Friday, November 13, 2015

First session of chemo down and feeling good!

So almost a month after finding out I have the big C, I started the first session of chemo on Friday 30 October whilst being 7 months pregnant.

Every time I walk into the Macmillan clinic at my local hospital, I feel like an intruder. The average age of the patients there must be at least 60, and I got stared at...a lot. It's not everyday you see a young (ish) heavily pregnant woman being treated for cancer.

It was emotional, walking to the chemo reception, seeing all those people being hooked up to machines, I had a massive lump in my throat ready to burst into tears and I wanted to run away. Fast. But I know I have to do this, with an almost two year old and baby on the way, they are all I am focusing on to get better, I NEED to be around for them. 

Having chemo is a very surreal experience. No matter how much you read before hand, nothing will prepare you as everyone's experience is different and your body reacts differently to the treatment.
But the actually process of having chemo is not as daunting as I thought it would be, they fitted a cannula into my hand, and away they went pumping me with the red devil that turned my pee bright pink! 

Some light reading during my first chemo session
Right after the  session I had  braxton hicks constantly for about 10 hours. It scared me because during braxton hick contractions, I wasn't able to feel baby move. It made me wonder if going through treatment whilst pregnant was the right thing to do....but luckily the next morning I felt a massive kick which made me burst into tears.

My baby is a little fighter :)

The first 24 hours after chemo I left normal, (apart from the BH), I met friends for dinner who couldn't believe I had had chemo just a mere 24 hours before, I left, well, vibrant and upbeat...I am finally getting treated and I think it actually put me in a good mood.

The chemo nurse suggested I take time off post chemo to recuperate, so I took a week off work "in case" I fell ill, the chemo destroys the good cells as well as the bad so my immunity was going to plummet. but luckily, apart from a cold, an annoying cough and feeling a bit tired I felt ok. 

I realise I haven't really talked about prognosis so here goes. I have stage 2b breast cancer which means the tumour is 5cm and there are cancer cells in the local breast lymph nodes. The oncologist thinks that the cancer is possibly "pregnancy induced" the surge of hormones in my body and the type of cancer it is, is common for women my age and also common in women of West African origin. Although that being said, genetic testing will be carried out as I may also have the breast cancer gene (BRCA) as I am unaware of my paternal family medical history (long story).

The good news (!) is that I am HER2 positive which means I am able to have the drug herceptin post chemo which massively increases my chances of beating this fucker. The doctor also wants me to take a new drug called Perjeta, but as it's unavailable on the NHS, I will have to raise £20,000 (!!!) in order to have the treatment, so I've currently thinking of ways to raise the money.

Anyway I feel I'm babbling..I am a week away from session 2 and I am feeling good. My family and friends have been awesome and work has been really supportive.

I am very lucky :)

Thanks for stopping by.

Christiana x


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