Polly's pages (aka 'Donna Williams')

Ever the arty Autie

The World’s Greatest Shave – a post chemo perspective


Donna's chemo by Chris Samuel

In The World’s Greatest Shave people shave off all their hair in support of those doing chemo. Read the rest of this entry »

Statistically speaking – breast cancer and me


Whilst we all hear the rate of breast cancer is increasing and is one in 8 women, I was surprised to read this:

The risk ratio that we all hear about — that one in eight women get breast cancer — is for women over 90 years of age. The rate for women in their 50’s is more like one in 50.

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Life on Mars – (a breast cancer journey with chemotherapy)


Please know that every person’s journey with chemo is different. For some its a doddle, for others its a war, for others its a spiritual journey or any combination thereof. Every person’s body responds differently to chemo, you can go into it and get rid of arthritis instead of finding it exacerbated, you can find life long conditions suddenly amplified, you can find you get the extended warranty/expiry date you’re looking for, or you can find its a real tough road on the way out. I’m doing adjuvant chemo, 4 lots of 3 week cycles for breast cancer. I have a life long history of immune and autoimmune dysfunction, a history of brain injury effecting my autonomic nervous system, a daunting family cancer history on one side and inbreeding on the other. I am doing my journey as someone with Autism and DID and I bring all that to the table. With cancer there is no ‘Mary Bloggs’. Every person’s body and brain, personality, environment, baggage and support, identity/identities and orientation, hopes and pessimism come to the table. I wish any of you well on your own journies with cancer or supporting those with it. Here’s the chemo part of my journey. Read the rest of this entry »

Mars, Mork, Kimba and Chemo


Galactic Mind by Donna Williams

Galactic Mind by Donna Williams

I’m not scared of going to Mars at the Day Ward tomorrow.
It’s only a docking station.
They will inject me with an IV and drug me for 3 hrs whilst I take my trip to Mars… sort of like Mork Read the rest of this entry »

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Cancer, white cell deficiency and life on Mars


Life on Mars by Donna Williams

Life on Mars by Donna Williams

I have my schedule now and chemo starts on Thursday. I’m starting on steroids tomorrow to counter any autoimmune chaos and even better, guess who surprised us all by having a NORMAL white cell count!!! Yup, it was in the normal range. I haven’t seen a normal white cell count since 2009 when the immune deficiencies stopped being nicely in remission and came back and bit my bum. So finally, something good happened! Read the rest of this entry »

My Cancer Quotes


Cancer is a guest, it walks into the room and changes the whole milieu. It can turn life into a pity part, a battle, a comedy sketch, a medical parade. Read the rest of this entry »

Facing up to chemotherapy


Bottom line, the oncologist felt, statistically, in the case of my size and type of tumor and my age of onset etc, that without chemo followed by hormone therapy, that I had a 25% chance of dying from recurrence within the next 15 years. He felt that statistically chemo followed by hormone therapy would reduce that chance to 10%. This was based on this occurring in someone without my immune deficiencies, meaning the prognosis would perhaps be even tougher in that context if I don’t do chemo followed by hormone therapy. Read the rest of this entry »

Chemotherapy, immune deficiency and choices


Ok, scenario, you had a breast cancer tumor. It was 3cm. They removed it. The sentinel lymph node showed no cancer but was ‘benign with reactive changes’. But when breast cancer tumors are 3cm+ a clear lymph node result (ie no cancer there) has a 14% chance of being a false negative. Plus cancer can travel through the lymph node without embedding there and cancer cells can float away from the tumor, off into the lymph only to later embed in other body parts; lung, liver, bowel, bone. Read the rest of this entry »

Getting off ya tits – my experience with mastectomy


My breast cancer tumor was thought to be 2.2cm. Scans showed no cancer in the lymph nodes. The doc understood I lived with immune deficiencies, that my family had an extremely high cancer rate and that I was nervous of how taxing radiation or chemo would be. I knew I didn’t care about cleavage, that I’d invested my life in my personality, not my breasts. Read the rest of this entry »

Nothing Comedic about Comedocarcinoma


Melodica My breast cancer should have been “in situ”, meaning contained and non invasive. After all comedocarcinoma is usually not invasive. But seems there are cases where usually in-situ breast cancer does become invasive. And if its going to do that, Comedocarcinoma cells move fast. Read the rest of this entry »

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