Thursday, 20 December 2007

Happy Flamin' Christmas

As you'll know from my previous post, I had an echo heart scan, on Monday.
Today, I was told that the images they got weren't clear enough to work out my LVEF (left ventricula ejection fraction). And without my LVEF score, the drug company who manufacture Tykerb/lapatinib (GlaxoSmithKline), wont accept me onto the trial.
The plan was to start treatment today. It seems things never go according to plan.

I now have to wait for another echo (with contrast, this time), before I can start any treatment.
They wont do a muga scan, because it isn;t approved for that hospital. And if it's going to be done, it has to be done at the hospital where the trial's running. How stupid!
I could easily go get one done somewhere else. But no.. let's make life even more difficult for you, because that's just what you need!
How long will I be waiting?
How long's a piece of string?
It's christmas, isn't it. So I can't imagine it's going to be soon.

And while all this waiting's going on, I feel sick most of the time, can't eat much at all (I don't know if this is side-effects of the wbr - though I'm pretty sure the nausea side-effects should have passed by now - or if it's down to the cancer. It started quickly, and it seems to be worsening quickly), have lost half a stone in 2 weeks, and the pain in my liver area's getting worse.
It's all pretty damn scary, I can tell you.

Meanwhile, amidst the waiting, while I'm not having any treatment, the cancer appears to be having it's very own christmas party, in my body.
Speaking to a rushed and flustered oncologist today, who virtually ran into the consulting room, threw results at me, and ran out again (after waiting almost 3 hours, of course), it felt like a series of bombs going off, in my little world..

"You can't start the trial.. or any treatment, for that matter.. because the photos we tried to get of your heart, aren't pretty enough" ... *BOOM!*

"There's further disease progression in your bones" ... *BOOM!*

"You now also have a 1.7cm tumour in your lung" (previous to this, my lungs have been 'clear') ... *BOOM!*

"The biggest tumour in your liver, that was believed, only a couple of weeks ago, to be 3cm, measures 6cm on the CT scan" ... *BOOOOM!*

If anyone would like to throw any more shit at me, this festive season, now is the time!

So I have the whole collection now. Breast cancer that's spread to my bones, liver, lungs, and brain.
It's becoming increasingly difficult to remain hopefull. This cancer's relentless. Things aren't looking great.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

I'll Be Glowing in the Dark Soon

The whole brain radiation ended two weeks ago, and passed quite uneventfully.
Since then, however, my hair's fallen out (we shaved the remainder off, a couple of days ago. I looked like the stereotypical cancer patient, with wispy, moth-eaten hair. And I was leaving a trail of hair everywhere), and I've been very tired.. sleeping for 10-12 hours per night, and falling asleep in the day, too. I'm hoping that's a side-effects of the WBR, rather than an effect of the cancer.

Tomorrow, I'll be having the last of four sessions of radiotherapy to my pelvis, to hopefully help with bone pain.

It's been a very busy four weeks, with having to visit hospital almost every day. And some days, having to flit between Sheffield and Nottingham hospitals.
It feels very much like all my life is about now, is cancer and hospitals. And I've been doing some serious soul-searching about it all, recently.

Yesterday, I had a bone scan (more radiation.. I'll be glowing soon!) and CT scan, at Nottingham City hospital. And on Monday, I'll be having a heart scan.
All these are to decide whether I'm suitable for the Tykerb/lapatinib trial.
If I am suitable, and I'm accepted onto the trial, I should be starting treatment next Thursday.. just in time for christmas!
Talking of which, this is the third christmas in a row, I've been bald. Still, I'd rather be bald and alive, than be dead with beautiful hair!

I hope this chemo wont make me ill for christmas.
I'm all too aware that this could well be my last christmas, and I don't want to spend it being ill, in bed.

Friday, 23 November 2007

The Hardest Part of this, is Leaving You

Not alot to report today..

No real side-effects from the whole brain radiotherapy yet, apart from my head feeling a bit more 'fuzzy' again, and being a bit more tired than usual.. Probably a combination of the radiotherapy, and travelling to hospital and back, every day.
I'm four treatments in, with another five to go, next week. At least I get the weekend off!

So I'm just going to leave you with a Youtube link, to the My Chemical Romance song, 'Cancer'.
I'm not really a My Chemical Romance fan, but this song says some of what I've felt for a while, and I kind of like it..
My Chemical Romance - 'Cancer'

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Liver Scan Results

I arrived at my radiotherapy appointment, to be told my onc wanted to see me first. So I knew something was up.

Half an hour in the onc's office, and I now know there's 'disease progression' in my liver.
A 3cm tumour, and a cluster of smaller tumours, in a different area to before, which isn;t the greatest news ever.

My onc's already spoken to the Dr running the Tykerb/lapatinib trial at Nottingham, who's going to send for me, for scans, hopefully before christmas.
If I'm accepted onto the trial, it'll start just after christmas. From the sounds of it, it's a randomised trial, so I may or may not get lapatinib. But I will get capecitabine, regardless.
My onc said ideally, he'd have started me on capecitabine, the week after I finish rads, but that would make me ineligible for the trial. But he also strongly feels I should have Tykerb, and waiting a few more weeks shouldn't make much difference.

I have to come off the steroids before I can be considered for the Tykerb trial. I'm only on 2mg per day at the minute, and I'll be 'weaning' myself off them, over the next 10 days. 2mg for the next 2 days.. 1mg for 4 days, and 0.5mg for 4 days.. then stop.
If I start getting headaches, or other side-effects, I have to start taking them again.

Then we had the "There's only so many more things we can try" talk. And that there comes a time when treatment will have to end. Which I obviously knew. But hearing it come out of my doctors mouth makes it seem more 'real', somehow.
But he also stressed that capecitabine had wildy varying results, with different people.. from not working at all, to keeping mets under control for a few years.

Again, I'm SO glad I changed oncs.
It's taken just two days to get liver scan results. And in that time, my onc's done all he can to get me the treatment he feels I need, at another hospital.
Unfortunately, that would probably mean that my main care would be overseen by a different onc (Dr Steve Chan), at Nottingham hospital. But my onc also said I (or my family) can phone him anytime, if I needed anything at all, or if I wasn't happy with anything. And I can go back under his care whenever I want.

I'm feeling an odd mix of emotions at the minute.
On one hand, I'm feeling very deflated and quite hopeless.. Because of the scan results.. Because I have to wait and see if I can get Tykerb.. Because I just have to wait, and I want to get on with things asap.
But 'glad' (if that's the right word) my onc's being so proactive, and that he really does seem to care.
He almost made me cry today, saying he doesn't care who I want to treat me.. he'll refer me anywhere. He just cares about me, and that I'm getting the right treatment.

He said out of all the people, he wouldn't have expected it to be me sitting there, at 31 years old, in the situation I'm in.
And he onc genuinley looked sad. Like a friend would, rather than a doctor.

Mostly, to be honest, I'm feeling deflated now.
My head's feeling more fuzzy, which is probably a mix of radiotherapy effects, and everything else that's whizzing around in there.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Liver Scan & Radiotherapy

Yesterday, I had a liver scan.
The last one I had was in August, and showed that the cancer was being kept at bay.
However, there were "findings" on yesterdays scan. The biggest of which appeared to be 2.5cm. So I'm assuming there were more.

The person who did the scan wouldn't be any more specific, and said they'd have to compare this scan, with the previous one, before I'd get the official results (which should be next Tuesday, when I see the onc). But it would seem that my liver mets are growing again. And so, it looks like I'll be having chemo for christmas, for the third year in a row.
I was really hoping not to be this christmas. I'm all too aware it could well be my last christmas, and I'd hoped to be able to enjoy it as best I could, with my family and friends, without chemo side-effects.
I could put the treatment off until after christmas, but that would just give the cancer more time to run riot, and I don't want to die yet.

I'm trying to find out if I'll be able to get on the Tykerb/Tyverb/Lapatinib trial.
This drug is as yet unlicensed in the UK, and is only available through trials at certain hospitals.
The trial isn't running at my hospital (Weston Park), but it is at some other hospitals, and my onc says he'll look into it for me.. I hope he does, and quickly.

Today, I went for my 'whole brain radiation' planning session.
I didn't expect treament to start today, but it did. So I've had the first of nine radiotherapy sessions to my brain. I'll get a zapping every day (but not at the weekend), and it'll finish next Friday.
I'll probably be starting chemo the week after that.

There's a whole list of possible side-effects, that come with whole brain radiotherapy, including confusion, tiredness, trouble sleeping, vision problems, dizziness, disorientation, confusion (what? I already said that? It's starting already!!), sickness, some syndrome that can kick in about 6 weeks afterwards (just in time for christmas!) and makes you sleep all the time, and various other lovely sounding things.
I'll also most likely be bald again, and my hair may or may not grow back, after a few months.
Side-effects can start anytime between now, and weeks after radiotherapy's ended. And can last for months.
I'm hoping I'll escape with as few effects as possible, and I'm really hoping I'll stay well enough to stay at home.. preferably on my own. I'm not into the whole being babysat thing. I appreciate that there are people who want to help, but I also want to keep as much independence as possible.

I must give praise to my hospital, for todays performance..
The letter said that the planning session could take a "considerable amount of time".
Now then, when a hospital actually tells you it could to take a long time, you expect to be there all day.
But from my appointment time, to getting out of the hospital, we were there just two hours. And that included treatment time.

I saw a really nice lady Scottish doctor twice, and a nurse. Both explained things really well, gave me advice on side-effects.
As I mentioned earlier, rather than just having the chemo they're suggesting (capecitabine), I want to try and get on the Tykerb trial. The doctor I saw said she'll ask my onc to look into this for me. So I'm hoping he might've started to look into it, byt the time I see him next week.

I didn't see my oncologist, but he was in the department. And without being asked, he checked to see if yesterdays liver scan results had come through yet.. They hadn't.
By the time I left, I had all my appointment times for the radiotherapy sessions, the appointment to see my onc next week. And plans will be put in place for starting chemo the week after radiotherapy ends, should I need it for my liver.. which I expect I will.

