Chemo line flush done

Been to have my chemo line flush done. Everything worked first time - I am very fortunate that it is continuing to function so well. They have changed the furniture round - instead of a bed there is now a chair - like you get at the dentist. I’m not so keen on this. My chemo line [...]

General Election and breast cancer treatment

The campaigning for the general election has really started, with the first TV debate between the three main party leaders. The Labour party’s aspiration is that a woman should see a specialist within two weeks of initial diagnosis of cancer. The Conservatives say that the timing should depend on severity and are not commiting set [...]

Had another check-up - still smiling

Been back for my 3-month check with the oncologist. Had a physical examination and there was nothing to cause concern. I don’t have to go back until the new year; I am so relieved. I’m looking in to having surgery on my ovaries, rather than the zoladex approach. My reaction to zoladex doesn’t seem very [...]

Affected by IBC?

I am reflecting that I may be approaching the median life expectancy for my type of cancer (depending on where you get your statistics). My thoughts are with women and families affected by inflammatory breast cancer, and my heart goes out to them.
Any IBC sisters out there, I wish you courage.

Autumn 2008: The cancer returns, lumpectomy

I had the mastectomy in April 2008. All seemed fine initially. There was an area of skin about six inches down from my shoulder that was slightly pink. Then, as I was undressing one night, this area caught the light and I could see a small bump, smaller than a pea. It was quite [...]

Chemo - scan after 6 cycles, 2007

I was sent for a PET CT scan. This was the second time round and I was in a better frame of mind. It was a week before I got the results. I tried to control my anxiety, but it did eat away at me. I was expecting a result that showed some slight change [...]

Having chemo - epirubicin, Autumn 2007

My hormones were all over the place. I was very stressed, and the chemo was overlaid on top of this. The expectation was that I would feel rough for the first few days after having chemo and then things would pick up. What happened was that I felt fine for the first few days and then [...]

First meeting with the oncologist

At the meeting with the oncologist, we ran through my medical history and then I had an examination. I was also asked:

when did my periods start (answer - 14)

how long had I been on the pill (answer - on and off since my twenties)

did I smoke (answer - never)

how much alcohol did I drink (answer - nothing)

At [...]

In the beginning: Hospital referral

I got an appointment at hospital about 10 days after seeing the GP. During this time my right arm had become stiffer, and the breast more painful. Wearing a bra was uncomfortable. I started wearing tight fitting lycra vests instead. Each day I felt I was going downhill.
Initial tests
I had a mammogram. I also had [...]

In the beginning: First diagnosis from GP

I got an appointment at short notice and was seen by a locum GP. A female member of staff was asked to step in to the room whilst the examination was being done. Both breasts were examined and also under the arms and a triangular area over my shoulders. Two lumps were detected, which were [...]