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Cancer


Kitty

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I would love to hear from Forum members who have been touched by cancer to share experiences (by PM, email or on this Forum).  I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer and shall be having surgery next week in Bordeaux.

I have been in touch with Cancer Support France by the way, who are an amazing bunch of volunteers.

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Cathy, I was touched by your post. Just wanted to send my best wishes for successful treatment. I have a friend who had breast cancer and had the most wonderful treatment - in Bordeaux actually ! - and it was quick and she was looked after so well. So I am sure you are in the best place to be receiving this treatment.

Big hugs .... all the best ... I wish you well

Nectarine
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Awful news Cathy, I dread haring it.  On a brighter note.  One of our employees wives had breast cancer a few years back and has been clear for a good few years.  One of my best friends mothers had a double mastectomy, this was 20 years ago and she is still going strong.  She's a very northern woman, big and brash.

Don't know if this helps, just hope it helps you stay positive.  Good luck.

Ian

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My dearest Cathy

There are lots and lots of us in here, rooting for you and wishing you well.

Just get that treatment and start your recovery.........

If you do want to talk about what it feels like, don't be afraid to tell us.  And, if you just want to tell us AFTER the op and other treatment, we will still be here and thinking of you and sending you all our powerful, good thoughts for your recovery.

I know how brave and practical you are and you do know, don't you, that if you need any sort of practical help, we are a mere couple of hours away.

Allez...........overcome, get well and don't forget, you want to do that Compostelle that Gem and I went on, remember?

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A close relative was diagnosed, operated on and had a gruelling course of chemotherapy in a Lyon hospital three years ago.

Regular follow-ups since have been clear.

If I may, I would like to mention Nicola Jane, where I used to work when I lived in England (I have no other connection with them).

Their product range and customer service are excellent. They used to have a French catalogue, but I would suggest you stick to their UK catalogue.

Best wishes.

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Something we all dread Cathy, but as others have said, usually with a good prognosis.

Strange coincidence though - I've just made an appt. for a breast xray this pm - going next week.

Thinking of you and will say a prayer - Pat x

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good luck Cathy - you will be in my thoughts

I offer my support as you start on your journey - I had my op in the UK in September and start my radio therapy tomorrow

there is a very good websight forum in the UK which is the largest and most active community for people affected by breast cancer .

www.breastcancercare.org.uk/community .  I know it offers info about the UK system but the folk on the forum will have the same problems as folk in France.

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We are avid supporters both of the Cancer Support Group both within France and particularly here in the Vendee.

We have a Scots friend who is very doughty and she has had gone through the mill twice. She is now cleared and coming to lunch here on Friday.

With a combination of your own approach and God's help you will get there.

We send our very best wishes
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Cathy,

It sounds as though you are in the right place for treatment, and indeed, I think cancer treatment is one of those things France does very well indeed.  I too have friends recovered from the nastie beastie  - so good luck and bon courage.

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Wow - how lovely you all are.  I was really nervous about telling you.  It has been a scary time.  When you first hear, you just assume that it is a death sentence and with all the children that I am responsible for, I was worried for them.  I also nursed my father, my brother and my mother right to the end with cancer, but with each of themm their cancer was found out very late.

Now I have learned that there is a really good rate of survival because mine was caught early (I think) through the breast screening programme that is undertaken in France and in the UK.  So all you folks out there who have had a letter inviting you for a mammogram, get on with it. [:P]  I left my letter on the horizontal filing cabinet (my table) for a couple of months and didn't go for the recall for another 2.5 months, not realising how important it was.

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Cathy I'm so sorry to hear your news but as you say, the breast screening programme in France (don't know about the UK) is absolutely spot on. And you are quite right to remind us all to take up the invitation for a mammogram which is so important.

You have so many people rooting for you here on the Forum and the love of your family will help you through what must be a very difficult time.

xxx Gem

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Hi Cathy, so sorry to hear your news but hang on in there, as you say the diagnosis and treatment here is first-class.

