2-1- the bad boys are trying to hit back

Yesterday Alwyn and myself went for the 3rd scan to see how the chemo and herceptin has effected the cancer. Unfortunately the bad boys are trying to hit back and some of the lesions are growing again. My oncologist told me this happens quite often after 4-6 months of chemo, because the cancer is trying to grow and spread differently. There is no need of loosing hope though, we just have to react and change my treatment. Cancer is very unpredictable you never know what it does, so that’s why I am going for my scans regularly to keep an eye on it and we can adapt the treatment accordingly.

Of course we were hoping for better news, but I am thankful there are options to defeat these bad boys. I will have to go for a F.I.S.H Test. FISH is a gene-based test used to determine the number of HER2 genes in the cells of the tumor. In HER2-positive breast cancer there are too many copies of the HER2 gene, the gene is “amplified”.  I have gone for this test before, and now we need to see if there are still too many copies of HER2 gene. Depending on the result the doctors will decide which treatment I will get.

If the HER2 gene is high I would most probably get Vinoralbine + Herceptin + TKI, if it is low I will get the “red devil” (Adriamycin/Doxorubicin).  They both are stronger than the treatment I am getting right now (Pacliataxel and Herceptin). I have developed similar to Nikki, (my breast cancer buddy we have the same symptoms , she was diagnosed 8 months before me) and she went on the red devil.

The side effect suppose to be much stronger: I will probably loose my hair again, nausea, feel worn out, low blood counts etc. But then again every patient reacts differently, so I will see.

I am disappointed in the results, but I knew it is not an easy path to walk. I will have to live with these fallbacks, it surely won’t be the last one, I have to be realistic. That’s why it is even more important to live my life to the fullest and enjoy each and every single day. I do have my weak moments, cry, am angry and hurt, but that is all part of the process. And with Alwyn at my side, things are just so much easier to take and better to handle. He is dealing with it extremly well and always says: as long as I am fine, he is fine! And we share our weak moments together, we know these moments are as important as the nice ones! He is by far the most wonderful man on earth! And I am so happy to call him MINE! 😉

All in all I have been very fortunate how things have developed. Many cancer patients are much worse of then myself, i.e. incompetent doctors, suffering from side effects, little people who support and love them, financial issues etc. just to name a few of them. I haven’t had any of these problems. Especially the support factor is a big influence on my body. The lovely mails, words, sms, presents I get are just never ending. My brother even tattooed my name on his arm, the “l” beeing the pink breast cancer ribbon, and he and Andrew shaved of their heads to show sympathy for all the cancer fighters out there. It all just leaves me speechless, thankful, happy, moved…. and makes me so strong.

Two weeks ago we had a fundraising event with breastbuddies.co.za . It was a great success and so amazing to see all the support we get. It is so important to get all these ladies aware of breast cancer so they do their regular check ups! (Hope you got my message:  check your boobies tonight, ladies!)

Alrighty, once a decision has been made by the doctors I will let you know, how my treatment is going to proceed.

In the meantime, enjoy life, stay positve and keep on fighting! Life is beautiful!

Much love,



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9 Responses to 2-1- the bad boys are trying to hit back

  1. Kristina says:

    thinking of you helen!erst gestern haben wir mit sandra (frau giese:) über dich gesprochen; du bist echt beeindruckend!bleib weiter so postiv und mit dem richtigen blick für die schönen momente…

  2. Alwyn says:

    Hi my Skat. It was tough yesterday to hear what had happened but I Believe that with all your positiveness and love for life and people and with God’s power you will win this fight. you are leading and you got what it takes to be victorious We love you to bits . I will be there for you always. together with everyone we will kick those bad boys buds.
    Just believe,
    Baie lief vir jou

  3. Elly says:

    Life is beautiful indeed Helen!!! Keep on fighting. Those bad boys might be hard on you, but remember that you are HARDER!!!!
    Lots of Love from Paris
    E & M

  4. heleen says:

    Meine Liebe, ich habe keine Wörter…wär nur so gerne bei dir.
    Wir schicken dir Alle Kraft, Liebe und unendlich positive Gedanken…du bedeutest mir so viel. Ich bin so sehr stolzt auf Dich. Du bist für uns Alle einen Beispiel von wie wir die schwierige Sachen die uns im Leben passieren konfrontieren sollen… ich habe dich Lieb und denke an dich, jeden Tag.
    für immer deine Leen

    Alwyn, ek is so dankbaar dat jy aan haar sy is…dit maak dit soveel meer draaglik vir ons wat vêr is, die wete dat sy iemand by haar het wat haar ondersteun, en haar lief het. Dankie vir wat jy vir haar doen en beteken.

    baie liefde uit moz

  5. Aygül says:

    Liebste Helen, jeden Tag denke ich an dich. Hin und wieder kommt es vor, dass ich vom weiten eine dir ähnelnde Dame auf dem Bahnsteig oder sonst wo sehe und denke, dass du das bist. Du fehlst mir so sehr. Wie gern würde ich bei dir sein und dich in meine Arme nehmen. Den Satz hast du von mir schon öfter gehört: “Ich finde dich so toll!” Das meine ich vom ganzen Herzen. Ich schicke dir viel Kraft und Energie, damit du siegst und diese bad boys platt machst. Devam, devam. Fühl dich umarmt. Deine Aygüle-Gül

  6. Hypo + Janey says:

    Dear Helen, Your posting was of course a great disappointment, but your fighting spirit is humbling and we know that if anyone can beat this you can. Alwyn sounds such a wonderful person – so glad he makes you so so happy. We are both hoping and praying for you Helen. lol Janey and Hypo. xxx

  7. Lori says:

    Love and support you always ons liefste liefste helen. Jy is ons engel en inspirasie, keep being strong and have faith, the rest will fall into place. You are loved by so so so many!!! Xxx

  8. Aygül says:

    Liebste Helen, ich schicke dir ganz viel Kraft, Liebe und eine dicke fette Umarmung. Spürst du es? Du bist immer in meinen Gebeten und meinem Gedanken. Deine Aygüle-Gül

  9. Andy says:

    Hello my dearest. Thomas sent me the link to this and have just been reading all the blogs and comments. I just wish that there was more I could do than just shaving my head :-). But if there is something, PLEASE let me know. Thinking of you alot and sending you love and strength to keep going until you beat this.

    It sounds like things are going ok and soon it will be 3-1 to the Harder. Keep your head and spirits up and see this through to the end.

    Take care and hope to hear/read from you soon.

    Love and Hugs, Andyxxx

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