Archive for July, 2010

So many people have been so kind and left wonderful messages. I am going through the side effects at the moment but promise I will answer every single one.

I need a few days to get through this.

Meanwhile,this is the treatment I am on…this in my case is for advanced Breast Cancer.

 Write up by Macmillan:

Liposomal doxorubicin (Caelyx®, Myocet®)

Liposomal doxorubicin is a chemotherapy| drug that is given as a treatment for some types of cancer . It is most commonly used to treat ovarian cancer| and Aids-related Kaposi’s sarcoma| , but may also be used to treat advanced breast cancer| .

•Pis a chemotherapy drug. In liposomal doxorubicin the molecules of the drug are enclosed (encapsulated) in a fatty coating known as liposome. The liposome allows the doxorubicin to remain in the body for longer so that a greater amount of chemotherapy is delivered to the cancer cells, while having fewer side effects on healthy tissue.

Liposomal doxorubicin isn’t suitable for everyone who needs doxorubicin and you may find it helpful to discuss this with your cancer specialist, who will be able to advise you on whether this type of treatment is appropriate for you.

There are two liposomal doxorubicin drugs that work in slightly different ways and are used to treat different types of cancer. These are Caelyx® and Myocet®.

Caelyx® is a form of doxorubicin| that is enclosed in liposomes. It is sometimes known as pegylated doxorubicin hydrochloride (PLDH). It is used to treat:

•Advanced ovarian cancer that has come back after being treated with a platinum-based chemotherapy drug.

•Women with advanced breast cancer who have an increased risk of heart damage from other chemotherapy drugs.

•Aids-related Kaposi’s sarcoma .

Myocet® , another form of liposomal doxorubicin, is used to treat advanced (metastatic) breast cancer| in combination with another chemotherapy drug, cyclophosphamide| .

What it looks like
Liposomal doxorubicin is a light red fluid.

How it is given
Liposomal doxorubicin may be given by a drip (infusion):

•through a fine tube (cannula) placed into the vein, usually in the back of the hand

•through a fine plastic tube that is inserted under the skin into a vein near the collarbone (central line )

•into a fine tube that is inserted into a vein in the crook of your arm (PICC line ).

The Infusion usually takes 60-90 minutes.

Chemotherapy is usually given as a course of several sessions (cycles) of treatment over a few months. The length of your treatment and the number of cycles you have will depend on the type of cancer for which you are being treated. Your nurse or doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you.

Possible side effects

Each person’s reaction to chemotherapy is different. Some people have very few side effects; while others may experience more. The side effects described in this information won’t affect everyone who is given liposomal doxorubicin, and may be different if you are having more than one chemotherapy drug.

We have outlined the most common side effects and some of the less common ones, so that you can be aware of them if they occur. However, we haven’t included those that are very rare and therefore extremely unlikely to affect you. If you notice any effects which you think may be due to the drug, but which aren’t listed in this information, please discuss them with your doctor, chemotherapy nurse or pharmacist.

Lowered resistance to infection Liposomal doxorubicin can reduce the production of white blood cells by the bone marrow, making you more prone to infection| . This effect can begin seven days after treatment has been given, while your resistance to infection usually reaches its lowest point 10-14 days after chemotherapy. The number of your white blood cells will then increase steadily, and will usually have returned to normal levels before your next cycle of chemotherapy is due.

Contact your doctor or the hospital straight away if:

•your temperature goes above 38ºC (100.4ºF)

•you suddenly feel unwell (even with a normal temperature).

You will have a blood test before having more chemotherapy to make sure that your cells have recovered. Occasionally it may be necessary to delay your treatment if the number of blood cells (the blood count) is still low.

Bruising or bleeding Liposomal doxorubicin can reduce the production of platelets (which help the blood to clot). Let your doctor know if you have any unexplained bruising or bleeding, such as nosebleeds, blood spots or rashes on the skin, or bleeding gums.

Anaemia (low number of red blood cells) While having treatment with liposomal doxorubicin you may become anaemic. This may make you feel tired| and breathless| . Let your doctor or nurse know if these symptoms are a problem.

