Australian health care, clinical trials, and life in general in the land down under.
Posted on: Dec 16, 2010 11:13AM
Calling all Australian Sisters!
I'm in Canberra and have just done my second chemo treatment. I'm have 3 cycles of FEC then will have 3 cycles of Taxotere and 12 months of Hercepten.
It might be nice to see how many of us are in Oz and if we aren't too far away from eachother try to organise a meeting.
Posts 1 - 30 (12,292 total)
Dec 28, 2010 12:38PM Trisha-Anne wrote:
Hi IMC1970, yes you are a bit far to visit lol
How are you going with the floods? I've been watching it on the tv, it looks terrible!
Did you notice your diagnosis was on the same day as mine?
Dec 28, 2010 12:44PM DancerMel28 wrote:
I'm in regional Victoria. I was diagnosed in Feb and have finished chemo and radiation, just on tamoxifen now.
I'm also a member of an Aussie forum and we had a gtg in October - was so lovely to meet up with so many others going through this.
Dec 28, 2010 02:07PM Trisha-Anne wrote:
Lucky you to have finished your chemo and rads - I'm counting the months lol
Good too that you had a gtg - I didn't realise there was an Aussie forum, I hadn't been able to find one - but this one is very good.
Dec 28, 2010 02:50PM - edited Dec 28, 2010 02:51PM by suzieq60
I'm in Brisbane. I have actually did met up with a couple of women from this site - one in Adelaide and one who just happened to live up the road from me - literally streets away. Also, another (Sharon) in Brisbane who I am trying to get around to meeting after I get over Xmas etc. I also met a wonderful friend on the Oz bc forum who had the same onc as I did and we meet regularly for lunch. I will never be able to thank her enough for her recommendation of where to go for treatment - it turned out to be the best place.
The Ozzie forum is fine but they are not as active as this one and I have made the most wonderful friends on this site - I want to go to the US to meet them!!!
Hope you find some Canberra girls.
Dec 28, 2010 02:56PM sunny210 wrote:
I'm in Boulder, CO, but my husband has been offered a job in Perth! I'm very excited. The one drawback is that I'm stage 4 and love my onc here. Ironically, he worked in Australia - I can't remember where - many years ago and still has some oncologist friends there.
My son lived in Brisbane for a while and loved it.
Maybe I'll meet you all one of these days.
Dec 28, 2010 07:32PM VickyC10 wrote:
I'm near Adelaide. I finished chemo 4 months ago (4 X AC 3 weekly then 12 X Taxol and Herceptin, however only had 11 of the 12 Taxol because of side effects, which I still have). The AC was hard but the TH was fine. Finished radiotherapy 6 weeks ago, that was easy. Now having 3 weekly Herceptin till June 2011. Also having Femara for 5 years. Everyone seems to have a different reaction to the chemo.
I have found this site easier to use than the Aussie one. Hope all goes well with your treatment.
Dec 28, 2010 09:21PM suzieq60 wrote:
Tricia-Anne - interesting chemo combination you're having. I was triple positive and TCH x 6 then the rest of the 12 months herceptin alone - you'll find that part easy after the chemo. I finished mine on Dec 8th and already had my port out. I thought they usually gave AC-TH for node positive patients.
Dec 28, 2010 09:36PM Aussiegirl1966 wrote:
Hi Trisha Anne, I'm in Forster on the Mid North Coast of NSW. I was diagnosed stage 4 a year ago and have been on Femara for 9 months, I have never had Chemo. I am also on the Aussie site.
Dec 28, 2010 09:44PM lmc1970 wrote:
Hi Trisha-well lucky for me I live in a spot that doesn't get affected by the flood. Except for my back-yard pond :o) but the State certainly is looking like a big lake. Very sad for those affected.
I was diagnosed on that date for the third time! Glad to see you found yours quickly and I hope all is going well. Chemo is a hard slog!
Dec 28, 2010 10:27PM Trisha-Anne wrote:
When do you come to Australia? Perth is a lovely place to live - very hot in the summer though :-)
Great to hear you have finished your chemo and rads - yes they say the Hercepten is the easy part of it all - I start that at the end of January.
I had two cancers in the same breast, and I think my onc thinks that because of the combination, and the fact that I had one lymph node involved he wanted to hit it fairly hard. I have the final treatment of the FEC combination next Tuesday - but I must admit I'm starting to panic about the Taxotere already - it seems to be a bit of a nightmare.
