My tips for chemo...

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ElaineQW
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 7:42 PM
Deb --
You're living proof that:  WELL-BEHAVED WOMEN RARELY MAKE HISTORY.  I pride myself on being one of them as well :)

Have a FABULOUS TRIP!!  Hug Tricia for us.

Hug
Elaine

 A person's greatness is the power to stand alone;to be able to make her own choice; in action,to write anew her own law; to choose her own sacrifices; run her own dangers; win her own freedom; venture her own destruction; to choose her own happiness 
 






Deb Allen
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, May 19, 2009 10:01 PM
Deb/aka Mimi
Dx '03, ER/PR+, Her2+, Grade II, Stage III
SNB, 18 wks chemo  36 rads; 
Rec in 07,
Bi-mast/DIEP 08/29/07; MRSA in abd incision w/resulting hernia, difficult healing
Still alive and kicking and ornery as ever...butterfly kisses to all





Stubbornwoman
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:16 AM
Thanks Deb!  And you are right, sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh at everything.  When I would look at myself in the mirror, well you probably know the feelings that I got.  I was so sad and depressed and all I wanted to do was cry when I would see myself.  But finally one day I decided I was so tired of crying so I decided to laugh at it.  I had seen the stares and the looks on peoples faces when they would see me (whether it was just in my own head or not!) so I decided I would just join in and it would keep me from crying.  It worked.  Laughter also makes you have a little more energy and it brings out the smile in us!  Laugh Laugh Laugh ya'll!  That's all you can do with some of the things. 

Deb Allen
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:54 PM
In some ways, this has been very freeing for me.  BC (before cancer), I was one of those women who had a driven, stressful career, had to do the best and be the best at everything, and NEVER went out without makeup, hair fixed, trying to look GOOD!!  Well, now I am thankful that without my glasses, I still look GOOD naked in the mirror, so I just don't look at my outside.  I'm looking out from the inside, and my inside is still ME, and my family still loves me.  Now, heck I can just make sure I don't have "bed head" sticking up (spit in the hand and slick it down...sorta). 

I'm doing my best to look presentable when out in public, but honestly, I don't judge and I don't expect to be judged, and I really don't give a flying @#$@ if someone doesn't like the way I look.  This is me. 

Deb/aka Mimi

Deb/aka Mimi
Dx '03, ER/PR+, Her2+, Grade II, Stage III
SNB, 18 wks chemo  36 rads; 
Rec in 07,
Bi-mast/DIEP 08/29/07; MRSA in abd incision w/resulting hernia, difficult healing
Still alive and kicking and ornery as ever...butterfly kisses to all





bezerk
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, June 02, 2009 11:49 PM
Deb Allen  I am loving your posts and plan to do the binder idea as soon as possible...You have a great spirit and so true from another poster well behaved woman never make history or have any fun either!!!
50 yrs, Rt breast lump found 4/12/09 during shower. 5/7/09 Organs, bones & head clean. 5/8/09Bilateral Mastectomy/ skin sparing surgery, implantation of skin expanders, removal 3 lymph nodes,one pos., tumors 1.5 cms x 0.8 cms & 0.8 cms x 1 cm, one tumor surprise, hidden. DX:Mixed Lobular and ductal adenoca. rt breast with badly defined borders.
Est. Pos. nuc. ( +/+++) Prog pos. nuc. intense ( +++/+++) Her2- non-amplified, KI-67 pos. less than 30%

pshelton
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, August 07, 2009 8:18 PM
Deb Allen


In some ways, this has been very freeing for me.  BC (before cancer), I was one of those women who had a driven, stressful career, had to do the best and be the best at everything, and NEVER went out without makeup, hair fixed, trying to look GOOD!!  Well, now I am thankful that without my glasses, I still look GOOD naked in the mirror, so I just don't look at my outside.  I'm looking out from the inside, and my inside is still ME, and my family still loves me.  Now, heck I can just make sure I don't have "bed head" sticking up (spit in the hand and slick it down...sorta). 

I'm doing my best to look presentable when out in public, but honestly, I don't judge and I don't expect to be judged, and I really don't give a flying @#$@ if someone doesn't like the way I look.  This is me. 

Deb/aka Mimi


Hi Deb,
I'm reading old posts and getting myself ready for chemo Monday.  I've talked with Mark (boyfriend) and told him how I'll be Monday and what I need Sunday evening and he understands.  Unfortunately we have his boys this weekend (ages 9 and 10) and they are typical boys and I enjoy them a lot, but really wish this was not his weekend to have them.  I was hoping that his ex would at least keep them Sunday night but that's a no go, not that surprised really, she is very resentful even though they have been divorced long before Mark and I met.  So the best he can do is get them to bed early so he and I can get to bed early or spend one on one time together before the big day Monday.