I can't help wondering what would be happening now, if I was still at my old hospital. I can't imagine things would be happening as quickly as they are now.
In fact, I'm not sure I'd even still be here.

I'm tired today. I've had to be up early for the past two days, and haven't had much sleep, so I think it's going to be an early night tonight, seeing as I'm at hospital again tomorrow.. and the day after, and the day after, and the day after, and...

Monday, 12 November 2007


Well, this morning was the morning after the first night I've spent alone, in three weeks. And I survived!
It was really nice.. I went to bed later than I have been doing, slept really well, and woke up feeling.. dare I say it.. almost fresh, and relatively 'normal'.

I got up, made a cup of tea, and ate my breakfast, without anyone watching me, or asking if I was ok.
I've washed my dishes without anyone saying "You sit down, I'll do those!" (I'm not ungrateful.. far from it. I know how lucky I am, to have a family like mine.. it's just nice not to be watched like an invalid).
I leisurely checked my emails and forums, whilst having breakfast, without having to worry about getting ready to spend the day at someone elses house.

I spent the whole day in my own home, just pottering about, doing normal mundane things. And it's so nice to be able to do those normal mundane things.
You just can't appreciate how good it is, until you've been in the position of not being able to do them.

Tomorrow marks three weeks since the op.
This time three weeks ago, I was wishing I was dead. For the first time in my life, I truely didn't want to be here anymore. I just couldn't bear the thought of what was happening to me, anymore.
But I am still here, and now I want to be. I want to be able to live whatever life I have left, to the best of my ability.
I know it's often going to be hard. I know there are going to be some desperately dark days. But I also hope there will be some wonderfully happy days.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Sunday Evening

I'm happy to say that, compared to the last few weekends, this one's been a bit more 'normal'.

James took me to Tesco, yesterday. Then over to Lisa's last night. It was really nice to be able to visit friends, rather than the other way around.
Lisa said I seem much better than when she last saw me, about a week and a half ago.
In fact, James said I seem alot better than a week ago too. I suppose people who don't see me every day, can see more of a difference.

My balance, vision, etc is still far worse than it was before the op. But at least I can walk around now, without worrying too much about falling over things and people, which is a vast improvement on a couple of weeks ago.

Today, we ventured to PC world, for a new mouse for my new laptop. And then I cooked (an easy!) dinner.
Yesterday I cleaned the bathroom, mopped the kitchen floor, and hoovered the flat.
Ooh, I also had a couple of glasses of wine last night, with our pizza!

I had to take painkillers in the night, because the bones in my legs were hurting and keeping me awake, which I guess is from the zometa.

I haven't slept too well over the weekend. Been waking up at around 4am, and lying awake, thinking about 'memory boxes'.. the kind of things parents make for their children, when they know they're not going to be around for their future.
I don't have children, but I've been thinking it might be a good thing to do for my parents, and a couple of close friends.
So I've been lying awake, thinking about what I could write in letters, and what else I could put in these boxes.
It's a strange thought really.. it's like thinking of what to give as christmas gifts. But then I remember that I wont be there to see people open these boxes.

I'm at my parents at the minute, after James dropped me off on his way back home. But I'm going home later on, and I'll be staying on my own tonight, for the first time in three weeks!

All this mundane everyday stuff, that you never appreciate until you can't do it. I love mundane everyday stuff!

Friday, 9 November 2007

My Life's All About Hospitals and Drugs

Today I'm posting from my shiny new Dell laptop!
It's the first time I've been able to get my head around using it properly.
I have to say, it's rather nice. It has a bigger, much clearer screen than my old laptop, so that's ideal now.
I'm also happy to report that I'm almost back to my normal typing speed (which has never been wonderful, to be honest!).

Yesterday was a very long day at the hospital.
I had my regular Herceptin treatment, along with my first Zometa infusion.
Appointment was 1:30pm, and I'd finally got a cannula in (after only 3 attempts. Not bad for me) at 4pm, and didn't get home until just gone 8.

I got home to find my appointment for my whole brain radiation planning session, on 20th November, which says it could take "a considerable length of time". Oh goody!
I don't really know what to expect for that. They also invited me to take a 'full tour of the radiotherapy department', next week, but I think I'll pass on that one!

Have to say, I felt pretty rough earlier today. I don't know if it was zometa side-effects, or just everything else. But I feel a bit brighter this afternoon (well enough to use my new laptop, anyway!).
I must admit I was a bit naughty today though. I'm only on 2mg steroids (dexamethasone) per day now, but I hate them. My face is getting more puffy by the day (if I press my forehead, it stays squidged in, because of the fluid), they make me bloaty, make my brain even more fuzzy, and my mouth taste horrible. So I decided I'd try to go without, this morning.
Didn't last long though. After I'd felt rough and very spaced out for a while, I relented, through fear I might have a funny turn if I didn't take them.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Yesterdays Oncology Appointment

I saw my oncologist yesterday, who said I'll still be having herceptin as planned, this Thursday, along with zometa (a drug to help with the bone mets).
The pathology report on the brain tumour shows that it's consistent with secondaries, which is what I expected. They say they have no reason to think otherwise, so it'll be treated as such.

Whole brain radiation should start in 1-2 weeks, every day for 2 weeks, so there's something else to look forward to! I'll loose my hair again, and it may or may not grow back.

I was hoping to be able to stop taking the steroids for a while, until WBR started, but they want to keep me on them until afterwards. They make me hungry all the time, make my mouth feel horrible, and are making my face swell. I really don't like taking them at all.

I also have to have a liver scan asap, so we can see what's happening there. Then they can decide if I have to start more chemo straight away, or whether it can wait a while.

I had a shower this morning, rather than a bath, for the first time since the op.
I haven't been stable enough to stand in the shower up til now, so it was really nice, and I feel like I've acheived something today.

My neck's sore and a bit swollen still, but not overly so. They did say I'd have a very stiff neck, because they'd had to pull apart the muscles, to get where they needed to be. But it really hasn't been bad at all. I'm quite surprised (but glad) at how little pain I've had from it, so far.
Here are a couple of photos, for your viewing pleasure!

All stapled up, a few days after surgery

On Saturday, after having the staples removed on Friday

Monday, 5 November 2007

Brief Update

It'll be two weeks tomorrow since I had someone poking around in my brain. It's still a very odd thought, and one I don't think I've quite got the grasp of yet. Everything happened so quickly, I haven't had time to take in what's happened.

It's almost a year since I found out the cancer had spread beyond where it originated, and to my liver.
22nd November 2006, was the day I found out I had 'incurable' metastatic cancer. I didn't expect then, that less than a year later, it would be in my brain and my bones too. I hoped I'd have more time.

I've since learned that according to those "damned lies and statistics" that I should be dead by now. After a diagnosis of liver mets, I should have had 6-12 months to live.
I'm not sure how I feel about knowing all these time frames now. According to the numbers, the liver mets are still more likely to get to me, before the brain mets do.

I've also learned in the past couple of weeks, that of the people who're taking herceptin for breast cancer, around 50% will go on to develop brain mets. That's a pretty high number.

Any diagnosis of cancer is scary.
Diagnosis od secondary, incurable cancer is incredibly scary. My world came crashing down when I found out about the liver secondaries.
It didn't seem quite so bad when I found out about the bone secondaries. But I knew that didn't really change my prognosis.
But finding out it's in my brain seems to have taken it to a whole knew incomprehensible level.

I have no idea how to feel about it. No idea what to say to other people about it. No idea how to make my family and friends feel any better about it now.
Chances are that in a years time, my parents will have no daughter, and my friends will be a friend down.

I was very upset about all this, a couple of weeks ago. But now it's like my foggy brain isn't really acknowledging it. I don't feel like I'm feeling it. Which is probably not being helped by not being able to think straight, or concentrate. And not helped by this permanently fuzzy feeling in my head, which is making my life seem less real, somehow. I don't really feel alive anymore.

Tomorrow, I have my oncology appointment, where I'll probably find out when the whole brain radiation should start, and how many sessions I should be having.
There's something to look forward to. Nothing like a bit of brain frying to knock you off your feet again!
I'll lose my hair again, and it may or may not grow back. I know it often doesn't.

I'm still having trouble with my vision, balance, hearing, etc. So typing's a slow process. But I'm grateful that I can at least see well enough to look at screen now.

I still feel much worse than before I had surgery. But still hoping it'll get better, and that I can have some decent quality of life while I'm still here.

Friday, 2 November 2007

And now in my Brain

Just over two weeks ago, I was admitted to hospital for brain scans, after having headaches, and then a few other symptoms.
Last Tuesday, I had brain surgery, to remove a 2cm tumour from my cerebellum.

It's been a very scary couple of weeks, and I can only now just see well enough to use the computer for very short amounts of time.
My balance is all wrong (couldn't walk for a few days after surgery), my vision's wrong, I can't hear properly, and can't think straight, or concentrate.

This time last week, I honestly didn't care if I died. In fact, I hoped for it.
But I didn't die. I'm still here. And while I really don't feel like me at the minute, things seem to be slowly improving.

The "damned lies and statistics" give me around 6-9 months to live now.
Six months will take me to my birthday. I'm hoping for more, but I'm not being unrealistic. I know this cancer's on the war path. I know it'll get me. But not just yet, I hope.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Coping With Chronic Illness

Ladies and gentlemen, may I draw your attention to the following article; Coping Wth Chronic Illness
It is adapted from the book 'After The Diagnosis', by Dr. JoAnn LeMaistre.

I stumbled across it, some time ago, but have only recently got around to reading it.
It's not exclusively about cancer, but about chronic ilness' in general.

It was these couple of paragraphs, right at the beginning, that kept me reading.

