The surgeon told me at my post op appointment that there had been two tumors, both quite small and both grade 2. She said there was no lymph node involvement. She recommended chemotherapy as a "just in case". I reluctantly agreed.
Four rounds of AC later, many bouts of sickness later, many anti sickness tablets later, many hairs lost later and I was finally done with the chemo.
At another post-chemo appointment, the oncologist recommended ovarian ablation - permanently switching off my ovaries. My response was something along the lines of "not a cat in hell's chance". The nurse later told me this was an experimental technique and they weren't actually sure if it would work. I was angry that the oncologist hadn't told me this but let it go. I was then told I would need five years of Tamoxifen.
This was apparently before the infamous leg side effects were known. I constantly told my GP that they made my legs ache, that I was putting on weight, that I couldn't walk much. The GP dismissed my concerns. I was in agony. Paracetamol didn't touch it. I was majorly depressed.
After three years, I threw them away, I'd had enough. They had told me that the chemo and Tamoxifen were just a "just in case" thing - there had been no lymph involvement and I felt safe, therefore, giving up the Tamoxifen.
When my mum heard of my decision, she told me that it could be like committing suicide. I told her that one more week of this pain and I would be committing suicide anyway.
I was now 35 and after a few Tamoxifen-free weeks, felt great. My legs stopped hurting, the misery lifted, I lost weight and, of course, my hair was back and at a decent length. Now was my time to start living again. Forget cancer, forget chemo, forget Tamoxifen, forget it had ever happened and move along.
I felt like I was back - a new, improved, couldn't care less, happy-go-lucky, spur of the moment, impulsive, live for today version of the old me.
I liked her.
Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.
We’re here to provide physical, financial and emotional support.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2020
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