So I reading this old post that I copied and it is so me.  I grew up in the south, you know how that is.  You don't just run out of the house and do anything until your hair and face are just right and you have something cute on to wear.  It was a shock to me up here in Maryland when I came here for nursing school and saw girls from up here come to class looking like all they did was put on a clean shirt and pull their hair up.  Now I'm going to not have any hair or eyebrows or eyelashes and its going to come fast.  Mark is ok with that, he jokes and says, well at least you'll be ready to go faster, and I laugh too but when  I am by myself I cry a lot.  And I know I am going to be very emotional all weekend long because its already started.  I know we'll get through this and be ok but I so don't want to do this chemo thing...

Hugs,
Paula


Paula, age 46, diagnosed at age 45, er/pr+, Her2-      
2/26/09 DX IDC multifocal, solid and cribriform type, 6 masses total, largest 2.0 cm
4/15/09 Bilateral skin sparring mastectomy with TE, 3 nodes removed, clear, Grade 1, Stage IIa
5/22/09 DIEP   5/26/09 Removal of failed left flap, TE replaced
7/2/09 Left Lat Flap with silicone implant
8/10/09-11/23/09 6 rounds chemo Cytoxan/Taxotere
3/5/10 More reconstruction
6/20/11 Final big reconstruction sur

Deb Allen
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, August 07, 2009 9:40 PM
Paula, let me share a story.  During the middle of my chemo, when I was feeling just about the lowest of the low, my brother-in-law died of brain cancer.  Going to his funeral hurt to the core, and the worst part for me was the "survivor guilt".  Why was I still alive, and he wasn't?  Strange thoughts invade our souls that no one can explain.  Feeling that life is intruding on your time is okay.  Really.  I understand completely because my hubby and I are big time founding members of the "blended family club" along with alternate weekends, etc.  We are quite a bit older than you, but have been dealing with the visitation/holiday/weekend thing for over 12 years.  My youngest is now 17 and he decides where he goes when.  He is still with us primarily. 

Crying, emotions, let them flow.  Facing chemo for the first time is extremely emotional.  Go be by yourself.  I used to build a nest in my bed of about 14 pillows, 3 fans, remote control, and tv, and everyone knew to knock or I'd throw something at them.  I also kept my cell phone by my side, on those days, so when I sounded the "all clear"...love and support came back into the room in the form of whoever was in the house at the time.

One more thing, and this may fall under the heading of "TMI", I can't remember for sure, but in case you don't already know, your hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, are not the only body hair you will lose.  Yes, I'm talking about arm pit hair, leg hair, and the "down there hair".  I wasn't warned about that, and "woo hoo", was that a different experience.  Shit just fell out everywhere.

Seriously, I have you permanently in my heart and soul, and I absolutely understand that you don't want to do this thing called chemo.  You don't want to give up and quit either.  Your choice.

Gentle hugs and lots of love
Deb
<message edited by Deb Allen on Friday, August 07, 2009 9:41 PM>
Deb/aka Mimi
Dx '03, ER/PR+, Her2+, Grade II, Stage III
SNB, 18 wks chemo  36 rads; 
Rec in 07,
Bi-mast/DIEP 08/29/07; MRSA in abd incision w/resulting hernia, difficult healing
Still alive and kicking and ornery as ever...butterfly kisses to all





JulieD83
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, August 07, 2009 10:41 PM
Paula,  I will be thinking of you.  I hope that your time is easy and you can relax and just enjoy the me time.  My hubby and I were talking on the way home from my daughter's hockey game tonight.... and wouldn't it be wonderful if someone came in and volunteered to give all the chemo patients foot massages and mani/pedis during the treatment?  I mean, you have to sit for so long anyway....... maybe that isn't allowed... but if it is I am going to ask my hospital if I can offer that sometimes to all of our sisters going through this...

Sorry, rambling.  But please know that you are in my thoughts.   Sleep well and just remember to take deep breaths when it seems too much.

Julie
Julie
dx 5/27/09 ,lumpectomy and snb 6/30/09
SN - , clear margins!
IDC, Grade 3 , Stage 1
Estrogen & Progesterone + ,HER2/neu -
Oncotype score 48
TC chemo begins 8/14 - 4 rounds 3 weeks apart 
35 RADS and 5 years of hormones.....

pshelton
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Friday, August 07, 2009 11:18 PM
Hi Deb,
I don't think there's such a thing as TMI on here...lol...oh well, won't have to worry about shaving the legs or the pits for a while then...now if they could just figure out a dose that would keep the hair on the head and eyebrows and lashes...I can go without the rest without complaining...thank you so much for your support, I was really moping and was upstairs by myself because the boys including Mark are hooked on playstation 3...I even went out for a drive for about 2 hours and its late...but reading your post cheered me up...

