My actual 'recurrence score' was 20 which was a bit disappointing because it's 'intermediate' - neither low risk nor high risk - it's no secret that I was hoping for a lower score!
|The long awaited results!!|
But, 20 is actually at the 'lower end' of the intermediate scale & equates to a 13% chance that I'll get cancer again within the next 10 years. Personally, I think that's still quite high considering I'm only 38(!) & have a 3 year old but, the good thing is, my cancer was highly 'hormone receptive' meaning, it was almost entirely fed by the oestrogen & progesterone naturally produced in my body. Other, very positive factors in my diagnosis were that there was no lymph node involvement & that my tumour was very, very small.
Based on all of this, I've decided that I'm not having chemotherapy. It's a strong treatment & Dr M thinks any benefits to myself would be minimal. So, I'm going to take my chances with hormone therapy, be vigilant in self-examination & have regular check ups. I'll be having mammograms every year from now on & if anything 'suspicious' does crop up in the meantime, I can 'cut out the middle man', i.e. my GP, & contact Carol my Breast Care Nurse, straight away.
I'll be having Zoladex injections every four weeks for the next three years. The side effects of this drug can be quite severe as it will literally put my ovaries 'to sleep' meaning I'll have menopausal symptoms. However, if I can just push through the first few months of these symptoms then theoretically, they should subside as my body gets used to the changes it's going through. It can also put me more at risk of developing Osteoporosis in the future so, to counteract this, I'll be having a drug called Zometa which will be given to me via a drip every six months; this should protect & strengthen my bones. I'll also be taking Tamoxifen for the next five years which again, comes with it's own side effects but, I'd have been having all of this hormone treatment anyway, even if I had opted for chemo too.
I know it's not 'over' yet. I'll be hankering after the '5 years all clear' meeting but, in the meantime, the important thing is to get my energy levels back up, get over the emotional impact that this has all had &, learn to live with my silicone prosthesis until I can have reconstructive surgery. I've got a bit of a way to go before 'normal life' resumes but, I've got fantastic family & friends to support me & right now, I feel that I've been very lucky with my results & I'm optimistic about the future!
So, in the spirit of normality, tonight, I'm going out for dinner to celebrate my lovely friend Nia's birthday. It won't be a late one for me (remind me tomorrow that I said that!) cos I'm still really suffering with fatigue but, I'm really, really looking forward to it!
The only problem I have now is 'what to wear, what to wear?'......
Anyways, 'Penblwydd hapus i ti Nia', see you later honey!
Love Chez. xx