It’s the Chemo Countdown

The countdown is on people; the countdown is on! It’s only nine days to go until my last chemotherapy treatment and I couldn’t be happier. It’s not often you see me excited about something, but let me tell you… I’m really effing EXCITED!

Oddly, it’s not the chemo ending that I’m looking forward to the most. It’s the hospital visits and the constant hanging around in the waiting rooms that have got me down for so long. I’m one step closer to having a little more freedom to live my life my own way again and the great news is that my body has responded really well to the treatment. This naughty tumour has shrunk to practically nothing. Hurrah!

Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot more for me to get through. Up next after the final chemo, is my lumpectomy operation. I’ve been told that they will be injecting me with a blue dye and I’ll look a little Avatar-esque for a while. Alex is on strict instructions to get that photo of me even if I’m sleeping and high on meds, just so I can share it with you all. I mean, it’s not often you can capture that selfie! I’m also told that I’m going to have a wire (marker) hanging out of my boob for 24 hours beforehand. I might spare you that image. Gawd… the things I’ve had to go through!

From there, if all goes well and the cancer hasn’t spread to my lymph nodes, I think they will leave me alone for 6-8 weeks to allow my body to recover before moving on to radiotherapy. This is going to be pretty tough for me as it requires daily trips to St. Thomas’ Hospital, for four-and-a-half weeks. It apparently really zaps your energy and I’m pretty tired at the best of times. My main concern is that I need to be able to continue working throughout, but it’s for this very reason that Alex kindly sold my computer and invested in a smaller and lighter version. Now I can work on the move without moaning about carrying a bag of bricks. It’ll be alright, I’m sure.

After the radiotherapy, I’ll be given tablets to take for two years. I have no idea what that’s all about, but we’ll learn more about it when we get to it, shall we class?! It’ll also take some time for my body and brain to get back to it’s usual working order from there, but who cares… the main thing here is that I’ve (just about) beaten this sucker and hopefully it will never return.

Aside from my last chemo session, I’ll also be having my PICC line removed on the same day. You don’t know quite how much I’ve missed taking baths, especially with all these aching muscles and bones! Roll on September 11th…

Anyway, just thought I’d check in to tell you that I’m full of joy that chemo is coming to an end.

Until next time – Go check yourself x

I know I’m not leaving the planet in a spaceship or anything, but this is my song choice for today’s post ;)

Game changer…

Shiny New Macbook

Feeling Down and More Test Results

There was bound to be a time where this breast cancer lark would have me feeling down, and I have to confess, Sunday was not a good day for me. I had round two of my chemo on Friday and my hospital care hadn’t quite been up to the standards I’d got used to… Nothing too serious, but when you’re someone who likes order, a little disorder can be very unsettling.

I was somehow fooled into forgetting the unpleasantness of my first chemo and round two came right at me with a great big punch in the face. Charming. The problem I’m having is that I’m being really sick, before I’m allowed to take my first anti-sickness tablets. I then feel a little better, take the anti-sickness tablets and they make me feel sick again. Something that needs looking into obviously, but when you don’t get to see your usual oncologist before the next round of chemo and see someone who doesn’t know your case for precisely three minutes, how are you meant to sort all that?!

I took one look at my still not completely bald self in the mirror on Sunday afternoon, and just became a total misery guts for a few hours. Cutting and shaving my hair made me feel in total control, but as I sit and wait it for it all to drop out, it is no longer down to me, but those nasty toxins. My morning ritual for the past few days has been shaking out my sleep cap, which catches the evenings ‘droppings’. How times have changed!

Ah, well, it’s Monday now and things are looking a little better. I’m still feeling nauseous, but I have just been made aware of an expensive drug that I need to push for, to stop me being sick. Apparently, no one should be vomming as much as me, so we’ll get that nipped in the bud, that’s for sure. I’ll probably get Alex to ask for the drug though, as he has a better way with the doctors and nurses than me – I’m more pally with the surgeon, which I think will pay off greatly in the end!

Don’t worry, It’s not all doom and gloom here in Camp Zoe. Last Wednesday, I went to get my results for the second lump and was told it was benign. Hurrah! I was then asked if I’d started my Herceptin treatment (by the temp oncologist who didn’t even know which round of chemo I was on). After explaining I didn’t know what she was talking about, she said “Ah yes, your results show you are ‘HER2 positive” – Great. Next time, I’ll have the results first, thanks.

