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Breast Cancer Haven
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Chemo starts

Hello again to all you warriors who inspire others by your honesty and empathy . After peaceful reflective week away in Turkey , the next four months of chemo start on Wednesday next week . So many of you have been through this and are continuing to receive the treatment and have experience of. Hair loss / cold cap/ side effects etc which is all to come . When reading the onco ‘s letter describing it all , I must admit it was a bit overwhelming but was on my way to the movies “a star is born” so was able to distract from it, at least for a while. The oncopredict test came back “high” so hence they are going ahead with something beginning with Pax.

Currently I’m looking at diet advice on line to see if anything helps etc . It’s hard to know what will work when nausea kicks in .. on shopping list today is peanut butter , nuts , and some dried fruit . Rejoined the gym last week but efforts pathetic on the bike ! 5 minutes on level 2, and I was a dead duck. Swimming easier and backstroke helps stretch my right arm but the mastectomy scar shows above my bathing suit which needs hitching up often. Reading all your messages of what you are going through , in some cases requiring inestimable sources of mental strength , acceptance and bold courage is both humbling and inspiring . I think of you and your situations and struggles every day and hope I can be as stoical . With love and best wishes for a happy day . XxDenise

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Hi Denise, please don't beat yourself up over 5 mins on level 2 on the bike, it's better than 4 mins level 1, hopefully next time you'll do 6 mins, I'm not able to advise on chemo as I didn't have chemo but I'm sending good luck wishes your way xxx

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Thanks for your nice reply Jenny Mary! I hope this finds you well yourself and in good spirits ! I’ll remember your comment when I’m panting on the exercise bike . XxX

Denise

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Hi Denise. Good luck with the treatment. It’s been a number of years for me now but I tried to keep my diet as unprocessed as possible. One of the problems I had was that food tasted different but I soon learned which things to avoid. Remember even the horrible stuff is temporary. My mantra was ‘this too will pass’ . I hope the cold cap is ok for you, I gave up on that one! Will be thinking of you.

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Thank you so much for your nice message..I hope this finds you having a relaxing end of week and a good weekend... Yes Ill remember that it will inevitably pass..!! Love from Denise xx

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Hi Denizt. Well done on doing so well coping with the operation, it's not an easy ride. I know it's really scary going into chemo. It's the unknown. No matter how much you try to get to grips with all the information that's out there to support you, in the end it's just you and the chemo. But as lots of the posts say, it is doable. Going into chemo it seems like it will go on forever but you do get through it. The best thing is it can really make a difference and kill the cancer. There are lots of tips out there how to get through the chemo and it sounds like you are embracing all this. My favourites are, try to get a tiny bit of exercise each day, moisturise your skin, be scrupilous with hygiene and have a snooze when you feel tired. Hugs and good luck over the coming months. xx caroline

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Thanks Caroline, Your encouraging words were really helpful.... and I know that your advice comes from the heart and from your own experience... I don't feel brave right now, but hope to be able to tolerate it so that my risks are reduced. With love Denise xx

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What a lovely post, and responses. Im just about to start chemo in a few weeks, dreading it and trying not to over read as it all gets overwhelming. I will come back here for some helpful positive comments! xx

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Dear Loobilou, so you and I are in the same boat at present and like you Im alarmed by all the information , side effects and so on but my rational mind knows that it’s the best solution for what the onco predict tests showed . I’ll start this Wednesday if the blood tests are ok .

Thinking of you about to start and one thing is for sure . We will give it our best shot ! Love and very best wishes from Bournemouth and hoping this finds you in good spirits . XxDenise

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Aaah thank you Denizt. I'm in Brighton so not a million miles away. The care here is brilliant, and hopefully yours is for you too. Good luck with your start on Wednesday. I get the results of my surgery on Wednesday so a big day for us both.

What Ive learnt so far is that I'm stronger than I thought and this will all be fine. It's all doable, as everyone says! I'll keep an eye on you here :) xx Lou

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Yes I agree Loubiloo (great name by the way). Let me know how the tests went, and what are the next decisions; I hope they arrive soon so that you know what the results are; its good to know that over there in Brighton you have such excellent care... presumably your tests are similar to the ones ones that I had , testing the DNA of the tumour etc...l....Good to know you are just along the coast , and I look forward to progress !!

Like you I found I was stronger that I believed I was....xxDenise

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Hi Denise, I shall report back on my results - probably in a new thread. Ive already been told, from the biopsy, that its a small HER2+ cancer, nodes looked clear but 2 have been removed to double check. Then I was told 6 herceptin chemo, radiotherapy and tamoxifen. The works! Hope all is good with you. We can do this! xx

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Hi Denizt. I just wanted to touch base and send you a huge huge hug today and for your journey ahead... and I have no doubt at all you will find inner strength and continued courage to help you through the next few months. I remember well, that path to walk and the chemo although was the most daunting, because I guess of the not knowing of how I was going to cope physically. I knew mentally I’d be fine, but with the stories you hear and media coverage that often is seen, it didn’t portray a pretty picture. However, I found that it wasn’t that bad in truth and if I did wobble, with side effects, they got me back on track pretty quickly. ...

Re foods, I found the more salty the better! So marmite and me became good friends! And interestingly, porridge the opposite was good too as were cuppa soups! The taste bud side of things was the hardest for me and caused the most issues personally! Probably cause I enjoy my food and it was frustrating, more than anything! But, I got through it and I know you will too... good luck if you try the cold cap! I tried and lasted only 2mins! But I had short hair and I think the more you have to start with, perhaps helps insulate your scalp from the sheer cold! If it doesn’t work for you, think of all the funky hats you can wear! I bought loads and embraced having a new look. And now my hair is growing back, I’ve discovered I’m a silver foxy lady! A colour I love and will now cherish... thinking of you my lovely and all good wishes for your journey ahead. Good pair of walking boots always helps with those rocky roads! 😁☺️🙏 love n hugs XXXX

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Dear Sarah,How I loved reading your helpful message to me which I have taken on board having just finished a long meeting with the chemo nurse

who went over all the caveats, side effects, dangers, drugs etc and yes it is daunting, as you said, more the physical vulnerability than the mental side of it...or so it seems..I cant tell you how touched I am when women from this site write to me as friends with such good advice and encouragement... in my career my colleagues used to say how positive and optimistic I was, but when it comes to this sort of trial I just hope I can remain positive . Thank you so much again for your lovely message, which meant a lot to me !

I hope so much that this finds you well and happy, looking great with your foxy silver hair style and reaping health rewards from your resilience and courage ..xxx With love Denise

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Hi Denise, ah you’re welcome and I really hope all goes well for you and that you get through the chemo without too much of an issue and before you know it, you’ be out the other side. Another tick off the list! Wishing you a lovely weekend and thinking of you as you start the next journey to your recovery, love and hugs XxX

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Hi Sarah . Well the first session over and actually enduring the cold cap for 5 hours was by far the worst part . Almost unendurable but may not continue with it as too stressful!

Day after yesterday feeling pretty rough nauseated etc but today a bit better . Chloe and Georgina my 2 daughters were with me and a superb home chemo nurse.so lots to be grateful for. Now 15 sessions to go . One down !

Have a happy relaxing day full of good

Connections xx Denise

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