The Pollyanna approach is typified by -- and fueled by -- personal stories or
testimonials of complete recovery from extreme illness or disabling conditions.
These stories tug at the heartstrings and catch the fancy of all who read them.
Besides creating false hope by overplaying the likelihood of complete recovery,
these stories consistently underplay the sadness and feelings of worthlessness
that are part of the legacy of any physical or emotional trauma.
Sometimes, it is useful in social situations to present yourself as a Pollyanna. When
meeting new people and situations, it may be an advantage for you to let others
think you have mastered your disease. The anxiety of other people is reduced by
not having to confront illness. The danger is that this Pollyanna image may
create a barrier between you and the people who can offer real help.

Ask anyone with cancer (or anyone with any serious illness, I suppose), and I guarantee that they will completely relate to this 'Pollyanna' approach from others.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Cancer's Back Again

Today brought my oncology appointment. Which brought MRI scan results. Which brought the news that I'd feared. The cancer's now in my bones too.. in my shoulder, and in my pelvis.

I don't know what the treatment plan is yet. It could be another six weeks before I find out. That will be over three months from having the bone scan.
They have to decide whether to do nothing. Whether to give me more chemo. Whether to give me bone strengthening drugs. Whether to give me radiotherapy to help with the pain. Or whether to give me a combination of the above.
Meanwhile, I'm left hanging, and wondering what wonderful voyage around my body, the cancer's taking while I'm waiting.

Not the happiest of bunnys, tonight.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Compromise, Sacrifice, and Resentment

Relationships often require compromise, and sometimes sacrificing the things you'd like, for the good of the relationship. Yes?

But what if one (or both) of the people involved doesn't acknowledge where compromise and sacrifice is needed, and just want to carry on doing their own thing, in their own way, regardless of whether it might be adversley affecting the relationship, or the other person in the relationship?

What if through circumstances beyond control, one person can't 'give' as much as they think they should be giving?
Oh, there creeps in, that pesky little guilt emotion again!

Is it wrong, for the person who can't give as much as they'd like to be able to give, to still want the other person to compromise?

How much compromise and sacrifice can a relationship take, before resentment sets in?

Sunday, 23 September 2007


I was having a bit of an email chat earlier, with a friend, and started talking about how guilty I feel about things.
It's not something I let out, very often. And when I do, the usual response is "But it isn't your fault."
I know that, but I can't help feeling how I do. And I'm fairly sure you'd feel the same in my situation.

My mum has early onset alzheimers.
She was diagnosed around two years ago, in 2005, just after I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. But she hadn't been 'quite right' for a while.
Before I moved into my new flat, I lived with my parents. And much as I really do hate to admit it, the situation with my mum was one of the main reasons I moved out.

I love my mum to bits, and get along with my parents extremely well. We've become even closer since my cancer diagnosis. But the whole situation with my mum was really having an effect on my, already delicate (thanks to cancer), state of mind.
I felt guilty when I was at home, because I didn't feel I was doing enough with her. Or enough to help my dad (who's now her full time carer. He gave up his job to care for her). But I was struggling to cope with my mum's condition, aswell as my own.
Cue feeling selfish, aswell as guilty.

Now I've moved out (and don't get me wrong, I'm still loving having my own space, and I do feel I've done the right thing), I feel guilty for not spending as much time with my parents.

I also feel guilty for putting my family (and friends) through all my cancer crap.
This is the bit where people tend to say "But it isn't your fault. You can't do anything about it."
I know that, but I feel like I'm letting people down.
Not only does my dad have my mums illness to deal with. He also has mine.
The chances are that he'll lose his wife to alzheimers, and his daughter to cancer.
I'm very aware that this may not be too far into the future. And I wonder how on earth my dad's going to cope, if both of these happen close together.
I feel guilty for putting him in that position.

I'm writing this here, because no-one's being forced to read it.
I'm not offloading my guilt onto anyone. Just putting it out there in the ether.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Old Acquaintences, Re-acquainted

I don't know if it's the time of year, but a few people I haven't spoken to in ages (just because we lost touch), seem to have re-appeared again.
I think it's four.. four people, in the past two weeks.

Now, I think this is really nice. It's great to hear from people again (and if you're one of them, and I haven't replied to your emails yet, I will do!). It just seems a bit odd that everyone seems to have appeared at once!

Still no news on the MRI scan.
I see my onc next Tuesday, so I should get the results then.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Cars, Men, & Scanning Machines

My lovely MGF convertible's gone. My other half's is away on holiday. And I'm still waiting for the results of the MRI scan, which was done over two weeks ago.

The MGF's been bought by a local couple. And has been replaced by that sensible, comfortable VW Polo automatic.
The Polo's nice. It's easier to get in and out of, than the F. And the automatic gearbox is a bit of a novelty, at the minute.

A certain person who shall remain nameless, is in Cyprus with his friends. At a 'foam party' tonight, apparently, after being hypnotised a couple of evenings ago, and 'made' to do all manner of things to make himself look a bit of a fool, by the sounds of things!

I'm still hurting about this certain person and this holiday.
I'm not hurt that he's having fun without me. Although I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit jealous that he's having a great time in the sun, while I'm home alone, worrying about scan results.
I'm hurt because of his complete lack of regard for my feelings about this.

He is a nice person. Probably one of the nicest and most genuine people I've ever known. And I never thought he'd do anything to purposley hurt me. But he knew how I felt about him going on this holiday, from the very start.
He knew how much I hated the idea, and he knew how much it upset me. Yet he went ahead and did it anyway.

The actions of someone who loves me?

Maybe I shouldn't hate the idea of it as much as I did/do. Maybe I am just being silly. But I can't help how I feel about this. And I know that if something I was planning on doing, would upset him as much as this has upset me, I wouldn't do it.
But he did it. And now I don't know how I feel about it seemingly being so easy for him to do something that he knows hurts me.

MRI scan of my bones.. still no news about that.
I'd love to think "no news is good news". That may well be true. But I know the health system here too well now, to think they'd contact me quickly, if the news was bad.

Monday, 20 August 2007

More Waiting, More Wondering, More Worrying

At the same time as getting the 'official' results of my liver scan, last week, I also got the results of my latest bone scan.

The bone scan showed hot spots on my pelvis (where I've been having worsening pain for almost two months now), and on my shoulder.
So I'm waiting for an 'urgent' appointment to have an MRI scan, to see if I now also have cancer secondaries in my bones.. which my oncologist feels is likely, due to my history with this wonderful disease.
I'm not sure what the NHS' definition of urgent is. But I was told a week ago, that an urgent appointment would be made.

So I'm back to waiting, wondering, and worrying.
Anyone who's been in a similar situation will understand the how hellish it is, to be waiting for scans and results.
It's on your mind as soon as you wake up in the morning. You might manage to forget about it for a few minutes at a time, throughout the day, while other parts of your life are distracting you. But it's never far away from the fron of your mind. And it's there, niggling at your thoughts, as you're going to sleep at night. Quite often, it even manages to make an appearance in some horrible form, in your dreams.

If the cancer is now in my bones too, it'll be more chemo. Something I'd hoped to be able to avoid, for as long as possible.

I should be picking up my new car (VW Polo) next week. I just need to sell my MGF now.. which I'll miss.
It's nice to be able to drive through the countryside, in the sunshine, with the roof down. But needs must, and all that. And my needs dictate that I must swap my pretty little convertible, for a sensible automatic VW.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

It's a Good Day!

Wednesday 1st August 2007. 4:10pm

The relief when the nice doctor chap who was doing my liver scan, earlier today, said “I'm struggling to find anything abnormal”, is unimaginable to anyone who hasn't been in a similar situation.
It's like being told I'm allowed to carry on with life for a while longer. And the more of life I get, the more I want.

So yes, the nice doctor couldn't see any 'discrete masses' in my liver. It was music to my ears.
In fact, no.. no music has ever sounded anywhere near as good, as good as that statement sounded.
He said all he could see, was some ghosting (which I suppose is like scarring), where the 10cm mass once was. Apparently this is perfectly normal after being treated with chemo.
Obviously, I'm not cured (oh, if only!), and I haven't had the 'all clear'.

I'll never hear any of those words, because it can't be cured, and I'll never be given the all clear. But I have been given a break.

While I know I'll never stop worrying and wondering when and where the cancer's going to rear it's ugly head again, the worry will be a little less, for a while.
The hospital appointments and Herceptin treatments will continue. And I'll continue to be monitored using various tests and scans, until.. well, until forever.

So here I sit again, in my fabulous flat.. Looking out across the park, and catching the scent of the grass that was cut this morning, on the breeze that's wafting through the window.

Today's a good day.

On the subject of my fabulous new flat, I've had a couple of interesting experiences since I moved in..

The first happened on the first weekend I was here. James was here too, and we were sleeping on the futon, in the living room, because I hadn't yet got my new bed.
Just as I was drifting off to sleep, I had the feeling that there was 'something' there, with us. From what I remember, it seemed to be a hand reaching for me. I know I mentioned this to James, the day after.. I must remember to ask him what I said about it.
It startled me anyway, and I jolted awake.

The second happened last night. Again, as I was drifting off to sleep.
I was quite warm, so I'd half thrown the duvet off myself. Then, in my dopey, falling asleep state, I saw/felt a hand about to get hold of the duvet, and cover me up.
Again, it startled me, and jolted me awake. But it didn't scare me. Whatever it is.. whether it's simply my mind playing tricks, or something else, 'the hand' seems to want to look after me, by making sure I'm covered up in bed!

Now, I could turn this into some spooky ghost story, but I'm not going to.
These flats are brand new. No-one's lived in this one before me, so no-one's died here!
I'm not sure what the land was used for before the houses and flats were built.

So, I have three possible explanations for these interesting experiences..
1) It's all in my (semi-conscious) mind.
2) It's a ghosty type person.
3) It's the energy and thoughts of my friends and family, looking after me.
I'd quite like to think it's number 3.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

New York, New Hair, New Home

Tuesday 24th July 2007 10:44pm

You may notice the date of this entry, and the date I've posted it, doesn't match.
You may also notice that there are several blog entries, with different dates, in this one entry.
There's good reason for this, which will become evident shortly!

