Today I want to talk about something else than my lovely horses who always make sure I have enough stories for a lifetime. I already mentioned it in this post, breast cancer. Last year December I woke up with a sharp pain in my right breast. The bump was hard and painful, so, thought it was a fibroadenoma (accumulated connective tissue), since most tumours aren’t painful. Got it checked the same day. GP also thought it was a fibroadenoma, but wanted to go to the hospital just to be sure. Could walk in the same day, which was really nice. At my age (33 now) you get an ultrasound in addition to the mammogram (aka the squish machine). That was the moment I already noticed it probably was going to be bad news. The chap was going from the lump in my breast to my armpit and back again, over and over. My question: “Is my armpit clean?” “Yes, your armpit clean”. Pfew, bit of good news at least. Then they took a puncture needle and did a biopsy The result would be back in 2 days. Had to come to the hospital for that. If they would call you that the results are in and they want you to come in, you already know it is going to be bad news. So, I was reading a book in the waiting room (already read 47 books so far, a new record, you have to do something to keep your brain occupied when your body is in shambles), they come and get me and I already see the bad news written all over her face. My gut feeling was going to be on the mark this time as well.
“Are you alone?”
“Yes, I am alone, and you are going to tell me it is indeed a tumour”
“Ehm, yes, it indeed is a tumour”
“Right, so what are we going to do about it?”
“….. Wow, was not expecting this. You are taking this very well, practical person I see. Treatment plan, yes, (continues talking about technical info)”
And so, the rollercoaster started. Caused by a 2cm tumour and all the consequences that come along with it. Something I wasn’t prepared for at this age. What are the odds? Well, the odds are not in our favour. The chance to get breast cancer is significant and not all causes are even known (so, ladies, and gents, check yourself on a regular basis. Men can also get it). Within 2 weeks I had my first IV with chemo. To get through this whole ordeal (in addition to the fact my animals were the ones that pulled me through, and all those sweet people who have helped me with so many things) I kept a diary. A log to vent everything (medical info, feelings, side effects, expectations, what it did to my life, my daily routine). It really helped me. Now, I am playing with the idea to turn that into a book. To share my experiences and give other women going through this or know someone going through this a bit of empowerment, hope, you are not alone. Even if only 1 person would benefit from it, it would be worth writing it.
The reason for this blog? A significant milestone is coming up! This Wednesday I will have my final IV (immunotherapy) and Monday 20 December a check-up. After that? Only half year checks! I had to quit the anti-hormone therapy due to the severe side-effects (story of my life, was also allergic to chemo). So… I am almost done 🎉! A year of hospitals, a year of treatments and pain, a year of total chaos. Even though we are in a semi-lockdown (which is going to be extended….) and I am still very tired and recovering, this is something to celebrate. And will definitely do so when we are allowed again next year. Another step, and loads of awesome plans for the future!