Hi everyone. I was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer on 1 March and had a wired local excision (lumpectomy) and 25 lymph nodes removed on 23rd March; 5 had cancer in. My surgeon is confident they have got everything but I'm now facing chemo, hormone and radiotherapy in the months to come. Had to cancel our booked summer holiday but perhaps a nice short break in the UK in the Autumn? After all health comes first. The good thing is that the investigations into this also led to my diagnosis of Hashimoto's disease - an auto-immune thyroid condition, which can now also be treated!

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28 Replies

  • Hi Pam😊

    I had similar but no lymph nodes.  It's a shame having to forgo the holiday but when you do go, it'll be with peace of mind 🙂 Sending positive thoughts 🙂xB

  • Thanks for the support. I think missing a holiday is a small price to pay. Just so glad the NHS now has the means to detect and treat breast cancer before it grows too big and spreads elsewhere. Thanks God for mammograms! 40 years ago I'd probably have been a 'gonner'. Hope you are well now and all in the clear.xx

  • Hi Pam

    Welcome. I too was diagnosed with grade 3 but last July. I've had chemo, mastectomy, radiotherapy, I have herceptin injections and take tamoxifen tablets. I wish you luck and strength through your treatment. A holiday to look forward to will give you focus. Xx

  • Your treatment sounds identically to what is provisionally being prescribed for me. I am to see my Oncologist later in April to confirm this. I've just been planning a trip to York in October - something to focus on and look forward to, as you say. It's great to be able to chat with people who share and understand the difficulties I am facing. Thank you.

  • I live just outside of York and I have my appointments/treatments at York hospital. Lovely place, plenty to see and do x

  • Hi I had the mastectomy in January and 4 of my lymph nodes were infected. I started Chemo in March and have my third next week with rads to follow. Don't be frightened of chemo  listen to your body and rest when you need to, it's not as bad as you will imagine. I have just got back from a week in Cornwall and although I was a little apprehensive as it was fab and perfect tonic. Going to try and get away again after the next few Chemos. Be kind to yourself and you will get through this. All the best xxx

  • Thanks Saralouise, that gives me hope and encouragement. I will rest when I have to but would like to go out for days and even get away for a short break if I am up to it. Thanks for your good wishes and all the best to you too. xx

  • Once you have had your first couple of Chemos you will get to know your tired days etc and be able to plan breaks and days out round that. I try and go for a walk every day even if just round the block that helps heaps. Good luck and here if you have any questions etc, just ask. Xx

  • We had already got a holiday booked in Wales partway through my chemo. I wasn't as energetic as normal but it was good to be somewhere different and, good as it is seeing friends and family, it gave me a break to be away from all that and I could do what I wanted. I hope that doesn't sound too awful as friends and family have kept me going in all this. Good luck with it all and I'm sure you will be fine. xx

  • Thank you. I will see how I'm doing on the chemo and if possible maybe have a weekend somewhere not too far but different just to keep me going and take my mind of cancer. Wales seems like a good idea, weather permitting. Thanks for the good wishes, all the best to you too.x

  • You sound and look very positive (that's a lovely photo) Pam, may it always be so.

    Good luck with the therapy and take care.  💐

  • Thank you for the compliment 'linlow'. The photo was taken when I was 'half cut' on holiday last year. Yes, I generally am a positive person and have tried to be so far on this new journey. I am looking on hair loss as a chance to experiment with new hair colours and styles! You never know I could discover a whole new me lurking beneath. But I have to say in truth that I have also been a little frightened by some of the horror stories I have read on the internet. I said from the outset that it is baby steps all the way and I'll beat this thing little by little until I am the winner. (Even if I am bald and sick along the way). It's good to have this community to share things with though. All best wishes to you. 

  • I had a friend who started 'as she meant to go on' and had it all cropped off before there was any chance of her losing it.  She said 'I don't care if people laugh, I am the one in control here and it isn't going to fall out on me!'.  No-one laughed, we all really admired her.

    You'll get a lot of support from the community.  There is also lots of advise already here about how to cope with various aspects like this one that talks about eating  I love the tip on freezing grapes.  I can vouch for the tip on propolis too. 

    Bach flower rescue remedy is also a good standby to have around for times when you are getting stressed.

