August 30, 2006

HER2 recurrence

I discovered a new lump in my pectoral muscle this April, about 4 years after having first had breast cancer. Three lots of surgery later and while there is no more tumour, the breeast cancer cells are lurking at a vascular level. So it’s chemotherapy plus Herceptin. I am one of the lucky 20% of breast cancer sufferers who can have Herceptin as I am HER2 positive. Not a good thing to be as it means an aggressive cancer, but at least Herceptin gives more hope of survival.

I have just had my first chemotherapy, Paclitaxel, with Herceptin and there are five more to go. I have just had the bad news that my white blood cell count is not high enough for the next one, sio I will have ot wait for a week. The good news is that I get to enjoy my husband’s birthday, the bad news is that I have to have yet another blood test. I always end up feeling like a pin cushion after the numerous efforts to get blood out of me.

This all means that the whole treatment is likely to take longer than hoped for. The normal gap between treatments is three weeks, but I am onto four already. I am still off work, Warwick Business School is having to manage without me as I don’t really feel able to come back to work at the moment. This is the first time in my life I have rested and I am enjoying the space to read and relax, when I am not recovering from the effects of the chemotherapy.

It has been a hard few months with all the surgery and uncertainty about treatment, but with the decision to give me chemotherapy, life is certainly less fraught.

- 3 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Best wishes and good luck for the treatment.

    31 Aug 2006, 09:14

  2. margaret levy

    The beginning of chemo often appears to be hit and miss. The body seems to do its own thing for a while but eventually accepts the unpleasant things that are being done to it, not without protest in the form of sickness, feeling low etc. You are unlucky in having to go through this process twice whereas a lot of us only have it once (touch wood!).
    Best wishes for the next blood test and chemo.

    06 Sep 2006, 14:46

  3. Joan

    Hello from Downunder Margi,
    Just checking in on your diary and see that you are continuing to display enormous stamina, determination and focus – despite what you say is happening to the brain functions!
    Also pleased to see that, notionally at least, you are acknowledging the necessity of pacing yourself and being content to do a little less.
    While it was a delight to have dinner with you on our recent visit, I wanted to bundle you up and send you home about an hour before you finally agreed that it might be time to go. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course.
    Take care and continue with the ‘cultural therapies’, along with the less pleasant treatments.
    Warmest wishes to Michael and the kids.

    24 Oct 2006, 00:32

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