Chemo - who’s been through it?

PFGEN

GCM
I was over the moon when the consultant at Guy’s offered me surgery within a week and no more chemo

The downside was they found cells near the edge of the bits they removed
The result was six weeks of radiotherapy every week day for about twenty minutes to half an hour!
The scarring from the skin burns actually hides some of the surgery scar but will never fade completely
The radiotherapy was the worst treatment as I’d already finished the post op oral morphine
Nearly crippled me isn’t an overstatement but I’m glad that’s over now!
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I’m very slowly gaining weight again having lost 11.5 stone I’ve clawed back almost a stone and with me now forcing daily exercise in I expect a little more as my muscle grows back

If ever evidence was needed as to how debilitating the whole cancer chemo cycle can be. Good to hear your on the recovery side even if it is slow.
 
We’re now on the back end of this chemo cycle which means she’s feeling pretty normal. She even managed a 2 mile run yesterday.

Her routine is chemo every three weeks. She feels like shite for about 10 days after the chemo and then gradually gets a bit better until the next hit. We’re trying to plan our lives around the back end of each chemo cycle when she feels relatively ok.

As the chemo progresses the 10 days of feeling like shite get gradually worse. By the 6th (and last) chemo hit she’ll be pretty much bedridden.

On the plus side there has already been noticeable difference and the lump is definitely shrinking, even after just one blast of chemo. She also hasn’t lost any hair yet but is losing weight. There wasn’t much of her to start with but she’s getting really skinny now.

Other side effects have included weird rashes, itching and nosebleeds which don’t stop and require a trip to A&E.

The biggest pain is having to travel everywhere. It seems like every step in this journey takes place at a completely different place. MRIs and CTs in Manchester, consultations at a different hospital in Manchester, an ECG last week in Barrow, chemo itself in Kendal, a pre chemo PCR test in Lancaster and A&E in Carlisle.

I’m spending half my life driving at the moment. But at least the journeys take her mind off things and we can get a decent lunch in town if she feels up to it.

Kids are OK but our daughter seems to have something going on. Since all this started she’s suddenly decided that she doesn’t like staying overnight at school anymore (they board 3 nights a week). She used to absolutely love it but we’ve had a few tearful phone calls recently that are completely out of character. I’m just trying to keep their minds off things by keeping them busy.

Next hit of chemo is on Thursday, so this weekend and all of next week is basically a write off while I play nurse again. One of the chefs at the pub pulled an absolute blinder for us and has made a ton of meals that we can freeze and just reheat when required. Homemade lasagnes, cottage pies etc. What a legend, certainly makes life a little easier.
Still haven’t got round to going through all my PMs and properly reading the replies on this thread. I’ll get round to it eventually.
That's the worse part of living in our part of the world, we're miles from civilisation.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
That's the worse part of living in our part of the world, we're miles from civilisation.
I’m so lucky as I am about two minutes drive from my local hospital, even so they have managed to book me appointments at every other hospital in the county over the last two years
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
That tattoo needs a bit of restoration work.
I was very impressed with the scar, it looked like an autopsy scar and that’s what I named it until the radiotherapy ruined it.
The reason behind the “Y” shape was the need to remove the round tips of the clavicles as they took enough material away with the sternum to risk the clavicles touching each other, that hurt for a long time trust me!
 

FrosteeMARIA

LE
Gallery Guru
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.

THIS, in spades - keep your sense of humour about the whole thing. Gallows humour saves us!

My grandmother had breast cancer which also spread to lymph nodes, she had those nodes in her armpit removed but no chemo.

Already been mentioned but appetite changes massively. Another friend always said he had a really strong metallic taste in his mouth, like chewing the foil wrapper off a kit kat and it hitting your fillings.

I would definitely recommend these for meal replacements/substitutes, they are much nicer than they used to be. Basically a meal in a tiny bottle, with tons of vitamins, etc.

Amazon product

Also the flavoured water is quite good, and easy to digest, Volvic Touch of Fruit is nice stuff. Better than boring tap water.

Good luck x
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
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.
When I was on antibiotics to treat the infected pic line I got terrible mouth ulcers, luckily cleared up quickly with a medical mouth wash!
 
