Breast Cancer: I am new to this site and... - Breast Cancer Haven

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Breast Cancer

Saralouise
Saralouise
β€’14 Replies

I am new to this site and just trying to work it at the moment. I had a left breast mastectomy and lymph clearance on Jan 18th. I found the op not as bad as I thought. I am now waiting a start date for FEC T chemo and my fears, low mood and anxiety are spiralling out of control. Best wishes and positive thoughts to everyone x

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Jelly21

Hi there thanks for sharing your story don't worry about chemo its not nice but you will get through it. I had 6 rounds of FEC which took about 1 hour each time I had a bit of a laugh with the nurses and there are volunteers that come round with a cup of tea. I lost my hair exactly 2 weeks after round 1. I never wore my wig I just bought lots of hats!!! By. Chemo number 4 I had to draw my eyebrows on and laughed with my gay cousin who wore more make up than me. Ask if there is a look good feel good session where you live it is especially for any lady with any type of cancer free makeup and its all good stuff like clinique it is run by volunteers of the national cancer campaign so it is nationwide. If you want to know more just ask xx

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Saralouise
Saralouise
in reply to Jelly21

Wow thank you just hearing it only takes about an hour to have the Chemo has settled my nerves, I had built it up to hours in a chair haa haa. I am so glad to hear you are doing well along with everyone else on this blog - wish I had not buried my head in the sand for so long and tried to cope in silence. I was just trying to be a single mum and carrying on. It has all been such a shock. Thank you again for your time In replying and I send my best to you and positive thoughts x

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Hidden
Hidden
in reply to Saralouise

My FEC took 20/30 mins. Was very relaxing and nurses were great. Afterwards I went for lunch then waited on something happening. Thankfully nothing did. Hope you get same experience as me.

Take care x

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cazlav

Hi Saralouise

I had FEC-T July to November last year. Its not so bad being given chemo, yes I was nervous the first time, the fear of the unknown and how it would make me feel, I just slept as soon as I got home but also drank plenty of water to flush it out the kidneys. I took a week off work following each round of chemo and then worked for two and then it would be time for another round. My hair started to thin 12 days after first chemo and then gradually nearly all came out so I got my husband to give me a buzz cut and i'd already sorted a wig and even people I saw every day didn't notice! Its easy for me to say as I am now coming out the other side, just got some more radiotherapy to go, but you will get through this and feel stronger mentally for it. Its terrible really that we have this thrust upon us and we are forced to deal with it, but I decided to just embrace this and see it as part of the journey of my life, no I didn't have a choice in having to deal with cancer but I have had the choice in how I've dealt with it. Everyone is different side effects wise, I wasn't that bad, strange taste and achy limbs my biggest complaints. Good luck and think about treating yourself at the end of it all xx

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Saralouise
Saralouise
in reply to cazlav

Thank you for your reply and the tip of drinking lots of water. Yes very anxious and extremely low but I know it's the norm. I never imagined how helpful this site would be and wish I hadn't buried my head in the sand for so long. Thank you for taking the time to write to me πŸ˜„ I am a single parent and think having so much alone time isn't good for the over active mind. Best wishes to you x

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Dilly_Bub

Hi

I also had FEC-T between October and January. The worst side effect for me was the awful metal taste. Nothing tasted nice!! Tips I was given was to eat ginger before a meal or salt not vinegar crisps (which I hate) and Werthers Original Toffee. It confuses the tasted buds for a short while and did appear to work. I also got mouth Thrush and pineapple helps with this, Tesco sell frozen pineapple chunks and cheap ice lollies are great after chemo. Plenty of water and lots of mouth washing to keep ulcers at bay. I found Difflam the best which my chemo nurses gave me each time I ran out. Listen to your body. When tired rest but also try to go for short walks. My niece bought be a bullet and it's great for smoothies when you can't be bothered.

