Breast cancer

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When should I start chemotherapy?

sueevam
Posted by

Please can anyone help me, I had surgery on 3rd October, I have grade 3 HER2 positive beast cancer. Met with my oncologist last week and was told I will need chemotherapy, herceptin followed by radiotherapy and biophosphates ( I think that’s how it is spelt). Before starting I need a heart X-ray and bloods doing before. I am getting anxious as I still don’t have a start date and I have been told that ideally you should start treatment within 30 days of surgery. Is this normal or am I worrying unnecessarily? I feel worried sick and can’t sleep, can anyone give me advice please.

Sarah1111
Posted by

Hi Sueevam,

I had a lumpectomy last year on the 11th October. My cancer was her2 positive, er and pr positive. I started FEC-T and herceptin on the 23rd November. I questioned the gap and was told that they find that if they start too soon then the wounds don’t heal well and that they needed to find space in the chemo suite (suite !?!). I’m sure that things will start to happen quickly soon. Will you have a PICC line fitted? It may be worth calling the bookings team to see if they have any provisional dates for you. 

I didn’t start with bisphosponates until April, but that was because I was premenopausal and so I had to start zoladex injections to turn off my ovaries before I started with them. I think that if you’ve been through the menopause, then you start them before. Might be worth asking what the options are. I take the daily tablet and it’s a bit of a pain as you can’t then eat or drink anything for at least 30 mins and have to stay upright for an hour. I was never offered the infusions.

Best of luck with it all,

Sarah x

Northerner
Posted by

Hi

I have same diagnosis feel free to read my story on profile .Wont repeat all on here but I was about 6 weeks after surgery for tre

atment.

I also don't need rads as lymph nodes were clear .

You just need to breathe remember how awful it was waiting for results well this is similar . Once my decision made for surgery I stopped crying and stressing then bang it was back waiting for date for chemo, 

You will get regular Heart scan my second one due in Dec , The first one gives a base line for them to compare with . 

I'm on no 4 of 6 of chemo EC . I get my first of 6monthly  Bisphosphonate with cycle 5 . Herceptin after chemo finishes in Dec .

What I did to distract myself and aid recover from op . Was to go away for a few days and yes you can relax and distract yourself .

just do one day at a time  ! You should have been assigned a breast cancer nurse give her a call and see if she can put your mind at rest .

Have abrowse around the threads on here I'm sure others will be along shortly 

feel free to ask any questions 

margaret x

love and hugs 
xoxox
Margaret
Justtheone
Posted by

Hiya

You sound almost the same as me, grade 3 HER2 positive, only difference is I'm not having biophosphates.

I had my surgery on May 10th and started chemo on 2nd July so a little more than 30 days from surgery.  The main thing I've learned from all this is that everyone is different and all the treatments are different, maybe only slightly, but enough to make us worry unfortunately. 

Just one final thought but I met with my oncologist and started chemo within 10 days so you may find that you will be starting very soon now.  Please try not to worry, I know it is easier said than done, but this is all doable.

XOXO

sueevam
Posted by

Thanks very much for your support and kind words. I completely understand that everyone is different but that doesn’t stop you worrying. I am considering a picc as I always have trouble with my veins collapsing etc but wondered about the risk of blood clots. Have you found yours difficult to cope with?

sueevam
Posted by

Thanks Margaret, hopefully all will get moving soon, I am a bit of a control freak and so the waiting is very stressful. I think the fact that it is so close to Christmas is also not helping. 

sueevam
Posted by

Hi thanks for your positive comments, I am stressing about it all but hopefully it will start soon. I will call my Macmillan nurse tomorrow and see if I can get some information. 

Northerner
Posted by

Hi If you're worrying about Xmas you've just discovered your distraction

I have now got freezer full of Home baked Xmas food. Also 2 lge 2 med and 12 mini Xmas cakes have been baked

today was spent doing grandkids sweetie hampers .lol

The idea being get it done on my good days so if I'm not well at Xmas it's all done anyway .

hope things move shortly for you 

Margaret x

love and hugs 
xoxox
Margaret
Sarah1111
Posted by

Hi,

I wasn’t really given the choice about the PICC line - it was just scheduled in on my long list of appointments, so I had it fitted. There is a chance that the chemotherapy drugs could cause damage to the blood vessels if you dont have a PICC line and having it makes giving blood samples really easy, so it makes sense. It’s just a pain to have to cover it before showering. I had an appointment every week to have mine flushed through and I didn’t have a problem with it. I’ve just got a tiny white scar where it went through my skin. They do give you the information about blood clots and they would always be happy to see you if you had any pain or other symptoms.

Best wishes,

Sarah

sueevam
Posted by

Ha ha, yes I know what you mean, cards already written, gifts wrapped and labelled, just the freezer to fill and tree and decorations to put up (I am quite organised really). Maybe I need to take a little time out for myself!! 

sueevam
Posted by

Hi to everyone who has listened and commented on my posts, I have had my list of appointments through which I am relieved about starting next week with Herceptin treatment on Wednesday and docetaxel and carboplatin on Thursday. It is my granddaughters birthday on the Thursday and I am wondering when the side effects are likely to start? She is having a party on the Saturday and would like to be there but I can’t promise her as I’m not sure how I will be feeling. 
Anyone have any helpful comments?