Hi! I hope everyone is well. I am pleased to say that I have finished chemo and radiation and am now onto hormone therapy. I'm getting closer to the end!
My hair has started to grow back and I'm hoping that I'll have a cute pixie do by the end of september when I will be a bridesmaid for a friend. I too find that friends and family see me and think I look "normal" because I wear makeup and go for a walk everyday or to the local shops. I've had a couple of people tell me that I'm being lazy because I've said that I felt tired. I got very angry the first time that I heard this and very quickly told the person that the tiredness I felt had nothing to do with going out till the wee hours of the morning, that it was because my body had been through hell.
I'm booked in for reconstructive surgery oct 23rd, which is 1 year and 1 day since I had a mastectomy. I feel like I've come full circle.
Has anyone else had reconstructive surgery? What was your experience?
How fantastic treatment is officially finished! I hate the expectation others put on us just because we smile and are brave doesn't mean we are not having a rough time not to mention what the chemo and radiation alone do to us.
I hope your hair does grow back in time for your friends wedding, i like th idea of a pixie do :)
Stay well 🙂
I feel like I am trespassing in the newly dx section ....lol as my dx and treatment were a long time ago.
I had a bilateral mast. with recon. (expanders replaced by saline implants) I love the result....perkier than the originals!
I'm sure it will go well. Its a huge step towards putting cancer behind you.
Hi all, its interesting to find always find a thread call "newly diagnosed" on this site because its that very first moment when we find out what we have that all the questions suddenly arise and we embark on what is an incredible journey. Only us cancer people can know what that is like.
I write today after a very long absence and just back from seeing my doctor for the first year checkup after remission. The news is all good and I very much wanted to share it with you, because again, only you can truly appreciate what this is like.
For the record, i am a 47yo husband and father to two teens, diagnosed originally with NHL stage 4 and have undergone CHOP-R chemo.
A tough journey indeed, both physically and mentally, but life has fortunately kicked on and now I value each and every day.
My prayers, love and best wishes to all of you. You are a very special group.
I only found this post today - don't know why.
I remember the time of my diagnosis. I had undergone an emergency hemicolectomy after my bowel had completely shut down. Needless to say I was pretty ill. When I came to, I remember my surgeon and gastoenterologist sitting at the end of my bed looking very serious. However, next to me was the morphine pump which was having a significant effect on my reactions to things.
They talked to me about the size and extent of my tumour and what the possible repercussions were of it. I remember the conversation but no tears or fears at that stage. The morphine was doing its job.
4 weeks later I saw my oncologist and we decided to go forward with treatment. I began to be scared as I had already lost one good friend and had another who was going through chemo. Still, I hadn't realised the extent of what I was about to embark on.
A week later, all by myself I went to the hospital to have a picc line put in and then I started to think that this was ,maybe, really serious as I hadn't relased that the line would be so big. This was going to be attached to me for 6 months.
I then walked around to the oncology ward - all by myself- and as I saw the sign "oncology" and the Lazy Boy chairs, I realised that I was no longer someone who had had an operation and would recover in about 6 weeks, that I was now a cancer patient and that all the people I had known who had cancer at my age (50) had died or were dieing.Then I got really scared but have never told anybody how scared until now. I put on the brave face that we all do and just got on with beating this thing.
That was 2 years ago next week. I am still here and fighting fit, but I will never forget how my perspective changed from being someone who had a tumour removed to a cancer patient. That was when life changed I think.
I agree with Quijote that only us cancer people understand. My "chemo buddy" who was undergioing treatment at the same time as me used to say that as well. We lived very far apart but chatted often on the phone. He helped me so much when we'd talk and he said just that, "nobody can ever really understand unless you've been there". He didn't make it, though.
Let's keep up the good fight!!
