Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Where to now?

I feel a definite need to return to these pages and continue my writing as my future is looking just a little uncertain at the moment.

A new lump, more in the chest wall than the breast, saw me make an appointment with the Radiation Oncologist rather than the General Practitioner. The decision was made with the knowledge that my GP could not request an MRI should it be necessary, and he would still receive a copy of the Report.

Dr Gupta [Radiation Oncologist] instead requested CT and Bone Scans. Although it turned out to be a bad decision on my part, I phoned my GP for the results. I was told that everything appeared to be OK however, he would run it by the Senior Practitioner [Dr Milton Sales] and would get back to me if necessary.

I heard nothing; it felt like a welcome reprieve. I was thrilled! Damian and Tyneal had driven almot 1000km from Melbourne to spend a few days. My 12 year old grandson Jascha had been with me for 2 weeks of the school holidays and he would be going home with them.

It came as a bit of a surprise to receive a phone call from the Mater Hospital at 3.30pm on Friday 22 January on to say that Dr Gupta wished to see me at 3.30pm on Friday 29th. A week is a long time in the life of an oncology patient waiting on results of imaging!

I must admit that I was probably more concerned that I had been kept waiting a week for the results than the results themselves. I was therefore a bit taken aback to see very clearly that there was, what appeared to be, a new soft tissue deposit in the area.

It was not surprising to find that Dr Gupta recommended MRI's of both Brachial Plexus and Cervical Spine. He also suggested a PET Scan. I asked for copies of the Reports and headed home to reflect on my diagnosis. Poor Haydn stays strong with all of this and continues to be an amazing support, although I think that he really feels that everything will be OK.

It was not until Saturday that I dragged Images and Reports from the back seat of the car and discovered that, in technical terms, the Bone Scan shows 'an avid focus of uptake is seen in the right side of the mandible - this is usualloy related to dental pathology. Occasionally metastatic disease can present in the mandible...'

From where I sit now it seems hard to believe that the GP could have thought there was nothing of significance. It certainly does not feel like that to me.

Then of course there is the fact that there was a message on our answering machine from Hunter Imaging stating that they had rescheduled appointments to treat my case as urgent.

I now have MRI's Monday and Tuesday next and PET Scan on Wednesday. I guess there will soon be a clear picture....

Today there was another phone call from the Mater saying that Dr Gupta wanted me to see Dr Tony Bonaventura [Medical Oncologist] on 26th February. Although I have not had chemotherapy, I had been seen by Dr Gupta's wife who is now on Maternity leave. I am happy with his choice as one of my friends from Group 33 [Breast Cancer Support Group] is a patient and she speaks very highly of him.

It would seem that I have achieved nothing by going through intensive radiotherapy. I am still on Oxycontin, although now it is three times per day, rather than twice. The pain is, at times, unbearable and I suffer from lethargy and fatigue and can no longer manage to run a household.

My conclusion. Cancer can be cruel. But then so too can the treatment

9 comments:

diane said...

It is great to see you writing again. I have been worried about you knowing that you were not well. This further news must be very scary and I do hope that the doctors can stop the march of this gahstly disease.Lots of best wishes.

Breeze said...

I too worry about you...I hope writing helps direct your focus away from your pain. Perhaps it's time for the doctors to change their tactics.
Much love and healing vibes
Breeze

Anonymous said...

Hey Chez,so hope things change for you,to long for u to go thru all this pain.Hopefully u finally get some answer.Always here for you.Gentle Hugs from miles across.
Love you,Kaz...xoxo

Debby said...

Oh, dear. Chez, I'm glad that you wrote. It is very important to do so. This being said, three people that I know of (myself included) found post cancer lumps. They turned out to be dead tissue, presumably from the radiation. May your news be like unto ours. But the one thing that you are absolutely right about, ABSOLUTELY, is that you should never be told that a lump is NOT significant, whether you had cancer, or whether you've not had it. Appalling. Absolutely appalling. A lesson is learned from your story: Stand up for yourself. I'm so glad you did, and I will be following your news closely. My very best to you, friend.

Diane Rodgers said...

Hi Cheryl, You had told me you wanted to blog again, and finish writing your life story...so I checked in here tonight and there you were! I am so sorry things are scary right now for you until these tests are done and you know the results. The meds, again are making you so tired....hopefully in time you can come off of them when the pain subsides.
We all will be praying for your results to be OK and that the doctors find the cause of your pain. Just know you are loved, admired, and being held up in prayer, and watched over by your
special Angel always. Big hugs and lots of care sent your way.
God's Blessings Always,
Di

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Sean said...

Hello Cheryl...yes cancer, it's treatment and life in general can be cruel. You continue to weather it's storm with inspiring strength and dignity. All of us, and there are many, pray for your healing my friend. Remember, Kim and I still owe you that Thanksgiving dinner!

Chez said...

My Dear Friends
Thanks for finding me on these pages and leaving your most welcome comments. They give me HOPE.
Due to the nature of my illness I am unable to reply individually at this time. The blogging is wearing me out!
I am thrilled to be making my return and want you to know that writing means very little without loyal readers.
Thanks for being here for me..

Daria said...

So glad you are blogging again.
Cancer is awfully scary and cruel.

Sending you strength and courage.