The last few weeks have been hectic to say the least.
Instead of having a nervous breakdown, this is what I did:
First, we went on holiday for a week. It was actually sunny, and we had a good, relaxing, not-thinking-about-treatment time.
Then we headed home: Back to life, back to surreality!
I had to spend the first day back there doing my GFR test: a radioactive tracer injected in the morning and bloods taken every two hours after to gauge my kidney function. I passed with flying colours.
A couple of days later we were back in for the day, and my wonderful Macmillan Nurse had arranged for a wig fitting for me while I waited for my consultants appointment. I’d been dreading this part since they’d said my hair would definitely fall out – it was sort of the first part of accepting that it was going to happen and I was positive I’d cry. I didn’t though. After deciding that I was going to go short instead of long, the lovely lady found this one for me. It felt right, and it kind of stopped the panic and put me into a really good frame of mind for the consultant’s appointment.
We saw the consultant who explained why my treatment schedule has been changed so many times: The biopsy on my cervical tumour came back negative for cancerous cells, while the PET/CT showed activity in my cervical tumour and in one of my lymph nodes (she did say which one specifically but I didn’t write it down and I’ve forgotten now). It’s still confined to my pelvis though, so they decided the best course of action is a new course of chemo (Carbo-Taxol this time). I’ll be having three cycles initially, three weeks between each – then I’ll have another scan, and depending on what shows up on that I’ll either be booked in for the radical hysterectomy, or booked in for another three cycles of Carbo-Taxol over another nine weeks. We came out of this consult in a much more positive frame of mind. The news wasn’t as bad as we had thought initially, and the mind-changing aspect of it had been explained to us, giving us our confidence back I guess.
So, just in time for the nice weekend we were ready to go again, with nothing to do but wait for another week. So I did what any other normal person would do and did a bit of sewing in the garden:
This week has just been preparation, really.
On Tuesday, I went for the chop, going from this:
My hair then went to this wonderful place – The Little Princess Trust – who use your donated hair to make real hair wigs for young children who have lost their hair through illness.
Which set me up into a good frame of mind for yesterday:
So far Carbo-Taxol hasn’t been too bad a friend to me. The anti-sickness meds they’ve given me are certainly doing their job and I’m on just the right amount of steroid that I’ve been able to sleep this time – so I’m not too worried about the comedown from them when the course ends on Saturday this time. I’m also planning to not do very much the next week or so which will help. C has organised play dates to get our little one out of the way over the weekend, which will help me massively.
I know I’ve got a rather long road to go, but this time I’m more prepared. I have the help from Macmillan at the hospital. I’m also going to meet up with a lovely bunch of ladies from my local Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust in a couple of weeks – just when I’ll need their help the most with my hair beginning to fall out. And I have the support of my wonderful family and a handful of friends, who I definitely couldn’t get through this without.