The dates of these few posts don't go in the 'usual' blog order. That is, the latest is at the bottom, rather than the top.
I'm not trying to confuse anyone (honestly!). It's just that this is how I've written them.. in classic diary style really, rather than in blog style.

Firstly, I know I haven't written anything here, for ages. And I want to apologise to those who've sent messages, asking if I'm ok, and saying they're worried about me, because I've been away from my blog for so long.
Thank you so much for caring about me :o)

I'm fine at the minute, and pretty happy.
I have had some random side and back pains lately, which I'm going to be having scans for, over the next couple of weeks. So if anyone would like to keep their fingers crossed for me, that the cancer's still 'stable', and isn't doing anything, I'd be extremely grateful.

So, what have I been doing then?
Well, I've been a bit of a busy bee..

Earlier this month, I flew off to New York City (Midtown Manhattan), for 10 days, with my auntie.
The weather was absolutely boiling hot, and humid. I got very sore feet (too much walking on the first day, and me not considering how it could affect my feet (which have always been sensitive, but even more so since two lots of chemo). But we still had a great time!

We shopped alot.. Looked over NYC on the 'Top of the Rock (at the top of the Rockerfeller Centre)..
Did a 'Sex & the City tour, which I loved. I'm a huge fan of the show! We got to sit on Carries apartment stoop, eat cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery, drink Cosmopolitans at 'Scout' (O'Neils, in real life); the bar owned by Steve and Aiden, Visit 'The Pleasure Chest', where the girls shopped for their rabbits.. and see many more locations featured on the show!
We went up the Empire State Building..
Flew to Buffallo, then went to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, where we sailed up to the falls, in the 'Maid of the Mist' boat..
Went on the Statton Island Ferry, where we waved to Lady Liberty..
Did a couple of bus trips/loops, and popped over to Brooklyn..
Shopped in Bloomingdales, Macys, Bed Bath & Beyond, 'did' 5th Avenue, and went to a huge Sunday street market..
Visited Times Square more times than I can remember.. our hotel (which was lovely!) was only a couple of blocks away.

It was far to hot, in NYC, to be wearing any sort of head-covering, on my now 'baby fuzz' covered head. So I went without.
I had a couple of comments, from the couple of people who had to check my passport, at various times during the trip.
They weren't horrible comments. Just "Oh my, what happened to your hair?!" comments.

Since I've been home, I haven't covered my head with scarves or wigs, either.
I've already gone through the trauma of going 'topless' for the first time, once.. I don't want to have to do it again.
So I wear my baby fuzz with pride. This is me. If you don't like it.. well, quite frankly, I don't care!

We arrived home on Wednesday 18th July.
On Friday 20th, I moved out of my parents house, and into my fabulous, brand new flat!
My lovely brand new flat, which has no internet yet. Hence I'm sitting here now, writing this on my laptop. But will only be able to put it on my blog when I visit my parents again, and borrow their internet.

I started looking for a flat to rent, a couple of months ago.
I found a beautiful little flat, right by the canal. Deposit was paid. Then it rained.. alot.
The flat (and all the places around it) flooded, and became unlivable. So that was that.
Shortly after that, I found another (first floor) flat, with the same letting agents. It's brand new, just been built, never been lived in before.

I'm sitting here, looking out of my fabulous new living room window, over the little park, and at the moon in front of me.

Moving out of my parents house, and into my own place, is something that, a few months ago, I thought I'd never be able to do. So, although getting your own place is always exciting, imagine how good it feels to do it, when you doubted you'd live long enough to be able to do it!

Although all the cancer stuff is constantly on my mind, I'm so happy just now. And these days, I revel in every little bit of happiness that comes my way. Because I never know when it's all going to change.
I hope the scans I'm having over the next week or so, allow me to stay this happy for a while yet.

And the herceptin that my oncologist had decided to stop, has been started again.
I've changed oncologists and hospitals, after losing faith in my previous oncologist, after what seemed to be developing into a catalog of errors.

Wednesday 25th July 2007. 2:07pm

I'm sitting here again, in my fabulous new flat, looking out of my fabulous new window, having just been for a bone scan.
After the bone scan, I had to have two x-rays. One of my shoulder (where hot spots showed up on my last bone scan, about 7 or 8 months ago. But it was decided it was 'nothing to worry about', 7 or 8 months ago. So we'll see what they say this time). And one of my pelvis.
I've been having pain in my pelvic area for a while now, which is why the bone scan was ordered in the first place.

I'm hoping they've x-rayed my pelvis, because of me telling them I was having pain. Rather than being x-rayed because they saw something on the bone scan.
Since this pain started, I've thought it was probably (hopefully) a trapped nerve. It feels like a trapped nerve to me. But what do I know really!
I've always thought bone pain would be a more dull, consistent, achy pain. Rather than the shooting pain I'm getting when I walk, with this. But again, what do I know!

As for my shoulder.. I haven't mentioned any pain to them, regarding my shoulder, because I haven't had any pain. So I can only assume the bone scan showed something up again.
I wont know the results of the bone scan, x-rays, or the liver scan I'm due to have next week, until I see my oncologist, in three weeks time.
What will I do until then?
Most likely turn it over and over in my head.. worry myself sick, cry, convince myself the cancer's now in my bones too, then pull myself together, after repeatedly telling myself it could be nothing, and telling myself if it is something, then I'll have to deal with it. Then the cycle will start all over again. And I'll keep cycling through a whole host of emotions, that I never even realised I could experience, before the cancer came about.. for three weeks.

So now, I'm sitting here, in my fabulous flat, looking out of my fabulous window, all alone, desperately wanting to be able to talk to my online 'pink ladies', through what I now fondly call my 'pink forum'. Because I know they'd understand just how I feel.
They wouldn't tell me it'll be ok, and not to worry. They'd give me a big cyber hug, and hold my hand across the ether, until I get the results.. and always.
But I have no internet.

Oh, and James and I are 'together' again.. for the past couple of months, or so. So we'll just have to see how things go.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Happy End of Chemo!

Well, here we are again!

Since my last blog entry, I'd started to pick myself up a bit, and even begun to 'look forward'.
I'd paid a visit to my GP, to say "Look, I think could do with a bit of help here. I'd like some counselling."
She agreed, and told me there's a waiting list of two to three months. Oh good!

Yesterday, I saw 'the ex', and all the feelings I was trying to hide in the little pocket of my life, where I try not to look, were dragged to the surface again.
So last night, I felt awful again. Like I was back to square one.
I've managed to shake it off a bit today, and don't feel as bad. But I still don't feel great about it all.

A couple of weeks ago, he did me the honour of telling me why he'd "fallen out of love" with me (I had asked him why). And it pretty much boiled down to the fact that he was bored.
Bored of me being boring.
While I haven't been well enough to do much, through chemo, he was bored of staying in with me.
I can't blame him really. I was bored of myself.. Barely capable of dragging myself out of bed every day, never mind keeping anyone else entertained.

I had my last (for now) chemo and herceptin treatment, last Wednesday. That's it now.
It's the first time in almost two years, that I'm having no treatment.

Herceptin wasn't working, so it's been stopped. And just being left to go it alone, is a little bit scary.
I'll be having another liver scan next week, to see what's happening in there now, at the end of chemo.

My liver function tests still aren't 'normal', but they're a hell of alot closer to normal than they were a few months ago.
We're now adopting a "watch and wait" approach.
I'll have blood tests every four weeks, to check my liver function. If the score starts going up again, I'll be scanned to see if the tumours are growing again.

If the tumours start growing again, the only option available to me at the minute, is more chemo.
If the tumours start growing again soon, I really don't know if I could face more chemo. I suppose I'll jump off that bridge when I get to it.

After a monumental cock-up by my oncologist, last week (he wanted to start me on a whole new course of chemo, when I didn't actually need it. He hadn't read my notes properly. This could have had serious health consequences for me), I'm waiting to be referred to a different oncologist, at a specialist cancer hospital.
I have no faith in my oncologist anymore, and I really need to be able to have faith in the person who's supposed to be trying to save my life.

Also since my last blog entry (and on the day my oncologist made his cock-up, incidentally), I've had a 31st birthday.
It passed by relatively quietly.. with some birthday cake and a drop or two of champagne, with my family.

So, I've managed a 30th birthday and a 31st birthday. Both of which I doubted I'd ever see, when I was first diagnosed with cancer, almost two years ago.
I hear people complaining, at every birthday, that they're getting older. I want to shake them, and tell them to be grateful they are getting older!

For my birthday, I've had a set of chrome roll hoops on my car..

I've also had a Native American drone flute (it arrived today!), which sounds beautiful. Even the cat seems to like it.

The day after my birthday, I had chemo!

So now, I'm still feeling a bit grotty from chemo, and have some big painful ulcers in my mouth.
The grottiness should wear off soon, and I'm desperately hoping I'll be able to start looking forward again.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007


I've realised, that I'm not living. I'm existing.

Going from one day to the next, doing nothing with my life, because I don't know what to do, or don't feel well enough to do it.

My emotions hit the floor a couple of weeks ago. And much as I try to pretend that everything's ok now, I feel lost and empty.
For the first time since I was diagnosd with secondaries (and for a while before that too), I'm all alone with it. Alone with my thoughts. And alone with.. well, everything really.
I feel lost. I don't know where to go. My direction and motivation has gone.

I miss having someone to do things with, and go places.
I miss the cuddles, the intimacy, having someone to cry with, and someone to laugh with. Someone to just 'be' with.

I'll be having my last chemo (for now) in a couple of weeks.
Then what? What exactly am I fighting to live for now?
It was all fairly clear before. I knew why I wanted to live. I knew why I didn't want this cancer to get me. But now, there just doesn't seem to be anything.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Angels & Bolters

I've just come across this article, via a comment in Minervas Blog.
'Angels and Bolters' talks about how some people cope with cancer, and how some people don't.
The article is talking about friends and family, rather than the 'cancer patient' themselves.