Never fear, I'll be in the chair Monday whether I want to or not...

JulieD,
Wouldn't that be wonderful?  Mani/Pedi's while chemo...what a very good thought...

Hugs to you both!
Paula



Hugs
Paula, age 46, diagnosed at age 45, er/pr+, Her2-      
2/26/09 DX IDC multifocal, solid and cribriform type, 6 masses total, largest 2.0 cm
4/15/09 Bilateral skin sparring mastectomy with TE, 3 nodes removed, clear, Grade 1, Stage IIa
5/22/09 DIEP   5/26/09 Removal of failed left flap, TE replaced
7/2/09 Left Lat Flap with silicone implant
8/10/09-11/23/09 6 rounds chemo Cytoxan/Taxotere
3/5/10 More reconstruction
6/20/11 Final big reconstruction sur

bezerk
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Saturday, August 08, 2009 1:36 AM
Paula, You will be in my thoughts on monday for sure. 

I have already lost my hair, still have some eyebrows and also eyelashes but they appear to be going to.  I no whave an assortment of wigs, hats, turbans, scarfs, even Harley scarfs, and yes lots of makeup, and well I am doing it even au natural at times.  I am trying to look at it as I can have a new look every single day or even every hour......I have done a few shock treatments to starers. Lol, whip a hat off etc.  ........................

I am sorry you have to do the chemo as I do, it sucks for sure , but if you can feel good half way anyway, the hair will eventually grow back so try to go with the flow of it..... I do know how you are feeling though....I must say I sure can take a quick shower and hairwash with a bald head, no shaving legs and pits etc. 

I am wishing you a peaceful first chemo infusion, with little to no side effects and know I shall be in thought in that room with you, my friend.  Hang in there, this is a tough road we all must travel, but even I have to say I am surprised I have made it so far and I do cry less.  Most days LOL. 
50 yrs, Rt breast lump found 4/12/09 during shower. 5/7/09 Organs, bones & head clean. 5/8/09Bilateral Mastectomy/ skin sparing surgery, implantation of skin expanders, removal 3 lymph nodes,one pos., tumors 1.5 cms x 0.8 cms & 0.8 cms x 1 cm, one tumor surprise, hidden. DX:Mixed Lobular and ductal adenoca. rt breast with badly defined borders.
Est. Pos. nuc. ( +/+++) Prog pos. nuc. intense ( +++/+++) Her2- non-amplified, KI-67 pos. less than 30%

pshelton
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, August 11, 2009 12:17 PM
Hi girls,

First have to say I love you all and felt you there in spirit...

My tips on chemo or what worked for my first day...
Drink the water, be a camel...I chose propel lemon and chugged away all weekend and the day of and today... peeing like a race horse but that is a good thing...

Take your comfort items, picture, ipod, blanket, stuffed animal to hug...

Take kleenex, the kind that has the lotion in it, if your emotional like me and tend to be a crier its a life saver...I cried soon as I walked in the door, and everytime I moved to another station and of course when the called me back for infusion...might need to buy stock in kleenex and propel water...lol...

I took an ativan before going back, 0.5 mg and was in a happy haze...

I wore yoga pants, which I can wear now after my DIEP and show off my flat tummy, that's conceited but I've not had a flat tummy for quite some time and going to flaunt it...lol...but those are the most comfortable pants, so wear something without buttons and zippers...

I took a heavy fleece jacket, its cold back there...the heat index was 105 in Baltimore that day but its about 65 in the infusion room...

Eat before going and if you have time for lunch eat that too, things can't irritate the stomach as easy if there is food there...

And after, if your up to it, go out and have a dinner that you have been craving but haven't had...do it while it still tastes good...we went for Mexican, I had the Chimichanga and chowed down on the chips and dip...thought this will be bad if I do get sick or diarrhea but I'll worry about that if the time comes...so far so good...and it was really good...

Take someone with you that first time, I was lucky, I work at the hospital where I go so I had plenty of visitors...wouldn't want to be there alone for this...you also end up bonding with others in the waiting area, they approach you and its like here, having someone who really understands and are able to share...

Hugs to you all!
Paula


Paula, age 46, diagnosed at age 45, er/pr+, Her2-      
2/26/09 DX IDC multifocal, solid and cribriform type, 6 masses total, largest 2.0 cm
4/15/09 Bilateral skin sparring mastectomy with TE, 3 nodes removed, clear, Grade 1, Stage IIa
5/22/09 DIEP   5/26/09 Removal of failed left flap, TE replaced
7/2/09 Left Lat Flap with silicone implant
8/10/09-11/23/09 6 rounds chemo Cytoxan/Taxotere
3/5/10 More reconstruction
6/20/11 Final big reconstruction sur

Deb Allen
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Tuesday, August 11, 2009 6:05 PM
Paula, thank you for sharing.  Your post is from the heart, and absolutely awesome.  You have a gift for saying it like it is, and helping others.

