The Worst Part of My Mum’s Cancer Treatment

You might not know this, as I haven’t really mentioned it much in my blog, but when I was 13/14, my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. Actually, at the time she got diagnosed, I had just started at a new school, so I had to deal with that, my own mental health & social issues, and this at the same time. It was very hard to make friends when you’re constantly worrying about your mum. I did make friends but not very quickly or easily and they were hard to find. I’m lucky I found them eventually but, as I said, I did struggle a lot as well, especially considering I can’t make friends very easily anyway!

She was actually getting a mammogram for a problem she had in her other breast. She felt so lucky that she had that problem in her other breast because it might not have been diagnosed so early if she hadn’t had that. Like I said, it was diagnosed pretty early, which was good, but obviously I still worried a lot about her. At first, they thought she would need radiotherapy, but then they changed their mind, which was good. She instead had to have a number of operations and is still having operations at the moment. A lot of them got delayed due to skin infections, which has been very annoying for her!

But none of that is the worst part of her cancer treatment: the worst part was hormone therapy. This is the drug prescribed to stop the cancer coming back. The side effects are terrible and my mum said they were “like a toned-down version of chemotherapy.” She’s very happy that she never had to endure chemotherapy or radiotherapy, but she’s still suffering a lot. Her hair is in poor condition, she’s had joint pains, tiredness, rashes, and lots of other side effects that really affect her quality of life.

She’s been on the drug Tamoxifen for three years-ish and she’s decided to come off it. It is recommended to be used for at least five years but she just can’t deal with the side effects any longer, and I agree with her decision. She’s been a completely different person since being on the drug. Her mood has been down a lot. I just want her to be happy again — and I feel that coming off of this drug will do that for her. The drug doesn’t even guarantee that the cancer won’t reoccur so, in her opinion, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. I really hope that she can come off of it soon and finally feel like her old self again!

Lia

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