Breast cancer sucks. That’s why I’m gonna kick it’s butt!

breast cancer

Yes, it’s true. 2 days ago I was diagnosed with the big BC. I’m still quite shocked and numb or maybe some would call it calm. I’m swinging from making inappropriate jokes to being pragmatic to just feeling angry. Whatever I’m feeling is just how I feel and I’m indulging myself in it, My bad?

My lovely little sis suggested I keep a blog to journal my journey and to keep people up to date so that I don’t need to keep re-telling people what stage I’m up to. I don’t want a ‘pity party’ but I do want a little space right now so recording my stages here makes sense. Besides, it IS therapeutic to write it down. I know I’m not going to win a literary prize for it because it’s a bit of a ramble but that’s what my head is like right now.

So let’s begin with the facts.

TRYING TO CONTROL THE ANGER

I feel angry right now as I’ve realised that this malignant mass was picked up in my 2011 breast screen and again in my 2013 (October) screen. I’m not going to go down that track on this blog post because it isn’t therapeutic to look backwards, although it IS niggling at my brain. I am going to get hold of the old results not to fuel anger but so that they can be made aware of their mistake/s. In all fairness, I have always had 10-15 cysts in each breast and they have always been dense and difficult (just like their owner). So self examination has been futile and mammograms, not much better.

Diagnosis has been very slow, which adds to my anger. I found the lump (golf ball size) in January. I don’t know how it got so big without me finding it. It seemed to just appear out of nowhere.  I was shocked and went straight to the doctors, got an ultrasound and the result they put on the report was that it was a complex cyst ‘probably benign’ which is considered to be ‘non urgent’. By the time I got an appointment it was egg size. So I had a biopsy last Friday. The radiographer, nurse and doctor doing the biopsy were lovely but I had a sense they were ‘over sympathetic’ and I intuitively knew something was up.

OK… so over with the anger part…

Diagnosis

jenSo I walked into the breast clinic with Colin 2 days ago, and was followed in by a doctor and nurse. The news was broken to us within 3 seconds. Both the doctor and the breast nurse were absolutely lovely.

They asked me if I would like the breast removed, the lump removed or to take part in a trial. What? How do I answer that in 3.5 seconds? My brain was reeling. Colin was losing it. I was saying the most stupid things ever.

The breast nurse spent 2 hours with us helping us to grasp the information, making appointments, discussing bras, wigs and other information too numerous to take in. She even numbered the medical appointment cards from 1 to 5.

So we don’t know what type I have yet but we do know it’s not hormone receptive (the most common type). I’ll be tested for HER2 in the next week or so. Because I am not hormone receptive, I meet the requirements for the treatment ‘trial’. There is only 1 other person on the trail (in Maroondah?) and it means that I will receive 3 different types of chemo, a month about over 4-6 months to shrink the tumour and kill any other spread. Then they will do surgery and remove the shrunken tumour and then radiotherapy. With any of the choices, I would need chemo and radiotherapy so it’s just doing it in reverse order. So the treatment will take 8-9 months all up. Easy peasy (!).

Part of me says ‘get that thing out of me’!! But the other part of me thinks having chemo first is the best option. Besides, I can change my mind with this option.

I WILL lose my hair and that seems like a minor thing but it all adds to the body image feelings and the stripping away of who I am. I know I’m not Sampson… but it all adds to the sinking feeling.

What now?

Today I had radioactive ‘stuff’ injected into my arm and waited 3 hours (at the shops!!!) before going in for a bone scan to see if it’s spread to the bone. Monday I have a CT scan and a Gated Heart Pool Scan, Tuesday I see the oncologist get the results and on Friday I have another biopsy (YUK!!!) where they will ‘tag’ the tumour so that if it shrinks down to nothing with chemo they will know where to find it. I’m sure the oncologist and ‘trial team’ will have many other exciting appointments for me to attend. Just as well I have a loaded Kindle:)

So that’s about all I know right now. I’m feeling positive and I know I can kick this thing. I am blessed to have an amazing husband of 34 years and family who love me. I also have a big network of friends who I love dearly and I know they are all praying for me so that’s a good thing. I’m also overloaded with info packs and appointments. I’ve put life on hold. Uni is cancelled and the job is being handed over. Life has taken another direction to what I expected but that’s what happens in life. It’s like a box of chocolates. Besides… my name is ‘Jennay’ and Forest Gump’s mother knows best.

I’ll leave you with this question… should I re-name my blog from ‘Dishmoptop’ to ‘Lollypoptop’?

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8 comments

  1. You are still you no matter what happens, and there are so many people out there who care for you greatly. How about your journey put down in ink?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Jen I like Iain suggestion of putting it down in ink – your journey thru drawings. Good luck. Lollipop mop sounds good and happy – love Donna

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jen.
    Thinking of you, Colin, Sophie and the boys. I know Soph’s fighting spirit has come from you, so you will totally kick it’s butt. Sending you all the love and positiveness in the world xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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