Mixed results

Well, yesterday I went to see the Oncologist for the results of my Ultrasound. I was pretty confident that it was all going to be good news because as SJ would say, there appears to be less marbles in the bag! (meaning that my boob is not so lumpy!). You may have seen from an earlier post that I can’t feel the lump in my armpit at all now.

So being told the results were ‘mixed’ was, I have to say, a bit of a blow.

However, let’s start with the positives:

Number 1, the Oncologist I saw was Briony, she was on loan from Bournemouth. She was lovely, unlike the YTS version I got last time. Very organised, listened, had a laugh and very confident in what she was talking about.

Number 2 – one of the lumps which was 36mm is now 17mm, one which was 36.5 mm is now 20mm x 18mm and one which was 8mm is now 6x4mm.

Number 3 – I actually got a print of the Ultrasound report so I can see exactly what it says. When people ask questions, I can just thrust that in their face!

However, the downside is that they found ‘at least’ 3 more lumps, the maximum size being 9mm. Now, that sounds grim, but what Briony explained was that it’s possible that they were there before, but just not picked up. It’s impossible to know now. However, apparently, it is possible that they are new members of the family and have raised their ugly heads in spite of the FEC Chemo I am having.

So…the outcome is that from this Friday’s treatment, they are changing my drug. To Docetaxel. I will still only have 3 more treatments, at 3 week intervals, as previously with the FEC. They administer it slightly differently, in that it’s a drip, not syringes.

The list of side effects are pretty much the same, but with a few different ones possible – numb/tingly fingers, sore palms and soles of feet and fat ankles (I think the term is water retention, but same thing, eh?!) and aches.

For the first time yesterday, I felt really down when I left the hospital. The sky was grey and it rained on me as I walked to get the car. It summed up my mood. I didn’t cry. I just felt like as I walked, my shoulders could have been dragging on the ground. Anyone studying body language would have had a field day with me yesterday. How I wish there was some way to know whether these are new lumps or whether they were there all along. And back to the unknown with regard to knowing how I am going to feel after chemo.

My gums still hurt, though differently to before. Now as I sit here, it’s an ache rather than pain, but I can’t bite using my front teeth as it hurts. Still no ulcers though, so pleased about that.

I cheered up after big hugs last night, but feel a bit gloomy again today. Time to throw myself into work and ignore it, I guess. That’s what I do best.

4 responses to “Mixed results

  1. Send you much love and kisses, keep that pma going. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Think positive: The big lumps are smaller – the lump under your arm has gone so it can’t have spread – what’s a few tiny lumps between friends? They were probably there all the time and got missed!
    You still don’t need shampoo and probably don’t have to shave your legs and other places!
    The weather is predicted warmer so no urgent need for a hat – even your bargain one for a £1
    … and with the new treatment you are still over half way through the chemo!
    Gotta be sunny days ahead!
    .. just look at all those hugs and kisses too! X

  3. Hey Pash, we’re all entitled to feel down now and again. Just remember you’re in this for the long haul and we’re all right beside you. xxxxx

  4. Sweetie,

    The lumps wouldn’t grow during Chemo. they had to be there at the beginning – therefore like the others they will have been shrunk.

    I did 6 sessions of Docetaxel. Easy to start with, tougher towards last 2-3 sessions. Still nothing compared to my experiences of FEC. Achy legs – oh god yes, prepare to feel quite old!! Usually at night, so you can’t get comfortable. Usually combatted with ibuprofen and if really bad paracetamol as well. Got to point I would take it pre-emptively before bed for a good night’s rest. However, be assured, it goes away. As your mum says, you are half way through this and on the homeward run.

    The hand thing is strange – my nails showed horizontal ridges for each chemo session. Freaky – but also quite cool.

    I was advised to wear dark polish on my nails all the time as there can also be a tendency for the nails to stain and become yellowish – something the Chemo Reps say is due to UV light or something. To be honest honey, I am not good at doing my hair (not that I had any at that time, nor keeping up with nails etc – so I let mine lapse and didn’t bother with the polish). Kinda had other things on my mind.

    towards the end may nails didn’t feel like my own – again quite freaky – but with 3 instead of 6 sessions of Docetaxel, you may not get any of these symptoms.

    Had some pretty sleepless nights – but I think that was due to the steroids and not the chemo. Nothing the box set of Prison Break couldn’t get me through.

    Stay chilled, keep smiling and continue to be the inspiration you are.

    Loads of love and hugs,

    Steffie. xxxx

    PS Have you booked into “Look Good Feel Great” yet? A two hour make up session for cancer patients who are feeling low, with a FABULOUS goody box to take home. Channel; Dior; Max Factor; L’Oreal etc etc. Well worth doing for the stuff alone. Also, whilst having your next chemo – book ahead and ask if Julie is there – she does aromatherapy foot massages for patients.

    Let me know how you get on.

Leave a Reply