I had my 2nd Zoladex injection on Wednesday and got results from last week's ultrasound of the veins below my heart down to my ankles. I'd had a blood clot in my left calf two years ago when I was on Tamoxifen and now that my onco. wants to combine the previously ineffective Tamoxifen with monthly Zoladex, he wanted to monitor how the veins are handling it. It turns out that what I had thought to be sore muscles from ice skating around and around and around counterclockwise in the indoor skating rink was actually a 5cm clot in my right calf.

The soreness went away, but the clot was still visible by ultrasound last week. Knowing of my concern regarding Factor 5 Leiden (a genetic blood disorder), my onco. thought he should send me to the top hematologist in Japan for testing before prescribing warfarin etc. This means a trip with a letter of introduction to another hospital (Keio) between the cancer center and my home. I went right away, that same day, to be turned away at the reception desk for arriving 5 minutes after the 11 a.m. deadline for outpatient service.

I did learn that the "top specialist" would be on duty next Tuesday, so I'll try again then. Here's hoping that he won't need me to stay overnight for Heparin and observation....I'm wondering if taking an aspirin a day might be enough, but I guess this is something that I should let the experts look at as I really don't want a dislodged clot reaking havoc when it reaches my lungs and heart.

In my rush to get to the new hospital, I forgot to stop by the pharmacy near the Cancer Center and pick up my prescription so I had to go to 6 pharmacies near my home this morning to find one that carried the specific brand (not Nolvadex but a cheaper equivalent, which the pharmacies and doctors don't like to offer because their commissions are lower and they feel loyal to the drug companies for some reason) my doctor prescribed. What a pain in the...but good excercise, cycling around the city.

It was fun terrorizing all of these places just by walking in the door. They see blue eyes and immediately start pushing at each other to see who should attempt to help the foreigner, like penguins pushing to see which bird will jump into the freezing water first. Then two or three of the pharmacists will approach the counter together to help each other if I should suddenly say something in English. When I greet them in Japanese and explain what I need, the extras all bow and retreat to continue whatever they were up to before I graced their establishment. The next Zoladex shot will be on Feb-13, when the four hard core survivors have their elegant ladies lunch, to which I've been invited as a fifth member. Then I get a CT scan w/contrast on Feb-22 and discuss the results of that in early March to see if the Zoladex and Tamoxifen are working or if I should start Herceptin (if I can figure out how to afford it without taking food out of my children's mouths...) I really hope that the Zoladex and Tamoxifen are working for now so I don't have to make any big decisions just yet.

Anyway, I feel fine and am glad that things are calming down at home now that DH is recovering from his surgery and the kids are back in school after New Year's vacation.