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Hi everybody

kiwikris72kiwikris72 Member Posts: 13
I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 31 January, and found out I was triple negative on 10 February.  I'm scheduled to have my lump and some lymph nodes removed on 24 February, and have been told I'm up for chemo and radiation therapy.  I know the radiation will be everyday for 5-6 weeks but do they usually start chemo straight away too?  Or do they wait till you've recovered from surgery and have the results back?  I have pre-admission on Monday 17 Feb where I'm sure they'll tell me but thought I'd ask here as well. 

Bit of a shock though when I found out, don't think I've processed it really yet because I feel fine.  I'm anxious obviously but otherwise ok.


  • FlaneuseFlaneuse BrisbaneMember Posts: 884
    @kiwikris72 It's understandable that you're anxious. This is a good place to come, no matter what your feelings. People's treatment plans differ, but usually chemo starts a few weeks after surgery, then radiation a few weeks after the end of chemo. 
    Ask any questions here, and have a look at the resources information.
    Eat well, go for walks and pamper yourself. 
    Big hugs.
  • kiwikris72kiwikris72 Member Posts: 13
    @Flaneuse thank you for that.  
  • MazbethMazbeth BrisbaneMember Posts: 57
    @kiwikris72  I was diagnosed just before Christmas so I can completely understand how you are feeling it’s one heck of a curve ball. You have come to the right place - this is a such an amazing and supportive group. 
    I am still trying learn all of the terms as it is a completely new landscape to navigate. My BC is different in that it is hormone positive which means my treatment may/will be different as there are lots of factors involved. My plan is chemo - 4 x AC, 12 x taxol then surgery then radiation. I have just finished the first 4 - and have coped pretty well. I think the big thing is all of the unknown things, but one thing I have learnt is that your treatment will be tailored for you. If your doctor can’t give you the nuts and bolts tips along the way, trust me, there is always an amazing person here who will be able to help. Things like if your mouth is sore, what to take to chemo, dry skin, using the cold cap - all the little everyday stuff that sometimes the doctors forget to mention. I also have just been to a Look Good Feel Better workshop - amazing! When you are ready it is well worth it - great tips for feeling great and I met such lovely girls. It was so good, we all went straight out for coffee and some good laughs. 
    Be really kind to yourself. Big hugs. 
  • kiwikris72kiwikris72 Member Posts: 13
    @Mazbeth yes mine is the triple negative so I can't have the hormone treatment unfortunately.  I'm pretty sure I have an amazing breast care nurse assigned to me, only met her once but she was the one who tied the surgeon down to get me added to his list super pronto to get the ball rolling.  I'm a single mum of a 9 year old but I'm also lucky to have a very supportive ex (9 year old's dad obviously as well) and friends, one of which is also going through her own cancer, not breast though.  My poor bestie has had to have her left eye removed to stop her cancer which had recurred late last year after being clear for 4 years.  So while it's very different treatments we can support each other.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 4,164
    Sorry to see you join the club that no-one really wanted to join :(   As the girls have said - ask away any question & we'll do our best to answer them honestly & help you thru this.

    My surgery was 2 years ago ... so still very fresh to mind.  Just the diagnosis mucks with your brain!!  Once you've had your surgery, it WILL actually feel better almost immediately, knowing that it is OUT!

    I believe there's usually 3-4 weeks (maybe more) after surgery before chemo (I dodged that bullet & went straight to Rads.)

    Whereabouts do you live?  City/Town? Others may know of services there that they can point you to ..... you can add it to your profile!!  ;)   @Mazbeth - you too!  ;)   Some towns have pamper days for those having chemo .... 

    Sorry to hear of your buddy's eye cancer!  :(  Yep - those who've been thru it, know only too well, how much it affects us.  All the best for both of you xx
  • TinksTinks AdelaideMember Posts: 229
    @kiwikris72 I’m so glad that you found the forum! I was diagnosed last September, have had a mastectomy and axillary node removal, four rounds of EC and now I’m on my 12 rounds of weekly Taxol. I got the greatest advice from a dear family member diagnosed 2 years ago about what to wear in the hospital! I bought a fully front buttoning nightie with sleeves that come halfway down your upper arm. This was a godsend as I could be easily connected and disconnected to all the IV drips, drains, and could easily make everything accessible for the nurses. Also it was a lovely comfortable soft fabric with very few seams. I bought it from Country Road. Hugs xx

  • strongtogetherstrongtogether BrisbaneMember Posts: 146
    @kiwikris72 it sucks that you have to be here, but I'm glad you've found this forum. It's been very helpful. If you ever have any questions there are a lot of knowledgeable people here happy to help. We are also kiwis, and also triple negative. 
     Ask a lot of questions, and be ready for a tough ride, but know thaat you can do it, you can get through it, and you are not alone. 
     Kia kaha!

