5 years ago

6 May

On a day like this 5 years ago it was a Wednesday not a Tuesday. I was probably drinking coffee not an oat milk chai. I was living in London, not Barcelona. And I was going for an appointment at the hospital not to work, unlike today. 5 years ago, in a small room in hospital in East London, Ms. C broke the news that I had indeed breast cancer. I was there with Nick, my ex-boyfriend and Fausto, my best friend. The breast cancer nurse, whose name scapes me now, was present too.

A few months ago, I was going through papers and found the letter that Ms. C sent to my doctor, the general practitioner I went to first so she could have a look at THE lump. This is what she wrote…

“Dear Dr. D

I saw Ms Panades today after our brest multidisciplinary team meeting this morning.

Unfortunately I had to give her the bad news that the lump in the left breast is confirmed as breast cancer – C5 with malignant cells on cytology and core biposy grade III infiltrating ductal carcinoma- The axilla lymph node looked abnormal on ultrasound scan and the cytology report confirmed metastatic involvement (C5).

At the present moment the lump is about two-cm clinically and on ultrasonographic measurements. She is young with relatively dense breasts and we wait MRI scan for a more accurate measurement and to see whether any other focus elsewhere.

Because of the C5 grade in metastatic lymph node, I have arranged staging investigations – including bone scan and CT chest/abdomen – which will be done this coming Friday (8th= and Monday (11th). We will then re discuss staging investigation and MRI result in the next breast multidisciplinary team meeting (13th) and Ms P will be see in clinic that afternoon. Temporarily, we may be able to five her a space on out operative day 21st May.

Ms P asked that if it is only a two-cm grade III cancer with modal involvement what treatment? We would be able to offer breast conservation surgery with axillary clearance- As it is a grade II node positive cancer and she is relatively young chemo/radiotherapy would be required but we will await hormonal and Herceptin status o see whether she is suitable dor adkvant ormonal or Heceptin therapies. He wanted to discuss fertility issue so I will refer her to our gynecologist.

Ms P is still in a dilemma about what to do and whether to have the treatment in London or Barcelona. She has just split with her partner who she used to live with several years, her parents undergoing divorce with the house up for sale and, unfortunately, her grandmother has just passed away. Presently, her employer may not allow paid sick leave but she will sort this out and let us know o her social circumstances next week. On further questioning, shy says one of her aunts (?) likely womb cancer in her forties and her brother testicular cancer and treatment at the age of thirty-two. There is no breast cancer or definitive ovarian cancer otherwise.

Ms Panades is still relatively young and may think about genetic testing. However, at this current stage, there is too much on board for her and she want to concentrate on the cancer treatment first-

I will keep you informed of the outcome from our next MDM discussion and management.

Yours sincerely,

Ms C.”

I am happy that 5 years on I am still here to read this letter, to realise how much good has happened since then and to look forward to the time ahead of me.

Yours sincerely,

Ms Panades


10 Responses to “5 years ago”

  1. yvetye May 6, 2014 at 9:14 am #

    Ídola! Te queremos mucho y estamos muy contentos de verte tan feliz.mil besos!

  2. Dunia May 6, 2014 at 9:31 am #

    Bravo, Rosa! Aquest blog és una fantàstica idea perquè tots ens fem a la idea del que és la malaltia que has deixat enrera. Em sembla novedós el fet de penjar la carta que et va informar de la notícia. Seguiré de prop els posts que vagis penjant! i… felicitats per aquests 5 anys de recuperació!

  3. Anne-Marie May 12, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    Hi Rosa,

    Think you so much voor sharing your experiences with us! Last february i was diagnosed with bc at the age of 40. My world is turned up side down from then. I’m following chemo treatment at the moment. It’s wonderful, hopeful and inspiring to read about the way you life en enjoy your life after the diagnose. I wish you al the best in life!

    Anne-Marie (The Netherlands)

  4. Ciel May 23, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    I am always happy to read another update of yours. Your blog was the first one I found after being diagnosed two years ago. I finished treatment in January and I’m really having a rough time at the moment. Reading your posts and looking at your photos really give me hope and I hope to be there one day as well. Enjoy life, perhaps not care free, but enjoy it and be happy. Right now I’m really struggling with everything that has happened and I feel so many emotions and crap. It’s tough. But thank you for keeping us posted… it means a lot! XX

  5. Ciel May 23, 2014 at 5:17 pm #

    p.s your hair looks amazing!!!!!!

  6. Myboobsandme June 14, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

    Just wanted to say your blog and you are beautiful and inspiring and I’m 1 year out struggling and your words give me hope.
    I love that you are loving life x

  7. nomorehairfall.com October 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Happy to read your post and first time to comment i love you post and will look forward to more.

  8. Filipa February 4, 2016 at 5:17 am #

    Hi! I’ve been following your blog since my diagnose. I was wondering if you could make a post about what changes you made in your daily life after the treatment! Thanks for all the posts, really, good luck on everything 🙂

    • rosaslump March 6, 2016 at 10:57 pm #

      Hello Filipa! I am due for a new post, and that sounds like a very good idea…now let me find the time! 🙂


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