On 20 January, I tried to twist a lid off a new jar of jam to no avail. Yesterday, I lifted my boat off its rack and had a mini outing. I only did one little loop of our lower stretch and that was about all my arm could take. I started to have a sensation that seemed a precursor to grip issues, and as I didn’t fancy a swim in the Thames, I opted to go back in. The water, day and company were perfect, so all in all the outing was a success.
I had more or less put the cancer out of my mind until yesterday. The sense of progress put it back in my head because that progress will again be wrecked by the radiotherapy, which quite frankly sounds awful. A friend I made during the first weeks of all this has started hers and she’s not selling it. I had to wonder how necessary it even is. A quick search suggested that without it there is a marked effect on survival rates. I saw one figure saying there was a 40% chance of recurrence without it and another table that showed a 20% drop in longer term survival rates. To be honest, I don’t really know what I think of those odds, but it doesn’t matter because there is not a lot of evidence around it anyway, as most women don’t refuse it, so my feeling is that no one really knows the answer to that.
Regarding Tamoxifen, I am also in a state. I am not getting chemo (and happy about that) because for someone like me the benefit to the overall survival rate is too small for the risk – 2% in the short-term (5 years) and 4.5% improvement in the long-term (10 years). However, with Tamoxifen, the stats are 2.4% and 5.5%……so I am wondering why I should take a drug like that for 10 YEARS! I guess I shall have to ask that question as it is REALLY bothering me. My impression, or worry, is that the Tamoxifen will largely wreck the quality of my life as I want to live it.
I HATE THIS and I feel like no one really knows much about this stupid disease.