Recent diagnosis and new to the group

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Madimack
Madimack Member Posts: 3
Good afternoon.  My name is Jenny and I was diagnosed with Grade 2 cancer in my right breast on the 17 April.  I had lumpectomy surgery on 4 May and a PET/CT scan last week as cancer cells were detected in 1 of 3 lymph nodes and results are pending.  We met the Oncologist last Tuesday and due to several risk factors, chemotherapy has been recommended as the next step and I commence on 12 June starting with fortnightly infusions for the first 8 weeks then weekly for the next 12 weeks.  Radiation will follow as they were not able to get the level of clear margins with the surgery and no further surgery is possible.  Then if all this goes onto hormone blocking medication for 5 years as I'm ER positive, PR negative and HER2 negative.  I'm feeling OK negotiating the roller coaster of procedures, tests and waiting for results and adjusting.  At this stage, I've accepted what is happening and learning to live my best life with this diagnosis now and in the future.  Thank you for taking the time to read to my story and appreciate the insights others can give from their lived experience.  Kind regards, Jenny

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  • GinGin
    GinGin Member Posts: 149
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    Hey Jenny,
    I have the same diagnosis as you( Hormone +, Her2-).  Mine was grade 3, stage 3( I’ve used past tense as my hubby insisted that my tumor has been removed and I have completed all the active treatments, I.e. lumpectomy, chemo and radiation). I was diagnosed in Jul 2023.
    I think with chemo, you’ll likely be on AC and then weekly Taxols. There’s heaps of ladies who have shared their experiences here. If you have any questions along your journey or anything you like to share with us, feel free to post it here.  
    I’m so glad to hear you have accepted it and learning to live your best life with this diagnosis ( I’m still getting accustomed to my new ‘normal’🙈.
    Wishing you all the best with your treatments. 🤗.

    p.s. I noticed your location is Hervey Bay, we will be heading there for a short holiday in July!
    💝💝💝
    Gin
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,821
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    Hi @Madimack, So sorry to see you join our select little group and glad that you've found us.   I was lucky & dodged the chemo bullet, having lumpectomy, Rads & still on the Tabs.  Yes, it is a real roller coaster ride, so well done on feeling OK with it all xx

    Congrats on getting thru your surgery and  I wish you all the best with your upcoming chemo.  I nursed my husband thru his chemo - Drinking lots of water after each infusion helps 'clear it' from your body.  Not everyone loses their hair - so maybe ask your Medical Onc about a cold cap ... it has reduced hair loss with some members.  (Tho it may be a tad uncomfortable in Winter?)  Taking rests if/when you need them, eat whatever you like, WHEN you like (it may not fit into regular meal times ...). If you start cooking up some of your favourite dishes now & freeze them in meal size portions, it may make  
    it easier on those days you just can't be bothered cooking. xx. I hope you have good family & friends supporting you xx 

    Consider recording all your team meetings, so that you have 'back up' - as it is easy to miss bits when you are still pondering what has just been said.  Also take a trusted friend/relative with you as physical support & an extra set of ears  ;) 

    Feel free to jump onto this thread that has a lot of 'general' info on the Forum - and some 'off topic' threads that you may like to check out, if you have pets, a nice garden or are into art & craft xx.  We also have some funny threads too (we all need a laugh now & then!)  At the bottom of the main thread are some 'tick sheets' for self assessing how you are going, physically and mentally!   Sometimes it is easier to tick or write things down than to talk about it .... and if you feel a bit 'down' and want someone to physically Talk to .... jump onto our Helpline (Mon-Fri, Office Hours) on 1800 500 258
    https://onlinenetwork.bcna.org.au/discussion/23477/a-big-welcome-to-all-new-online-network-members#latest

    Terrific that @GinGin will be in Hervey Bay in July - you might be able to catch up for a coffee & a chat!  I am sure we have other members up that way too xx

