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Starting chemo April 2023

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Comments

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Nj: Good to see you! And I am sorry about the tinnitus. Hopefully there are some workarounds or reassurance to be had when you go in next. I think I have read about that somewhere. Could it be the carboplatin? I am not sure. Your lunch sounds fantastic! And what beautiful cats. Big like mine. The gingers have such nice temperaments. We had a ginger before Oliver whose name was Jack Katouac because we found him “on the road.” Haha. He was a tiny thing and wandered in our path one day on a neighborhood walk. We asked the folks if he belonged to a home and he was a little stray they were feeding. He needed a home. So we took him home with us. Because of course we did.

    Cat: Lyric is a maltipoo. Mom was a white Maltese and dad was a black poodle. She is a needy mess, but also super affectionate. I am so glad you are feeling better already!


    Just got back from chemo. It was very business as usual. Bloodwork was good. No reactions to Paclitaxel. Got the meds, took a nap, did the cap. From reading things. It sounds like lots of folks start to lose their hair on Paclitaxel between the 4-5 shots. So I expect maybe it will start this next week. I am resigned to it, but nervous about the process of it coming out. We have agreed upon a shave party (my daughter wants to shave also) when a significant amount falls out. I just have so much hair. It’s hard to imagine.

    I am listening to this book:

    https://www.amazon.com/Between-Two-Kingdoms-Suleika-Jaouad/dp/0399588582

    it isn’t light reading, but it is very good. She was 23 when diagnosed with a really aggressive cancer. I do feel like life is going on all around me and I am just in a weird frozen bubble. I don’t go certain places or travel. Everything is on hold.

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    njdogmom; am loving the photo of your gorgeous kitties! Beautiful cats. I have had many cats in my lifetime but hadn't had a cat in 20 years when my kids surprised me with the Scottish Fold, "Biride". I must say I find her snuggles and purrs very soothing. My mother's "gingers" are also big boys. "George Klooney" (my mom intentionally misspelled the last name) is 16 lbs of ginger love! Am cracking up over Jack Katouac! Brilliant! I think my kitty Birdie is going to be a small cat. She's around 6 lbs right now.

    njdogmom: Any update on your tinnitus? Your lunch sounds divine and I am a big fan of eggplant. Yum yum yum.

    Hair: Funny enough, I was thinking about both of you and you both must have very thick beautiful hair, making the potential loss of it all the more traumatizing. Iamnobird: How amazing is it that your daughter is ready to shave her head? It honestly makes me tear up. I am in the "medium" thickness hair category. I think having a plan helps? Wigs at the ready and a head shave ready to go (my stylist is willing to come over to my house if needed for the shave.) You both are ahead of me but maybe it will help all of us to "be there" if/when the hair comes out? I, too, am dreading this.

    Iamnobird: Glad your last treatment was uneventful. I, also, feel like I am living in a bubble floating above people around me and suspended. Great analogy! It is also hard for me to interact with friends in general because they all seem to want to circle back to the "c" all the time, which drains me and makes me feel "sicker". I need to work on firmer boundaries along the lines of dogmom's "I don't do cancer on the weekends".

    Thanks for book recommendation. I like books like this and very timely.

    I'm off to walk the dog (cat to be "walked" one of these days.) I've also been learning how to play bridge so I'm off to play bridge this afternoon.

    Hope you have great days/evenings!

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Cat: I love George Klooney. That is adorable! And yeah. I think having a plan is good. A friend who is a hair dresser has offered to come here also. But I think my husband can do it so we might do that. Mostly because it is nice of the friend, but I don’t know her that well and I hate being so vulnerable in front of someone I don’t know that well. If that makes sense? People clearly feel sorry for me and that feels weird and I hate it.

    Here is this weeks photo. Folks tell me that I will be happy to have photos one day. The shorter crop is fine but I do really miss my long hair. It is easy though and it just looks like this every day when I wake. Like I don’t really brush it and I only wash it weekly. It doesn’t seem to get oily or tangled.

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    Good morning!

    Iamnobird: You look so pretty and I can totally understand your particular sadness and angst over losing your hair- you have great hair! My hair is looking so frizzy (with no color this month and no de-frizz products), I am wondering if a wig might just be better BUT I nonetheless do hope to hold onto my hair. I am with you on the vulnerability and people feeling sorry for you/me/us. I really don't respond well to that either. In fact, I was thinking about buying my own hair trimmers to shave my head myself if I needed to- (Amazon of course-I might have an Amazon addiction LOL but frankly don't care right now!)

