Yesterday I wore the cold cap for the last time! Even writing those words doesn’t quite make it seem real. After 18 weeks I have finished the first stage of my cancer journey, or as my husband put it, I’ve completed level one of cancer club!
If you’ve read the other entries you’ll have seen I’ve had a few issues and side effects. They’re all still very much present and correct and it’s as if they knew it was the last session this week, they have been giving it their all! I have been the most tired I’ve ever been, had almost the worst tummy and my leg looks horrendous! But as of Thursday no more weekly poisoning so in theory in a few weeks I should start to feel a bit more normal.
i have managed to keep 60-70% of my hair but have read I could continue to loose more over the next few weeks so this won’t be where I end up. Still I’m chuffed I’ve got this far with this much! The cold cap may have been excruciating but it has worked! I have no hair anywhere else! One thing I won’t be excited to see the return of is the rest of my body hair I have not missed that maintenance!
So now we move onto the next levels of this old cancer club. For me level two is surgery. I have an MRI next week to see how effective level one has been, then a meeting with my surgeon to discuss the plan. Which I suspect won’t have changed much from the beginning: nipple-off with cancer lump behind and the lymph nodes from my arm at the same time. Even if little/no cancer is shown on the MRI they will take all the area it was just in case.
Then biopsy to see what cancer is present which will determine what onward treatment I have. Currently I’m expecting three-weekly doses of heceptin until the end of the year but if there is some cancer left in the biopsy then for 3-6 sessions of this a chemo drug called kadcyla will be added to make sure it’s all gone from my body. But no cold cap needed for that one, and I’m told less side effects generally than the chemo I’ve had before.
Then level three is radiotherapy which will likely be three weeks worth of daily treatment. After that level four could be some form of preventative drug for 5-10 years but I’ve not fully discussed that yet with my oncologist....let’s worry about completing level two first!
I honestly can’t believe I have gotten through the chemotherapy stage. When I was first told I needed to have chemo I was petrified. How on earth was I going to do this and work and stay normal for my boys and just stay me? Well you just do it, you find a way. Yes there have been those closest to me who have had the brunt of my bad days (of course there have been many) when I have just wanted to give up. But realistically it’s not an option. You fight this bastard because you have to and this is the best way to do it.
I celebrated completing this level yesterday by treating myself to some new shoes, putting them on with a nice dress donning some make up and feeling glam! It was my way of saying F you cancer you will not have the best of me!
I may only have completed the first level to be rid of you but it sure does feel good!
Keep fighting everyone and take care xx
I’m so happy for you, I know there is still a lot to face, but you have got over a huge hurdle and hopefully the knowledge that you were able to do it will give you strength and hope to get over the rest of the obstacles - a chemo ‘power-up’ pack (to keep the gaming analogy going!)
Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.
We’re here to provide physical, financial and emotional support.
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