Thursday, 10 November 2011

What a difference a few days makes. Everything seems brighter

after browsing forums on the Breast Cancer Care website and a bit of retail therapy!

In the Breast Cancer Care community, the ladies who are on Xeloda (the short name of the drug that my health care team want me to start), provide a valuable resource.  I am reading how they manange the side effects and the different treatments being used. Reassuringly there is a lady who has been on this drug for 8 years and whilst I know everyone reacts differently, that turned it around for me!

I have had my appointments through, Oncology 6th Dec and 20th Dec for my referral to have the sigmoid skin tag removed.

Since I got back from the Penny Brohn centre, I drink loads of fruit tea and hot water with lemon.  I am now also drinking Dandelion tea and taking a RDA of Milk Thistle.  This will help my liver functions that are being impacted by toxins from drugs, food and drink. 

In my second week of detox I have lost 2lb in weight and I am feeling quite bright and positive all things considered and long may it continue! Birthday binges and Christmas coming up oh well it's all about getting the right balance :-)

Have a good weekend everyone xxx

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Not a great report from my CT scan

for my liver it states "They appear slightly larger then on the previous CT.   The largest lesion is in segment 5/8 and measures 26mm (previously 19)mm.  New lesions in segment 6 are also noted."  My liver functions are not great either.  The good news is there is no free fluid roaming around my belly!

My oncoligist's answer to this is to place me on chemo -  Capecitabine to be taken orally.  I get the  "lets try this whilst your relatively healthy" however  I made it clear that at there is no way I am taking Chemo until my skin tag guarding my bowel entrance has been removed.  I remember from the last time the impact of chemo on my bowels very well!  I had some questions which the Dr didn't know the answer to and he said if I could wait I could see my usual oncologist which of course I did and threw more questions at him.  The FireFox trial (combination of radiotherpy and chemo for advanced bowel cancer in liver) I had already emailed to him, would not be appropiate for me as my cancer is like seeds scattered throughout my liver.  He wasn't enthused over my suggestion about me having Oxygen therapy.  I said that due to the side effects of  Arimidex (generic tablets Nastrosa) could I try another Aromatase inhibitor such as Exomestane.  I mentioned being unable to loose weight and yeah thats my problem to sort and so I will!

So the plan is to use Exomestane straight away then have my liver functions checked in a months time.  Meanwile back to the GP to get my sigmoid skin tag removed. I'm going to formulate a plan to loose weight and be healthier all round and do some more research on oxygen therapy using the Penny Brohn centre for further advise and support on all the above ...
On telling Holly, her only concern at this time is if the chemo results in me loosing my hair! ummm...

My stay at the Penny Brohn Cancer Centre

in Bristol has been an amazing experience where I attended their Approach residential course which follows on from their Living Well course I attended back in July.  It continues with their meditation techniques using imagery and sound, nutrition and health advice and some healing techniques.  Their restaurant produced tasty freshly cooked foods following their own ethos of using organic and healthier options.  There was no coffee or alcohol and only fruit teas, water and other organic options to drink.  Fresh Smoothies, fruit and nuts for snacks.  I never went hungry.  Again I have met some wonderful people on this course and after one to one consultations with Dr's and nutritionists I feel I have more options to explore. 

One of the highlights of this retreat (as I now call it) was meeting Pat Pilkington one of the co founders of this centre.  Being a vibrant, energetic 83 year old, her story was inspirational.  

I also kept thinking how Colin and Sandra would have benefited from this kind of support to help with the stress associated with what they went through and lo and behold Colin popped into my dream whilst I was there.  He had shrunk and yes I was taller then him and he was trying to climb up something.  I asked him what had happened and he said his back was getting smaller.  I mentioned this the following day to one of the therapists including my interpretation was that he was letting me know what I have to look forward to, (typical as that I am vertically challenged anyway) and she mentioned another interpretation being that he is telling me he is still supporting me.  Something to do with the back being mentioned in the dream. 

I intend to continue using this centre and look forward to a 3 day retreat next year.  I can also have 15 minute phone consultations with the Drs and Nutritionists there which I think it is always good to have a 2nd opinion.

I'm feeling anxious about Tuesday when I get the results of last weeks scan and hoping the tablets are still working and the dietry changes I have made are enough.  Fingers crossed...