BERT2011 (Bugger, Estrogen Receptive Tumor)….

Metastic breast cancer at 38

Friends …. Priceless

Sat in the pub today feeling really embarrassed about my lack of hair… Mr
Ultimate friend went to the bar in our local with my. Scarf on!!!

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Certain times in your life

Sometimes in your life you are given pause for thought, reflection time.. Or something will happen to make you question yourself and look at your life..

Today I have had one of those experiences… Whilst waiting to have my radiotherapy today I was sat reading my book when a boy and his mum came and sat at the side of me, we had a little chat he’d just finished chemo and was like me on his first week of radio… I kept my smile firmly in place wanting to make him feel at ease and try and make him feel like he’s not alone… It’s difficult sometimes when everyone else around you is so much older… This is a mood thing really as cancer is such a cruel disease so I’m glad when the only people I see are older than me… Today when the boy went in got his treatment before me I was sat talking to his mum… Embarrassingly I was brought to tears when she told me he was 15… It makes you so angry… I hope to keep seeing him over the next few weeks and I hope that I can give him some small smile at least.

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Radiotherapy continues…. So far so good

I’ve been for my 2nd radiotherapy appointment today, 2 down 23 to go… Has gone ok today, my right arm and side are a bit sore not from the radio but from having to hold my arm above my head… The muscles and nerves have obviously not yet fully recovered but I’m ok.

It wasn’t too bad today, it’s an accumulative process apparently so more of the side effect should start to show in the coming days/weeks… Apparently I’ll be worse 2 weeks after its finished.

Wanted to say thankyou to the nurses/ radiologists at Weston Park today, they are all such lovely ladies and do make me smile… And they let me take a photo of the machine to show you all so you can see what I do each day…

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This is the machine in its standby state, I have to lay on it and then they move me and it into place and give me radiotherapy from 3 angles, each side and above…

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Home stretch… Well sort of

Had my radiotherapy assessment appointment yesterday.. I was a bit freaked out about it as my oncologist had previously mentioned that theyd want to tattoo me… Yes I did type that right … Tattoo!!!! Me !! The girl who’s afraid of needles and only had her ears pierced at the ripe age of 35!

So we get there and I was pleasantly surprised to be virtually straight in, which is totally unusual there’s usually at least and hour wait every time I go to the hospital :-).. So we sat down with radiologist and he explained what was going to happen, we talked about the tattoos, which they heavily recommend.. And I donned the usually sexy gown and off we went..

For those of you like me who had never experienced this before here’s the process..

I laid on my back and was put into place by the radiographer, this involved laying there with my right arm ( because Bert (tumour) was in my right breast) above my head holdIng a handle, she then positioned me on the bed ready to be moved into the CT scanner, this is a donut type machine which has a ring in it about 4/5 inches wide which spins around you taking slice type shots… I think :-).
then with marker pens lines are drawn on me around my breast and up into the lymph nodes in. Y neck, this is the area that I will be getting radiotherapy on.. On top of some of these lines tiny metal strips are placed to aid the machine. Essentially a map is drawn on me.

So once in place everyone leaves the room and I am moved in and out of the scanner Whilst they take the shots… Then it’s tattoo time….

I was exceptionally nervous at this point, everyone was great with me and really patient…. Even when the tears fell. The radiologist put 3 crosses on me, one on each side of my body and one one my chest bone between my breasts, then after sterilising each area she placed an ink drop on each point and pressed the ink under my skin with a needle… Though it was uncomfortable it isnt half as bad as the blood taking or canula… I’d worked myself up over nothing :-)..

Should mention that these tattos are done so that they can more acurately align the machine every time I go, daily.

Well that was yesterday.. Feeling fine today in fact I’m really proud of myself, I’ve put on some weight the last few months with the lack of exercise and laying about so I’ve been swimming today!! 50 lengths and I feel tired but really pleased I’ve done it.. Just hope I can continue now.

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Radiotherapy – the next step starts today

I’m now over the last effects of the chemotherapy, apart from hair loss obviously… Much as I wish it would grow back overnight my hair just refuses to do so! Oh how I long for the days when I would wake in a morning and wonder what the hell happened to my hair overnight 🙂

So today starts my next step in the journey, radiotherapy.. I’m off to the hospital in about half an hour for my pre-radio assessment, my understanding from the leaflet and Internet is that they willbe x-ray’ing me today and deciding where to administer the radio.. I believe they will want to give me a permanent tattoo, like a freckle, so that this can be used every time I go to “align” everything…

I haven’t yet received a schedule for the radio, but currently estimating that I’ll start on Monday and have radio 5 days a week for the next 5 weeks…

Little bit apprehensive about today as I don’t like needles and the idea of a tattoo is freaking me out, the rest of it I think I can cope with… Side effects of radio I’m expecting are sore skin and more of the dreaded fatigue!… It’s been so long now I can’t remember what it was like to have energy :-).

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