The breast cancer patient

This morning I got thinking about my blog and how things have now come to a point where I am not in as much pain or suffering as many side effects. Although there are still things going on and I haven’t written about them because I have had so many GOOD things to post about! So today I am going to explain a few of those things.

Firstly, I thought I would mention how last thursday was my 11th chemotherapy cycle. That means I have SIX to go. That was pretty exciting to hear that from my oncologist. She thinks things are going really well though I need to chill out with the gym and slow myself down with what I have been doing there over the past couple of months. That is going to be hard for me, the gym is the one thing keeping me sane!

After seeing her I went to the Ivy Suite for my Herceptin infusion which these days feels like it flies by. (Even though I was in the waiting room for 1 hr & 15 mins after my appointment). After I was done, Mum and I were walking down the long room of chemo patients plugged into their machines, when mum saw an old friend of hers who was being treated. Mum was really shocked and obviously had a little chat to him. This guy was in his mid sixty’s and another guy was also sitting with him, who was ALSO plugged in but they were sharing the same little curtained off area. I was introduced to both of them and we had a 20-30 minute chat. They were so great, the driest of humor which is totally up my ally and basically spoke about cancer with a big fat middle finger. They made me laugh SO much I didn’t want to leave! They have been put on 4-weekly chemo regimes whilst I am still on a 3-weekly one, I am going to try get the nurses to sit me next to them next time our paths cross so we can all hang out together. They spoke with so much hope and telling me crazy stories about how one of them was in hospital for SEVEN WEEKS on and off which obviously was horrific, so he pulled out all his drips and bits and pieces and left the room, went down to where his car was parked and took it for a drive down the freeway and back. What a legend?!

I have been seeing a few other specialists regarding other issues too. One of them is a physiotherapist at King Edward Hospital. I am there for menopause problems with my bladder (and other personal things). I am currently on a ‘Bladder Diary’ where I have to record EVERYTHING I drink, and EVERYTHING I wee for three days. Gross, I know. But I have to wee into a potty which has measurements on the side so I know how much comes out. This sounds like something an older lady who wets herself has to do, right? But I am very thankful that they are trying to help me out. I am on my second day of that and see them again on friday. They have also told me my liquid intake consists of pretty much caffeine only. Apart from when I drink water at the gym, this is what I drink…

  • Soy Cappuccino’s (at least one a day)
  • Pepsi Max & Post mix Coke Zero from Mcdonalds/HJ’s
  •  Sugar free V energy drinks
  • A pre-workout drink (HEAPS of caffeine)
  • Protein shakes (also contain caffeine)
  • Tea – most types, including Green Tea.

So as you can see, I suppose thats not really healthy. It is effecting my menopause a lot because caffeine can trigger a lot of the side effects. The lady has told me I don’t have to stop any of them yet, but we will cull them down within time. I guess this scared me, so since I saw her last friday I have already switched to DECAF Soy Cap’s, bought some bottles of Decaf Diet Coke – Which I haven’t even opened yet and drinking so much water its ridiculous also switching my tea to chamomile, T2’s Sleep Tight and also Lemongrass and Ginger (thanks Casey!). I haven’t forced myself to do this, I just have done it subconsciously. Looking back at it now, I am proud of my progression so far. Yesterday I was so cranky and I couldn’t work out why, Adam thinks its cutting out the caffeine – Its like quitting smoking!

I am still having stabbing pains in my chest scar, loose t-shirts are still making it uncomfortable when they rub against it, my right gym bra’s hurt when they are on and I am moving about.. It feels never ending. Although The doctors and nurses say this is a good thing because my nerve endings are trying to repair themselves. I don’t know if this is good myself, because doesn’t that mean when they cut that same scar open to put my implants in, its going to just hurt the same ALL over again?! 😦

A specialist I saw the other day (not referring to breast cancer) called me a ‘breast cancer patient’. I was a little confused. I suppose I thought because I was cancer-free now, that I was considered normal. Thinking harder about it, I guess I am still having chemo, so she is right. I am a breast cancer patient. Soon to be a breast cancer survivor. I am starting to feel less and less like I look like a cancer patient though. Over the past week I have seen six different young girls with hair exactly my length! I don’t know if thats by choice or not, but maybe its a new fashion statement I have accidently been caught up with. Lets hope so. Its a good feeling to have colour back in my face, not yellow/black eyes and a decent amount of hair to make me blend in with the crowd and not stick out like a sore thumb.

Adam has been wanting to go away on a soul searching mission for as long as I have known him. He still has not done it and I had been thinking over the past couple of months that he should go do it now of all times and have some time to see another country and get away from all the manic that has happened here over the past ten months. I have helped him decide that going away for 2.5 weeks to Phukhet, Bangkok and Bali for Martial Arts training. He has been doing martial arts for 3 years now and its really a big part of his life. He trains so hard almost everyday! Anyway he was looking into going to a training camp for a while to clear his mind and get away for a while so I have convinced him to go and he leaves sunday midnight. As much as I will miss him, I am glad he is going and doing what he has wanted to do for a while now. Unfortunately, Jess leaves this saturday night. The night of my movie fundraiser. So the two most important people in my life are going away at the same time. I think its going to be a good thing for me to not feel as I am relying on someone to go everywhere with me. Its time to get more of my own independence back..

The breast cancer patient

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