    While we are on this subject (people feeling sorry etc, not Amazon), I have found myself only good with most friends for about a 30 minute phone call. The looping back to the "c" is exhausting to me. As previously mentioned, I need better boundaries like njdogmom. I DO have friends who are better about not looping back but most do. It's hard to get a break from the "c" when well intending friends keeping bringing it up, offer "silver linings" and offer unsolicited advice on how I should be living my life right now. This CLEARLY is one of my bigger struggles. I think I need to be more intentional about which friends I spend time with. Thankfully, I don't feel this way with my family so that might be the answer too- lots of time with my husband and kids (daughter comes back to ATL next week).

    My oldest son (who was with me at MDA) is coming to Atlanta tonight. I am excited to see him and go out to dinner with him and my other son. I am excited for a martini tonight- haven't been having alcohol since Saturday night (2 drinks) and having a nice cold martini sounds pretty nice.

    Did something "normal" yesterday- played bridge with a very nice group of ladies. I sanitized my hands after we played and I am glad I did because one of the ladies group texted last night that she has pink eye! Ugh! I might need to rethink even this small group of about 8 women because of germs/touching the cards. I hope to continue though as it is nice to do something "normal".

    Hope you have a great day!

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Good morning Cat: Thank you! And yeah. I have always been overly proud of my hair. I grew out the dye and let it go to its natural dark silver a few years ago and it has been really good. But I think it now looks a bit old lady for my taste when cut this short. Plus, my hair tends to go helmet like when it is shorter as well. But it is easier for sure. And temporary as my nurse reminded me again tomorrow. She thinks the EC chemo will demolish it but that I might keep it until then.

    I am sorry that you are struggling with friendships. I totally get it. I can also only stand it in tiny amounts. The folks I know here in Finland seem happy to stay off the topic which is great for me. We talk about normal stuff. With cancer updates thrown in here and there. Not so much with friends from home. And especially with an old friend from Vienna who wants to chat but I just can’t. And she tells me how sorry she is for me, etc. I know she means well but I can’t. So, the way that I can’t is by avoiding calls and only taking texts. Or in person walks and meetups.

    Bridge sounds fun. Funnily enough, my middle kid volunteered at a museum summer camp one summer and helped in the bridge class. A lovely group of older ladies were teaching it to the younger kids. So he can okay a bit, but I haven’t ever played. I get your struggle between germ levels and normal activity. I think as long as your blood counts stay good, it is probably good for you to do normal fun stuff. I guess it is when things start to fall that life can get a bit harder. I haven’t been masking, for instance, but might do so in crowded situations if my white blood count drops.

    I have a lot of energy for most of the day again and I over order on Amazon and other places on Wednesdays. Ha. I bought new bras, 3 new dresses (not sure where I’ll wear them, chemo?) and some random Amazon stuff. No more wigs or chemo hats today though. I am slumping now though and listening to my audiobook while curled up on the bed.

    Okay. Happy day to you also. I forgot that Guardian movie is out. My kids want to see it so we might go tomorrow. It is Ascension day, so a Finnish holiday with no school or work.

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    Good morning!

    Iamnobird: You really helped me with your sharing that you mostly just text with good friends. I feel guilty that I am avoiding great friends but knowing you find the exchanges exhausting too really helps. I counted at least 8 calls/texts yesterday. So nice of friends to be thinking of me BUT if I talked/texted each one for just 15 minutes, it would be 2 hours of “c” talk. I’m getting better with this! Thanks for the support.

    Had a lovely dinner with my sons last night. It’s so nice to see the fine young men that they’ve become!

    My son (Atlanta based) put together the cat stroller & we strolled the cat around the yard. I think she might actually like the stroller if I keep doing this.

    I’m off this am to get my first blood work since first chemo. I’m then meeting a friend and we are going to go see the new “Bookclub” movie with Jane Fonda etc.

    My wig from the Etsy store should arrive today.

    Hope you have a great day!



  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Oh my! She is sooooo cute! The ears just kill me

    Yep. Did a family movie outing to see guardians. Spoilers: Sadness, shooting, destruction, funny, sadness, shooting, shooting, shooting, everybody dancing.


