2010 was a rough year. Apart from the fact my Mum died and my beautiful daughter- in -law was found to have a malignant brain tumour ( that isn’t enough?), my worn out body needed a bit of maintenance. I had a few major surgeries and a few minor surgeries and was starting to feel ok again, when I was found to have a tumour in the parathyroid gland. Now we have four of these itty bitty glands in our neck ( they are each about the size of a grain of rice), and they are responsible for the regulation of calcium in our bodies. Very important, and when they go hay wire, they can cause a lot of damage. Now these tumours are nearly always benign, but need to be removed, so off for surgery number 5 for 2010. During the course of the surgery, I was found to have 3 cancerous tumours in the thyroid gland so this was also removed. As one of the tumours was invading the trachea, further treatment was required. This involved going into isolation in hospital and taking radioactive iodine capsules. I was in lockdown for 5 days until I was no longer radioactive [as measured with a Geiger counter – yes, really], and then the door was opened.
The day before leaving home to go for this treatment [the hospital was 600km from our home at that time] I found large lump in my breast. Because of the treatment and isolation, I was not able to have the lump tested until I returned home, but it was soon diagnosed as breast cancer. Surgery was followed by 4 months of heavy duty chemotherapy, leaving me bald, bloated and blotchy. Uncle Fester comes to mind! I then returned to the hospital 600 km away from home for 6 weeks of daily radiotherapy sessions [with weekends off]. That took us to July 1011 and thus endeth the treatment – hooray…….
……until May 2012. A routine blood test showed that my liver function was ‘deranged’. Further blood tests, scans, biopsies and LOTS of doctor visits showed the full picture. Secondary breast cancer in the liver (extensively), mediastinal lymph nodes, multiple ribs, right throughout the spine, the pelvis and femur, the breast and other lymph nodes. Not good! Prognosis: 3-6 months with no treatment, if chemo is taken and effective: maybe 1-2 years
The first chemo was in tablet form (8 tablets a day at $8 per tablet -thank goodness for government subsidy). This worked well for about 6 months – reducing my tumour markers from 2285 down to around 350. But then the numbers started going up, so I am now having a weekly infusion of a different drug. It takes about 4-5 hours out of my Mondays,, but is working well and the side effects are manageable
So that is where I have been and where I am at – and do you know what? God has been there right with me through every step. His love sustains me – and I am grateful.