Newbie to BC, and this board

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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/11/2005 2:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi all, i am new to this board. I came from the Crohn's message board, however i didnt post much, but,read every day. I am new to breast cancer as well. Have already had a mastectomy and preparing to start chemo, and other treatments, etc. I have had Crohn's for 30 yrs. and am now 49. I just wanted to ask you all about the chemo. I know it will make you sick, hair loss and all that stuff,at least thats what my treatment papers say. I am very nervous about all this. It is so overwhelming to me. I keep my faith in God, and try to keep a positive attitude. It just seems to have hit me all at once, after getting out of the hosp for crohns, i found a lump, that turned out to be malignant, and its been like dominoes ever since. I know this prob sounds crazy, but any info from you guys would be appreciated. Prayers to all of you. May God Bless. Carol (harley26)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 10/11/2005 6:18 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome Carol,I just finished chemo in july and im doing fine and back at work.I know chemo sounds scary,and all of the side effects you see on your paper,you wont have all of those.I never vomited or got really sick,just tired.There are good meds that the doctor can give you to help with just about any side effect you might have.There are alot of very nice and caring ladies here for you to talk to,so keep us posted we will help you through this.remember GOD will not give you more than you can handle....God bless....Tammy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2044
   Posted 10/11/2005 6:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome, Carol. I did not have chemo, so I can't respond to your questions. But, many of our gals did and probably will tell you about their experiences. I just wanted to say hello and let you know that this is a good place to be. I've known many of the board members for more than 5 years. They are really special people. Hugs, Lauri
"Go confidently into the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined" Thoreau
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2921
   Posted 10/11/2005 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
It is surprising how many with Crohn's seems to have breast problems, too. We have had several other members of the Crohn's board post. Crohn's is bad enough in itself without having to deal with breast cancer and chemo. I did not have chemo so I will let the others answer you on your questions and I will simply say Welcome to our board. Sorry you needed to find us, but we will help in any way we can. Hugs Mary K.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 829
   Posted 10/11/2005 9:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to our board although I am sorry that you have had to come here. I had 18 months of chemo but that was some time ago. Today's chemo is a lot more "user friendly" and, as has been mentioned, there has been a great advancement in meds to counter the nasty side effects.

Unfortunately, nothing has ever been done to stop the loss of hair. My advice to everyone facing the loss of their hair is, that when it starts coming out like you have the mange, shave it all off. It's your first step in letting this disease know you are going to keep it under control and fight back like hêll.

Nothing you have said makes us think you are crazy. You are going through what every one of us has had to face. That is also the reason we hang out here. You can vent, cry, laugh, scream, or whatever and we'll still be here.

My advice, however, is to find a form of chocolate you can eat. It's also known that extensive shopping therapy is a good cure for extensive chemo therapy. Stay with us and keep us informed of your treatments. Don't ever think we won't want to hear something. If it bothers you, the chances are very good that someone here has already gone through it.

Welcome Hugs, Jo-Ann
A good friend will bail you out of jail...
but a true friend will be sitting
next to you saying,
"Dâmn... that was fun!".

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 730
   Posted 10/11/2005 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Carol! As all of the others have said, welcome to our board but I also am sorry that you had to find us.

You expressed how we all felt once diagnosed w/ bc. The domino effect. It seems that everything happens in a hurry and you have no control or time to think. As for the chemo, the anticipation is much worse than the treatment. You hear and read about all of the possible side effects and it scares the heck out of you. But, you will find that there are meds for about any problem that you might encounter. You might ask your onco if he/she will give you a prescription for the antinaseau meds before your first treatment. Sometimes they will tell you to begin them 24-48 hrs ahead of time. I also was never threw up. I was tired and had to learn to listen to my body and rest when it told me to. You may find that the first night after treatment you may not sleep. This will be caused from some of the steriods that they give you to help counteract some of the common side effects of the chemo. I was usually awake for about 24 hrs. Got lots of housework done. lol

Laughter is a very important part of staying well. Watch comedies and movies that make you laugh. You will be able to laugh about losing your hair and probably about having the mastectomy at some point. It also helps you keep a positive attitude. But don't be afraid to yell and scream and cry. I agree w/ Jo-Ann about the hair. Have it buzzed as soon as it starts falling out. You might want to contact your ACS or beautician and see about a wig before this happens. (usually 7-10 days after your first treatment.) Insurance sometimes will cover the cost of a wig if you use the words "cranial prothesis". eyes Also, remember you can have fun w/ the wigs. If you ever wanted to be a red head or a blond, now is the time!

