CarrieP Member Posts: 39
edited January 2021 in Day to day
Hi ladies, away with my family spending some quality time but last 24 hours been so emotional and stressed, was diagnosed with TNBC early Dec, having 4 rounds of chemo, 16 rounds of taxol and then surgery - unsure at this stage what surgery as having genetic testing in a couple of weeks to see if I am a carrier for bracca 1/2.
I had my first chemo 31st Dec, all went ok and other than first day where I had severe nausea that night the next 5 days I was just really exhausted - going into my 2nd post treatment i seem to be going ok. 
The thing is, the last 24 hours there is a burning pain in my tight breast and it’s sore and right arm aches - I had a needle biopsy the day before my chemo as ct showed a lesion in breast node so it is just over a week ago now and the side of my breast got really bruised and where they stuck the anaesthetic to numb the area still feels tingly and swollen, my husband says when he was looking at the ultrasound and needle was going in she was really pushing hard to grab the samples and they stuck 3 needles in to get enough, results came back fine and was benign so was a relief but I am stressing as it’s really sore still- has anyone had similar experiences with biopsies as all I can think is that this terrible diesels has spread even though my Scans mid Dec were clear.
also I wonder if chemo is working and I know I am being stupid as I have only had 1 session and everyone is different but reading the side affects like hair falling out before 2nd cycle ( I am having a few strands come out only, more like malting but not much) nails going black, mine are fine at the moment, it’s not like I want these things but physiologically I feel if these things start to happen chemo is working - it’s such a mind f**k.
sorry for the long winded post but just needed to release xx


  • MicheleR
    MicheleR Member Posts: 343
    edited January 2021
    Hi @CarrieP,

    Sorry to hear you are feeling anxious.

    Chemo side effects vary from person to person. Ive just finished Ac and taxol. I think after the first chemo it tends not to be very dramatic. 

    Dont worry if you arent having nail changes or hair is not falling. Your hair will probably fall out but it is individual. You will think nothing is really happening then all of a sudden movement. 

    I think at about my second taxol i asked the oncologist how he knew it was working and he said it would be in the months and years to come. I found this very unsatisfactory as an answer but id already had surgery and i had yet to understand that the drugs are really given as a program which they figure will do the required job. In my case apart from blood results presumably to check how my body was coping there were no tests throughout chemo. The programs are given based on your scenario and what they know will best hit the cancer cells. Hope that kindof helps. Try not to worry. Some people dont get many side effects others like me get plenty. I hope you are one who gets few. Regardless it is manageable.

    In terms of the biopsy, it sounds lije they traumatised the area a little. Try not to worry but if it doesnt get better go to your gp or whoever is looking after you and have them look. No query is silly and it will allay your fears.

    Sending you hugs
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
    edited January 2021
    Hi @CarrieP
    I had bilateral bc, and multifocal in the right breast. For the biopsies, I got 6 needles in rightie and 3 in leftie, 9 altogether. Leftie was fine and no bruising or much pain. Lump was just above the nipple. Rightie, on the other hand, was difficult. Lumps were in upper outer quadrant. The doctor was also struggling quite a bit to get the samples from both lumps and was really pushing. Afterwards, it wouldn’t stop bleeding, so she had to apply a lot of pressure with her hands for about 5-10 minutes before she could continue. She did that to avoid bruising, but I still bruised quite a bit and was very sore on that beast. Took about 2 weeks for bruising to disappear. So what you have explained sounds pretty normal, nothing to worry about. On top of that yours was benign, so very good news. The swelling and bruising will go away, just give it time and be careful with your breast. 
    I didn’t do chemo, but as the other ladies mentioned it takes time for side effects to appear, if they do, and everyone is very different.  Be very happy if they don’t appear or appear a bit later. Believe me, with what you’re having injected into you, I’d say the odds are almost impossible that it won’t have an effect. 
    In terms of the emotional stuff, @Afraser is right. We do need to look after our emotional and psychological health just as much as our physical. In the long run, it can do more damage than the physical if not treated. I also thought I didn’t need a counsellor after my mastectomies as I felt so relieved and happy, and was healing well. But boy did I need it a bit later on. Not just cos of the cancer, which is very difficult to deal with, but with pre-existing trauma that the cancer diagnosis was not helping with at all. It just all accumulated and needed to be dealt with, so I did. Saw a psychologist for 6 months, and now all aspects of me are finally healing as they should be. And I finally feel free and happy with myself. It’s a good feeling. 
    I hope this helps, and please continue to enjoy your time away 😊. 
    Mon Xx
  • Abbydog
    Abbydog Member Posts: 447
    Sorry you are here to join us.
    It is a lot to take in.
    I have been very lucky and not had many side effects. So I hope that your theory is very wrong. My story is here if you click on my name or icon.
    Your hair will most likely fall in the next week or two (unless you used the cold cap.) 
    Side effects vary so much between all of us here.
    I hope that you will report your nausea, in case you can have more medication or a different one if it is possible.
    Keeping a good fluid intake and reasonable nutrition helps to avoid other issues.
    I can't explain your pain etc.
    Don't be afraid to ask your Oncologist, or Breast Care nurse if you have one. Ask anything. Make a list of questions.
    I also kept a diary. And asked for copies of my reports/pathology. Take someone with you if possible to the Dr.
    All the best, there is a way through,  and you will get through it.

