Breast cancer

Hi my name is Pauline I found a lump on my right breast on 12 November went 2 doctors on 15 November. Was sent for mammogram, biopsy. And scan on 29 November was then told on 7 of December it was cancer. I had op on 12 December 2 remove cancer and 4 lymph nodes. Was told on 18 December it hadn’t spread to any tissue only tiny bit in 1 lymph node. It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to take it in. I knew doctor was talking to me but it was so surreal no it’s not me I have never been so frightened in all my life . Iv had one out of six chemotherapy. 
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  • PositiveLady10PositiveLady10 Posts: 43 ✭✭
    Hi Sunny,you almost could be writing my story!
    i was diagnosed with right breast cancer on 15th Nov '18+ HER2 positive.
    Had 3 MRIs done on breast,1 area a positive cancer then 2 areas suspect.
    Have been advised to have a mastectomy,but they haven't proved the 2 suspect areas are actual cancer and was hoping for a lumpectomy.
    Everyone I've spoken to especially family and close friends have said to go for the mastectomy,but although I know it's the right thing to do,it's still so hard to come to terms with.
    I had my first of 6 sessions of chemo on Friday,at session 4 Herceptin will also be added to the chemo to fight the HER2.
    like you this has all happened so fast,my head hurts with it all.
    At first when I was told and was talking to people about it,I also felt as if I was having a conversation about somebody else.
    I wish I'd been able to have my surgery first like you ,to get it out of the way!
    I've got 6 sessions of chemo,then a 4 week rest,then surgery and have to go and have a Herceptin injection in the leg every 3 weeks for a year ,18 in total,a heart scan every 3 months as Herceptin can affect your heart......what an adventure to look forward to haha.
    Please keep in touch as I would like to know how you are getting on with your chemo,I haven't found the 1st one to bad,but have been told around 2 or 3 I will start feeling a bit worse.
    I must admit the anti sickness drugs have been brilliant,I've felt sick but haven't been.....yet!
    I am writing this at 4.30am,so sleeping is a problem!!
    Good luck with your treatment Pauline,I hope you get along ok on your treatment,let me know,I will be thinking of you.
    Barbara
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭
    @Sunny139 ;

    Hi Pauline, 

    You are very welcome here, you will find many who share similar stories to yourself, as @PositiveLady10 , Barbara has already said.

    It is great that things moved very quickly for you, without much delay in treatment. It does mean you haven't really had a chance to catch your breath, it's like a whirlwind isn't it!
     Did you have a lumpectomy or a mastectomy? 
    I hope you were able to get some recovery from that before starting chemo.

    I had breast cancer too, but I began chemo first, then a mastectomy, followed by radiotherapy. I didn't have a chance to turn around after being diagnosed. Even before I had been told, the dr's etc had already mapped out the sequence of events as long as I was willing.

    I was in chemo immediately, even while they were still trying to pin point where it was, although they knew it was in the breast, but couldn't find it to start with. It was found in my lymph nodes, so they knew it was there, just had to locate it. And then ensure it hadn't spread anywhere else. 

    I am so pleased for you that they caught it before it had a chance to get any further, I hope your chemo journey goes well for you. It is tough, but it is do-able, hang in there.
    I think being diagnosed with cancer is the scariest thing to go through. It is very frightening, and we get faced with so many horror stories, and we have to fight our fears. All I can say is, don't give up, you will have dark days probably, but underneath it all, keep hold of hope. The dark days will pass.

    Please feel free to ask any questions, if you have them. I was on FEC-T chemo. I finished my cancer treatment end of May 2016, I had follow up surgery 18 months later, as part of recovery from mastectomy.  I was on Tamoxifen, but am now on Letrozole medication. It has been a very long road to recover, I found I suffered more side-effects after treatment had finished than during it. I still have on-going issues with bones, joint pain, mobility etc, BUT, I don't have cancer anymore. I am alive, and very thankful for it.

    @PositiveLady10 , Barbara, so glad the anti-sickness drugs are working, they did for me too. 
    For both of you ladies, just know I will be thinking of you, and am here for you whenever.


