Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Bony island

Tuesday 28th July 2015, fabulous fabulous day.

To say I felt sick when the Orthapaedic Consultant phoned me yesterday is an understatement. I could barely hold the phone for shaking, he told me that he had good news, I assumed he meant that the "cancer" in my pelvis was inactive/dead. Then he said the words I thought I could only ever dream about, 

There's no evidence of cancer.

No cancer in my pelvis, non. The lab has confirmed it, the consultant had to repeat it about 4 times. No cancer found. 

Yes they had the right patient, Aimee Fletcher. Yes they had got enough of a sample to test. Yes they'd took a sample of the dodgy looking part of my pelvis and not missed the spot. Yes they are sure as it was CT guided. 

No cancer.

So what on earth is it? Apparently it's what they call a "Bony Island."  - a common benign bone lesion. Could be wear and tear/congenital/developmental,  could be damage from chemo, quite frankly who cares - ITS NOT CANCER.

Obviously the hot spots on my spine are still questionable, and unfortunately they can't biopsy these areas as its deemed too risky, BUT it looks the same as my pelvis on the scans, maybe they were wrong? Last month the doctor that said that if he were a betting man he would say that it is cancer and there wasn't anything else it could be... Maybe he was wrong... 

I didnt even realise that this was even an option, it was bone mets for sure. My hips and pelvis ache all the time, I could feel the cancer, well I convinced myself that I could, it was all in my mind, well the pain is real but it's not cancer.


I'm still in shock, I'm still not sure what to think. I've been told it was bone mets, then it wasn't, then there was a chance it might be, then it wasn't again, then it was and it was present on last years scans too, now it isn't, well not in my pelvis. I feel almost too scared to believe it incase they change their mind again. But I guess that this isn't someone looking at a scan, this isn't their opinion or experience, this is from the lab, this is a fact. Not that I don't want to believe it, I just didn't even think this was possible. I think I've forgotten what good news feels like and how to react. I'm just in a state of shock.

This could change everything, I can't even begin to put it into words, it's overwhelming, no, it's breathtaking. 

Tomorrow I see my surgeon. Before this latest news there was a chance that I wouldn't be eligible for breast reconstruction, maybe this has now changed and tomorrow's appointment will be very different to what it would have been....

Maybe I can see the little people grow, maybe I can stand in the sun and feel weightless, maybe I will get to Bora Bora...

Maybe, just maybe I can start thinking about the future... This is very scary, this is something I've had to learn not to think about.


Maybe this roller coaster is slowing down or dare I say it stopping..

Touch wood.


Friday, 24 July 2015

Cancer: Fun Police

I am fuming.

I am sat (I say sat -I am all twisted because I can't sit down properly) on my sofa, complete with Ted stockings in situ (very glam). I should be in Brighton with Rebecca and Sarah but once again cancer strikes again and ruins all the fun.

2 days ago I went to the Royal Orthapaedic Hospital for a biopsy taken from my Illiac crest -pelvis. It never once occurred to me that this would be taken via my right arse cheek. Ouch.  

After being told I was 4th on the list and being a female only ward I had to wait on my own -once again Poor Arron had to wait about for hours on end. Unsurprisingly my BP went through the roof (155/114). Having reassured the anaesthetist that I suffer from "white coat syndrome" and my BP is "normal" at home I was given a Benzodiazepine - Tamazepam. Amen. It's safe to say that I quickly relaxed and managed to find a some what happy place. And I found these beauties a bit more funny than they actually were... So not flattering - last shred of dignity gone...

Having sat on my right hand for a couple of hours to warm up my veins they managed to successfully canulate my "chemo vein" -first time -I was pretty dam impressed. Next came the "Miss Fletcher we're going to shove a massive biopsy needle through your right arse cheek so we need you to lie on your left side before we put you to sleep." I don't think I needed the GA as I almost passed out there and then, not so much about the pain I would be in after but more so that they've already taken my boobs and now they could totally mess up my only asset. Fabulous.

Then came the GA and I was just repeating "im in Bora Bora on the beach..."

And I'm awake. Flat on my back just as they finish taking out the tube from my throat. Tea, I need Tea. OUCH and pain relief....