Sore mouth and ulcers Your mouth may become sore| , or you may notice small ulcers during this treatment. Drinking plenty of fluids, and cleaning your teeth regularly and gently with a soft toothbrush, can help to reduce the risk of this happening. Tell your nurse or doctor if you have any of these problems, as special mouthwashes and medicine to prevent or clear any mouth infection can be prescribed.

Taste changes You may notice that your food tastes different. Normal taste usually comes back after the treatment finishes.

Skin changes Your skin may darken, due to excess production of pigment. This usually returns to normal a few months after the treatment has finished.

Areas of skin that have previously been treated with radiotherapy may become sensitive again while you are being treated with liposomal doxorubicin.

Soreness and redness of the palms of the hands and soles of the feet If you are being treated with Caelyx, you may develop red palms and soles of the feet, sometimes referred to as palmar plantar, or hand and foot syndrome. This effect can begin after two or three cycles of treatment, but is temporary. It will usually begin to improve within 1-2 weeks after the treatment is finished. You may be prescribed vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), which can help to reduce this.

It can also help to keep your hands and feet cool and to avoid tight fitting clothing, such as socks, shoes and gloves. Palmar plantar is unlikely to happen if you are being treated with Myocet.

Hot flushes or backache Some people have hot flushes or backache when the drug is being given.

Sensitivity to the sun While you are having liposomal doxorubicin, and for several months afterwards, you will be more sensitive to the sun and your skin may burn more easily than normal. You can still go out in the sun, but always wear a high protection factor suncream and protective clothing.

Discoloured urine Your urine may become a red/orange colour. This may last for a few hours after having liposomal doxorubicin and is due to the colour of the drug. It is quite normal.

Fever, chills and allergic reactions Back pain, breathlessness, headaches and swelling of the face may occur from the time the drug is given. If you do develop these symptoms the infusion may be stopped and re-started at a slower rate. Your doctor may prescribe a drug that can reduce these side effects and which can be given before your next treatments.

Tiredness and feeling weak It is important to allow yourself plenty of time to rest.

Less common side effects

Feeling sick (nausea) and being sick (vomiting) If you do feel sick this may begin a few hours after the treatment is given and last for up to a day. Your doctor can prescribe very effective anti-sickness (anti-emetic) drugs to prevent, or greatly reduce, nausea and vomiting| .

If the sickness is not controlled, or continues, tell your doctor; they can prescribe other anti-sickness drugs which may be more effective. Some anti-sickness drugs can cause constipation. Let your doctor or nurse know if this is a problem.

Changes in the way your heart works Liposomal doxorubicin can affect how the heart works. The effect on the heart depends on the dose given. It is very unusual for the heart to be affected by standard doses of this treatment. If affected the heart normally goes back to normal once the chemotherapy is finished. Tests to see how your heart is working may sometimes be carried out before the drug is given.

Hair loss

This is more likely to occur if you are being treated with Myocet than Caelyx, although it can happen with both. It usually starts 2-4 weeks after the first dose of liposomal doxorubicin, although it may occur earlier. Your hair may just thin but could fall out completely, although this is rare. You may also have thinning and loss of eyelashes, eyebrows and other body hair. Hair loss| is temporary and your hair will start to regrow once the treatment ends.

Injection site If you notice any stinging or burning around the vein while the drug is being given, or any leakage of fluid from the cannula site it is very important that you tell the doctor or nurse.

If the area around the injection site becomes red or swollen you should either tell the doctor on the ward or, if you are at home you should ring the clinic or ward and ask to speak to the doctor or nurse.

Risk of blood clots Cancer can increase your risk of developing a blood clot (thrombosis), and having chemotherapy may increase this risk further. A blood clot may cause symptoms such as pain, redness and swelling in a leg, or breathlessness and chest pain. Blood clots can be very serious so it is important to tell your doctor straightaway if you have any of these symptoms. However, most clots can usually be successfully treated with drugs to thin the blood. Your doctor or nurse can give you more information.

Other medicines Some medicines may be harmful to take when you are having chemotherapy, including those you can buy in a shop or chemist. Let your doctor know about any medicines you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs, complementary therapies and herbal drugs

Fertility Your ability to become pregnant or father a child may be affected by taking this drug. It is important to discuss fertility| with your doctor before starting treatment.

