• I have finished my last chemo. What should I expect now?

    Asked by Mbrame37052 on Friday, January 11, 2013

    I have finished my last chemo. What should I expect now?

    14 Answers from the Community

    14 answers
    • Nomadicme's Avatar

      My experience was very much like Jenny miller's. It takes a while for hair to grow back, much longer than anticipated. It takes a long time to look/feel "normal" again (you have to embrace your new normal). Every pain will freak you out thinking it's cancer. You will feel alone as there's not as much contact with Drs and nurses post active treatment.

      DO join a support group, as knowing you're not alone helps tremendously. Self pity is your biggest enemy. In Atlanta some of the resources are amazing, from yoga classes, cooking classes, painting.

      Do try to get active as soon as possible in any way you can. That is the best way to combat weakness, muscle loss, and depression.

      For the good parts now :). You can focus on healing, working out, growing hair, reconstruction. Ive taken trips i always thought id have time for, but since im not so sure anymore im embracing more. ive also grown closer to my family.

      Just don't expect it to be like life pre diagnosis, it wont be (maybe years later? I'm 1 yr 4 months post chemo, feel far from what used to be normal).

      I wouldn't get the mastectomy in the other breast. If and when cancer happens in the other breast you'll deal with it. Monitoring your other breast means that whatever happens it will be caught early. And remember the danger is not from a local tumor, the danger is from metastasis. I'd aks for MRI yearly, insist on it. My experience was that a mammogram only showed traces of DCIS activity in one quadrant of my breast, and the MRI revealed over 70% of the breast tissue compromised! (A stage II tumor was not revealed by the mammogram!). Insist on having an MRI for those reasons (mammogram poor imaging, MRI excellent). If the Drs don't want to (they're told to minimize costs based on probability scenarios) you WRITE a letter documenting that you asked and ARE asking for an MRI, noting that you're leaving a copy with your family. This should put the fear of you know what in them and get you what
      you need. As long as the MRIs show nothing, you can take that to the bank.

      Congratulations on being done. All the best!

      about 7 years ago
    • speedy's Avatar

      My last chemo was in Sept. I did not have a port . I had reconstructive surgery 6 weeks later and just a week ago nipple reconstruction. I need an MRI in 3 years to make sure the implants are ok. I still have just a little neuropathy left in my feet & ankles. I'll see the oncologist in 2 weeks. I also have appointments with the breast surgeon every 3 month.

      about 7 years ago
    • MsScribe's Avatar

      I had a bi lat mastectomy at 50 even though only one breast had cancer in it. Insurance paid and they were done at the same time. Mine were radical, so no skin left, but I had expanders placed in and eventually silicone implants. I felt I would worry the rest of my life if I had left my other breast on and I wanted them to match. I am very happy with my decisions. My husband says they look like boobs to him!

      I ended up having 6 minor surgeries to make the implants look more beast-like, add nipples and reduce the scars. Talk with your oncologist...have you considered genetic testing to help you evaluate your risk factors? Is there a family history? Are you a person who worries anyway? Are you a pragmatist? All these will come into play in your final decision.

      Check back on the forum for more of our thoughts at any point. nancyjac and I are regulars :-)

      about 7 years ago

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