Just downloaded this as my iphone wallpaper :) - Lots of other pretty ones too with lovely messages. Free
Today I met with an interim Oncologist as my real Oncologist is away at a conference ( how rude! ) and he wants me to get started. He explained to me that chemo had side effects - that I may get mouth ulcers. - sigh......seriously thats what he started with.
I stared at him thanking my lucky stars that he was only interim and that all the other staff had been amazing. I am guessing it may help to have a good rapport with the Dr who is going to systematically poison me for the next 6 to 8 months.
In better news though the appointment did go well.
He explained where we were heading and what was going on.
I love a good plan.
My MRI showed that the tumour has yet again almost doubled in size 1.4cm 2.8cm now 5.2cm which wasn't great news but was as expected.
The cancer that I have is Estrogen Receptor Positive - which in the scheme of "good" (is there a good when you say the word cancer?) is good - 75% of breast cancers are this -so there has been lots of work on treating this and the cocktail of drugs is widely used.
My chemo regime will be what is known as FEC. FEC starts with F and has three letters and is the furtherest thing from fun that can be imagined apparently.
I checked in with my Aunt who is an oncology nurse tonight who confirmed that FEC is indeed a very tough regime. Her words were oh not FEC - oh bugger she said.
Awesome they are words to inspire aren't they? So then I rang a girlfriend who is just finished her treatment and said I'm having FEC what did you have - and she said oh FEC - but with a U and K in it LOL.
So what the "fec" is FEC ???- Thank you Dr Google.
“F” is made up of molecules that look very much like the molecules in normal cells, but they’re structured slightly differently; this very small difference is enough to keep cells from functioning properly, once “F” makes its way into them.
“E” stops the enzymes that support cell reproduction; it damages the cell by altering its membranes; and it stops cell reproduction by attaching itself to the cell’s DNA, which then gets tangled up and is unable to replicate itself.
“C” sticks to the cell’s DNA, like “E,” preventing it from replicating. And that, really, is what killing cancer is all about: stop the cells from dividing, and you stop the cancer.
This regime is given once every three weeks for 4 - 6 cycles. I have been told it can only be given for one cycle due to it's potency. They are aiming to give me 3 - 4 and will be checking after 2 in the hope that the tumour is shrinking.
After that appointment I went to get a "clip" put into the place where the tumour is to mark the spot-so that if the chemo works as it should and shrinks it away to nothing the surgeon will still know the affected tissue to remove when it comes time for surgery.
This was done as a local which for me was really good I had about 2 hours of numbness which was a relief as unlike most cancer mine hurts like heck constantly.
Then I went and had blood tests.
Then I went for a ECG to check my heart can withstand the chemo regime.
Monday I go in for day surgery to have my port put in - which is a permanent device under the skin which connects to a vein via a catheter. This allows easy access straight to my veins for chemo and anything else they have to hit me with.
Thursday I have my first round of chemo.
(Faith and I on our way this morning ) It will be 19 days from when my GP gave me the news and made his diagnosis to when the first drop of chemo hits my veins.
Welcome to all my new readers from work- I am glad I can keep you up to date through here. Richard and I thank everyone for your prayers emails and support. Currently we are doing ok.
One day at a time - step by step.
I'm awake - at 1.30 - I used to always be awake at this time - still working.
Now I'm just awake.
I have been to bed tossing for two hours and given it up as a waste of energy.
So it's me, hot tea, Lenka and Faith.
The nights are longer than the days.
I'm still not sure how I ended up here.
Today I headed back to the shops with a friend in tow to make a decision about a wig. I feel more in control now that I have.
They carry a hefty price tag and although the Cancer Council is very good and offers a $75 voucher towards the purchase it's still a big investment. So I had to be sensible depsite my husbands wish for me to become a blonde or red head LOL. The girls and I went yesterday and they had narrowed it down to three.
Today I had some photos taken.
This one was ruled out - though I did like the neatness of it - I had to agree it didnt look like me - more umm I dont know Toni Colleteish- tidy bob style
But this one ( although this is a dodgy photo)
I felt looked like I do now - or would if I could actually make my hair be styled.
I liked the messyness and lack of grey! Not too long not too short
and the lovely manager from Starkles said when I come back into to collect it she will cut the fringe for me exactly how I like it.
We also found some turbans and cotton/lycra scarfs that will be easy to pop on each morning so we bought a couple too. With my friends about to head back to work next week I'm making the most of the time to get things sorted.
