Fight Day 274, Dear Boobie

So tomorrow, on fight day 275 since cancer treatment started, I’m back where it all began in surgery.

Sadly it wasn’t to be! The original lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy (where they take the three nodes most likely for the cancer to spread) didn’t cut it (no pun intended) and so ‘off with your boob!’ along with all my lymph nodes in the armpit.

It’s definitely going to be strange looking down and no longer having an actual cleavage. But alas boobie, you have an agenda, a motive, and you must be stopped.

I’ve got my bag packed, button up tops, drain bag (to be stylish on the ward), extra long phone charger, and a mastectomy pillow. I’ve downloaded stuff from Netflix to the iPad that fingers crossed will keep me occupied. Will likely end up funding the corruption that is hospital telly. Don’t mind the food and they have good drugs. I’m optimistic.

So as per the cake at our tea party ‘Bye Bye Boobie’, it’s been fun, but like a broken relationship there’s no going back, quite frankly you are trying to kill me so off you fuck! (Sorry mum)

Fight Day 268, It feels like forever

And so into the CT scanner I went, for my ‘planning’ scan. The one so the surgeon knows which bits to ensure he chops off and which bits to leave behind. Seen as the first time he operated on me last June he left a diseased lymph node behind he’d better get it all out this time!

I am lucky I have an incredibly supportive Macmillan nurse who must have stolen my wand because she arranged the scan at very short notice so the report was available to discuss with the surgeon.

And that’s when things went wrong, again.

You see we walked into that appointment fully aware and a little sad that despite everything I now need a mastectomy. All this time and all that treatment and there is more cancer, new cancer in my breast. So that’s it, she’s clearly got it in for me so she needs the chop. What we weren’t prepared for was the surgeon telling us there was a ‘highly suspicious lesion’ (assumed cancer) of 7mm in size (different to the cyst found on a scan last summer) on my liver. I had no words. Literally stunned silence…… The surgeon mentioned surgery (whilst the Macmillan nurse shook her head) and words like ‘palliative’ and ‘Royal Marsden’ were used….. Eventually I burst into tears, telling anyone who’d listen that I had small children. This just wasn’t fair.

An urgent MRI was needed to confirm that diagnosis, which was done three days later and I promptly then hopped on a plane to see my best friend in Spain before discussing the plan with my oncologist upon my return.

During this time, and with a lot of support from others. We researched different alternative treatments to compliment the NHS, and I radically changed my diet.

I prepared myself to do battle with the beast. However I can honestly say this time period was probably one of the lowest of my life…… There’s nothing that scares me more than the thought of leaving my beautiful family. I carefully selected the people I wanted to talk to, avoided the school run, and was having anxiety attacks.

As I was preparing to return to the UK, I had visited our favourite shop in Spain (Ale-Hop, look it up) and was awash with gifts for my unknowing children and my mobile rang….. It was the Macmillan nurse. She knew I was in Spain, but this couldn’t wait, it was urgent, she had news.

It was a cyst.

I have ANOTHER cyst on my liver……

Well I cannot begin to explain the elation and tears, my friend’s poor son (7) was wondering what the hell was happening and we had to explain I’d had GOOD news.

This rollercoaster just keeps on going, and in the meantime I STILL have active cancer in my breast and lymph nodes. And tomorrow we find out when they are taking it out.

I’ve dropped 2kg since starting my new diet and I’m six weeks out of chemo.

Bring it on.

Fight day 249, Bravery, Love and Protection

This is my wand……

This wand was chosen and personalised by me with the crystals for love, protection and bravery. All the things I need in my life right now. It came from Disneyland Paris during a very important and much needed family trip to have some fun away from cancer. We created some amazing memories, which I shall cherish forever. My beautiful children in complete awe of everything Disney had to offer. Magical.

I need my wand, because I need some magic…… On Thursday morning I was due for my 14th chemotherapy and whilst I was busy getting ready I took an early phone call from my oncology consultant-bad news. Chemo is cancelled, just like that. It’s not working. A recent biopsy on a ‘sore’ area (breast) has tested positive for cancer, and my lymph node hasn’t responded.

