Chemo - who’s been through it?

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
We got a bit of a shit Christmas present this year. Lady Ravers has breast cancer.

She has a very strong family history of it. It killed her mum and her grandmother and two of her aunts have had it. For women in her family it’s basically a case of when, not if. It’s especially shit because we have a daughter who will no doubt have to go through this shit one day too.

Anyway, about 4 years back the missus had a risk reducing double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Basically they chopped her tits off and replaced them with a fabulous pair or absolute crowd pleasers with built in air horns, LEDs and everything.

At the time they actually found the early stages of cancer in there which obviously made us realise we’d done the right thing.

This was supposed to decrease her risk of breast cancer to less than 1%. Anyway she’s been massively unlucky and she has now fallen into that 1% with stage 2 breast cancer that has spread to some lymph nodes.

I’m still trying to get my head around it to be honest. How do you get tit cancer if you haven’t got any tits?

It all sounds pretty grim but we’ve caught it early and this type of breast cancer is very treatable with chemo, a bit of surgery and a drug called Herceptin 2. She’s also relatively young and very fit physically, smashing in a half marathon most weekends just for shits and giggles. This Herceptin positive type of breast cancer used to be a death sentence but thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, it is now the most treatable, with the highest survival rate.

There is nothing to worry about here and she will beat this, we just have a year of absolute shit to contend with now.

She had her first dose last week and it’s pretty ******* honking truth be told. She’s got no energy at all and spends most of the day in bed. She’s broken out in a nasty blotchy rash which looks a bit like a cross between sunburn and teenage acne. We also had a little adventure to A&E today because she keeps having heavy nose bleeds that won’t stop. It’s pretty normal by all accounts because her blood platelets are damaged by the chemo. They’ve quarterised her nose now so hopefully that won’t happen again.

Obviously she’s heavily immuno-compromised too so we’re only going out when absolutely necessary, which seems to be quite a lot actually. We’re at the hospital pretty much twice a week for scans or more chemo or what not. A bit of a pain as we live well over an hour from our nearest one and a lot of the appointments are at a specialist place in Manchester, well over 2 hours away. It’s further complicated by Covid and she has to have a PCR test at the hospital, the day before every chemo session.

So chemo, who’s had it? Give us your stories. Any practical advice on things we can do to lessen the effects? To be fair the hospital have been utterly fantastic with their help and advice so far, but it’s always good to hear the opinions of the assembled masses.
 

Old Stab

LE
Book Reviewer
Mate...my mum had to have a full Hysterectomy a few years ago.

She's a tiny little lady in her late 60's.
The Chemo left her tired,nauseous, irritable...dad tried his best but is disabled himself so we stepped in, as you do for your mum.

The best thing you can do is to be strong for her mate. Do whatever she wants doing..the seemingly little things like a brew in the morning, an impromptu cuddle or just reassurance that everything will be OK goes a hell of a long way.

Mum is still here annoying the bejesus out of me...but I wouldn't want it any different.

You might be a dodgy matelot who can't take his drink....but your OUR dodgy matelot. If you need to unload and get things off your chest, feel free mucker.
 

ZW Clanger

War Hero
We got a bit of a shit Christmas present this year. Lady Ravers has breast cancer.

She has a very strong family history of it. It killed her mum and her grandmother and two of her aunts have had it. For women in her family it’s basically a case of when, not if. It’s especially shit because we have a daughter who will no doubt have to go through this shit one day too.

Anyway, about 4 years back the missus had a risk reducing double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Basically they chopped her tits off and replaced them with a fabulous pair or absolute crowd pleasers with built in air horns, LEDs and everything.

At the time they actually found the early stages of cancer in there which obviously made us realise we’d done the right thing.

This was supposed to decrease her risk of breast cancer to less than 1%. Anyway she’s been massively unlucky and she has now fallen into that 1% with stage 2 breast cancer that has spread to some lymph nodes.

I’m still trying to get my head around it to be honest. How do you get tit cancer if you haven’t got any tits?

It all sounds pretty grim but we’ve caught it early and this type of breast cancer is very treatable with chemo, a bit of surgery and a drug called Herceptin 2. She’s also relatively young and very fit physically, smashing in a half marathon most weekends just for shits and giggles. This Herceptin positive type of breast cancer used to be a death sentence but thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, it is now the most treatable, with the highest survival rate.

There is nothing to worry about here and she will beat this, we just have a year of absolute shit to contend with now.

She had her first dose last week and it’s pretty ******* honking truth be told. She’s got no energy at all and spends most of the day in bed. She’s broken out in a nasty blotchy rash which looks a bit like a cross between sunburn and teenage acne. We also had a little adventure to A&E today because she keeps having heavy nose bleeds that won’t stop. It’s pretty normal by all accounts because her blood platelets are damaged by the chemo. They’ve quarterised her nose now so hopefully that won’t happen again.