Shortly before reading this article, I discovered that, when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, a friend of mine made it his mission to find out all he could about the disease. In his words, he read about it until his head was spinning with information.
Yet the person I was supposed to be closest to, didn't seem to want to know anything about it. And preferred to pretend everything was ok and 'normal'.

The Preachers and the Clueless..

"Preachers are anxious to give you advice and information."

"The clueless make inane comments. There are an infinite variety of idiotic remarks."

I had someone telling me yesterday, that "positivity cures all".
Seriously, if that's what you really think, you're sadly deluded.
For the most part, I've stayed positive. It didn't stop the cancer coming back, did it? It certainly didn't cure it.
I know of people with incredibly positive attitudes, who have lost their life to this disease. Their positivity didn't cure them either!

I also know of people who have had an extremely negative view of the disease they've had, and come through it with flying colours!

So please, I know people who say these kind of things are only trying to help, but please don't tell me that positivity cures all. It doesn't. And by saying this, you're implying that it's my fault the cancer came back, because I wasn't 'positive' enough in the first place.


"They stay away because they are afraid of their own sadness or their own mortality."

I think we all know a few of those, don't we?

They run away, because they don't know how to cope with what's going on.
What makes you think I know how to cope with what's going on? It's all new to me too, you know!


"Angels know what to do, and they know what you need. They treat you like the person you always were. They know that despite the cancer you are still you."

And thank god for my angels!
I've realised they can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Fellow Travellers

"For fellow travelers, your cancer journey is their journey."

My family and REAL friends are fellow travellers.
My dad, who comes along to every hospital appointment with me, always drives me there, and always hangs around for hours while I'm having chemo, to take me home again.

And of course, other people on their own breast cancer journey. I class them as fellow travellers too.
We share the map that helps to get us where we want to go. And give each other pointers, on the way.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

"This Relationship Has Run Its Course"

I'm on a bit of a downer today. Well, for the past couple of days.

James and me split up on Thursday, after being together for a year. I think he was bored of 'cancer girl'.
I'm not enough fun when I'm feeling ill. And he doesn't seem to understand why I'm not happy and cheery all the time.
After alot of other things had been said, he came out with the good old "This relationship has run it's course for me."
But I'm not stupid. I'm fairly sure it wouldn't have 'run its course', if it hadn't been for the cancer coming back.
I knew things weren't quite right with us, but I'd hoped he would talk to me about what was bothering him, rather than just giving up and ending it.
So, cancer wins again.

The weekend before, saw the one year mark for us.
I booked a hotel for the night, and booked a meal for us.
I thought we'd had a nice weekend, but it seems I was wrong.

I've shed more tears over this, than I did when I found out the cancer had come back.
It appears to be upsetting me more than finding out I had a terminal illness.
He meant more to me than anything. He was my 'happy' amidst all the crap. Now my 'happy's upped and left.

I envy him. At least he can walk away from cancer world.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007


I'm feeling a bit pathetic, and sorry for myself today.

I feel grotty and achey again.
I say again, but I feel achey permanently now. I feel like my bones, joints, and muscles belong an old woman, rather than a 30 year old, who felt great just a few months ago.
I just seem to shuffle everywhere now. And whenever I do walk anywhere.. even if it's only a short walk, my feet get sore.
I'm now sporting a very sore and swollen little toe, from making the very short walk into town, from the hotel we were staying in at the weekend. I even had my very comfy 'sneakers' on.

But grotty. It's difficult to describe this grotty feeling.
I have hardly any energy. I have a cold again, for the second time in about four weeks. I've had a cough for the past four weeks too, which is refusing to leave.
It isn't a bad cough. It's just annoying. And I'd be lying if I said it wasn't worrying me a bit.
I also have constantly watery eyes, which makes everything blurry. Not ideal for driving, really!

I spent yesterday morning looking into 'green' funerals.
It turns out there a green burial ground quite local to us, which looks nice from the photos.
I was going to pop over there today, to have a look at it, but the grottiness and blurry eyes have decided I'm not to go anywhere today. So it'll have to be another day.

I know it sounds morbid, to be planning your own funeral. But it didn't feel morbid, while I was reading about it. It felt like I was taking some control.

And I know it might sound silly, to those who have no cause to be thinking about their own funeral, but I'd like to have some control over where I'm going to be 'laid to rest'. I'd like to know where I'm going to end up.

What I absolutely don't want, is a church funeral, a christian ceremony, and to be buried in a cemetery.
I'd like to be buried somewhere natural and beautiful, in the Derbyshire countryside, because that's where I love to be.

Tomorrow, I'll be having a MUGA heart scan, to check if my heart's still functioning well enough to keep having Herceptin.
I don't know why they're bothering, to be honest, as I only have another two doses of Herceptin to go, then they're stopping it.
I can't say I'm looking forward to it.
I have to have two injections for the scan. The muppets in the nuclear medicine department can never find a vein, and I always end up covered in bruises.
The man who was attempting to do it last time, even managed to completely miss the big vein in my foot (yep, we ran out of veins in my arm), and bent the needle.

I'm still covered in bruises from the last chemo, and I have chemo again next week. I really could do without more bruises!

Thursday, 22 February 2007

A Shot to the Head

I had a dream last night..

I don't remember all of the dream, but the parts I do remember were very vivid. And it culminated in me being shot in the head.

The first thing I remember is being in a classroom, at some kind of lecture.
Everyone was sitting at desks, which had individual glass screens attached. These glass screens were instead of a big board at the front.
Writing and images were projected onto the glass screens, which we were taking notes from.
The bracket on my screen broke, and the person who fixed seemed a bit 'odd'.

At the end of the day, myself and a couple of other people seemed to be locked in this classroom. We couldn't get out, but other people could get in, it seemed.
It wasn't really a classroom at this point.. more of a lounge, with sofas and whatnot.

Strange things kept happening. I can't remember all of them, but I do remember someone bringing in a cheetah, which turned into a black tiger, and tried to 'get' us.
Then there was a gorilla.
These animals came out of a cupboard within the room we were in.
I think one of my uncles, who I haven't seen or spoken to for around twelve years (he's a bit of a dodgy sort, and my family disowned him), made an appearance too.

The general feeling about what was going on, was a bad feeling. Someone was out to get me.

Then I was at home..
Sitting in the lounge with my mum and my uncle (not the aforementioned uncle. This one's a nice uncle), when my uncle suddenly got up, put the hood on his hoodie up, and ran to the bathroom.
I knew there was something odd about this behaviour, so I got up to go over to my mum, and tell her there was something strange going on.
My uncle obviously saw me get up, and left the bathroom door open a bit, looking through it.

My auntie was in the kitchen, and I suspected she had something to do with all this oddness too. So my mum and me went to her.
We all sat down.. I was really upset, and I told her I knew something was going on, and I knew her and my uncle had something to do with it.
It transpired that my auntie and uncle were some kind of gangsters (incidentally, they aren't really.. they're lovely people!).

The next thing I knew, a big burly man walked around the edge of the door, pointing a gun at me.. It seemed I knew too much.

I had my left hand resting on the left side of my face. He put the gun on my hand, next to my temple.
I could actually feel the metal on my skin, and heard the trigger creak, as he went to pull it.
My auntie and my mum were sitting there, seemingly not at all surprised or bothered by the fact I was about to be shot.

I said "Tell James I love him." And the man pulled the trigger.
I felt it, but it didn't hurt. And I seemed to feel quite calm about it all.

Then I woke up, heart beating a bit faster than normal, and breathing a bit more heavily than normal.
I was genuinely surprised to still be alive.
I honestly thought I was a gonner.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Tonight, I Cried..

Not through sadness, but relief, I think.

I still can't get excited about the good news I had on Tuesday, but I think some kind of relief's starting to sink in.

Relief that I have the chance to spend a bit more time with the people I love.

The sheer terror at the thought of leaving the people I care about, has overwhelmed me. It still does.
But now, hopefully, I've been blessed with a little bit more time with them.

Clean Car & Red tape

Today, I woke up early, and got up at 8:30am..

After breakfast and a nice bath, I decided a bit of car cleaning was in order.
My poor little MGF was well overdue for some TLC.. she hasn't been cleaned in months, because I just haven't had the energy.
But today, she got a wash, dry, alloy wheels scrubbed, and plastic rear screen polished.
I'd have liked to have given her a bit of a wax too, but decided that was enough from one day.

Then I gave the inside of 'Project Barn' (see and click on 'Funky Banana Property Developments', for more info on that one) another lick of paint.

Not bad for the day after chemo, really!
Although I suspect the steroids are keeping me going at this point.
I take them for three days, every chemo cycle.. starting the day before chemo, then the day of chemo, and the day after chemo.
Judging by how the first three chemos went, it'll be downhill from tomorrow, for about a week. Then getting better after that.
I then tend to get a decent few days/week, before it all starts again.

After my first two Taxotere cycles, I was blessed with infections, from having a collapsed immune system, and a white blood cell count of 0.
After Taxotere number 3, my onc was gracious enough to prescribe Neupogen injections, to boost my white blood cell count, and hopefully keep my immune system somewhere close to normal.
I have to give these injections to myself, starting on day four or five after chemo.
I have to have them every day, for seven days.
Injecting yourself isn't much fun really, but it's better than the infections, and it's certainly nowhere near as bad as having chemo!

My oncologist called this morning, wondering why no-one had told him I'd been talking about going to see the liver specialist, in London.
I said I didn't know why.. he said he was going to slap the registrar I saw on Tuesday, for not letting him know.

The registrar seemed to want to put me off the idea of seeing a liver specialist/having surgery, saying that it was a waste of money, and there's no evidence to support it giving any better outcome, than chemo alone.
Today, my oncologist said liver surgery in such cases, wasn't the 'usual' route.

Well, incase anyone hasn't gathered by now, I don't seem to be a 'usual' patient. Or even a 'usual' person.
Secondary breast cancer certainly isn't 'usual' in someone my age. It's pretty unusual.
And as for the wasting money.. well, my unwasted money isn't going to do me much good if I'm dead, is it!
I'd rather waste some and take a chance, than just not bother doing anything.

