Today I will yet again be luminous. Not because of my natural inner glow some people possess but from radioactive colored fluid that will get pumped into my tumor. This will make it possible for the surgeon to find what lymph node is connected to remove the right one! It’s all new science to me and you have to learn it all and so quickly.
I had a lovely online chat to an old friend of mine who is a doctor. She works with children and with them she finds it useful to name the tumors. I had 2 official tumors from the contrast MRI but the radiologist here in London found a third little one hiding behind my nipple. So the biggest tumor she named Brenda. It’s tail she named Brittany. The hiding mysterious one she called Nina. I had such a laugh and it’s true naming them helps! They now have personalities and as I’m not allowed to get to fond of them as we are now trying to kill them. I think the motto “know your enemy” comes handy.
Tomorrow I have the removal of the lymph node. They are also going to put in a “port-a-cath”. It’s an inplantable venous access system. It means that they don’t have to go through my arm veins to administer the chemo.
In Swedish the translation of chemo is “cell-poison” which even though it’s a bit harsher is truer.
The chemo will start next Thursday. And then for the next six months every third Thursday I will have a chemo day. I will try and add something else to this day to make it more bearable, survivable, I’m not going to stretch to enjoyable but you get my thinking…
I’ve had 2 breast nurses appointed to me. They are fabulous and have all sort of beautiful information packs for any question I might have! During all the meetings with surgeons/anethiatists/oncologists they are there offering their support and helping hand. Not both at the same time but always one of them. I now have a library of information, all from books written to make children understand cancer a little bit better to the technologal super wonder tools as the “port-a-cath”. The way flying happens nowadays I need to book another 2 luggage to my Ryan air or Easyjet going home. My new library will need it!
Part of the library is a booklet called “advise and support if you lose your hair”. Well that’s some joyful reading for you! Many people say nowadays you don’t lose your hair “that much” on chemo. I guess they don’t have the same cancer as I have. In the following 5 booklets of the different chemo drugs I will have its not a matter of “if” it’s more a statement of “when” you lose your hair. We have discussed this with the nurses and doctors. There is an ice-bucket challenge for real that you can use to defend your hair follicles. But instead of the second of iced water running off you the ice bucket will be on your head 30 minutes before chemo starts, it will take between 40-180 minutes depending on what drugs will be inserted, and then you have to leave it on for a further 2 hours afterwards to keep follicles cool. By this time I think brain-freeze will have a new meaning.
At least at yesterday’s meeting good news! The 3 tumors are all related! This means they will all respond to the same treatment. Even sneaky Nina which I knew they were a bit worried about. My CT scan came back clear and my neurologist (because of the TBI I get one of those as well) saw no reason for the treatment not to go ahead. He stated as I already suffer from tiredness, the fatigue might be a little stronger for me. But he was quite impressed by my so far recovery, and managed to book me in with a psychiatrist when I’m here. To get me to work on techniques of how to slow down my temper… I do have a fairly short fuse… As I’m sure my poor family have suffered with the last couple of years.
Lots to take in and lots to learn. Dan went back to the kids today and my mother is flying in to chaperone me. I will now be in London until next Sunday when I’m allowed to fly! So any suggestions on good movies to see, places to eat, art exhibitions not missable. Well as I’m in London I might just as well be a little tourist about it!
Keep smiling 🙂 don’t worry about anything, Irish saying; you are either gonna live or you gonna die. If you live don’t worry and if you gonna die you’ll meet so many old friends that you don’t have time to worry!