New diagnosis

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Hello I have TNBC and I am starting treatment this week. I will be having 8 rounds of chemo (PC and then EC) alongside immunotherapy. 
I’ve tried not to Google anything to this point, I’m being really positive as I have 2 young kids and I just think it’s the only way to go through this by keeping positive and focussing on our family. 
M however as things are getting started.. I’m finding I’ve got really weird concerns, questions, overwhelm I suppose. Such as… finding natural shampoo and conditioner as I will be trying the cold cap.. many of them promote hair growth, is this a good thing or bad? And my instinct to turn to antioxidant foods and anti inflammatory diet.. again my medical team were vague about whether this is good or not.. and I don’t want to do anything that might interfere with the drugs they’re giving me..! But I want to support my body and immune system as best I can particularly with young children and the bugs they tend to have over winter!! Mostly these seem unimportant things to worry about, but they are the little things that I CAN control so I think it would be helpful to feel confident in … something.. 

Is anyone else taking a holistic approach alongside their treatment? Does anyone know of any absolute no no’s when treating this type of BC? For example my nurse said no saunas- not that I was planning a spa day.,,,! I’m just feeling like I’ve got silly little questions and I find Google can tell you almost anything. I suppose it’s pre treatment anxiety perhaps. 

  • Hi LJroux

    Welcome to the forum and I am sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.  The only absolute no no's are things that would interfere with treatment for this type of cancer.  I would be very wary of google particularly with this type of cancer as the information is years out of date and not to be relied upon.  Rely on sites such as this one and Breast Cancer Now for your information.

    You could also ring the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 to talk to a volunteer to get information.  I am sending you a couple of links to Diet from the website.  Here they are: Making changes to your diet when you have cancer | Macmillan Cancer SupportCommon questions about diet and cancer | Macmillan Cancer Support.

    Hope this helps somewhat.

    Best wishes


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  • I had tnbc in 2021, and thankfully now am still cancer free. I had a similar attitude to you and remained quite positive and put a lot of focus on eating well and exercising throughout all my treatments and beyond. I had some side effects during treatment, but they were quite minor and didn't disrupt my life too much, and I like to think that all my efforts helped to make that possible. It also helps me cope with the fear of recurrence, as I still feel like I am actively doing something to help myself. It was quite a minefield at first as I didn't know what to do for the best (there is so much misinformation online!), but I soon got into the swing of things and now I feel better than ever with loads of energy. I haven't listened to it yet, but I follow a good podcast by nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert and this week's episode is with a guest onco-nutritionist talking about how nutrition can support you through cancer treatment and after - I imagine it would be useful to listen to. The podcast is called 'Food for thought' - I hope it's useful for you!

    I can't help re the shampoo as I went straight for the bald look and instead used a scalp oil to nourish my scalp. I live in France and was recommended by my hospital support team to see a herbalist prior to starting chemo who prescribed me a special tea to drink during chemo to help my body flush out the toxins. She knew my hospital well and so only recommended things she knew would not interact with treatments and I double checked with my oncologist before having anything out of the ordinary. I think the most important thing is to always check any special tea or supplements with your oncologist to make sure that they will not interact with the drugs. Other things to take care of is to hydrate well through lots of drinks and also moisturise lots to keep your skin hydrated, particularly when on paclitaxel. You can help to protect your nails by using cuticle oil on hands and feet once/twice a day (depending how motivated you are!) and use a Silicium-enriched opaque nail polish to protect nails from sunlight damage (although maybe not the biggest concern during winter). There are many out there, but I used Même Cosmetics as they have lots of natural based products designed by and for cancer patients!

    Have you got a start date for your chemo? Wishing you the best of luck on your journey x

  • Thank you this is really helpful. I am starting treatment on Friday.

    So pleased for you that you are cancer free long may it last and yes that’s exactly it, feeling like you’re doing something proactive to help. I will give the podcast a listen! 
    It is a minefield, I am having immunotherapy at the same time and that seems to give the body a real kicking so I’d love to be able to support it as best I can. 


  • Hi LJ 

    I was diagnosed with TNB in January 2005 in my breast and lymph nodes. Not a good prognosis but after surgery, chemo and radiotherapy I have been in remission - until last week - hence my joining this forum. 19 years is a pretty good run in remission and I am hoping for a second run.

    i just wanted to try to help with your questions about diet. I spent a week at the Bristol Cancer Centre who help with complimentary therapies alongside conventional treatments and they focus heavily on diet. I gave up all alcohol and followed a vegan diet for about two years.
    I found it really difficult, but I am convinced it contributed to my unexpected recovery. Basically you are putting far less stress on your liver so it has more time and energy to fight off the pesky cancer cells. I was hopeless at meditation and yoga but I did walk and do pilates when I had the energy.
    They also encourage a positive attitude and I am sure that helps too. Our children were young at the time and I really wanted to be there for them as they grew up. Luckily I was.

    Always stick with your prescribed conventional therapy from your medical team and ask lots of questions to aid your understanding. Write them down before you go and follow up during your appointment if you are unclear. (Take a book to read in the waiting room. It can be a very long wait sometimes and having nothing to do increases your stress levels.)

    i gradually introduced fish and chicken into my diet but pretty much abandoned red meat and alcohol for at least ten years.

    Rest when you need to, sleep is a great healer and get your friends and family to help with the children while you focus on your complete recovery.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

    My husband eventually shaved my hair off and I bought a great wig which my hairdresser styled for me. It gave me confidence. 30 seconds and your hair is done!

    It is a scary time but many people recover and live normal, fulfilling lives. Take heart in that.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.


  • Thanks for these tips Rose222

  • Thanks so much for your comments and sorry to hear you are now back facing the diagnosis a second time. Treatments must have come on considerably since then so yes positive outlook all the way, I hope things go well for you. 
    It’s really helpful to hear your thoughts on the vegan diet if only to help give the Liver a break… that’s the sort of thing I’ve been hoping to find not so much as a abandon animal produce for the fear of its possible cancer aiding nasties but what can I do to support my body best through its healing. Thank you. I’ve had to resort to some good dairy protein in an attempt to help build my bloods up but I just think do what you can do without too much pressure and what feels right for your own body.

    Wishing you well x

  • Just listened to the podcast and so much useful information about how to eat well whilst undergoing treatment. Thanks for the recommendation 

  • Yes I listened to it too last night and really really good stuff! Made a lot of sense. Thanks

  • That's great, I'm glad it has helped at such a difficult time.

    I listen to the podcast every week and they always cover a wide array of topics that are very interesting. In case anyone refers back to this in the future, the episode specifically about cancer nutrition is 'Food for Thought', episode 'F*** cancer', season 16 released on 4th December 2023.

    I also always listen to the weekly 'Zoe science and nutrition' podcast too and honestly, I learn so much all the time. They also cover a variety of topics related to nutrition and health. I think my family and friends roll their eyes when I go on about gut health, sleep and movement all the time, but it's a game changer. The more I learn, it's like understanding the secrets of life! xx

  • Hello Rose,

    This is so helpful. I've just been diagnosed and start chemo soon I'm  scared about the side effects, would it be possible to know what tea you drank please?x