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Feb 25, 2013 08:21AM
Just popping in from the March 2008 chemo thread - yes 5 years ago! I did 6*TAC starting in March 2008. Just wanted to give you all encouragment and tell you that you can do it. Chemo is no walk in the park, but it is doable.
Waiting on the first one is the worst. Once you have a tx or two under your belt, you'll know how your body will react and you can prepare accordingly. I had chemo 3 weeks apart. I was like most people - I felt bad in the days after a chemo tx, but by week 2 I was feeling pretty decent, and by week 3 life was pretty much back to normal.
Yep, I lost my hair, right on schedule, 15 days after my first dx. And surprisingly, it's not as bad as you think. You really do get used to it. Some women wear wigs, some wear scarves, some wear baseball caps, and some go commando. I was a baseball cap girl - worn with dangly earrings to fill up that space between ears and shoulders. Fortunately my workplace is pretty casual, so it wasn't unusual for men and even women to wear baseball caps. (Yes, I worked all through chemo - I have a desk job and a very supportive workplace!) My co-workers all pitched in and gave me baseball caps, and friends and relatives gave me dangly earrings, so by the end I had quite a wardrobe of caps and earrings. And my hair came back curly! I had horrible limp stick-straight hair before chemo, but now I have soft hair with a beautiful curl to it.
Please feel free to ask me any questions - lots of women who were further along in their tx helped me when I was going through chemo, so I always try to "pay it forward" by reaching back to the March chemo group to provide any help and encouragement I can. Many many women have walked this path before you and have come out on the other side. You can do it too. You'll surprise yourself!
I am very fortunate that I am 5 years out and at this time I have no evidence of disease. I decided I wanted to do something completely crazy and outrageous to celebrate my 5 year mark. So I'm in training to run my very first half marathon this April. I was NEVER a runner before, and I'm 57, so this is a really big deal for me. But I'm going to do it. After all, I went through chemo. If I could do that, then I can do ANYTHING I want.
Go Chemo Marchers 2013!!
12/31/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/15 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
06/30/2008 Femara (chemical name: letrozole, class: aromatase inhibitor)
10/08/2008 Reconstruction of my left breast: DIEP flap; Reconstruction of my right breast: DIEP flap
01/29/2008 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my left breast, Mastectomy of my right breast; Lymph node removal (also called dissection): Underarm (axillary) lymph node removal (also called dissection)
, Lymph node removal (also called dissection) on my right side
; Reconstruction of my left breast: Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction of my right breast: Tissue expander placement
03/03/2008 Adriamycin (chemical name: doxorubicin), Cytoxan (chemical name: cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (chemical name: docetaxel)