Monday, May 3, 2010

The day before I go nuclear

It's nearly time for the radiotherapy to begin - tomorrow at 5pm. Eek. I am sure it will be a non-event, but I am also sure that I will be slightly anxious tonight and won't quite sleep properly.

Before I go there tomorrow, there is a conference at work for all of us over a certain grade. We have to bring an object that demonstrates how we feel about the university now, and how we want to see it in the future (the conference is titled "Future Focus"). I think some people are planning on bringing in joke dog poo for the former... I have not worked there long enough yet to be so cynical, and think the staff there are very lucky to be employed by them. I see it is more paternal - and in the future it'll be a slightly thinner father!! How do I take in that as an object? !!

This week, I had my latest Zoladex injection and BOY did it hurt! Admittedly, it is only sore for a short while, but it was certainly sore. I'm now having it every 3 months, which means the needle is bigger and leaves a hole behind. The nurse patches it with a plaster, but there is always a spot of blood leaking through... I now just have a slight bruise.

I have now made it to the end of my first box of Tamoxifen, and can say that the side effects of that are: sweatier nights (and therefore more disturbed as I am hot one minute, cold the next - bigger extremes than before), and an itchy rash that came up on my neck last weekend. It stayed for a couple of days, then calmed down, and is back today although not as itchy as it was originally. I think it is the Tamoxifen causing it - some others on the cancer forum think so. I'll keep an eye on it.

I am also very impressed by the nurse at the GP's surgery. I went in for my Zoladex and also asked for them to add the Tamoxifen on a repeat script. I had only just thought about this as I was coming to the end of the box I got from the hospital, and realised I'm not going to be seeing the oncologist again until the beginning of June! Even though they haven't had a letter from him asking them to prescribe it, she took my word for it (and I produced my copy of the original hospital script), added it to my file and gave me 6 months prescription. They get held at the pharmacy and you just pop along and collect the next box when you are ready - this makes sure there isn't any waste, should you have a bad reaction and get taken off them.

I'll be back at the doctors in two weeks time, this time to look at contraception. At risk of sharing too much, but I had obviously come off the pill a while ago to try for babies. I am now not allowed to get pregnant for a while (and certainly not while still having herceptin or radiotherapy treatment), so we need to use some precaution. It is not advised that you have any contraception that contains hormones, especially as my cancer was responsive to both oestrogen and progesterone.
o The pill - hormones = no.
o Implant - hormones = no.
o Mirena coil - hormones = no.
o Diaphragm - fiddly = no.
o Condoms - fiddly and desensitising = no.
o Copper coil/IUD - no hormones = yes.

I have to have a chat with the doctor before she'll fit it, but seeing as the usual side effects of a coil are heavy periods, and I have none at all at the moment, then it should be straightforward (I hope!). Such excitement to look forward to [emma rolls her eyes!].

Righto, I'm off now to Charlotte's to celebrate her birthday, so I'd better put my face on and wrap her present!

Will try and wrestle the laptop off Greg tomorrow and update on how the first rads sessions goes.

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