Obviously she’s heavily immuno-compromised too so we’re only going out when absolutely necessary, which seems to be quite a lot actually. We’re at the hospital pretty much twice a week for scans or more chemo or what not. A bit of a pain as we live well over an hour from our nearest one and a lot of the appointments are at a specialist place in Manchester, well over 2 hours away. It’s further complicated by Covid and she has to have a PCR test at the hospital, the day before every chemo session.

So chemo, who’s had it? Give us your stories. Any practical advice on things we can do to lessen the effects? To be fair the hospital have been utterly fantastic with their help and advice so far, but it’s always good to hear the opinions of the assembled masses.
Sorry to hear this pal.
No experience of this myself aside from the sister in law who made a full recovery.
Keep positive buddy, stay strong and I’m sure all will be fine.
X
 
Not had it Grandad did (He maintained it was worse than the disease)

A friend also had it - really rough time as she turned out to be allergic to the Chemo - sadly she lost the battle late 2020** That said she was given less than 2 years in 2014 so either grim determination to outlive her husband or treatment had some effect.

I will speak to her Hubby and see if he can pass anything along - I cant promise anything as to be honest he is still pretty raw from the loss and so reluctant to talk about it and her to a degree.

Both sufferred from the tratment in differrent ways - From what they said im unsure there is a way of lessening the impact - beyond avoiding contact with anyone / thing contagious to avoid secondary issues.

Edit - Mouthwash - I know it sounds daft but it caused my grandad terrible gum problems and they had to get a very sensitive delicate mouthwash - possibly prescription) since the likes of Listerene litterally stripped his gums away. Will ask what it was.



Al the best to you and your family in whats going to be a trying time and rough start to the new year, but think of it like a crippling hangover - your day starts of horrific - but you know that however shit you feel now - your day (year) will only get better.


**And thanks to Covid feckwittery I still havent been able to pay my respects
 
Ravers, I'm sorry to hear that, all the best to your wife and family, your attitude towards this sounds spot on and will help defeat it.

Weed is often prescribed for the side effects of chemo, it gives you your appetite back, relaxes you etc, could be worth having a google
 
My mum has been fighting bladder cancer for 20 years. Tough old bird she is. Anyway, few months ago she had another tumour taken out and they put her on chemo for the first time. She took badly with it, and it turns out she was allergic to it so they've stopped it straight away.
Best thing I've took from my mother in all these years of fighting cancer is, positive mental attitude. Not once has she cracked under the pressure. She's always upbeat about beating the cancer, always positive, and every year she gets through the fight.
I'd say that would be a good thing to have. Good luck to your missus in getting through this.
 

Ritch

LE
Moderator
We got a bit of a shit Christmas present this year. Lady Ravers has breast cancer.

She has a very strong family history of it. It killed her mum and her grandmother and two of her aunts have had it. For women in her family it’s basically a case of when, not if. It’s especially shit because we have a daughter who will no doubt have to go through this shit one day too.

Anyway, about 4 years back the missus had a risk reducing double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Basically they chopped her tits off and replaced them with a fabulous pair or absolute crowd pleasers with built in air horns, LEDs and everything.

At the time they actually found the early stages of cancer in there which obviously made us realise we’d done the right thing.

This was supposed to decrease her risk of breast cancer to less than 1%. Anyway she’s been massively unlucky and she has now fallen into that 1% with stage 2 breast cancer that has spread to some lymph nodes.

I’m still trying to get my head around it to be honest. How do you get tit cancer if you haven’t got any tits?

It all sounds pretty grim but we’ve caught it early and this type of breast cancer is very treatable with chemo, a bit of surgery and a drug called Herceptin 2. She’s also relatively young and very fit physically, smashing in a half marathon most weekends just for shits and giggles. This Herceptin positive type of breast cancer used to be a death sentence but thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, it is now the most treatable, with the highest survival rate.

There is nothing to worry about here and she will beat this, we just have a year of absolute shit to contend with now.

She had her first dose last week and it’s pretty ******* honking truth be told. She’s got no energy at all and spends most of the day in bed. She’s broken out in a nasty blotchy rash which looks a bit like a cross between sunburn and teenage acne. We also had a little adventure to A&E today because she keeps having heavy nose bleeds that won’t stop. It’s pretty normal by all accounts because her blood platelets are damaged by the chemo. They’ve quarterised her nose now so hopefully that won’t happen again.

