Blog: The Big J vs The Big C

Making the breast of a bad situation ...
On 4 October 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This blog will chart my progress through treatment, and continued enjoyment of life, love and friendship.
​Expect humour, irreverance, occasional sadness, and staunch defence of the National Health Service.
​Btw, that picture is not me. :-)

One Thing After Another

In my last treatment update post, I told of the two mysterious appointments in early January. Mysterious indeed. I turned up for the first one and discovered that both of them had been booked by mistake! 

Keen for the trip to Bart's not to have been a waste of time, I managed to come away armed with more test results, some pamphlets, a 3-month sick note and an invitation to a free massage whenever I want one. Result.

Reading one of the pamphlets - on food and drink during cancer treatment - I discovered that I have not been consuming enough alcohol. As an obedient and sensible patient, I resolve to address this shortcoming.

The tiredness, dizziness and headaches that beghan a week after starting Tamoxifen continued unabated. I ended up phoning the cancer nurses, who got back to me saying that the doctors want me to have a brain scan. I await the appointment. But of course, no sooner had I phoned up moaning about my side effects than said side effects abated!

Am I Fighting Cancer? Yes, But ...

"Fighting cancer"? It's a term often said but a matter of some discomfort and debate. I have been pummelling the punchbag of the issues, and here are my thoughts.

Yes, I am fighting cancer. It's a battle, and if you survive, you go through blood and bruises and can come out injured, physically and psychologically. And like a fighter, I spend a lot of my time stripped to the waist being attended to by medics!

You'll SHARE if you CARE

Today, little hearts have been appearing on Facebook walls. No message, no explanation, just a heart. Apparently this will help the fight against breast cancer. Huh?

Some undoubtedly well-meaning friends messaged me (and probably all their other friends) asking me to post said heart. Instead, I posted this:

Bllleeeuuurrrggghhhh Humbug

In my 20s, I would have spent most of New Year's Day in bed because I didn't go to bed until the Day was well under way. A little later, a hangover might have kept me in bed all day. Then with the advent of kids, no days could be spent in bed, least of all New Year's. Now I'm 50, New Year's Day has been spent largely in bed dealing with cancer treatment side effects.

Result!

Finally, my results are back from the USA, and at an appointment at Bart's hospital this morning, the oncologist set out my treatment plan.

The good news is that I don't need chemotherapy. Although I quite liked the idea of all my hair falling out, the idea of months of feeling rubbish and running to the loo to puke several times a day did not fill me with excitement. So, no yodelling down the great white canyon for me. Hurrah.

Battle Scars

Penicillin
is killing
the infection.
Inspection
revealed
it's healed.
I brandish
the bandage
removed
from the wound.
My breast
undressed.

Joke of the Day

My breast tumour has been sent to the USA, where tests revealed that it is an aggressive, slimy piece of tissue that attacks women. Donald Trump is considering appointing it to a senior post.

A Communication Cock-up and a Transatlantic Trip

Readers may recall that at my last appointment with the breast surgeon (2 December), I was told that I was being referred to the oncologist to determine what treatment I need to have next. I'd hear from them within two weeks, and I should feel free to chase this up. So, naturally I did - repeatedly - and was told - repeatedly - that said appointment would be today or tomorrow.

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