The past week has been quite busy.
I have started the next module of my photography degree (& the required reading😩)
I have also had my 3 weekly top up of herceptin & perjeta. A cold has joined in the fun so I’m feeling quite drained at the moment (all in time for Tom to start his 5 working days).
I saw the oncology nurse this week & due to some pains in my legs, I’m going to have my routine CT scan & an MRI scan next week to rule out anything horrible.
Good points this week include- breakfast with my best friend, reading “Dream a little Dream” by Giovanna Fletcher, preparing for Evie’s birthday & discovering that, not only Evie, but now Connor is shaping up to be an excellent artist! 😄🎨
So as I am sure you are all aware, I have recently had a mammogram, CT scan & an echocardiogram.
I received my letter in the post the other week regarding my mammogram & was happy to see the magical words “your recent mammogram shows no worrying features”. Honestly, I felt like framing it! It is one less thing to worry about & it is complete for another year. This is not to say I won’t still be checking myself but it does offer reassurance.
Secondly, yesterday I had my CT scan & echocardiogram results. The echo scan has come back normal which means I can continue with the Herceptin for another 3 months when I will need another scan. My CT scan has also come back ok, there is some debate over a vertebrae but my oncologist thinks it could possibly be scar tissue & isn’t majorly concerned.
So with my scans out of the way for a little while, today is was back to my regular treatment of Herceptin & Perjeta (can you believe it’s been 3 weeks since the last one!). Fortunately, all went well & I will just be feeling a little tired for the next couple of days
Well, Wednesday is drawing to a close. I’ve completed 4 of my 6 appointments for the week and my cold is finally starting to clear off.
So here is a round up of the week so far
Monday- Nurse- taking bloods ready for treatment on Wednesday
Breast Consultant- beginning to look at reconstruction or some sort of surgery but this is dependant on the oncologist
Tuesday- Day off
Wednesday- Oncology Nurse- Check up and arrange CT scan and Echocardiogram, she has also ok’d surgery but has to double check with the oncologist and we discussed me taking Flaxseed (apparently it can help suppress cancer cells if you take 1-2tsp a day so I’ve ordered some to be delivered tomorrow)
Nurse- Herceptin and Perjeta- 3 weekly top up, this usually takes around 3 hours (including observation period)
So this week I’ve had my Herceptin, Perjeta & denosumab on Tuesday, my routine mammogram & ultrasound scan on Wednesday & today I have my 3 monthly CT scan. I am also having the nurse come round to take some blood this morning as my energy levels are low & I just haven’t felt like myself since the surgery 2 weeks ago.
As I’m sure you can imagine I have lots of different appointments to keep up with & when explaining to other people it can become a little complicated. So I thought I’d begin by going through the various appointments I have & then go into detail each week about what I’m having or attending.
- Every 3 weeks I have Herceptin (by injection given over 5 minutes) & Perjeta (given intravenously over an hour). The nurse comes out to me for these & usually spends about 3hrs with me as they have to also monitor me once they have given me the drugs. They also come out to me the day before to take bloods to make sure I am well enough for the treatment.
- Every 4 weeks I have denosumab (by injection) which is a bone strengthened. The nurse, again, comes out to me but is only usually with me for about half an hour. With this treatment the nurse also comes to me the day to take blood
- Every 8 weeks I go to see my oncologist to discuss how I am, give me any results & make sure I am aware of what is happening next
- Every 3 months I have a CT scan to check my head, chest & abdomen to see if there has been any further spread.
- Every 3 months I also have an echocardiogram to check for any heart irregularities which are a potential side effect from my Herceptin.
- Every 6 months I visit my breast care consultant for a check up.
- Every 12 months I have a mammogram & ultrasound scan to monitor for any tumours or irregularities
Well, I’ve got to admit it’s been an interesting week.
Tuesday I had my CT planning scan ready to start radiotherapy in September. I was also fitted for a chin strap to hold my chin up so my jaw doesn’t catch any of the radiation. I know what you all must be thinking, cancer treatment is so glamorous.It feels like I can’t be trusted to hold my own chin up. It’s like in A&E where they put the bed rail up to stop you falling out (not sure how I’ve managed all the life but never mind).
Wednesday, after feeling very tired, spaced out and light headed during the week, I decided to give the Chemo Unit a call to discuss it. Following that call, I had to go in and have a blood test done. It came back that I was anaemic and needed a blood transfusion. Fortunately for me, there was a space free the next day to go in.
So Thursday, I had another day trip to the Chemo Unit to have 2 bags of blood. This is usually takes about 4 hours, which is a very long time when you are just sat there. I usually take coursework (but didn’t have any) so I took a couple of books and a magazine. They also have a TV however it is usually muted with subtitles (which becomes a bit of a pain if you miss a bit).
Today, I am beginning to feel a little better although the kids are playing up and we have our new puppy Elsa, which also needs training, so things at home are pretty kaotic. I am, however looking forward to going to afternoon tea tomorrow with a few of my friends to celebrate finishing my chemo. It will be nice to have a catch up with them and be able to relax a bit too.
Lastly, as promised, I have posted a couple of photos of my hair. I was really surprised to see it starting to grow back, considering I am still losing my eyelashes. To all those wondering, the only advise I can offer is that when I am at home, I tend to leave my head uncovered and I use Johnson’s baby shampoo. Not sure if either have helped but it might be worth a go.
Anyway, I’m signing off now so I can have a relaxing (or as close to relaxing) evening with my hubby and my new puppy.