This afternoon I met with my lung consultant, Dr Popat (!) and came out of the appointment feeling a lot confused after a heck of a lot of big medical words. Despite being told that I'll either be starting chemo this week or next week, it now turns out there'll be a bit of a delay, which is annoying as I was psyching myself up to start chemo soon. Dr Popat explained that because I fit into a certain category as a young, non-smoking woman, it's possible that my cancer growth has abnormal genes. If I am an abnormal person (i'm sure Ally will be delighted to have this officially confirmed!) then there is a drug called Iressa which can be taken orally as a tablet and it might be able to 'switch off' the cancer growth, which sounds pretty good and might be a more preferable alternative to chemo. So in 2 weeks I'll find out whether I qualify as abnormal, and maybe I'll start Iressa action. Otherwise Dr Popat will go ahead with chemo. Macmillan have a few more details about how Iressa works:
"On the surface of many types of cancer cell are structures known as epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs). The receptors allow epidermal growth factor (a protein present in the body) to attach to them. When the epidermal growth factor (EGF) attaches to the receptor, it causes an enzyme called tyrosine kinase (TK) to trigger chemical processes inside the cell to make it grow and divide.
Iressa® attaches itself to the EGF receptor on the cell and prevents the receptor from being activated. This stops the cells from dividing. Iressa® therefore has the potential to stop the cancer cells from growing. It works in a different way from both chemotherapy and hormonal therapy."
So there are still some big decisions to be made about my treatment and I have another 2 weeks of waiting ahead of me. I feel nervous about my symptoms getting worse, I feel upset at the thought of having treatment so close to Christmas and I feel frustrated and helpless that we can't start fighting the cancer now.
Saying that, the next fortnight would probably be a good time to look into complementary therapies like massage, acupuncture and meditation. Hopefully when the time does eventually come for treatment I'll be more mentally prepared to find a happy place and any recommendations in this area would be much appreciated!
Finally I just wanted to thank everyone for all your fab comments on my blog...I'm really getting a lot personally out of using this creative space and I hope you'll stay with me on this long, eventful journey and you continue to enjoy what you read! xxx
- Sophie passed away on Monday 14 December but this blog was very important to her in her last few weeks. We will add the last few things she wanted to post so please do continue to read and comment in her memory. --------------------------------------------------------------------- On Wednesday 25 November 2009 I was diagnosed with cancer. This blog shares my stories, thoughts and fears about treatment and my hopes for the future.