Contraception It’s not advisable to become pregnant or father a child while taking liposomal doxorubicin, as the developing foetus may be harmed. It is important to use effective contraception while taking this drug, and for at least a few months afterwards. Again, discuss this with your doctor.

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Cancer patients are suffering unnecessarily because they wrongly believe that morphine and other opioids are only used as “comfort for the dying” and as a “last resort” rather than seeing them as legitimate pain killers that can improve their quality of life.

In a study published online (Tuesday 11 December) in the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology experts in palliative care also say “the belief that opioids hasten death is widely held” amongst patients and this “has a significant impact on pain management, as patients felt that an offer of opioids signified imminent death”. Previous studies have estimated that between 40-70% of cancer patients may not have their pain properly controlled with the right medication for a variety of reasons.

Dr Colette Reid, the lead author of the study, said: “If we are to employ the range of available opioids in order to successfully manage pain caused by cancer, we must ensure that morphine does not remain inextricably linked with death. If this connection stays in place then morphine will continue to be viewed as a comfort measure for the dying rather than a means of pain control for the living.”

Dr Reid, a consultant in palliative medicine at the Gloucester Royal Hospital, Gloucester, UK, conducted in-depth interviews with 18 patients with metastatic cancer, aged between 55 and 82, who were asked to take part in a cancer pain management trial. She wanted to examine how patients reacted when first offered an opioid drug described as similar to morphine. Dr Reid also wanted to understand the factors that influenced patients’ decisions whether to accept or to reject morphine. The interviews were analysed along with an experienced social scientist Rachael Gooberman-Hill, and Geoffrey Hanks, professor of palliative medicine, both from the University of Bristol.

The patients interviewed were all white and half of them were women. Their views and experiences about morphine fell into four distinct but inter-related categories: anticipation of death, morphine as a last resort, the role of the professional, and no choice but to commence.

Morphine as a “last resort” was the central theme to emerge from the interviews. The authors write: “We found that patients with cancer who were offered morphine for pain relief interpreted this as a signal that their health professional thought they were dying, because opioids were interventions used only as a ‘last resort’. Because participants themselves were not ready to die, they rejected morphine and other opioids as analgesics, despite the pain experienced as a consequence. Participants’ descriptions of the role of professionals indicated that patients value professionals’ confidence in opioids. Some patients may therefore become more frightened when offered a choice, since this indicates a lack of confidence in the opioid as an analgesic.”

It could be argued that the patients’ belief that the use of morphine represented a ramping up of treatment in the face of approaching death and the associated pain is a reasonably held view, especially as most of the patients interviewed for the study have subsequently died.

However, Dr Reid said: “The World Health Organization guidelines for the management of cancer pain state that analgesic treatment choices should be based on the severity of the pain, not on prognosis. So patients at all stages of cancer could have morphine if their pain is sufficient. In reality, the patients most likely to experience pain, and likely also to have the most severe pain, are those with metastatic disease, i.e. their cancer cannot be cured. These patients may yet have many months to live, but their quality of life is adversely affected by pain, since unrelieved pain leads to social isolation, loss of role and depressed mood. This was the group of patients that we interviewed – patients with metastatic disease and life expectancy measured in months.

“The fear of these patients was that morphine suggested imminent death (and also possibly hastened death) and that once commenced would mean that they would not be able to function normally. However, morphine if used properly, can actually promote quality of life by allowing patients with pain to function better.”

Dr Reid and her colleagues say that the role of the medical professional is crucial in helping to change patients’ beliefs and attitudes towards morphine. They write that the study’s findings “highlight the importance of the professional in cancer pain management, but also how beliefs about opioids that are communicated to the relatives of the dying may have implications for the pain relief of others in the future”.

Dr Reid said: “During the interviews, patients told us that that when a professional had been confident about opioids, then this had made them feel more able to accept the possibility of taking opioid medication. However, the main source of their fears was either personal experience or stories told by others. If more patients had good experiences with morphine (and other opioids) then the stories will be more reassuring.”

She continued: “Our interviews suggested to us that the patients detected professional ambivalence towards morphine and so this heightened their fears. They also told us that professionals had worried, incorrectly, about hastening death by using morphine and had communicated this fear to relatives. We are getting better at educating medical students about opioids and pain management, but another study we are involved in at the moment suggests that there are definitely educational needs for professionals. I think the role of palliative care teams is crucial here, since we can educate both professionals and patients.”

