Not a Veg Box Wrap Up – Week 7

Veg box fail.

We used some potatoes and ate some fruit this week but that is it. I have not been eating proper food due to my horrendous mouth situation following chemotherapy. Oral thrush is as rancid as it sounds.

So no update this week, sorry. I meant to cancel todays box as well but I forgot. I did get some new medicine for my mouth today though so maybe at some point I will want to eat again and we will use some of the ingredients.

I can’t really be bothered with anything anyway to be honest. Hit a wall which is a bit of a worry considering I have another two and a bit months of chemotherapy to go… and then another year or so of being hacked away at by surgeons.

Have been thinking about it a lot today and realised that I don’t even believe any of this – the chemotherapy or surgery – is going to work. I’m not entirely sure why I’m bothering.

I know that actually my initial diagnosis could be worse. For reference – the ‘grade’ of my cancer is the worst, most aggressive it can be, but I have no lymph node involvement which is a good thing. I also believe I have no vascular invasion and the area of invasive cancer that was removed is relatively small. Clearly I should be happy about this but the thing is – I am massively on the wrong side of all statistics by getting breast cancer at age 32 in the first place (well – younger than that really, that’s just when I found out). Once you are on the wrong side of statistics it becomes very difficult to get enthusiastic about percentage chances of survival and suchlike. For example, my oncologist might say I have an 80% chance of still being alive in five years (these are the kind of cheerful conversations you have with oncologists) … my immediate thought is given my cracking good luck so far, there is every chance I will be in the 20% of dead people. These are not my actual percentages by the way. I think I’ll keep those numbers to myself.

I appreciate this is a very negative way of thinking. I’m not really sure what to do about that. Maybe it is normal at this point in procedings to feel utterly hopeless about everything. I am doing my best to carry on as normal – going to work etc and putting on the front that everyone wants to see. It is so horrible though when you see everyone around you happily going along with their lives and all you can think is bitter thoughts. Ranging from the more superficial wanting to spit at people because they have hair and eyelashes and no stupid tube sticking out of their arm, to the more serious hatred for basically everyone you see with a pram.

The nurse at my appointment the other day did hint at whether I would like some counselling. I really don’t think it would help. The problem is that a counsellor would not be able to give me any answers.

Examples:

Is my cancer going to spread? … maybe
Is my fertility ruined? … maybe
Am I genetically predisposed to cancer? … probably
Will I live five years? … maybe
Will I die in less than five years? … maybe
Will my surgery be a ‘success’? … maybe
Am I now menopausal? … maybe
Will these hot flushes continue on tamoxifen? … probably
If I don’t die, is there any chance of me having children? … maybe
If I had IVF treatment with our frozen embryos would it make my cancer recur or spread? … maybe
Will implant surgery fail and leave me with nothing? … maybe
Is my hair going to grow back white? … probably
Am I going to have to have my ovaries removed? … maybe
If I did have kids, would I pass this cancer curse on? … maybe
Will my partner be repulsed by me once I’ve had surgery? … maybe
Is the rest of my life going to be dominated by cancer? … maybe

… and so on.

My point is as much as everyone likes to talk about positivity, the concerns I have are valid and while I recognise that I could have positive outcomes… ‘could’ is not a reassuring word and all there is is uncertainty.

To be honest, there are some questions that there are answers to but just make me feel worse…

Will I have any sensation following surgery? … no
Would coming off tamoxifen early put me at greater risk of death? … yes
Does taking tamoxifen cause ‘sexual dysfunction’? … yes
If I follow the doctors advice will I be 39 minimum before even being able to consider having children? … yes
Does my family history suggest a genetic predisposition to cancer regardless of what the genetic test says? … yes
Does having three frozen embryos give only a very small chance of successful IVF treatment? … yes
Is it selfish to even entertain the idea of having children? … yes
Have I essentially ruined my partners chances of a happy normal life? … yes

… and so on. I’m not sure talking about these facts more is ever going to make them any better.

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