BERT2011 (Bugger, Estrogen Receptive Tumor)….

Metastic breast cancer at 38

New woman today!

Well after a few days of feeling what can only described as “totally poo” I’ve awoken this morning feeling like a new woman… Well almost ;-). Feeling much more awake today.

The last 2-3 days I’ve felt extremely tired and worn out, aching and headaches.. Bit like having a cold but the fatigue just knocked me out.. Started with a mouth ulcer too which are apparently common with chemo..

Andys been great bless him doing everything for me, it’s been nice just spending time with him this weekend, it feels so long since our wedding I sometimes worry he’ll forget what life was like before cancer and wonder what the hell he let himself in for!

I’ve noticed the breathlessness symptom more today though, I’m asthmatic anyway but even walking the dog round the block, which normally never bothers me has made me wheeze this morning… That I can cope with… The last symptom is spots… Hmmmm seriously not happy about these!!! Spot cream at the ready!!!

Thank you all for the comments guys, loving hearing from you all x

1 Comment »

Wow what’s going off today!

Today’s fatigue has hit like a brick wall!!! My physical strength seems to have been zapped straight from me!!

Just “nipped” into Morrisons for milk, potatoes and oj… Struggled to even carry the bags to the car!!! What’s going off inside today!!

Bizarre that if affects your body like
This

4 Comments »

Day 4

I think I’m still doing ok considering but today’s the worst day so far… Feel a bit tired.. Been to a retail mall with my friend for an hour which was lovely to get out of the house.. But the sofa is a comforting place now!!

Feeling a little more nauseas today and have noticed that my mouth is suffering, this is a possible side effect..sores etc

Could be a lazy afternoon 🙂

1 Comment »

Day 2 ….

Not had much sleep, about an hour… I feel ok’ish… Like a mild hangover… Funny taste in my mouth bit of a headache and feel a bit nauseous, taken my first steroids more at 2pm and one lot of sickness meds.. Due some more soon and think I’ll be ready for them!

Sooooo glad u do not have to go to the hospital now for 3 weeks!!!! All being well anyway … Bliss

7 Comments »

Day 1 Chemo

Firstly thank you so much for everyone’s messages of support yesterday, apologies if I didn’t get back to you after 7 hours at the hospital I was a little drained when I got home..

Ok, so we (husband and I) arrived at Weston park at 11:50 for our 12noon appointment.. And no surprise there was a delay.. Though to be honest after I’ve explained some of the problems I had there’s no wonder as bless the nurses the daycase unit is not big enough and they have awkward patients like me who’s veins don’t behave…

Anyway, so they said probably a 40 minute wait but that we could leave as long as in the vicinity and leave a mobile number, so off to Starbucks we went… Came back and as this was my first chemo session you have to have a nurse consult first, more forms etc before treatment can begin.. Around 2:15 we were led down the corridor to the chemo suites, these are rooms with comfy “joey” ( you know the ones where you pull the handle and your feet pop up) chairs.. Thankfully there was room for Andy to sit with me, though bless him he didn’t get a comfy chair so all points to him for lasting all day!…numb bum!


Treatment

  • Arm warming

 

 

My left arm ( as I cannot have treatment on right now due to lymph node removal) was wrapped in a heat pad to try to make my veins stand up..

  • Canula

 

 

The nurse, or sister in my case as I’m a pain in the neck and needle phobic, looks and feels your arm for a “good” vein.. Just hearing that freaked me out… This didn’t go so well as my nerves made me tense and therefore not easy to canulate.. The needle goes in with a tube over it then the tube remains when the needle comes out.. I think I couldn’t look!!

  • Saline

 

A saline bag is then attached a hanging unit at the side of me and saline is permanently pumped in through one of the canula feeds ( mine had 2)

  • Freeze Cap

 

 

My nurse then applied my first freeze cap.. Oh this is fun!! I was the only person in our room wearing it and felt rather silly!! Looked so too :-).. Wearing the cap entails a frozen cap being put straight onto my head with a neoprene type rugby cap then pulled down on top, gauzes are put on my ears inside and across my forehead to alleviate the frost bite. I had to have one of these caps changed every 30mins for the course of my treatment, usually 5 but I ended up with 8!! Was extremely ready to get them off!! Had to take paracetamol to stem the headache.. not a fun experience
see photo on photo diary page

  • First chemo drug

 

The first drug to be applied for me is the Epirubicin. This is manually injected by the nurse into the 2nd canula feed. Epirubicin is a red coloured drug, which incidentally turns you wee pink!!! I’m sure you wanted to know that!.. There was (I think) 3 fat syringes of this.. However straight after starting this my arm just above the canula started turning pink and shortly after I was experiencing some discomfort up my arm… The sister was called and then the oncologist, who after asking the nurse what to do!! Gave me a piriton injection for the reaction, but the sister decided that my veins were at risk and we needed to re-canulate.. Something as you can imagine that I was upset about..

  • Re-Heat arm and a new canula

 

 

As my body temp was dropping with the freeze cap and the saline and drugs are cold going into your arm, my left arm even though covered with the heat pad was still cold.. So we had to wait for it to warm before a new canula could be sited. This was done and off we went again, this time the Epirubicin went in without incident

  • Second Chemo Drug

 

 

The second drug is Fluorouracil (5FU), again several fat syringes and given manually through the second canula feed

  • Third and final drug

 

 

The last one is Cyclophosphamide, given the same way.. All these chemo drugs given one after the other,

  • Saline flush

 

 

My system is now flushed with saline again and the last cool caps are put on, I have to have 3 on after the first drug and because of the vein issues I ended up then it’s 8 caps not 5!