Then I was back on the ward, Arron still not allowed in. And it's safe to say that the pain was laughably un-bearable, until I had more IV pain relief, I have no idea what it was, nor do I care, it worked. And I slept, and woke up for tea. And passed out again. The nurses bless them had to keep going out to tell Arron that they couldn't wake me up and that I looked comfortable and only woke up for tea. At one point I passed on a message that he should nip to the Jewellery Quarter and get me a nice rock... I never got the message back... Strange...

Once awake I fell about a bit and got dressed and was told that I had to wear these beauties for TWO weeks. Not even kidding, TWO weeks.

 I even asked for a clexane injection but nope, I have to wear these. Been as it's the weekend I've decided to "treat" myself and wear these bad boys instead...

Getting home and into bed was reminiscent of the chemo days and Arron had to pretty much carry me up the stairs whilst trying not to laugh (and drop me and trip over Fabio).

For the amount of pain and discomfort I was expecting something a bit more dramatic than this, but here you go...

That's it. A couple of steri-strips and a plaster.

And now I'm hobbling around the house unable to sleep on my right side due to obvious reasons as above, my left side due to lymphoedema arm, and front due to scar tissue from MX. This is how I have to sleep and I'm sure you'll agree that this isn't ideal...

And so here I am, Friday night in pain counting down the hours until I take take more pain relief. I should be in Brighton, granted I wouldn't be dancing on the tables and wouldn't be necking shots as I can't drink these days, but I would have dipped my feet in the sea, ate cockles for breakfast and breathed in the sea air... Oh well I have fresh sheets on my bed, every silver cloud and all..

Rebecca Swift -  I hope you're having a fabulous time, sorry that me and the other sick note Sarah Perry couldn't be there with you - but at least Sarah's had a real op and has drain worms to look at - I get a bloody plaster on my arse!!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Stage 4 Scan 1 Biopsy 1 Scanxiety ++

Treatment wise the last few weeks have been ok, treatment wise that is, everything else feels like an existence.

In 3 weeks I've had 8 GP/Hospital appointments, 14 days of anti-biotics, alternate day dressing changes and extreme menopause bullshit, hot sweats that are so awful that I can't even face wearing my wig and have been walking around looking like Will Ferral.

This week I get to have a bone biopsy taken from my pelvis, "luckily" I'm having a general anaesthetic so I'm hoping it won't be too bad and I will get the good drugs and be in a happy place. This is unlikely as the last GA I had turned me into a lunatic, an emotional wreck, a cry baby. Poor Arron, again. And then poor everyone close to me who has to wait the 30 days for the results ...

I'm also waiting for the results of my first MRI since bone met diagnosis.  This should happen 3 days before I go to Paris, excellent. They usually don't say a word to you during or after the scan, so I've got quite used to this and wasn't even going to try and read their expressions. Then she decided to speak to me. Questioning why I was back so soon? Surprised at my bone met diagnosis, casually mentioned a completely different area in this scan, which could just be bone marrow? Old injury? Infection? Damage from chemo? That's what she said. I immediately thought that it's spread since my last scan in March. she also asked about a bone scan, I told her that was clear and she told me not to worry then. I have called them up to see if it has been reported on yet, it has. Shit, the lady on the phone knows but can't say anything. I asked that if there were dramatic changes/something truly awful would it be flagged up to my oncologist? It would. She didn't say that it has, her tone of voice didn't change once she'd seen my results, is that because there is no change? Or has she been doing this job for years and is used to seeing such information? Have I flagged it up and prompted her to now call my oncologist and I'm due a call any minute asking me to go in ASAP? I think she is at another hospital on Monday afternoons so maybe this will happen tomorrow morning? I know that she usually gets into clinic around 8:30 -9:00am. What worries me is that when the last MRI was reported on and I did indeed have bone mets, that wasn't deemed dramatic enough or truly awful enough to bring my appointment forward, will that happen this time?

And so it begins.... Scanxiety. And I haven't even had the bone biopsy yet, thank god for Prozac. 

How on earth am I going to do this every 3 months that's if I'm currently stable enough "just" to have an MRI every 12 weeks.....