Thanks for taking the time to visit my website. I'd like to tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a wife and mother of 3 young children, Matthew 13, Ellie 10 and Freddie 6. I was first diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2001 at the age of 36. Following Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy, I was in remission until a chance MRI scan in Feb 2005 for an unrelated problem, detected that the Cancer had returned. I was then diagnosed with Secondary Breast Cancer. The likely prognosis given in February was 18 months to 5 years. I then had to undergo aggressive Chemotherapy, but following the results of a recent bone scan, it was found that the Cancer is still spreading.
The treatment in Germany will cost thousands of pounds and for most people like myself, the opportunity for this is a dream. Many of my Family and Friends want to make this dream a reality and are making tremendous fund raising efforts, because without them, I would not be able to seek the treatment that I so obviously need and which is not being offered in this country.
Went to the cancer clinic today for a check up and then chemo and pamidronate. Didn't see my usual Oncologist but saw one of her colleagues. I asked if he had the results of the chest x-ray as I was still having problems with my breathing. He went to have a look on the computer and came back 5 mins later to say that the x-ray was clear and that it had been checked against the previous x-ray in 2005 and there appeared to be no difference, which was a relief. I also mentioned that I have been experiencing a pain in my left breast but cannot feel any lumps and cannot find the site of the pain. He checked also and found nothing and said that we should just keep an eye on it!
I wanted to discuss the Bondronate issues and mentioned that my GP would need to be informed of this change and that they would require some information before they could make a decision on whether they could prescribe it or not. He said that whilst I was on chemo they would continue with the pamidronate infusion. I also went on to discuss taking the Bondronate and how difficult I thought it was going to be if I had to take it an hour before any food but at least 6 hours after my last meal which would mean that I could only take it first thing in the morning. He didn't think that I would need to be quite so stringent with taking them. I suppose I'll just have to deal with that at the time.
Went up to the chemo ward and then had to wait over 2 hours before I got my treatment. I felt really tired and drained afterwards and went home to bed.
Took myself along to the X-Ray dept at the RBH for a chest x-ray today but won't know the results for about a week.
The sleeping tablets seem to be working and I'm managing to get a solid 5-6 hours sleep and feeling so much better for it.
Unable to Sleep
I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping at night recently so I went to see my GP today and she has prescribed some sleeping tablets. I'm getting really exhausted and need to rest every afternoon but then can't sleep at night. Whilst at the doctors, I also mentioned that I was having problems breathing. The GP listened to my lungs, she said they sounded clear but decided to send me for a chest X-ray which will have to be next week on my day off work.
Reply from the Leonardis
Dr Jacob has replied to say that I should continue with the Navelbine until March and then in April visit the Leonardis for a whole body PET and a bone scan.
She also said that it is acceptable to have Clodronate.
Another person joins the "Cancer Club"
I went to visit Karen last night who has just been newly diagnosed with liver cancer. This is secondaries and they have yet to find out where the primary cancer is. She's a young mum of 3 like me. She's in terrible pain because the liver has got a lot of tumours. I just wanted to give her some words of comfort and say look at me. People are always saying how well I look and that you would never know. You might ask what the secret is, but to be honest I don't always feel how I look! Anyway, I hope I was of some help to Karen.
Attended Nem's funeral today. Such a sad occasion but it was a beautiful service. Afterwards I had the opportunity to catch up with a few of Nem's friends who I had met out in Germany at the Leonardis Klinik. In particular Dawn, who had travelled over from Ireland for the funeral. She was a good friend of Nem's and I will have a lasting memory of the last time I saw them together at the Leonardis when they had a fit of the giggles and could not stop laughing.
Cancer Clinic appointment/Email to the Leonardis
Didn't see my usual Oncologist today, maybe she is avoiding me after our chat at the last appointment. Asked the Onc who I saw, if we could increase the Navelbine dose to 50mg which he agreed but said it was probably too late to change the dose for today's treatment. I asked how many more treatments I would expect to have and he said that this particular chemo is divided into two doses, therefore two doses equals one cycle. Ordinarly you will get 6 cycles of a chemo so I could possibly carry on with Navelbine up to 12 doses every three weeks. This chemo is a long old haul.
Emailed the German clinic tonight to inform them of the tumour marker test results, inform them of the Navelbine dose increase and query whether Clodronate is okay. I also asked when would be a suitable date to visit for a scan to see how effective this treatment has been.
Tumour marker results
District Nurse came this morning to fit my line ready for chemo tomorrow. She also gave me a copy of the tumour marker test results from the blood test 3 weeks ago. I have now compared them to the previous test. There isn't a marked difference so will ask the Onc tomorrow if we can increase the Navelbine to a 50 mg dose.
I had a phone call today to tell me that Nem, the lady who introduced me to the Leonardis Klinik has passed away. I'm devastated. She was such an inspiration and while she continued to survive it gave me confidence too. Now I'm very sad and wonder what the future holds for me.