Sunday, August 24, 2014

I have finished my five years on tamoxifen

On Monday I took my last Tamoxifen pill. I also saw my oncologist, The Tango Man, and I am fine. And once again I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I hardly discussed anything with him, and nothing re tamoxifen, beyond asking him to recommend a new gynaecologist and gastro doc (love mine but think a year down the line of having intense bloating problems is a good enough reason to get a different opinion).
The only thing I did discuss re Tamoxifen was how awful I felt on the generic when they ran out of Kessar - well it was unavailable for a short while in South Africa - and he said it was perfectly possible.
I adore that man and would be most upset if he retired anytime soon. I am so grateful to him and quite simply adore him.
Am seeing the new gynaecologist tomorrow - i got a cancellation - and although I think this means the medical aid won't pay as it is two visits within a year, tough shit. I didn't trust the last one; she wasn't at all thorough, not examining my boobs and when I questioned that, said: "Oh but you had a mammogram.."
You do not say that to someone who found a lump less than two months after having a mammogram and ultra-sound.
Anyway, let's see what this one is like. I liked and trusted my previous gynae until he butchered me for no reason. Well he believed I had cancer but I don't like the way he went about things and doing a radical hysterectomy for no reason.... still ..well, actually am worse, re the death of my friend (not cancer related). Been reading her recent emails to me, looking at lovely pics she sent of us together when she was here in January, reading her mail of "see you soon" when she let to go back to the US and all the ones since, and cannot believe she is no more.
It is very hard to accept death. All death. This was very sudden. She was 50 and was about to turn 51 four days later. I still do not know how she died as her husband will not discuss it. Not with me, not with her father and not with her brother. He said it was an accident. I have searched the internet for a mention - police must have been called out - aah, maybe I should search for paramedics instead - but it is all so mysterious and meanwhile I mourn the loss of my friend.
One day I will look back on our happy times of friendship but for now I am kinda paralysed with misery which is blady ridiculous.
Anyway, sitting here in my pajamas and gown on a Sunday afternoon but guess that is ok.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cannot believe it is so long since I have written...

I am not sure what happens but I have been feeling protective of my thoughts and actions; not wanting to share them. I have been feeling a need to be private.
Yet here I am again.
The most traumatic thing that has happened, and it happened a month and a day ago, is that my friend died suddenly. She did not have cancer but she did have lyme disease which she was battling to control. But she didn't die from that. In fact, I do not know what she died from as she lived in the US (so I wasn't around) and her husband has declined to discuss it, either with me or her family, saying it was a "tragic accident". Or maybe he said "terrible accident". I am so shocked about her death and then not knowing the cause that I have spend nights googling her name to see if there is any info re her death. Perhaps she killed herself. I do not know.
The circumstances and lack of communication meant that I did not even consider going over for the funeral. When I did ask about funeral arrangements, thinking I would perhaps commemorate it here at the same time, I did not get a response.
I last saw her in February when she was here, in South Africa, and we did loads of things and had a fabulous time. It is hard to believe she is no more. Just like that. Gone. I last spoke to her on email about 10 days before she died. I now understand what is meant by a lack of closure. I have desperately wanted to know how she died. Maybe, as The Yoga Man says, I will never know. So I must remember all the wonderful times and experiences we shared. And be grateful for that. But it is sad. She died four days before her birthday. She would have been 51.


As for me, I have just been on holiday to a fab 5-star hotel in Umhlanga, Durban and it was wonderful. Went there twice last year and then again now and it is a really super place to visit as apart from one walk on the beachfront, one walk on the beach and a day into the countryside in a rental car, I did nothing. We lay at the hotel pool drinking bubbly and reading. Bliss.

Healthwise, I have had a cold for a month and couldn't exercise or do lymph massage (it just makes your sickness worse). Went back to gym - a very gentle, low key 'workout" - perhaps 'session' is a better word for my 12 minutes of cardio and some stretch-type exercises - and also had lymph massage with The Lymph Lady.
My arm is pretty kak - the best if harsh way to describe it - but hoping that now with regular exercise and massage it will settle down. The Lymph Lady said that she does have patients whose arms are as slightly swollen as mine (I cannot feel anything) and yet wear compression sleeves to prevent it swelling more. She does not feel I need to but it does need to improve. Soon.
And as for my stomach. It was great on holiday but I ate no raw vegetables and very little fruit. Trying to emulate that here. Oh, when I say it was great, I do not mean it went flat; it just didn't hurt although my latest development now is bad acid reflux which makes me want to throw up (walked outta one or was it two yoga classes?) and so I pop antacids (sp?) all day as I have actually gotten sick a a few times and cannot afford to ignore the feeling.
Otherwise I am on leave and very well. Huddled in front of the gas heater right now and going to read. Maybe cook some fresh fish for dinner.

Must make an effort to write more often.