Friday, 7 June 2013


I'm sitting at Cancer Care Centre, waiting my turn. After today I will be almost 2/3 (#11) of the way through the seventeen Herceptin infusions.
Six more treatments to go, through to October.
Three more blood tests.
Two more heart scans.
One thousand seven hundred and sixty odd , anti-hormone tablets (and maybe an extra 1865).
Not that I am counting.
I am going well, all things considered.

As always, it is a stark reminder that so many people are 'coping' with cancer. Fridays are a quiet day apparently.It's still busy.

It is pouring today .
I'm not complaining, we really need this followup rain.
To fill our tanks and dams.
To grow oats and grass for the cattle.
It's been so dusty for so long.
It's been foggy lately too. My brain not the weather.

I saw a new surgeon Wednesday for the Neurofibroma in my thigh (left leg) , it's the biggest he's seen , so he told me. It's been getting slowly, progressively bigger over the last 10yrs, or so. It's the size of a large orange, 7cms. My breast cancer was 6mm and 25mm in comparison.

He wasn't interested in my little lump in muscle where my right breast used to be. He was ranting about my GP not putting the correct breast cancer diagnosis - she had written - DCIS - [Ductal Carcinoma inSitu] , I also had was IDC [Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (malignancy)]. He said it was very important and a big difference. My thigh tumour wasn't related but I get it. He said he would write it in the letter back to her. She is a lovely , caring GP -why hassle her.

He asked me had anyone talked about prognosis , cancer returning and why I had a double mastectomy ? my surgeon ? He knew my Surgical oncologist well, he said. New surgeon is a breast cancer surgeon too. WTF? The HER2+ is a mark against me , he said, as  I squirmed uncomfortably. He said 5% risk.

Then we moved onto Neurofibromatosis, had my tumour been biopsied ? , then the risks of it being so close to femoral and other nerves. Most likely he won't touch it, after I have an MRI, he will decide. To see if the tumour is close to the nerve matters.

I risk permanent numbness and losing sensation down my entire leg. I already have progressive, distal numbness in places, down to my ankle, odd sensations when I run or twist my leg a certain way. Nothing too bad.

He said I'll probably have to see a Neurosurgeon; they fly in/ fly out to Base Hospital or I can be referred back to Sydney. At the moment it is still ok. It doesn't bother me too much.

Lots of small grievances in one day.When I went to book in for the MRI, he hadn't signed the form. Oh well, we all make mistakes ;), like my GP. I have to go back and get it signed. A small bother but they won't do the scan unless I do. I have a 3 wk wait. Enough time.

The MRI receptionist wouldn't believe me about the titanium screw in my head for my BAHA hearing aid. I told her I'd had a previous brain MRI. Fortunately, I knew where I'd had the brain MRI a few years ago, in Sydney, she called them to make sure and to fax the report.

The new surgeon's receptionists were 'agitated' because my abbreviated name is on my Medicare card and my full name on Health fund care . They said I had to fix it, despite it not being an issue for 20 yrs ...did I tell you my MIL & I share the same name. Small annoying things. It stuffs their computer matching apparently.

It was FUN having my MIL open my confidential mail when she lived with us with for six years [mostly good times people] and especially medical stuff. So I changed it with Medicare. [I now get my medical records confused with another local woman with the same name.]

I feel like six million dollar woman with all my spare parts and accessories.Thankfully , I was not frisked when I got selected for an explosive check at the airport a few weeks back. It was just a scanner thingy waved over my body, shoes and bags. For a moment I had visions of being strip searched ; with lumps where I shouldn't have lumps and I was wearing my breast protheses that day too.

Time's up - my 280ml infusion is almost done. I'm going home to sit in front of the fire and catch up on blog reading and make cauliflower pizza crusts. I might have a nap too.

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