    Take care and all the best xx


  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 956
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    @Madimack welcome to the club noone wants to join.  I had same diagnosis as you.  Im 4 years down the track of lumpectomy,  mastectomy,  chemotherapy and radiation.   You sound like you are in a good head space.   Look after yourself. Remember to breathe.  One step at a time.  If people offer help accept it.  Prepare a few meals for the freezer.  Chicken broth or vegetable soup in the freezer will be helpful if you have days you are not up to cooking.
  • Madimack
    Madimack Member Posts: 3
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    Thank you for taking the time to reply to my message.  You have given me lots of ideas, advice and support that provide me with reassurance and hope.  I am very fortunate to have so much love and support from my partner, immediate and extended family, my close friends and wonderful neighbours.
    Gin, I would love to catch up when you visit Hervey Bay so please keep in touch and we can exchange contact details closer to the time. All the best, Jenny
  • JenD
    JenD Member Posts: 20
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    Hi Jenny, I am also a Jenny (located adelaide).  I was diagnosed 22/12/23 IDC, and the process of scans, tests, biopsys etc lead to surgery 28/2/24 partial mascectomy, chemo ( Ive just completed the x4 dose dense over 8 weeks and about to start weekly x12 weeks.  Then to come still radiotherapy and hormone blockers (for er/pr +).   I had 14 cancerous lymphnodes also removed in anxillary clearance, along with idc tumour.  I was offered, but didnt worry on cold cap (its hit and miss with red devil and I didnt want to be in infusion suite longer than I had to). About day 18 hair started breaking off, so I got it buzzed off by my hairdresser.  Had it neatened to a zero the other day, its weird but fine, its winter so beanie/head covers and scarf do the trick till I look into wigs.   Side affects are very individual.  It hasnt been easy, Ive had various issues, but talked about them with oncologist each appt to get advise to get through.  I am quite open and honest with family and friends on things happening,  and one day at a time conquering this crazy time.  Ive got a trip coming up Im doing in all this (7 days to auckland), which is still possible with precautions, and I pick the good days toward end of each cycle to do a few things (reward things like see a musical, lunch with friends etc).  While there are up and down times, acceptance and positive outlook definately will get you through.   Goodluck with starting chemo 🩷, 

    I also did the Look good Feel good Workshop today, that was quite good to get out, put make up on as part of morning, and there was a wig demo so of course I volunteered to model a couple! 

     
  • Madimack
    Madimack Member Posts: 3
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    Hi Everyone,  the day is approaching to commence chemotherapy on 12 June and the unknown as to how I my body will cope and react.  My treatment regime is AC (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide) dose dense fortnightly for 8 weeks then Paclitaxel weekly for 12 weeks.  On a positive note I received the results from my PET/CT scan results and no other cancer was found at this time!!  At this stage, I've decided to not do the cold cap and accepted that my hair may fall out and I bought some nice bamboo caps from the Cancer Council which I feel comfortable about.  I have short hair and at the young age of 61 I am quite grey and had a haircut a few days in preparation.  I have another question about cooling mittens and booties which I have been advised could or would be a good thing to do.  I asked the breast cancer nurse where you can get these and she said to look online however, I'm sure there are different types/versions out there and seeking advice which ones would be the best and where to get them from.  As I am only a few days before starting chemotherapy I may not be able to get them if considered a good idea to reduce the risk of neuropathy in hands and feet.  I have been looking for discussions on this topic with a range of opinions and approaches.  Kind regards, Jenny
  • GinGin
    GinGin Member Posts: 149
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    Good morning Jenny

    congrats on the results! Such a 😅 relief! You may wish to consider creating a new discussion for this topic. 

    i was 58 when I had chemo and my oncologist tells me with AC and Taxols, I would lose majority of my hair even with cold capping. So I decided not to cold cap. I am 59 now. My hair started growing back 3 months after chemo. The hair loss was everywhere including my eyebrows and eyelashes (it didn’t bother me at all).

    I purchased 2 sets: one from Amazon and the other from aurora. The Amazon one (pictured below). I preferred the ones from Amazon as they stay cooler for longer. You will probably have found several discussions around the icing on this forum. Some of the ladies are still active and others are not too active online. I actually emailed some of them with my questions and several did revert to answer my questions and help me out.  My oncologist says it is Taxol that may cause neuropathy but I experienced pins and needles even when I was on AC. But as I was told it was Taxol that may cause neuropathy, I started icing only during Taxols. If I had the chance, I would start icing even when on AC. 

    Post chemo, I did developed pins and needles but my hubby thinks that if I didn’t ice, it could have been worse. Hubby also brought ice every week to chemo. My hubby helped to change my gloves when it’s no longer as cold.  I didn’t have a port or PICC line. The infusion was through my right hand, so we were not able to use the gloves but my hubby put those ice packs( purchased from Woolies and chemist warehouse) on my right hand. I believe the icing helps as I can tell the difference in the level of neuropathy between My left and right hands. 
    I didn’t purchase any gloves for my hands as my centre has them and they were happy for me to use theirs.

    will drop you a private message closer to the date when we are in Hervey Bay. 😊. And we can meet up if you feel Ok during chemo. Chemo was extremely tough for me so I hope you will do better than me.💝



  • Locksley
    Locksley Member Posts: 956
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    @madimack I used the socks gin gin mentions for taxol. I do believe they helped me.  I did have some neuropathy in my toes but I feel it would have been much worse if I didn't do it.  I did have my big toe nails lift which was very painful.  Podiatrist said I did very well and thought the icing saved the other nails.  We brought towels to treatment.  Nurses were helpful showing us where to get ice for my hands.  I would double glove my hands.  Brings jugs from home and try to keep my hands in the jugs for as long as I could.