It was so great to hear from you knowing you beat IBC. Breast cancer was not in my family so when I woke up one morning to find my left breast double the size of my right I panicked called the doctor to make an appointment that night. I went to work that day and looked on the internet BIG MISTAKE. The symptoms I had were the same for premenopausal mastitis and inflammation breast cancer. The doctor put me on penicillin and then antibiotics and they did nothing then went to a breast surgeon and he quickly ran heaps of tests th following week. It wasn't till the following Thursday the 20th June that we were told the bad news I had IBC and it had moved to my lymph nodes under my arm and up to the clavicle region below the base of my neck .
I just got my wig cut yesterday and bought a couple of warm winter hats to wear to and from work . I read everthing you wrote and thankyou it was really helpful.
Your the best Tanya....
My Oncologist told me that the AC chemo wasn't cumulative but I felt that each time it was a bit harder on me. I had every intention of working through chemo but took the first month off to see how I would go. After the first round I discovered that I couldn't work through, it hit me too hard. It was only in the third week of the cycle that I felt anywhere near normal. I took the whole year off, I felt I had to concentrate on getting well. There is a lot of stress at the uni where I work with restructuring and redundancies and its still going on. Just before I was diagnosis, I actually had to apply for my own job again which I got. I don't want any added stress right now. My Supervisor has been absolutely marvellous and she and my admin team keep me informed of whats going on. I go in and have lunch with them all when I'm well enough.
I was only on AC for the first four rounds and that was bad enough but then I started on Docetaxel (Taxatere) and the AC seemed like a walk in the park. Ironically, my Onc was away just after I started on the D drug and I had one of her colleagues for the onc review and he said the D drug WAS cumulative. Perhaps there is differences of opinions in this. But I believe chemo is cumulative, especially the D drug. Instead of Docetaxel, my husband has dubbed it 'Doceshit'. When he told the chemo nurse this, she almost had a fit, she laughed that much
But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and mine is getting bigger and bigger. My husband, daughter and son keep me laughing, they all have wicked senses of humour. My son says "oh we have broken Mum" and he's right. I am in hysterics often!
Sorry, I do get carried away when I post. I think I have verbal diarrhoea
That photo you sent me is almost what the basin looked like this morning when I had a shower after I brushed my hair. I also bought a wig yesterday, it's very close to my natural colour but has highlights through it. My husband joked with me yesterday and said " We'll at least you've finally got highlights now."
Got a new wig on Saturday. My husband says it looks really good because it has highlights in it, which I never had the guts to do with my natural hair.
I can't believe you live so close to me we definately will have to meet up and talk over coffee. I work full -time but are free on weekends.
Looking forward to seeing you in person
I was diagnosed with IBC in August 2009 after noticing firmness and itchiness and a dark shadow on my left breast. I had chemo, left mastectomy and radiation, but didn't have reconstruction. My hair fell out at 15 days and it was quite painful. I wore a wig or scarf or hat as my fiance at the time was not comfortable with my appearance.
In August this year I had a 6-month checkup and a dodgy lymph node was detected - quickly whipped out and then straight back into chemo, which was absolutely heartbreaking as my hair had grown back long, luscious and beautifully curly - best it has ever been (I'm now 45). Sure enough after 20 days it started falling out in big handfuls, not so painful this time but my scalp continued to be sensitive and after a friend put clippers through I didn't bother with a wig or even a scarf, choosing to concentrate on makeup and accessories to "rock" the Sinead O'Connor look. Apparently it suits me. Starting to grow back now, a little peach fuzz. Still waiting on eyelashes to come back.
I'm in Brisbane - if you have any questions feel free to ask.