A quick post about the treatment that I am on

11/6/20232 min read

One thing that people always want to know is what treatment I am on. With primary breast cancer the aim is to cure. Secondary breast cancer is incurable but fortunately it is treatable.

When the cancer has metastasised (spread to other areas of the body) the aim is to stabilise the disease and to prevent it from spreading any further for as long as possible. I am on my first line on treatment - so far my disease is stable, in fact some of my mets (small deposits of cancer cells) have shrunk in size, including the Mothership tumour in my breast. Shrinking is wonderful but as long as the cancer isn’t growing then this is good! Eventually my first line of treatment will stop working and I will be moved onto a different treatment regime - my second line of treatment. One day this will stop working so we will move on to something else.

This delightful javelin sized needle is Zoladex. It is injected into my tummy every 4 weeks. When I say “injected”, I mean stabbed - it’s massive! At the same time I also have an injection of Denosumab which is a bone strengthening injection, this goes in my tummy too. The Zoladex shuts down my ovaries and has thrown me into the menopause

My cancer is hormone positive, which means that it feeds off the hormones in my body. So to stop the cancer growing we stop the hormones. The menopause sucks and is one the hardest part of my diagnosis at the moment (emotions aside).

I also take a hormone blocker called Letrozole which also stops hormones being produced in my body. It is a teeny tiny orange tablet but it’s a powerful bugger and, for now, is stopping the cancer in its tracks. The worst side effect from this drug is joint pain and this has been getting progressively worse. My knees creak and hurt, my wrists are weak and sore, my fingers have started hurting recently and my feet are painful too. Essentially, the Letrozole has turned me into a moaning old lady!

Finally, the chemo! Technically it isn’t chemotherapy and it is a “targeted therapy” but that’s splitting hairs (literally! I haven’t lost my hair but it’s thinned and I randomly lost all the hair on my arms for a couple of months). This drug is like PacMan and rampages around my body mopping up any cancer cells it finds in its path. It’s incredible! I take it in monthly cycles - 3 weeks on and 1 week off. 3 tablets a day.

I am coping well on treatment and feel very fortunate in that respect. I am taking a lot of additional medications to help combat side effects but I shouldn’t grumble.