Obviously she’s heavily immuno-compromised too so we’re only going out when absolutely necessary, which seems to be quite a lot actually. We’re at the hospital pretty much twice a week for scans or more chemo or what not. A bit of a pain as we live well over an hour from our nearest one and a lot of the appointments are at a specialist place in Manchester, well over 2 hours away. It’s further complicated by Covid and she has to have a PCR test at the hospital, the day before every chemo session.

So chemo, who’s had it? Give us your stories. Any practical advice on things we can do to lessen the effects? To be fair the hospital have been utterly fantastic with their help and advice so far, but it’s always good to hear the opinions of the assembled masses.

Really shít to hear Ravers. I'm sorry.

My first girlfriend got breast cancer at 17 and went through four rounds of chemo. It's exactly like you've mentioned - especially the bleeding. She ended up bleeding from her backside by all accounts. She ended up going into remission for three years before it returned and she passed.

Like the others have said - all you can do is be there for her and to try and stay strong. She really won't be able to do anything whilst going through the chemo.

My best wishes to you and your family.
 
Based purely on what I saw a good friend go through.

Chemo killed his appetite and he didn't eat. He lost way too much weight, which further debilitated him and eroded his morale.

A cancer specialist can advise on nutrient dense foods that are easy to get down if you have no appetite or are nauseus.

I hope she makes a full recovery!
 
That's shit news @Ravers. If there is a gleam of light it's that it's no longer a taboo subject for talking about, plus there's lots of help out there.

Best wishes for a successful outcome.
 
Wish you both all the best Ravers and a speedy recovery for the missus with as little hassle as possible.
One of my first cousins had the double mastectomy a few years ago, since there was a history of BC in the family.
I am overawed by the courage of such people.

loofkar
 

Syledis

War Hero
Im recovering from breast cancer right now and had a full mastectomy just under 2 years ago on the right side ( just one manboob to lose now!) My chemo was extended due to side effects, but that was due to getting a much higher dose than needed so took about a year of chemo, normally its about 6 months .

Breast cancer isnt the bogey man it used to be, the success rate is huge , i never once felt scared about it as the staff were amazing.

Make sure you get a good Macmillan nurse, they really are the best.

Take all the services offered

Practical advice
Get everything you can thats non scented, smells trigger the nausea, shampoo, soap, toothpaste etc

Make sure she has a friend she can talk to other than you or she will possibly bottle things up for fear of upsetting you ( did it on my own as my kids were doing exams and they had enough to deal with, it was tough)

Get her some nice hats in advance, i know it sounds daft but the hair loss hits quickly

Let folk know so she doesnt get questions like "you look tired" or " you dont look well"

Load her kindle up with books for chemo sessions

If you want to know anything at all, pm me, im happy to help
 
Last edited:

Old Stab

LE
Book Reviewer
Im recovering from breast cancer right now and had a full mastectomy just under 2 years ago on the right side ( just one manboob to lose now!) My chemo was extended due to side effects but that was due to getting a much higher dose than needed so took about a year of chemo, nortmally its about 6 months .

Breast cancer isnt the bogey man it used to be, the success rate is huge , i never once felt scared about it as the staff were amazing.

Make sure you get a good Macmillan nurse, they really are the best.

Take all the services offered

Practical advice
Get everything you can thats non scented, smells trigger the nausea, shampoo, soap, toothpaste etc

Make sure she has a friend she can talk to other than you or she will possibly bottle things up for fear of upsetting you ( did it on my own as my kids were doing exams and they had enough to deal with, it was tough)

Get her some nice hats in advance, i know it sounds daft but the hair loss hits quickly

Let folk know so she doesnt get questions like "you look tired" or " you dont look well"

Load her kindle up with books for chemo sessions

If you want to know anything at all, pm me, im happy to help
Excellent post.
Bloody brilliant tbh....thank you.
 

Gavrillo

Old-Salt
Hi Ravers, sorry to hear of your wifes misfortune, I had 6 months chemo 4 years ago for stage 3b lymphoma, and would suggest drink plenty of water before chemo and after (2 litres plus in 3-4 hours), the chemo rash is just one of those things (still have mine), along with chemo brain, please pm me if you need more info, first time posting so not sure what I am doing.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Cheers for all the responses team. Some really good advice and it’s good to hear we aren’t alone.

Respect to all those who’ve been through, or are going through this and my deepest thoughts and sympathy to those who’ve lost people.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Hi Ravers, sorry to hear of your wifes misfortune, I had 6 months chemo 4 years ago for stage 3b lymphoma, and would suggest drink plenty of water before chemo and after (2 litres plus in 3-4 hours), the chemo rash is just one of those things (still have mine), along with chemo brain, please pm me if you need more info, first time posting so not sure what I am doing.
Thanks so much for the advice and welcome to Arrse.
 

