Thursday, 12 March 2015

Health Update March 2015

For friends and family! I love you all like chocolate. Here's a quick update on my health:

DRUGS: I finished my chemotherapy in mid-December so I am no longer grey of face and behaving in a sloth-like manner. I still get tired and need to sleep a lot, but the aches and pains have subsided and generally I feel a lot better than I did before Christmas. I am continuing to have my Herceptin administered intravenously every 3 weeks until the end of the year, but that's no big deal. I am meeting my GP next week about taking Tamoxifen for the next 10 years ... I'm concerned about side effects and whether it's worth doing, but we'll see how that pans out.

HAIR: The hair on my head is growing back, it's completely grey (some light but mostly dark) but it might go back to brown later (naturally or out of a bottle!) It's still extremely short so it's too soon to tell if it's going to be curly or straight, anything can happen after chemo-induced hair loss, but what matters for now is that I've got fairly good coverage over my scalp. I went to the spa on Sunday with my sister and was wig-free for the day - I got a few strange looks (who is that arty-farty skinhead, I imagined they were thinking) but I didn't much care. In 2 weeks my hairdresser is going to tidy it up with some scissors (just snip away the straggly bits) and then I'll be ready to face the world without my wig. A few people are going to be in for a shock! Changing hair so drastically will have a knock-on effect on the rest of my appearance - I'll start wearing earrings and more make-up, and I'm finding myself drawn to high-necked tops and paler colours. My eyelashes and eyebrows have come back nice and thick (and are probably two thirds of the way back to fully grown). This makes me very happy, as my eyes looked so bare and pale, and just plain weird, without eyelashes and eyebrows.

FITNESS: I'm about a stone lighter than I was a year ago, probably partly due to eating less or eating more healthily, but also because I walk a lot nowadays with Austin. I'm planning to start yoga in a month or so, but I don't want to take up any type of exercise that involves getting hot and sweaty until later in the year.

WORK: I went back in January and now do 3 days a week in the office until 3pm. That's enough for me at the moment. I'm busier than I used to be (B2B marketing) so I'm happier, and the people I work with are lovely. I can't say this job is my "calling" in life ... and I constantly struggle with the whole sitting-in-an-office-at-a-desk thing ... but the benefits (it's local, flexible, fairly easy, regular income) outweigh the downsides at this time when I need to be focusing on my well-being and not worrying about work. I'm doing a small amount of freelance work at home but much much less than before.

FEELINGS: I wrote about this in my last post. Overall I am feeling happy, positive and thankful, but I do have some deep-down post-cancer worries and feelings that I need to deal with. I'm writing a little bit in my journal most days, which helps me remember to stay calm, keep perspective, minimize stress & strain, look after myself, do things I enjoy, and generally put my well-being higher up my list of priorities than it ever was before. I do NOT find this easy! It would be very easy to slip back into old habits, but I'm determined to maintain a healthy immune system and make my body an unfriendly environment for the progression of cancer cells. It's going to take time.

G, L & B: They're all GREAT! And so is the dog.

Please keep in touch, I love to hear from extended family and far-away friends ... even though I'm not always great at replying.

That's it from me for now.


  1. Glad to hear that you are feeling better and making progress in the healing and recovery required after cancer treatment. I always find writing helpful in working through emotions and experiences. I remember my first post-chemo "haircut." I was thrilled to need one! Wishing you good days. Thanks!

  2. I'm really glad you are gradually getting better and also that your hair is coming back in. The eyelash/eyebrow loss has always seemed to me to be more striking than the hair on top of your head. Maybe because there's no way to disguise that.