gingerat42

Hi I am new on here I was diagnosed with grade 2 cancer in my left breast in January I had a mastectomy in February my choice thought it would give me a better chance of it not coming back my lymph nodes were clear but then got the result for the HER2 test which was positive so I have to have four rounds of chemo devastated recovered well from the mastectomy and thought it would just be hormone tablets so I will be having TC with Herceptin then Letrozole I know I will loose my hair come to terms with that is anyone ele on this regime any tips on how to cope with side effects will be gratefully received.

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  • So sorry to read of your diagnosis and subsequent treatment, sending warm wishes and hugs to help you through your journey, sorry I'm not able to offer any advice though xxx

  • Hi Gingerat42

    The only way that I found helpful was to take the bulk by the horns and face it head on. The chemo can be hard, just battle it out and get yourself through it. Taste buds may go, but I advise eating a chuncknif pineapple (tinned) before meals to aid the taste buds. Also rest when tires and enjoy yourself when you have energy. Prepare a treat for yourself after each chemo and give yourself something to look forward to. Sending hugs and positive vibes. Lainey xxxx

  • Thank you Lainey66 I will get some pineapple chunks I think fatigue is the most common thing with chemo just have to listen to what your body tells you.

  • Hi Ginger, sorry for your diagnoses, your treatment has been quite fast so imagine it's all a bit of a whirlwind for you at the moment. Being told you have to have chemo is a blow. I'm not HER positive but had one node involved so due to family history was told I had to have chemo. I had 6 rounds of FEC, different I think than most who have 3 x FEC and 3 x TAX. Four doses is horrid but is doable. You have your plan now which should hopefully give you some peace of mind, it's funny when I knew my plan I felt able to deal with it all better. You have gone through surgery, recovered now so maybe look at this bit as another bit of reassurance, that you're doing all you can. Ask about cold caps next time you see your oncologist. I used one, I thinned but didn't lose all my hair about 30- 40%. Many people don't lose any with it if it's not for you then there are some amazing wigs and beautiful scarves out there...

    Side effects vary, my advice, eat what you fancy, sleep when you need to and mostly look forward to week 3 and try and do something you love when you feel well, I went for coffee with friends and played netball on week three which was a challenge but made me feel alive 😊.

    Also go to the look good feel great class was amazing, not only meeting lots of lovely women but you also get tips on make up etc. (You get a lovely bag of goodies too).

    Is totally rubbish and feels like it will go on forever but you'll get through it, it makes you a much stronger person I think... things don't bother me the same anymore. My resilience is higher (but my tolerance is lower! πŸ˜‚) ..

    Good luck,

    Nix x

  • Thank you for your advice I know I am a positive person just want to get on with things now and look forward to coming out the other side to celebrate my 70th birthday in July.

  • My cancer was.her2 positive so had both chemo and herceptin together than herceptin every 3 weeks for a year just finished in January

    Herceptin is fine no side effects except can effect the walls of your heart on rare occasions so you will have regular echo scans it a brillant drug that has made her2 tumors treatable and we are lucky it is available chemo is tough but manageable good luck with your treatment

  • I cannot add much...only on week one session 2. Not completely bald yet but 5cm cut is reducing hairfall housework. At 63 a bit younger but we can rest more and do as much as we want, unless we have hopeless husbands that do not take the reins, then its a wake up call for them. Mine is newly retired instanty threw in a get out clause and a part time job for a one day break and football tickets...guess he needs this being househusband and driver. I read mostly, some light pottering around, and once head is clear a little art therapy. Though week three does have interuptions and hospital appointments so less can be squeezed in than expected. So far coping ok, a few added hick ups, but the steroids and being diabetic do take their toll, and the injections I have to space out a bit my limit was 6 not 10.

    Its good to have something to look forward to...the count down does focus you onward. I found the wait from surgery to Chemo was just under 2 months...and so lucky it missed out my birthday. Found some nice wigs but for short wear head still a but itchy. Some identity crisis in mirror with the changes but getting used to it now.

  • Hi berylynn good to hear you are coping ok it gives me confidence yes I am retired so don't have to worry about work and can take it easy I don't have a husband as I am a widow but I have two lovely sons who take me on hospital appointments and very good friends. Not looking forward to loosing my hair but it has to be done cant imagine what being bald looks like but it will be an experience lol.

  • Good luck with your journey. Your sons and friends will be such a help to you. I too am not working which is also a real help. Its a very busy time going back and forwards to the hospital. My third round of FEC is due next Tuesday so this week is my best of the cycle and I do feel pretty ok. I mowed the lawns yesterday and went out for lunch with friends today. My experience is the side effects of chemo are not as bad as I feared but they do have an impact. For the few days following chemo 1 and 2 I felt pretty yukky but they do give you tablets to reduce the symptoms. The hair thing is an experience as you say. I had my hair cut very short in anticipation which meant that when it fell out, it didn't look so dramatic on the pillow. Mine started to thin just before my second chemo and two weeks later is pretty well all gone. I have bought some hats and scarves etc which is quite cheery. I have a wig but haven't yet worn it, although it does look rather good. One thing I wasn't expecting though was that my head felt really tender and still does at times. Spoil yourself and take care. Caroline xx ps Do book onto the look good feel good course - its a rather nice treat.

  • Hello Ginger42. I'm 50 and got my diagnosis at my first mammogram. I'm having 6 rounds of chemo & im 4 down which gives me light at the end of the tunnel so you will be done at this stage so that's good! So do look forward.

    My regime was 3x FEC then 3 x T (got my first T last week) so not the same as yours. Nonetheless here are my tips : aim to drink between 2 & 3 litres of water a day, it helps keep skin hydrated and is good for er constipation! And apparently it helps flush the chemo thro and help yr veins somehow. I got a soft cotton beanie from website livebetterwith.com and wore it to bed for quite a few weeks whilst shedding πŸ˜³πŸ˜€. I've still got patches of stubble, not sure if that's going to fall out or not. I try and walk each day, depending on energy level, max I do is 30 minutes, min 10 minutes. The steroids kept sending me to,the fridge without hunger pangs so I ate a lot of cheese with salad leaves, cucumber, carrots, peppers and I couldn't bear the thought of milk in tea or coffee for the 1st week so drank ginger ale; found ginger beer to fiery. I usually feel ok after treatment so we try a different pub for lunch on the way home from it as a treat.

    Bless you and wishing you well through this difficult time πŸ˜ŒπŸ™x

  • Thank you for info the tips on water is a good one I have got my bottles of water at the ready I have ginger ale and ginger biscuits at the ready also just need the date for when I start had my ECG so it won't be long getting really nervous now but everyone sending good wishes helps as well as their experience x

  • well my chemo journey is going to begin got my first session on Wednesday 5th April so apart from water any tips on what I need to take with me as they say you are there a while on the first time to see if you have any reactions to treatment.

  • just had my first round of chemo today started with injection in my thigh of Herceptin followed by TC I feel ok at the moment but time will tell got my medication anti sickness steroids and mouth wash has anyone had the mouth wash its Benzydamine?

  • just had my second round of chemo today bloods came back ok hair has started coming out but still got quite a bit left I am lucky I know thought it would have all have gone by now. I cannot drink coffee at all now upsets my tummy in a bad way I have been drinking green tea with ginger which has helped with nausea also ginger ale. Drink lots of water and go for walks it does help.

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