In an accompanying editorial, Dr Marco Maltoni, head of the Palliative Care Unit, Forlì Local Health Authority and Istituto Scientifico Romagnolo per lo Studio e la Cura dei Tumori, Meldola, Italy, agrees. He writes: “Professional competence, correct communication, and a relationship based on trust are the three principle factors taken into consideration by patients when deciding whether or not to start opioid treatment.”

He concludes that the study “which originates from the birthplace of palliative care, is somewhat disturbing in the messages it conveys – extreme fear of opioids and high barriers to palliative care strategies. It suggests that a great many years of health education have not produced the results that might have been hoped for. The problem remains that a number of oncologists today still tend to reserve the use of opioids for the final stages of the disease. A vision of pain management and palliative care that is not solely linked to the end-of-life but rather seen as a positive option, in the less advanced stage of disease as well, needs to be promoted.”


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Claudia , you have friends who love you, I and they, are very concerned because we have not heard from you for sometime now.

I understand you may be going through chemo and radiation treatment and know how sick you may be feeling . But please Claudia ,let us know you are OK and also your little angel how is she?

Support as you know is HERE, right by your side.

The poster: Citric Acid…has lent me her mail address for you to contact her and she will pass your mail on.


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The shock is over , there are no more tears, the battle has begun. It would appear I did not ‘Kick Arse’ enough the first time , so will have to try a little harder.

The cancer, is still breast cancer but in the Peritoneo..it is NOT Cancer of the Peritoneo, I have been told it is very important I understand this. However, it is adavnced grade IV

It seems the cancer never went away, but was hanging around on a street corner in my body, waiting to pounce. The problem goes back to the fact after my second round of surgery ,I only had five sessions…I should have had three more ,but Oncology were afraid ,if the chemo burnt my colon again I would be in serious trouble.

I have already been opened twice in the same area and my stomach is like a washboard…even when I lean forward my stomach stays flat…I look as though I have had a tummy tuck. Stephan ,often mentions women would pay a fortune for my stomach, I look like I have a six pack without even trying.

This morning, as I entered Oncology I was greeted by nurses who said how nice it was to see me again but would have liked to see me again under more pleasant circumstances. I had not cried since Sunday and their kind words brought tears to my eyes, I brushed them away and smiled, smiling is something I have not done much of lately.

I had a choice, would I like a chair which stretches out like a bed ,or would I like a hospital bed, I chose a bed as I thought I could maybe get some sleep.

I stretched out on white crisp sheets and waited for the nurse, she was young and pretty as she arrived with my ‘cocktail’ of treatment ,I explained my veins were hard to find and asked her if she was good with my problem, she said she was…Famous last words…the needle went in and she said she thought she had the vein…tried saline, to see if she was correct and the pain as the liquid blew my arm up into the size of a tennis ball…she ran for help leaving the needle stuck in my arm.

Stephan, looking at me from the door with sweat pouring down his face, I said ‘What are you sweating about ,its me with the needle stuck in my arm?. ‘You know I can’t stand needles Dan’ he said. I smiled.

The young nurse returned with a mature nurse, once again an attempt was made ,but now in the other arm, the other needle still in place ,they tried again…no..no luck , I now had two needles sticking out from my arms while they tried again…third time lucky , they had found the vein.

Treatment could begin, Stephan returned, pulled up a chair and started to massage my feet. Chemo forgotten, I was in heaven.

The nurses in Oncology are angels and they try to make our stay there a happy one. My machine, which was feeding me the chemo, started to bleep and the nurse came in to see what was wrong…her entrance and seeing Stephan massaging my scarlet painted toe nailed feet reminded her of a joke. Nurses and doctors are full of stories about patients and the comical things that happen..she swears this is true but I have my doubts…anyway she sat on my bed and this is what she said.


When the husband finally died his wife put the usual death notice in the paper, but added that he died of gonorrhoea.
No sooner were the papers delivered when a friend of the family phoned and complained bitterly, ‘You know very well that he died of diarrhoea, not gonorrhoea.’ Replied the widow, ‘I nursed him night and day so of course I know he died of diarrhoea, but I thought it would be better for posterity to remember him as a great lover rather than the big shit he always was.’

