Breast Cancer Fight: Second Chemotherapy and Herceptin Jab Session
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
1M ago
My session for adjuvant chemotherapy and Herceptin jab second cycle {Tue 27 Jan 2022} commenced much better than the first.  I took my Dexamethasone pills {8mg} correctly for the 3 days for a start, and the session itself went quite ok. I thought it might end a bit earlier than the first session but since I had to get the scalp cooling cap fitted properly again, it took about the same duration.  The nurses informed me that not all of them are trained for scalp cooling cap fitting so I had to wait until about 11+am before one of the trained nurses arrived at the Chemo Ba ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: First Chemotherapy and Herceptin Jab Session
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
1M ago
My first adjuvant chemotherapy and Herceptin jab cycle {Mon 5 Dec 2022} did not start off right. Le sigh. Firstly, I had set my phone alarm to remind me to take my Dexamethasone pills in the morning of the day before my first session, but I still forgot and went out to exercise so took it later in the afternoon when I returned... and pushed back the second dose too.   Secondly, I accidentally took only ONE pill {4mg} for the first 3 doses and only realised I was supposed to take TWO pills {8mg} each time during my chemo session oops... it was because I was booked for 2 chemo ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: Tips to Manage Chemotherapy Side Effects at Home
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
1M ago
Possible side effects from chemotherapy are hair loss, nausea and/or vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, mouth ulcers, fatigue, numbness, fever or infections. Each patient reacts to chemotherapy differently so it's hard to say which side effects will affect me or how severe I will get them. Many side effects go away fairly quickly, but some might take months or even years to go away completely. These are called late effects.  Sometimes the side effects can last a lifetime, such as when chemo causes long-term damage to the heart, lungs, kidneys, or reproductive organs o(TヘTo)  On ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: Exercise After Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction {First 4 Weeks}
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
1M ago
Recovery after a surgery does not mean staying in bed all day. Actually, physical activity is just as important as rest to aid in recovery and can ease treatment-related side effects {e.g. fatigue, pain, depression, lymphedema} and reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence, as well as the risk of developing breast cancer in the first place. This is supported by my doctors.  In fact, the day after my mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries, they called in the hospital physiotherapist to come teach me some specific exercises to keep the range of motion in my shoulder and arm ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: Blood Test and Echocardiogram for Chemotherapy and Herceptin Jabs
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
1M ago
Chemotherapy is no doubt, brutal on the body. Cancer cells tend to grow fast, and chemo drugs kill the fast-growing tumour cells. However, the drugs don't just target the cancer cells, but also affect normal, healthy cells that are fast-growing too. The damage to these healthy cells cause side effects, which can be rather severe. That's why before each chemotherapy cycle, I need to do a blood test to check that I'm healthy enough to go through the cycle. The blood test will check my complete blood count {red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets} is at healthy levels, and my kidneys ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: Chemotherapy - What to Expect
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
1M ago
In NUH, they have a patient-nurse buddy system for cancer patients. These "nurse navigators" offer practical and emotional support to cancer patients and their families.  I met my friendly nurse navigator, Nurse Meera, on Tue 28 Nov, the same day I did the first blood test and echocardiography for my adjuvant chemotherapy and Herceptin jabs treatment plan. We talked for about an hour at the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore {NCIS}.  Nurse Meera went into the nitty gritty of what I needed to do before, during, and after each chemotherapy cycle... as well as the possi ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: Surgical Drains Removal After Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
2M ago
After what seems like a very long time, I finally got to remove my surgical drain after nearly 3 weeks during my visit with Dr Jane on Wed 16 Nov 2022! *throws confetti*  Surgical drains are tubes inserted into the soft tissue of your breast after surgery to help drain excess fluids that build up inside your body. This fluid is normal and fills the space where breast tissue was removed during surgery. If not drained properly, excess fluid may misshapen implants, cause infections, and other complications.  Drains are left in until the fluid output reaches a low level. This is usua ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: Adjuvant Chemotherapy and Herceptin Injections After Mastectomy
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
2M ago
Every time I go to the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore {NCIS} to meet Dr Samuel, it is always so terribly crowded. My appointment with him on Mon 14 Nov 2022 was at 3pm, so I registered via the OneNUHS app around 2pm, and we arrived there at 2.45pm. Lil Pumpkin came with us this time as she had her science enrichment class in the evening and we wanted to send her to class after my appointment.  I did my heart-rate and blood pressure screening, then waited until 3.40pm to see Dr Samuel. While waiting, 2 students/ research assistants?? approached me to take part in their ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: Fat Necrosis and Prolonged Skin Discolouration Due to Dye?
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
2M ago
I met Dr Mikael about 1.5 weeks after I was discharged for my mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgeries {read about part 1 and part 2} on Tue 8 Nov 2022 at NUH Breast Care Centre. Registered via the OneNUHS app early about 8.30am, but still saw him around the appointment time at 9.50am. He was assisted by Nurse Zhenna today.  He started off by telling me briefly that the Surgical Pathological Report shows that the cancer has not spread beyond the breast area into my sentinel lymph nodes, so that is good and it is likely pathological Stage 1 cancer.  Even then, as my breast ..read more
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Breast Cancer Fight: Skin Discolouration and Tiny Lump After Surgery
Sakura Haruka
by Ai Sakura
2M ago
My first appointment with Dr Jane after being discharged from the hospital was supposed to be on Fri 4 Nov 2022. However, as I noticed some skin discolouration {faint blue-black} and tiny lump {0.5cm?} below my nipple on Tue 1 Nov 2022, I emailed Dr Jane and Nurse Jessica from the Aesthetics Plastic Surgery Clinic with a picture to ask if it was ok. I wasn't too worried over it that I wanted to go in for an emergency visit, but just disturbed enough that I had to ask.  I had kind of noticed the lump in the hospital but it seemed a bit more obvious at home maybe because I changed out o ..read more
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