Breast cancer for the under-50s

Breast cancer is far less common in the under-50s, but this can leave younger people with a diagnosis feeling isolated. This group is a place for them to come together, share experiences and support each other.

Starting chemo on Wednesday

Beachwalker19
Posted by

Hi All,

Im new to the site have only posted a few times. I was due to start chemo tomorrow however hospital changed appointment so now it’s Wednesday.

ive noticed a lot of ppl mention pre chemo appointments I haven’t had anything like that, just went to hospital to get bloods done. What do they do at these apps? Nobody has mentioned them to me. 

I’m going to try the cold cap, don’t know if it’s any good but have heard some good stories. My hair is quite thick so fingers crossed I’m 48 so just about under 50 lol. 

I wish you all good luck in your journey x

Leolady56
Posted by

Welcome and sorry you find yourself battling this poop disease. Hopefully you have seen how incredibly supportive and kind everyone is. How they supply unconditional support and non judgemental advice. 

I had a pre chemo appt. Basically to meet some of the team; where everything is;  what I need to do booking in; how to get a letter for cheap parking and food, meds to bring or not. Chat about the cold cap which I declined. But useful for you to get questions answered. Are you aware you may be there an hour longer using the cap???

Maybe you could give the unit a call or your BC nurse and ask what is the procedure for the hospital you are attending as you have lots of things to check out.

CLICK HERE for main group chemo chat

The opening page has some helpful hints but more than anything it is a great chance to connect with people living chemo

Wishing you a gentle pathway through chemo and minimal SE's (side effect) Remember many many people do the chemo with no issues and manage a job, don't assume you will be hit by a train but then again be prepared

Leolady56

 What is a Community Champion? How to add to you profile Life is like a boxing match, defeat is declared not when you fall ..... But when you refuse to stand up again ....... So, I get knocked down but I get up again. x

Beachwalker19
Posted by

Thank you for your reply.

Everyone has been great, I will try to pop on at least once a week during treatment. I’m quite daunted by it all I have to say. I don’t really know much about chemo, I stopped reading about all the drugs and side effects as it was just getting me down. I want to try to be as positive as I can. 

I did go to a meeting at the hospital which talked about the cold cap and some common side effects and we got a voucher for money off a wig. They did say using the cold cap would put a couple of hrs on the treatment time. I was resigning myself to be there pretty much all day anyway.

I popped in the unit on Friday as I wanted to make sure they had my sickness tablets the dr prescribed me, i mentioned the cold cap to the nurse who told me it wasn’t a problem to get one as there are only 6 ppl treated at one time so they would measure me up for it on Wednesday. It’s worth a go I guess.

Thank you for your kind words x

Leolady56
Posted by

Leolady56

 What is a Community Champion? How to add to you profile Life is like a boxing match, defeat is declared not when you fall ..... But when you refuse to stand up again ....... So, I get knocked down but I get up again. x

Sherwood18
Posted by

Hi. I am due to start chemo on the 16th and also feel that it is quite daunting. I went to the doctor’s back in October thinking that I had a cyst. I have since had a lumpectomy with a WLE and fortunately no lymph nodes had cancer. 

I am oestrogen receptive and still have my periods regularly and so had the Oncotype DX test and came back with 33. Despite being told that it was up to me to make a choice, I feel that there was no choice at all and that my life isn’t in my hands at all. I know that there are many other people in worse situations than me and I know that people are trying to be well meaning and say to stay positive and that my hair will grow back, but there are times when I don’t want to be positive as I am angry at the unfairness of the disease.

 I also feel quite alone. My breast care nurses are good, but every time I go to the hospital, the reality of cancer kicks in and I get quite down. I don’t know what point I am trying to make. 

I am am not going to do the cold cap treatment as my hair is quite thin and as I occasionally suffer from migraines i thought that I might not benefit from the experience much.

i hope all goes well for you with your chemo. I am 48 this year. The women I have met with breast cancer are in their 60’s or 80’s which is possibly good. I would like to chat to anyone who is similar in age and treatment to me.

Woody47
Posted by

Sherwood18, sending you Big Hugs. I've just turned 47 and noticed my breast didn't quite look right back in October. I finally made it to my GP mid November and like you, never expected anything. It turned out I have 2 lumps that are both ER positive HER2 negative. I am having a mastectomy in a couple of weeks and will not know until after if I will need chemotherapy or any further treatment.

I completely understand your rage. So many times I've wanted to tell the world to just f*c# off. Excuse the language. It is NOT fair. It's horrid and heart breaking.

