Hey Guys, So I was diagnosed with breast cancer about 2 weeks ago now, I've been told that the treatment including surgery will take a year. this is all still all a shock to me. Nobody in my family has ever had breast cancer and I'm under 30. I'm just so confused lol. I've been told I'll need a mastectomy *sigh I'm just trying to not think about it, but as the days are getting closer for the chemo I know need to wrap my head around it! any tips on what to do for the first day or running up to it.
Hello Colourful_rainbow Can i first welcome you to the community none of us want to be a member of but under the circumstances its the best place to be.
Sorry to hear your news and that you have been told that it will take a year. That sounds a long time, and believe me if i'd been told that at the start i would have been in shock too. I'm not saying they have told you wrong but you will soon find out with this poopy thing that things change all the time. I don't see how they can tell you how long it will take until they know the results of your chemotherapy, your recovery from your mastectomy etc.
I had chemotherapy first and the chemo worked so well that my cancer could no longer bee seen on an MRI. So even though chemo isn't easy it is doable and you will do it. Do you know what chemotherapy you will be having?
This group is very quiet so i would advise that you also post in The breast Cancer group more people go in there so you will get a lot more responses. You will also find a monthly chemotherapy chat June Breast Cancer Chemotherapy Chat in there, where you will be able to chat to people who are going through chemotherapy the same time as you and people who have had chemotherapy who will give you lots of support and advice.
The best advice i was given was take each step at a time, so each chemotherapy treatment just think about the one coming and once thats done, countdown. Don't look too far in advance.
I have had a mastectomy so when the time comes if you want to ask anything then give me a shout. But just concentrate on your chemo first. Fingers crossed if the chemo works well they may say you'll be able to get a way with just a lumpectomy. But like i say don't be thinking about that just yet.
Keep posting you'll get lots of support here, come and shout, scream and sometimes we even laugh.
Best wishes to you xxx
It's gonna make us who we are, it's written in the scars "The Script"
ThAnk you for the welcome, the lady at the hospital gave me a rough outline as to how long the whole thing could take. A year is incredibly long though. The type of chemo they said would be pertuzumb (perjeta) amd trastuzumab (sounds horrible lol). I'm hoping I wont have to go down that road but thank you for the advice and getting back to me so fast I will give the other group a go thank you again.
Colourful_rainbow a year is a long time at the start but once its done it is no time at all.
Once i finish my radiotherapy i will have been at this for 50 weeks and 1 day. It seems to have flown past now it is done.
I try to think of it as a year out of my life to get me well again for many years to come xxx
Sorry you find yourself here however you are in the best place.
I had my op first then chemo, now having radiotherapy. I’ve been doing this 9 months now but it has gone very fast, just taking it a day at a time, some days are better than others.
I batch cooked some meals and froze them. I bought things from the simple range of products like shampoo, conditioner etc and stocked up on things I knew hubby would forget.
Good Luck x
Thank you, I had an appointment today. They said with my medication, emy hair will fall out before the second session. I cried so much. It’s all becoming so real, where I’ve been suppressing my emotions in regards to this, it’s becoming very very overwhelming and reallll now ! I’m just scared I don’t want no pain:( my son also senses there is something wrong so he is incredibly close
Thank I will stock up. How was your first chemo if you remember x
I tried the cold cap if that’s available to you, it might be an option.
Tbh after thinking about my kids (I have 4) losing my hair was what I dreaded the most.
Its not really helpful when ppl say “O well it will grow back”, it’s really not the point, however kindly it is meant.
For me, the thought of having no hair was just awful and I didn’t really want my youngest 2 to see me like that either.
I didn’t tell my kids till 3 months after my diagnosis. But had to once I was due to start chemo as its not something you can hide and I think as hard as it was for them, they appreciated the honesty.
My breast care nurse said “It’s not what you tell them, it what you don’t tell them”, depending on your sons age, I would just tell him the facts as you have them. It is, after all, treatment that will eventually make you better.
First chemo was ok really, I cried before I left the house, I was terrified as it’s fear if the unknown, I couldn’t stop shaking, but the actual chemo for me was ok, it’s the side effects but it’s a process we need to go though to get well. Some days are worse than others.
