Chemo is no more!

Well at long last I can say my chemo treatments are over! Whoopie doooo!! If I wasn’t feeling a bit sick from the treatment, I would be doing jumps and dances around my flat! But I am having a bit of a yucky day and have hardly left the sofa all day!

So to clarify I had my last treatment on Friday, it didn’t go to badly, they had a lot of problems getting the bloods, my veins would disappear as soon as the needles came out, so after various poking and pricking and 3 nurses having a go, they finally got there and luckily decided to put a cannula in so that I didn’t have to go through it all again when I went for treatment. That was such a relief I can tell you!

I guess because I was so worried that they would say my white cell count wasn’t high enough, I was pretty wound up and had a headache and was nervous so when I finally got called in for treatment I was feeling pretty nauseous and as soon as the anti sickness drug was being put in, I was instantly sick. It didn’t help that they had forgotten to give me the big anti sickness drug an hour before treatment so they had given it to me as I came in, so of course I lost that too.

Once I had calmed down, the treatment continued without a hitch and I could go. I felt quite emotional leaving, I thanked the nurses and legged it as felt like crying!

Well all I could think if was whooopie no more cannulas etc…… Hmmmm how wrong was I lol!

(Sorry it’s taken me a while to write this as just writing about my treatment made me feel very sick so I kept having to stop as I started writing this on the Monday after treatment)

So that’s the last of my chemo 🙂 wahoo!!!

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Fec’d Right Off

So today was meant to be my last chemo session, but as I said in my last two posts I was worried that my white cell count wouldn’t be high enough and I was right to be worried. They were not high enough and they wouldn’t let me have treatment.

So I have to wait till next week now and that also means my radiotherapy dates will go back too.

I have had a little cry and was pretty pissed off but am calming down now, I can’t do anything about it, just have to hope I am ok for next week.

So no special celebratory sandwiches for next week, I made special sandwiches for mum and I to mark the occasion as mum has been to every chemo treatment I have had. I wanted this one to be special so packed a monster lunch with a monster sandwich with ham, cheese, turkey, mayo, tomato, cheese and pulled ham spread etc I was going for one of those American style mega sandwiches lol. Oh well it can be a special sandwich for International Women’s Day now lol xx

Radiotherapy planning

Well radiotherapy planning has been planned, I had my ct scan and now have black pen marks all over my chest and boobs lol. The whole process didn’t take very long and was easy enough. I had to chat to the trials nurse and sign the paperwork to say I consented to take part in the relevant trials. There are various options that I can opt out of, such as a family history questionnaire, a photograph of my breasts at various stages of the treatment, permission for my tissue samples to be tested etc and a few more I’ve forgotten about.

I agreed to them all as I want to try and take part in all of it if it means things can get better for other people and things can change and progress.

The ct scan was interesting… Bloody cold room to be led down with your top off and boobs out! I had to lie down with me knees up, and my arms up above my head and they stuck sticky tape all over my chest and boobs, I think the tape had little strips in them from what I could see. Then they drew on me with a marker pen. Then they vanished into a little room and I got moved into the scanner, the scanner whirred around me and I was moved backwards and forwards a few times then the scanner started spinning really fast around me. I was fascinated if I’m being honest I kept thinking about the stargate tv series and hoped to be whisked off to some exotic planet lol.

After all this, they removed the strips and made more marks, then made the permanent marks but I am not too sure how they did this. I tried looking and just saw what looked like a pin in her hand.

After this wash done I could get up and get dressed and go home.

I felt emotionally drained afterwards, I admit to being a bit nervous about today and even more so about tomorrow I’m scared it won’t take place or they won’t be able to find a vein, that it will hurt and I’ll get upset.

Aggghhh time will tell xx

Ladies and Gentlemen its time for Radiotherapy Planning

Well tomorrow is scheduled to be my last chemo session, I feel a strange sense of relief that its nearly over, then also pretty nervous about it as the last few chemo sessions have made me feel pretty yukky, which is understandable as I knew that the more sessions I had the greater the impact would be.  But I know that compared to a lot of people I am lucky that it hasnt affected me hugely, but then if I look at some of the stuff thats happened, I know it hasnt been the easiest of rides, but the main thing is that I have made it through so far and only have the one to go.