My oncologist also informed me, that to get hold of the liver scan films (that are needed by the liver specialist in London, before he can see me), I'll need to ask my GP to write to the radiology department of my hospital, to request them. Then I may well have to pay a fee for them.
What is it with all this red tape? I can't see why the oncologist couldn't have just requested them!

I often wonder if these medical people actually realise it's a real persons life they're dealing with.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Taxotere 4

Today, I had my 4th lot of poison, alongside my 14th lot of Herceptin.

My appointment at the chemo suite, was 12 noon. It was all pretty timely, and I got in at 12:15.
Half an hour, and four attempts later, they found a vein.
Four attempts isn't bad going for me. I think my record's eight.
But todays attempts really seemed to hurt. I thoiught I might feint at one point, as they were poking around with a canula, on the inside of my wrist. They gave up on that vein, eventually.

I've been asked today, if I think knowing the Taxotere's "saving my life", will make the side effects of chemo more bearable.
First, I feel the need to say that it's not technically saving my life. Hopefully what it is doing, is prolonging it.
Secondly, I don't know if this will make the side-effects more bearable. I'll let you know when I'm feeling awful, over the next couple of weeks!

I'm not meaning to sound ungrateful..
I'm grateful for having access to these treatments. But in all honesty, I'm really not all that grateful for any of what's happened to me over the past 20 months.

I'm feeling really tired at the minute, and fully expect to start feeling rubbish over the next couple of days.
This will be the time I struggle to lift my head off the pillow. It's a great achievment, just to be able to get out of bed and get dressed!

I just hope this stuff keeps the cancer at bay, for longer than I've been having chemo.
One of the reasons I'm struggling to get excited about it, is that if it comes back soon, I'll have spent longer feeling like rubbish on chemo, than the chemo's kept it away for.
It's a quality of life thing, I suppose.

So bear with me if I'm not around for a couple of weeks..

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Cancer's Gone on Holiday

Today I found out that my cancer's taking a holiday.. it's gone away for a while!
I've had what they call a 'complete response' to chemo, and in the words of my doctor "It seems to have gone away for a while"!

I didn't see my onc today, but saw his registrar instead (lovely chap, who was happy to chat).
He made it very clear that this isn't cured, and it will come back at some point. I just have to hope it's in a few years, rather than a few months!

Where the 10cm tumour was (which I know now was in the right lower lobe of my liver), there's now a 6cm area of calcification, which is likely to be, but not necessarily, cancerous.
Also where the smaller tumour was, there's an area of calcification.
So it's not all completely clear, but it's the best news I could've hoped for, under the circumstances.. and it's certainly better than it having got worse!

But in the registrars words "It seems to be gone for now"!

I spoke to the Dr briefly, about liver surgery. He poo-pood it somewhat, saying there was no evidence it improved outcome.
Well, we'll see what the liver guy has to say about it.
I had a phone call from the liver specialists secretary today, saying the liver guy (Dr Satya Bhattacharya) would be happy to see me. But before he can, they need a referral letter from my GP (I saw my GP about this yesterday, so this should hopefully be sorted out asap). And they need me to get hold of the liver scan films, so the liver doc can look at them.

I'll be carrying on with my remaining 3 lots of chemo & herceptin.After that, I'll most likely be stopping herceptin, seeing as it didn't seem to do much on its own. And I wont have to have anymore chemo until the cancer returns.

Now, please don't get me wrong.. I don't want to put a damper on this good news. Because it really is good news. But james asked me earler, why I don't seem to be very excited about it..
And no, I'm not actually excited about it..

Maybe I can't get excited, because I know there's a good chance the liver crap could come back as soon as chemo's finished.
It hasn't got a good track record for staying away for long periods, has it?
I really am grateful for the good results, and I really do hope it stays away for a long time.
Maybe I can't get excited about it, because I don't want to set myself up for a fall, when it does come back.
Maybe I'm just trying to keep myself on an even keel, rather than extremes of highs and lows.
Maybe, as a friend suggested, I'm just being quietly, cautiously optimistic.

I feel like I need to whisper about it, rather than shout it from the rooftops, for fear the cancer will hear me, and come back to spoil my fun.
A bit like parents coming back early and spoiling your fun, when you throw a teenage houseparty!

I often still feel like I'm in a film, and this isn't really my life. Maybe that's my coping mechanism? Then every now and then, it hits me that it is really my life.
Maybe this good news will hit me in the next few days, and I'll be able to be more excited about it.

I'll be having Taxotere number 4 and Herceptin number 14, tomorrow.
In all honesty, I've been dreading it. The side-effects have been pretty bad, so far, and have completely knocked me off my feet. I fully expect to feel awful for at least one week.. quite possibly two.
But maybe it'll be a bit more bearable, now I know it's actually doing something.

Today, I caught sight of a reflection of myself, in a window. For the first time in a long time, I didn't think I looked ugly and fat.
I'm not saying I thought I looked stunning, because I'd be lying. But I felt better about how I look, than I have for quite a while now.

Blog Archive - 2006 & 2007.. & Hello!

The following blog entries are old posts, from 2005, 2006 and 2007, that I've copied across from my old blog site.
I didn't want to lose these entries, so I thought I'd put them here for safe keeping.

I started writing a blog, not long after I was diagnosed with early stage Breast Cancer, in July 2005, when I was 29.
My blog follows my breast cancer journey, and the rest of my life.
My previous blog can be found at:

I apologise for the 'chunks of text' they're all in. I don't write like this! It's just that's how they copied accross, and I'm afraid I just don't have the inclination to go through them all, and sort them into paragraphs.

If you've read my blog before, I hope you'll keep visiting now I've moved :o)
If you haven't read my blog before, I would like to invite you to join me on my journey..

06 de January, 2007
Taxotere 2
Taxotere number 2 (and Herceptin number 12) was on Thursday.No particularly bad effects so far, apart from feeling spaced out and just not with it. But then they didn't start until a few days afterwards last time, sowe shall see!
I'm not really feeling 'with it' at the minute, so please excuse my randomness and gibbering. But I thought I'd better type a few words, as people have been asking after me, an asking how I'm doing.They've been saying how brave they think I am, and what an inspiration I am.Am I brave? No.Am I strong? No.And I certainly don't feel very inspirational.
I keep going because I have to. I have no choice. It isn't because I'm brave or strong. Just because I can't do anything else.And do I sometimes wish it was just all over, so I wouldn't have to face this anymore? Of course I do. Often. That's not brave, strong, or inspirational. It's just selfish. I know that.Some days are better than others. The days I feel well, I'm happy to carry on. But the time after chemo, I'd happily curl up and die, at times.
The bone scan I had before christmas, showed abnormailites (hot spots) on my right shoulder. This could indicate that the cancer had spread to my bones too, so I had to have my shoulder x-rayed.The x-ray showed no abnormalities, so hopefully it isn't bone metastasies.The chest x-ray I had also appears to be clear. So at least there was a bit of decent news, at last!
James and me went to Edinburgh over new years.It was nice to get away, even though the Hogmanay street party we had tickets for, was cancelled due to bad weather!We managed to have a nice time though.. visited the zoo, wandered around Edinburgh, and went to The Secret Garden, at The Witchery restaurant, for a meal.I have to admit that on new years eve, while we were sitting in a pub (due to the street party being cancelled), surrounded by strangers, I really struggled to fight back the tears, on several occasions, wondering if this would be my last new years eve. Who knows.
Just outside the koala enclosure, at Edinburgh zoo, was a quote on a sign. I thought it was quite touching.It said:"We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through.Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love... and then we return home."
I also went wig shopping on Wednesday, due to the latest departure of my hair, thanks to chemo. I decided on a blonde number, called 'Teri'. It's really miles away from what I expected to come home with (after having short dark red hair, for the past year!). But I quite like her..

Posted by Dee at 15:12 Permanent Link Comments (4)

16 de December, 2006
Give Me Immunity!

I've been feeling more and more ill since the first cycle of my new chemo, last Wednesday.One of the expected side-effects is a sore mouth, so I wasn't too surprised when my mouth got sore. I wasn't surprised I didn't feel great. I felt fluey and achey. Again, that's to be expected (this stuff is destroying my cells, after all).But it started to get too much. My mouth was in agony. I could hardly open it, I couldn't speak properly, and all I could 'eat' was cold milk.
Yesterday, I had to go the the hospital for a bone scan, so I called in at the chemo dept while I was there.They took my blood, and informed me that my white blood cell count was 0. Yes, zero. I had absolutely no immune system.I also have tonsilitis, which has spread all over my mouth, hence the incredible mouth pain.Obviously, having no immune system, my body couldn't fight this, so it was just getting worse.Fortunately, my temperature was normal, so they sent me home with antibiotics, anti-bacterial mouthwash, and pain killers.If my temperature had been high, that would have been a sign the infection had got into my blood sytem, causing blood poisoning, so I'd have been stuck in hospital, on IV antibiotics.I'm just grateful I'm at home!
Before the chemo, I felt absolutely fine, even though I had a 10cm alien growing in my liver. Now I feel like I'm falling to bits!
The doctor made sure to tell me that the course of antibiotics will have ended in time for christmas day, so I'll be able to have a couple of glasses of wine!I REALLY hope my mouth's better by then (I hope it's better long before then). I don't fancy liquidised christmas dinner. All I can eat at the minute, is liquidised bland food. I can't even manage fruit smoothies, because the acid sends me through the roof!
So for now, I have to stay home. Not allowed to go out, incase I manage to find myself some more infections, and not allowed to see anyone who has colds, or anything else.It's been a fun week in Deeland!

