshinedaff

    So lovely of you to think of me Lou. I should have reported in earlier ! I did go and see the nurse on 22nd July and so glad I had. I had phoned to ask about all the tests and how I was finding the waiting so long and she asked me up. She was very supportive and at last I found out my diagnosis and planned procedure. I showed her the scribbled piece of paper I was given by the doc who gave me the cancer diagnosis and little else and she was quite concerned no one had gone through it all with me. There and then she spoke to the oncologist I was due to have appt with on 5th September and brought my apt forward a week. So result is I saw a doctor and oncologist last Thursday and all explained. 3XEC and 3 Doxatel plus perjeta plus Herceptin. Herceptin X 18 in total. Then surgery followed by radiotherapy. All this waiting time I was convinced the lump was bigger and they confirmed it was from first diagnosis. Result is tomorrow I have pre assessment and have first treatment this Wednesday 4th September.

    So been busy getting organised. Our son and family live in Suffolk so this weekend have been down for a visit as I don’t know when I will see them next. A new grandchild there is due in November ! We are on the train north as I am writing this.

    So will keep you posted - everyone seems to react differently so fingers crossed.

    So thank you Lou - hope you are well and enjoying the rest of the summer. I think you are from south so if so enjoy the sun. It’s a lot cooler up north !!

    I am in touch with Catherine ok.

    Lorna X

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jojodot

    Hi Lorna,

    Wow! Suddenly everything moves, and your feet don't touch the ground! I am so glad you had such a helpful and informative meeting which resulted appointment being brought forward and then treatment to start this week. That is good to hear.

    I know the list of treatments and the length of time it will take may seem daunting, you will find how quickly the weeks go, some harder than others, but you will come through the other end of this. Don't think of the whole of it, just what's in front of you at the moment, day by day. Yes, everyone does react differently, do what is right for you, tell the nurses who treat you about anything you experience. They are very good at their jobs, and can help you, you should have a 24/7 no to call at anytime.

    I hope you had a wonderful time with your family this weekend, and how lovely to have a grandchild to look forward to as well.

    You are probably back home now, hope your journey was ok. We have had a good day today, been very hot again.

    So glad you have connected with Catherine too.

    Please let me know how you get on, here for you at any time.

    🤗🤗

    Chat soon,

    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2

    @Jojodot

    Hi Lorna

    Just a note to add my own best wishes for your treatments and beyond. I do hope you will be able to keep in touch and let us know how it is going for you.

    I am visiting family in the North at the moment. You are right, it is a lot cooler up here🥶

    Rob x

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 361 mod

    @KitKat , @Jojodot

    Hi Catherine, Lorna,

    Just wondering how you are both doing, knowing you have both started treatment now?

    I hope you are managing to get through the days ok, thinking of you both,

    🤗

    Lou xx

  • KitKatKitKat Posts: 42 ✭✭

    @louisej @RobertA @Sunshinedaff

    Hi everyone sorry for not posting but had a really rough time after my first chemo.

    I was literally in bed for almost a week. Felt so sick and couldn't eat or drink anything. In fact if there had been a button to end it all I would have pressed it.

    Luckily it did pass and the past few days I have started to feel better.

    Have been in London again this week for treatment.

    Explained to the medical team how I'd been so they have given me different anti sickness pills and also reduced the chemo dosage.

    I've also had a PICC line inserted.

    Feeling good today but that's the steroids but hopefully things will improve this time.

    Also given me a date for my surgery - 9th January and that will be dependent on how well the chemo works.

    Two down, 4 to go and feeling positive I can do this - well at least I am today ha ha.

    Cxx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KitKat

    Hi Catherine,

    Lovely to hear from you, please don't apologise for not being around here. Understand completely, I am so sorry your first round was so horrendous for you. But I am really pleased to hear you have seen an improvement slightly. It is often like that. It is good the drs have been able to help with meds. I took everything I could get my hands on, I found it did make a difference. Hope this next round will be easier in that way for you.

    I also had a picc line inserted, I am glad I did, not that I had a choice, but better than having to have injections each time. Also makes taking bloods easier.

    Yes, two down, a quarter of the way! Brilliant. Continue to hang in there, this will pass.

    Great you have a date for surgery too. At least it is being planned.

    Thinking of you often, here anytime you want to chat.

    Sending big hugs,

    🤗

    Lou xx

  • KitKatKitKat Posts: 42 ✭✭

    @Sunshinedaff

    Thank you so much.

    Have so much steroids energy at the moment going to get all my jobs done today before it fades away.

  • JojodotJojodot Posts: 14

    @Sunshinedaff

    Hi Lou,

    Thanks for asking after us 😀

    I had my first EC treatment last Wednesday so now trying to manage the strange side effects!

    Cant really complain as I am not ill - I am certainly not right. Tired and a bit disoriented with spells of nausea. Hopefully things will get better but for now I will accept it.

    Apart from first 48 hours when it wasn’t nice I was more or less fine and so expected I would be ok for the rest of first cycle anyway. But now days 7 and 8 I feel worse than before. Maybe it’s a result of steroids being finished??

