I had an amazing summer, spent amongst family and best friends. On my return to the UK in September, it was time to catch up with oncologist Dr. Cleator. As always, arriving at her office left me with mixed feelings. Both I guess memories flooding back but there’s also something about the conversations with her that are so different to those with my surgeon. The energy is different. I also think I associate Dr. Cleator with chemo, tablets and treatment in general so this also makes a difference.
We briefly discussed the results of my hormone test, which I did together with my nutritionist Jo Gamble to find out what my hormone levels are like before embarking on any additional hormonal treatment. Unfortunately the test results showed relatively high levels of estrogen (the opposite to what I was hoping it would show) and with that in mind, I had already made up my mind to give the Zoladex injections a go. This was of course also the recommendation by Dr. Cleator. She said that some experience the side effects, of what is essentially the onset of the menopause, which Zoladex brings on, in different ways. As with everything, every body is different so we will see. I had a small taste of the menopause post-chemo when my menstrual cycle stopped and I started sweating during the night. We discussed other side effects like low mood for example. As with previous treatment, I didn’t want to dwell on the side effects and we agreed that I would give it a try for three months and we would re-assess. If things get unbearable, there are always options to come off the medication.
So this morning, my friend Mati sweetly came with me to the clinic. For some reason I wasn’t expecting to be back in the chemo unit downstairs and as we walked in, I was overwhelmed by emotions and memories. I cried a little and refused to actually sit in the chair that I sat in to receive the chemo treatments. Instead, I sat on the visitor’s chairs.
The nurses were sweet and totally fine with it. I’m going to see if I can shift the location at which I receive these injections as I’m not sure I want to go back to the same place.
Once heart rate and blood pressure were taken, the nurse arrived with the needle. I asked about any potential allergic reactions or immediate side effects but there are rarely any. I also said I didn’t want to talk about the actual Zoladex side effects as I already know what they could be and didn’t want them reinforced. We also discussed using a pain relief cream which would need to be applied 45mins beforehand but I decided to go without.
He pre-warned me that it was going to be a big needle and so I was expecting to see a monster. Yes it was a big needle and it stung when it went in and was painful afterwards but it was totally bearable. I can imagine that the area will feel bruised over the next few days but that’s it. The substance will slowly release over the next 3-4 weeks so let’s see.