So now there is mild (major) panic at what else could be going on in my body……….

A plan has been formulated. Urgent CT tomorrow evening, and a meeting with the breast surgeon on Tuesday to discuss the CT report plus a mastectomy and lymph node clearance. Major surgery.

I always had an inkling my cancer path wouldn’t be straightforward. Full of twists and turns. Akin to a maze, constantly meeting dead ends, the wrong path. I wonder when I will get to the middle?

Day 238, Cancer-the full time job

I have been to the hospital EVERY day this past week.

A&E Monday

Pre-chemo bloods on Tuesday

Chemo Wednesday (cancelled due to me not feeling well)

Consultant Thursday

Ultrasound and Pre-chemo

bloods Friday

And back today because the bloods on Friday were no good. White blood cell count too low for treatment, let’s see if there is an increase today!

Four treatments to go (and counting).

Fight day 221. Biscuits.

I knew the biscuit issue would rear it’s head at some point. And stupid me confessed to my oncologist that I eat a ‘shit ton’ of chocolate biscuits. This resulted in a wiggly finger conversation and a referral to a dietitian. Maybe the dietitian can convince me to eat less chocolate biscuits?

Or maybe the shame of the referral has kicked me into touch-I haven’t eaten a biscuit since the appointment!

No cardiology results yet, referral made.

I’ve also had my referral back to the surgical team, with a view to a complete node clearance 2nd/3rd week of March. We discussed the pros and cons of this surgery, and I felt some anxiety kick in as I felt reminded of my mortality. Evidently multiple node surgeries are not a thing and as I’ve already had one this could be the last chance to get it all out…… This is a no brainer to me, cancer would kill me but the side effects of no lymph nodes in one armpit would not. I vote get rid of them all. Get rid of the cancer (again).

Referral made to ultrasound to have another look at the beasty, will be interesting to see if the chemo has shrunk ‘it’. I was convinced I could feel it, and now I can not. This must be a good thing, right?

Five chemo sessions left, last one should be 7th March. One delayed for Disneyland.

I’m still blown up like a balloon, reducing the steroids. Still out of breath. Losing a couple of toenails now too! Scabs up my nose….. Starting to feel like the end might be in sight, well at least the next step.

Fight Day 213. Sassy.

Today I felt full of sass when I drove the beast to Ashdown Park for a lovely afternoon of tea and cake, with a little swim in the pool and a facial……

Sport mode selected, tunes blasting, Ray Bans on and off I went without a care in the world. I even threw caution to the wind and with zero cares I went for a swim. Risk taking is fun!

Chemo went ‘well’ yesterday, the port seems to be behaving, and I found out I can ‘ditch’ one of my injections, at least for this cycle! This particular injection boosts my white blood cell count and it is off the scale high presently…… Let’s hope it stays that way as these injections make me feel proper rotten.

Four days of five down the hospital next week, I have cardiology checking out my heart, bloods, chemo and a follow up with my oncologist.

Cancer keeps me busy! Today I had a day off and felt a bit more like ‘me’.

Fight Day 202

‘I am a magnet for miracles’

Yes, yes I am. My husband says to me ‘you are like a cat with nine lives, yes these awful things keep happening but you keep getting back up’.

And however tiring, and painful it is, I will continue to keep getting back up.

Back to the hospital early tomorrow. Finally a positive (in my opinion) decision made about my port. The Interventional Radiology Consultant is of the belief they cannot find a clot simply because there isn’t one, and the worsening issues with my left arm are solely due to the port restricting blood flow. It is also slowing down and if it fails exactly how will they administer my poison?! So tomorrow I have it taken out, and a new one put in on the other side.

Please all keep your fingers crossed this new one-

A-works efficiently

B-doesn’t give me sepsis

C-doesn’t make my right arm purple

I’ve also been referred to cardiology for ongoing breathlessness and unusual increases to my heart rate. But this can all be explained with chemo. It’s just good to check.

I still have 7 doses of chemo to go, at least one operation and four weeks of daily radiotherapy. But don’t worry about me. I’ll be over here performing miracles. ❤️🤞🙏