I am still a litte bemused as to why Stephan massaging my feet would remind her of a shitty husband…but did not like to ask for fear of her response.

The morning continued with banter and jokes and I was laughing, Stephan said it was good to hear me laugh.

I have decide not to cry and not to feel sad , not even to feel anger, but to fight and I shall fight to win.

And if I lose, I know I will have given myself the best chance possible because I have the best husband and friends a woman could ever wish for and they are ALL beside me standing in the RED corner. Cancer, standing in the BLUE corner, all alone ,with an audience who hate him.

I am in a lot of pain this afternoon and for the moment refuse to take pain killers…I want to enjoy this pain, because I like to believe this is the chemo doing its job and ‘Kicking Arse’

And like Patrick Swayze, and his words from GHOST…I KNOW I will be taking the LOVE with me.

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I begged you so often, to just, go away,

But you desired my body and wanted to stay,

At first I felt good not knowing you were around,

You crept up on me, without making a sound,

Then, into my bed and dreams you haunted,

Your vicious ways, your cruelness you taunted,

I asked you PLEASE, leave me alone,

I locked all the doors but you were inside my home,

Stephan, now a third party to a marriage,

Weddings forgotten, with white horse and carriage,

Your evil it grew deep down inside of me,

I imagined your laugh and how it would be,

The pain you inflicted, I felt everyday,

Strong chemo was used to send you away,

BUT, now you are back with a smug look on your face,
You’re not yet through with me, so lets cut to the chase,

TOMORROW, I will start to fight you all over again, +

ONLY one winner, and time ,will tell when.

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Something wonderful happened today and it was through ‘People Power’.

I am so lucky to have such good friends, I really had no idea how much ,until today.

I am not a religious person but my mother was,she always used to say ‘Things always come in threes’ whether they be good or bad.

Robert will now have his operation . My other sister Susan, has phoned to tell me her son has signed the contract for his new house. I am hoping the third will be Monday and good news.

Maybe I am asking too much as I have had such good fortune today.

In between time if you wish to say a little prayer for me, I would be truly thankful.

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We ,on this blog are the first to hear the wonderful news from Roberts Dad. Robert has been scheduled for surgery Monday 2nd August 2010.

I guess this will now sound like a speech from the Oscars…but Roberts dad would like to thank first and foremost Roberts ‘Sparkly Angel’ Bren who without her help this could not and would not have happened.



Chaosraptors and Co: for inspite of all your disagreements with Bren, you gave Robert a voice and I thank you with all my heart.

Roberts father himself has thanked Bren and all us Bloggers for the amount of work and time we have spent blogging, twittering and of course bickering LOL. (although he has not got a clue who JATYK,Blondie and Rosiepops are, he thanks you deeply)

We will keep you up to date on Roberts progress…

But for now, I think we have one very special MP to write to, Andrew Turner and thank him for moving so swiftly in helping Robert.

Bless you all.

YOU, made this happen.

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I have a PET-TAC every three months. However,not ALL tumours show up on a PET-TAC, this is rare but it does happen.

Here is a step by step guide to a PET-TAC if anyone should be due this exam.

From experience, there is no pain or after effects but you must not go near children for 24 hours or pregnat women and flush the lavatory twice after each use.

A positron emission tomography (PET) scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive substance (called a tracer) to look for disease in the body.

Unlike magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans, which reveal the structure of and blood flow to and from organs, a PET scan shows how organs and tissues are working.

How the Test is Performed

The health care provider will inject a small amount of a radioactive material into one of your veins, usually on the inside of the elbow. The substance travels through the blood and collects in organs and tissues.

You’ll be asked to wait nearby as the radioactive substance is absorbed by your body. This usually takes about 1 hour.

Then, you will lie down on a table that slides into a tunnel-shaped hole in the center of the PET scanner.

The PET machine detects energy given off by the radioactive substance and changes it into 3-dimensional pictures. The images are sent to a computer, where they are displayed on a monitor for the health care provider to read.

