Thanks for your good wishes.
You're pretty close with your questions and I am happy to answer them.
1) No I am not at all afraid about the treatment being painful. I work in a medical field and watched my mother battle cancer for 12 years. Quite frankly, if she were an animal, they would have put her out of her misery.
I am more concerned with quality of life. I have no wish to end my days as I have spent the last nine weeks - running backwards and forwards to doctors/nurses/radiologists, hospitals, clinics, etc on a daily basis and having appointments changed at the last minute for no good reason. I am still waiting for dressings to be supplied for my post-op wounds for surgery which took place over a week ago. The GP has prescribed more dressings, but the pharmacist cannot get them for at least 10 days. The result is that I have had 3 days travelling a 40 mile journey to beg for pads from my local hospital as an interim measure. The last time I was there they gave me one pad! My GP prescribed 10, but as I use about 4 a day this is of little use, particularly when I haven't got them yet. My breast care nurse says that she doesn't have any. I am a professional person, used to running my own life and I have no wish to see it reduced to this level. This is only a very minor glitch in a sea of many greater ones since I started this journey.
2)At present I have no specific plan in place, but can make arrangements as necessary.
3)Yes I am tired out with running around consultants who don't listen and treat me like another statistic.
I am 62 years of age and although I would dearly love to stay with my family for longer and see my grandchildren grow up, I realise that there is little point in doing so when I am unable to do the things that I would like to be able to do with them. I am concerned that despite the bone scan results, my bones are still extremely sore (especially at night) and nobody wants to know - there were glitches with the bone scan too, so is this a false negative? Treatment for nerve pain is with anti-depressant medication which makes me too tired to function and doesn't touch the pain, so I no longer take it.
Yes I may well be slightly depressed given the diagnosis I've just recieved, but I don't think that this is anything serious. I'm more angry and frustrated by it all than anything else.
I have looked at all treatment options and don't see any of them going any where near maintaining an acceptable quality of life for me. Hormone therapy will only make my mood swings worse and they're bad enough already. As for hot flushes, well I think that they're back again just now without the hormone treatment, but I just couldn't cope with them if they were to get any worse. I was unlivable with during the menopause and would not wish a return to that stage on my worst enemy let alone my beloved family. Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy both carry some serious side-effects and, in my professional life I have seen too many of these to wish to be trapped in a body that has to suffer these on top of the cancer symptoms. Pursuing either of these options would involve me taking time off work. As I run my own business, this probably means facing bankruptcy.
I have fought serious illness in the past and found it a very uphill struggle to get back on track. That was 16 years ago, when I was younger and fitter. I'm just not sure that I have the fight left in me this time and think that I would rather have three weeks of quality time whilst being my own person, than twenty years of being controlled by well-meaning family/friends and medical personnel. I was called back for a second CT scan of the liver to confirm the findings there.The liver complications are an added worry, that makes treatment seem futile. I have also been called back following mammogram and ultrasound for further scans because of an artifact in the same breast - One false positive and one false negative are not reliable enough grounds to convince me that there is not another lesion present. Again, I am not being defeatist here, but there are just too many uncertainties in the pot.
I am however a realist and the one thing that I will do is leave blood behind for genetic testing, so that if my family want to go down this route at a later stage they have the means.
Sorry to all for sounding so maudlin. I am not looking at this in a negative way. I just know that I have to feel happy with the final decision and, in the absence of qualitative research, this is the only decision I can reach.
Has anyone else decided to shun treatment at an early stage?