Monday, August 23, 2010

I am almost 1/3 of the way through treatment already :)

I had yet another bad reaction last week to the chemo. The first time I had it my body had never experienced it before therefore I was completely fine, the second time my body had realised what it was and formed the reaction...3rd time was quite bad. Not even 2 minutes had gone by of the nurse opening up the drip and I was gasping for air and I was as red as a lobster once again. I pictured myself as the girl who swells up  like a massive blueberry in charlie and the chocolate factory - my skin felt like it was going to pop right off I was swelling up. 10 minutes later I was back to normal again. I had to wait almost 2 hours for the doctors to allow me to carry on with the chemo ( I got the impression they wanted to stop it ). The doctors have now decided that my anti allergic medication isn't strong enough and now I need to have an injection as well.
I only got out at 4:30 that afternoon. What a looooong day.

Friday was my Birthday. Slept nice and late, Nigel took the day off, had family come over and then I was taken to my favourite restaurant for Sushi - Belugas of course :) Had an early night and caught up on sleep (quite sad considering if I didn't have cancer I would be partying it up with my mates as per norm). On saterday morning I had 23 of my friends join me for breakfast at Ciao baby at Eden on The Bay. Was really nice - felt soooo loved and spoilt!

I was overlooking my whole situation this weekend with being a year older and really is a horrible situation but I really do consider myself lucky with all the support, prayers and thoughts that I get. I realised how extremely calm I am and asked myself am I normal??? Between Nigel and Yvonne they always joke that I'm like a Robocop...Here is to hoping I am and that this will all be a walk in the Park ;)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quite the boring weekend  - This whole ordeal certainly sucks life out of  a whole bunch of things thats for sure.

Wasn't feeling too great today - I think I pretty much slept 3/4's of it... I am glad however that I'm not off suffering terribly bad - I think treatment has come extremely far over the last few years. The doctors give you 
tablets to prevent as much as possible. I think movies put too much image into ones mind.

It's my birthday this week (here is hoping I don't feel too sick for it - wouldn't want to sleep it away :(  )

Thursday, August 12, 2010

no. 2!

Treatment no.2

To those of you who have read/ joined the blog - thank you for your support and all your kind words. It was quite a surprise to find out RE/MAX was doing a fund raiser. Thank you Thank you Thank you!! The support is unbelievable.

Presently I am sitting in the treatment room getting my treatment. After about 30 minutes I was feeling the sensation like I couldn't breathe. My chest was on fire and I felt like someone was sitting on my chest and my face turned a nice shade of lobster red. Well that was unexpected... The nurse stopped the treatment for a while and injected me with something to take the side effect away. Apparently this is a side effect...pleasant hey?

My mom comes home today from her trip to UK - I'm so excited to get out of here and see her!! It's been almost 2 weeks which may not be a long time but she's been with me throughout -except for my first treatment and this one. It gets her that she couldn't be here but she deserved a good time. She has always put us first and never herself.
Can's sleep today for some reason - I think it's beause just too much is happening at present. My uncle who has also been diagnosed with liver cancer had various testing done but unfortunately no answers because they could not get enough fluid out to be tested (he has to be tested only next mont again - such a long wait), my mom came home and my dad is having a op on his ear...too much for one day and now I just can't sleep (grrr).

A friend visited me and bought me lots of yummy things for the metal taste in mouth (sorry yvonne - no chocolate) -can't stop snacking (very frustrating).

Friday, August 6, 2010

3rd of August  
‘D’ Day is here and almost gone.

I had my first chemo session today! It was a lot better than anticipated.
I walked into the treatment room (a room full of lazy boyes and drip stands) and met up with the nurse who would be responsible for me. This woman was like a mother Theresa might I add. She took me to a chair, I put my bag down and literally from the time I leaned down with my back facing her she knew I was in tears handing me tissues. A wave of emotion just hit me like a tidal wave all of a sudden because I was starting the biggest fight of my life and I was unaware of the ‘unexpected’ because everyone is different. This was just plain blady scary and the pills that I had been given to take didn’t numb/ calm me in any way from this. Another nurse from across the room saw me in distress and came and rubbed my shoulders ‘welcome to the chemo room’ she said – well did this set me off further… Is she mad to say such a thing?! – terror just struck me all over and I pictured myself in the ‘panic room’ instead. Eventually ‘Mother Theresa’ and Nigel managed to get a smile on my face and got me ready to start.
To my shock I could only have visitors every 30 mins for a span of 10 minutes. For my first time that was a bit harsh considering I was a bit of a bundle of nerves. Nigel and my dad however tried to come in and stay for as long as someone would notice bringing me snacks and stuff to drink. I was there for 4 ½ hours...

