breast cancer

Night sweats and a Sahara desert vagina? No thanks! 

September 14, 2016

I did it! I finished chemo, for real this time (at least for a very long time I hope). 
Pre my oncology appointment today the plan was to go in there and say that’s it, I’m done with chemo. I saw a man this time. He was jolly nice. Don’t tell anyone this but men seem to make better oncologists than women. They are extremely empathetic and wonderful listeners. They are totally ok with discussing periods, the menopause and hot flushes, and let’s face it, you gotta be a hell of a special guy to want to go in to breast oncology anyway. But back to the story…

Admittedly during my appointment I did waiver at times about my decision to finish chemo, but a voice inside told me to stay strong and stick to my guns. Mr nice guy reiterated that more chemo will not affect my prognosis it just might mean I get to have more chemo free months which of course is a bonus. I think 7 Docetaxels is a solid B+ though! I explained that I didn’t feel that my quality of life was as good as it could be and having another chemo would just make me feel worse than I do already. He understood. It’s so nice when somebody understands and accepts your decision. There’s so much pressure to be the invincible woman with breast cancer. Everybody seemingly thinks that being brave is repeatedly having treatment until you are at deaths door. “You can do it.” They say. I know I can do it, but today I chose not to and I’m ok with it. 

Sometimes being brave isn’t just enduring harsh treatment and putting up with it, it’s also having the strength to say enough is enough and quitting something that’s become very familiar and safe for you. 

So now chemo is finished we had to talk hormone blockers as my cancer is oestrogen fuelled. Regular readers will know that I was taking Tamoxifen for my primary diagnosis which caused problems in my womb. Thickening of the womb lining meant long and heavy periods and worryingly a change in the cells in my uterus. They weren’t pre-cancerous but they were becoming that way. The problem with Tamoxifen is whilst it shuts off hormones to your boobs, it floods your womb with oestrogen and my poor womb was very upset about that, so I had to come off the tablets. My team are now keen to give me Zoladex injections which shut off your ovaries and put you in to a fake menopause but I refused this as I’ve heard horrific stories of menopausal symptoms and it’s not something I want to experience at my age. Pouring with sweat at night, and a vagina dryer than the Sahara? No thanks! My quality of life is important to me and it sometimes seems like life lately is constant decision making- possible longer life v quality of life. So anyway they’ve allowed me to take Tamoxifen again under strict instructions that if I have abnormal bleeding I am to let them know. Their worry is obviously me getting another cancer. What a fucking joke that would be if I got womb cancer as well! 

It feels like such a huge relief knowing I won’t be enduring any horrible side effects next week, but I’m too tired for a end of chemo party right now. TBC…X

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