Monday, April 25, 2011

My Breast Cancer Recurrence

Although not a particularly clear picture, it does give some idea of the recurrence of my breast cancer in the soft tissue surrounding the clavicle.

'Medicine sometimes snatches away health, sometimes gives it.'
Ovid Quote [Ancient Roman classical Poet and Author of Metamorphoses, 43BC-17]
Although this entry is about the reason for my absence on these pages, it is also a platform for me to give thanks to those that have taken the time to contact me voicing concern at my absence. I am amazed that so many have emailed me personally, enquiring after my well being. I am indebted to you for the gift of your friendship.  Please let me say that you have become more like 'family' than my own.

To be perfectly honest, I am not really sure why it has taken me so long to organise myself to do what I love most; that is to blog. We did manage to do a road trip to Victoria for which I am very grateful. I succeeded in spending time with each of my three children and their families. On our return, I decided to act on my concerns, making an urgent appointment to see my doctor. He agreed that immediate action was necessary. The lesion on my clavicle, growing rapidly and causing the area surrounding it to become very inflamed, required treatment.

My appointment with my Radiation Oncologist did not go particularly well. I asked him if what I was looking at could have been caused by the radiation given to treat my cancer. He avoided my eyes and denied that was the reason, although his silence told me all I needed to know.

I then saw my Medical Oncologist who, once again, proved himself to be 'my kind' of doctor. He explained that what he was looking at appeared to be breast cancer recurrence in the soft tissue. He said it is not uncommon, and, although it is not usually fatal, complications can kill. Chemotherapy is not given routinely as it is not effective. Dr Van has requested another CT scan prior to seeing him on 19 May. I must admit to being slightly concerned about radiation given the number of scans undertaken over the past 5 years. My last one was in January.

Tonight I decided to seek information on possible cause and treatment of cancer recurrence in the soft tissue. I was not surprised to find that on one of the reliable Cancer Council websites, radiation given to treat breast cancer has shown to be a possible cause of recurrence in soft tissue. Naturally, the risks are greater the higher the doses of radiation given, and I was given what was considered to be the highest [safe] dose.

Where to from here? I have no idea really...


Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

An apt Ovid quote.

I was hoping for the best during your blog absence.

Is surgery an option? It seems that more radiation is the direction they want to take even though it may have caused it.

I wish you well in making your decisions.

WhiteStone said...

So sorry to hear of this recurrence. I know you mind must be reeling with cause, effect, treatment, etc.
May God bless you with peace as you transition into this unwelcome interlude with breast cancer.
Bless you!

Kaz said...

Chez so sorry that more going on.know you will check every thing out before u decide what to do.

Wrapping my arms around you always.

Love Kaz.xoxo

Carole said...

I'm so glad to see an updated post from you Chez

I know you will investigate your options fully before making your decision.

My Oncology team were very open with me about the risks of Radiotherapy potentially causing future tumours - we discussed this at length due to the way I burned so badly during my treatment.

It's 'the devil or the deep blue sea' scenario - to treat you sometimes can cause further issues but sometimes not - hard to know what to do at times eh :-(

Always in my thoughts

nancyspoint said...

Chez, I am so happy to see you blogging again. I know you are going through a difficult time and wish to offer you my support. It's frightening to think the radiation and recurrence are possibly linked. I hope you get the answers you need and I also hope the waiting isn't too excruciating.

Ronni Gordon said...

I too am so sorry to hear about the recurrence. I know from experience that the waiting can be excruciating, and I hope you get a plan soon. Sounds like you are in good hands. They'll figure it out. Sending healing thoughts from Massachusetts.

Diane Rodgers said...

Oh my dear friend.....When will this damn cancer stop attacking your body.....I just want to grab it out of your body and strangle it to death with my own two hands! In my mind I am doing just that and praying for God to reach His mighty hands down and touch you as only He can do....He has the power.

What I want to do is gather all of your friends together all at the same time and all of us pray together for your healing and believe that you will receive it!!!!

