End of Round One

Feb 14, 2014

I finished my first lot of chemotherapy today. Yay!

I started my chemotherapy journey on November 20th with a drug called Docetaxel which I was supposed to have 4 times on a three week cycle. 4 days after having it for the first time, I was in A&E with undiagnosed chest pains. My oncologist changed it to a drug called Paclitaxel which I was to have weekly for 9 weeks which finished today.

I’m so pleased, as I’m so tired. I’m looking forward to having some energy back again. I’m looking forward to being able to watch the bairns swimming lessons and their rugby practice. I’m looking forward to Gin Club coffee mornings. And I’m looking forward to going away as a family and spending some quality time together before Round Two starts.

Round Two is the surgery which will take 4-6 weeks to recover from. I had a good chat today with the Breast Care Nurse at the hospital and she gave me a lot of information about Post Surgery bras, prothesis, and how I can expect to to look and feel afterwards.

Round Three is more chemotherapy. This time a treatment called FEC which is three different drugs. I’ll have 3 or 4 of these treatments on a three week cycle.

Round Four will be 15-18 daily sessions of radiotherapy at a hospital in North West London. We don’t have a hospital which is convenient for this treatment which is a bit of a pain.

The timeline of all of this is taking us to July/August time. It’s quite epic.

I still need to have my Herceptin treatment every three weeks, so I’ll have another one of those on March 7th. A slightly longer gap after surgery, with a break for FEC and starting again afterwards for another 7-10 treatments.

At some point I need to restart my 5-10 year course of Hormone therapy which has been stopped in the interim. I’m quite glad as it causes horrid hot flushes!

Still, none of this is actually set in stone. What I know for sure is that all the rounds are happening, and in which order. What we don’t know is exactly when. The results of the genetic screening could dictate more radical surgery, and that may not happen on March 24th which is when it’s provisionally booked for.

Ross and I have come to realise that having control of your life and having the ability to make plans is just an illusion. We’ve had the rug pulled out from underneath us and we can’t really see more than 5 weeks ahead. In fact, I can’t make plans for next week as I don’t know how tired this last lot of chemo will make me. The illusion has been shattered and you can never tell what is round the corner to throw you off balance.

But we’ve got to be positive and be glad that we’ve got each other in our little family. Imogen and a Felix got glowing reports from their teachers at parents evening and Ross and I are so proud. With everything that is going in, they still manage to be normal kids, doing normal things at school. I love them to the moon and back. Their resilience awes me.

We are lucky to have the support of good friends who understand how even the simplest things can make all the difference. And Creme Eggs. They really do make a difference (although my waistline isn’t thanking me!)

So, here’s looking forward to a brief return to normality. And my birthday which is on Tuesday. And a Gin a Club a Girls Night In. I’m really looking forward to that!