February 26, 2014

The trial

I went to see my oncologist with a picture in my head of how it all was going to be. But for a second I forgot things never go the way you plan them.

My blood work came back fine. Everything looked normal. Which is always a relieve to hear. 

I was going to say yes to the Tamoxifen and no to the Zoladex.

But my onc says we're dealing here with European guidelines. Basically it's all or nothing. First you try the whole package. If you can't handle that for whatever reason, then you look at other options.

So I have my first box of Tamoxifen at home now. Tomorrow my family doctor will give me my first shot of Zoladex (for a month, not three months like it's normally given).

I said yes. To the whole package. Because I know I can never live with myself if I said no. Do I have faith? Do I really believe I will be able to take these meds for five years? I hardly can to be honest. I know that isn't a good start. But my response to medication in the past has been well... upsetting. Definitely causing some traumatic experiences. I am SO scared to get sick. How ironic is that? These pills should prevent me from getting sick. But at the same time... they have terrible side effects.

I know, I know some people are taking them without much trouble. But because of my experiences with Herceptin and other drugs... I just feel this WILL BE the next bad experience. I am just so scared and sad. I wish it would all go away *poof* like that.

My onc told me that if I make it through all of this pain I will still have the scars. But in the end I will become a different person because of it; better and stronger. Even more interesting and colourful. I want that. I really really want all of that. I really feel like I am going through the pain. I know I am not hiding from it. But it's all taking so much time and patience and energy. It's exhausting to live your life like that. A constant struggle.

Anyway I have an appointment with my onc in five weeks and we'll discuss how everything is going. If I can't handle it we'll look at other options or perhaps I will quit the whole damn thing. A month. I'm giving myself one month. 

Hair diary update. 

February 17, 2014

Blood test first

So I saw my oncologist last week and I got to ask all my questions about the Tamoxifen. We also talked about the Zoladex injection. Which kind of freaked me out. My onc wanted to do a blood test and he will get the results back in two weeks. I will then have another appointment with him. He told me to write down my questions again (and you bet I will) and we'll make a treatment plan.

He told me perhaps I can start the Tamoxifen every other day so my body can slowly get used to it. Which sounds appealing to me.

In the mean time I have been asking around about the Zoladex injection and found out not that many women actually take it. So I'm having seriously doubts about that one. I will spare you all the menopause side effects details. But it's some scary shit.

So I am tired. Of all this crap. But somewhere, deep down, I have to believe that maybe this time... the side effects won't be so bad. That I have been through so much and that I can handle this as well. I have to believe. If not, I made a promise to myself I'm done. I will quit the shit and will try to move on. But first you try. First you have faith.

He said it takes at least 6-9 months before my body will feel a little bit better after everything its been through. I might never reach my old energy level... but then again nothing is sure in cancer land. 

Today I saw my company doctor. My company hired a new one. Although he read my file he wanted me to tell my story in my own words. I did it without crying this time. Which was pretty awkward actually. It was a good talk all and all. He was pretty nice and not pushy. July 2014 I will be sick for two years and then different rules apply. He said I won't be back at work by then. So I have to apply for sick leave at the UWV. This doesn't mean I can start working on a therapeutic basis whenever I feel like it. However I have to file like a billion papers before April now which is really just wonderful, exactly what my mind needs right now.  

Tomorrow I have an appointment with my psych. And so the story continues...

February 10, 2014


So is this the last chapter where I am going to break my head over? The hormones estrogen and progesterone can stimulate the growth of some breast cancers. Hormone therapy is used to stop or slow the growth of these tumors.

In my case I was told to take the medicine Tamoxifen as a 5 year adjuvant treatment. I am seeing my oncologist Wednesday to talk about this.

Of course there's a catch here. The 1001 side effects... that come along with bringing a 32 old body in menopause. The risk of uterus cancer. The pressure that comes with taking medication like that, physically and mentally. Just to name a few things I am worrying about.

I also came to realize I am scared. Scared of taking another pill. I have been a 'patient' and sick for a year and a half and I'm done with it. I want my life back. I don't want to feel like a 80 year old. There's such thing as quality of life.

So I have read many stories on the internet (too many). Of course the ones where people succeed and actually take this pill for five years are few and whenever I read one it doesn't stick with me. No it's the bad ones that keep going through my head. The side effects. Because if anybody knows it's me, pills come with side effects. I am so tired. I don't know how much more of this shit I can handle.

Do I have enough energy left to get my hopes up once more?!

At some point enough is enough. 

So I have decisions to make. I made a list with all of my questions and will come prepared as always. I will talk to my oncologist and I trust him, I have faith in him. But in the end it will be my decision.

February 7, 2014

A letter

Dear Pain,

I don't know exactly where you are hiding, if you're inside my heart or my soul, but you're so strong and raw.

I don't exactly have a "happy place" to go to and I'm not running away from you either. I have tried numbing you with pills but I lost myself completely there.

I have tried taking deep breaths and letting my tears stream. Rivers I have cried. I am not suppressing you, I am staring you right in the face. Even though you're pretty fucking hard to accept. You make me so angry sometimes. But it is pointless I know.

You, Emotional Pain, also seem good friends with Physical Pain. Do you guys walk hand in hand?

So I don't like you, but I do acknowledge you and stay open for you. I will listen to you. Because I don't believe in escaping from you or pretend everything is fine.

But I have to admit, I am a little scared of you. What if you never leave? But then again, I read somewhere everything is temporarily. You hurt right now. You hurt like hell. It did hurt yesterday. It might not hurt tomorrow. So I have to have a little faith and be a little patient.

So Pain, this is the present moment and you're here and I can't change that. Let's have a cup of tea together and I will look you in the eye. 

With love,