Posted by Dee at 21:08 Permanent Link Comments (3)

11 de December, 2006
You hear about people dying all the time. You say "sorry" to their family, and get on with your life.
So what happens when it's you who's dying? What do you say to your family? "Sorry" doesn't really seem to cut it.What do you say to yourself? How are you suppose to feel and act? How are you supposed to get your head around your own death?
I'm not scared of dying. But I am scared of leaving behind the people I love. I'm scared to death (excuse the pun) of leaving James.I've had my share of 'mild' depression in my time. Sometimes I wouldn't have much cared if I'd died. So why now I like my life. In fact, I love my life. Why not when I hated my life? Why did whatever/whoever decides who's going to live, and who's going to die, decide they were going to drop this on me now?What kind of a screwed up world is this?
I hear people talking about their problems. How they hate Monday mornings. They hate their job. They don't get paid enough. Boyfriend troubles. Girlfriend troubles. Car troubles. Blocked toilets.And while I know everyone has their own problems to worry about, I wish they'd see the good things in their lives. I'd trade them for any or all of those troubles.
Posted by Dee at 14:54 Permanent Link Comments (2)

01 de December, 2006
It's Back
The cancer's back.
I found out on 22nd November that it's spread to my liver. I now have secondary/metatstatic breast cancer. There were two tumours they could see on the ultrasound scan. One's 'small', the other's 10cm.On Tuesday, I'll start 3-weekly Taxotere chemo, in the hope of shrinking and controling it. With the larger tumour, there's not going to be much room for error.
I feel like my world's fallen apart. Just when things seemed to be going so well. Nice holiday, just gone back to work, and then this.I'd be lying if I said I thought I was coping well.. I'm not. I'm scared. I don't want to die. And I'm sick of crying. Sick of waking up every morning with sore, puffy eyes, from crying. Sick of feeling sorry for myself. And sick of keep putting my friends and family through this rubbish.
The cancer's not curable now. I'm just hoping and praying that it can be controlled for a while. There's so much I still want to do with my life. I met the most amazing man in the world in January, and I'm not ready to leave him.

Posted by Dee at 01:13 Permanent Link Comments (3)

26 de October, 2006
Sunshine and Holidays
I wrote about St Agata yesterday, but neglected to talk about the holiday James and I have just returned from.. A Mediterranean cruise, to be precise.
Boat was nice, as were the places we visited (Palma.. Italy; Sardinia, Maddelena Island, Civitavecchia, Rome, La Spezia and Pisa. France; Nice and Sete). The weather was gorgeous, and the food was lovely.
The album containing our holiday photos, can be seen Here
Since then, I've come home to hospital appointments, doctors appointments, and Herceptin number 9, yesterday.
Two weeks today, I'll be back at work (allbeit a different job to the one I used to do and love. Same emplyer, completely different job). Just two days a weekto start with, until I get back into it, and see how it goes. In all honesty, I don't know how I'm going to be able to drive the 2o miles there, work all day, and drive 20 miles home, without falling asleep. I've slept a hell of alot since the whole cancer thing kicked off, and I don't often manage a day full of activity.. I seem to get tired so easily.

Posted by Dee at 13:21 Permanent Link Comments (0)

25 de October, 2006
Upon reading a blog which I often visit, I came across a paragraph about martyred virgin Agata (which, I believe, roughly translates to 'Agatha' in English), "who refused the attentions of Quintino and paid by having her breasts torn off."Agata had come down through history holding her severed breasts on a platter. Women who feared for their own breasts, it was said, invoked her. She's also the patron saint of bell makers.
After a little 'google' research, I find that apparently there's a painting of Agata, with her breasts on a platter (there's a ditty there, somewhere), in Rossellino's cathedral.. and quite possibly in many other places. And apparently her breasts look somewhat like fried eggs. Although I've never seen it, so can't comment!
According to, Saint Agata (died 251) is a Christian saint. Her memorial day is February 5. Agata was born at Catania and she was martyred in approximately 250. She is the patron saint of Catania.According to variations of her legend, having rejected the amorous advances of a Roman prefect, she was persecuted by him for her Christian faith. Among the tortures she underwent was the cutting off of her breasts. She is therefore often depicted iconographically carrying her excised breasts on a platter.The shape of her amputated breasts gave rise to her attribute as patron saint of bell-founders. More recently she is venerated as patron saint of breast cancer patients.

Posted by Dee at 22:57 Permanent Link Comments (0)

25 de September, 2006
I Fell from the Sky & Played in the Clouds!

Oh my god, what an absolutely amazing experience!
The feeling of complete freedom, as I was freefalling through the sky, above the clouds, was like nothing I've ever experienced before.It's things like that make me acutely aware that I am indeed alive and kicking!
We dived out of the plane, at 13,500 feet.. head first, into nothingness. When we levelled off, it was like swimming through the sky.. The wind pressing on my face.The parachute opened, at around 5000 feet. It was so quiet and peaceful. As we spiralled through the clouds, in the sunshine, people on the ground became more visible.. my family and friends, who had come along to lend their support.
My fear of heights and of flying were left behind somewhere on the ground, I think.At no time was there a feeling of falling. It was more a feeling of just being.. Being alive, doing something I never in my wildest dreams, thought I'd be able to do.
The whole experience is something I really can't put into words. But I hope it's one I'll get the chance to re-live one day.
When I left the airfield, they gave me a magazine. There's a quote in this magazine, by Richard Bach, that says.."What are we doing here?Overcoming the fear of death, of course.Why are we in the air?We are practising, you might say, what it is to be alive"

The videos of my jump can be seen Here (the 'official' video.. you need to fill the details in, including the 'optional' ones, to be able to view it). And Here (a video kindly taken by a friend).

Posted by Dee at 19:21 Permanent Link Comments (1)

22 de September, 2006
Almost Skydive Time!

Weeeell, it's Friday 22nd September, and tomorrow, I'll be doing a 10,000 foot skydive/parachute jump at Langar Airfield, near Nottingham, to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign!The fact I'm terrified of heights, and not very keen on flying, is neither here nor there.. I'm very determined on this, and while I'm getting nervous about it, I'm really looking forward to it too!
I'm praying for good weather.. it's raining here at the minute, and I keep checking the BBC weather website every five minutes. So far, it's saying it's going to be cloudy, but no rain. Poor visibility though, which I wouldn't imagine is ideal for throwing oneself out of a plane!Please wish some good weather for me!
I've recently set up a 'justgiving' page, which makes it super-easy for people to sponsor me online. It's at.. You can also see how much people have donated, and how things are going on my justgiving page. Photos of the jump will also be posted there!
For now, I'd best be off.. I have to go into town to pay some sponsor money into the bank, and to get some chocolate and coke.. I've been told I'll need them, for the shock afterwards!

Posted by Dee at 13:39 Permanent Link Comments (0)

04 de September, 2006
The Sea is Calm..

It's been a while since I last posted in my blog. I'm so lazy with these things.. and I suppose I've been trying to get on with life too!
In the past couple of weeks, I've had a 'one year post-diagnosis' mammogram, ultrasound, and MRI scan of my boobs. All came back 'normal', which was a huge relief!These scans were only of the boob area, so I'm well aware it's no indication of what's going on in the rest of my body. I just have to keep my fingers crossed that there's nothing bad going on in the rest of my body.
I'm still on the Herceptin journey. I've had six doses now (one IV infusion, every three weeks), and will be having number seven next week.They've all been relatively uneventful (thankfully). The main drawbacks are waiting hours to see the oncologist, and the chemo nurses playing 'hunt the vein'.I've had a few MUGA heart scans now, to keep a check on how my heart's coping with Herceptin, as it an cause heart damage and heart failure in some people. But I was pleased to hear that my heart function doesn't seem to have decreased.
Love life..James and me have been together just over six months now.We're having a good time (at least I am.. I hope he is too!), and are hoping to be going on a cruise in October. We should be booking it within the next few days, so I'm looking forward to that!
So, it's been a pretty good few weeks/months, all in all.. Long may it continue!

Posted by Dee at 18:02 Permanent Link Comments (0)

12 de July, 2006
Edinburgh, Baby!

The weekend just gone, James and me went away for a few days in Edinburgh..
The day before we went, I dug out my little suitcase on wheels.Evidently, the last time I used it, was when I went to New York, at new year 2004/2005.. it still had the luggage labels on.That made me feel a bit sad. Partly because I'd like to go back, but mostly because it reminded me of my life when it was 'normal'.I try not to think too much, about my life before bc. I struggle when I think about things that happened in my previous life, because I know I'll never have that kind of peace of mind again.
While we were in Edinburgh, we..Went on an open top bus tour.Went on a Ghost Walk.. an underground tour of the South Bridge vaultsWent to the Museum of Scotland and the Royal MuseumWent on a tour of Mary Kings CloseWent to the Edinburgh Dungeon. I got accused of being a Pagan Witch, and James got his tongue ripped out, as a method of torture.Went to Edinburgh Zoo.. had a great time.. and I got a fluffy toy Koala. I soooo want a Koala!!Went to Rosslyn Chapel, which is just beautifulWent to The Witchery restaurant, for din dins on Sunday evening, which was a perfect end to a perfect weekend.
I really didn't want to come home, and back to reality.I actually thought, on the Sunday night, whilst lying in bed.. if I died that night, I'd have died a very happy person.
8th July was my '1 year since diagnosis' anniversary, and I can honestly say I only thought about it once, the whole day.. that was when I was having a shower, at night.I'm so glad we went away for the weekend.That day last year, was the worst day of my life. But the same day this year, was one of the best :)
I was a bit sad that I had to come back to hospital appointments this week.I saw the oncologist yesterday, who told me the heart scan I had last week was fine, and had treament today.No more hospital for 3 whole weeks now!