    York is a lovely place to visit, I am sure that you will enjoy it :)


  • Thanks for the tips Linda. I am still trying to learn my way around the site at the moment but hopefully I'll get there.

  • It's a long road but doable, tc x

  • i had  chemo and the procedure is straight forward. as a diabetic the steroid they gave me caused trouble with my blood sugars and im now on insulin. i didnt lose weight but gained 8lbs during chemo.. this dropped off naturally a few months after chemo stopped. i had a few side effects.. loose bowel, dry mouth, numb feet, but had medication to cope with these. i also got corded veins in my left arm.. this is due to the toxicity of the chemo going in. my sister had a port put in her chest as she had lymph glands removed on both sides and she doesnt suffer with corded veins now. in hindsight i would have liked the port but at the time i thought mine was the least invasive option. my left hand and arm are permanently weakened and its so hard to extract blood or get a cannula in now. they wont use my right arm due to lymph glands removed on that side.

    chemo takes a lot out of you. i spent a lot of time on my sofa or in bed. but since i have been away on a few holidays. my advice is not to book anything. plan yes but dont book. i still am very tired all the time. but things have got better for me. 

    Good Luck and take it easy..

  • Thanks for the useful advice. I have always had trouble with people finding veins in my right arm and now my left is out of action, the tip on the chest port seems like a good idea. At least I'm now in a position to discuss it with my oncologist. Best wishes to you. 

  • Sorry to hear your news but if it's all caught then that is great! It's a tough experience ahead but very doable, look at all of us after all. Try and stay positive but don't beat yourself up on days you don't feel so strong, that is very normal, just reach out and we will be there for you.

    By the way what a lovely photograph.

    Take care x

  • Thanks for the compliment. I've been so encouraged by all the lovely positive people on here. I'm so glad I found you all. All good wishes to you. x

  • Hi I wholeheartedly agree with all the advice these lovely ladies have provided. I was fortunate to only need WLE, 2 lymph nodes, radio and tamoxifen but even that was a challenge. What I can say is stay positive, concentrate on what is happening here and now so you don't frighten yourself with a huge mountain to climb. It will go quicker than you think, I can't believe I'm on the other side of it now (diagnosed Oct 15), back at work and have my oncology review later this month. Let your family and friends support you and never refuse any help offered. Let us know how you get on. Stay strong x

  • Thank you for your support. I will stay in touch - it may help me through the bad times.... a problem shared and all that. Glad you are getting back to normal six months down the line, that's very encouraging. Best wishes. x

  • Think of the holiday you'll have when the treatment is all over. X

  • Thanks. I like to plan my holidays/ breaks away but as someone advised on here, not to book just yet. Still, Can't stop me planning!!

  • The time does go quickly. I had 8 chemo sessions over 16 weeks following my diagnosis last July. Surgery was in February, mastectomy and 28 lymph nodes gone, currently half way through my 5 1/2 weeks of radiotherapy.  I am also on tamoxifen for the next 5 years. I have been off work and am now thinking about going back. I also have a holiday booked for the end of treatment. Hot flushes and night sweats are the most annoying part. I never looked unwell apart from wearing my head gear, and I never lost weight ( most unfortunate).  I did not have one cough or sniffle through the whole regime so I can only count my blessings. Hair is now back, Annie Lennox style and I have continued to keep my nails painted so a bit of glamour.  My future is now the decision whether to have reconstruction and live in hope of no recurrence, this is something I do not think much about. I hope your story can be so positive.

  • You sound so positive and that's encouraging to me. I'm already looking at wigs before I've lost my hair and getting quite excited by all the lovely styles and shades. I'm going to have a ball trying them out. My mum even said she'd treat me to the wig bless her so I'm going for it. We'll have a girls day out wig shopping. All the best and hope whatever you decide for the future works out wonderfully well for you. :)

  • Hi Mac99

    Good to hear you are so positive.  I am in a similar boat to you but on Tamoxifen for 10 years as guidelines recently changed to recommend longer, it might be worth asking your oncologist about it.

    Best of luck x

  • Thank you. I will. I have been told I will need to take tablets for 10 years but I'm not sure yet which ones. I think it may be Herceptin as my cancer is ER- but HER2+?

  • Sorry emonty - just realised the message was meant for Mac99!

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