What a long day today has been. But good news…..
Today started setting out for our first hospital appointment at 8.30am at the County hospital. Mammogram and Ultra sound of the killer boob! Will upload pictures later. As you all know my boobies are very difficult to read – small, dense and camouflaged by cysts! But our lovely amazing radiographer managed to ultrasound and find the markers and the infected lymph nodes. And to our amazement – as I had of course prepared myself for the worse as this is my coping method – the 2 chemotherapy treatments have not been a waste of time. The mass of cells have considerably shrunk already! I had to ask her twice! Fantastic!
So then off to Colchester general…..
Popped in to Phlebotomy to get my bloods done for Gene testing – although result won’t be back for 6 months! I have been put forward for a clinical trial for this which will test for a whole lot of cancer genes and the common BRCA 1 and 2. Hopefully all will come back negative for my family and myself! Fingers crossed.
On to have heart scan – after 3 attempts we managed to get a vein – they are playing up. But the staff were lovely and very gentle – I have discovered that scan people are mostly happy in their work! It really helps people like me!
While waiting for the injection to circulate we popped up to West Bergholt Ward to deliver some chocolates to thank everyone for looking after me so well and a few quick hugs as you do! I hug a lot now – more than ever!
Then back downstairs for the heart scan – this was quite relaxing – again my visualisation of sunbathing in the Maldives came to help. Also met a lovely lady I knew from a while ago – she just so brightened my day even more – plus she’s actually been to the Maldives a few times!
Phil was allowed in this room as well which was nice for him – although we think the nuclear stuff played havoc with the car keys as they didn’t work afterwards! Bit of a panic but all sorted.
I will need this scan regularly for the Herceptin drug – this is because is can affect the heart, but this is usually temporary and can repair itself. Just to remind you that the Herceptin is different to chemo in the fact that it’s a targeted drug for the HER2+ protein – shouldn’t be too many side effects – but who knows with me! Usually given intravenously in hospital and every 3 weeks. All this will begin after surgery so will fill you in more later when I know more.
So that done we popped home for a quick lunch. Then back up to Essex County Hospital to meet with my Breast Consultant – Dr Arun Chakravorty and my breast nurse Morven to discuss the results of the management meeting today. The management meetings involve lots of medical staff – oh I so wanted to be a fly on the wall today.
Unfortunately running an hour late but that was ok. He took time to talk to us and explain things. Now we have a few options. Decisions decisions. The priority is to remove the remaining cancer as soon as possible. This means I have no choice and have to have a lymph dissection in my right arm pit – this is actually what I am most worried about because of the side effects. This is because the cancer is grade 3 and HER2+ spreadable. Also to have some sort of boob op.
I am so not attached to the killer boob – would like them both just to go for reassurance but the risk of infection, length of op and recovery time makes me wonder. As the cysts work as camouflage this is a problem too with future checking! So much to consider. The op for a single mastectomy is 4 1/2 hours! Bilateral is 8 hours! Such a bigger risk.
Because the cancer has shrunk I may now have the option of a lumpectomy and radiotherapy. But with this option I would always be wondering if the lumps and bumps were anything cancerous – I would be a nervous wreck each year! But the pro is I would recover much quicker. My mind is in overdrive now! I am not good at decisions anyway!
Really don’t know what to do now. So it’s left that Dr Chakravorty is going away and will look more indepthly at my mammograms – measurements etc etc and weigh it all up. We will do a bit of reading and thinking. We are booked to go back to discuss in more detail next Tuesday.
We have some time as op cannot be for at least 3-4 weeks and all depends on my body recovering enough. Plus needs the chemo out of my system. So no mad rush which is good. Plus down the line when we get the gene testing back that would change everything if positive – lots of options. Very difficult time ahead but hope this helps to fill you all in a little of what we are going through.
So overall a really good positive day – certainly productive!
Then to top it off I receive a package with a beautiful painting of Cornwall – I fell in love with Cornwall last year for those of you that didn’t know – thank you Rachel Allen for the painting and Kathy Burbridge for organising – I absolutely love it so much!
And now I’m off to attempt to make some pizza dough! And tomorrow me and Phil hope to get to go to see Theory of a Deadman gig! Got to keep the bald wife happy as happiness cures!
Love to you all and thank you for your continued support xxxxxxxxxx