Tuesday 13 November 2012

Turning the page ...

This week a new chapter of my life begins. Today, I start a five year course of Tamoxifen and, tomorrow, I go back to work.

Tamoxifen is what they call 'maintenance chemotherapy'. It suppresses oestrogen and keeps it away from any potential cancer cells which, given my cancer tested 8 out of 8 on hormone responsiveness, is undoubtedly a good thing.

However, all drugs have their side effects and I'm understandably apprehensive. No woman wants to read that she might get fat and grow facial hair!

But needs must ...

I'm also nervous about going back to work. I'm sure that once I get back into the swing of things it will all be fine but I have had a few sleepless nights.

I was chatting about it this morning with my GP. He reassured me that it was natural to feel low, as I have done, since the mainstay of my treatment ended. When you're in the thick of chemo and operations you become overwhelmed by the process. But, when it does end, you can finally 'exhale' and reflect on what you've been through.

And that's the bit that I've found hard. I think I'm doing alright but can then, quite unexpectedly, suddenly get breathless and start to cry. It's quite odd - like all the residual emotion that I've still got bottled up is trying to release itself.

I know some people might think that it would be better to let it all out in one go but, apart from the fact that I don’t think I could, I do think that would be like trying to open a fizzy bottle of lemonade. This way I just release the pressure slowly and a little bit at a time, instead of making an unholy mess!

However, please don't think that everything is glum and that I'm not still able to enjoy myself. Mr P. and I have just come back from a fabulous week in San Francisco and Las Vegas: visiting Alcatraz and the Grand Canyon, playing the slots and doing our best to live up to the name of the 'Big Belly Buffet'!

I even got home from the 10 hour flight back and went out to a pyjama-party-themed Hen do. It was a raucous affair but at least when I finally crashed and needed my bed I was dressed and ready for it ...

And so the next stage of our story begins. I'm sure it will still have its unexpected twists and turns but I'm rather hoping that it will be more 'JK Rowling’ than 'Stephen King'.

Mr P and I are hoping that our luck
might be about to change

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