RBMK

LE
Book Reviewer
Mother in Law, had a mastectomy but it came back 7 years later as secondaries. Her chemo wasn't too bad but she was in her 80s and quite frail to start with. Chemo was too late to do much good.

If it's been diagnosed early enough then she has a good chance of beating it.

Chemo gets different people in different ways. Your OH has the classics being nausea and nosebleeds. Havng the nost cauterised will help.

Diet wise, try things that are easy to digest like protein shakes and stay away from fatty stuff which will add to the nausea. Don't skimp on dietary fibre, there are high fibre shakes which will help keep the plumbing moving.

Not relevant to your OH, but my dad died of bowel cancer - caught too late and my mum from non-Hodgkins - also caught too late. My mate Roger had pancreatic - which is pretty much incurable. The chemo for pancreatic can extend life by a few months but he said that the chemo made him feel so bad that he wanted to die so he opted out after the 2nd round.

One absolutely critical thing is that you need to be positive for her without treating her like a porcelein doll. Tricky balance, do what you can to make things easier but go too far and she'll get stroppy, especially if she's feeling crap in the first place. You'll probably need to bite your tongue on a few occasions. Expect depression and tears, and from her too ;) . Try to keep everything else as normal as possible.

Be up front and honest with the kids. They will understand and in any case will need to know. Don't under-rate how important the kids area or how much they will be upset if you don't tell them.

Load your ipad/kindle up with good books for hospital waits.

Hope at least some of this helps.

Good luck and best wishes.
 
We got a bit of a shit Christmas present this year. Lady Ravers has breast cancer.

She has a very strong family history of it. It killed her mum and her grandmother and two of her aunts have had it. For women in her family it’s basically a case of when, not if. It’s especially shit because we have a daughter who will no doubt have to go through this shit one day too.

Anyway, about 4 years back the missus had a risk reducing double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Basically they chopped her tits off and replaced them with a fabulous pair or absolute crowd pleasers with built in air horns, LEDs and everything.

At the time they actually found the early stages of cancer in there which obviously made us realise we’d done the right thing.

This was supposed to decrease her risk of breast cancer to less than 1%. Anyway she’s been massively unlucky and she has now fallen into that 1% with stage 2 breast cancer that has spread to some lymph nodes.

I’m still trying to get my head around it to be honest. How do you get tit cancer if you haven’t got any tits?

It all sounds pretty grim but we’ve caught it early and this type of breast cancer is very treatable with chemo, a bit of surgery and a drug called Herceptin 2. She’s also relatively young and very fit physically, smashing in a half marathon most weekends just for shits and giggles. This Herceptin positive type of breast cancer used to be a death sentence but thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, it is now the most treatable, with the highest survival rate.

There is nothing to worry about here and she will beat this, we just have a year of absolute shit to contend with now.

She had her first dose last week and it’s pretty ******* honking truth be told. She’s got no energy at all and spends most of the day in bed. She’s broken out in a nasty blotchy rash which looks a bit like a cross between sunburn and teenage acne. We also had a little adventure to A&E today because she keeps having heavy nose bleeds that won’t stop. It’s pretty normal by all accounts because her blood platelets are damaged by the chemo. They’ve quarterised her nose now so hopefully that won’t happen again.

Obviously she’s heavily immuno-compromised too so we’re only going out when absolutely necessary, which seems to be quite a lot actually. We’re at the hospital pretty much twice a week for scans or more chemo or what not. A bit of a pain as we live well over an hour from our nearest one and a lot of the appointments are at a specialist place in Manchester, well over 2 hours away. It’s further complicated by Covid and she has to have a PCR test at the hospital, the day before every chemo session.

So chemo, who’s had it? Give us your stories. Any practical advice on things we can do to lessen the effects? To be fair the hospital have been utterly fantastic with their help and advice so far, but it’s always good to hear the opinions of the assembled masses.
Mate, really sorry to hear this bad news.
Don't have anything to add to the good stuff already posted by others apart from adding hope all ends well.
It's going to be a ball ache for all concerned.
Best wishes to you and yours.
 

Ursus Major

War Hero
MRs UM exactly the same scenario down to a end December getting the news , female family have nearly all had it back to great grandmother, diagnosed then surgery, chemo then Herceptin. The hopeful news, she went through all this in 2007 and she is still here. Herceptin is the key to my bosses survival. Chemo is pretty horrible whilst having it, and you have to be ever so careful as you have no immunity. They may change the types and dosages during the course of treatment as different folks react in different ways. Good luck and all the best to you both.
 
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