Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One year. Done.

Today, 21st September 2010,  is the first anniversary of my mastectomy.   Some might expect me to be sad about that, but I am not.  What's done is done, and I can live with it quite easily.  No psychological damage, my fella still fancies me, I've adapted my clothes to fit.   Doesn't mean to say I won't have a reconstruction when I can, but it isn't causing me any day to day issues.

If anything, I want to celebrate that I have made it to the first anniversary and I feel absolutely great.  I have withstood the treatment reasonably well, my hair is coming back thick and fast (literally) and so far (keeping everything crossed here) the cancer has been beaten.  

I have an appointment for my now annual mammogram check on 5th October, followed by a meeting with the surgeon (to discuss results, I guess) on 4th November. Not brilliant that those dates are a month apart, but I am confident that if there is anything worrying to see on the scan that I would get to see him a bit sooner!

The other reason to celebrate today, is that I saw Dr Iqbal for the results of my latest heart scan, which I had yesterday.   Initially, the result was not available on the screen when he looked for it.  They had promised me that an appointment the day before the clinic would be OK, but obviously they hadn't quite got around to updating the system yet...  My appointment with Dr Iqbal was at 5pm, so he rang and rang (then got his registrar to ring) and there was no answer to be able to get the "unvalidated" result.  Then, Magical Michelle rang - and of course, someone answered, and they gave the result.   I now have an ejection fraction of 53%! Yay!  So this means Herceptin treatment can recommence.

I had 6 treatments out of 18 before it got stopped, so now have another 12 to have.  The bad news is that I have to have two loading doses again, which mean a day at Velindre Hospital each time to check there is no allergic reaction.  The good, nay, BRILLIANT news is that they are now able to offer the remaining treatments from home!  Yes, indeed.  Bupa have been subcontracted to deliver treatment from your own home.  So I guess they will rock up with a drip, the medication and a nurse and hook you up in your living room!  Apparently, this is saving the hospital a lot of space and time, as there is less of a crush in the waiting and treatment rooms. For me, what I am hoping it means - and Greg shakes his head in despair at me - is that I can get a more convenient appointment time and still do a full day at work on treatment days.  Seeing as it doesn't cause any ill side effects (apart from giving you a dodgy heart, for which I had no symptoms), I don't see this as a problem.

12 more treatments at 3 weekly intervals will take me another 9 months. So if they start in October, they'll be finished in June 2011. So, still a long way to go.

The other sad news, is that Dr Iqbal is definitely leaving, so this may have been the last time that I will see him.  I thanked him for everything he has done for me.  I also quizzed him on what his plan for us trying again for a baby would have been.  The detail of the plan is this:
- 9 more months of herceptin (until June 2011)
- then 6 more months on zoladex (December 2011)
- then come off the zoladex and wait for my periods to come back (sometime early 2012)
- then come off tamoxifen and try and get preggers (2012...)

Lets hope we get that far without any more hiccups.  I'll be 39 by then.... eek!!

But I am happy.

Emma and Greg 17 Sept 2010
p.s. Photo courtesy of Jenny Grodzicka - sorry, I should have asked permission before I stole it! xx


  1. I am so pleased for you! You look fantastic! Your blog has been a great source of information and inspiration to me. I may not be going through a brilliant time at the moment, but I know there's a definite end to it and that things will get better. xx

  2. Your hair looks amazing! Great you can start Herceptin again, I have just had no 7 so we're virtually at the same point.