Saw my oncologist today. The Tango Man.
In answer to my questions, this is what he said (and for once, I didn't take notes but just listened):
1) My skin is still itchy from the radiation cos it keeps changing. And the radiation affected my sweat glands so that would also contribute.
2) My hair is going to stay curly. He also said I looked pretty with curls which was sweet - hell, everything other side effect/symptom is awful.
3) Must not do more than 15 minutes of cardio.
4) Wasn't think when I first saw him so why hassling re weight gain? Gained a kilogram in the past week but in terms of the weight as measured by the oncology centre, I weighed 200 grams more than last time (three months ago).
5) Have to go for a routine mammogram and scan. Last went in October last year (for a routine one - then under two months later found a lump).Terrified.
6) Said I can take four probiotics a day. (Having tummy hassles again). Said he thinks I have something wrong with my gastro-digestive tract but needn't do anything about it now while still having treatment. The mouth ulcers I get are part of that, he says.
7) Said it was too early on tamoxifen pills to get side-effects like hot flushes, but I have been getting them. Said medication can reduce the effect. But seemed to imply that wasn't a solution. I agree. Not more pills.
8) Said I have to weight up benefits of herceptin and tamoxifen vs side-effects. I said I will stick to the treatment but must admit, feel kinda down by being constantly plagued by side-effects. Felt so good when I first got diagnosed with cancer. Now the cancer has gone but I am debilitated by having to do manual lymph drainage (massage) twice a day, have stiff fingers, get hot flushes, momentary bad headaches.... and have to worry about weight gain.... and that's all I can remember now.