You must lie still during the PET scan so that the machine can produce clear images. How long the test takes depends on what part of the body is being scanned.

How to Prepare for the Test

You must sign a consent form before having this test. You will be told not to eat anything for 4 – 6 hours before the PET scan, although you will be able to drink water.

Tell your health care provider if you are pregnant or think you might be pregnant.

Also tell your health care provider about any prescription and over-the-counter medicines that you are taking, because they may interfere with the test.

Be sure to mention if you have any allergies, or if you’ve had any recent imaging studies using injected dye (contrast).

During the test, you may need to wear a hospital gown. Take off any jewelry, dentures, and other metal objects because they could affect the scan results.

How the Test Will Feel

You will feel a sharp prick when the needle with the radioactive substance is inserted into your vein. You shouldn’t feel anything during the actual PET scan.

Why the Test is Performed

A PET scan can reveal the size, shape, position, and some function of organs.

This test can be used to:

Check brain function

Diagnose cancer, heart problems, and brain disorders

See how far cancer has spread

Show areas in which there is poor blood flow to the heart

Several PET scans may be taken over time to determine how well you are responding to treatment for cancer or another illness.

Normal Results

There are no problems detected in the size, shape, or position of an organ. There are no areas in which the radiotracer has abnormally collected.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Abnormal heart function

Abnormal size, shape, or position of an organ

Alzheimer’s disease

Cancer (presence and how far it has spread)

Change in organ function




The amount of radiation used in a PET scan is low. It is about the same amount of radiation as in most CT scans. Also, the radiation doesn’t last for very long in your body.

However, women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding should let their doctor know before having this test. Infants and babies developing in the womb are more sensitive to the effects of radiation because their organs are still growing.

It is possible, although very unlikely, to have an allergic reaction to the radioactive subtance. Some people have pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site.


It is possible to have false results on a PET scan. Blood sugar or insulin levels may affect the test results in people with diabetes.

Most PET scans are now performed along with a CT scan. This combination scan is called a PET/CT.

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I have my own Cancer blog and I started it to help others. I wanted it to be a place where someone may find a little peace and hope.

I wanted to reach out and show Cancer does NOT mean you are going to die, although, if cancer had his way, he would take each and everyone of us.

I have found an amazing woman who had breast cancer and fought the battle, the battle to win.

I only know her name is Jill and she had an idea. Jill explains in her blog the lonliness of going through cancer and she wanted to make a difference.

Jill decided to open a blog where all cancer victims may go to rant, to cry, to laugh, to tell their story.

I have read some of the cases on Jills blog and they make you weep, some are terminal and they talk of their fear of death, it makes me very sad.

Wolfie, has become my friend and he is going through hell, If I could, I would go to be with him right now but I cannot because of my own health problems but Wolfie knows how much I care.

Jills blog offers a lifeline and within moments of joining I had friends and fellow supporters.

If there is anyone out there suffering from cancer, Jill offers you the chance to open your own blog, it is FREE and takes seconds to join.

So, next time if you see on Twitter ‘Blog for a Cure’ don’t just pass by but give us a little tweet.


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This is a cancer blog and will remain so.

I am however spitting nails with the ‘red tape’ used to try once more and waste time.

A young boy needs our help, Robert ,and we bloggers are doing everything in our power to help him.

Which is why I was stunned with the latest outrage.

Had Andrew read Roberts blog and looked at his photograph he would see Robert is in a wheelchair and this means Robert cannot walk.

I have taken this from Roberts blog.

Update: Red Tape on Roberts case

It seems Andrew Turner MP is unable to take action until they have Roberts consent or better still if Robert himself asks for help.

If Robert can fill in details ,sign and return a form they will take action straight away.

I am astounded, the photographs of Robert are clear to see, Roberts condition posted on his blog.

Does it look like Robert can up and jump and post his details?

Robert can say a few words but is unable to ask for help himself.

Robert cannot write therefore unable to sign his name.

Roberts thumb print IS his signature.

This has all now been explained to Mr.Turners secretary by Roberts father who has given his permission for Mr.Turner to investigate Roberts case.

But is it enough? Time will tell , updates here and on Roberts blog . Let us see if we really have voted for change and how important IS a childs life to this Goverment who promised so much.

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