Half Term, Hair, Herceptin and Hill Walks | Breast Cancer Campaign

Half Term, Hair, Herceptin and Hill Walks



My hair is ‘aving a laugh! After the last wash it looked like this! Which is not good.B's hair

As the week progressed it began to do this, which isn’t exactly better.

I don’t think anyone except perhaps a very charming three year old could carry this look off. Milly who is home for a reading week, ( no obvious reading being done, I have to say) said I looked like something from a Dr Seuss book. Is she thinking of the Grinch?

Oddly this wasn’t my intention.

I tried wetting it,  using Milly’s hair straighteners and squishing it under my hair band but NOOOOO it just bounced resiliently back in an ebulliently DA DAAA sort of way.

I have given up, I will just have to look even more batty and unkempt than usual.

This is the post chemo regrowth hair and quite honestly I’d have thought it would have calmed down by now, we are 8 months on from the end of chemo for goodness sake.

I had naively, madly, optimistically imagined that this far on I’d be all back to normal, perhaps have even had some highlights done and be looking more like the me I like to imagine I am.

Obviously I need to be patient, I think its probably going to take a year.

I remember talking to one of the lovely chemo nurses midway through my course and she said she thought it’d be a year before my body would have eschewed all the chemicals, I don’t know how scientifically accurate that is, but I’ll be interested to see how things change.

Last week was half term HURRAY!!!!

In the first half I had several hospital visits.These included one to the cancer history clinic and my penultimate Herceptin appointment.

The cancer history lady wrote down as much as I could remember about any cancers in the family going back two generations. For each person with relevant cancer I’m “awarded” a certain number of points according to their age of diagnosis etc. These are totted up to give a picture of the risk factor in my genealogy, the higher the number of points, the greater the risk of course.

Cancer family historyMy Mum had breast cancer aged 46 for which I’m awarded lots of points as this is unusually young! She is still hale and hearty, but this didn’t seem to knock points off.

Two of my mum’s cousins also had breast cancer but not til in their 70’s so they weren’t considered very points worthy. In the end she calculated that I was borderline for being deemed a possible candidate for BRCA screening.

Odd how instead of being relieved I felt uneasy… as though this had merely increased the uncertainty.

What were the implications for my lovely Milly?

Well she’s now just in the Higher risk group but apparently she really shouldn’t need to do anything about this until she’s in her mid thirties, when she should probably start to have regular check ups.

However … The thing is, none of this means much really! Six years ago, spurred on by my mother’s cancer and having found a lump (that turned out to be nothing) I went to a similar Cancer family history session to be told I had no greater risk than the next person, and left feeling wey hey, pheweeee.

Well obviously in my case unfortunately the next person obviously had cancer because here I am sitting here six years on with my implant, typing away about my breast cancer. SO nothing is straight forward and actually was there any point in me taking two buses and getting slightly lost in deepest Brixton in order to be told not very much … not sure really.

The Herceptin appointment found me marvelling yet again at how nice all the staff are, and how rather unbelievably I’m going to miss my three weekly visits to the chemo ward.

BiscuitsIt seems the done thing is to take tins of biscuits and big cards to say thank you. The reception desk is always piled up with various tins and packets of goodies.

I’ve been humming and haaing over this, I think I’m going to take a couple of boxes of Aldi’s chocolate Florentines which are yummy but also, and this is where I’m angsting away,  I might do a picture. A tree full of birds some of which will be carrying small messages of thanks in their beaks. Am riddled with doubt about whether they’ll think “Oh no what on earth do we do with this? Why couldn’t she just have made it 3 boxes of Florentines instead?".

Birds in treesIt's just, and I know this sounds snotty…. With only a couple of exceptions the stuff on the walls in the chemo ward is SOOOOOO bland and boring (if I have to gaze at the big blue fox glove for one more session I might scream) that honestly ANYTHING would be better.

I’m going to make the birds very colourful using bits of old fabric so at the very least it should look jolly and uplifting. Of course there are probably rules about what they can put up on the walls in hospitals …. but (with luck ) I wont be there to see that it just gets binned after a few days.

Any how, best get working on it as I’ve now got under two weeks til my last sesh.Golden leaves

The second half of half term I went North with one friend from college days to stay with a second friend who lives near Leeds. We did our Art foundation together about 500 years ago at St Martins.

Yorkshire walksIt was three days of really nice company, very beautiful Autumnal walks and lots of indulgent home cooking (thank you dear J) along with (of course)much deep and meaningless chat.

Very nice to be walking through drifts of golden leaves or picking our way round clumps of burnished bracken and gazing at views whilst thrashing out various problems and catching up on each other's lives.

Feel completely rejuvenated and set up for the next few months. Aren’t girl friends brilliant!