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Friends needed

misty9
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2001

Hello, I'm newly diagnosed with breast cancer, I have had the lump removed and my knodes also and tomorrow I will start chemo. I'm in need of friends that are going through the same thing so I have someone to talk to. I'm alone in a state where I have no family except my two daughters and a few friends at work....they have been great but really have no clue what I'm going through. Is there anyone out there???

slynne
Posts: 31
Joined: Apr 2001

Dear Misty,
You will find so much support here. I'm glad you found this site - don't know what i'd have done without it. I was diagnosed in December and had a lumpectomy followed with chemo. Tomorrow is my last chemo treatment before I start with Radiation. I too was alone in my city - newly married - with no close friends or family nearby. Its so hard to explain to someone who isn't going through this what it feels like. Every morning I would read the posts here and I would know that there were people who truly understood what we are going through. If you need someone to listen just email me.. there is no reason for you to go through this alone. My prayers are with you...
Susan

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi Misty! Welcome! There are alot of people in this website to talk to . It's a great place to ask questions, talk about fears, feelings etc.wE'RE ALL AT DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CARE. Some women are finished with treatment some are in the middle of treatment. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If one person can't answer it, someone else will.This is a wonderful place. Feel free to e-mail me at any time. HUGS!! Cathy

misty9
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2001

Thank you for your quick response and for the comfort in knowing there is someone there to talk to.

I start my first treatment tomorrow, as long as there are no bad reports from my many tests I had this week, and I was wondering what to expect and about how long it will take. Also what is a good distraction or will I need one...is there pain during the treatment or only after??

cruf
Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi again. I was lucky and didn't need chemo or radiation so I can't answer that but there are many women who are going thru and answer your questions. I did have mastectomy and Tramflap recon. so if you have any questions re: surgery, I'll try to help. Good luck! Cathy

jeancmici
Posts: 682
Joined: Feb 2001

Hi Misty,

Probably you're having the AC tomorrow?

Don't be afraid to let the nurses know you're scared and they should be most helpful in telling you what they are doing etc.

Maybe you won't have any pain with the AC and they premedicate so nausea probably won't happen either.

Good Luck! Jean

lhakons
Posts: 26
Joined: Nov 2000

Misty:

I just finished my four rounds of AC. The treatment itself was a little scary the first time, but it's not all that bad. I'll give the details because I wanted lots when I was in your place. They settled me into a comfy chair and started a line -- I had a port, so that's where it went. First they ran in some premeds to take care of the nausea. Then they came and put in the Adriamycin. That comes in large syringes, and they inject it into the line slowly. My nurses wore protective clothing and covered me so the stuff wouldn't drip on my skin -- it can burn your skin (I know, that's kind of creepy). Once that's done, then they hung the cytoxan. I think it took about 45 minutes for that to go in. Then they cleared my port with heparin, and after that I was ready to leave. There was no pain. The only time I had any discomfort at all was the last, when a new nurse put the stuff in a little faster than the one I was used to. I got a rush of nausea from that.

I never felt all that bad with my treatments. For the first couple of days I was OK, maybe a BIT fatigued. Days 3 and 4 were the hardest, sort of like having a mild case of the flu. Then I'd perk up. I usually had my treatment on Thursday and was back to work on Monday.

Things to remember. Drink LOTS of water -- cytoxan can be hard on your kidneys and bladder. Take your anti-nausea meds right along -- don't wait until you feel sick. It's a lot easier to prevent it than it is to kick it after it's set in. Stock up on lots of different kinds of food, so you can eat whatever you're hungry for. Also, keep in mind that cooking smells can make you feel queasy, so have stuff for cold sandwiches and that kind of thing on hand. Exercise a little, if you can, but don't push yourself. It will help you keep down the fatigue. And if you have ANY side effects, call your oncologist, as they can prescribe something to make it easier. Finally, if you know people who pray, ask for prayer! I swear it helps!

Hope this helps. Feel free to email me if you need more info.

Blessings!
Lisa

misty9
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2001

Thanks Lisa that's what I was looking for, you know I went all week with all kinds of test and not once did anyone ever tell me what to expect, I can stand a lot of pain, I never took a single pain pill with either surgery, but the fear of the unknown can shake me like an earthquake.

I also want to thank all of you for listening and responding. I'm also keeping a journal of what I'm going through that seems to help.

Hugs to all
Linda (Misty)

misty9
Posts: 5
Joined: May 2001

Thank you for your quick response and for the comfort in knowing there is someone there to talk to.