I am hoping and praying that my chemo will take place tomorrow, I am a little nervous as I have had the start of a cold for the past few days, but I am hoping that my white cells must be dealing with it as the cold hasnt progressed into a full cold yet.  I just hope there are enough of the little buggers to get the chemo tomorrow!  So attention little white cells, I want you all present and correct for tomorrow ok!!

Well today is my Radiotherapy Planning day, I will have my first CT scan and then they will mark where the radiotherapy will take place, so that each time I come in for radiotherapy the machine will line up with these dots they put on my body and hey presto I should be out within ten minutes.  Well thats my understanding anyway.

I went in last week for a chat with the Radiotherapy trials nurse, as I have been invited/accepted to take part in a Radiotherapy Clinical Trial. This is paid for by Cancer Research UK which is a cause very close to my heart so I am glad its something for them, as I have done a fair bit of fundraising for them over the past few years.

Well the clinical trial is called Import High and today once I sign to say I want to do it (which I will) I will get entered into the computer and allocated at random one of the following radiotherapy treatments:

IMPORT High is looking at radiotherapy after surgery for breast cancer in women with an average or above average risk of the cancer coming back (recurring).

It is recruiting 840 women in the UK into 3 groups

  • Group 1 has standard radiotherapy of 15 daily doses of radiotherapy to the whole breast and 8 doses of radiotherapy to the area of the breast where the tumour was
  • Group 2 has a boost dose of radiotherapy to the area of the breast where the lump used to be. At the same time a medium dose of radiotherapy is given to the area around this, and a low dose to the rest of the breast. The treatment takes 3 weeks.
  • Group 3 has a similar treatment to group 2, but the boost dose is a bit higher.

More info on the trial can be found here if anyone is interested:  http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/about-cancer/cancer-questions/what-is-the-import-trial-for-breast-cancer

Now initially when I was given my radiotherapy schedule it had me down for 3 weeks, starting on the 4th April and ending on the 24th April so I thought I was accepted for either Group 2 or Group 3 trial, but I found out last week that they just schedule me in for 3 weeks as thats the minimum time I will need radiotherapy, so I could end up with the 4.5 weeks anyway so I was a bit disappointed with that news.  As the thought of driving in to Cheltenham Mon-Fri daily for 10-15 mins of Radiotherapy is a bit pants!  I’d rather the higher dose 3 week schedule and get it over with, even if I do end up with a glowing sun burnt boob lol 🙂

Apparantly I should find out tomorrow what schedule I am on, so will have to keep my fingers crossed.

One thing I am looking forward to is the CT scan today, I have never had one and I have seen it on the tv loads and find it fascinating,  Apparantly they scan my breast to see the exact area that the surgery took place and apparantly there should be some “clips” left in the area the tumour was removed so that the radiotherapy planning can line up with them to enable them to precisely target the right area.  I have to admit I nearly jumped off my seat when they told me that, what do you mean there are clips left inside of me, so I plan on finding out more today!

CT Scanner aka The Stargate!

Anyone else look at this and think of the Stargate TV Series?? or is it just me??? I can pretend lol

I will be so glad when the chemo is over, to start with I found I coped with it pretty well, but now the thought of that toxic crap going into me makes me feel physcially sick.  My right arm is knackered from it, my veins are hard and lumpy, even the main vein down my arm is hard.  They dont tell you about those side affects when you go in.  I wish I had known as I would have fought for either a PIC line or a Central Line if I had known.  I cant stretch my right arm out fully as the vein is quite sore and feels like an elastic band that wont stretch, I have been told it will get better but can take around a year to heal.  So it makes me very aware how toxic that stuff it, no wonder my veins shrink when the needles come out.  They cannot use my left arm as thats the side I had my lymph nodes removed so that arm is shouting hey use me, save the right arm but the Drs and Nurses say Noooooo.

I just hope it all goes ok tomorrow, as I am an emotional wreck when I go in now, I have cried the last couple of times when they are struggling to get my veins for either the blood test or the actual chemo.  I dont like getting upset there as there are so many other people going through alot worse or even new people coming in for the first time, they must be nervous as hell, they dont want to see someone crying as it would upset them, but sadly my control on my waterworks (hmmm I mean tears not bladder lol) is useless, they just keep making my eyes leak lol.  I have no control on them 🙂

Right time to get dressed and prepared for today, lots to take in and I must ask questions 🙂

Toodle Pip!  🙂 xx