    Otherwise, nada today. I can’t wait to see these wigs, ya'll. I got the pink one yesterday. My husband is like woah, how many did you buy? 🤣🤣🤣

    I messaged you all. I might change my treatment plan. My husband thinks skipping the EC is a reasonable plan. As did the Cleveland Clinic doctor. I just have a feeling that it might be better in my situation. It is still plenty of stuff. I feel like the medical field struggles with how much treatment is enough. I have already lost a breast to this. Ugh. I wish that I had a crystal ball.


  • njdogmom
    njdogmom Member Posts: 181
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    Apologies for the lack of posts. It's been a busy week sorting out leave from work and other paperwork. I have several days of posts to catch up on.

    On a brighter note: Phase 1, Cycle 2 complete! The quarter mark for neoadjuvant chemo for me! The port behaved today and carboplatin was available. A good day! I brought a giant box of mini Italian pastries to the infusion suite today. They were gone by noon. The nurses and patients devoured them.

    Iamnobird: I responded to the message.

    Catm: Love the kitty photo! It's so sweet that your son put the stroller together for you. I loved chatting with you on the phone. Comforting to have real friends living similar surreal lives. Can't wait to have Iamnobird and anyone else interested with us chatting.

    Regarding friends texting and calling, have either of you noticed this expectation that we must answer the phone or respond to a text? There seems to be this sense of urgency in people checking that I'm alive. I'm starting to find it a bit intrusive. If I bounce a call to voice mail because I'm busy or on another call, the standard response seems to be to call me back 2 minutes later. I'm going to start using the do not disturb setting on my phone.

    I look forward to setting up a teams or zoom meeting for all of us. Would Saturday US Brunch/Euro Cocktail Hour work for you? Perhaps 11 AM Eastern/6 PM Helsinki? Which days/times are better for you?

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Njdogmom:


    Thanks for your answer. I think you are right and it isn’t what I want to hear for sure. But all of this is about doing everything that we can do to make sure this doesn’t come back. Your points are exactly what my doctor here said and his reasons for recommending this treatment. It is frustrating because deescalation is on the horizon for this type of cancer, I really think. But the data isn’t there yet so it involves an element of risk. If we could have done this before surgery, it would be easier for us to take the risk because we would know if the chemo worked. Ugh. It is all so hard.

    Yay! Congrats to having phase1, cycle 2 completed! That is fantastic! And I am happy that they had carboplatin. That seems to be getting worse and worse. And can I say, I wish we were on the ward together. Italian pastries, sign me up! Of all the places that I have lived, I miss Italy the most and we return to it as often as possible. But, it also makes me insane and I know that I could never retire there. It’s just too chaotic. Rome is an option for when we leave Helsinki in 2025 and we are thinking about it. But it definitely can be rough for daily life. Helsinki is super easy by comparison. Things just run well and efficiently and it is organized and modern. But it lacks the charm of Italy.

    Zoom: I can do this Saturday if y’all want? It works fine for me as we should be around. Or another day if y’all prefer. Monday works also. Sunday we have a weekly family zoom at that same time.

    Yay for Friday! 2 more weeks of school for my kiddo. And a gorgeous day today.

    On a more worrisome note, my scalp actually hurts a bit in spots and I am shedding quite a bit. I guess I will see what happens. I am assuming I will know when it is time to do the shave. Gulp. I have some cute little kerchiefs I think I will start to wear to catch the extra hair sheds.

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    On a lighter note,

    I wanted to share this Etsy store. She makes headscarves out of vintage kimono prints and they are beautifully made and the fabric is gorgeous.

    https://www.etsy.com/shop/Mercato?ref=shop-header-name&listing_id=125670465


    Just in case anyone is in the market.

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    Good morning!

    Ugh, I have a commitment tomorrow (Saturday) morning. I am tempted to take my laptop and attempt to get on the Wifi and Zoom (if it is the only time that works?) but it may be tricky. Could we possibly do Monday?

    njdogmom: loved chatting too and glad you have another treatment crossed off. How great that you took Italian pasteries into the infusion center and brought joy to so many!

    Imanobird: I need to read the messages after I post this to see what you all are talking about with the treatment that you are researching/contemplating though I think anticipate the thread. I am sorry you are also dealing with the dreaded hair loss. I am dreading that as well BUT I did get a wig yesterday from one of your Etsy recommendations! I'll try to post a photo later.