I have found this community to be a god send. Just getting first hand experiences has helped me so much. I am terrified of the day I lie on the bed, heading for theatre but the support I have received is wonderful.

I may not be in quite the same situation as you but I'm sure our sense of loss and fear and very much the same. Always happy to chat xx

Sherwood18
Posted by

Thank you for responding. I have just read some posts from others who have been through FECT chemo and it seems that many said that they had more good days than bad which is a relief.

I had a lumpectomy on 27th November and was fortunate that everything went well and I have healed well. I found my local John Lewis bra department invaluable for both emotional support and for valuable info about bc, bc groups and took off the VAT from my purchases.

After my op, I found the waiting to know what the next step was excruciating. I began to understand the doctor’s code that when they said you might want to think about... really meant that this would be the next step. I coped I am not sure I can say better once I knew what my treatment plan was, but chemo and hair loss is daunting.

When I had my op the support from the whole medical team was great. They really put my mind at rest and I recovered very quickly. I wish you the best and the nurses always say that their breast patients always come up from the op in a better shape than other patients. I hope that You will have the same experience.

One if my bc nurses put me in touch with a local hairdressers to advise me about hair loss, headwear and wigs. Not sure about the wig option, I tried some on but they felt so alien.

Please keep me updated with how you get on. Sending you big hugs and kind thoughts. Xx

Beachwalker19
Posted by

Hi

I was diagnosed in October, I also thought I had a cyst as I’d had them before and mine was oestrogen receptive too. 

Im 48 with 4 kids. 

I’m starting chemo today. I had a left side mastectomy and lymph node clearance, 7 nodes of 21 showed cancer cells, lots of other tests and scans show all clear elsewhere. Thank God. Dr advised chemo being young as a precaution as he said just incase there is a microscopic cell left it’s the best choice for me.

im dreading chemo as I get sick with headaches, travelling taking antibiotics, everything makes me sick. Dr has prescribed a tablet that lasts 5 days so I’m hoping I can get good results with that.

Hair loss obviously fills me with dread, as dies losing my eyebrows and lashes but I’m preparing myself for it. 

Hope all goes well for you x

Sherwood18
Posted by

Hi Beachwalker,  

 

How nice to find someone in a similar situation. That sounds awful- I mean that hopefully we can support each other through this. I have two teenage girls and will be 48 this year.

 

I am sending you a big hug and am thinking about you. I hope it goes as smoothly as possible. Mine is next Wednesday! Please let me know how it goes! Are you starting with FEC? I am doing three with FEC and then 3 with T.

 

Did you a have a PICC line inserted. Mine goes in on Monday. I feel nervous about the procedure, how comfortable it is going to be etc. Did you get a sleeve for it? Do your ordinary clothes fit over it?

 

One of the bc nurses told me to think of the chemo as an antibiotic and think how it is fighting the disease. I found this strangely comforting.

 

I got away with a lumpectomy and removal of my sentinel lymph nodes. My tumour was 260mm. None of my lymph nodes showed cancer but my tumour was grade 3.

 

Great to hear that it hasn’t spread elsewhere. I haven’t been checked for this which I guess is a new thing to worry about.

 

I have read that people use travel sickness bands and eating ginger biscuits are helpful.

 

Are you cold capping? I have decided against it as I have relatively thin hair and suffer from migraines. Some say it saves 30% of your hair so I am not going to bother.

 

I tried to get my long hair cut short last week and didn’t as the specialist hairdresser could see that I really didn’t want to. I think I want to go down the headscarves and hat route rather than a wig, but I did try some on and have provisionally ordered one. It felt itchy and uncomfortable.

 

I am also getting my eyebrows micro bladed tomorrow to allow enough time for healing pre chemo. I hate all these forced changes.

 

Do you wear deodorant yet? I wear a little T-shirt underneath to soak up the lovely sweat instead of my clothes getting ruined and stinking of BO. 

 

I too am dreading losing  my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. I hate hearing that never mind it will grow back.

 

I really do hope it goes well for you today and am sending out kind thoughts to you and yours.

 

How are your kids dealing with it? I am told by one that every conversation returns to this....

 

Although I have good friends and a supportive family I don’t feel that I can feel what I feel when I feel it. Do you get that?

 

Just think by the end of today, one session down and one less to do!

 

Look after yourself and looking forward to hearing from you!!

 

Xxx

TheScriptFan
Posted by

Hiya Girls

I was 47 when i was diagnosed with BC last July after a tumor was found in a routine mammogram.

