As some of you may be aware – I had a bit of a scare a couple of weeks back. With going back to work I had started to have a few niggles in different parts of my neck and chest area on my Gertrude side. I dismissed them as scar tissue etc needing to settle down after the extra exercise but after talking to people and eventually being told I should be ringing the hospital to see what they think, especially as one of the nodes above my collarbone had popped back up (it has since subsided to the point they can’t feel it but is still tender to the touch). I hadn’t been too worried about the pains at all but after going through several channels then talking to an oncology registrar who said they needed to see me within a week – it started to freak me out that it was a recurrence or a spot of cancer that hadn’t quite been got enough the first time. They couldn’t fit me in until today so I have been being a bit on edge until now.
The good news is that they are pretty sure it is not a relapse or recurrence of the cancer but they want to do a CT scan just to make sure. I am reassured by the fact that the aren’t rushing me into have a scan tomorrow rather -just wanting me to get it done in the next month. It is more a precautionary than a necessary measure – I guess you would say.
The other two interesting bits that I liked about the oncology appointment today were:
1)that he gave me much better guidelines to know when to be worried and when not to be, and who to go to regarding the niggles, depending on where they are and severity of them.
2) they are considering my suitability for a clinical trial that is a follow on from my herceptin treatment. They are looking at an oral chemo drug(taken in tablet form) that is taken for another year after herceptin has been taken for a year as another form of Her1/Her2 inhibitor to stop relapse/progression of the cancer. I didn’t take my usual notebook so I didn’t write the name of the drug down but if I do go on the trial I will let you know. I’m willing to take part in anything that may stop the cancer coming back. They will get back to me when they are starting the trial as to my suitability.
This week definitely feels weird as it is the last herceptin treatment this Friday and if I hadn’t had these niggles needing checking out I wasn’t supposed to see the oncologist this week – I was supposed to see them 1st of September as the end of treatment follow up. I had expected this week to feel more final but now with this scare, and the scan coming up, as much as I am still positive it doesn’t really feel like I have finished treatment properly. I have my next follow-up with the oncologist at the beginning of October by which time the will have the hopefully good results of the CT scan. I think that is when I will feel more finality to the end of treatment, even if I do go on to participate in the trial.
I am joining the local breast cancer support group, not so much that I need support per se, but I need to know more people with breast cancer who have been through the same thing and share common experiences that know exactly what I am talking about. They are having a pot luck dinner meeting tomorrow night where the husbands/partners are invited too and I was pleasantly surprised that OH said he would come (this will be the first time I meet them).
My trips (one with YD -by plane and the other with OH by car) to visit MD will have to be timed around these other appointments but as I said to her I should have the appointments within the next week or so and then i can start booking things.
Those trips and other things like the “moving forward” course and just generally focussing on getting my general health and fitness up will be what keeps me busy for the rest of the year. I am now looking to next year and trying to figure out what plans to make for that in regards to work/family/health and happiness and the balance I want. Not sure what I want yet but I think time and distance after treatment will help with that.