Thursday, March 17, 2011

Well its been a long time since I blogged....why? well to be honest because I have been that busy I just have not had time!......
I am going to therefore tackle some issues head on....haha...head on is very apt!!
The past year has been a trifle traumatic but has bought more positives than negatives, yes that does sound barking mad when you have had your daughter and yourself diagnosed with agressive breast cancer, both been through surgery,chemotherapy, radiotherapy, herceptin therapy and heaven only knows what else and have anothe 5 years worth of treatment to go (hormone therapy)!!!! However lifes experiences can be looked upon as negative or positive and this has most definitely been the latter. I have met some amazing people, laughed until i was helpless with the humour I have found from people, experienced first hand what its like to be 'on the other side of the fence' i.e. the patient experience! found out exactly who my friends really are...with some surprises, and audited my life and planned an exciting future....so to be honest, although this seems a strange thing to say, I wouldn't have missed it for the world......

So I thought I would share some observations before blogging regularly about my sheepy and other activities!
Chemotherapy....nasty stuff, lots of different versions, some make you feel sick, some make you ache all over, some make you muzzy headed, most make your hair fall out...and not just the hair on your head!!!
However the most visible bit is the head hair thing!.....So you have a choice, wear a v posh bit rather hot wig....which to be honest I tried but looked too tidy, after all they just dont 'do' wigs for scruffy outside types! And so I tried a variety of hats....which being over a very cold winter were ok...until you went inside the pub/shop/train/house etc when they got really warm and you take em off and people look at you with horror....now just a comment aside here...WHY is it that the England rugby captain and half his team with shaven heads are seen as ok and quite sexy but a bald women is seen and regarded with total horror???
Scarves....I look daft in a scarf....ohh that nearly rhymes! and scarves shout CANCER and everyone averts their eyes and gives pitying looks....especially so once your eyebrows and eyelashes fall out coz, well, you must be 'near the end'!!!

So I have chosen to mostly go 'commando' and scare them half to death!.....whilst explaining that chemotherapy is not being given as 'a last resort' as one person commented.....!!!.....but as a first line of treatment to stop the bluddy cells in their tracks just in case any escaped being removed by the surgery!!!.....and make you well! The same goes for the radiotherapy....I am in the middle of that treatment at the moment and attend the clinic for a 5 minute daily microwaving for 4 weeks...very easy and not at all scary. As for the other targeted treatments....the herceptin which was fought for to be licenced for use by some very brave women about 6 years ago targets any cells that might be thinking about going mad and dividing in a specific way....20% of breast cancers have this problem which makes them more likely to recuur....this is given IV every 3 weeks for a year and has mild side effects as does the tamoxifen that I have to take for 5 years because my type of breast cancer is also driven by oestrogen and the tamoxifen interferes with that....
So to conclude I am fit, well, very healthy, not dead, not sad, very active, very short haired (and I like it!)with sheep about to start lambing, with exciting things planned and ready for the next adventure.....

4 comments:

Frances said...

Really nice to see you back blogging - look forward to talking felt with you again soon Fx :D

tpals said...

Hooray!

Your post just made me feel like cheering. x

J. said...

Now I always thought that 'going commando' meant not wearing knickers, in which case it wouldn't be just your head that's cold, but you obviously have a new version of it!

Very, very relieved to hear that you are fit and well and definitely not dead.

And now I look forward to a catch-up and seeing pictures of those lambs soon

Much Love - Julie

PS tamoxifen comes from yew trees?

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Good to have you back Val!