    No sign of hair loss yet but I have a wig appointment next week.

    Thanks again and hope you are well and are enjoying life.

    Jojodot X

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jojodot

    Hi Lorna,

    Lovely to hear from you, glad you have managed so far, with minimum effects. Let your nurses know what you experience, they can adjust meds if necessary and up your anti-sickness meds too which might help you.

    I began to lose my hair on day 14 of first treatment, exactly as the nurse said! I hope the wig fitting goes ok too. I didn't opt for a wig myself, but I have heard you can get really good ones.

    I am well thanks, lots of family stuff going on, doesn't everyone! Lol! 😀

    One thing I am looking forward is going to see Downton Abbey next week! Haha.

    Thinking of you as you go into another week.

    🤗

    Lou xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KitKat

    Hi Catherine,

    Yes, steroids, they do mess you up rather! Sleep patterns change, but also affected by the chemo.

    I found the steroids the hardest part to take weirdly. I would cry my eyes out like a child having to take them. My own children ended up doing the 123 countdown for me, lol! I can't even tell you why! 😃

    Thinking of you

    🤗

    Lou xx

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KitKat

    Hi Catherine

    Great to hear from you. I am sorry that you have had such a rough time following your first chemo and it us a relief to hear that the second round was easier to manage.

    It is good to know that you are feeling positive and that you still have your sense of humour.

    Rob x

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 12

    @Jojodot

    Hi Lorna

    Lovely to hear from you. It sounds as if you are having a tough time and I really hope that things will soon get better for you. I am sure that your positive attitude will help see you through it.

    Rob x

  • PeterPeter Posts: 21

    Hi there,

    I have just had my 29th session of chemo. Whilst I am not happy about it, it has not been a major issue in itself, as side effects in my case have been fairly minor. Good job I like a short nap on a regular basis.

    Over the past 26 months, I have just got on with life. Replaced cladding, fascias and gutters on my bungalow, laid a new kitchen floor, had 7 foreign holidays, plant over 750 plants in my garden and grown fruit and veg. Currently refitting my kitchen, then I have to lay 74 garden flags on a new footpath to the side of the bungalow and, over winter, I will be hanging 12 new oak doors inside. I will then have a rest until my wife thinks of something else!!

    By the way, I was diagnosed with bowel cancer plus a couple of small metastatic tumours. I am on palliative care. On a plus note, we are off to Crete in 2 weeks for a fortnight holiday.

    Be positive a keep getting on with living, it is the others that have the problem.

    Peter

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 877 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Peter

    Hi Peter,

    You are such an inspiration to everyone, and you may not realise it!

    Listening/reading you describe your days, continuing to carry on with life regardless of what this disease throws at you is so encouraging.

    I fully agree with you, keep on keeping on! Live life!

    Even though it may have to be at a different pace sometimes, we keep living.

    I refused to allow cancer to rob me of my life.

    I hope you have a fantastic holiday in Crete, I have heard it is a beautiful place to visit.

    Looking forward to hearing more of what you or your wife plan next! 😀

    Lou xx

  • PeterPeter Posts: 21

    Hi Lou

    Thanks for that, much appreciated.

    I was having chemo at Preston Rosemere Cancer Centre yesterday and spoke to 2 first time patients who were, understandably apprehensive. Told them about my journey with chemo and how I handled it, plus I showed them my odd socks which come fron The Odd Sock Company - the seemed much more relaxed about it all when I left and they were laughing. Another good deed done for the day.

    Take care and look after yourself.

    Peter

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Peter

    Hi Peter

    I think it is just amazing to hear about all of the tasks you have undertaken whilst undergoing chemo treatment. You really are an inspiration to others and it is special to know that you have provided such encouragement and reassurance to people who are starting out on their journey through chemo.

    I am afraid that I have no DIY or gardening skills but I try to use the skills I do have to ensure that life is still fun and worth living.

    Enjoy your holiday in Crete. You have earned it.

    Rob

  • RobertARobertA Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KitKat @Jojodot

    Hi Catherine and Lorna

    Just a note to let you know that I am thinking of you both and hope that you are coping with your treatments OK.

    I seem to recall that you are now retired Catherine. It will be good to have more time to spend with your family and Splash of course.

    Rob x

  • KitKatKitKat Posts: 42 ✭✭

    @RobertA @Sunny139 @sunnydaff @Jojodot

    Hi guys been in hospital very poorly with infection. Chemo cancelled until further notice. Never felt so ill

  • KarinSiegerKarinSieger Posts: 64 Cancer Counselling Specialist
    edited October 2

    Hello @KitKat

    Just seen your response. I am sorry to hear that and hope the infection will pass soon. Unfortunately, this is not unusual. And it makes sense for the chemo to be stopped. Your body needs to recover. Sending you very best wishes!

    Karin

    Karin Sieger
    Psychotherapist | Writer | Podcaster | MA, BA (Hons) | Reg. MBACP (Accred)
    Helping you create new possibilities!
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 729 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @KitKat

    Hi Catherine

    So sorry to hear your news. Hope that your infection clears quickly.

    Rob x

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