Lymph nodes Clearance

Hi all

So, I was diagnosed with breast Cancer for the second time. This time it's in both breasts. I've just had an operation to remove the lumps and some lymph nodes and while still in theatre it was discovered that there were cancerous cells in 1 of the lymph nodes from the left side so they did a node clearance. I had intraoperative radiotherapy and will have radiotherapy for the right side at a later date. I'm struggling with the fact my boobs are different sizes and shape, but my big worry is what it means for my left arm! I don't have any lymph nodes there now. 

It is early days and we still have the rest of the results to come back

I'm worried about what the future might hold

  • Mysis, thanks for the update! I hope you will be willing to update again once you know what treatment they have in mind for you. I get what you are saying about still digesting what was said. How are you doing physically at the moment?

  • So, physically I'm tired and still have the swelling but I'm sending regular photos over a secure link to the breast care team, which the consultant was really grateful for. They aren't too worried about it and have told me to keep in regular contact with them. 

    I've been for a couple of short walks but am tired when I get back.

    Other than that,  occupying my mind is something I struggle with 

  • Hey GreyCats

    So, I've seen the oncologist and I'll be having Chemotherapy (4 cycles) through a Portacath. Trastuzumab along side the Chemotherapy. There's also something to help strengthen the bones. Hormone drugs over 10 years. My head is spinning at the moment but I'm OK with it as I feel it's a step forward, albeit a step forward that is going to take time. Hair loss is a distinct possibility but I'm OK with that too. Having no hair is something I can deal with and I've prepared for but the process of losing it is something I can't deal with so I've made arrangements to have my head shaved when the time is right.

    I've met some of the team at the unit where the Chemotherapy will be given and they seem nice. I've also been told that during the Chemotherapy, if I'm at all worried about side effects or feeling unwell in any way, I can call them 24/7. I'm not to worry about calling my GP or 111. This feels very reassuring 

    I feel ok in general but the nerves kick in now and then and I become a little tearful

    My breast care team are in regular contact with me and I can call them whenever I feel the need.  

    Lymphoedema is a big worry for me but the breast care team have said I've only got to call and they'll see me to check my arm and any swelling.

    It seems as though I have lots of help doesn't it but I still feel overwhelmed and a little alone at times. Thank god for Macmillian

  • Having such a great team as you describe is a huge bonus, I am glad to hear they are keeping in touch and are offerring support.

    I completely get it about feeling a little alone at times. Unless someone has been through the same experience they have no way to really know. The forum can be a great help as we've all been through treatment one way or another -- surgery, chemo, radio, years of hormone-related meds, and so on. 

    Regarding hair loss, I did the same when I noticed that my hair was making me look like Gollum from Lord of the Rings. The NHS gave me a beautiful wig, but so far I have not used it. Still, good to have it around in case I want it.

    Have they given you a starting date for chemo?

  • Hey GreyCats,

    Thanks for that. As I was reading your reply I was thinking Yes! All of the above,  surgery,  chemo, radio and years of hormone related treatment. Did all of that the first time, now got to do it all again but for longer!

    I  won't use a wig. I have some beautiful head coverings, hats etc that I'm happy to use

    No date for start of chemo as yet. Have to have the Portacath fitted first then Chemo usually starts a week later. Expect to hear about the Portacath next week

  • Yeah. Having been there before is both a benefit and a drawback, as I see it. On the one hand, you pretty much know what you are walking into, on the other hand...... you know what you are walking into. There is a difference though, in that they keep coming up with new treatments and protocols, which give all of us better odds than anyone had ever had in the past.

    There are some people here who are in situations similar to yours in that this is not their first time around with breast cancer. I hope some will be able to say more regarding the differences from their own experiences of dealing with it first and second time.