    Lou x
  • PositiveLady10PositiveLady10 Posts: 43 ✭✭
    Lou, not such a good day today!
    Constipated for 24hrs but don’t want to take senecot as my ulcerative colitis has just settled.
    Feel a little bit spaced today head woozy, can only get better.... can’t it?
    Thought yesterday was too good to be true, 1st day after 1st chemo session.
    Going to put a film on and chill now, speak soon, look after yourself x
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭
    @PositiveLady10 ;

    Hi Barbara, 

    Sorry to hear the constipation has hit you already, It's like being between a rock and a hard place. Take the meds to get through it, but suffer constipation and even diahorrea, or risk the sickness. I know I chose the meds each time as the fear of being sick was worse. 
    But I do understand how you are feeling. 
    Taking it easy is the best thing to do when you feel like this. I hope it passes soon. Sips of water, every now and then.


    Speak soon, 


    Lou x
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭
    @PositiveLady10 ;
    .
    Hi Barbara, 

    I was thinking about you, wondering how you are feeling and getting on. Are you entering your second week after chemo? I hope things are settling down this week, and you are managing ok. 

    Sending a gentle hug, 

    Lou x
  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭
    @Sunny139 ;

    Hi Pauline, 

    You were also on my mind, how are you doing? Have you had another round of chemo? I hope you are managing ok with the whole process, and not suffering much with side-effects.

    Just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you.

    Lou x
  • PositiveLady10PositiveLady10 Posts: 43 ✭✭
    Hi Lou,
    yes into second week after 1st Chemo,I've been experiencing really bad stomache cramps which woke me up at 4am yesterday morning,and I've got them bad today!!
    I am going to the toilet but reading online it states that this is a common chemo problem.
    I am seeing my Oncologist on Weds prior to round 2 on Friday,I will tell her about it .
    My friend took me to purchase a wig last week,we really had a laugh with me trying them on,I looked like Ken Dodd in one 😂 I still have my hair at the moment,but I'm ready for the fall out.
    Ive bought hats,scarfs you name it,I'm getting prepared?
    How are you Lou,hope all is good with you.
    You are such a support on this site as you've been there and done it,thank you,
    Barbara x


  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭
    @PositiveLady10 ;

    Hi Barbara, 

    Oh no, that is so uncomfortable, I do understand. Definitely happened to me with chemo too. I would go from being very constipated and having horrendous cramps to then getting diarrhoea! I was given these orange sachets to mix with water (can't remember the name, ), not sure they really worked.

    In one desperate episode I resorted to eating a tin of prunes, that made my stomach hurt even more, but eventually did the trick for a few days anyway.

    Yes, definitely mention it to your oncologist, she will be able to advise you and perhaps prescribe something to help.

    You made me laugh with your story about shopping for a wig. It's good fun to laugh like that. I was the same shopping for hats and scarves with my friend. 
    We went to M&S, and my friend had a word with the one of the ladies there who let us use the disabled changing room to try them on. At the time my hair had started falling out, and it was hurting, but every time I put a hat on, when I removed it, piles of hair were stuck inside. I can't remember laughing so much at the time, I cried laughing. And yes, we took photos too. I left with my pockets stuffed full of hair! 
    If I can find a photo I will show you.

    I am really well thank you, glad that January is gone, and February half way almost, I am not a winter person, and really struggle with the lack of light and general warmth at this time of year. 
    Thank you so much for your lovely comment, it means a lot. 
    I feel privileged to be able to share my story, in the hope it will encourage others going through this. 

    I hope you feel better soon, chat soon.

    Lou x


  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭
    @PositiveLady10 ;

    Hi Barbara, 

    A couple of pics from hat-trying days!





