In the interests of updating you all…
I felt pretty well and almost normal (!) this week, and we made the most of it, ignoring the looming presence of chemo 2 on Friday. Jubilee tastic Monday and Tuesday which was great. Dan and I were both very upset on Tuesday morning but celebrations for the old girl Liz were a well timed distraction, and of course catching up with friends is always the best.
My hair began to fall out on Sunday and the volumes coming out increased throughout Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday so it’s definitely off packing up ready for its holiday.
We had a very positive Oncology appointment on Wednesday. Having had a few weeks to digest the situation now, we had a few questions and the answers we got really made us feel more upbeat about the whole process.
– My reaction to chemo 1 is unusual and while feeling nauseous is standard, vomiting isn’t. So an overhaul of the anti-sickness drug schedule for me which should mean an easier ride following chemo 2. Again it’s trial and error and we won’t know if it works until it does, or doesn’t, but much easier going in for more treatment knowing the next week shouldn’t be as awful as it was last time.
– My blood test – which you have prior to each chemo to check you’re well enough to proceed – was spot on, which is great.
– After a brief examination, the oncologist thinks there is a reduction in the size of the tumours already which is fantastic. Mammogram and ultrasound is booked for June 15th to check for sure.
– We asked how long the tumours have been there – apparently we’ll never know, though as I had a scan a year ago which was clear then any sizeable mass has been there for less than that time.
– Causes – all the usual causes which are known and common don’t apply in my case, and indeed things that are thought to lower your risk such as breast feeding don’t appear to for me, so it’s just one of those things.
– One or two problems stemming from treatment should not be as bad as had previously been suggested. There is a slight increased risk of osteoporosis but not a huge increase.
– Chances of recurrence of this or of other cancers appearing are highest within the first two years of diagnosis. I will be closely monitored for the first 5 years and then still monitored up to 10 years following diagnosis, so if anything else pops up it should be caught early.
– My having breast cancer at such a young age will increase the risk of Tilly getting it later, but only by a smidge. There is no family history prior to my case so I am not carrying on a genetic predisposition, nor am I starting one.
– We’ll meet with the oncologist or her registrar prior to each chemo which is a good opportunity for questions and updates.
So all in all a good meeting with positive outcomes, especially about Tilly’s future risks – phew!