  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,507
    Welcome @kiwikris72,

    Certainly stinks to be here for sure but you are in the right place for support and excellent advice from those that have felt the way you are feeling now.
    I had lumpectomy and axillary clearance.  I had 6 weeks healing time time and then went off to chemo for 6 months.  Another 4 week break and then the radiation.
    The fear of the unknown does your head in.  While I would have rather been anywhere else the reality turned out no where near as horrid as what my brain had conjured up.  
    Just try and deal with one goal post at a time lovely.

  • jennyssjennyss Western NSWMember Posts: 940
    Dear @kiwikris72

    from jennyss in Western NSW
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,942
    My oncologist was very keen to get me started on chemo. It was four weeks after my second operation (a re-excision for margins) but would have been three weeks if Christmas and New Year hadn't been in the way. I was told that they liked to start radiation therapy a maximum of six weeks after chemo finishes. K xox
  • kiwikris72kiwikris72 Member Posts: 13
    Well I’ve had my pre-admission yesterday, surgery next Monday and my first oncology consult next Tuesday. Should get pathology results following Tuesday to see if they took enough and to see if it’s spread to my nodes. Then chemo starts after about a month of healing, six months I’m told, and then radiation. Funny thing is I keep checking to see if it’s still there, I think hoping it will have gone away. 
  • Shellshocked2018_Shellshocked2018_ Fleurieu Peninsula , SAMember Posts: 281
    Welcome kiwikris, I to had triple negative BC , was diagnosed in October 2018, surgery for partial mastectomy and sentinel node removal, full auxiliary clearance ( 1 node involved) I started chemotherapy February 1st for 6 months, then after radiation for 30 rounds.
    Had my first mammogram after diagnosis and treatment, ALL CLEAR .!
    You can beat this to!

    Ask away any questions at anytime or you can private message me anytime.
    Once you’ve had your operation, everything will fall into place with treatment.
    Be kind to yourself, do things you enjoy and love to do to keep your mind of things, I found meditation a god send, I still to this day do regular meditation.
    Stay positive, drink plenty of fluid during chemotherapy and rest when your body tells you to, gentle exercise when you can.

    Sending hugs your way xx
  • YellowRobinYellowRobin Northern Rivers NSWMember Posts: 47
    Hi @kiwikris72. I’m a newbie also. Diagnosed 22/1/20 Triple negative. I had my surgery last week and have chemo and rads to come. Hopefully I’ll know what my treatment plan looks like next week. I find the waiting is the hard part. Good luck for next Monday xxx
  • kiwikris72kiwikris72 Member Posts: 13
    Hi @YellowRobin, how did you pull up after your surgery?  Was yours a lump removal as well?  And did you have a sentinel node dye injection before your surgery?  Sorry for all the questions, just getting a feel for what I'll be like next week.
  • YellowRobinYellowRobin Northern Rivers NSWMember Posts: 47
    Hello @kiwikris72. Yes I had a lumpectomy and they only needed to remove the sentinel node. I was lucky as my tumour was only 11mm. 
    They injected radioactive dye in the morning and waited a few hours before the scans. No pain or panic with the process. Although It was a long day as I didn’t get operated on until 6.30. Make sure you have plenty of things to keep you occupied while you wait. I was pretty emotional and in pain in recovery so they doubled my pain meds. After that I felt fine and was surprised how little pain I was in. I went home the next morning. The surgeon did a great job and my scar is healing well after only a week. In fact I have more of a problem with under my boob where skin ripped off when I stretched and tore the bottom of my wound dressing. It’s in the worst spot under my bra cup. 😣 Don’t apologise for all the questions. There was so much I wanted to know and didn’t ask. So ask away 👍🏼
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