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Sharlyn17 posted:
Hello Everyone!

I decided to join this group. I am a 38 yr old woman who was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, Dec 10th 2010. I had my bi-lateral mastectomy Jan14th.... and I am doing very well so far in my recovery. I will have to start chemotherapy in approx. 6 weeks.
Is it really as bad as people say? What should I expect? Any helpful hints for me?
I don't have any of my pathology reports yet, wont get the results until Feb 10th. All my scans and xrays were clear though (crossing my fingers that it has not spread anywhere else)
So I would just like to say "Hello" and would love to hear from anyone who wants to talk about their experiences.
<3 Stay Positive! <3 Stay Strong! <3 Fight!!
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judyfams responded:
I had chemotherapy - 6 rounds of taxotere/cytoxan and finished in Sept. 2010.

I decided to deal with it by taking care of myself ( I am 67 yrs. old) and following what my body told me as far as how much I could do and when to rest. I also changed my eating habits. I ate 6 small meals a day and made sure each one had lots of lean protein, and fruits and vegetables. And most importantly drink lots and lots of water. No fast food and no fatty foods. I also ate lots of soups.

I also made sure to plan ahead for each chemo. After the first chemo I tracked the days I did not feel too good and then made sure to leave those days open for each subsequent chemo. Since my treatments were 3 weeks apart I made sure to get everything done like cooking, laundry, shopping etc. a day or two before the next chemo so I could spend the needed days after the chemo resting and recuperating.

It is doable if you allow yourself to slow down and let friends and family pitch in where and when you want them to. Put your needs first during this time and let others take care of you. Do not feel guilty if you are tired and have no energy - that is one of the side effects of chemo.

I wish you good luck and think positively aboutthe chemo. I did a little visualization each time I had my chemo. I visualized the chemo being little Pac Man things devouring the cancer cells, and that made me smile!

Please let us know how you are doing.

Judy
 
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rachael67 responded:
Hi Sharlyn!

I've no information to suggest to make the chemo easier, etc. But I am sure others will! (Oh! One thing I hear more often than not for those in chemo...drink LOTS of fluids! It helps to wash the chemicals out of the system more quickly.)

I merely wanted to make sure that I welcomed you to the community!

You will be in my thoughts. Keep us updated on how you are doing.

blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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jenna291 replied to judyfams's response:
Hi Sharlyn,
My suggestions are similar to Judy's. I found that for a few days after chemo I felt really good, gradually started to tire on about day 5. My treatments were every 2 weeks, so the week of my next infusion I woud start to have more energy, and that's when I got out a bit with friends and got caught up on things at home. I listened when my body said rest, which I did a lot of!!!
Its hard to accept help, at least I found it that way in the beginning, but eventually I let others pitch in. You have to concentrate on getting yourself well.
I also found a few smaller meals a day were helpful. Home made chicken soup and lots of fluids!
Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

Jenna
 
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cindy12345678 responded:
I had chemo for two different kinds of cancer. so I had two different rounds of chemo medications. They all affect you differently. Some people get more tired and some people get more stomach upset. The good news is if you communicate how you are feeling with your doctor they should be able to help you with the side efects. I ate what tasted good to me. I couldn't handle spicy things. Drink alot of water. I used baking soda and salt water rinse for my mouth so i wouldn't get mouth sores.But you will get through it!
 
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Sharlyn17 replied to cindy12345678's response:
Thanks everyone for the tips.... I will definitely drink lots of water and do the mouth rinses.... I too will also visualize the "pac man" eating up the cancer cells. I told my 12 year old daughter about that and she thought that was a good way to think about it.
I will get thru it, one step at a time. Cancer will not beat me!!!
I'll have to give my Mom some big hints for homemade chicken soup..... I can't cook to save my soul.....LOL LOL LOL
 
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JLAMB26 responded:
I just fininshed my 6th and final round of chemo! I'm 41 with two small children so I can really relate to you. Everyone's advise is great. I would also add to accept help when it is offered. You are going to be tired so don't push yourself too much. I made the mistake of still trying to take care of everyone else (at first). You need to let other's take care of you and get plenty of rest. Remember that chemo won't last forever and that you are strong and will come out stronger on the other end!
 
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Doris042 responded:
Hello Sharlyn17 , I am glad you found this site before your journey it helps to be intouch with people that really understand what your going through, I had stage 3A breast cancer and had a mastectomy Jan 2010 it has been a little over a year , I had the same concern as you and I can just tell you about my journey I did very well through the chemo treatment your state of mind has alot to do with how well you do I stayed positive and always tried to find the humor in things as treatment went on I got more tired , I was given meds to prevent being sick for treatment, the one thing I did have problems with is heart burn and alot of gas , who would have thought of that, LOL your body will tell you what you can do just if your tired surrender to it and let yourself rest after you have your treatment make sure you drink alot of water to help flush the chemo out of your organs. In my thoughts and prayers all the Best !! Doris
 
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Sharlyn17 replied to Doris042's response:
Thanks for the advice Doris.... I too am stage 3A b/c of the size of the tumor (it was 7.3cm!!) otherwise my doctor told me I would have been stage 2. 3 out of 18 lymph nodes it touched, so I will also have to have radiation.
I am a very strong person, physically and mentally so I think I will do just fine.... the only thing that actually worried me at all about the chemo is the throwing up part.....
I have found humor thru this whole journey so far.... people would ask... "So how are you feeling?" and my reply was "Well, kinda flat actually!" LOL the looks on their faces was priceless!
I am feeling great, I am being honest with myself about everything and I know I will get through this part of my journey too... I meet with my chemo oncologist this week, then I will start chemo soon I am sure.
 
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rachael67 replied to Sharlyn17's response:
We are sending good thoughts your way, Sharlyn! Hope that the chemo trxs go well. There are many meds they can give to help ease any nausea...Just be the squeeky wheel and let them know of any side effects. (One note: some of the chemo meds do not have nausea associated with them....Praying you get one of those!)

Glad you, like many of us, find relief and solace in humor! Isn't it a terrific med???!! Please not the post by Susancham entitled "The crazy stuff us Cancer Sisters do"...She wants us to list some of the funny things we do or discover on this journey. Please add to her list....Laughing just feels good!!

blessings.
Rachael
Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
 
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Sharlyn17 replied to rachael67's response:
Well I have completed the 1st of 6 chemo, and I got sick on the 1st day but am feeling a little better each day. My treatments are going to be every 21 days.... and they told me the first 3 treatments would have nausea but the last 3 wont....
I have just been taking it easy, and have been eating and drinking well, which is very good. Still lost a couple of pounds but nothing major. Got to go for bloodwork in the next day or 2.
Just thought I would let you all know that I am doing ok, chemo isn't fun, but I will get thru it.
 
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bcdevil replied to Sharlyn17's response:
Sharlyn'
I love your attitude!! That's enough for you to beat this!! Listen, to your body and rest when you need to. This is no time to be a hero!! Glad that you are doing well! I'm sending you some lucky shamrocks, they totally worked for me!! I'm really proud of you girl, you CAN and WILL beat this!!
Love and strength,
Sandy
 
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pammyred responded:
http://forums.webmd.com/3/breast-cancer-exchange/forum/2482


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