    Ugh! On the subject of other "indignities", my TCHP regimen usually comes with a 10 lbs weight gain. Every time I get on the scale, I am up another pound. It is distressing to me but I know kicking the "c" is most important. I am going to try to go for a big walk this morning and also renew my efforts for really clean eating. I think mentally I might need to think of this like a "pregnancy"- you will gain weight but it is for a good cause and temporary. Ugh!

    njdogmom: Thanks for chiming in on the well-meaning friends situations. It really helps me as I struggle to set better and better boundaries.

    OK, let me know please about Monday at 11:00? If that isn't an option, I'll try to get on Zoom tomorrow at 11:00.

    njdogmom: How is your tinnitus?

    Sending hugs!

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Monday at 11 is actually good by me. Better than Saturday, actually, as my husband and I might actually might go on a little date to eat at a Georgian restaurant tomorrow night. If I still feel well of course. I hadn’t eaten it before moving here, but a friend told me to try it and it is so good. It is sort of Turkish inspired, I would say, with this cheese bread egg stuff that is delicious.

    Catm: I am sorry about the weight gain! So frustrating! I suspect it is all the steroids and I think viewing it as pregnancy weight is exactly the right way to see it. So far mine is holding steady. But, I have some extra pounds to start with and am drinking less alcohol and eating a bit healthier for the most part. I did just make strawberry scones though and eat two of them. So that isn’t great. Enjoy your walk!

    NJ: Hoping you are feeling well today! Productive and strong.

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    looks like Monday at 11:00 it is!

    Iamnobird: thanks for kind words re steroids & weight gain. Ugh!

    Looking forward to Monday!

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    ok- first photos are of the veggie garden (yup that’s deer fencing & 8 ft is the recommended height). Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash & herbs

    Last photo is the new “Hair Hat” (what my daughter called my mother’s wigs when she was little)- it’s a bit flat & smells a bit weird.

    Iamnobird: did you buy synthetic? I bought human hair & smells a bit like burnt hair but I’m glad to have taken the plunge!

  • njdogmom
    njdogmom Member Posts: 181
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    I have 10 AM yoga on Monday so won't be home until close to noon at best. Doctor's orders! She wants my stress level down. There are chemo Tuesdays and chemo Thursdays. Perhaps next Friday? I'm looking into international zoom, skype, google hangouts and MS Teams as I type. Trying to figure out which would be best. I'll keep you posted!

    Iamnobird - my hair started hurting this week too but just at the crown of my head. I'm wondering if I will be showing off a Friar Tuck hair style in the coming weeks. I think my cap doesn't make enough contact in that spot. A friend mentioned shampoo that helps ease the discomfort. She's going to get back to me with the brand. I'll share as soon as I have the info. The Etsy store looks great!

    Catm - What a wonderful garden and I love the hair hat! I ordered synthetic. I've heard they are low maintenance and easier to deal with.

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Friday is good with me. Zoom should work like normal for us. I can share my email rather than phone so you can invite me, but we use it weekly for calls with family and friends in USA. Or I am happy to set up and invite you all. Or happy to try the server mentioned in messages if it is the least labor intensive. I haven’t used that before so will take a look today.

    Catm: You look lovely. ♥️. And I love your garden. Your area looks beautiful. I have 4 synthetic wigs and one human hair attached to a hat (Jodihat on Etsy). I have too many wigs and a clear problem. I got a halo one yesterday where it is just hair on the sides so good for under scarves and hats.

    NJ: Good for you and a proactive doctor tending to mental health. Yes, my soreness is just a random patch or so on my scalp. So maybe it won’t all come out. Success with cold caps is keeping 50 percent apparently. If I keep that much, I would still be okay. So we shall see how this unfolds. And yes, thanks for info on the shampoo. That sounds useful.

    Okay, getting up now to have my coffee and start the day.

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    Good morning!

    Hope I don’t drop my phone in the tub as I’m starting my day with a soak in the tub with Epsom salts- leg aches & “other”- (my biggest side effect but the PA told me the “busyness” down there should get better.)

    Friday is good for me to do a call. I’m wide open.

    I think I’ll try a synthetic wig. I’m glad to have taken the plunge but my current hair hat is too flat & the smell bugs me.

    Njdogmom: love that you are doing yoga. My daughter returns from college tomorrow (with 2 friends to visit) & she has mentioned wanting to do yoga so maybe we can explore together.

    Sorry you both have hair hurting. I have noticed my scalp seems a bit “off”- more itchy. Would appreciate the shampoo recommendation as well.

