ITW n°33: Erika - K fighter.
neo-adjuvant chemo: 8 courses of chemo, 4 FEC 100 and 4 Taxoterechemo finished August 7, 2015 radiotherapy:
I will have them every day for 6 and a half weeks after my operation,,, I am currently at this stage, I have the screening scan on October 15th and I start the rays around October 22nd, I have very afraid of being burned, but hey I'm positive! It’s a necessary step and the most important thing: I’m Alive!!operation: I had surgery on September 10, 2015, partial mastectomy and axillary dissection, 14 lymph nodes removed, which turned out to be healthy after analysis, I was terrified that my body would be mutilated, I stayed in the clinic for 4 days, until my donations stopped giving, My surgeon did a remarkable job, I am infinitely grateful to him! When the nurses removed the first dressing I expected the worst, and in the end it was much more acceptable than anything I had imagined other: Being young and not having had children, I was offered vitrification of my oocytes in case I would be sterile following chemo, I therefore decided to put one more chance on my side, and I opted for this solution, I had ovarian stimulation in February then the oocyte collection at the end of February just before the start of chemo What tips directly related to K do you want to share?
(your feeling with the doctor, your good treatment organization plans, anything that seems useful to you ;))?I had a good feeling whether with the oncologist or the surgeon, 1/ chemo: The chemo was quite complicated, I was sick each time, I often had a fever, which triggered the antibiotic protocol, 5 times 8 the day after each chemo I had a Neulasta injection which made me even sicker, I felt like I had been under a bulldozer, intense pain in my bones, it was terrible!! I did my best to live normally before the chemos, I dreaded the day before the chemos then when the big day came I put myself in Warrior mode!! Conditioning my mind was essential to me, I was in a sort of intense concentration to mobilize all my strength 2/ hospital: For chemo, I was lucky enough to be able to have my treatments very close to home, 10 minutes away, there is a small chemo unit located in a clinic (Jules Verne clinic) which has 7 places, and that helped me. really made things easier For chemo, I always had the same nurse, very kind, it allowed me not to feel too lost for the operation, Ditto (Jules Verne clinic) a super friendly team of nurses 3/ alternative medicine, if you have done so I used homeopathy, and it helped me a lot during chemo, and before/after the operation, What did you do to clear your mind/clear your head (before chemo, surgery & co)? As far as I am concerned, what allowed me to hold on and “get a breath of fresh air” was the week I spent with my parents before each chemo in the countryside, surrounded by my loved ones, trying to 'be as Zen as possible What practical tips can you advise us? 1/ beauty: varnish/magic creams/scars & co So I used and was satisfied with the following products: moisturizing cream for body and feet: Xémose and Xémose cerat from Uriage varnishes: Silicium top coat from La Roche Posay + silicon-urea varnish from Eye care for scars, I apply Cicactive from Uriage For hydration and hair regrowth: essential oil of sweet almond, castor oil, coconut from Aroma Zone 2/ look, your favorite look chemo, hospital, every day to feel good / shopping look-wise, I opted for comfort so I was mostly in jeans/sneakers, Given that I was very ill during chemo, I rarely went out, For my little head, I wear bonnets and hats and it suits me perfectly, despite the insistent looks I have never been ashamed of my hair loss, I told myself that it was the illness that inflicted this on me , that it was a difficult but temporary ordeal!! 3/ daily (sport, food & co) I have changed my diet, I do my best to eat healthier, I make sure to use “healthy” products for my skin And I intend to get back into sport soon, thanks to the help of “the league against cancer” What are the nugget phrases (that you remember) that someone said to you during K and that you could have avoided? Before chemo, I was treated to “Ah well, you had to have your hair cut this short, yet it hasn’t started to fall out! “ “Aah when I see what’s happening to you, I tell myself that my little setbacks aren’t so serious after all! You're out of luck eh!! “ “With chemo you will quickly lose weight,” and other small ones in the same genre that I preferred not to mention, because knowing myself, if I had answered it would have hurt, and above all I wanted to devote all my energy to my recovery and to bear the pain as best as possible. chemo, How did your loved ones support you? My parents were/are there, present at every stage, amazing! They stood firm with me, I know it cost them a lot to feel helpless in the face of the situation, when they saw me suffering after each chemo,, Their help makes my life a lot easier! my brothers also encouraged and supported me a lot, My sister-in-law helped me get through the mower stage, I wanted to keep control over what was happening to me, not let the illness take over, I didn't want to wake up in the morning with clumps of hair on the pillow so after the first chemo as soon as I felt my scalp becoming painful, the first hairs remained in my hand, I decided that it was time to shave my head, she accepted to do that for me, (a big thank you Pauline!) it was huge and emotionally violent and painful, once my head was bare I went to the bathroom mirror, I looked at myself, I exploded sobbing, looked in the mirror again and said to myself: “Lift your head! Now the fight begins, you're going to hang on and get this shit out!! “and there it was, I was determined as ever!! And what advice could you give to loved ones who accompany a K fighter? I will tell them that it's normal to not really know what to say, but the main thing is to take the step of simply being there, we don't need big speeches, but simply company like before, We is sick but we are still the person you knew! What would be the useful (internet) links that helped you during K? What helped me and still helps me now is a closed “Breast Cancer” group on Facebook, it allows me to exchange information with women who are going through the same thing, to support each other through this ordeal! What has the K changed in your life…? (for example: your vision of the world, your priorities, your essentials, refocusing those around you, in your work, your philosophy..?) It changed EVERYTHING! It brought me back to basics, the desire to enjoy the simple things in life, of my loved ones, to slow down, to trust myself more, to listen to myself, to think of my own good before that of others ( I tended to care more about others than myself,,) Paradoxically, even if everything relating to cancer is distressing, I, who was quite anxious and impulsive, am much more peaceful, this ordeal made me realize what I was capable of, who I was, my value (I had a tendency to underestimate myself,, Today it's over!!) I see life differently, it is precious and hangs by a thread Free field ;) tell us what you want (which may not have been in my questions): I would simply like to say to those who are currently fighting, to those for whom the diagnosis has unfortunately just fallen, that we each have our own way of taking the path towards healing, the priority is to listen to ourselves and our bodies, to believe strongly in his healing We are not machines so yes we are strong but there are also great moments of discouragement, loneliness, fatigue So believe strongly in yourself, and be patient, I never thought I would have so many resources! Visualize the goal, to heal! And then live again -------- Thank you again for this beautiful testimony Erika Lots of sweet positive thoughts and NEVER GIVE UP!! See you soon Charlotte<:>