A week to go…

… until my first chemo session on Monday at 10.30am. Next week this time, it’ll be a day after my first chemo session. Following my last appointment with Dr. Cleator and the decision to go with four cycles of EC, I spent many days still feeling indecisive about whether that was the right decision and whether to instead switch to Taxol. One can easily drive oneself crazy. There will never be a right or wrong option and as someone who has never experienced the effect of either on my body, it has proven to be an impossible decision to make. I polled many people on their views with regards to respective side effects and the decisions are of course always different.

I sent a note to Dr. Cleator asking her to highlight the side effects of Taxol one more time so I can compare more directly. She sent a short note back on that, also confirming that any heart issues with EC are rare and linked to family history, age and other pre-conditions.

For now, I’m sticking with my original decision, one which Dr. Cleator seemed to be happy with – when pushed to make a recommendation, she actually recommended EC. Counting down from 4 rather than 12 cycles feels easier somehow. Whilst I’m still not 100% sure, I feel calmer about next week – at least for the time being.

I had my follow-up appointment yesterday with breast surgeon Katie Hogben. I was a little concerned about feeling sore on the side of my breast where the port sits. It’s still uncomfortable to sleep on that side and it seems sore whenever I touch it. She confirmed that this is normal and will unfortunately not change much. She’s happy with how everything has healed and recommended I have 1-2 sessions of physiotherapy to help manage some of the cording that has built up. It seems that I had got rid off the initial cording after surgery by massaging it but it has now developed on the back of my underarm and towards the muscle in the front. We also discussed further procedures with regards to reconstruction. Apparently the next operation is a minor one, which will replace the temporary implant with a more permanent one. All of this will of course have to wait until chemotherapy is completed (March/April).

She inquired about my decision on chemo in more detail but couldn’t offer input on different regiments, as the decisions are so personal. We did talk about radiotherapy and I mentioned how initially the consensus was I didn’t need any, yet the board recently opted that it might be a good idea. She agreed that I probably wouldn’t need it which was a great relief to hear.

On Friday, I’m due to have blood tests and an echocardiogram done. I will then be meeting the chemo nurse for a pre-chat, I suppose I better think of some questions.

It felt good to deviate from a strict diet to indulge in delicious foods over Christmas and New Year’s with the occasional cheese, red wine and champagne. I’ve realised that over the last years of living in London, food and eating out has become a major part of my life and I love it. Recently, both Xandria who recommended the supplements and Danira who practises Reiki with me, asked what brings me joy. I realised that food and sharing food with people (amongst other things) is definitely high up on my list. With that in mind, I’ve decided to continue to make an extra effort to eat greens, have my regular vegetable juices and avoid sugars but as for everything else, since I’m passionate about food, I’ll continue to eat well. What brings you joy?



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