If Only

Swimming despite central line

Nearly 12 months ago I had a Hickman line fitted for salvage chemo aimed at stem cell transplant. I discovered afterwards that I shouldn’t swim or even splash around in a swimming pool with my grandchildren nor do exercise which...

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Looking after nails

Painting nails during chemotherapy When I went to my first chemotherapy session, the nurse looked at my nails and said: “You know, if you paint your finger and toe nails the darkest colour you can bear, your nails may not fall...

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Dental care

I happened to visit my dentist shortly before starting chemotherapy, so I mentioned this fact to her. She gave me a lot of good advice re mouth care and some special toothpaste to use all the time I was on chemo. As a result I...

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Coping with hair loss

Many people lose some or all of their hair during chemotherapy treatment. Hats, scarves, turbans, wigs – there’s a lot of choice, both to keep warm and avoid being stared at. Living Tree members coped as follows: Scarves and...

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Tietze’s syndrome

I had breast cancer 2 years ago. Six months later I had a new pain at the front… I was seen at the hospital by one of the breast team who recognised it straight away as Tietze’s syndrome – inflammation of the cartilage between...

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Scar tissue

When I had my lumpectomy plus level 2 clearance of lymph nodes under one arm, I finished up with a very raggedy, tight feeling scar which I am now told may be contributing to my lymphoedema. None of the doctors ever said that it...

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Nausea caused by tamoxifen

The first few weeks of taking my daily dose of tamoxifen I felt sick most of the day. I asked the oncologist. He recommended taking half the dose in the morning and the other half at night. I did this and the nausea went away....

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Breast lymphoedema

I had to have a lumpectomy and a partial (level 2) lymph node clearance. The affected breast almost doubled in size right after the operation. Initially I was told some swelling was to be expected. When the swelling didn’t...

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