I start my first treatment tomorrow, as long as there are no bad reports from my many tests I had this week, and I was wondering what to expect and about how long it will take. Also what is a good distraction or will I need one...is there pain during the treatment or only after??

lindysu's picture
lindysu
Posts: 59
Joined: Jan 2001

hi misty...you have found the right site...not only are there alot of graet ladies here but they're are all so positive and caring, I've checked out many other message boards and there is nothing like this one for positive daily support and information...I don't post alot, but I read everything every day....you can click on any of our names for our stories...I keep mine current with descriptions of treatments I'm going thru...right now I'm on taxol, one more to go, then radiation...lindy

luckyj
Posts: 26
Joined: Apr 2001

Dear Misty, There are many of us out here surviving...you are not alone. Everyone's treatment is customized for their individual circumstance. The common denominator is that we choose to live and fight cancer. I had a lump removed, A/C chemo and radiation. It will be one year this July that I completed treatment (except 4 plus years of tamoxifin). I'm feeling happy, healthy and strong again. My hair is back with extra body. I like it. Having breast cancer is a very profound experience and a time for you to focus on yourself. Good luck with your first chemo. I will think of you tomorrow. Love, Luckyj

mjdp2's picture
mjdp2
Posts: 142
Joined: Nov 2000

If your chemo room has a TV or VCR that might keep your mind occupied. Also for my nausea, one of my oncologists got it under control by prescribing me Decadron whici I took at home but I didn't get it until my 3rd treatment so I suffered more thru the 1st two. Don't assume all oncologists treat nausea identically. God Bless. Margaret, a 3 year survivor.

lauramarie's picture
lauramarie
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2001

hello Misty,
I had the four rounds of AC also. I did suffer from the nausea but there are better meds on the market now. My best advise is lots of liquids what ever you can stand. Stay away from food smells. They most likely will not have a good effect on you. Also if you are not sure of a reaction ask the nurse. Dont suffer with nausea or constapation. Most suffer from consapation about 3 - 4 days after the treatment. So I learned to take a laxative starting on the 2 day after treatment. Usally the 3rd treatment is the worse in a round of 4. Your blood count will be down pretty far so you need to stay away from anyone sick.
I had terrible headaches. I found meditation and an ice pack on my eyes helped. Be sure to ask questions if something does not feel right or if you just dont know. Good Luck
Hugs Laura

tiger
Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

HI Misty, you certainly have come to the right place for support, and the occasional kick in the pants when you get to feeling sorry for yourself!!
I had seven rounds of A/C, the first made me sick as a dog for three days, but I learned to take Gravol and then I was fine. I felt nauseated but I found that eating something small made it go away.If you have a problem with nausea, they can run Gravol through your IV and you will be feeling great!!!
Sleep it off and then up and at 'em.
After my A/C, I had nine rounds of Taxol and 22 rounds of Herceptin. The only effects from the Taxol was joint pain that I walked off and took Ibuprofen for. Do not take ibuprofen unless you ask you Dr first, as it effects the blood levels.
And now I am currently on three courses of a pill that I take at home called Xeloda. It is a chemo for people like me. I have stage IV breast with mets to the liver, and they are not responding to the other chemos.17 months of chemo, and still going!!
They told me initially that I had a year. Well I told them to go F' themselves!!
Make sure your onco is on Your side, and not on the statistical side. We are not statistics and should not be treated as such. If you are uncomfortable with your Dr or nurse, demand a new one. It is your life, and your insurance paying, you deserve only the best. And remember, there is no such thing as a silly question. Remember, this is your first time doing this, so If you have a question, ask it. If you need help, ask for it. And dont try to do it alone, that is what we are all here for. Before I found this site last August, I was ready to pack it in and just quit, but these ladies have become my inspiration and my family. I rely on them in my times of need, and give to them in their time of need.We are here all the time, see how quickly you got responses?!! Nothing is too personal,etc. We are all women,and pretty straightforward.
Stay in touch and let us know how you get on.
We will all have you in our thoughts and our prayers.
Fight The Good Fight!!
Hugs from Tiger.

nancys
Posts: 336
Joined: Aug 2000

Hello Misty, Lisa gave you a very accurate description of your treatment routine. The only thing I would add to that is to ask for a cup of ice and suck on ice cubes during your treatment. Some get mouth sores and the ice seems to help keep those away. I sucked on the ice during treatment and I rinsed my mouth several times a day with warm salt water. Lucky, I did not get any mouth sores. I felt like I was 3 months pregnant while on the A/C. Never sick enough to hurl, but just yucky all the time. I lost 20 pounds in the A/C treatment, but that was good for me, because I was overweight. Sip water all day long, even when you don't want it. The first 2 days after treatment I ate chicken noodle soup and crackers and not much of that. Lisa told you this...take the anti nausea meds even if you do not feel sick. I did not manage the meds correctly until my last treatment and guess what..the last one was by far the easiest. Welcome to this sight. We are a family and will be here for you, anytime we can ease your fears or listen to your progress. We pray together, sometimes we cry together and always WE CELEBRATE TOGETHER.!!! Love to you, Nancy

laverne
Posts: 75
Joined: Apr 2001

hello, my name is Laverne. I was diagnosed in October 2000, I had a lumpectomy and 14 lymph nodes removed of which 13 were cancerous. I have completed 8 chemo treatments(4 of AC & 4 of Taxol). I begin radiation therapy next week. I know how lonely it can be being the "only" one at work who has breast cancer. If you ever need to talk, I'm here for you. Hang in there you can do it--it's amazing somehow you find the strength to endure. God Bless and keep in touch. Love, LaVerne

madde's picture
madde
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2001

Hi, Misty...

I've been through A/C and have not started Taxol. I was very fearful when I first found out I had breast cancer. Now I'm a much stronger person and the positive thing I've gained is that I'm not as fearful!

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