So here is the start of the series of posts on what happened post-Hallwang.
I had an ultrasound the week after I got back from Hallwang, and it showed that the tumour had shrunk, as had the lymph nodes. I was thrilled.
However, the cancer had not been down-staged sufficiently to avoid surgery, and even though the tumour continued to shrink in the weeks to come (from just that one dose of TACE), it was still large relative to the size of my breast. And it was going to have to be a mastectomy. So it was a bit of a mixed bag of results. The main advantage of having the TACE was that the breast tissue was saturated with chemotherapeutic agents, so that during surgery, any stray cancer cells would be mopped up. And of course, the Removab antibody treatment meant that there was some protection from the cancer before and after surgery.
Prof Vogl had said that if I returned to him in 6 weeks’ time, he would shrink the tumour further. So I asked Hallwang if I should return for another TACE, but for some mysterious reason, the doctors didn’t deem it necessary and no amount of my cajoling could change their mind – perhaps they thought it was TACE overkill for an operable tumour.