I've lived with my particular form of cancer for almost 30 years now - well all my life actually, just diagnosed that long ago.  I was given 5 years and I'm still here by a combination of doing what the doctors said, volunteering for every new project there was and is (shortly to go one another experimental treatment as part of an international project being managed from France) and in short, being bloody-minded.  Read everything you can about it and please, don't be afraid to ask questions of the specialists, if they're anything like my guy at Haut Leveque in Bordeaux, they'll be brilliant.

There's a great advert on UK television atm for Macmillan Cancer and it's based around the concept of 'today's a day without cancer'.  You're sounding as tho you're still in the earlier coming to terms with it phase but after the treatment and when you're feeling fitter and can see the future clearly again, I promise you that every day without cancer is just brilliant and something to focus on.

Both my parents died of cancer, my father because he left his prostate cancer too long, even tho it runs in the family and my mother because she didn't believe the doctor when he told her that smoking was the cause of the throat cancer she had and that stopping then would give her a better - 75% - chance of survival but she didn't listen.

Good luck is such a lame thing to say but this IS something you can fight and as it's caught early, something that can be dealt with.

Bloody minded is good, my last specialist in the UK actually called me a stubborn bas***d, let it know that you control it, it doesn't control you !!!

Where are you going for treatment?  If it's Haut Leveque, they're brilliant, in all my time with this condition it's the best treatment I've ever had and the doctors and nurses I see there actually do seem to care.

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[quote user="Tony F Dordogne"]Where are you going for treatment?  [/quote]

My surgeon is based at Institut Bergonie and at Clinique Tivoli, both in Bordeaux.

Your words are inspirational, Tony.  I know that you have had an additional torrid time after the terrible car accident.

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Our very best wishes, we will be thinking of you. I have just returned from my second visit to hospital for tests for 'C' but in the pancreas and I am so impressed with the amount of tests they have carried out. I'm sure you will be fine as it's been caught early, you are in the best place for treatment and aftercare.

This may be of some use to you, whilst in hospital I was bored out of my head, fortunately I'd taken a notebook and pen with me and decided to write a diary. I wrote down every little detail and there are some very funny moments especially with the language ie 'avez vous un ka ka, avez vous un pet! (don't know if that's how it's spelt) anyhow after controlling my fit of laughing I taught the frenchies that we call it a poo or a number two and a fart (am I allowed to say that on this forum?) I refer to the two ladies that come in the middle of the night to take blood samples as the vampire nurses and then the other two that arrive around 4:30 am who float in fiddle with my drip bottles and float out again as the phantom nurses in the end I couldn't be bothered to say bonjour as it led into a conversation so I pretended to be sleeping letting out the odd grunt when my hand was checked over.

Doing this not only passed the time but gave the OH a laugh when he read it and my friends since I've been home but it is also an insight for anyone who like me is terrified of going into hospital. I think everyone must remember that 'C' is not a death sentence although I think it's probably the first thing that goes through everyone's mind.

One more thing, remember the OHs go through it as well they may well hide it but believe me they feel it so if you can get someone to make sure they are OK please do so. Fortunately my french neighbour looked after mine.

Signing off now before you all drop off to sleep!

Again, best wishes to you and your family, Chris xx
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Chris (Knee Gell) - I was unable to say the word 'cancer' for a few days.  I just told the children that I had a growth, for instance.  Then I was in a UK charity shop and decided to buy a pink breast cancer ribbon.  My 11 year old son said in a loud voice so all the customers could hear: 'Why are you buying one of those when you have breast cancer?".  So that incident enabled me to say the 'C' word.

Good luck with your tests.

Patf - Thank you for asking.  My youngest is now 11.  I think that I have sorted out all the children, including my daughter with severe learning difficulties.  People have stepped forward to help.  Times like this do seem to bring out the best in people.  It is very comforting to be surrounded by such warmth.

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