Forster is a beautiful place to live - are you also affected by the heavy rain?
Glad you aren't floating away! :-) Yes I agree the chemo is a hard slog - 2 down 4 to go - but who's counting? So sad to hear you were diagnosed for the third time though - that just sucks.
Dec 28, 2010 11:49PM suzieq60 wrote:
imc1970 - you say you've been diagnosed 3 times - have you had a mastectomy? I just had a new cancer removed which was missed when I was diagnosed last year, so I'm up for another round of rads - luckily no chemo this time. I insisted on another lumpectomy as I want to give the chemo/herceptin/arimidex/zometa a chance to work. If there is a next time I won't have that choice. Where in Qld are you?
Trisha-Anne: Taxotere was nasty but you are only having 3 - it's certainly doable. Thanks for starting this thread - great idea!!!
Dec 28, 2010 11:51PM chrissyb wrote:
Hi girls, just found this thread. I live in a little town in rural SA called Burra not far from the Clare Valley. I'm an old girl at this as I was origionally Dx'd in 2003 and then stage IV in may 2009. Was put on Arimidex after rads to bone lessions in 2009 and was changed to Femara two months ago. So far so good on this one.
Dec 29, 2010 12:28AM suzieq60 wrote:
Hi Chrissy - how are you? I've recovered from all of the surgeries - just lining up to do rads in January.
Dec 29, 2010 01:11AM LuvMyLab wrote:
I'm also on the aussie site which I absolutely love!!! There's amazing women on both. We had a gtg in October in Melbourne and I met so many gorgeous ladies and their partners. what a night!
I am having my last chemo tomorrow (TCH) - well hopefully. I've got a chest infection so not sure if they give it or not. Will see tomorrow, I'm SO SO SO SO over it so fingers crossed.
Dec 29, 2010 02:12AM suzieq60 wrote:
LuvMyLab: I had a cold for one TCH and they still gave it to me. Call them before hand and let them know - they put me in a room by myself when I was sick so I didn't infect anyone else.
Hope you do get to finish tomorrow.
Dec 29, 2010 03:37AM chrissyb wrote:
Hi Sue, glad to hear that you are well on your way to getting to the end of the yuk! I'm doing okay but I am having a currette on the 6th Jan as there is a fibroid surrounded by fluid and the Gynee (and I) want to make sure it's nothing to worry about and the on the 23rd Feb am having the top screws removed from the pin in my arm. They are sitting proud of the bone and when I move my arm they grab the tissue of the shoulder and bunch it up and that really hurts and I'm never sure just when it is going to happen as it can be this and not the next time I move and vice versa.
Hi LuvMyLab, I'm also a member of the Aussie site but rarely visit it. My Avatar is 'pusathome' there.
Dec 29, 2010 08:35AM sunny210 wrote:
Trisha - Anne
I think my husband will come over the end of Jan. They are waiting on the visa process. I will wait a little longer. I have been doing chemo for almost a year and a half. Things are getting back under control, and I am doing much better, but perhaps not ready for a long flight and big move. I'm hoping for March or April. From what I've read, Perth does sound hot, but lovely.
Dec 29, 2010 12:17PM - edited Dec 29, 2010 12:18PM by annemark
Hi all I am in Melbourne and very new to the breast cancer journey. I have had two surgeries- one lumpectomy and one to get clear margins and remove lymph nodes as one was found to have a few cancer cells in it. I am off to see the the onco this afternoon to find out a treatment plan. The BS was unclear as how to proceed with the result of the second operation given lack of clear margins and suggested I considered mastectomy possibly after an MRI to be sure this is the best way to go. So still decisions ahead and maybe another op in 3 months time. I am aware I need to keep positive and keep my energy levels up for the long haul ahead. But I am not looking forward to 2011 and figure this may be the toughest year of my life, despite lots of support from my partner and sons and friends.
Dec 29, 2010 04:27PM lmc1970 wrote:
Sandy-I lived in Perth for 20 years. It is beautiful and you will love it. I'm heading there in a few weeks for a visit. Can't wait!
