Friday, May 27, 2005

feeling sorry for myself post: stomach cramps, headache and general unwellness, but still I dragged myself in for my first appt with the radiation oncologist. luckily I asked dh to come with me at the last minute. because the whole thing was a bit of a lose.

they want to irradiate my neck as well as chest wall. this means visible burning, blistering etc and probably redness later in life. I had hoped it would be confined to an area that I can hide. the lymph glands in my neck can't be operated on, and are just as likely as the ones they took out to have cancer in them - I hadn't really realised that. that means they are really quite likely to be - infected? I guess that's not the word? - and all this will only give me a 2-3 % greater chance of survival overall, though greatly reducing the chance of a local recurrence. in other words, the real risk is in the rest of my body. and the chemo has been delayed and downgraded due to my white blood cells. and the fact that I have no new lumps means nada while I'm in chemo. the waiting period starts after chemo. and of course he referred to me having hopefully five years of Tamoxifen, which is the real bar to another baby.

most of all, I find it hard to go through the blow-by-blow of lump size, nodes, surgery and yet another examination of my scar. it all just brings to the fore something I'd rather push aside.

oh, and NO SWIMMING for the whole period of radio plus a few weeks, unless I can get down to the saltwater pool at St Kilda. that really sucks. and reconstruction? not for a YEAR, he says. I had my heart set on doing it before I was 40 (39 tomorrow). and of course various small risks associated with radio - bone thinning, new cancers, 5% of my lung function will be gone forever. it seems like a lot of trouble for a small benefit, but I guess I'll do it - I couldn't live with myself if I didn't and we got a local recurrence.

I have an appointment for another CAT scan in a few weeks, followed by six weeks of treatment that will make me tired and rundown, starting early July. oh joy.

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