One month on from my diagnosis and finally we are making progress! And by we, I mean me and my follicles. I found out yesterday morning that they are growing and I should be ready for egg harvesting on Thursday, which means I can start chemotherapy on Friday. That phrase, egg ‘harvesting’, makes me sound like some kind of crop. The whole process so far has made me feel like I am no longer human. But really this is great news as I was ready to give up last Thursday after hitting a real low.
I would say that Thursday was the worst hospital appointment I have ever been to…but I didn’t actually end up having the appointment. Before every scan I have to go to empty my bladder. As I was walking to the toilet, I saw a male doctor that I had never met before going towards the scanning room, so I turned and asked the nurse, Lucie, if this would be the doctor carrying out my appointment. I was already feeling nervous, I’ve been on the edge of a breakdown for the past week. Instead of letting Lucie reply, or introducing himself, he started shouting at me in the corridor saying “yes I am the doctor, you’re going to have me scanning you today, it’s me or no-one, there is no-one else here to do it, I am the clinical director’ and then he walked off into the scanning room. His tone was so aggressive that I started hyperventilating and ended up having a full-blown panic attack.
Lucie took me into a different room so that I could calm down and brought Tom in. The doctor/clinical director did not come in to see if I was ok or apologise or check if I wanted to continue with the appointment. Instead, he asked for Tom to come and speak to him so that he could pass on the message that he was stopping my fertility treatment as I had not responded so far. And as far as he was concerned, that was the end of it.
At that point I was done. I had been using a lot of energy working myself up for the appointments and it was draining to have to drive to London from Bakewell for each one (and having Frank is way more tiring than I had expected). I couldn’t believe that I had been doing all of the scans and injections for nothing. And that it had all been taken away from me by a doctor who didn’t even have the balls to come and say it to my face.
Before we left the clinic, Lucie kindly said that she would arrange for me to see the consultant that I had seen previously, Litha, the following day so that I could chat through what to do next.
I felt physically, emotionally and mentally drained – and that scared me. I felt like I was using up all of my energy and I hadn’t even started my real battle yet. This isn’t even the main treatment. On one hand I agreed with the horrible doctor that I wanted to stop the fertility treatment as I didn’t want to delay my chemotherapy. On the other hand I felt as though I had poured so much energy into my fertility preservation so far and I wanted to make sure it wasn’t all for nothing.
Thankfully we went back for the appointment with Litha on Friday. She scanned me and found out that I was starting to respond to the drugs! She said that it was a delayed response, possibly due to my implant or stress or the cancer could have been interfering.
I also saw Litha for an appointment on Monday morning and we know now that I will be ready for egg harvesting first thing Thursday. This means that I can start chemotherapy on Friday afternoon (only four days later than planned).
I’m so happy that things are finally moving forwards. I’m also shit scared of having the sedation and procedure on Thursday and also the first round of chemo on Friday. I don’t know how I am going to react to either. Litha said that I didn’t seem to be coping very well with the stress of appointments so far. I hope that I can get through this week with no more dramas and then I will have a break from appointments for three weeks before the second round of chemotherapy.
Everyone around me has been so amazing and supportive and I really do feel so loved. But I also feel lonely, because at the end of the day, it is me who has to go through this and no one else. I spoke to my friend Rose about people not knowing what to say to me. A lot of the time people say things like “you can do this” and I feel like replying “no I can’t, it’s not you going through this, you don’t know what I’m capable of” but instead I just say thanks.
I can always reply on mum to keep me grounded. I was sad yesterday because I missed out on celebrating Luke’s 30th birthday over the weekend. I told her that I was upset about it and she replied with a straight face “oh darling, you’re going to miss out on so many parties”. I know where to go for a sympathetic ear next time!
Dad and Tom have started building a pizza oven in the garden. I am looking forward to being able to invite people over for (socially-distanced) pizza parties soon. The foundations have been laid – both Tom & Dad are very proud. Frank was not so keen on the foundations covering up his best digging location and showed his dislike by taking a dump on them as soon as he was allowed.
- Wednesday 2:45 take Frank to the vets for his final jabs
- Thursday 8:00 egg harvesting
- Friday 2:30 (dentist time) chemotherapy 1st round