That’s all folks.. Sent home with steriod tablets for 3 days and anti sickness meds…

Tiring… It’s fairly emotional sat there seeing all the other people going through the same, makes it very very real!

1 Comment »

Chemotherapy starts tomorrow

“chemo starts tomorrow”…. Well that’s not something I thought I would be saying this time last year… But here I find myself sat here the night before my first chemo session…

How do I feel? … Hmmm quite a mixture of emotions really.. With all the delays of more surgery and IVF part of me thinks, let’s get cracking now… The other part obviously thinks “oh my god” …

It’s so hard to understand what’s to come as chemo seems to affect everyone differently, the nausea I’ve experienced this week due to elevated oestrogen levels has been awful so I hope the chemo doesn’t make me like that all the time…

Fatigues the other thing, I’ve always said to myself that I could kick myself up the arse and just get on with it, but post IvF this week ive been so tired I’ve barely been able to function.

Not sure how much sleep I will get tonight, but at least it’s a step forwards on the way to life going back to normality… Lol just a tough 6 months in the way first!

For those of you reading my blog for information this is what the plan is for tomorrow…

Appointment is at 12noon, at Weston park hospital in Sheffield. Once in situ in the day unit they will put a canula in, anywhere they can get a vein on my left arm. Then they will out the cool cap ( freezing cap I am going to attempt to save loosing my hair), this will stay on for a min half an hour before they give fluids and anti-sickness drugs through the canula before starting with the cancer drugs.

I’ll be having the FEC cancer drugs, given intravenously once every 3 weeks, and a course of 6 treatments. They will administer the drugs one at a time through my canula, then finish with more fluids through the line.

I’ll also be given nausea tablets to take home to take all the time to try and control the nausea…

Well that’s it today peeps… I’d blog whilst at hospital it shocker no free wifi!!

3 Comments »

Post egg collection

So we went for egg collection on Monday at Jessops Assisted Conception Unit, preparation for this included me taking 3 temazapan tablets, one on Sunday and 2 Monday morning which made me feel very sleepy!

They put a canula in my left hand ( I can no longer have any needles on my right arm post the lymph node removal), and this was used during the process to give me fentanyl and other drugs… I was also given a mouth piece on which to breath on which contained gas and air..

One of my nurse friends ( thanks Hazel) had given me very sound advice of “suck hard on the gas and air”, 🙂 so I did and although the process was uncomfortable I didn’t find it as bad as some of the horror stories tell..

Post procedure though was not great!! The fentanyl made me quite sick and I’m very sore, tomach is quite sore.

Also my oestrogen levels are too high and I’m at risk ( if not already contracted) something called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, my ovaries are extremely bloated and I’m very tired as not able to sleep very well, they have put me on tablets for this and ive been asked to continue the Supracur daily injections to get my oestrogen levels down… Oh joy! Thought I’d finished with the damn injections!!

Going back in on Thursday for them to check my OHSS symptoms and bloods..

They collected 15 eggs which is amazing apparently, we are freezing embryos so they rang yesterday morning to say how the fertilisation had gone, unfortunately this isn’t such good news. Some of the eggs were not mature enough so not suitable for fertilisation and some failed, so we have ended up with only 2 embryos being frozen..

I hope this is enough as we do not have the time for another cycle as I start chemotherapy on Monday..

Feel like I live at the hospital this week… Going to Weston park on Friday for bloods and chemo prep..

Here we go!!

Leave a comment »

Post egg collection

So we went for egg collection on Monday at Jessops Assisted Conception Unit, preparation for this included me taking 3 temazapan tablets, one on Sunday and 2 Monday morning which made me feel very sleepy!

They put a canula in my left hand ( I can no longer have any needles on my right arm post the lymph node removal), and this was used during the process to give me fentanyl and other drugs… I was also given a mouth piece on which to breath on which contained gas and air..

One of my nurse friends ( thanks Hazel) had given me very sound advice of “suck hard on the gas and air”, 🙂 so I did and although the process was uncomfortable I didn’t find it as bad as some of the horror stories tell..

Post procedure though was not great!! The fentanyl made me quite sick and I’m very sore, tomach is quite sore.

Also my oestrogen levels are too high and I’m at risk ( if not already contracted) something called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, my ovaries are extremely bloated and I’m very tired as not able to sleep very well, they have put me on tablets for this and ive been asked to continue the Supracur daily injections to get my oestrogen levels down… Oh joy! Thought I’d finished with the damn injections!!

Going back in on Thursday for them to check my OHSS symptoms and bloods..

They collected 15 eggs which is amazing apparently, we are freezing embryos so they rang yesterday morning to say how the fertilisation had gone, unfortunately this isn’t such good news. Some of the eggs were not mature enough so not suitable for fertilisation and some failed, so we have ended up with only 2 embryos being frozen..

I hope this is enough as we do not have the time for another cycle as I start chemotherapy on Monday..

Feel like I live at the hospital this week… Going to Weston park on Friday for bloods and chemo prep..

Here we go!!

Leave a comment »

Egg collection day tomorrow

Well apparently I’m all cooked and ready… Eggs are being collected tomorrow morning… Pretty nervous to say the least!! They’ve given me temazapan to take tonight, in the morn and just before… So it can’t be easy!!! Will update more after

Leave a comment »

Ivf.. Continues

So we are still on with the daily injections, not going amazingly well what with my needle phobia but we are managing. Going in to the hospital on Saturday (3 days time) to ‘see’ how we are doing then hopefully we’ll be having the retrieval this coming week… Pretty apprehensive about it to be honest as I’ve heard quite a few horror stories… Must admit I’ll be glad when this part of the journey is over…

More updates post Saturday x

Leave a comment »