Sue-I was first diagnosed in 2006 with a 9mm tumor. I only had a lumpectomy and radiation. At the time they had said my lymph nodes were clear. Last year they found 15/24 lymph nodes with cancer in there. I had them removed and didn't want my breast removed because there was no cancer found in them. I tried chemo but after one I decided not to have anymore because it made me very sick. This year it was found in my supraclavicular node and there might be some in axilla. Every test I get says something different so I am stopping chemo until I know exactly where the cancer is. I can tell you it is very frustrating! BTW-I am in Brisbane.
Dec 29, 2010 05:10PM suzieq60 wrote:
lmc1970 - sounds like you need my oncologist. Who do you see?
I'm on the Northside in Newmarket/Grange area.
Dec 29, 2010 06:17PM jezza wrote:
Hi all....I am on the Aussie Site too....and have met a couple of the lovely ladies on this thread at the gettogether in October as well....I agree it was a great day/night!! There are a couple of sites actually but the bcaus site is pretty easy to navigate.
I read on there that LML DID get to do her last chemo today...so YAY!!!!
I am in Melbourne too...annmark...I hope you got some answers when you visited the onc today. Its distressing when you don't know whats ahead. It does get easier when decisions are made.
Hugs to all
Dec 29, 2010 06:30PM lmc1970 wrote:
Hi Sue-I go to the PA hospital and they have a policy there to rotate their onc's and I think this is the main problem....they don't get to know your case well enough. I live in Forest Lake.
Dec 29, 2010 09:07PM suzieq60 wrote:
A friend of mine goes to the PA for work and she can't believe how long people have to wait for their treatments. I guess you don't have private health insurance. That's been the big difference for me - I've got my husbands oncologist whom we have known for 8 years - he is so good.
Dec 29, 2010 09:14PM lmc1970 wrote:
Yes, the waiting is rediculous. Sometimes I've gone in at 12 and come home after 6. And my treatment should only take an hour. Private health insurance would have come in handy. I didn't think I would need it at 36-I was wrong!
Dec 29, 2010 10:32PM annemark wrote:
Thanks Jezza and good to know someone else in Melbourne. I was very pleased with the oncologist visit as we were not altogether sure if chemo was necessary (only one lymph node affected). He has included me in a trial for Oncotype testing which is usually not available in Australia to determine the potential benefits of chemo. The results should be back in 2-3 weeks but have booked in for chemo on 31 Jan 2011 as the default position. He says maybe a 35% chance I wont need to have the chemo based on the Oncotype score. Cross fingers as this is the part I am almost more afraid of than any of the other treatments. But he thinks I will need a mastectomy given the poor results from the two surgeries but I can have that after the chemo regime is over sometime in April or May so I get a break between surgeries. Its such a journey and too many unknowns with my particular lobular type of cancer that is multifocal.
Dec 29, 2010 11:05PM suzieq60 wrote:lmc1970: I only took out private insurance in 2000 when they were about to charge the 2% extra a year if you were over 30. I figured that as we were getting older, needing glasses, physio, dental etc it would be a good idea. Well, it's paid off big time. I think we got to $100,000 they paid for my husband and then I lost count. I never thought we'd need the hospital part of it. I must say I pay a lot for the privlege - $142 a fortnight - it's a lot of money on one income. We've played the system very well as we could afford to pay for things like braces etc for the kids when they needed them but later our finances weren't so good and when we both got cancer luckily we were covered. I'm 58, so I was 48 when we took it out. We still have all the gaps to pay which adds up big time though - especially for surgeons, anaethetists etc, but my oncology place doesn't charge a gap so it's never cost me anything for chemo. It's still cost me about $8,000 though for both of my breast cancers maybe even more as I still have another lot of radiation to do.
Dec 29, 2010 11:12PM Trisha-Anne wrote:
Wow - there certainly are a few Aussie girls on here :-)
Lisa - I can't believe you have to wait so long for a treatment! I'm doing my chemo as a public patient at the Canberra Hospital, and there's no wait at all for treatment, I do have to wait sometimes to see my Onc, but I think that sometimes he has a coffee in between patients lol.
Sandy - I can't imagine doing chemo for as long as you have - good grief 6 cycles seems like an eternity, I'm not counting the year of Hercepten, hopefully there won't be any bad side effects - I'll live in hope anyway :-)
Dec 29, 2010 11:34PM - edited May 12, 2011 11:17PM by aussieched