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.
Blood Transfusion at Sue Ryder and admittance
I've been feeling very tired and out of breath recently so Sue Ryder thought it would be a good idea to check my blood count and give me a blood transfusion at Day Care on 29th July plus be admitted for a few days respite.
Unbelievably, the blood count for my Haemoglobin was not particularly low at 9.3. I was quite disappointed, I know this sounds funny but I was kind of banking on this being low which would account for why I was feeling so ill. Anyway during my 3 day stay at Sue Ryder I had lots of discussions with the in-house doctors about all my problems. They decided that they could not rule out a blood clot on the lungs because my breathing is so laboured. I was sent for a CT scan at the Berks and got the results this afternoon. Fantastic turnaround for results.
The results ruled out a blood clot in the lungs. There was no sign of changes to the upper part of my liver and the small nodule in my left lung is still measuring 4mm which is good news as I haven't been on any chemo for quite some time. The very bad news is the changes to my bones A number of the vertebra (back bones) have become wedged due to the spread of cancer in the spine which has caused my spine to collapse and therefore bend forward. This is irreversible and I'm absolutely gutted. It's happened so quickly. Because I'm leaning forward, I'm squashing my lungs more which may account for the lack of breath.
There are also healing fractures in my right scapula (right shoulder blade) and in my sternum (front of my chest). This would account for the pains I've been getting in my shoulder blade/back and my chest area. I've got to persevere with the pain medication in the hope that this pain will improve eventually.
Is Erythromycin making me feel worse
I've been on the antibiotic for a week now and I've felt sick every morning and my indigestion/heartburt has got really bad. Don't know if this is affecting my breathing as well. The Doctors at Sue Ryder think it would be a good idea to continue with it as there is also improvement in my armpit.
Change of antibiotics for armpit
The District Nurse took a swab last week from my armpit. The results have come back that there is a bacterial infection still and that the infection is more sensitive to the antibiotic erythromycin, so I've swopped antibiotics. This infection has been going on for so long now it is ridiculous. The District Nurse is still coming out daily to change the dressing and I'm getting so fed up with it.
Saw Dr Barrett today and she was all smiles. She had a look at my armpit and said that it was looking a lot better than when she last saw it (which was in hospital) and felt that we needed to persevere longer with the antibiotics and dressing. There is still the faint chance that it is more than just an infection in my armpit but she does not want to investigate further yet.
We then discussed the excrutiating pain in my back. I really can't stand for more than a few minutes and walk very far without it really hurting. I'm struggling to support myself and so my back is arching over at the top. I asked whether any type of support brace would help but she said no. I've got a planning appointment on Monday for radiotherapy and she said that this would be the only thing that should relieve the pain. I truly hope so.
My bloods are still good
Slow healing process
My GP came out to see me today and had a look at the wound in my armpit. She is disappointed with the slow healing progress and had said that she would like my Oncologist to have a look on Wednesday when I have my next appointment. She has said that it is highly unlikely that it will be cleared up before my holiday and asked if Steve could maybe change the dressing!! Fortunately for me we are going away with my friend Julie and her family. Although she is not a practice nurse, I'm sure she will be able to deal with the dressing better than Steve. I've just got to break the news to her now. At least it's not in an embarressing place!!
Excrutiating pain in my back (Again!!)
I got woken up at 2.30am with the most excrutiating pain in the left side of my back. I thought it was my kidneys but it was so painful, I could hardly breathe. I was so uncomfortable lying down that I went to sit in the loung and rang the out of hours doctors service just to get some advice. It truly was the worst pain I've had in recent weeks. I went through with the on-call doctor and he came to the conclusion that it was muscle pain. What have I done this time (who knows!). I couldn't take any more pain relief for it as I'm up to the limit with what I already take, well unless I wanted to be comotosed but that's just not an option for me.
Anyway, I sat in the lounge for about 2 hours as it was more comfortable than in bed and heated by wheat pack to put on my back. I finally went back to bed around 5am.
The District Nurse came out to dress my wound as usual at 9.30am and wasn't happy with the look of it although I had only just started back on antibiotics so she said she would put a call in to the out of hours doctors service and ask them to come and have a look. The doctor finally turned up at 3.30pm and said he thought that maybe the antibiotics needed some extra time to work and would be happy for me to carry on through the weekend and perhaps be reassessed by my own GP on Monday. This was lucky as I wanted to go out this evening to see "Take That" at Wembley.
The District Nurse came back to redress my wound and I did make it to Wembley. "Take That" were great and I'm really grateful to Tanya and Carol for organising this lovely evening out as a treat for me.
Back on 3rd set of antibiotics
District Nurse not happy with the look and smell of wound so another round of antibiotics prescribed. I'm getting really disappointed with the lack of progress with the wound. At this rate it's not going to be healed by my holiday in August which means I can't swim. Aaargh!!