On the 1st of June 2016 I was celebrating my last Herceptin treatment and the fact that, after 540 difficult days, I was finally finished my treatment.
I was so looking forward to having my trusty port-o-cath removed, only having to see the oncologist once every two months and finally starting to recover from the fatigue that has been with me since I started chemo way back in January 2016.
At my regular check-up with my oncologist on the 8th of June I mentioned that I was feeling a little short of breath and had developed an irritating cough. I put it down to allergies and she agreed but suggested that we do a CT-scan. “just to be on the safe side”. My last scan on the 15th of February was crystal clear and as my tumour markers had also been stable for months, she said she wasn’t expecting to find anything untoward but just wanted to “be on the safe side”.
Clearly, we were both wrong as the CT showed some nodules in my chest and some very enlarged and unhappy lymph nodes in my sternum. The lymph nodes are the cause of my breathlessness and cough as they constricting the airways from lungs so they are not able to function at full capacity.
Stunned, pretty much sums up how I felt as the oncologist explained what would come next, a PET CT-scan, biopsies of the nodules and lymph nodes and then, a treatment plan.
I had the PET CT on the 3rd of July and the biopsies on the 5th and they both confirmed that the beast, not content with the havoc it had wreaked before, was back and, only 35 days after finishing my initial treatment, I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in my chest and lymph nodes.
To say that I am pissed off that I am right back where I started is an understatement but, I have beaten it once, and am determined to beat it again.
Chemo is due to start on Wednesday, the 20th, but more about that later …
Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come, remember everything you have faced, remember all the battles you have won and all the fears you have overcome.