Thursday, October 8, 2009

side-effects and The Tango Man

Almost every time I have had a side-effect since beginning treatment for breast cancer which had spread to the lymph, it has been pooh-poohed.
When I had chemo - to which, thank God I had a complete response to only four sessions and the cancer disappeared - the biggest problem was my stomach. I would wake up at about 6am or a little later clutching my stomach in agony. Then I would start rushing to the loo, with radical diarrhea. I lived off Immodium but was told I could not overdose on it. Sometimes I would get to work only at about 11am, as I would wait for my stomach to settle.
But, said The Tango Man when I presented this problem to him, this reaction was not possible. My chemo was not the type which caused this reaction, and neither had I had enough of it to cause this response.
Eventually the problem went away. Not sure when it did (cannot remember now)but I did also start taking probiotics. However, despite what The Tango Man said, I do believe the chemo caused that stomach reaction.
When I saw him on Monday, he said it was impossible I develop mouth ulcers from Herceptin, yet every time I have had the treatment, a few days later there are the mouth ulcers.
He also said that it was too early to have reactions to the tamoxifen; I haven't been on it for long enough but lo and behold, I have had hot flushes and in the last few weeks, stiffening fingers on my left hand.
Then today, when I saw The Lymph Lady, I was telling her this when she laughed and said The Tango Man had recently told one of her clients, a woman whose one breast is noticeably swollen, that there was nothing wrong - her breasts were just big and he did not know why she was getting lymph treatment.
The Lymph Lady said everybody is different and reacts differently to treatment so I am going to continue believing in my reactions despite what The Tango Man is. Anyway, I do respect him and think he is very skilled and a brilliant doctor.
Now just trying to do what I am pretty sure I wrote last night. I am trying to remember that I am perfect. That 'perfect' means "no cancer" and anything else, no matter how discomforting, is minor.

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