Deb
Deb/aka Mimi
Dx '03, ER/PR+, Her2+, Grade II, Stage III
SNB, 18 wks chemo  36 rads; 
Rec in 07,
Bi-mast/DIEP 08/29/07; MRSA in abd incision w/resulting hernia, difficult healing
Still alive and kicking and ornery as ever...butterfly kisses to all





vk1up
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 1:32 PM
Paula,


You know. Mani/Pedi would be soooo nice. So would a simple leg or hand/arm massage. Great idea. 
Vicky

Dx IDC Left Breast 4/09
Bilat mast with expanders 6/09
PR+ER+Her2-
Grade 2/2.5cm
OncoDx15
Brca-
4tax/4cytox-DONE!
recon to follow

pshelton
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Wednesday, August 12, 2009 4:10 PM
Hi Vicky,
Just gave myself a Manicure and it was nice.  I would love to go out and get a pedicure but better do those myself now too, have to worry too much about infections now.  I'm going to do my toes this weekend, they still look good but need a trimming.
Mark is good at foot massages, he hates giving them but no boys tonight, they will be at their mom's so I am cashing in on a foot rub...lol...he just doesn't know it yet...

Hugs!
Paula
Paula, age 46, diagnosed at age 45, er/pr+, Her2-      
2/26/09 DX IDC multifocal, solid and cribriform type, 6 masses total, largest 2.0 cm
4/15/09 Bilateral skin sparring mastectomy with TE, 3 nodes removed, clear, Grade 1, Stage IIa
5/22/09 DIEP   5/26/09 Removal of failed left flap, TE replaced
7/2/09 Left Lat Flap with silicone implant
8/10/09-11/23/09 6 rounds chemo Cytoxan/Taxotere
3/5/10 More reconstruction
6/20/11 Final big reconstruction sur

Julie Vee
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, August 13, 2009 10:16 AM
Hello,
 
My name is Julie.  I'm getting ready to start chem Aug. 28th.  I'm scared to death.  Your tips sounded great.  I will being using them.  I bless you and wish you the best.
 
Sincerely,
 
Julie

smarssygirl76
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, August 13, 2009 10:22 AM
Julie, you will do fine!!! Just make sure and drink lots of water and any anti-nausea medication they give you. I know I was so scared as well, and pictured the absolute worst happening. Not saying it was a breeze, but 16 treatments later and today is my last one!!!

JulieD83
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, August 13, 2009 10:44 AM
Congrats Smarssy!  Hope it goes well!
 
Julie
 
Julie
dx 5/27/09 ,lumpectomy and snb 6/30/09
SN - , clear margins!
IDC, Grade 3 , Stage 1
Estrogen & Progesterone + ,HER2/neu -
Oncotype score 48
TC chemo begins 8/14 - 4 rounds 3 weeks apart 
35 RADS and 5 years of hormones.....

smarssygirl76
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, August 13, 2009 11:02 AM
Thank you!! I hope it does too :)

LuCinda
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, August 13, 2009 3:10 PM
Erika,
Congrats on your LAST TREATMENT!! Go out and do something special.
You deserve it!!
Love ya,
Cindy


Diagnosed-March 30,2009 Stage 2 ER/PR NEG. HER-2 postive
Lumpectomy-May 14,2009
Chemo-2 weeks after surgery
A/C- 4 treatments every 3 weeks-1st treatment June 3,2009
Last Treatment Aug.6,2009=DONE
Taxol + Herceptin weekly for 12 weeks
First treatment Aug.27,2009
Finished Taxol Nov.13,2009
Radiation-36 treatments-Start January 8,2010
Herceptin- every 3 weeks for 9 months

If it wasn't for the rain we wouldn't have rainbows.......

bezerk
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Re:My tips for chemo... - Thursday, August 13, 2009 6:39 PM
Congrats smarssy......way to go!  I am down to  9 of 16 this coming tuesday . 

Celeb rate in a big way!!!!  You deserve it! 
50 yrs, Rt breast lump found 4/12/09 during shower. 5/7/09 Organs, bones & head clean. 5/8/09Bilateral Mastectomy/ skin sparing surgery, implantation of skin expanders, removal 3 lymph nodes,one pos., tumors 1.5 cms x 0.8 cms & 0.8 cms x 1 cm, one tumor surprise, hidden. DX:Mixed Lobular and ductal adenoca. rt breast with badly defined borders.
Est. Pos. nuc. ( +/+++) Prog pos. nuc. intense ( +++/+++) Her2- non-amplified, KI-67 pos. less than 30%

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