Monday, April 16, 2007

Say no to menopause!


Had another appointment with the professor this morning. The tumour is neither responsive to hormones nor proteins, so hormone treatments and herceptin are out the window as options.

While herceptin is being touted as the new wonder drug, and has little side effects, I am generally over joyed by this news because I was dreading the alternative - hormone treatment.

While it's just a little pill, taken daily, and the immediate side effects are just hot flushes and night sweats, it essentially meant I would have been undergoing a 5 year long premature menopause. While the effects reverse when they stop the treatment (and you go back to your pre menopausal state) I would be 39 and a half, and less likely to have happy working ovaries left to return to.

It's not that I definitely want kids. It's just that I don't want the choice taken from me.

Had the tumour been receptive to hormones, I would have had to choose between an extra 5% chance of beating the cancer versus a really high percentage chance (80%? I'm guessing) of losing all fertility. Plus that would have given me the added quandary of whether or not I put my hands in my non existent pockets to pay for egg harvesting and freezing. Which would have cost £10k I don't have. And would have meant waiting for my coming off the pill to kick in and for my body to start producing healthy eggs. Which would have delayed chemo by several months.

So the downside is, I have a 90% cure rate rather than a potential 95% cure rate. But the upside is, I get to not have to make horrible decisions about how much my fertility is worth when I'm not sure I'm going to need it. Hooray for that.

So, I am left with a definite course of chemo followed by radiotherapy and am booked in to see my appointed oncologist, a Doctor Alison Jones, tomorrow in the hallowed walls of Harley street.

After seeing my GP this afternoon to have an alternative method of contraception fitted.

After having left the hospital at 11am this morning.

I haven't spent this much time with the medical establishment since I got drunk at a University ball at a table full of student doctors.

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