My new cancer word of the week - TCHP - but without the P

Last week I found out my fate. An appointment with my lovely consultant to find out the results of my MRI happened on another Wednesday.

My mum came with me again (as my partner is struggling with sciatica and he himself is probably going to end up with spinal surgery - but that's a whole new topic)

So my consultant confirmed stage 2 55mm lobular cancer ( she did tell me specific measurements but to me its just a bloody big lump!), I'm confirmed as being HER2 so that complicates things too. The lump hasn't grown or spread and my lymph nodes are clear.  She gave me 3 options regarding the path I could take:

1. lumpectomy 

2. chemo first, then lumpectomy

3. lumpectomy, then chemo + possible radiotherapy

Lobular cancer doesn't respond well to chemo, it only has about a 45% shrinkage rate so that's why the chemo would be better happening after the surgery. So after much discussion I decided to go for option 3. Why anyone would just opt for the lumpectomy and then walk away with no other treatment else is beyond me - but I suppose people do. If I had gone for option 2 I would have had an extra drug , so my treatment   would have been this = TCHP (Taxotere + Carboplatin + Herceptin + Perjeta)  but I won't have the Perjeta, so my regime will be TCH.

My dr then said she had already penciled me in for a lumpectomy on the 10th August, she gave me the option to go away and think it all through but I was pretty much decided. She showed me some photo's of women who have had surgery and they looked amazing with hardly any sign that they had had fat moved and put where the lump was. She explained about the magnese that would be inserted into the lump, the blue dye they inject and how they would remove my sentinel lymph node too. It was a LOT to take in. She also said that the chemo would start approx. 6 weeks after surgery.

The lovely breast care nurse, Caroline then took us into another room and talked us through it all again, we asked questions and cried about the chemo. I asked about the cold cap and whether my hospital offered it.

I was a bit stunned with everything and realized we had been at the hospital for nearly 2 hours. When I got home I just sobbed, sat in the kitchen on my own. I had my own half an hour pity party and then turned the oven on.

Sadly I've also been advised that I need to forget about teaching until at least January. I teach Year 2 so with snotty bug ridden kids, plus Covid Caroline (who was a teacher before a nurse) said that work was a definite no. So my lovely new class who I met on Monday will now have a couple of new temporary teachers until I return to school in Jan/Feb 2022! 

Now, I'm feeling calmer. I'm going to plan for my operation and then begin to think about chemo. I've been reading up on a few things and watched all of Victoria Derbyshire's videos on Youtube (who happens to have the same cancer as me).

I've been out with friends, enjoyed a day in the sunshine, BBQ with my family, read, ate nice food, drank fizz and have enjoyed life. If I start off strong I can do this!

Anonymous