  • PositiveLady10PositiveLady10 Posts: 43 ✭✭
    Absolutely Fabulous Lou x
  • RobertARobertA Posts: 446 ✭✭✭✭
    @Sunny139 @PositiveLady10 @Sunshinedaff

    Well, I am not  qualified to discuss your particular situations, but  I have undergone difficult and unwelcome treatments and side effects and I love your positive outlooks and sense of humour. 
    It is good to be part of such a lovely group. Thank you. 

    Rob x 
  • Sunny139Sunny139 Posts: 8

    Hi after having second chemo I was wiped out for at least 10 days feeling tired and queasy. feeling much better now. go for third round next Thursday cant believe il b half way through chemo.I to have had laughs trying hats n scarfs on. iv lost most of my hair now and got a lovely wig which im waiting to wear as im waiting for hair dresser to cut fringe. I also have chuckle every time I take cap off n see how thin n wispy my hair is. hope ur all keeping well. Pauline x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sunny139

    Hey Pauline!

    It's lovely to hear from you!

    I hope during that 10 days you were able to rest without having to do anything. I am glad to hear you are on the up again, getting ready for next week. Yes, halfway already! Once you are in it, it is surprising how quickly it goes, even though some of those days and nights feel like they will never end!

    That is fun to hear you have been able to laugh in the face of adversity, it is temporary, it will pass. I hope your head is not too painful and you can bear it.

    It would be lovely to see you a pic of you with your lovely new wig sometime.

    Speak soon,

    Lou x

  • Sunny139Sunny139 Posts: 8

    hi lou my head isn't as painful or tender now. yes il put photo on as soon as it gets cut xx its laugh or cry n hopefully im done with crying xx

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 17 mod

    @Sunny139

    Hi Pauline

    Just a quick note to ask how you are getting on. I do hope that you got through your chemo without too much discomfort and that you are still coping well.

    Rob x

  • Sunny139Sunny139 Posts: 8

    hello every one sorry I havnt been on for a while. I had my last chemo on Thursday 9 of may. a part from been very tired iv got no side effects as yet. I start my radiotherapy on 24 June for 3 wks. hope every one is doing good xx

    @Sunny139

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sunny139

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely to hear from you, it is great you have come to the end of your chemo treatment and amazing that you have not suffered any side-effects! Wonderful!

    So now you can rest and gain some strength before starting radiotherapy in June. Hopefully you will find it a lot easier than chemo, although very tiring, and your skin may become sore 'sunburned'. Travelling everyday to and from the hospital is part of the tiredness as well as the radiotherapy itself. Try and rest as much as possible.

    I am so pleased things have gone well for you so far, you must be very pleased to be through this phase.

    I wish you continued success in your treatment and recovery, please keep in touch when you are able, we'd love to hear how you are doing.

    Chat soon,

    Lou x

  • Sunny139Sunny139 Posts: 8

    sunny139

    Hi lou I have suffered side effects after each chemo the side effects wern`t as bad as 1 be for.lost my taste buds and its driving me crazy im eating just not enjoying any thing.im just so pleased chemo as finished mind you the last 5 month have gone so fast. was supposed to get hickman out to day but bloods are low so waiting till next wk.And my hair is growing back already as been for last 3 wks.hopefully things are on the u. im very tired but its only been 1 wk since last chemo. hope every one is keeping well as can be xxxxxx

    thanks Pauline xx

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sunny139

    Hi Pauline,

    Oh I do understand! I hope your taste buds return to normal soon.

    It is frustrating when you feel like eating but everything tastes disgusting!!

    So good to hear your hair is growing back well already, that is fabulous! Have you noticed any change yet? ( colour etc). Mine used to be red, but now I am very dark at the back and lighter on the top, which was weird to get used to. Haha!

    Even though chemo is very tough, it can seem like it has gone quickly. I think perhaps it's because we have such a routine during it, bloods, pre chemo, chemo, bloods, pre chemo, chemo and so on, the weeks whizz by.

    What is your next stage? Apologies if you have mentioned before. You will hopefully have some time now to regain some strength and immunity before going on.

    I hope you continue to be on the up. Rest as much as you are able.

