Together we will beat cancer


A good summer and now a setback

17 Sep 2014 19:15

Not been on the forum for a while but today was a bit tearful so wanted to update those who know me from a while back.

I have metastatic breast cancer, diagnosed in January 2014.  I had 5 months of chemo which I went through without too much mishap.  This finished on 21 May and from that date onwards I have been on monthly blood test monitoring, till the CT scan which I had on 2 September.  The blood test results have shown the cancer markers to be stable and at a low level.  However, I had a neck lump appear in early July, another in August and most recently on Monday 15th a lump popped up under my chin.

Over the summer I had an absolute ball in Glasgow for the Commonwealth Games and loved lots of walking during a very pleasant week in Dorset.  I have had some concerns about the lumps and have been into the hospital each time there has been a change.  I have been given lots of reassurance there was nothing to worry about as my blood test results were looking good. So I have got on with life and done my best to put this lot to the back of my mind.

Today was the scheduled appointment with the oncologist for a three month review based primarily upon the CT scan results.  This shows new enlarged lymph nodes in a few places, the largest being 16.2mm.  The oncologist said I would need to have chemo again.  Apparently I needed to give my body a three month break before I could have more chemo, and that time has now passed. There were a couple of options - a weekly taxol being administered, or 6 x taxol at three weekly intervals. The weekly taxol treatment (paclitaxel) is supposed to be a bit kinder, but obviously the patient needs to be able to attend hospital for a half day per week.  It won't start just yet because it all needs to be scheduled and that will be according to priority (patients with life-threatening need for chemo being top). Apparently there is a 'holiday' week once every 4 weeks.

I asked for copies of the reports of the CT scan and also the blood tests. The blood test results showed that the liver function test had not been possible using the sample given, and a retest was advised. I therefore followed up on this and a repeat test was done today.

So its a bummer it is back so quickly and I'm just questioning a few things.  I'll probably have a chat to one of the Cancerchat nurses in the morning.  The enlarged lymph in the liver area bothers me greatly seeing as these lumps seem to pop up, so really would like to get treatment in hand as soon as possible.

Another battle ahead, just gotta keep kicking it.


Re: A good summer and now a setback

17 Sep 2014 20:39 in response to Boatgirl

Hi Gill .... so sorry to hear your news - these little blighters just dont get the message do they?  As you know, I am in the same situation as you so understand how wearing this all is.  I have my CT scan next Friday and am expecting some progression but we will see.  I am on the new BC drug T-DM1 now but just wanted to say that I was on Paclitaxol and Herceptin (3wks on and one off) for a year 2012/2013 and didnt find it too bad at all so please dont worry about the side-effects because they were minimal.  I did lose my hair again but physically managed ok.  If theres any questions you have about the drug - please ask and I will help if I can.  Meanwhile, keep in touch and here if you need a chat. Take good care of yourself sweetheart. x

Re: A good summer and now a setback

17 Sep 2014 23:53 in response to max56

Hi Max, good to hear from you.  Yes I am relieved to hear that the Paclitaxol isn't too bad.  I'm told that there can be allergic reactions to the formulation, not the drug but the solution it is combined with, just have to see how that goes.  Now I have the CT scan report and the suggested treatment I am hoping to get this under way as soon as possible.  There is no doubt the chemo unit is under a lot of pressure from sheer volume of people going through.  They cannot take me at the moment, meantime these nasties are having fun and games at my expense.