Starting retirement with a bang/crashSo here I am

Caz1 Member Posts: 382
edited September 2019 in Newly diagnosed
Hi everyone. Firstly, what a lovely group this is. It has really helped me already   <3  
I retired early May ,and  had a beautiful trip with my husband  to celebrate. “What are you going to do now?” said almost everyone. Well, I was going to do all the things in my life  I had never had to time for!!! So many things!!! Lucky me..........can you see where this is going?
So I had  my routine breast screen check in July.  By the last day in July I had been diagnosed with early breast cancer.  Invasive ductal and 2 nodes involved.  
Honestly this was one of the few diseases I wasn’t expecting as It is about the only one we haven’t had in my family. And, I feel so stupid.  After the mammograms my boob was sore and I realised I could easily feel the lump.  How could I have missed it ?  #idiot   
My medical team is great and I feel supported and  informed. My fam has been great too. I feel them.  I have 3 kids at there is usually someone around to help. Doggy hasn’t left my side.  

So fast forward to now.  One week ago I had my first chemo session. 2 months of dose dense AC then 12 weeks of Taxol. One month off, surgery, radiation then hormones.  One of everything thanks!   :|
I was lucky to avoid vomiting, only a bit of nausea, but wow, those steroids were a wild ride! Didn’t sleep , THE HUNGER, and the mood swings! I was BUZZING for a week. My family  did have some laughs about it which was good they can see a funny side. But frankly it was possibly terrifying for them to watch at times!
Honestly it wasn’t too bad..........could have been worse I imagine.
There are  a few average symptoms I wondered there any good tips for?
I had real trouble swallowing- the food really hurt going down my oesophagus. Any suggestions? I’ve been mashing/NutriBulleting my food 
Dry mouth- I’m rinsing twice a day with biotene but it’s still YUKKY 
Thanks everyone. Rant over.


  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,685
    Oh dear - how good that you had your lovely holiday before diagnosis, @Caz1 - and SO sorry to see you here!  But you're in the right spot for asking questions & getting honest advice from those who've been before you!

    Melbourne has a HEAP of specialise BC support areas - I am sure our members there will jump on & point you to them.

    Great that you have strong family support - it all helps.    All the best with your remaining chemo & surgery et al .... 

    You should be able to access a dietician re your swallowing problem - I hope you get some assistance quickly!  I didn't have chemo, so didn't experience that - but my husband lost most of his stomach to cancer, so was on a special 'high protein/sloppy' diet for ages, til he could tolerate 'normal food' and now he eats whatever I do!  Not bad for an old fella (he was over 70 when diagnosed!)   He also got back to international Triathlon Competition as well - so pretty amazing, all round!

    Take care, all the best for your ongoing treatment xx
  • primek
    primek Member Posts: 5,392
    I would have your mouth / throat checked in case you have thrush which is not unusual and can cause many issues with pain and swallowing. Easily treated normally but it can be harder to treat when immune system is down. 

    This article might be helpful also.
  • jennyss
    jennyss Member Posts: 1,973
    Dear @Caz1,

    for your treatment plan. I am two years post treatment (lumpectomy, radiation and on-going hormone control). And guess what - I can hardly remember the details! I have been lucky with side-effects on the milder side, and hormones going OK.
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    @Caz1 Not what you were expecting with retirement?  Small mercies - you don't have to negotiate time off with an employer...

    I never had trouble swallowing (just tasting) so I can't help too much but I think that thrush is a real possibility.  I did get that in my mouth once during chemo and it was a bit painful but the lozenges I was prescribed worked well and quickly.
  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,836
    Hi Caz, you did the right thing having your mammogram AFTER your trip.
    It’s a big surprise isn’t it when you have no family history- and you probably breast fed your kids,don’t smoke,eat healthy,exercise and maintain a good weight! There’s no rhyme or reason.During chemo,my mouth felt like the back end of a hairy dog! I used a straw to get fluids past my tongue.All I could get down was veg soup,lemon cordial and lemonade iceblocks on those bad days.I guess if your throat issues continue then get dr to have a look.Big hug.xx
  • Caz1
    Caz1 Member Posts: 382
    Thanks Tonya
    Hairy dog describes my mouth perfectly and  Lemonade iceblocks is a great idea. Did you find your mouth ease as time went on between doses? 
    Round two this Friday!
  • Caz1
    Caz1 Member Posts: 382
    Thanks for your replies everyone. :)
    Jennyss - I am looking forward to the day when I can’t remember the details either! :p
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,373
    Hi @Caz1 Soda water was my 'go to' to sort that disgusting mouth thing. It makes an excellent rinse and will help bubble all that disgusting grey gunk off your tongue. Just hold in in there and swish--not too hard or it comes out your nose. Mxx
  • Caz1
    Caz1 Member Posts: 382
    Thanks Zoffiel will definitely try Cxx 
  • shs14
    shs14 Member Posts: 146
    edited September 2019
    Hi @Caz1,
    I'm ahead of you, finished AC on pac course. I ordered some Peter Mac mouthwash from Ebay. Little sachets you rinse with after eating and that helped with mouth sores. I also had the terrible acid throat which settled down later in the AC and has disappeared with pac. I found gaviscon tablets helped (dual action chewable) and being careful with what I ate, not drinking fluids on top of eating, most of that reflux stuff, sitting up. With the steroids I asked my oncologist if I could take less, because I found they made me hyper too. I think some people are more sensitive. I tapered the four day course more quickly after the first week. They are for nausea so if you aren't getting that... 
    She prescribed lorazepam for sleeping for four nights after chemo in AC too which was great. Perhaps your doc would do the same. I had one night of chemo dreams and that was enough! Good luck with it!!
    I find walking everyday helped with many side effects. There is my post here about cold therapy for Paclitaxel neuropathy which you may find interesting.
  • Ahnn
    Ahnn Member Posts: 42
    I hadn't quite got to retirement,  but was getting everything organised to do so including my mammogram.  Instead of my holiday preparations i have spent the last 8 weeks in this rollercoaster and am now recovering from an unexpected double mastectomy. I hope your treatment goes as well as mine has. It's all manageable on a day to day basis. Best wishes!
  • Caz1
    Caz1 Member Posts: 382
    Hi shs14. Thanks for your interesting reply.....I seem to be following in your wake! lots of great tips there. My onco has reduced the dexometosone by 1/2 second time round. I had #2 chemo today.  Bt early to tell but nausea isn’t bad at all and I think I’m less jittery but time will tell.  
    Chemo dreams sound unenticing....... :s
    Like  you I have been walking heaps.  Really helps my mood and my fatigue seems under control. Even bought a Fitbit  to motivate me. 
    My doggy is very happy with this situation.
  • Caz1
    Caz1 Member Posts: 382
    Hi Ahnn. Oh dear that sucks. but hopefully you can make up for it really soon. By the sound of it you will be! You are lucky you got on to it so quickly.
    Im so glad it’s all gone well for you. I am taking one day at a time too.
    It works for me . ;)
    Best wishes to you too.  :)