Each time I have visited the oncology clinic I get weighed. I am not entirely sure why this. I know in theory it is because drugs are assessed on body mass but in reality this is not what happens. As a six foot woman I take the same amount of antibiotics or analgesics as my five foot three inch mother or the six foot three inch Captain. And sure enough, despite a steady weight gain throughout this process, my drug dose has stayed the same. Not that I am complaining. Well, not about the unchanged drug dose at any rate.
The weight gain, however, that is an entirely different matter. I have averaged a gain of two kilos per cycle. If this carries on I shall have put on twelve kilos by the end. Or nearly two stone. To put it another way, I shall be the size of a substantial dwelling. Think ship in full sail. Think barrage balloon. Think beached whale. I was not exactly thin at the start of this. The ‘comfy’ clothes I bought in preparation are no longer quite so comfy. That post chemo diet is beginning to look mighty attractive. Incidentally, I know there is little I can do about the weight gain. It is beyond my control. I am subject to appetite increasing drugs, food fads and altered taste buds which make the whole eating experience a real roller coaster. It is something I am resigned to. But I do not like it.
This is most unpleasant aspect of my visits with The Doc. This time we shared greetings from mutual friends, passed round photos of grandchildren and cracked jokes. We also got onto the serious business. He is pleased with my progress though still cringes with each side effect I describe and apologises profusely. He is thinking that post chemo, Anastrozole might not be the best option for me as I have been struggling with joint pain in this latest cycle. Of all the aromatase inhibitors, this one is the worst for joint pain so he is thinking that Letrozole might be more appropriate. And thanks to a family history of osteoporosis he might bung in a bit of Vitamin D and Calcium too. This is all good. Ideally I should avoid all of them but we both agreed that dying of breast cancer would be a far worse option so we would stick with the drugs!
After a couple of phonecalls he decided that the appointments that have finally arrived for the patch testing clinic (to screen me for allergies) need to be delayed until at least four weeks after my last chemo. I must confess to being relieved by this. The current dates are for the week commencing the 3rd October which is only 8 days after my final treatment. The thought of sitting in a hospital waiting room for three days that week was not appealing.
So that was that. I am cleared for the penultimate session. Goody.