These doctors make me sick....they seem to not care about the whole person and all each individual goes through trying to make their own decisions on their treatment...if it were their Mother what would they do????? ... they would tell them what is best and exactly what to do and help them with their emotional well being and spiritual well being too. We are not just a blob of tissue and bones and blood...we are people with many needs ...

I am rambling Cheryl as I am pissed off....want you to be well and whole again...enough is enough!!! Why dear God do these things have to happen? If it is to glorify You then that is what we will do the end You are all that really matters ...

Cheryl...I promise to continually pray...sending all of my love and care to you always...

Chez said...

Sue, surgery is not an option. The surgeon, who appeared to be totally honest with me, felt that it could possibly cause more problems than it solved.
My knowledge of the situation is increasing so will have have something to blog about while I am making decisions.

Chez said...

My heartfelt thanks WhiteStone. I am getting used to it now although somehow it seem,s I have been here before!

Chez said...

Thanks Kaz. You know me sweetie. Always working on it.

Chez said...

Carole, it would have been better for me if my Radiation Oncologist had been 'honest.' Even when I asked him recently, he replied 'Maybe in about 10 years!'
One thing I do know is that blogging is good for the soul. Thank you for caring my friend xo

Chez said...

Thank you sweet Nancy. The anger has now passed although I have always suspected this to be the case. The lesion is actually at the site of the radiation tatoo.
I do have a new computer and voice recognition software but have not yet managed to get my data transferred.
Hugs xo

Chez said...

Ronni this has been a long wait as the tests were done in January. I seem to be in a good position for affirmative action now though.
Received those healing thoughts from Massachusetts. Hugs xo

Chez said...

You have made me smile Di. Don't worry about the rambling. I do it all the time.
I can't help but laugh at your language as you are such a 'lady' that when you speak like this I know you are mad.
Thankfully, the anger has now passed for me and I reminded of the saying 'Don't get mad. Get even!' I can do this!
Gathering our friends together in prayer sounds like a great plan to me. Love always my friend xo

diane b said...

I had wondered about your absence and hoped it wasn't due to illness. I should have emailed yo. Sorry to hear the bad news and I hope your doctor can help.

Chez said...

Diane B there is no problem with not emailing. There does tend to be a feeling of getting 'bogged down' with diagnosis and treatment.
Haydn has offered to find specialists overseas that may be able to help. I do not see that as an option. Unfortunately, the pain is my biggest problem.
Always love getting back to your blog. Thank you so much.

rama said...

Sometimes the situation is such that words fail us. As always I am sending you Reiki energy, for not only your pain but also to guide you to come with right plan.You are always in my mind. Even I am mad with God for piling it up like this one on top another.
Love you always,Rama.

Bobby Blackwell said...

I chanced upon this blog by searching breast cancer in Google. I must say it is a very interesting blog. Sorry to have commented on an entry that gives not much of a good news, I will be praying for your wellness.

Bobby Blackwell said...

I chanced upon this blog by searching breast cancer in Google. I must say it is a very interesting blog. Sorry to have commented on an entry that gives not much of a good news, I will be praying for your wellness.

Chez said...

Rama thank you for your sweet words..and, of course, the Reiki.
Also understand fully that there are times when words fail us.
It is always lovely to hear that I am being thought of and I do know that love heals.
Love always my friend xo

Chez said...

Bobby Blackwell thank you for visiting. It is not all 'bad' news. While there is life there is hope and as long as there is breath in me there is always the opportunity for new treatment options.
Your prayers are very much appreciated. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Chez!!!! I have no words.. I am so sorry to hear about this recurrence!! But you are in my prayers and I am sure you can fight it off yet again. xo much love

Chez said...

Thank you sweet Emmy. Seems like a lifetime ago that I began this journey and, you are right! I can fight this again! I can do it because I now have this wonderful circle of friends that I have found on these pages. Knowing that you walk beside me makes a huge difference.