Anyway, apparently HER2 positive is what all the breast cancer ladies hope for. This means that my cancer cells are more likely to grow and divide…  Stick with me here, it gets better. Between 15 and 25 out of every 100 women with breast cancer have HER2 positive cancers. It doesn’t sound like good news, but Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is a wonder drug that will reduce the risk of the cancer coming back. See the slight bonus there? As usual, the good comes with the bad and I will most likely have to have a stingy injection in my thigh, every three weeks for a year… A whole year! *sobs*

It’s good new Zoe. It’s good news. Hmm.

I have survived round two of Chemo – Just six more to go!
Until next time x

 

This little chihuahua has been very supportive. Barking to get out of her crate, and then running to me whenever I’ve got my head stuck down the lav… True love. 

Feeling down and more test results

Left Boob and Right Arm Challenge

This morning I was challenged with the feat of keeping my left boob and my right arm dry in the bath. The left boob and right arm challenge – A tricky task, let me tell you. I was told by the boob team that I wasn’t to shower, but shortly after was told by the PICC line team that I couldn’t bath… Hmm, what’s a girl to do? These are just the everyday comedy tasks that I have found myself facing since I was diagnosed with cancer… “Don’t get this wet or it will get infected” – “Don’t go out between these dates because you are more likely to pick up infection”… Yeah, yeah. Whatever!

Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of my day at the hospital, having another biopsy, followed by a second attempt at my PICC line insertion. First up, at 9am (progress on last weeks 7.45am appointment), the dreaded biopsy on the new lump that they have discovered. I was hoping that I wouldn’t get Dr. Arrogant, but in he strolled, in all his “this won’t hurt as much as the biopsy” glory… He shot me with the biopsy gun twice and then did me the courtesy of asking if I could cope with a third shot, which was thoughtful. I was in and out in no time at all. Turns out, that he’s pretty good at that part of the job. It was much less painful than the very first procedure and I’ve had no pain whatsoever since… Just another whopping bruise to add to my collection. Marvellous. I’ll allow Dr Arrogant to shoot me in the boob anytime he likes, if it’s going to be that easy!

Next up, my PICC line insertion. We found ourselves waiting around for an hour and a half for this, due to a lack of communication amongst the hospital team. It didn’t bother me one bit though, as I was chilled as a mofo, after popping a Lorazepam earlier in the morning. Waiting around has never been so easy! Having a PICC line inserted is a very slow process, mainly due to the extensive setting up process, making sure everything is sterile around the patient. However, with a different nurse this time round, they managed to find a vein relatively quickly, and it all went quite smoothly. Hurrah! They then sent me off for a quick X-ray to check the tube was not heading towards my throat or anything nasty like that… Eek!

PICC-Line

As easy as it was to get it in this time, the PICC line was pretty sore afterwards, and it still is now. I’ve been told that it will take a good few weeks before it starts to feel less painful… No one had thought to warn me about this before I had it done. Cheers guys! Anyway, it’s there now, and it really will help having it – The fewer needles, the better if you ask me. It should speed my chemo sessions up a little bit and generally make life a whole lot easier at the hospital.

My new best friend…

Picc Line Arm

This Summer’s new look…

Left Boob and Right Arm Challenge

I get the results of my biopsy next Wednesday and have been told there is a 98% chance that it will be benign. Here’s hoping. Before then, I’ve booked to get my hair cut quite a bit shorter, in preparation for its departure from my lumpy scalp… Yup, I ended up getting a rash both on my face and in my head, after the chemo, so was given hydrocortisone and antihistamines to clear it up. They seem to have been effective after just one day, so things are looking up. I just don’t want to be a spotty, bald-headed sight for sore eyes, so it’s a race against time to get rid of it all completely. Other than that I’ve been feeling pretty good. Just killing time until my next chemo session next Friday.

I’m waiting for a proper cover to arrive so I can shower and bath with a little more ease, but this morning I had to get busy with a roll of cling film and a tea towel. Did the job.

PICC line Bath

Oh, and If you were wondering, I sent Alex off to do a few chores this time round. No one needs to hit the ground twice in such a short space of time ;)

Until next time x