Hi everyone, I've been lurking on the edges for a few weeks now, but decided to bite the bullet and plunge right in...mixing metaphors, sorry. This is a bit long, hope you can stay awake.
I had surgery five weeks ago to remove a massive (28cm) honeydew melon sized ovarian tumour (melonectomy?), which turned out to be very nasty -Clear Cell Carcinoma grade 3a - not entirely sure what this means and not sure I want to know. It's been slowly feeding off me since 2014 but that's another story. They discovered wide spread endemetriosis so everything was stuck together. They removed my cancer riddled uterus, ovaries, tubes and accidentally cut my ureter and had to call in the urology consultant to put in a stent. Then they found a huge hernia near my belly button so had to call in the hernia bod, who fixed it up. The omentum had got stuck inside the hernia. I'd though my melon was trying to escape through my belly button. Omentum removed and cancer found there too. Six and a half hours later...
To cut a long story short I am home and recovering well from the surgery. And then today happened.
Went in for first chemo and it was a nightmare as I had a very severe allergic reaction to the paclitaxel. I was supposed to have three hours of that then an hour of carboplatin. But literally within seconds of them opening the drip I couldn't breathe, chest tightened, terrible pulsating pain in face and back and the world turned a strange orange-beige colour. The nurses were amazing and leaped into action instantly. They said my staying very calm throughout made a huge difference. Yay me! (gotta see the positive, don't I?) So Plan B. They called my oncologist who wanted them to 're-challenge' very slowly, but they said my reaction was so severe they weren't happy to try again - I was at a satellite unit in Bristol.
The oncologist will call me and Plan B is for me to go into the Oncology Unit in Bristol after a few days of oral steroids, which should help, and then to try again with a very very slow drip. They're better equipped at the hospital if it happens again. This wasn't part of the plan. I was determined to sail through without any problems. EISH - as they say in the land of my birth, South Africa.
Obviously they stopped everything and after a couple of hours of observation was able to come home. I feel like I've been hit through the face with a wet kipper. And a cricket bat. By a woolly mammoth. But had a good sleep. Now I have to wait for the experts to call and take it from there. A bit of a delay to treatment but they assured me the oncologists have a whole lot of other options, so all is not lost. And I had my hair cut really short last night to lessen the trauma of hair loss. I look like a four year old boy on his first day at big school.
I'd love to hear from anyone who had the same experience and any positive stories about all this palaver. I'm delighted to be part of such a great community.
I'm a writer, so have started a blog as a way of getting the junk out of my head. Maybe it can encourage someone else. themelonandme.wordpress.com/
I'm looking forward to getting to know you all.