    Chat soon,

    Lou x

  • Sunny139Sunny139 Posts: 8

    sunny139

    Hi Lou I start radiotherapy on 24 June for 3 wks. My hair is a mixture of dark and grey cant wait for it to grow even if its a few inches just so I don't have to wear wig its so hot on warm days and blows all over on windy days. Im so tired its been 3 wks since last chemo and my legs ache I try and walk round house but going up stairs is sometimes like climbing a mountain. Hopefully things will start to improve as wks go by,

    thanks hope every one is doing well xxx

    Pauline x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sunny139

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely to hear from you! 😊

    It does take a while for the effects if chemo to subside, I am not surprised you are feeling aches and pains, and extreme tiredness. It depends which chemo you had, I only found out recently that the effects of one of the drugs in my chemo lasted for at least a year!! I hope yours doesn't! Of course then I started meds which also had its own side-effects, things you don't necessarily know until afterwards. Hahaha. 😊

    You are still very close to your last chemo which I expect is still having a big effect on you.

    Hopefully, over the next few weeks you will feel a little stronger before radiotherapy starts. To be honest, you may find the fatigue increases as that is common with radiotherapy. Sorry! But overall, once you have completed all your treatment, you can begin to put this behind you and start recovering.

    I hope you have a restful weekend, I believe the weather is meant to be good, which if you are like me, is always welcome. 😎☀️

    Chat soon,

    Lou x

  • Sunny139Sunny139 Posts: 8

    sunny139

    Hi every one hope ur keeping well.Starting radiotherapy on 24 Monday June for 3 wks . wish I cud say im nearing end of treatment. but im now having tests on my heart and my thyroid which they think is overactive. but at least im starting to feel much better after finishing chemo. xx

    Pauline x

  • LouiseJLouiseJ Posts: 265 mod

    @Sunny139

    Hi Pauline,

    Lovely to hear from you, I am so glad you are starting to feel better after all the chemo, it does take a while, sometimes even longer, to get over it. I hope you will find radiotherapy a walk in the park after the chemo, I know I did. It is very tiring though, which does build up, and my skin was 'sunburned', but mostly it was ok. Having to stay very, very still while they lined me up was the hardest part of the actual treatment. It is all so very precise, and it may take a few goes til they are happy with the measurements.

    Has your thyroid just started to present as overactive? I have an overactive thyroid too, diagnosed with that 20+years ago. I take meds for it on a daily basis. What is it with your heart? I hope those tests are done very soon, in order for something to be done where necessary.

    Will be thinking of you next week as you start radiotherapy, chat with you again soon,

    Lou x

  • Sunny139Sunny139 Posts: 8

    sunny139

    hi lou,

    my calcium was low so doctor thought its best to get thyroid checked had lots of bloods taken

    waiting for results. my heart keeps racing and missing a beat its not as bad now it was worse when I was on chemo. having echo in a few wks. did any one's finger and toe nails go wht all the way down to there cuticles mine have just started to. xx

    Pauline x

  • JerseyBobJerseyBob Posts: 17 mod

    @Sunny139

    Hi Pauline

    Lovely to read your posts. I am so pleased that you have got through the chemo now. I know that you have more treatments to come, but hopefully the radiotherapy will be easier to bear. As Lou said, it is important to keep still whilst you are being lined up and during the treatment. Not easy for me as I always seemed to get an itch just at the wrong moment. Haha.

    I love your positive approach with everything you have been through since last November.

    All the best

    Rob x

  • SunshinedaffSunshinedaff Posts: 651 ✭✭✭✭

    @Sunny139

    Hi Pauline,

    Ah yes, I do remember sometimes my heart going faster while in chemo too. I did have a heart check thing done, to check my heart would cope with it. It came back fine.

    With the fingers, mine did change colour, I had ridges all over them, and eventually I did lose them all. It took quite a while for them to all fall off, I had to wear a lot of plasters to prevent catching them on things, and the nails were tender. I am sorry if this is the start of your nails going too, I do feel for you.

    I hope the tests results come back soon.

    Take care,

    Lou xx

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