Well, I was planning on waking up this blog, but this really wasn’t how I planned to do it. This really isn’t my best writing and I know my best friend will be cursing me and my appalling use of commas but…
In June, I went for my annual check up and my consultant and I decided that, something wasn’t right with my tummy. He felt it was probably the reconstruction damage beginning to show. He decided I would need a CT scan, I had two holidays booked, we negotiated. In late September I had my CT scan done. I was very brave and went on my own, actually they called and said “Can you come in now?” So I had no choice, but still I went. Thank the gods that I did.
On Wednesday 7th October I went to get my results. These Doctors really need to work on their acts, Paul and I both knew something was wrong the minute we walked into the room as there was another nurse waiting. Two nurses and one doctor is always a bad sign, just so you know. Bless him my Doc went through the pleasantries very fast and then showed me on the screen, “You don’t have a hernia.” Yay I thought in my head, but my brain was also thinking, why do you look so serious then? He started to point at some spots on the screen, “Unfortunately we found two lesions on your liver.”
Fuck, fuck, shit, shit… and words to that effect were uttered by me, as I slumped onto the desk and just thought about how only the night before I had been moaning about how fed up I was with all this medical stuff. Irony huh? My Doc was holding my hand and squeezing my arm, my hubby was holding my other hand, I was just sat there more than a little shell shocked.
As always my first thoughts were, so what do we do? We did a blood test, and my old chemo nurse was there, she was great and gave me a talking to. She could see I was feeling completely lost. She said “Amanda, look at me, we have ladies who are still with us ten years on, twenty years on from this. Every year they get better and better at this. You can’t think the worst yet.” She also told us that 15 years ago the consultant would have shook my hand and said goodbye, handing me over to the local hospice. Two big hugs later from my two nurses and I was walking out, tears pouring down my face. Poor sods waiting to go in after us, must have felt so encouraged….not.
The following Tuesday I met my new oncologist, and we discussed options, we discussed the future, we named the enemy. Last time it came back it was another primary cancer, this time it’s the bad one, this is metastatic breast cancer. You see breast cancer is a sneaky bugger, it likes to hide out in disguise and just when you least expect it start growing again. Once it hits your liver, bones or lungs it is no longer considered “curable” but is now manageable. Manageable sounds so simple, but this means chemo, and more chemo and more. Consultant asked if I could try to keep it to an episode every three years as it works better that way. Uh, if I had any say in this, I’d not be sat here now. I thought.
The good news is, my blood test showed that so far my liver function hasn’t been affected, which is a good place to be going into chemo. My next routine CT scan would not have been for two more years, imagine if the sneaky little buggers had carried on growing till then. Shudder.
So I start chemo again on 6th November, hopefully this drug will work. They will be able to tell if it works as I have I high tumour markers in my blood and these should go down. Chemo will go on for six cycles, each cycle is three weeks. All the usual side effects, although there is a chance my hair won’t fall out completely. But as my daughter pointed out “Mum, if you start being able to see your scalp through it, go bald. You look good bald.” Well there’s a relief. George’s comment was equally blasé “No using the I’ve got cancer card at home mum, three times is just taking the piss.” I’m glad they can still both make jokes. I’m keeping my eye on them.
I don’t want to discuss long term prospects yet, hate to tempt fate, will wait until we see what the tumour markers are doing, and the results from the bone scan I’ve yet to have. But I needed to write a longish post, and felt waking up the blog would help keep my facebook page from turning into the cancer patient page. So I shall try to do a weekly post here, and link to it from facebook. I like having a diary of what it going on, and it means folks can get all the info they might want without me having to say it over and over again.
A website I have found very reassuring…
So now this becomes a different type of game, now it’s siege tactics, I’m filling up the pots of boiling oil and preparing to repel invaders. I’m filling the moat with crocs, training dragons to sit on the towers, and being a good girl and drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fruit. We just need to dissolve the sneaky buggers in my liver.
This next part is for the ones who will want more medical detail…
Lesions are 5.5 x 5.5cm and 21 x 15mm.
My last CT scan before this was a year ago and was completely clear.
All the other organs they could see in this scan were clear.
I’m going to be taking Vinorelbine and will also be getting the white cell boosting injections for four days in the cycle (Yay for the really painful injections)