|A glimmer of hope|
She took the time to listen to me, she was sympathetic & she asked me loads of questions.
I've already mentioned that I'm waiting for test results to determine whether or not I have the mutant, cancer causing genes, BRCA 1 & BRCA 2. If the results show that I'm at a higher risk of getting breast cancer in my remaining breast &/or ovarian cancer, then obviously I'll be having very different conversations with my medical team than the ones that I'm having now; I'd be considering having another mastectomy & an oophrectomy (the removal of my ovaries).
So, we talked about this yesterday although of course, I don't have to make any decisions right now......but I do need to be thinking ahead slightly.
The Consultant was quite thorough actually, I was really glad to have seen her, we talked in depth about how the quality of my life has been affected by my diagnosis & by the side effects from my ongoing anti-hormone treatment. How it's slowed me down due to fatigue & lethargy, how it's affected my memory & concentration, how the hot flushes cause me distress & embarrassment (although these are under a bit more control now.) How I'm spending extra money each month on facial waxing due to the fluffy, downy hair that seems to be growing all over my face! I'm not saying that I look like an American Werewolf, especially since I'm naturally fair (thank God!) but, it's another side effect that I hate with a passion.
We talked about how my body image has affected my personal relationships with the opposite sex, how I somehow feel the need to tell every single new person that I meet that I've had breast cancer - almost as soon as we start talking.
But most of all, we talked about my depression & how I feel that my four weekly Zoladex injections are amplifying it by about a million per cent.
I'd seen my GP that very same morning & he's keeping me on a low dose of anti depressant to see how I go on them. I told him that I was almost certainly coming off Zoladex so I'll be having regular reviews with him to monitor the situation, if the dosage needs to be increased then so be it. I'll take any help that I can get at the moment.
Anyway, a bit of good news at last, the Consultant & I decided yesterday that I'm definitely not having any more of those horribly painful injections.
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I found out that I had two types of cancer, a 'non invasive' type (that Zoladex would have not have been prescribed for anyway) & I had an 'invasive tumour' but this turned out to be very small, only 8mm. This is what the Zoladex was prescribed for.
It's all about keeping the cancer from coming back now.
I'm already taking Tamoxifen to lower the amount of oestrogen in my body & Zoladex (apparently) only gives me an extra 2 to 3% more protection against cancer cells returning. So, weighing the benefit of that up against how badly it's affecting me is a no-brainer to me.
I'm coming off it as of now; I'm not having another one next month.
The Consultant told me that it can take a couple of months to completely leave my system but at least I'm not going to be pumped with any more of the bloody stuff.
Hopefully, my mood should start picking up again soon!
Whether it's going to be from stopping the Zoladex or because I'm on anti-depressants is unknown but quite frankly, I don't really care! I just want a bit more of the 'old Chez' back. Sometimes it feels like I've forgotten how to laugh. Sometimes I don't want to go out. I've said it before, I'll say it again......THIS IS NOT ME!!!
I do realise that there aren't going to be any overnight changes, it's still going to take a little while for me to get back to 'full capacity' but, I'm feeling hopeful, I'm happy today & although breast cancer is always going to be a major factor in my life, I'm starting to feel optimistic about the future again.
I have a further review with the same Consultant in six months by which time, I should have had the results of the genetic tests back.
So, we'll see what happens, I don't want to count my chickens etc etc & even though I know that sometimes it's still going to feel like this:
|An uphill struggle|
There aren't really any other options other than that, are there?!
So I'm going to go & try to enjoy the rest of my week!
As always, I'll keep you posted!
Love Chez. xx