I have finished FEC-T chemotherapy 7 weeks ago and on my MRI afterwards there was NO cancer showing. I had a lumpectomy on Monday and 4 lymph nodes removed i am feeling surprisingly amazing.

Anyway just wanted to say if you want any advice or anything on the FEC-T please give me a shout. I've felt all the things you're feeling, but today i feel great. 

When i first started all this malarkey i didn't want a wig but after i saw a few people on here with their wigs on i was surprised on how brill they looked so got a couple myself. 

https://community.macmillan.org.uk/cancer_types/breast-cancer/f/breast-cancer-forum/167024/our-wonderful-wigs?Page=0#1248693

They gave me a bit more confidence and people don't stare and believe it or not i have had more people tell me they like my hair with my wig on than they ever have lol 

hope your chemo has gone well today, make sure you take your anti sickness tablets even if you don't feel sick.

Remember we're all in this together xx 

 If its hurting right now, it's gonna make us who we are, it's written in the scars   "The Script"

Beachwalker19
Posted by

Yes we can definitely support each other, that would be great. I think my tumour was 63mm. Grade 2, seems a bit of a blur now tho. 

The Chemo was ok, I had a bit of a wobble at the beginning but after 10 mins I was ok. I’m having the EC part Fec-t  EC is 3 cycles and then T for 3 cycles, I think the drugs have unpronounceable names lol. They told me days 4-7 are usually the worst but what is usual? Haha.

Dr prescriped me a anti sickness tablet which I had before chemo which lasts about 5 days but I do have steroids and more anti sickness tablets at a lower dose. what they didn’t tell me about was bringing injections home to do myself! Starting on day 7. I think they are to help your white blood cells.

I didn’t have a picc line done so I’m no help there I’m afraid and don’t know about the clothes etc, however if you post about it on here I’m sure some lovely ladies will be able to let you know about it.

I did use the cold cap as I thought I’d just give it a go, my hair is pretty thick. But I have ordered a wig which was pretty much the same style I have now.

I’ve suffered with migraines myself and didn’t think I could do it but I had 2 paracetamols beforehand so that might have helped. I didn’t get a headache.

I have to say the cold cap was bad for about 10 mins but after that it was bearable, although I will take a fleece blanket next time as hospital ones are so thin. I was also given a heat pad as my hand with the cannula in was cold. 

Re eyebrows I saw some stickers on Amazon that look good and have some great reviews so I’m thinking about getting them or failing that my 15 year old is a dab hand with the wonder brow or whatever and unfortunately I don’t think there’s much can be done for eyelashes. 

I have 4 kids, My 2 older ones don’t live at home. My eldest, a Son isn’t taking it too well, doesn’t really want to talk about it, my eldest daughter has been fab she’s 25, just home this week as she lives in Yorkshire and we are in Lancashire. Hubby came with me yesterday, do you have someone to go with you?

My younger ones are 15 and just turned 13 in December so although I was diagnosed in October we didn’t tell them till after New Year as we wanted to give them the full picture and it helped to say the cancer was gone and this is just ‘mopping up’ it’s a precaution as we knew it hadn’t spread so there were lots of positives. They both cried yesterday as it was my first chemo but I’ve let the school know and emailed their form tutors. I’m worried for my 15 yr old as she has GCSEs  in May/ June so is under so much pressure already without this! Hopefully we can support her with the schools help and she does spk to the chaplain there once a week which seems to help they just have more to talk about now!

Have been wearing a t shirt too and yes been using deodorant, although I have a scar under my arm from lymph node removal but it’s been fine.

Totally understand with the friends thing, this is why is so good to talk to someone in a similar situation. How are your children doing?

Thank you for the kind thoughts and hope we can stay in touch x x

Beachwalker19
Posted by

 

I didnt take any sickness meds today as had a tablet yesterday that is suppose to last 5 days, I’m not sure if or when I should take the ones I brought homenow, I guess I will ring the unit tomorrow and find out. 

Thanks x

TheScriptFan
Posted by

i was given some anti sickness tablets as back up, to take if and when necessary. Maybe thats what yours are xx

 If its hurting right now, it's gonna make us who we are, it's written in the scars   "The Script"

Beachwalker19
Posted by

Yes it does say up to 3 tablets in 24 hours as and when. I’m going to ring the unit tomorrow to ask about it and want to mention my temperature if my temp is still a bit low as my temp was 35.5 this morning where as the last two days it was 37.1. I repeated the temp an hour later and it was 36.4 however because I was paranoid then I did it again about 3pm and it was 35.9 which it has stayed at when checked it about 9pm x x