Posted by Dee at 18:01 Permanent Link Comments (4)

14 de June, 2006
Serious Doubts

In 6 days, it'll be a year since I found a lump in my left boob. The lump that turned out to be cancerous.. the lump that changed my whole life.
I often wish SO much that my nice new relationship with James, wasn't tainted by this stupid cancer thing. I imagine wha it would be like, to not have to worry about that, and to just be able to have a 'normal' relationship, with 'normal' worries.
On 19th July 2005, I had this lump surgically removed, using what some call a Wide Local Excision.. others call a Lumpectomy, and yet more others call Breast conserving surgery.Either way, this means they removed the lump and a 'margin' of tissue around it, whilst still leaving me with the rest of my boob intact.
At this time, I was advised by my surgeon to consider having a mastectomy (entire boob removal), due to the aggressivness of the cancer, and the fact that some rogue cancer cells had managed to escape into my blood stream.However, two oncologists (cancer doctors.. one being one of the leading guys in the country) seemed to think that this approach was a little extreme, and said the lumpectomy should be adequate.So I stayed as I was, with my boob still intact.
Since then, I found out that I was HER2 positive. This generally gives a worse prognosis than being HER2 negative.Fortunately, I'm now being treated with Herceptin, to try and improve my chances.
I'm now having serious doubts about the lumpectomy vs mastectomy thing.I can't stop thinking that I should have opted for a mastectomy, which could decrease the chances of the cancer coming back in my boobs (seeing as there'd be virtually no breast tissue left).
I'm in a complete quandry about it now, and I have no idea what to do for the best.
But on a more positive note..I'm Dee, and in 6 days time, I'll be a 1 year breast cancer survivor :o)

Posted by Dee at 15:15 Permanent Link Comments (3)

06 de June, 2006
The hair cut's been and gone, as has the Bon Jovi gig.
I like my new hair, though I still look back at photos of when it was long, and wonder if I'll get the chance to grow it that long again.I used to love my long hair. I took great care with it, and great pride in it. I suppose it's sods law that it should all fall out. Not much I can do about it though!
The Bon Jovi gig was good. It took us an hour and a half, to get back to a hotel that was only 15 minutes away, afterwards though!The drive back from Manchester, yesterday, was nice, even though I now have a sunburned nose! James drove.. it was sunny and we had the roof down.. bliss!
I went to see Lisas kittens last night.Her cat, Piu, has three week old babies. A boy (Mylo) and a girl (Myrtle). They're so cute, and funny.
It's sunny again today. But I think I'll keep out of it.. my nose can't stand any more!Dillon's been 'hanging out' around the back of the shed, with two other cats, for the past half an hour. God knows what they're up to.. no good, I expect!
James went home an hour ago. But he'll be back again on Friday evening.I'm sure he's all that keeps me going through the week. Especially the weeks I'm having treatment, seeing doctors, or having tests.Everything'd be alot more daunting, if I didn't have the weekends to look forward to.
He made me so proud yesterday (though he doesn't know it.. don't want to make his head swell!).Lisa asked him about something. I wasn't sure how he'd reply.. whether he'd tell the truth about it, or blag his way around it. But he told the truth, and that struck something. He kept commenting that I was all snuggly and lovey after that. And he doesn't know that was the reason, but I felt so proud to be with someone who isn't ashamed of who they are, or what they've done.He is who he is, and I love him for that.
In the midst of all this cancer crap, the best thing that's ever happened in my life, has come about.. Amazing.

Posted by Dee at 13:34 Permanent Link Comments (3)

13 de April, 2006
30 Years!
I've just had a new comment on my blog, and a few people have Emailed me, to see how I am.. so I thought I'd better write something before everyone thinks I've fallen from the face of the earth!
It's been a hectic couple of months in some ways, but very quiet in others..
Radiotherapy ended about four weeks ago. I had 30 sessions (daily, for 6 weeks), which burned me quite badly, but everything's nicely healed now, and I can wear my normal underwear again.. yay!
On Tuesday, I found out I should be starting Herceptin soon. That'll mean a treatment every 3 weeks for either a year or two years.. they don't really know which works best yet. I have to have another heart scan first, to make sure my heart can cope with the drugs, as one of the possible side-effects of Herceptin, is heart failure. So it's good to make sure everything's tickety boo before it starts!
I now have enough hair to go without any kind of head covering, so I've been wandering around with my new short, funky, spikey hair do, for the past few weeks!
Yesterday, I found out I have no job to go back to.I've been off work for the past nine months, but have kept going in to visit my workmate and boss. Now my boss has let the shop go, so I'm out of a job. And with at least a years worth of treatment ahead of me, I'm not pinning any hopes on finding a new one very easily.Still, for the first time in my life, I'm recieving benefits, and should continue to do so while treatment's still going, so there's no desperate hurry to find a job straight away.. I'm just a bit strapped for cash!
What else?Oh yes, I've met a lovely chap!I actually first spoke to him in December and met him in January (he's one of the great bunch of folks, I went up to Scotland with). But it took until February for us to get our act together, and we're at that lovey dovey stage, which is good!Amidst all the crap of the past year, he's my 'good'. I'm not sure he realises just how much 'good' he's been.In the absence of the job I loved, and things to look forward to, he's been my focus.. He's given me something to live for, I suppose.
On 3rd April, I celebrated my 30th birthday.I spent the weekend with friends, family and James. It was a lovely weekend.Last year, I didn't know if I'd even get to 30, but I did. I'm feeling well, and I'm happy. So here's to another 30 happy, healthy years!

Posted by Dee at 19:21 Permanent Link Comments (2)

01 de February, 2006
Tired but Happy
I'm tired today, but feeling relatively good.I don't know if it's the effects of radiotherapy making me tired, some of the ridiculously late nights I've been having, or a mixture of both.The late night are probably not helping, but the people I talk to on these late nights, are what's helping me to stay feeling relatively good.. it's a trade-off.
My 4th radiotherapy session was today. It should have been the sixth session, but two were cancelled, due to the machine breaking down. I now have to go on Saturday this week (because of the machine arsing up), so I only get Sunday off.
Sitting in the waiting room today, with my dad, we had a little chat about birthdays. It's my mums soon, then my dad's 60 in March, and I'm 30 in April. We mentioned that I'm half my dads age this year, and it took all I'd got to stop myself snivveling in front of all the people in the waiting room.I focused firmly on the tv, which was showing Fern and Philip, or someone similar, talking about handbags, or something similar. I stared at that screen and forced the tears back to whence they came.
My dads feelings in all this, are still the most difficult thing for me to deal with. From when I first had to tell him I had cancer, up until now, having to put my dad through this is the most difficult thing I've ever done.He mentioned the lump I'd found near my wrist, a few days ago. I tried to play it down, saying I'm sure it's nothing sinister. I hope it isn't but I can't help worrying. This is another of those things I'd have never thought twice about before the whole cancer thing, now it's something I'm paranoid about.
My car needs cleaning. It looks like a pile of mud, rather than the sexy blue convertible that it is. I'm a disgrace to my MG!I knew I should've cleaned it yesterday, when it was cold, but the sun was out. It's just freezing out there now, and I'm so tired, I'd probably fall asleep whilst lathering up the bonnet!
Still, spring's on it's way.. the seasons keep on changing, regardless of what's happening in my life, and they'll carry on doing so, no matter what happens. The hard top will be coming off my car soon, and it'll be returned to it's wonderous convertible glory! I'm looking forward to driving around in the sun, with the roof down and music playing.. but it really does need cleaning!
Posted by Dee at 16:04 Permanent Link Comments (2)

30 de January, 2006
I'm Posh
This morning, so far, has consisted of phonecalls..
Whilst attempting to eat breakfast, a nice chap from The Royal Marsden London hospital called, to talk to me about the POSH study (The Prospective study of Outcome in Sporadic versus Hereditary Cancer) I've agreed to take part in. Hopefully it'll be able to be done through the hospital I go to (Derby), rather than trawling all the way down to London.
Then, whilst still attempting to eat breakfast, my breast care nurse called, to see how I'm doing and to ask if I'd heard anything else on the Herceptin front.
Anyway, I've finally managed to eat brekkie, and was just about to get ready to go to the hospital for my zapping session, when I realised my appointment's half an hour later than I thought it was.
I received my 'Sniff Petrol' calendar this morning.. it's great! The folks over at made a 'charity calendar' for me (to either help fund my Herceptin treatment, or to go to a chariry, should the PCT fund my treatment). The calendar can be seen/ordered here..
Right, I'd better be off to get myself sorted out for this radiotherapy thang.. It looks cold out there again, this morning
Posted by Dee at 11:13 Permanent Link Comments (0)

26 de January, 2006
Roasting & Toasting
Two radiotherapy sessions down, 28 to go!
Yesterday, as I was sat waiting for the lady before me to be cooked, I saw the 'Radiation on' sign light up, and had to stop myself running out of the place.I was dreading radiotherapy, more than I ever dreaded chemo. I don't know why.I know both chemo and RT can do horrible things to you, and it seems bizarre logic to me, to treat cancer with things that can cause cancer. I'm sure they'll find out one day, that we've been making a terrible mistake by doing this.
I didn't make a run for it anyway.. I went in, got zapped, came out and felt like bursting into tears for a few hours afterwards.Todays was ok. I didn't feel like doing a runner, and I didn't feel like bursting into tears.
Posted by Dee at 14:00 Permanent Link Comments (0)

24 de January, 2006
Still Here!
Wow, I've been so lazy with this blog. People have been emailing me to see if I'm ok, and I am.. I have no excuse, other than laziness!
Well, what's happened since my last blog entry.. lets' see..
I had my final chemo (hopefully forever) on 21st December. Had a nice christmas, and some wonderful christmas gifts. My convertible car, which I love to bits, is now fully paid for, thanks to my family.
I had a fantastic new years eve, with my friends. We got drunk, laughed, cried and fell over!
I've had a good few relatively 'normal' weeks since my lasy chemo, and my hair's growing back.. now radiotherapy's about to start (tomorrow), so here endeth my life for the next six weeks!
I managed to escape reality for the weekend though, when I went up to Scotland with a bunch of people I'd never met before, to go to someone's party, who I'd never met before!
We all got on really well.. got very drunk, fell over, and had an absolutely fantastic time. I think I laughed more this weekend, than I have for the whole of the last year.. and I have my friends to thank for that. I think I may have made a bit of an arse of myself, but I really don't care, because I had such a great weekend!
I'm planning on throwing myself out of a plane for charity, hopefully this summer, with the folks I went up to Scotland with!

Posted by Dee at 15:28 Permanent Link Comments (2)