Thanks so much. It’s a big milestone.
I cut my hair short too before chemo. It’s a smart move. Growing it out is interesting. It starts slow and then ‘boom’ it starts filling in really quickly. I finished chemo in May and stopped having my hair fixed in July and stopped wearing my hair apart from at work by mid August. I’ve trimmed mine a lot since I finished chemo. I’ve kept it really neat. It’s just out of a pixie and almost a short bob now.
There will be hilarity amongst the treatment too btw. I was naughty and ate a few veggies. They can tell. It creates wind and they can see it. you have to go and fart so your bowel is in the right position for RT. So don’t be naughty and don’t eat your greens!
Joking aside yes they give you a low residue diet sheet. It’s pretty straight forward but a bit boring. You can eat meat, dairy and carbs. They also give you advice on how to cope if you’re not lucky like I was. I bought loads of Imodium in preparation.
Keep active, keep social and try and hang on to your normal life as much as possible. Treatment will be over quicker than you know.
Welcome to the group none of us ever thought we'd ever be in. I'm sorry for the reasons you find yourself here. It's a lovely, supportive group and one I wish I'd found much earlier in my cancer journey.
A cancer diagnosis is hard to take in. Being told you will need further treatment is another body blow. I had surgery and needed adjuvant chemo and radiotherapy. Chemo was tough but doable. A friend is a chemo nurse and she says most people cope with it much better than they anticipated. If you are given the carboplatin/paclitaxol regime you'll find that any side effects are cyclical so what you get in round 1 you'll probably get at roughly the same time in the following rounds. I was never actually sick thanks to anti sickness drugs and ginger biscuits though I did come close to it once or twice. I did get some joint pains and pains in my wrists and legs in the first few days of eac cycle but these were just about manageable with paracetamol and ibuprofen. Peripheral neuropathy affected my fingers and toes - it's improved a lot since comp,sting treatment 2 yrs ago but I do sometimes still feel pins and need,es in my fingers and toes plus I feel the cold a lot more than I used to. If you show any signs of neuropathy tell the team straight away so they can monitor it and adjust the dose if necessary. I also had "chemo brain" ( forgetting words etc) towards the end but that did clear with time. Fatigue was hard - I found it frustrating not to be able to do everything I wanted to do - you quickly learn to pa e yourself and family and friends were great at planning things for my "good days".
I had 6 cycles of chemo between Sept 16 and end of Dec 16 - each 3 weeks apart. In the January I met the radiotherapy team, had a ct planning scan and then started 5 weeks external radiotherapy from Feb to March 17. I got tired very quickly, partly because I was still tired from the chemo. I had one or two minor bowel issues that were well controlled with Imodium. I've since developed a sensitivity to garlic ( really makes me dash to the toilet) and I find high fat or rich foods can sometimes have a similar effect. My gynae-oncologist says it's due to the radiotherapy. So far it's not caused too many problems - I admit I choose more carefully off the menu if we go out to eat and I always check where the toilets are just in case.
The best advice I was given was to take things a day at a time and to concentrate on the immediate - so concentrate initially on your recovery from surgery, then on the chemo and so on. Plan some treats. Do the things you enjoy when you can. Looking back it was a hard 8 months of treatment. There were days when I felt very down, stressed and anxious about the future, but there were also days filled with laughter, friends, and little things to be thankful for. We tried to keep a positive outlook throughout and my family and friends took our lead. I've made lifestyle changes, started doing new things (learning ballroom dancing, relief admin work for a local hospice ) and spend more time with the people I love and doing the things I enjoy. The good days now outnumber the bad and I've just been promoted to 6monthly checks for 3 yrs. Life is for living and I have lots to look forward to.
Feel free to ask any questions- happy to answer if I can. Take care x
That was very helpful. Great that you have been promoted and are getting better as time goes on , and adapting from what you have been through and learned. It does make you think about what you prioritise and how you spend your time doesn't it.
I have started trying to make healthier lifestyle choices. I had funnily enough started a few weeks before my tests and diagnosis, doing Couch to 5k, which I carried on during the time up to my op. Now trying to get in the habit of a Mediterranean diet/Tom Watson technique ( heard him on the radio the other day explaining how he got fit etc).I expect I'll have to adapt that quite a lot when having my treatment , but maybe a good starting point and to return to later.
I will take it one step at a time, as you advise.
Take care x
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