January 25, 2013

The thrill

Wednesday I saw my oncologist. Well actually I got a call 30 minutes before my appointment that I could leave 30 minutes later. This man takes so much time for his patients that his schedule is usually mixed up. Even after we arrived there, we still had to wait for another 45 minutes.

Most of his patients know this by now. Because he takes just as much time for you as well, it's not a problem. I was inside his office for 45 minutes. We talked about the last four chemo treatments and how I experienced them. It was a good conversation. It felt good to get it all off my chest. We discussed the panic attacks. He told me I am in control. I decide whether I need help or not. Basically I said I didn't want any right now, because enough is enough. I want to get through these last four and then seek help. That's my plan. He said it was good to have a plan.

Then he also checked the boobies and the scar which was very satisfying for the hypochondriac in me. Nothing strange came up.

We talked about the upcoming chemo treatment. According to my oncologist most patients experience TH as a lighter chemo version than AC. Of course there are several side effects and allergic reactions known.. but we'll just have to wait and see how I'm going respond to everything. The not knowing part, makes me nervous... but I guess when it comes down to it I'll be there. I will finish them just like I finished these previous four.

Then there's the controversial subject of eating soy. As a vegetarian I don't eat animals. I don't want to change the world, I simply love animals. I do sometimes eat soy products to replace the meat. But after reading more on the internet I realized the benefits and risks of foods such as soy, which contain plant estrogens, are not well known at this time. Until the issue becomes clearer, many websites recommend that women who take hormonal therapy or who have estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer (like myself) avoid soy supplements because they contain high concentrations of isoflavones. But in general, it's fine to eat moderate amounts of soy foods as part of a balanced diet.

I don't believe products like soy can cause cancer. It is probably just a case of bad luck. But what if my tumor responded to the isoflavones and started to grow because of it? This whole thing makes me feel very uncomfortable and obviously leaves me with another big question. How and what am I going to eat in the future to stay healthy? My oncologist was a bit confused about the whole thing as well. He told me to look into it some more. If I am not able to make a decision for myself I should contact him and he'll look into it. Maybe I should talk to a dietitian about a plant based, soy-free diet. Or an organisation outside of the hospital specialized in cases like this. I don't know, I don't know.

Then on top of everything my mother mentioned my photography to my oncologist. She was like, "show him, show him something". Really embarrassed I showed him the 'Flowerheads' photo and he wanted to see one more. And then another one. He thought it was great! He even made a note about it and told me we should do something with this...

So all and all it was a pretty good appointment and I left feeling great and relieved. But then after a few hours, after all the cancer talk started to sink in, I slipped into my I-wish-this-wasn't-happening-to-me-and-I-feel-pretty-sad-mode. It's weird how your mood can change just like that.

Today I met with the nurse for a more detailed description of the TH treatment. I have a little more faith now than before so that's okay I guess. But it is still a matter of first seeing then believing. I also got my Dexamethason prescription (ugh). She also told me to try and break the circle. Seek for a thrill. Which things still make me happy, make me smile, give me energy and make me forget. So I decided to pick photography and my bunnies and this is what happens...

The Real Rabbit Earflap Hat

No bunnies or bald heads were injured during this shoot. But I insist you do not try this at home. It takes a lot of practice and a little photoshop to make it work. Lola needs her fur more than you do. So please say NO TO FUR!


  1. Glad that everything went ok and that your doctor seems like a quite nice person.
    I've decided to get the biopsy btw., I called my radiologist yesterday and have an appointment in about two weeks.
    Good luck with your next four chemos, just think, after the next one you get there are only three left... and then only two... and then the LAST ONE!
    I read a lot about soy products as well, about some being genetically modified etc. I don't buy it a lot, every now and again I buy some soy milk but that's pretty much it.
    Well, we all know your photography is great so... :)

    1. Oh Tracy I'm actually glad you decided to go ahead with the biopsy! I hope it will bring you some peace of mind. Keep me posted!

      I can't wait for the countdown to start!

  2. How did I miss this post!!!??? I love this photo! So clever and cute :)

    I really hope that Taxol and Herceptin are treating you better than AC right now. Thinking of you lots girl!