We have a new cancer plan!

Last week we had a meeting with my oncology team about the
plan for my treatment. I don’t quite know what I was expecting, but it was a bit of
an anti-climax, and I’ve been in this weird sort of
funk ever since.

In the interest of being all open and informative; here’s
the news on my cancer. I am now living with cancer. Stage IV/metastatic breast cancer in my bone, (do not google it. It’s not worth it. The stats are based on old people getting this shit!) 
It’s my my sternum bone, there is about a 1 inch square we
think, and then it’s in a couple of lymph nodes in my neck and then, more surprisingly, in
a bunch of lymph nodes across my chest. Surprising because I literally know nothing about
the body and I didn’t even know you had lymph nodes in the places
mine have become cancerous. Who knew there were lymph node between your ribs? And,
if I remember correctly, in the tunnels that connect your lungs. Well, I am
sure that those of you who are doctors knew, but me. Nope.
And so, because of all the lymph nodes, and the fact my cancer
is ER+ (6/8 for those of you in this world) my treatment plan will involve
putting me in the menopause – so hot flushes (yay), mood swing (because I need
more of those), weight gain (again, no more required) – that sort of thing.
Before putting me on a couple of other meds to stop all the oestrogen in my
body being made, or absorbed, or something. And a bone strengthening treatment.
And a tablet form of chemo.
All of which is there to keep me stable. To stop the cancer
from growing. And moving.
I’ll be monitored for 6 months and we’ll see how I am
getting on. If I’m doing well, then they’ll keep me on these meds for life,
well, as long as they are working. If it’s not going so well, then there is
always IV chemo to move to. The big guns, I guess.
So why the anti-climax?
Well, I’ve just been so tired and in quite a lot of pain for
such a long time now that foolishly I had it in my head that we’d get to the
hospital and they’d tell me the plan, and miraculously I’d have time to rest
and not be tired and they’d do something so instantly I’d not be in pain anymore
and things would get better.
But the plan being as it is, I’ll just be expected to carry
on as normal. Much like last time when I didn’t lose my hair and could still
pick up a blusher brush, the world will assume I am perfectly fine and able to
do everything I could before, only inside I’ll still be tired and in pain. And  I won’t have time to get untired – I’ll be
working as normal, I’ll still want to do things at weekends so my life isn’t all work, and I’ll still be wanting to take the dogs for their walks. And the bone strengthening can take a while to
even start working, let alone stop me being in pain.
I’m not sure what REALLY I expected to happen. Maybe I thought
somehow, having incurable cancer might make me exempt from the boring minutiae
of everyday life, maybe I thought I might suddenly find some enlightenment to make this
new, shorter time scale I have been given, more meaningful. Or, at least, in my dreams I hoped I’d win the lottery to balance out this crap, and that would allow me to be a lady of leisure…….
But instead it’s back to worrying about traffic on the way
to work, and hating on our (tiled) kitchen counters but unable to afford a new kitchen, and trying to find the right shade of boxed
hair dye in Boots. Minutiae at it’s very best.
I know I should be grateful for the opportunity to carry on
with these things, but quite frankly I am fed up with being made to feel I
should be grateful for anything that involves cancer! Although, I will get a blue badge, so no more searching for a space in Tesco’s carpark, so maybe I ought to be more grateful than I am!

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