To those of you who seem to think/ picture the chemo room as something scary and depressing it really isn’t at all. All the people who are being treated (all older of course by like 20  years or so) all have smiles on their faces and are as chirpy as ever. Quite a buzz going on. After about  4 1/2 hours of different drips (cortisone, saline, anti nausea stuff – all to which made me really sleepy and generally with a slight ‘hot flush’ )I was given the ‘liquid gold’. Nigel sat joking for every drop that went through was R10, R20….R500. It’s outrageous how much it costs. This person who invented it (and we love him so) must be stinking ritch!
Eventually I got to go home. I slept for about 3 hours and after that was wiiiiide awake. Symptoms? Hideous metal taste in mouth (swear I’m going to be a elephant within a mouth because I keep stuffing sweets in my mouth to get the taste away), mouth sores, achey body, weakness and nausea. All of which hasn’t been too bad really. It’s really just like the flu really – well I certainly hope the symptoms don’t get worse!! I just finished this amazing book called the ‘C word’ by Lisa Lynch who went through a similar situation to me also being as young and her symptoms sounded unbearable. Guess it’s a good thing that everyone is different. Lets just hope the hair stays put!! (can only hope and pray).

Next treatment is next Thursday – wish me luck!

In the Beginning...

The 15th of June – a day I will never forget certainly has changed my life – not only mine but to all those who are close to me as well. On this very day the doctor had called me in (with instruction to bring someone with) to bear the bad news that I had Breast Cancer. After hearing that my lump which was detected was indeed maligment  – it dosn't  feel like a reality. It can’ t happen to me - I’m  only 26 after all? It appears with my bad like (really bad luck might I add with everything that has happened in the last year and a half) I am part of a very rare statistic where yet 3 % of women under the age of 35 will get breast cancer…

The very following week I was scheduled for surgery to have my nodes checked out and yet another biopsy taken. More bad news…not only had this BC spread to my liver but it was stage 3 and to put icing on the cake I was HER2 positive. To explain HER2 positive in a way that people will understand better – this means there is a cell that is making everything replicate even quicker. Oh S&*T!

What furiates me the most here is that I originally felt the lump myself in November. I went to an idiot (putting it mildly) of a GP that misdiagnosed me by saying it was a swollen gland (knowing that I had cancer both sides of my family) – why I didn’t have it checked out sooner after that I don’t know. Guess not all people in white coats are smarter than you think…The thing that upsets me is that I would be at an earlier stage of BC or even over this 'ordeal' by now if it weren’t for him.

This blog may be a bit cheesy and cliché but it’s my way of letting everyone know what’s up/ my way to vent/ remember how things go. Please don’t feel obliged to read it. I just find people are always asking how I am and how I’m feeling. If I offend anyone I apologize in advance.

The doctors have decided to go the Chemo route with no operating. Keep it under control is all they can really do. My diagnosis is a bit of a dangerous one because it’s in my system already and it’s making it’s  route around the body ready to latch onto something else.

I have the worlds best support team :). My family, close friends, work and  Nigel. They don’t bombard me with all this craziness that is. They just know when to step back, be there, hear me rant, load me with love and support. 

Oh – forgot to tell you the good news (yes, amazingly there was good news!). When visiting my oncologist they insisted that they wanted to start on treatment asap but I should consider going on the trial (they were looking for a study case with my specs if you could say). You see my treatment is so expensive because I have HER2  that they can offer it to me for free if I decide to go on this case. Medical aids stop paying for the treatment (Herceptin) because of the costs. This ‘liquid gold’ costs R25 000 for just 2 sessions and I’m getting it not only for free but possibly as long as I’ll need it. Woop Woop!

On the 26th of July I had my chemo port put in. My veins are so small and impossible to get hold of so they inserted a small port about just smaller than a R5 coin beneath my skin in my chest area. It’s going to make the process so much easier. I was off work for a week with the port. You have noooo idea how much you use the muscles in this area. Could barely roll over in bed – and here I thought I would be off for just a day!