I was diagnosed in Nov 2006 at the age of 31yrs old. I had invasive DCIS, stage/1, grade/1, 0 node involvement, ER+ and PR+. I had a lumpectomy, 4 cycles of chemo, 6wks of radio, 2years of zoladex and still on tamoxifen for over 2 years now. Its been a hard and long journey but i still have hope, you will have good happy days and really sad miserable down days which is quite normal to feel. Its been 3 years for me since i was diagnosed and i still feel a sense of loss and grief in my life. I am blessed to have a daughter and a wonderful husband too in my life. At the time i was diagnosed we were trying for our second child which was very hard to accept that i might not be able to have kids when i wanted it and maybe in the near future. I feel at times this opportunity has been taken away from me and my daughter is missing out on growing up with siblings too. Don't get me wrong my health is important to me but its really hard watching everyone around you being pregnant, newborns and kids with siblings this is the hardest for me personally but everyone is different with what they want and feel in there lives. All my life i just wanted to get married and have kids - just the simple life nothing grand and spectacular...!
I found treatment chemo the hardest to deal with especially the hair loss, mouth ulcers, weight gain, joint pain and etc.... the first week is the hardest, than it gets better until you need to go for the next round, its always the way once you feel full of energy you need to got for the next round which really sucked!!!
Radiation was much better for me personally, the only thing i hated it was you had to go in 5 days a week for 6 weeks and that was painful in itself besides the extreme red sunburn on my poor left breast.
Tamoxifen is pretty much popping a tablet everyday for 5 years which isn't too bad compared to zoladex which i had to get injected each month for 2years so my ovaries are put to sleep so i don't get a menstruation which was awful because of my menopause symptoms which i still have hot flushes on and off today. i just finished my last injection last month - hooray!!!!!!
You will get through this, you just have to beleive it and trust in yourself. You will look back and say OMG how did i survive all of this but you do with the strength and support of family and friends and in God...
Good luck with everything you will be ok....don't give up!
Hi everyone. I hope you are all doing well. It recently dawned on me that I feel more comfortable on a hospital ward than anywhere else...what the?? It's unbelievable how the words " you have cancer" can change your life.
2.5 weeks ago I had breast reconstruction surgery where the surgeons cut my lats to create pockets for expanders to go in. I had the last drain removed on friday and the stitches are coming out this friday. I am very happy with the results, even with the swelling.
When i was in the hospital I was frustrated that some of the nursing staff didn't understand why I wanted to know how much fluid was in the drains, what my blood count was, etc etc. For me these were milestones, it meant I was recovering. I had a lot of anxiety and was very distressed when it came time for the drains to be removed as the memories of the drains from last year were fresh in my mind, the feel of it and the sound it made. 2 nurses said to me that they couldn't understand why i was so worked up about it. I couldn't believe it! I even made the sound effect of the drain being removed for them. There were other nurses who were an immense help and talked me through it, breathed with me and made me feel at ease. Interestingly when these nurses removed the drains it didn't hurt. When i was coaching I would say to sales consultants, the day you wake up and dread the thought of going in to work is the day you should think about a doing something different as the dread turns into hate and the hate comes out in the quality of work you do and will have an impact on your dealings with other people. Some people really shouldn't be in the jobs they have.
On a lighter note the best thing about everything thats happened in the last year is that I've spent most of it in my pyjamas. What a great feeling. A bit like hugh hefner without the playboy mansion, bunnies and smoking jacket.
Have a great day ( :
Hi Ms Reena
Your diagnosis is identical to mine (ICD right, DCIS left, grade 3 HER positive too) however I am 47 and I was diagnosed almost a year later and had my double masectomy on 15 October 2009 and have just started AC chemo last week with taxol and herception to follow. It's good to read that you have now come through the chemo and radiation treatment sections and are recovering from your reconstruction surgery.
I have to agree with the collection of PJ's, I didn't really have any so knowing hospital was coming up I went out and brought the nicest ones in the colours that suited me.
Take care DJ
Yes I do have a lot of pyjamas! A year ago I would go to the shops looking for a pretty frock now I go looking for pj's, how things change ( :
I finished chemo in June and it seems like such a long time ago. Sometimes it is hard to see what the end will look like when all you want to do is hide under the doona but it does get better. I think cancer has made me a more better person as I think about what I'm being asked, told or instructed to do. I think about it's level of importance and impact to my life and decided if I want to play a part in whatever is going on. I don't let little things bother me. I don't think I'll ever complain about having a bad hair cut since having a bad hair year. I have newborn eyes and see things differently.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.