Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Is no news good news?

I had an appointment with my Oncologist today to discuss the next lot of treatments, which went well, and rather surprisingly, started on time! It was a huge relief to be sitting in the waiting area of what is effectly, the chemo ward, and not be waiting for someone to call my name to take me through for more poison....

Still no MRI results though, which is frustrating as I was desperately hoping for some good news by now. Apparently it's the surgical team (and my lovely surgical consultant) that have to contact me, so perhaps I'll get a letter with an appointment booked by the weekend.....

A couple of ups and downs today - the up being that I can start Tamoxifen "when I like" but of course, within reason - sometime in the next couple of weeks. This doesn't sound like much of an "up" but my joint pain has been much worse today, not to mention my cold/cough (thank you children), so any excuse to delay taking more pills quite frankly, is a good thing.

For the downs - apparently I didn't pay much attention when we discussed Herceptin. I had assumed that it would be every 4 weeks for a year, i.e. 12 doses. Not so - it is 17 doses, so one every 3 weeks for a year. Bugger. Oh yes, and I should expect some joint pain as well.... Bugger.

However, I keep telling myself: "at least I'm going to be given it at all". It isn't offered to everyone, and particularly bearing in mind my "heart issue", I'm lucky that they'll give it to me at all. I will do anything to myself stop cancer coming back, so I'll just have to get on with it, scary or not.

I am slightly proud of myself this week though, even though it's a small thing.

I've been having injections in my tummy to increase the white blood cells by encouraging the bone marrow to generate more. Well, I had to do the injection myself yesterday, and despite a bit of whinging and moping about it to start with, I did it. Without fainting. Or being sick. I even did it again today.

This is a huge result, not only for me but for my poor long suffering husband who has had to pin me down the last few times.......

Small steps, but I feel pleased with myself nonetheless.

I'm back up to the hospital for a CT scan tomorrow to help plan my RT, and will report back in due course. Thank goodness for free parking is all I can say!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Chemo - Done.

Said in the typical style of Ched Gordon Ramsey.

I feel like hell (and am suddenly very sympathetic to the biggest child who has been complaining of a sore throat all week (ahem, ooops), but I am also very relived.

Phase 1 over. Now to chase up my Tamoxifen and Herceptin start dates. Whooppee.......

Well, maybe after I've had a sleep.

Everything aches, and my heart is racing, so it really is time to sign off for a few days and take it easy. I've got a feeling this chemo is going to go out like a lion, not a lamb. Very unseasonal....

So, not that you'll notice the difference as I've been so sporadic in my posting really, but "night night" and see you in a few days!

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

MRI's are LOUD!

I was expecting it to be loud, but had no idea it would be like a jackhammer going off next to me. Hey ho. Earplugs were provided, and I was v grateful to have them!

Other than being a wuss as I didn't realise I'd have to have a jab/infusion with a reactor during the MRI it went well. I cannot get over how amazing these machines are. Am very grateful for the money the NHS is spending on me. 

I won't get the results for 7-10 days, possibly two weeks, so will be keeping my fingers crossed. I do wish it had been a whole body MRI - would be nice to be entirely sure that there is nothing else going on.

I also survived my last "routine" blood test - apparently they aren't needed before Herceptin infusions, so that is a big plus Just got to survive the actual infusions!

For some reason I got really upset before and during the blood test again. Totally stupid, but the chemo ward was full of really v sick people yesterday (to my uneducated mind) so I guess it all got to me a bit. I reallly really really don't want to end up back in there having more chemo. Ever. What will be will be I suppose, but I'd give anything to stay cancer free.

Bargaining - does that mean I'm still in denial?

In other news, the biggest has what sounds like croup, so I'll need to talk about that with my team tomorrow. The smallest has also started coughing up phlegm, but isn't croupy, so all in all if I have to catch something I think I'd prefer his bug. 

Can I go and stay in a spa for a month please?

Will report back after tomorrow's chemo. Remembered to start taking steroids today, and I am so pleased I won't be having them any more. 

Trying to keep my chin up, but I have so many mixed feelings about tomorrow it's hard to describe let alone explain. 

Stiff upper lip. I will be fine, and all that jazz.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Tiredness and Low Blood Pressure

Is it possible for one to cause the other, regardless of which way round?

Chemo 5 has been average, other than the tiredness and dizziness - my husband and I both fell asleep during the session again, and I'm sure that the nurses have a bet on as to whether we'll doze through the Taxotere 3 times in a row.

The joint pain wasn't as bad this time round, which was a relief - it also possibly shows that I was far more run down before my last session that anyone realised. I am ridiculously week though, and my muscles ache at the slightest hint of "hard work".

I'm sure that this ridiculous weather doesn't help either - it has been so very very cold. The horses started to moult, then changed their minds, and the children have made an amazing amount of use of their ski suits - they have at least allowed me to get out and have some fresh air! They are possibly a bit too fit though, as I was so cold and tired the other day after 3 hours outside I had to beg them and bribe them to go indoors again.....

I know that it's meant to be the start of Spring, but is it too late for me to start hibernating? I could sleep for a month.

I met the Radiotherapy consultant last week - he's lovely, very friendly, and very positive, which was nice. He wasn't going to use RT on my neck (where there are lots and lots and lots of remaining lymph nods), and I'm just under the "cut off" point - usually, 4 postive lymph nodes would automatically mean that the neck would be included in the "zapping", but 3 of course is just under. So, I've begged, and if when I have the planning scan, which is in a CT scanner, they are confident that they can give my Neck RT as well as chest wall, without catching too much lung (risk of lung scarring) then my neck can be done too.

Hopefully the consultant didn't think I was mad for asking for it to be done, but just in case I can't have all my doses of Herceptin I need to know that we have covered as many bases as possible.

So, chemo number 6 next week. Gulp. 

I'm torn between wanting to celebrate and just wanting to curl up in a ball and hide. I certainly don't think I'm going to do much after Wednesday (which is chemo day) other than curl up in bed and watch old episodes of Lovejoy.

I honestly think I am relieved - certainly when I talk to others who are just about to start their chemo journey I'm bloody glad I am where I am. I guess I just need to concentrate on the next part of the process, focus on getting through that, then ditto with the next treatment.....

In the meantime, perhaps I'll just sleep...............