16th session of Hercepton today. Medicare will dictate if I get 1 more session or two! Beyond that my oncologist Vy will apply for the oral Hercepton trial I will take daily for 12 months. I will need to take Imodium with that due to the severe diarrhoea side effects. The trial ends in December so I’m lucky its available and I meet the high risk criteria for eligibility. Would you believe the only other patient Vy has referred to the trial is a friend from the gym. Small world, typical Adelaide.
Speaking of the gym, Vy confirmed there are very few people, after the treatment I’ve had, that can go back to the way they were physically, mentally and emotionally. The bones, joints, stamina & muscles are all affected long term with the chemo which is why it was an act of utter defiance to have the exercise routine I had before, considering my first cancer treatment. Todd and I went for a walk on the weekend and I just couldn’t keep up and my brain takes longer to process these days. Every moment is a struggle for me to try and be like I was and Vy says to stop trying, it’s near impossible.
I sent Todd the quote about when you weather a storm you are not the same on the other side, and his response was “me either”. And I totally get that but when I told Vy she understood I need an independent body to talk to as friends & family can take it personally and other patients don’t even understand because it’s so individual. She said when you talk it has to be about you and no-one else.
She therefore applauded me on seeing a psychologist, couldn’t believe it’s taken me so long to crack but also noted it’s typical when majority of treatment finishes, the cracks appear as you start to look better but inside the body and mind are still struggling. She has advised I get a GP mental health plan and continue seeing my psychologist for a year. Vy believes Todd would also benefit in coming along to assist us both to adjusting to our new reality, accepting things are not the same and nor will they ever be again. She’s also taken me off Letrozole for 3 weeks to see if blocking the estrogen has caused my depression (Yes lack of ability to cope is also depression). We can swap drugs if need be.
Vy agrees I should book an appointment for the plastic surgeon for reconstruction. Yippee, don’t need to tell me that one twice.
When it gets to the point of needing to switch to tamoxifen (the 2nd hormone blocker that can cause utarian cancer) she is happy to refer me to a surgeon for a hysterectomy first, as I could be taking hormone blockers into my 60’s for better outcomes.
Vy is wonderful and totally understands my fear about quality of life so is easy to talk to and we are on the same page.
Happy days xx