Okay it's well past time for an update. Apologies for my slackness, between staying at Mum's through the weekend, Doctors appointments and Nanna Naps, it's been hard to find the motivation....
Anyhoo, the news so far is good. My meeting with the Surgeon on Wednesday confirmed that the 4 lymph nodes collected during surgery were clear of any evidence of spread. They retrieved a 2.5cm tumour with clear margins and no additional surgery required. One of my bandages is completely off and the scar is very neat and clean. Pain is not too bad, though with my back and neck issues I am having a fair bit of referred pain in the right arm. My Back Doctor, along with some Valium, is taking care of that
Wednesday also involved meeting with the Breast Care Nurse, two Medical Oncologists (Chemo), the Radiation Oncologist (Radiotherapy), and a Cancer Care Specialist Nurse. Lots of information (again), more appointments, as far away as October, and more tests before further treatment starts.
So far I have in my calendar the following:
24/06 - Back Doctor
30/06 - Echocardiogram
08/07 - Chemotherapy (to be repeated every 21 days for a total of 6 treatments
19/07 - Look Good Feel Better program, makeup, turbans, scarves etc., to help you look and feel your best during and after Chemo.
12/10 - Appt with Radiation Oncologist to discuss timimg of Radiation Therapy
I also have to have a blood test just before each chemo session, and I have to decide whether or not I'd like to participate in a trial using acupuncture in conjunction with chemo, to see if it helps with nausea. I'm keen, but it involves extra hospital visits, so I haven't quite decided on that one. Apparently I also have "Chemo Brain" to look forward to. That means that instead of a half hour frantic searching for my car keys every morning, it will be more like an hour... basically I'm fkd!
Plenty of support and assistance along the way.... I have already received a free bra, specifically designed for post surgery.... ugly as sin, but blissfully comfortable. There is a package on it's way containing a voucher for wig purchase, a turban, turban making patterns, scarf tying instructions and other little goodies. The Look Good Feel Better Program will help me make the most of makeup, skin care etc., with heaps of free goodies thrown in. Apparently they will select makeups based on my colouring, skin tones and preferences (supplied via questionnaire), show me how best to use them to disguise the ravages of Chemo, then hand them over. Could be several hundred dollars worth of Estee Lauder, Clinique, and/or other expensive brands.
Meanwhile I return to work on Monday, with time off for various appointments until the first Chemo session on Thursday the 8th. On the 25th of June my parents take off for a week to 10 days on holidays in Northern NSW with my sister, her partner and the grandkids. On the 30th of June my man will arrive from Melbourne and leaves the day I start Chemo. Speaking of my sister, she had her Mammogram on Wednesday, and received a callback today for Ultrasound, which she will have on Monday. We are hopeful that they are being extra cautious due to my diagnosis, and that she will be fine. We are staying very calm.
That's probably about it for now. If any more news comes to hand I will check in. Again, if I have a particularly bad or especially good day, I will certainly try to check in and share, I suspect there will be more of those days once treatment begins in earnest.
As always, thanks for your messages of support and love.