About Ondine Blue
I think the first thing I want to say is that I am a survivor! Like most people who get a cancer diagnosis, I felt like I’d been hit by a train. Having suspicions does nothing to soften the blow of those fateful words “I’m so sorry but it’s definitely cancer” they are words that were etched onto my brain on 14th October 2010. I didn’t really hear anything much else for a while, instead I sat there with the word cancer echoing in my head. The shocks were not over though because after giving me and my husband a few moments alone to try and absorb what we’d just been told, my surgeon then came back to tell me that I had no other option than a full mastectomy. I just sat there, nodding my head, holding my husband’s hand, unable to properly process what was going to happen. I didn’t cry, I was numb and all I really wanted right then was to go home.
I can remember having a core biopsy whilst I was there and the very kind Breast Care Nurse holding my hand and then handing me an package of information to take home and read. I was the last patient of the day and somehow it seemed appropriate to be going home in the dark.
If I am completely honest I have to say that after several weeks of ever more complicated and painful tests, coupled with the serious looks on the faces of all those conducting them, more than a small part of me knew that at some point the news was going to be bad. All I was really waiting for was for someone to tell me just how bad it was going to be.
The end result was the following diagnosis:
Multi-centric Invasive Lobular, Lobular in-situ and Invasive Ductal. The aggregate of the tumours was a mass over 5cm large and strongly ER+, with half my lymph nodes involved. There was no other option than a full mastectomy – I am very small, the cancer affected most of my breast and was particularly big around the nipple meaning that once the bad stuff was removed there would be little or nothing left.
So, now I knew. . .
What followed was a trip to hell and back on more than one occasion. I got through the surgery well enough but chemotherapy was a different thing entirely. I was scheduled for 4 x AC and 4 x TAX and managed the AC part reasonably well. Docetaxel however, was a different beast altogether, a beast that really didn’t like my body at all and gave me such a close brush with death that I am extremely lucky to be here.
But I am still here. . .
And that’s the thing that I want everyone who reads my blog to remember because if I can go to hell and manage to survive, then so can you! Yes, there will be times when it all seems too much but for most people, whilst it is not a pleasant thing, it is nevertheless doable. You do get there in the end.
One of the aims of the new direction of my blog is to help you get there, to pass on all those tips that helped me get through it. In doing so I hope I will be able to help with those small but important things that help make treatment and its aftermath just a little more bearable.