    Thanks for kind words & am excited for my vegetable garden. Have had good success in the past but not with tomatoes. Hmmmm

  • snailpwr
    snailpwr Member Posts: 9
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    Hello All

    I am fresh out of my mastectomy. I have Invasive lobular carcinoma, which spread to my lympnodes. My pathology report shows that my surgeon did a great job with cutting it all out. Clear margins and 7 out of 12 lympnodes infected. The lympnodes were a surprise as it never showed up on MRI.

    So now begins my next steps, PET and bone scan.

    Then treatment plan. I have been advised that I will need chemo to start.

    I am looking at other options such as hormone therapy with cdk46 inhibitor. Anyone trying that?

    I am here to offer support as well and receive. I am doing okay, just want a plan to make tgis go away for good.

    Thank you for this thread.

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    snailpwr: Welcome. I am so sorry that you are also in this club, but happy to have you here on our thread. That must have been a shock after surgery for sure. I have heard that ILC can be quite sneaky and hard to catch. I hope that you are healing well and resting and prepping for next steps. I was really nervous about the PET scan, but it was an easy process and it was good to know that the cancer wasn’t anywhere else. I will be doing hormone therapy, probably Tamoxifen for 5 years, along with Nerlynx for a year. But that will all start after I finish my chemo and radiation and my year of PHESGO. Do you know your tumor biology? I am ER+, PR- and HER2+. My disease treatment is mostly defined by the HER2+, but the ER+ also plays a role with hormone blockers and such. Anyways. I am glad that you are doing well and taking it all day by day.

    Catm: I also use Epsom salts. I haven’t had aches and pains yet, but I have heard it is can help keep that at bay and I love relaxing in the tub. It kinda stinks that potential wig time is right in the heart of summer for all of us. I’d much rather be doing all of this in the winter when we hibernate here in Finland anyways! And we wear hats and scarves daily so baldness wouldn’t be such a big deal.

    Lunch and record stores and coffee shops was lovely. We even checked out an outdoor market. I felt like myself for a few hours:). The grocery stores downtown are using the little robots for grocery delivery. So fascinating


  • njdogmom
    njdogmom Member Posts: 181
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    Good morning and welcome snailpwr!

    Great photos! Robotic deliveries are so Jetson's!

    I think we should write an ode to Epsom salts baths! I just ordered another 4 bags of Dr. Teal's from Amazon earlier this week. The lavender scent is very calming. Which salts are you using? I haven't been using the jets on my tub since starting chemo. I read somewhere that we should avoid hot tubs and spas. I usually clean the jets by running the tub with a dishwasher tablet in it. Perhaps I'll put two in and let it run twice as long for a deep clean. I miss the jets!

    I agree with you all regarding wigs and the summer. It's not something I'm looking forward to. I was thinking I may just stick with a couple of nice straw hats to keep the sun off during the day. I have a straw fedora. I may add to the collection and come up with some feminine accessories and/or larger earrings to wear.

  • snailpwr
    snailpwr Member Posts: 9
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    Thank you

    Iamnobird:

    I have ER+. That is what I remember at the moment.

    I am offered traditional chemotherapy or hormone therapy with oral chemo medication.

    I am not sure what path is best. I have a cancer that likes to hide.

    So some form of chemo is necessary to help with it reoccurring.

    Then after chemo I will have radiation.

    It's going to be a challenging year. But work the life I will get back.

    I am new to writing on forums. Thanks for the response

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    NJ: Lavender sounds lovely. I am adding lavender essential oil to my bath, but using Nortembio Epsom salts. They are Spanish apparently. I bought 6 kilos for 23 euros so the price was good. I am going through it quickly so figured the more, the better. I would think that if you keep it super clean and it is your own germs and used regularly, you are fine using your jets and just keeping it super clean. I also think a big hat and earrings is great for summer. How is your tinnitus? Did your onco have any insight?

    So my hair shed quite a bit on Friday and was actually a bit scary when I brushed it Saturday morning. I pulled a small handful out from my head from different areas. But then it hasn’t shed anymore and my scalp tenderness went away. I wonder if this is how it goes on the Paclitaxel. Bits at a time and then stable. I guess with AC it all falls out at once while Paclitaxel is more gradual. Anyways. I wore a scarf out yesterday to catch hair just in case, but all seems fine today.