  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    Hi @CarrieP One of the few unbreakable rules when it comes to surgical procedures is to keep a very, very close eye on any swelling or redness.

    Having needles stuck in your boob is unpleasant on every level and even with the most careful attention to hygiene, infections can occur. If you are still in pain, please get someone on your team to check it out. I'm not trying to up your anxiety, but as many of us can tell you, ignoring a problem and hoping it will just bugger off can end up making things worse.

    Cancer treatment can present many challenges, it's best to deal with them as, and if, they arrive. One of the things you can do to prepare is sort out your emergency contact list--breast care nurse should be top of the list but Nurse on Call is also a helpful resource if you are not sure if the thing you are worried about is really a 'thing.' You will learn to trust your instincts and your body; if something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

    Many folk struggle with the concept of having to trot off to ED, of your GP or whoever for things you hope are trivial. We've just got to get over that--no-one is going to think you are wasting time or resources, it really, really is better to be safe than sorry. Good luck, MXX

  • Dory65
    Dory65 Member Posts: 323
    Hi @CarrieP, great advice above. You are not being stupid. You know your body and the doctors aren't mind-readers, so write it all down, take a support person with you, and get it all checked out. Best wishes. x
  • Brownowl
    Brownowl Member Posts: 21
    Hi @CarrieP

    Sorry to hear you’re having a rough time. 

    Tomorrow is my second treatment and I’m feeling a bit anxious too. I was fine with the first one oddly enough. 

    From what I’ve been told, everyone is different both in terms of the physical and emotional reaction. My onco said I wouldn’t lose my hair until the second treatment but it’s almost gone. Likewise she said I wouldn’t see any effect until after my second but I’ve seen some improvement (mine is really visible). So who knows? 

    All I know it’s important to stay strong and keep going. Those biopsies are awful. I’ve had weird pains everywhere and I’ve been completely paranoid. Try and take joy in the small things if you can. If not make sure you get the proper support. These BCNA nurses are great or connect with your GP.

    You’ve got this. xo 
  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    Always get anything unusual checked're not being a wuss or asking stupid questions, just looking out for yourself.  Biopsies can hurt for a long time but it is not worth risking infection.  It's your doctor's job to work this out.  This is uncharted territory for you and you don't know what to expect and sometimes you have to advocate for yourself.  Hair will probably go very quickly when it decides to (you may get a tingling sensation in your scalp before it does - or not) and it may not all fall out.   Your nails might be fine - mine have decided to go weird 2 years later.
  • Anne65
    Anne65 Member Posts: 425
    @CarrieP So sorry to hear your story & sending a BIG gentle, virtual hug your way! I hope you have gone back to see your GP/specialist about your concerns. Great advice by everyone above & I also agree that noone will think you are wasting their time by going back to get physically checked out.
    Have you got a breast care nurse? I found that my McGrath BC nurse was always there to answer my "stupid questions" or ones that I forgot to ask my surgeon/GP. You can always ring/email them to ask for advice & also Cancer Council helpline. 
    I learnt early on through my treatment, that although I had a great team around me, sometimes I had to take the first step & be in control of my own health by asking for extra tests etc. so you shouldnt feel like a nuisance if you ever need to return to a specialist to get them to check you out.
    I also got genetically tested for the bracca gene upon advice from my surgeon & luckily my result was negative. The result of this test did impact on my future direction of treatment so Im glad I got it done.
    I hope you are finding the support you need from friends & family too or others from a local cancer support group. We are all here too & this forum will give you lots of advice & support whenever you need it.
    Wishing you love & strength xx
  • FLClover
    FLClover Member Posts: 1,513
    Glad you’re sorting it out 👌🏻😊 @CarrieP
    Good luck with chemo today, hope it goes easy on you 🍀♥️
  • Anne65
    Anne65 Member Posts: 425
    @CarrieP Great to hear you have spoken to your medical team & had your questions answered. We have such wonderful support available to us so use their help when ever you need. Good luck with the chemo. Hope all goes smoothly. love & strength xx
  • Brownowl
    Brownowl Member Posts: 21
    @CarrieP Glad to hear you’re feeling better. I think the only thing we can be sure of is it’s a roller coaster of emotions. I’ve made an appointment with a hospital psychologist too. Any help is good help to keep us going strong 💪.