Good luck and stay positive, If you feel low talk to someone. Your breast care nurses are there for you so use them. Regards Dilys x

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Hidden
Hidden

I had 6 sessions of FEC and was absolutely fine. No sickness or side effects. Wasn't the bad experience I expected. Quite the opposite. Nurse told me 30% of people experience little or no side effects. All the very best saralouise x

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Nicholjac

Hi Sarah Louise

It's good to talk and share ,I'm not usually a sharer known for been tough, strong and organise everyone but during my cancer journey I spent lots of time meeting different friends and sharing,talking and been kept busy always meeting someone when I look back I don't know how I did it but what it did was make me get up ,get in that shower, get my face on every morning n do my hair, I kept it using the cold cap

I didn't give myself time to think, I used the haven for massage. And took time to look after myself

Wasn't all easy n I had some side effects but dealt with each one

I'd say take each step at a time focus on you ,let yourself be cared about and you will soon be finished your treatment and running around putting the kids first

Happy to share any tips for any side effects you get but I'm sure you won't have many the medical team are good are helping you through it

All the best over the coming months

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biddenden_sue

Don't worry, it is all do-able. I had my FEC-T chemo before my mastectomy. If you are not already a member of the Breast Cancer Care website's forum, I recommend you join there. If you are on Facebook, search for the closed group Breast Friends and the admin name Bessie Friend and send a request to join. That for me is the best place to express yourself and gain information. I am on both, and could not have done it without them!

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Hidden
Hidden

Hi. You are allowed to feel low, it wouldn't be normal not to feel anything at all, your body and mind have had a shock and a battering. I've just had FEC-T and its not so bad, ask for strong antiemetics (pay for them yourself if you have to as well worth it - EMEND is excellent no sickness at all) try and do 30 mins walk every day, it helps honestly and go to a good support group.

My hair fell out but I knew it would so had it cut short, very short first so not such a shock. Take control where you can, laugh at yourself, write a journal and cry when you want to but always try and pick yourself up again, most importantly share how you are feeling. I use Macmillan help line, they are good, or you good ask to speak to a counsellor.

Good luck xx

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Rattyp

I have had the same. Chemo is ok, tiring but not too bad. My chemo finished in nov, I am still having side effects which aren't very pleasant but it's something we have to go through. We have to keep strong and keep fighting. Good luck x

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CherylNorman

The best tool you have is your attitude. Doctors will take care of the rest. It's important you focus on the positives in your life and keep a smile on your face. (During my months of chemo and radiation, I stopped watching or reading the news. The news can bombard you with negatives!) Ask your support group to send you jokes, cartoons, upbeat motivation messages, etc. Nothing depressing allowed. This is NOT the time for watching videos of abused or neglected animals, etc. so filter your social media accordingly.

Finally, use this forum. We are survivors and patients who understand and empathize. We are an army of breast cancer soldiers. Good luck!

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Susan-o

Hi. It's perfectly normal to feel low and panicky but, as others have said, it's also important to try and pick yourself up again too. I too had fec-t but had a terrible time (my nurse said that she had only ever known 3 other people as bad as me - not a good club to belong to) - BUT I've come through the chemo, op, and had my last radiotherapy session this morning and have been given the all-clear! My 2 big toenails fell off, as did all of my fingernails, the latter still very brittle but I know that will get better. My hair is also starting to grow back although unfortunately grey, but that's what hairdressers are for!!! As for advice, I would strongly recommend getting a decent ear thermometer (like they use in hospitals which only cost about Β£30 online) as it's very important to regularly check your temp in case of neutropenic sepsis. Anything over 37.5 go to a&e and explain that you're on chemo etc. Also, try and eat beetroot every day as it helps to keep the neutrophil count up a bit (I hate it with a passion but it works). Most importantly, though, is accept any help that you are offered, for anything, because the extreme tiredness may well creep up on you. I felt such a failure at not being able to even stamd and do the washing up in one go. Not everyone has this but I wish I was warned of how bad it could get. I hope your journey is not too bad and good luck with your treatment. Xx

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Lainey66

I had both breast and left lymph node clearance on 5th Jan. Like you, op was better than I expected. I had started chemo prior to it but it had to be stopped for my own health as I had two bad reactions. Unfortunately due to there being residual cells from being lymph node positive, I have to start a different but stronger chemo in just over a weeks time. All I can advise is 'just go with the flow'. Listen to your body, if your tired, weak and feeling sick, rest up. Yes do things when your string but don't over do things. I strongly advise that you take all steroids and meds as advised. It really does help re sickness etc. Don't worry about hairloss etc, it grows back. Good luck xx

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