Saturday, 14 July 2012

A Positive Approach To Cancer

When I told friends what I was doing on the day I was waiting for that dreaded phone call they said, good on ya! Why dwell on something that you have no control over.

I was helping a friend (Lukas DiSparrow)making a music video in my home and it was fun. I had a glint in my eye when he said he wanted a dozen roses set alight. Trust me roses do not go up in flames they need a little help(lighter Fluid).

The wonderful actresses Nicole Peters & Gemma Giubarelli

My main focus in life is not cancer it never has been. I still do what I did before I was diagnosed with breast cancer and that is assist people with their media projects i.e. props and costumes. I tried the acting thing which was fun, but it was not me. I tried the modelling thing again I was never a model type person. I am a free bird that likes to use her hands and brain. It isn’t easy standing and posing for camera’s or learning scripts and expressing various emotions. At least when designing or hunting down various props you feel more involved. Plus I get to throw my hands in the air when a suggestion I have made actually works. I am a Jack in the pack there is nothing I cannot actually do, but I am in my comfort zone when I am helping others achieve their goals it is where I belong.

Dark Robot - You Mean Nothing To Me

Friday, 13 July 2012

The Breast Cancer Trap

No-one knows where our individual journeys will end in Cancerland. Some will face the treatment in full without no end in sight. Others will face tests in drips and drabs over the years. Whereas the lucky ones will walk away with just a few scars as a hidden reminder of their journey. I have realised I am currently a drips and drabs person, up from the lucky ones.

People have insinuated that in some way I had gone in search of the full cancer experience, so a true friend offered to come along to meet my oncologist and my BC nurse, so I could prove to her that what is being shared amongst strangers is a lie. She had already seen some of the prods and pokes I have had to endure to prevent me having the full works. She understood my concerns about certain people and how the tide can easily turn when they become irrational.

They may state yes I have spoken to Sarah and I have met Sarah, but truthfully they don’t know enough to pass any judgement. If they did they would not be suggesting I am searching for the full cancer treatment. My friend listened to my whole prognosis being unfolded in front of her and how more tests had to be done this week before a full decision will be made on treatment. It was explained how I had been co-operative throughout the three years of prods and pokes, but this time it is not a pre-cursor to cancer, but cancer.

I am a strong person, but my fear of cancer and its hideous treatment was clear to see.... If we offer you chemo take it. I had been lucky so far with treatment, but that stony faced reply told me they meant business. They knew more than I and if I was to escape from this hospital and the cancer bubble I should at least sit down and consider the options thrown at me. I gradually informed family and friends and each said Sarah if they say Chemo take it, don’t turn your back. And each know how difficult I can be with excepting any treatment. I have had intermittent periods of being treated for various reasons in hospitals for various conditions. Sometimes it was life threatening and I had to be an obedient patient which I am crap at, but I hate hospitals, I hate fuss, I hate medication, but cancer is different. I know this time I am in a cage with only one escape plan which would not be easy.

The nasty side of having cancer hanging over your head is the deep suspicious gossip that is created by the few on forums. This suspicious behaviour or judgement I have seen dozens of times and it will lead to a battle of words. That’s why I say be careful who you befriend because it is like a playground with hyped up emotions.

And to that I will reply to those doubters...
My body started rebelling back in 1990 not 2009.
My blog or pre-cancer diagnosis was not a pity me campaign like others have suggested.
I am a independent strong woman with a view to living life not bleating woes of despair.
I am a realist who already knew I would be back because it was already playing out in front of me and my team.

None of the individuals who proclaimed they knew me have ever met the team that are treating me, but my friend has and she was surprised at my level headed approach to my teams words. I did not panic, I did not burst into tears, I did not make demands, i just listened and said ok what next...
My blog is my way of expressing my interpretation on the whole BC journey I am on.. 

What people need to realise is you cannot compare one person with anothers treatment, thats why I refuse to advise. My treatment is prevention and so is theirs it isn’t a cure and you would be naive to even think it is. The lucky ones that manage to clear all activity in one swoop are lucky, but for some because of the unpredictability of cancer it means going back to the drawing board in hope this time it does.

As my BC nurse explained a reoccurrence is common in mastectomies. It is all down to the fact that the skin remains with vessels which leaves a chance that there will be some cancerous cells left behind.  

You cannot create cancer so you can go through what others have gone through that is crazy talk. And I know for a fact my hospital would not hand out expensive medical treatment like candy to ease a paranoid woman’s mind in this current climate.
To sum this blog up...  trust is important amongst friends, family and your team that treat you. If you start a whisper it can create doubt and upset whether it is meant in sincerity or not.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

What if's in Cancerland

A message had been left on my answer machine from my BC nurse. I had a urgent appointment booked for a core biopsy to be taken from the so called cyst. Cancer cells had been detected after having a aspiration and they needed to do further tests to find out what further treatment would be required. On arriving at the hospital my BC nurse would be explaining further.

After a sleepless night and mulling on the what if’s. I was so bloody glad I had found this lump. The cancer that I had there before was not hormonally receptive only HER2+++.

I arrived at the hospital at 8.30am and went straight to my BC nurse asking her what the in’s and out’s were. It was explained that I could be facing chemotherapy and Herceptin if it turned out not to be DCIS. If it was the high grade DCIS which they had left behind it would mean just a operation and maybe radiotherapy. My BC nurse asked how I would go about explaining to Sophia. Well how do you explain to a seven year old? The fact is it is a one day at a time situation. The BC nurse went on to explain what they see from the mammogram that has been booked today will judge whether I need the MRI. I have been here before and this conversation this time seemed totally different to the one I had for my mastectomy. The questions and details of what I would be going through was totally different. The urgency within her voice to get this lump biopsied was all about prepping me for the worst outcome.  

On arriving at the mammogram room the radiologist team were waiting for my arrival. Each one of these people now know my face well and could not believe the result from what seemed like a harmless cyst. They all sat with me explaining the details as best they could about the what next with my BC nurse.

The reconstructed left breast is more or less numb, but my right breast now rebels. The fact my right breast is full of cysts does not help. A couple of minutes and several images taken I am then taken to the ultrasound room to have a core biopsy done on the lump. It is bloody ironic that all of this is happening in July. My dad had passed away July 16th 2009 and my birthday is the 29th fan-bloody-tantastic!

On arriving home from all the upheaval of the day another message was flashing on my answer machine. A MRI appointment had become free for tomorrow morning and I was to arrive at 9.30 am. These guys meant business and yes it had been explained there was a possibility I would be booked in for a MRI also.

Am I pissed off well yes of course I am pissed of who wouldn’t be, but I have already mapped out my week whilst I wait for the MDT to decide what will be the next move on Tuesday. This is the only way to deal with the ticking clock and Mr P taking control. Another issue that infuriated me about this whole scenario was the fact I had seen my GP who has messed up before on Monday. I had mentioned the fact I had stomach pains and they were getting worse. I had explained this to my BC nurse and how he had given me once again Omeprazole to ease the stomach pain. He had said that if the problem has not cleared this time he would send me for a ultrasound. I had a prescription for two months supply. Now what if this is all bloody link then what? I was advised to change my GP because they know the outcome from having my mastectomy was sheer luck. Not only that, but what if I had gone to the breast clinic back in January 2009 rather than August 2009. Maybe just maybe this situation would not be happening. It is all about what if’s in Cancerland.