Wee Update

It’s been a few weeks since I last wrote anything down about my ‘adventure.’

As you recall I was awaiting to hear if I needed chemotherapy, my left arm (non-operative side) was not working very well and I was waiting in ‘transition 1’ to get ready for the next stage of this blooming race.

Three weeks on and I have finally found out that chemotherapy would not likely be a beneficial thing in my case. Basically the lump they removed was sent to America to get analysed by some smart people who look at genomic types of tumours. The test itself was called the Oncodx score. It tests the tumour for 21 different genes and their activity and gives it a score based on how likely it is to behave and respond to treatment. If you fall within the low risk score then chemotherapy is not likely to give any additional benefit and actually could cause more harm with its side effects. The two long-term side effects I was most afraid of were the 1% risk of future leukaemia/lymphoma and the 1% risk of developing heart failure. It took two weeks to come back and give us a result but thankfully (I think) I have fallen into the low risk group.

This news is really really good, however I had fully prepared myself for chemotherapy. It’s a very strange feeling to get told that you don’t need chemotherapy and that radiotherapy and hormonal therapy for the next 5-10years will be the treatment. Why is it strange? This will be hard to put into words – it’s because you want to celebrate but you feel like you cannot because you’re afraid. You’re afraid not to throw the kitchen sink at the bugger. You’re worried that the ability to throw said sink has been taken away from you. Most of all you’re worried that nothing is absolute and that no matter what you do this thing might come back sometime in the future. Also, I have a bit of guilt – I feel guilty about all my fellow ‘can-athletes’ (see what I did there) who did need chemotherapy.

But…there has been little cause for celebration during this whole affair and we thought it important that we do, and allow that small rim of light to appear on the horizon.

Where’s my left arm at? Well it’s still hiding somewhere in nerve impingement land. Left triceps is weak and my index finger is numb. Frustrating is not even a strong enough word for it. There’s any number of things it could be. Could be a herniated cervical disc, but if it is I’m just going to manage it conservatively for now. Physio, strengthening and getting on with things is how I’m going to deal with that one. My posture is awful, rounded shoulders, head forward and anxiety have all had a part to play. I will get there – I’m taking back control though, that’s the main thing.

Jeez, it sounds like I’ve moaned slightly throughout this post. Therefore in more good news… I was preparing to cancel a holiday to Lanzarote because I had been warned by oncologist that if I needed chemo, I needed it as soon as possible – therefore bye bye Lanzarote. However, at yesterday’s appointment I was told – no chemo therefore go on holiday!! Another minor (major, more like) celebration. This is what we so need. We had grieved for it already and had contacted the insurance company in advance but…I’m absolutely over the moon about this one. 🙂

So triathlon analogy – onto the bike now (Tamoxifen for 5-10years), a bit of a transition in Lanza and then some radiotherapy to finish off the whole thing.

Not sure the ironman analogy is standing up to this but…I’ll leave it there.

Taking back control guys. #futc #gotthis

T1 and waiting…

So…l had my review appointment after surgery today.
Good news is that all of the nasty tumour is out with clear margins and it doesn’t look like it’s spread to the lymph nodes.
I am very happy about this.
However it was a nasty wee bugger of the fast dividing type and this might mean that I need chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy but…that is yet to be decided. (Meeting with the lovely oncology team next week.)
Some of you may have noticed that I’m treating this sort of like an ironman.
The surgery can be thought of as the ‘swim’ – something I wasn’t worried about and am quite happy going through because it had to come first.
I’m now in Transition 1, have managed to get my gear on and ready for the cycle but I’m just waiting to hear what route I have to take. I’m fairly positive I’m able for it though. 🙂

On the actual exercise front I have been itching to get back into a bit of training.
Wounds have healed and some gentle swimming will probably be ok, but I still plan to get down and help out at our club sessions now that I can drive again!
Cycling has been scuppered by the worst crick in the neck I have ever had…ever. It’s so blooming bad that I have numbness in my index finger and my triceps on my left won’t blooming fire properly.
It’s stress/anxiety that have contributed to this, as well as over-compensation on my left. I wasn’t allowed to really do stuff with my right arm (surgery side) for two weeks. Poor leftie has taken the brunt of it. Hopefully it will pass but it’s a royal pain in the…ahem. It’s probably also happened because I’ve been doing next to no exercise and my body is pissed off at me for being so lazy. Anyway GP wasn’t too concerned and prescribed drugs and muscle relaxants and i’m seeing the physio on monday so fingers crossed it will get better soon.

Just want to take this opportunity again to say thanks so much to everyone who has been in touch, sent kind thoughts and positive vibes my way. (Also thanks for all the flowers and gifts, way too much you rascals!)
Honestly, it has given me so much faith in humanity and in the kindness of human beans (yes I did mean beans.) You are all total rockstars and have lifted me massively through this whole endeavour. (Have just had an image of me having an epic crowd-surf at a concert. That’s what it feels like so thank you.)