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.
Pamidronate and blood transfusion
I managed to organise the blood transfusion to be administered at Sue Ryder this week rather than waiting for the Berks possibly next week. I stayed over night on Wednesday so that they could continue to administer the 4 units over the two days.
I came home yesterday but I'm not feeling the benefits yet. I still feel quite tired today and a little sick. Let's hope I pick up over the weekend.
Appointment with Dr Barrett
I did finally organise an appointment with Dr Barrett for Monday afternoon although they had to squeeze me in at 1pm. We arrived early for the appointment and only had to wait 5 mins before we were called in.
Dr Barrett's first words were "what have I been up to since I last saw her because my haemoglobin had dropped considerably again". I've not really done a lot although I wasn't surprised when she said this because over the last few days I have been feeling really tired and lethargic again but couldn't quite pinpoint it to a low blood count. Dr B suggested another blood transfusion so this was left to me to organise either at Sue Ryder this week if poss or at the Berks which would probably be next week. I don't really want to wait until next week because it is school half term.
She then went onto say that there was an inevitability about chemo but it was a matter of when was the right time, especially as my bloods had dropped so dramatically again. She suggested that we wait another 4 weeks before making a decision and hoped that my body would recover more before embarking on the chemo. Dr B went through my notes (which was a bit disappointing as I thought she might have done this before our meeting and had a treatment plan in mind!). Anyway, she said that we were running out of chemo options as I had had so many and asked if I'd had certain chemos which I knew I had. She then suggested that we should recycle a couple which I'd had quite a few years ago. I know for a fact that they will make my hair fall out again, which she confirmed. I asked about Herceptin. I haven't had this for a few years and when it was stopped, the theory was that we would save it for a later date when I might need it as it was doing some good at the time. Dr B agreed that we could try this again.
Dr B wants to see me again in 4 weeks and would like to keep to a Monday appointment again. She did however apologise for the fact that my original appointment time got cancelled. She would like to keep continuity for my treatment between herself and Dr Dallas which I'm more than happy with as I've met Dr Dallas on a number of occasions and she is very nice and very capable.
Now all I need to do is speak to Sue Ryder and see if we can organise the blood transfusions over there. Unfortunately Dr B wants 4 units which may mean an overnight stay at Sue Ryder.
"Farrah's Story" - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30749929/
Follow the above link to see Farrah Fawcett's cancer journey. For me it was so interesting because I've done so much of what she has done with Prof Vogl and Dr Jacob who was originally at the Leonardis Klinik.
If you watch the documentary, especially the treatment she had with Prof Vogl you will understand the pain I went through last year with the chemoembolisation and laser treatment to my liver. It was very painful and I was very sick after it.
I think Alana Stewart did a fantastic job putting this together.
I don't bl**dy believe it!
Just when you have the best laid plans an all! On Monday 18th I was supposed to be having an Oncology appointment with Dr Barrett to discuss the way forward and I assume what treatments she thought I should be on next. The last time I saw her she asked me to make the appointment for a Monday when she would have more time to talk this over with me and therefore not a clinic day on a Wednesday when it is a rush job and you barely get 5 minutes to talk.
Well, this morning I've received a call from Dr Barrett's secretary saying that the Monday clinic has been cancelled and can I come in on Wednesday at 10.30! What!! I've had to make so many arrangements for next week this just can't be happening. Steve's booked the day off as we already have another hospital appointment on Monday morning, I was then having my Pamidronate at Sue Ryder on Wednesday on my normal Day Care Centre day so that I didn't have to return to the Berks on Thursday to have it.
So now they want to squeeze me in on clinic day on Wednesday but I thought I needed more time with Dr Barrett for a proper discussion. In the meantime, I've got to rearrange everything.
I've spoken with Barbara, Dr B's clinical nurse and she is going to see if I can be seen on Monday morning. She also asked if I could be seen in clinic on Wednesday and then go off to Sue Ryder for the Pamidronate after that but I don't really want to be trekking all over the place, if I'm already at the Berks then I may as well have the Pamidronate there! What a farce, as usual. They must think that I've got nothing better to do than sit around waiting for appointments. I've not had a great week as it is, I'm still very tired and have lots of aches and pains so I'm not in the most positive frame of mind.
There was a news bulletin on the 6pm news this evening regarding Farrah Fawcett and her battle with cancer. Unfortunately she is now beyond treatment which is very sad. What was very interesting to me was the video diary that she has been doing because she has been going to Germany for treatment and I saw snippets of the diary on the news and recognised two of the German Doctors that she has been treated by. Prof Vogel in Frankfurt and Dr Jacob who was my original doctor at the Leonardis Klinik when I first went there.
I would like to see her Video Diary (A Wing and a Prayer) which is being screened in America on Friday 15th. What is also sad for me is that with all her money and the fact that she has had access to the same Doctors as me in Germany, she is still not going to make it. I suppose I must remember that she has a totally different cancer to myself which I think has been very aggressive but it is a reality check all the same.