Please post here anytime. There are so many ladies that will be here to support you. We even have our very own pink airplane!

Hugs...Deb from Missouri, age 55


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 340
   Posted 10/11/2005 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm so sorry that you had to find your way here to this board. You couldn't be in better hands here.
I had myself so worked up about chemo and I found out it was very doable. I never once got sick from the chemo. Found myself very tired but never got sick. Don't get me wrong I didn't feel wonderful but was not what I had feared.
I also have crohns, I was dx with the crohns in Feb. of 04 and the b/c in May of 04. So we were all so happy when 2004 came to an end. If there is any thing I can do to help, just let me know.
God Bless

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 243
   Posted 10/11/2005 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome to the board Carol, but sorry you had to come over here. These ladies have a lot of advice and info. I just had my 2nd chemo last Thursday. As some of the ladies here have said in other posts, "it's the unknown" that is the scariest. My hair came out real bad 14 days after my 1st treatment. I think everyone here who has had chemo will tell you that has been the worst part. I still have some patches here and there on my head. Just haven't gone anywhere to have it shaved and scared to do it myself, I may end up looking like a badly carved pumpkin!
For me, it seems like my stomach hurts the most after chemo, usually the next day. It's like anything I eat just stops under my boobs and just sits there. Then I get constipated. They did give me some samples of Senokot last week which have been helping some. My mouth is very dry and I want to keep putting food in it just to have a different feel/taste in my mouth. I haven't had any nausea. I have taken a couple of nausea pills just in case when I felt a little lump in my throat. I haven't really felt tired yet and hope I won't. It effects people differently. I guess I can say it's not so bad. It just sucks having the disease and having to go through all this. My nurse had called nausea meds like a month before I had my 1st treatment. They have been very nice so far.
Good luck and {{hugs}}

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 10/11/2005 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
The other ladies have given you great advice. Im sorry you had to come here, but it does get better. I was terrified when I started chemo in April, but found it to be so much easier than I anticipated. I finished 2 months ago, and have 2 more radiation treatments to go. The road will seem long , but you will get through it in no time. I would reccomend keeping colace, senokot, immodium, and tums on hand -just in case. I did very well during chemo, and only had one bad tx where I ended up constipated(I know tmi). This one may have been my imagination- but drinking lots of water really helped me .
Hang in there-
Best wishes
"There are two ways to live your life. One is though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."     -Albert Einstein

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 1294
   Posted 10/11/2005 3:36 PM (GMT -7)   

I just want you to know that you will be in my prayers daily. I hope you stay with us as we will be with you every step of the way. I did not need chemo, so I have no idea of what all you ladies have endured while being on chemo, but I do know about the emotional roller coaster you are on. It does slow down and you will get better. Let us know how you are doing.


Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 188
   Posted 10/11/2005 4:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Carol - so sorry you have to be here, but these women are wonderful. There are a couple of us that are going through chemo right now - today I had my second session. For me, the anticipation was worse than the reality, but like Kathy (Kattbird) I got constipated too. Also, during and after my treatments I feel like my head is stuffed with cotton for a couple of days...chemo brain?? Please make sure that if you do have any side effects, DONT SUFFER IN SILENCE!!! Tell your onco!! They will be able to help you - and if they dont - INSIST!! (I had to be quite insistant about getting some sleeping pills - but I did get them). I wish you all the best, and make sure you keep us updated!

There are no wrong turnings, only paths we did not know we were meant to take - Guy Gavriel Kay

