Monday, June 28, 2010


As promised I phoned the Hospital this morning to let them know that I was unhappy with the schedule change for my first Chemo session.

The young lady on the phone advised that the appointment had been changed because the Doc would be away. I explained that I was aware of that, the Doc had mentioned it, but we agreed that her lovely assistant would be capable of handling the procedure. This caused some confusion, as it turns out, my appointment had been logged as an appointment to meet the Doctor, rather than Chemo. She assured me that as it was a Chemo appointment, should be okay, and she would call back to confirm after she spoke to the Doc. At about 11:30 I got the call, and confirmation that Chemo would begin as originally scheduled on July 8th.

On the one hand I was annoyed that I had made myself sick with stress all weekend over a simple clerical error, on the other hand, we all make mistakes, I'm not immune myself, and it's better than the Doc just deciding to push me out a week without any discussion.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Got home yesterday to find a letter from The Mater.

My first Chemo has been rescheduled to a week later. They invite me to give them a call if the new date doesn't suit me.

Too right I will be giving them a call. I have just spent a week and a half organising the rest of my life around the 8th of July. I could have had this 1st session this week, but put it off so that Mum and Dad could have their planned holiday. I REALLY didn't want them to give that up, Mum and the kids especially have really been looking forward to it, and no way was I going to break their hearts.

Apart from that, I really want this to start, so it can finish and I can get on with the rest of my life...

I don't think some of the people I've talked to about it get it! It isn't JUST a week, it's ANOTHER WHOLE week.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I've Been Slack....

Okay it's well past time for an update. Apologies for my slackness, between staying at Mum's through the weekend, Doctors appointments and Nanna Naps, it's been hard to find the motivation....

Anyhoo, the news so far is good. My meeting with the Surgeon on Wednesday confirmed that the 4 lymph nodes collected during surgery were clear of any evidence of spread. They retrieved a 2.5cm tumour with clear margins and no additional surgery required. One of my bandages is completely off and the scar is very neat and clean. Pain is not too bad, though with my back and neck issues I am having a fair bit of referred pain in the right arm. My Back Doctor, along with some Valium, is taking care of that

Wednesday also involved meeting with the Breast Care Nurse, two Medical Oncologists (Chemo), the Radiation Oncologist (Radiotherapy), and a Cancer Care Specialist Nurse. Lots of information (again), more appointments, as far away as October, and more tests before further treatment starts.

So far I have in my calendar the following:

24/06 - Back Doctor
30/06 - Echocardiogram
08/07 - Chemotherapy (to be repeated every 21 days for a total of 6 treatments
19/07 - Look Good Feel Better program, makeup, turbans, scarves etc., to help you look and feel your best during and after Chemo.
12/10 - Appt with Radiation Oncologist to discuss timimg of Radiation Therapy

I also have to have a blood test just before each chemo session, and I have to decide whether or not I'd like to participate in a trial using acupuncture in conjunction with chemo, to see if it helps with nausea. I'm keen, but it involves extra hospital visits, so I haven't quite decided on that one. Apparently I also have "Chemo Brain" to look forward to. That means that instead of a half hour frantic searching for my car keys every morning, it will be more like an hour... basically I'm fkd!

Plenty of support and assistance along the way.... I have already received a free bra, specifically designed for post surgery.... ugly as sin, but blissfully comfortable. There is a package on it's way containing a voucher for wig purchase, a turban, turban making patterns, scarf tying instructions and other little goodies. The Look Good Feel Better Program will help me make the most of makeup, skin care etc., with heaps of free goodies thrown in. Apparently they will select makeups based on my colouring, skin tones and preferences (supplied via questionnaire), show me how best to use them to disguise the ravages of Chemo, then hand them over. Could be several hundred dollars worth of Estee Lauder, Clinique, and/or other expensive brands.

Meanwhile I return to work on Monday, with time off for various appointments until the first Chemo session on Thursday the 8th. On the 25th of June my parents take off for a week to 10 days on holidays in Northern NSW with my sister, her partner and the grandkids. On the 30th of June my man will arrive from Melbourne and leaves the day I start Chemo. Speaking of my sister, she had her Mammogram on Wednesday, and received a callback today for Ultrasound, which she will have on Monday. We are hopeful that they are being extra cautious due to my diagnosis, and that she will be fine. We are staying very calm.

That's probably about it for now. If any more news comes to hand I will check in. Again, if I have a particularly bad or especially good day, I will certainly try to check in and share, I suspect there will be more of those days once treatment begins in earnest.

As always, thanks for your messages of support and love.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Preliminary Report

Staying at Mum's for a couple of days, so just a quick check-in....

Saw the surgeon again this morning, he removed the lump with good margins, as well as 4 lymph nodes. At this stage, the lymph nodes don't show any signs of spread, however there are more test results to come. We will know for sure tomorrow.

Provided there are no nasty surprises tomorrow, next step is a meeting on Wednesday with my full medical team including radiation and medical oncologists, surgeon and breast care nurse.

A little tired and sore still, but not too bad, will check in again over the next day or so. Thanks for all the thoughts and messages of support.

Love you all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Surgery Tuesday. Lumpectomy. As long as they get a big enough clear margin, that will be it for surgery. If not, may need a slightly less intense surgery the following Tuesday, I will know that by Thursday. If a third or subsequent surgery is called for, I wll need to make some decisions.

The Wednesday a week after the first (hopefully only) surgery, I will know what type of cancer I have and what stage it is. This will determine the rest of the treatment protocol, but chemo and radiation both still look likely.

That's about it. Finished the day off with a flu shot and another minor procedure, so pretty stuffed at the moment. Will check in again later. Very happy that things are starting to move....


So as today has drawn ever closer, the nerves have built up quite a head of steam. To the point that I am out of bed more than an hour before I need to be, I feel a bit like a kid on her first day of school, alternately sick to my stomach and giddy with anticipation.

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad today is finally here, I suspect the answers will start flowing from here on in, hopefully I can keep up with the questions. The younger of my 2 Melbourne sisters flew in last night, she and Mum will be with me throughout today, and I have a debrief with my GP late this afternoon. I will have my trusty Breast Cancer bible with me, so between us we should be right.

Wish me luck folks, I will be back with deatils as soon as I can.