Do you need adjuvant blogtherapy for breast cancer?

empty my mind‘Adjuvant?’ I hear you say. Eh? In this context it is the additional treatments that follow after surgery such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone and targeted therapies.

“Adjuvant therapy: Treatment that is given in addition to the primary (initial) treatment.

Adjuvant treatment is an addition designed to help reach the ultimate goal. Adjuvant therapy for cancer usually refers to surgery followed by chemo- or radiotherapy to help decrease the risk of the cancer recurring (coming back).

In Latin “adjuvans” means to help and, particularly, to help reach a goal.”

It was a new word to me and I suspect new for many of you too, unless you are part of my new community of cancer patients and then this will be old hat. We learn fast in this space as new words are added to our lexicon daily alongside countless acronyms and medicspeak. I’m now bi-lingual in some ways.

Just to bring you up to speed with my goings on. A busy weekend was preceded by a lovely email from Breast Cancer Care telling me that I had been published as a Guest Blogger on their site. They’d asked me to write about blogging as therapy and here’s my homework in response to that challenge.

I genuinely feel that all of you reading this (thank you kindly) are helping me as an additional adjuvant therapy; that known as ‘blogtherapy’. I feel that medicine has physical and emotional connections, as I know many of you do. A healthy mind supports physical healing. For me, writing has always been a joy and I like the connections that it creates with known and unknown readers. In today’s world everyone can be a journalist of some sort. We can all publish, tweet and post our views, opinions and cute pictures of pets in an instant into the public domain.



*Permitted because it's my own 'grandson' Neville (+Ben)
*Permitted because it’s my own ‘grandson’ Neville (+Ben)

With so much public information available the words of experts are enhanced, supplemented or adjuvanted and that can be a good thing. It can of course also be overwhelming and not so great. We’ve all had to learn to filter more and search for reliable sources rather than simply accepting the first flush of material that comes our way. So how does a blog stand up to such scrutiny? Simply because at the outset it’s clear that the words and thoughts contained within are those of the ‘owner’ of that blog, nothing more nothing less.

As I said in the Guest Blogger piece I’ve found that capturing my thoughts and reactions in a blog format has worked for me, it’s certainly enhanced and complimented my physical therapies and interventions and I hope it will continue to do so in the future. I know that it’s helped some of you too and that’s so comforting to me. We may well need your support when the combined adjuvant therapies of hormone and radiotherapy kick in! Gawd help us.

Talking of hormone therapy, I’m heading to the Doc today to receive my first prescription for Tamoxifen. Not sure why but Steve suggested I ask if they could start me on half dosage. To be fair that was at the end of yesterday which was an extremely tired culmination of a busy weekend with much socialising and on Sunday 7 hours of washing up, making sandwiches, creating cream teas and general publicising of our efforts to make the lives of Gambian families that little bit healthier by raising money for clean water and treated malaria nets and focusing on their sustainable future by adding funds to provide early education. Together with the team we raised £2005.00 by providing Teas for Tourists at Avebury Stone Circle which was an increase on last year.

A funny slip of the tongue by one of the group suggested that we were doing Tit’s for Tourists and we couldn’t help but wonder whether we’d have exceeded that target…………

After my appointment today I then head to my Look Good Feel Better course for the afternoon. For some reason I feel really apprehensive about it, not sure why. I sense that it’s because I’ve not actively spent time with other cancer patients to date and the focus will clearly be on the physical and psychological effects of the disease in its many forms. However it may well help heal places I didn’t know were sore.

So to help you see the effects of this wonderfully supportive process, here’s my ‘before’ picture sharing what I feel about breast cancer. I’ll update after the makeover. TTFN.

RA before


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