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/11/2005 6:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone, I' am Harley 26's fifteen year old daughter. I' am proud to say that she is my mother and that she has fought tremendously hard to beat Crohns down. But it breaks my heart to know that she has another severe illness to fight off. I have seen her suffer my whole life it seems to me, and I DON'T want to see her suffer anymore! But I have to continue to remind myself that I have no control over it, only God does. I quote from Possitive's words, "God will never put more on you than can be handled". The both of us have expirienced that first hand, it may seem like there is so much coming down on you at once, but then there's always a solution that comes up somewhere when you least expect it. It discourages me when I see her so down and down-grading herself, about how she's going to lose her hair and she won't want to leave the house. Today, we went to the store to get a few things, and we looked at some hats....she went and tried one on and took one look at herself and sat down, crying a little. I couldn't do anything to get her attention to even look at me so I could tell her everything was going to be fine and she was worrying about things too soon. I tried to be goofy, yet all it seemed to do was irritate her. Yes, I know that it's the illness, moods, and medicines causing the majority of the stuff, I've heard that a million times. But I can't stand to see her put herself down, and I' am trying to give her all the support I can muster, but I apparrently don't have the mental abilities to see into her mind to find out what WILL work to calm her down. I thank all of you who responded to her and the ones who have yet to come. She needs all the support she can get from everyone and I appreitiate it so much. I love you all and may God be with you!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2003
Total Posts : 2272
   Posted 10/11/2005 6:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Carol and welcome! Glad you found us, we're a pretty OK group to hang out with....
My 6 year anniversary from diagnosis is next month, and over all my years of posting, I think the safest thing to say is that we all have different side effects, different everything. They will tell you a hundred things to expect....but probably you'll experience a couple things. I found that after each chemo cycle, I could predict, almost to the hour, what was to come next. 10:00 on chemo night I had a slight wave of nausea (no nausea for the rest of chemo!), Thursday morning my voice faded and water tasted funny....5:00 on Friday was acid was that predictable for me. I took a couple days off for each chemo cycle and worked throughout. I was lucky and hopefully you will be too.

The roller coaster will settle down and you'll be in fight mode....and yes, losing the hair is the hardest part of this, sad, mournful....then it is time for you to get back into fight mode!
Hang in there!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 688
   Posted 10/11/2005 7:37 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Carol you have found the best place to be. The women here have been or are going through everything that you have. I can tell you from experience that you will get great advice and lots of LOVE from all of us. We are here to support you and help you through your journey.
I was just diagnosed in July and have had a lumpectomy and had a port-a-cath installed. I just finished my first part of my chemo today.  I did Adriamycn and Cytoxen and now I have 8 more of Taxol. I will tell you if you get sick call your DR, I did not and suffered for a week thinking that was how chemo was supposed to be. I found out that I had a reaction to one of the drugs. My Dr scolded me and said dont ever do that again......just call. I have not been nauseaus enough to vomit but had body aches. They control the nausea very well. The chemo is not as bad as it sounds, if you have an option to get the port-a-cath I would I have enjoyed it alot. I studied alot so that I would be informed and know what to expect. Take a list to your Dr so that you dont forget what you wanted to ask.
I also had a very hard time loosing my hair but as soon as it was gone I was okay with it. In fact I enjoy getting ready for work it makes it so much faster. I have hats for days off and a wig for work.
Im sending you a big HUG :) keep us posted we care.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 10/12/2005 4:40 AM (GMT -7)   

Hi and Thanks to ALL of you for your replies and kind words of hope. It has helped me, to realize I do have some where I can go to talk to some one who has been where I am. Even my daughter posted. She worries about me, since she has seen me suffer with Crohns for so many years.

I am scheduled to have a port done Fri. Have had them done before from having Crohns, since I only have one vein that works any more. My chemo treatment is going to be Adriamycin, Cytoxan, Taxol, and Herceptin. Then radiation. All this over a years time. However, you all have made me less anxious about it. My biggest concern was the throwing up,since I have done so much of that w/Crohns. I have an ileostomy as well, and being sick to the point of throwing up is very painful for me, as it puts so much pressure on the gut. I do take phenergan for this though.

Since being diagnosed with bc, docs have literally run me to death, with test and so on, to prepare me for the surgery, and now the chemo. My surg was done on Sept.19th, so you can see how fast it is happening. I feel sometimes that i don't even have time to think. I have already had my hair cut shorter, and bought me a Fedora, smurf LOL. It looks terrible, but I will adjust. I will also check out the wig. I have always kept the verse from the Bible in my head, that God won't put more upon us than we can take, and have gotten thru many things. Just keep me in your prayers, as I will all of you. Thanks again, and God Bless. Hugs to you all Carol

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 239
   Posted 10/12/2005 6:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Carol,when i found out that i had BC i prayed to God and ask him to carry me through this journey and he did,He took away my tears and gave me joy.And after being off work for 6 months i was afraid to go back,but as i was driving to work on that first day back i ask god to keep carrying me and not put me down since he did such a good job helping me through everything.Keep the faith and put it in gods hands.You have an awsome Daughter to help you through this,let her cheer you up.My daughter was awsome she helped me so much...Tammy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2003
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 10/12/2005 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Carol!
I'm Ellen.  Sorry you've had to join the club that nobody wants to join.  You sound like you are trying to keep positive.  I had an okay time of it, overall, with chemo and am through it and working on my life again.  It was an experience, and I hope I never have to go through it again.  I wish you luck.  Keep on posting!
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." -Confucius


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