Best wishes to all the family, there's going to be some difficult days ahead for you all. No real personal experience, but 2 good friends went through breast cancer about ten and twelve years ago, and after some anxious times it was great to see what a full recovery they made. Hoping you can tell the same tale one day.
 
Sorry to hear that news Ravers. Its hard on everyone involved, but not always terminal. Your memsahib seems to be in the best possible shape to sort this one. With the good support it seems she has, wish her and the family all a positive outcome.

Best friend died two years back from lower bowel cancer. She had a six month prediction but toughed it out for a year, got very rough by the end. Treatment was top notch but it was diagnosed late.

My daughter-in-law was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer two years back. Had mastectomy and chemo, pretty gruelling but came through that. Unfortunately because it was hormonal cancer she is now on a second round of chemo to induce early menopause and that has been almost but not quite as bad as the first round. We have all been very positive about this in support but realise that it has been down to her in the end.

This year my brother-in-law has been diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer, on chemo and seems to be holding. No appetite, losing weight, various complications beginning to appear. Family have accepted that they have a bit of time with him and trying to make that quality time.

Cancer is all around us and far more common than most of us realise, but new discoveries are being made all the time. I have a niece and cousin working in Roche on cancer and it is an extremely active field of research.

Hope she sorts this one out.
 
I’m so lucky as I am about two minutes drive from my local hospital, even so they have managed to book me appointments at every other hospital in the county over the last two years
I feel sorry for arrested people in this county - not! There are only 3 custody suites in the whole county, so if you get lifted in Ravers manor, the nearest custody suite is over 50 miles away. It's a long walk home in the morning when you get released!
 

philc

LE
That tattoo needs a bit of restoration work.

My wife after both breasts removed, chemo and more pricks and Jabs than Jordan’s arse got most upset about the fact she had to have a small dot tattooed on her chest to aim the radiation gun at.

If you know what your looking for your be amazed how many woman have one.
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
If you know what your looking for your be amazed how many woman have one.

And blokes who have had prostate cancer - but one has to be very close up and personal.
And before you say anything I only know because I had three dots tattooed on me to make sure I was in the right position for the radiotherapy.
That was seven years ago but the tattoos remain and if that's the pattern I reckon I'll leave my body to medical science so they can work out why the extra tattoos are inside my gut, kidney and lung.
 
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DAS

War Hero
My wife after both breasts removed, chemo and more pricks and Jabs than Jordan’s arse got most upset about the fact she had to have a small dot tattooed on her chest to aim the radiation gun at.

If you know what your looking for your be amazed how many woman have one.
We use a chemical dye that fades after several months. Especially useful for DXT procedures around the face.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
My wife after both breasts removed, chemo and more pricks and Jabs than Jordan’s arse got most upset about the fact she had to have a small dot tattooed on her chest to aim the radiation gun at.

If you know what your looking for your be amazed how many woman have one.
Me too, I grew the beard as a way of revolting against the mesh head and shoulders cast I had to wear for each radiotherapy session!
 

Tool

LE
a small dot tattooed on her chest to aim the radiation gun at.

If you know what your looking for your be amazed how many woman have one.

HiD has one. They found a boobie-lump and hacked it out. Benign, fortunately, but she has a small metal coil that replaced the lump in the breast and the tattoo shows radiographers where the metal target is. Apparently it also helps identify any growth of lumps.
 

DAS

War Hero
Me too, I grew the beard as a way of revolting against the mesh head and shoulders cast I had to wear for each radiotherapy session!
We use an open mesh now. Very little plaster of paris work for our mould room technician. It's meant to be far more tolerable than a full on mask with only eye and nose holes!
 

Chef

LE
My wife after both breasts removed, chemo and more pricks and Jabs than Jordan’s arse got most upset about the fact she had to have a small dot tattooed on her chest to aim the radiation gun at.

If you know what your looking for your be amazed how many woman have one.
I'd forgotten the tattoo, my sister had that for the second attack of cancer.

@ugly with that scar you can Crocodile Dundee anyone:

'That's not a scar; this is a scar mate.'

'What's that from then Ugly?'

'Post mortem*'

(There's enough NCIS type progs that people will believe you.)

*Curtesy of Jasper Carrot circa 1978
 

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