There are some photos on here about wonderful wigs, I love mine, there are some great scarves/ hats too x
I really get defensive when people say OH its just hair! it'll grow back, its more than just the hair. I'm thinking of just cutting off beforehand to avoid any shocks lool. I'm going to do the cold cap and see, it's been advised that I don't have it though because of my migraines.
My son is only 3 but he is very intelligent and very aware, so I'm not really sure how I'll go about it, but I'm sure I will figure something out.
It is a very frightening thing I will probably act the same way if I'm honest, as i know nothing! lol, I'm sure i'll probably look back and laugh for being silly.
I have seen some of the wigs, they're nice I will definitely look into it.
p.s do you lose your lashes and eyebrows with chemo too? I know its a silly question but I'm genuinely unsure lol
Im really thick skinned and comments don’t t really bother me lol, but yes the ‘it’s only hair ‘etc just annoys me.
I started saying to ppl, “O that’s great you’re doing ‘Brave the Shave’ then”, watch their faces drop then I’d say, “Well it’s only hair!” I had to amuse myself somehow.
Think some realised then its a lot more than just hair, it’s our confidence, our personality, our identity.
I’ve suffered with migraines in the past but when I stopped taking the pill as my tumour was hormone receptive, I haven’t had a migraine.
I used the cold cap the first couple of chemo but I was losing a lot of hair and decided to stop the added time was always a factor for me, it does put about 2 more hours on treatment. The drugs I had took a couple of hrs, I just decided it wasn’t worth it for me.
I didn't shaved my head at the time I think i probably should have, but it’s a very personal thing. Lots of ppl say it’s very liberating.
Your son is very young, I think you only really need to tell him You've been poorly and the medicine!! Will help you get better might make you look a bit different if you feel like telling him you might lose your hair you could do.
I lost my eyelashes and just recently my eyebrows I finished chemo in April.
Gentle hugs X x
Hi Colourful Rainbow,
I remember feeling stunned when my surgeon told me that I’d need chemotherapy (treatment plan changed). I know you’re upset, but it sounds like you’re getting the best treatment - the two drugs you mentioned are relatively new and they are extremely good at destroying her2 positive cancer cells. They are given with other chemotherapy drugs. I had FEC T with herceptin. I used the cold cap and whilst about half my hair fell out (bald patch on the top), I finished chemotherapy at the start of March and I don’t need a wig or hat anymore. The top section is covered and it blends in with the rest of my hair.
I found that most of my eyelashes and eyebrows fell out when I started on the T part (taxol). I’m sure lots of beauty counters would help, but I found that Benefit we’re really good and I used one of their products that looks like mascara to paint on eyebrows - looked really convincing. My eyebrows are back now and bushier than before!?!
Im so sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis, it’s always shocking to get that sort of news. I got my diagnosis at 37 (2016) and I really wasn’t expecting it. Before having chemotherapy I read different women’s accounts and experiences trying to get an idea of how I’d cope, but truth is you just don’t know until you’re in it. I also had a mastectomy and reconstruction prior to chemotherapy and although I’m incredibly lucky to have the all clear now, I do miss my boob now and then.
But there was one blog I really found helpful, written by Liz O’Riodan. She was a breast surgeon who has been through BC treatment.
I had FEC T chemo, so I’m not sure how similar the treatment is, but here are my top tips:
Do not suffer in silence! Any uncomfortable side effects just let your chemo nurse or oncologist know. Something like anti sickness meds, they will give you the cheapest stuff first, so if it doesn’t work, ask for the good stuff.
I know what you mean about losing your hair, it’s really really an upsetting thought. I bought a couple of wigs, but actually apart from when I went back to work I went au natural. Or wore a scarf, a wig can be blooming hot in the summer! You’ll find what works for you. Some of the women I’d see at chemo looked incredible and I’d never have known it was a wig.
Stock up on some fake eyelashes and a good eyebrow pencil. I think I missed them more than my hair to be honest.
I went through a lot of ice lollies when I had treatment , I found them great when I was feeling nauseous.
I also had bad acid reflux. Gavisgon do handy sachets that you can carry around, they really were a life saver.
I really really hope everything goes as well as it can! Any questions pls message I’m more than happy to answer! Good luck!!
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