Blimey, another fun filled, action packed day today. Some stress, some "relaxation"
Kicking the day off with a bout of physio with Russell, battling the on going issues with my back, my back now cracks like someone walking on Rice Krispies.
The after effect however, more than desirable, and a few accupuncture needles later, and I was skipping back home. Relaxation done with, it was time for round 2…
Guy’s Hospital with mum. This time the Chemo Day Unit on the 10th Floor. After being delayed 15 mins by a fire alert shutting all the lifts down, we finally reached the floor.
Having spent a lot of time in the hospital recently in various departments for both myself and mum, I can only use one word to describe my reaction to walking in to Chemo Day Unit,…. GOBSMACKED! Reality hit home for a second, and suddenly I was the only person on the wrong side of the counter unaffected by cancer. Surrounded by people of all ages, from all walks of life, all struck down at this time by the big "C" Cancer!
You read the stats, you see the programs on TV, but nothing quite prepares you to share a room with a whole load of people with one terrible thing in common. Cancer.
To think this was one point in time, on one day of a long week for this department. One of many departments like it in the country, suddenly it all makes sense.
So the reason for the visit today was to collect the drugs my mum will be taking for the next two weeks. Capecitabine, on a dosage of 2150mg’s twice a day. Nope, no typo, 2150mg’s twice a day. The plan, to shrink the lumps to a more comfortable size, and make life a little more manageable.
The condition, described in a letter received today is as follows. Bilateral apocrine carcinomas of the breasts, and palpable nodes within the left axilla. Tumours are both apocrine in nature and on the right is a hormone receptor negative, and the left a hormone receptor positive. Mum now calls herself a battery, having positive and negative "terminals" on her chest. So still taking it all quite well. Some might call that a bit of a sick sense of humour.
So as we waited for the nurse to get the drugs and talk to us, we shared the moment with the others in the room. Most I must say were quite quiet and seemingly down. Others chatted amongst themselves. One lady managed to cease my attention for almost the entire duration. Talking with a couple of women next to uss She spent the best part of an hour telling them, and anyone with in earshot (most of the local area south of London Bridge) how painful and pointless the treatment is, and how ill it made her and her "mate". Having very little to share with regards actual experience, she simply spent her time telling them how slow and poor the treatment was in Guy’s, and any horror stories she may have experienced or made up.
While its good to have the truth, having someone rattle on like this for an hour is enough to make new starters to the treatment think twice, and maybe leave.
Thankfully, just as I reached the point of ejecting her via the 10th floor window, she was called for treatment. Leaving the 2 women relieved, and to discuss all the shocking information they had just heard.
Finally the nurse came over with the 2 bags of drugs. In it were the actual chemo drugs, along with a collection of others for various side effects caused by the chemo. I must say its good to have it all together, rather than experiencing the side effects and having to go for another visit to address them.
On the way home, time to talk, and eat of course, this time selecting the Cornish Pasty outlet in London Bridge station. Mum did suggest we write a guide to dining at LB station, seeing the amount of time we will be spending there now. Got to love her enthusiasm.
Next visit is 2 weeks from today to see how the treatment is going. At this point she will be on a 1 week break from the pills, to be checked over and have tests done.
Currently the lumps are 6cm x 6cm with the centre of the mass appearing to be about to ulcerate through the skin. Also a 2.5cm x 3cm mass in the left upper outer quadrant of the left breast with overlying skin puckering. Obviously any improvement on those would be good. The ulcerating of the right side is the stage they have advised of that the pain really starts to need managing, and the discomfort level rises.
3 weeks from today she will start the second round of treatment, of course IF the first has had any impact.
So there you go, thats how the land lays right now with mum.
Im finally in a position to return to LighterLife for management of my weight. On weighing today they are delighted at my management. However I have opted for some foodpacks to help me maintain weight during this time consuming point in my life. Makes this far less stressful for me. One less thing to worry about.
The other bit is now to see how the treatment goes. With the plan to go to Wales next Wednesday to see my aunt, mum’s sister, and to talk about the above. (not my weight loss) Fingers crossed the side effects of the treatment will be minimal, and the trip can go ahead. She has given me grief about this over the last few days. With me daring to speak to my aunt without telling my mum lol. Its the only way I can arrange it, honest.
So, ladies and gentlemen. Fingers crossed that the side effects are minimal please, then thats another little thing ticked off on the "to do" list 🙂
Thanks for reading 🙂