    Cat: Did you ever get your biopsy results? I mean to check in. Hoping that nothing is happening on the other side and that you have peace of mind. I am so not a fan of heat or summer in general. And we do not have air conditioning. Because…. Finland. We did buy a little unit for our bedroom though since it is on the 3rd floor for warmer days. I think it might hit the low 80s here occasionally and that is record breaking. Which sounds like nothing to a Texan, but is very hot in a land with no air conditioning. And I am having hot flashes now because of course I am.

    Okay. Doing some household chores today and going to look for a kayak. Super exciting! We live like a 3 minute walk from the beach where we can launch it. I am excited to have something new to do. Even if my husband ends up doing most of the rowing 🤣🤣.

    Snailpwr: I am having traditional chemo followed by hormone blockers and targeted therapy (Herceptin). The med you mentioned is used for HER- so your cancer is a bit different from mine. Both were recommended in my situation. Anyways. Making these decisions is so hard!

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    Welcome Snailpwr! - tho I, too, am sorry that you find yourself in this unexpected sisterhood/club. I'm stage 2, HER+ ER- PR- with multifocal carcinomas (6 tumors/4 are pretty small and are attached to the 2 primary tumors) of the right breast. With the HER2+ (very aggressive) and stage 2 with cancer in at least one lymph node and some cancer in my pectoral muscle, my doctors decided I should do chemo first, TCHP, then surgery. I am going to do a bilateral mastectomy early fall. I just had my first chemo, went well and will do my 2nd 5/31.

    Snailpwr and Iamnobird: How did you all find the mastectomy? njdogmom: Know you had the flap surgery but how was that for you?

    PETCT: I did one of these about a month ago. It was pretty easy but try to get a morning spot as I had an awful caffeine withdrawl headache by 12:00! Also, ask if you can have water. Water was OK even though the instructions said no water because folks tend to stretch that definition. Having a big drink of water really helped as I had stopped all fluids midnight the night before.

    njdogmom: How's your tinnitus?

    Biopsy: I DID get the biopsy back from the left breast and apologies for forgetting to update everyone. Benign and no cancer. yay! My breast tissue is so dense (oh so many scans to figure out that there was a second tumor with some companions in the right breast) that I'm just thinking I want to be done with it with both breasts and cosmetically I think I will have better results with a bilateral mastectomy.

    Epsom Salts; Too funny, I also ordered Dr. Teals lavender.

    Iamnobird: Ugh, I am sorry about your hair coming out. I have heard it is traumatic and can happen pretty fast. I am dreading it as you know. I am confident that you still looked smart with one of your new wigs or scarves. (I'm going to check out that website.) Also, have you seen "Shitts Creek"? Moira has many wigs and she has names for all of them. I might need to revisit that hysterical show.

    I'm listening to "Between Two Kingdoms" while walking my dog. I am really enjoying it.

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Catm: Good morning! So I am the one with DIEP flap. For me, the entire thing went really smoothly. It is a big 10 hour surgery. I had never had anesthesia before (hello natural childbirth x3 lol) and I was terrified of the entire notion of it. I spent 5 days in the hospital and was in good shape by the time I left. I could shower, get up the stairs to my bedroom, go for short walks, etc. I would say that by 3 weeks, I was feeling almost normal and I was cleared to start chemo at 5. Things had healed up. My results are very good. It leaves big scars, but they get fainter every day. I am happy that I did it. We keep trying to get into Schitts Creek because everyone loves it, but just never got into the groove of it. I might need to give it another go. I am glad that your breast biopsy was benign. It is a relief to know that your mastectomy will be preventative on that side. It means you don’t have to worry about nipple or skin, etc.

    We can’t decide between inflatable kayak or a normal one. I like the regular one better. It just seems more reassuringly solid. But it is hard to travel with and will take up a lot of space in the winter. And it is more expensive. So we might go inflatable and upgrade if we find a used regular one for sale.

    I am glad you are enjoying the book. I am about 60 percent through it now. I just can’t imagine. She is the same age as our kids.

  • njdogmom
    njdogmom Member Posts: 181
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    Iamnobird: Tinnitus lasted six days, went away the day before chemo and came back the following morning prior to chemo. The oncologist suggested a consult with an ENT which I'll schedule this week. I had a similar experience with scalp tenderness and some shedding. The tenderness has subsided and hair seems to be stable again. I expect that even with cold capping we're going to have hair thinning so I'm remaining hopeful. And I have that straw hat waiting on a hook in the kitchen.