Today in the mail I received a very thoughtful gift from the lovely Janelle. I was shocked because last night I found out she had been involved in the execution of a very EXTRAVAGANT gift as well so I consider myself very very fortunate. But more on that later.
Janelle has mentioned a couple of times a favourite etsy store called Dusty Plum.
and now( insert squeal LOL ) I am the proud owner of my very own Dusty Plum necklace.
Janelle knows me well - the way I shy away from colour - though I do intend to do something about that! and has chosen the prettiest muted tones which will go with so many of my outfits.
I tried it on straight away and it sits perfectly! Not too long not too short - and has a very nifty magnetic clip that makes popping it on so easy. I never head out without some sort of necklace.
I have this sitting on my dressing table ready for tomorrow. I have no control over what they are going to say and very little control over what's going to happen in tomorrows appointments (got calls today to say they had scheduled other things in for me tomorrow after my oncologist ) so at least I can be confident about my choice of outfit and accessories :) It's the little things!
Tweeting with Janelle tonight she told me that Jo had just released a new range too of very pretty brooches - you can see them here .
Awesome gift - I'm adding this store to my christmas list. I'm so grateful for thoughtful friends - Thank you Janelle.
There is more of a story to tell but I'll share that later.
Mel, Janelle, Kate, Gigi, Ngai, Tammy, Nic, Rach, Sheree, Emily, Kim, Lou, Georgette, Mardi, Yvette and Gail
This song is for you- Couldn't be more apt - I'm 39 with two children :)- and now because of you I have Faith and I know you'll be loving me through it.
We have tried to jam in a few things over the last couple of days as I had no medical appointments.
Saturday we went with friends to celebrate Richard's birthday to Benihana - Teppanyaki. The kids always really enjoy it as it comes with a "show".
Then we headed back home for chocolate cake. The boys kicked back and watched the footy - the kids all played wii and we girls had a big girly chat and talked of fun things like early menopause and mastectomies. It wasn't all doom though we did have lots of giggles with it. Have to laugh or you will cry is my motto. And I realised afterwards that I was hopless taking photos. We made a flourless chocolate cake - its the best cake ever - you really should try it. Tals made the coulis- mixed berry for a change instead of raspberry- So good.
Sunday I ditched my family and mass to head to the Bangalow Markets - These are the best markets ever - I had crepes for breakfast and wandered around with my friends. I did find one special thing which I will share later in the week and of course a huge jar of lemon butter. LOVE :)
Then Monday I headed off with another friend to Wynuum to hit the op shops. Oh my goodness there are about 10 all in just two streets. SO good but unfortunately I have now learnt three adventures in three days is far two many.
I was too tired after just arriving to enjoy it and to even find some goodies. We stopped for a cuppa at a great little cafe that had Greek treats - they had the best baklava which I bought home for Richard.
There was also a little indie shop, a dolly shop, a scrapbooking store and 101 other cafes. Its totally worth a day trip and a wander with a girlfriend - Don't go Mondays though as lots of shops are closed - as we found out.
Today I took the girls down to Robina to see Monte Carlo. Richard needs time child and noise free so he can work and with it being holidays that's particularly tricky. So a movie is a good option because it's not too tiring and it takes up a chunk of time.
Monte Carlo was really fun - it's definitely a tweenie chick flick- though it got tricky when I realised part way through one of the girls had lost her Mum to illness.
Afterwards we headed to Sparkles for the girls to see me try on some wigs. I really didn't want to but I knew it was something that they should be a part of. I got teary explaining to the lovely manager what I needed to do and how I wanted my girls to be involved but she was so kind and had me sorted in no time. The girls were really good helping choose and discuss the colours.
I haven't decided yet - I knew I wouldn't so my plan is to take a friend back with me and have a good think - its all well and good having my little helpers opinions but I need an adult who knows me too lol.
Tals did say that even though I wasn't an out there kind of Mummy I could maybe consider a punk rock style wig. - Umm that would be no. They also had me try on a reddish brown one and they both quickly said no way. I'm thinking they want me to look and be the same as I am now.
That works for me.
The very talented and generous Kim Klassen is offering a free e course using pse9 ( and from what I can see works well enough with earlier versions and PS )
and It's free!
It's a ten part mini course self paced and no doubt will be fab.
I'm excited to be signed up for it - details here
Join me :)