New here’s

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Hi I’m new here

let me introduce myself

My name is Clare. I’m 35. On the evening of May 8th 2023 I found a lump in my left breast while at in the bath shaving, I went to the doctors the following day and was referred to the breast clinic at Macclesfield hospital. I had an ultrasound guided biopsy on May 26th and 3 weeks later I was diagnosed with stage 0 breast cancer (DCIS) I had a mammogram that day, followed by a second biopsy 3 weeks later, this time xray guided I also had a 3D mammogram and another ultrasound this time on my right. When I went for the results of that I was told my DCIS had grown to 6x4cms and I was having a mastectomy and SLNB with expander recon, my op was booked in for Aug 21st. The following day I got told everything went great with the actual op, but they had to keep me in because I had a reaction to the radio active dye. Fast forward to Sept 14th, my results were ready, my DCIS had grown to a whopping 8x6cms but my diagnosis had changed to IDC with lymph node involvement, and that I’m triple positive, I now needed ALNC, 4 1/2 mths chemo and herceptin. The next day was my 35th birthday, which saw me hiding away in my room all day, I felt like it was ruined. ALNC was booked in for Oct 20th, I asked for a bed for the night as my sister was babysitting a friends 18th old for the night and he is into everything especially pulling. I then started fertility preservation on nov 10th, had my collection on Nov 23rd and got 2 eggs, I started a second round the following day. Dec 1st was my postponed results (egg collection was the original date) to find out another 5 nodes were involved, she was discharging me from clinic and was now passed over to oncology. Dec 6th saw my first visit to the Christie at Macclesfield Hospital, where I was told I’m having 6 rounds, each round being 3 weeks apart. I’m having Docetaxin (taxotere) & via IV and start pheago a few weeks later. My chemo start date is in 4 days, and I’m scared. What do I take with me? I have ginger biscuits a colouring book and pencils, crochet, chocolate, drink bottle, juice, but I don’t know what else is essential to pack. What were you essentials when going through chemo?

  • Hi Clare,

    My journey started in May, after much like yourself, finding a lump when I was in the shower. I avoided it for a few weeks as I’m 46 so thought, it was just my age, one of those things…. But I have a 12 year old daughter so I thought I can’t just ignore this.

    i went to the gp, was put on a 2 week referral and off it went.  My original diagnosis was a small amount of cancer which would probably mean a lumpectomy and radiotherapy and to put all thoughts of chemo out of my mind. But, there was something further they wanted to investigate in my lymph’s…

    Fast forward to the end of September (after what felt like a million scans, biopsies, consultation meetings) I had a single mastectomy with an immediate reconstruction. Then the next obligatory wait for the results of what they removed. When they came back, because I had 19 lypms removed - 4 of which were cancerous it was recommend I had 8 rounds of chemo over 16 weeks and then 3 weeks of radiotherapy. 

    i had my first chemo session yesterday and went in all prepared. I went onto the unit at 9.30 and was done by 2.30. Honestly, everything goes so quickly you dont really have much time to do anything! I think perhaps once you get into the cycle you may need things to occupy you, but I certainly didn’t need much yesterday (I had an audio book on my phone, a Christmas film on the iPad, a massive flask of tea and LOTS of snacks). I think we will just find our feet as we go. I tried to spy what other people had… one lady just laid down in the chair and went to sleep, another was watching something on an iPad, the other lady was reading and the two men were occupied with their phones.

    Everything is very different for each of us. Wishing you all the best on your journey. Take one day at a time, step by step. You’ve got this x (ps, LOTS of water helps)