    Catm: So glad your biopsy result was negative. Added it to the list of things to be thankful for today and I added Between Two Kingdoms to my summer reading list. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    NJ: Ah. Interesting. Chemo is just full of strange surprise gifts. I hope you can get some relief. My husband is a musician and has struggled with tinnitus before. It sounds really annoying. And yes, I think there is def hope on the hair front:).

    I am also reading Radical Remission, which is a bit controversial in the cancer world apparently. I do like many of the ideas though. I am firmly a fan of modern medicine, but also think that there are definitely other aspects to wellness:). I am thinking that I will start a daily gratitude journal. It seems a bit of a cliche but can’t hurt. And also pay attention to the media that I choose to watch and read. I have always been drawn to darker shows and dramas, but comedy is what I think I need right now. Walking outside is also so, so helpful. The forest is just humming with life right now and it is such a good vibe.

    I am off to do my weekly blood work and I also have an appt with my therapist at the cancer center. She has been an oncology nurse for over 20 years and now does a lot of counseling and meditation and coaching work. I find her to be incredibly helpful and uplifting. She will he happy that I am in a much better place than when I saw her last before starting chemo. I am even taking public transport and walking to and from the hospital. It is SO warm today. It is supposed to be 67.

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Sharing this dude. The hares are all over the neighborhood and are just ginormous. They lope down the street and look a bit like small kangaroos. The females also stand up and box the males when they have had enough male, um, attention 🤣🤣.

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    Good morning!

    Iamnobird: I am embarrassed I asked you about the mastectomy, not the flap. Totally remembered your earlier post after you mentioned it. Apologies and would like to, eh hem, throw down the "chemo brain" card if I may?

    Thank you both for your kind words re the benign biopsy results. Oh and I now have a bit of a weird rash thing going on with my face 9I remember earlier posts about this) but I don't think it is anything serious, just annoying dry spots.

    Gratitude journal: I do keep a gratitude journal. I don't write in it every day but am going to try to be better about that. I do believe it is a great practice and can be especially powerful during these trying times, even though that may seem a bit counter intuitive. I am not kidding that I was thinking about writing in it yesterday that I am grateful for the folks who invented Immodium!

    Holostic Medicine: I believe in holostic medicine as well as modern medicine. I haven't done any research yet but I do believe we could all benefit from certain foods and supplements. I think I will take a look at "Radical Remission".

    I love the hare photo. That's a Big Bunny! (Birdie, my cat, gets on her hind legs and boxes with my husband. It very cute.)

    njdogmom: glad you are going to an ENT about the tinnitus and I'm also glad your hair loss seems to have stabilized. My husband and I went over to another couple's home for dinner last night, so nice and "normal". My friend told me that a friend of hers going through chemo now has barely lost any hair with the cold capping. Fingers crossed!

    Iamnobird: Pls keep us posted on how the blood work goes. Thanks for sharing that you are talking to a therapist. I was just thinking yesterday that I might really benefit from doing that.

    LAUGHS: I stumbled upon a stand up comedian on Netflix. Check out "Leanne Morgan I'm Every Woman". My husband and I were cracking up. I've tried to copy the link but it is all garbled.

    My daughter is headed (with George Klooney) back to Atlanta today. It'll be nice to have her home and she isn't sure what her next steps will be. She graduated with honors from the business school at the University of Richmond but she loves art and museum studies. Stay tuned!

  • catm
    catm Member Posts: 130
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    Just sent messages to you both. Thanks

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
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    Catm: I love Birdie. And yay for having your daughter home! I have a friend who was in ,use in administration. Her sister too. Isla actually worked for the Stonehenge trust fir several years. She is super lovely and adorably British. She is also an artist. I know she would be happy to chat with your daughter about the museum field if she wants.

    Can I emphasize how much I love the name George Klooney. Does he get along with Birdie? My orange guy Oliver hates cats other than his sister. We tried to take him back to the US to stay with family when we were there for a summer about 8 years ago. We haven’t taken him since and have been leaving them in Europe instead.

    Yeah. Hopefully the face rash stays small. Mine seems to have resolved and never got dramatic. I guess it makes sense. The chemo stuff is just so irritating to everything. Honestly, I think therapy is probably helpful for everyone in our situation. I don’t need much. Just someone to listen to me while I cry. But it is also nice to get tools to deal with some of the stress.

    Okay. Getting up and having my coffee and some oatmeal. We need to be there early today.