Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Therapy: treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder. Originally from from modern Latin therapia, from Greek therapeia ‘healing,’ from therapeuein ‘minister to, treat medically.’

It's a nice-sounding word, rolls off the tongue satisfyingly; I've decided to pronounce the word 'ther-happy' during coming weeks and months, as I begin a (theoretical) five years of hormone therapy as a preventative measure against breast cancer returning. The oncologist I met last Friday advised that, due to my advanced age, and the fact that the cancer was found early, radiation and chemo-therapies would not be used, going forward. She did strongly advise, however, hormone therapy. This treatment, just one small tablet per day, blocks any estrogen in the body; cancer cells feed on estrogen if certain markers were present in the lab tests performed on tissues and blood samples obtained over past weeks.

I'm hoping that known side effects from these tablets will not be too severe. The doctor has already ordered a bone scan, as bone density loss is one side effect of this treatment, and I have been on the border of osteoporosis for many years. Other possible side effects are higher cholesterol levels, potential for blood clots, joint aches and pains, and sundry other unpleasant-sounding stuff. Not all women experience severe difficulties, however. I guess much depends on one's age group, and on how much estrogen was skidding around the body to start with. Regular check-ups will follow, next meeting with oncologist in 6 weeks to see how I'm coping with the tablets, and to note results of the bone scan.

So, I'm nearing the end of this 6-week "adventure", which began with a mammogram on 27 February. From now on it'll be a matter of taking the tablets, taking some exercise - walking more regularly will help; eating well - plenty of fresh veggies; taking my regular calcium + VitaminD3 and magnesium, and - above all - maintaining a positive attitude .

I could not have asked for a better outcome than this, other than to have been told that the mammogram result was an error - which it wasn't !

I'm truly thankful, and very, very grateful to all the doctors, specialists and nurses I've encountered along the way. Their attitudes, personalities and approaches have helped me to cope with this highly unexpected, and disconcerting, adventure more than I could ever express, added to which, of course, the constant support of my husband.

Some additional personal therapy will follow: finding a comfortable bra, once I'm told that I can be rid of the pesky elastic bandage currently binding my chest.


Wisewebwoman said...

All good stuff T considering worst case scenarios.

I trust a beard won't follow the HT then again the circus might beckon.



Anonymous said...

Wear your pink ribbon!

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ Yes, I've always fancied running away with a circus - or perhaps it'll mean a Santa Claus role at Christmas! ;-) (Also kidding!)

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ I shall - once I get my hands on one. Going to find one online now.

anyjazz said...

Best news I've heard in a long time.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ It certainly is - as somebody used to sing (Barry Manilow I think) "We made it through the rain....." Thankful for you, I am - as somebody else (Yoda, I think) would say. xx

R J Adams said...

I've just returned 'online' after two weeks without internet or telephone (apart from an aging mobile). They all went down Easter Monday and the French don't shift themselves to fix such things. Finally came back on today - exactly two weeks to repair an apparently minor hiccup in the exchange. Yes, we're still running on old telephone exchanges here!
Anyway, you are my first 'online' stop to check on progress and I'm delighted that all is progressing as well as possible. Perhaps I can risk uncrossing my fingers now?
All the very best. Hopefully, from now on I can keep more up to date with your recovery.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~ Oh my! They do take their time, those French technicians, don't they? I thought that perhaps you were on a jaunt across La Manche.

Thank you, RJ. Yes, things are progressing in the best way possible. Saw the surgeon on Friday and he declared his handwork was healing well, confirmed that all lymph nodes and "margins" had been clean, best possible outcome - and said I was a "good patient" LOL! (I guess that means I didn't kick and scream a lot). ;-)