Tomorrow is another day, and another treatment

Time: 10am, Wednesday 6th February 2013.

Place: Oakhaven Hospice, Lymington, Hampshire

Treatment: intravenous Zoledronic Acid, aka Zometa, aka Zoledronate.

Duration: usually about 45 mins in all including having a cannula inserted and removed, saline before and after the 15 mins it takes to transfuse the medication.

Preparation: drink LOTS of water

After care: drink LOTS of water

Side effects: the first time I ached so badly I didn’t know what to do with myself so I went home from work and went to bed and ‘slept if off’.  Got them to put it through much slower, about 45 mins, the next time and can now have it in the standard 15 mins.  Also, making sure I drink a lot helps to flush out the kidneys and the body, because ZA can be hard on the kidneys and mine weren’t perfect to start with thanks to kidney stones.

Ways to mitigate the side effects, other than drinking a log of water: I like to use visualisation and meditation to guide the meds to the parts of my body that really need it.  The only other time I have had a bad reaction to the ZA was on one occasion when I was very upset and was crying and wasn’t able to allow the meds into my body.  Being relaxed is important to me because I believe that the more you resist a treatment the worse the side effects will be.  I like to work with the meds and lull the cancer cells into a false sense of security and then whip the carpet from underneath them.

For me, the way that I approach a treatment is important.  I could never say that I look forward to it, but I do accept it as a part of my life and my strategy to outsmart the cancer, as well as putting it in its place again.  Cancer and I co-exist with equanimity and although I accept its place in my life it is on my terms.  At the moment it is staying in its place and my job is to see that it stays there for as long as possible.  Five years after my Metastatic Breast Cancer diagnosis I think the ‘we’ are doing nicely.

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