It was my 9 year Cancerversary on the 15th February and it was also 3 years since I launched my web site After Breast Cancer Diagnosis.
I always worry around this time and it was no exception as I had been having pain in my chest but I had been lifting a 30kg weight at Crossfit (sorry G!) Aches and pains are just part of the exercise regime and fit or not everyone hurts after a session at the Crossfit gym.
So I finally got round to mentioning this to G after he advised that the CT scan results were clear (YAY!) and his thoughts were to have a PET scan. I had this mulling around in my head and discussed it with my Breast Care Nurse the next meeting who talked it over with me and did think that this may bring up more issues than it was worth so I was happy to go back to G to say let’s leave it for the moment. No, he was adamant that it should be done.
PET scan booked for 6th Feb. February was a busy month with various “work issues” so no time to sit, think and worry. I was back at The Christie on Thursday 18th February. It was school holidays so Regan and Faron went to my friend Diane’s who was thankfully able to look after them.
It was quiet on the roads and I had the usual thoughts then going around my head. Thankfully, I can put worry out of my mind quite easily until the day and then mild panic sets in. We sat in the usual clinic waiting room with the chairs that are totally out of chi and I always want to rearrange the furniture. No one wants to see someone’s back? I’ll have to rearrange them one of these days.
We were early and G walked in and we said hi. ‘It’s a quiet clinic today as not a full clinic due to the holidays’ he said. We were ushered into one of the rooms and the nervous waiting began. Thoughts going through my head, our heads. One of the nurses came to talk us and then I also heard a familiar name being called so I knew another friend was also in clinic. Another nurse came in ‘come through, G wants to talk to you in the office where he can show you the scan.’ I nervously looked at Jeff and we went through and met two Junior Doctors who were there to learn, so shook their hands and two nurses were in the background. A couple of seats were pulled up for us to sit with G. And he went through the scan, as I knew already everything was clear on the CT scan … but on the PET scan there is activity in the sternum and then there is a spot in your left shoulder, and looks like there is a lymph node in your chest. He pointed at these and I looked at Jeff who had a ‘I don’t understand’ look on his face. ‘So the plan is that we start you on Abraxane again for 4 cycles and then also get radiotherapy to your shouder.’ At which Jeff said ‘so you won’t lose your hair again will you?’ I looked at him ‘yes of course I will it’s the same chemo I had last time’ I said with a tutt and roll of the eyes. He started to cry. I was just pissed off as everything started to dawn on me. 2016, a new year, a year off this shit, a holiday, our 25th Wedding Anniversary – this wasn’t in my plan for this year. The events that my friend Jo had organized for The Christie. I had talked to her a few weeks prior saying that ‘things can change, so I’ll say yes to everything I’m signing up for BUT who knows..’
Here we were again. ‘Well that’s just great, so I’ll be bald for our wedding anniversary – so we won’t be off on that cruise you haven’t booked Jeff’ I’m so sick of this shit. Ruining every possible plan that we ‘could’ have made.
I couldn’t see the ‘activity’ in my sternum so I asked about this and another scan was shown which flashed the whole of my sternum, and looked like a big keyhole beacon in red, orange and yellow activity. Shocked as I sat and took this in and then I had to go through the procedure of signing consent forms for chemo and then going through time scales and after the 4 cycles of chemo I would have a repeat PET to see where we are up to and what the next plan was (G always has a plan). Procedure over we were OK to leave.
I saw my friend who was in the waiting room and told her what had been said, she was also there for ‘news’ and was pretty jolly after downing some Diazepam to cope with the stress. Seriously the shit that we go through it’s a wonder we cope at all.
So off we went to the café where I had a mini melt down and then received a message from my BCN to ask if I was still around and did I want to talk? Off we went back to clinic and BCN sat us down in a bit of shock as she too didn’t think that it was going to show up something. She was glad we hadn’t just left. It just goes to show you have to trust your instincts and I feel I know my body well. We had a good chat about the treatment and situation and I felt better about the plan and what had been discussed.
The positives I brought from this were:-
Positives: it’s only in my bone, not in any vital organs, they’ve caught it when it’s only at “cellular level” (in my sternum) no big mass just showing up “cancer activity”. G is on the case to get radio organized – looks like I will start chemo – abraxane again – in 3 weeks on the 8th March then radio in between chemo 1 & 2 – review in 3 months with another PET scan & take from there.
So that was it, back jumping on the chemo train – next stop NED please.
We went home picked the children up from Diane’s and we all went on a bike ride around Dovestones. I needed the fresh air to clear my head and to be out and about. The only thing that was in the forefront of my mind was how the children were going to react to this news again. Last time was horrendous enough telling them and it wasn’t going to be any different this time. The plan was get Mother’s Day out of the way (great timing) and then tell them maybe after I had started chemo. It’s so very strange how you get use to real shit news and you just go into organizing mode.
So my focus was now on the Diggle to Didsbury 20 mile walk on the Saturday so I’d better get my head around that and there it was, parked again in the depths of my mind. No point in worrying, life goes on.
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