Tag Archives: cancer

Hospital again…..

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so, anyway…. I had a hospital appointment just a few days before going away. The news was not particularly good 😦

lets have a recap –

in January I was given those fantastic words’ you are in remission!’

By March I’d had another scan and told that I had nodules on my lungs, only tiny but they were breast cancer. The oncologist didn’t feel the need to do anything but would keep on monitoring me. I was left feeling a bit confused, not sure if it had spread, did I have secondary breast cancer? I didn’t know and no one seemed to tell me. The only thing was to have another scan, bloods etc and see him again in six months. That was, or at least seemed, a long six months.

So six months later, at the end of September, I saw the onc. The last scan showed signs of breast cancer in my bones and my liver. Yes it has spread. Now I have to have oral chemo, oh, and some bone strengthening injection that can cause something nasty to happen in my jaw! What fun!! So very quickly, before we fly off, I need to have a dental X-ray, and I have been sent home with a little folder and a thermometer!

So today it starts  for real – we got home from Spain last night and today it begins.

The horror for today, and believe me I am terrified, is the oral surgery department at the hospital for a dental check up. Most of my teeth are crowned anyway but the last couple of years, since taking arimidex, my gums have been a real problem. Something that a lot of people seem to suffer whilst taking these tablets, and also after the radiotherapy, I wonder if there is a connection?

After today, I get one day off, and then I’m off to the hospital again to start the chemo.

Not a happy bunny…..

 

 

Phew….

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okay, time has flown by again and I’m a bit behind with my posts!

last time I mentioned that I had to have some further tests done. Well these have been carried out and I have been to see the oncologist for the results….

the news was GOOD! Everything was ‘normal’ (whatever that may be!) and I actually got to hear the words ” you are in remission!”

I still have to be monitored etc but that is reassuring to me. Needless to say we did have a little celebration!! Now I just need to find where I put all my energy – I seem to have misplaced it somewhere and I really do need to find it now! X

How time flies……

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Well, I’m amazed at how the time has flown. It’s a year ago since my second battle with pesky cancer.

i had the surgery, followed by 15 sessions of radio therapy. Once again I got off light and told I didn’t need chemo.

The radio therapy was ok. It was more nuisance than anything else. Because the cancer had been so close to the middle of my chest my oncologist was worried about the normal sort of radio used for breast cancer damaging my heart and both lungs – hearing that kind of thing always makes you feel better! So he decided to do a more shallow version more commonly used for skin cancers.

My skin did burn quite bad and the E45 cream they said to use on it made it worse, but a bit of aloe vera gel did the trick

A little cooked

Recovering quite well from all of this I decided to learn how to play golf!
I joined some group lessons at our local golf course and I really enjoy it. I have even gone out in the rain to play – not like me at all. But I’m liking it soooo much I decided to get a proper membership and take the game up.

Recently I’ve been back to see the onc and get the results of my CT scan that I had done last month.
He was super pleased at how well my skin had healed, in fact you can hardly see where I had the radio therapy
My blood tests came back fine BUT – and there it is. The “but” . Blood starts running cold again.
it now seems there is a shadow in my large bowel and a shadow in my right lung. I was gob smacked. In fact, my gob had never felt so smacked. All I could think was “blink in’ heck…not again!”
Now I am waiting for a colonoscopy (what a JOY!) and a repeat CT in three months.
Rightly or wrongly I am feeling a little bit done for. Should I bother writing my Christmas list?? Will I be around long enough?? Will I get to my next birthday?? Should I bother buying a new pair of uggs?? Will I EVER get a bus pass? (I’ll be bloody annoyed if I don’t !)
More’s to the point should I get a years membership for my golf?
I’ll let you know how it goes

Here I am again……

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Just before my last post – 2 days before in fact – I had been to see my breast care team for my annual follow up. Everything was fine, no problems and was told I would be seen again next year. Phew! What a relief.

Anybody that has been in this sort of situation knows how it feels to be told by your surgeon that there is no sign of anything abnormal. Little did I know then that feeling was going to be short lived.

let me fill you in…..

About a month after seeing the consultant I felt a lump. A small lump in the same side as I had had my mastectomy.  “It can’t be anything serious ” I thought. There is nothing there to get breast cancer in. Keep an eye on it I thought.

two weeks later I thought it was getting bigger……off to the GP I go.

“Hmm,” he said “let’s be on the safe side and get the consultant to check it out”

“Hmm,” I thought ” that don’t sound too promising”

so off to the clinic I go.

One examination, one scan and one biopsy later it was confirmed…….I had cancer back.

so then the fear is, has it spread anywhere else?

a rather busy few days followed. A CT scan of head chest abdo and pelvis, , blood tests, bone scan all came back clear – except for an enlarged lymph node in my chest.

yay! Another surgery to remove the lump followed by radio this time should sort it out.

So, here I am, going in for surgery tomorrow morning.

The speed at which this has all happened is amazing (and not to mention a little scary). But there it is, that is how it goes. The positive in all this is that we caught it before it could cause any more problems.

Hopefully it will not come back again – fingers crossed x

It scared me………

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I heard somewhere once that you should do something everyday that scares you. Well today I did just that.

I’ve been struggling a bit with coming to terms with my new figure!

To be honest with you I don’t much like it at all

Problem is though it is something I’ve got to put up with for a while……so learning to accept it is high priority

so, today I took a bold step, well I think it is quite a bold brave step. For me it was.

So, I know you are wondering what this major step was that I took, I had a photo shoot with our local photographers!

She is a lovely girl and put me at my ease and yes I have had my mastectomy scar photographed! All done very tastefully of course but I feel hopeful of some nice photos!

Because I was having a  ‘nearly naked’ photo taken I couldn’t wear my bra or prosthesis to go into town…..,so that was another challenge and another fear faced.

I have to admit to feeling quite good about my bravery so I will celebrate with a nice cup of tea! Can’t wait to see my pictures now!

 

 

seems I’ve got a result…….

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Those of you that have been following me know the problems I have had with my silicone boobicle since my mastectomy. For those that are newbies to me the story so far has not been great. The good news was there was no lymph node involvement, the cancer hadn’t spread and I didn’t need chemo or radio so the mastectomy was all I needed. The downside for me has been psychological. I have had a lot of trouble finding a comfortable prosthesis that fits well and stays in place all day and looks right.

Well…….I don’t like to speak too soon………but I think I may have sorted myself out! Yay!!

I have found a Charnos underwired bra – just an ordinary one, nothing with pockets here, and a Silima prosthesis and the combo is great. For the last few days I have been trialling this and I get dressed in the morning and by the time I go to bed I haven’t had to adjust things all day…..everything is still where I put it. Bliss!

I still have some paranoia about things, slipping and migrating, but a quick peep is all it takes to realise all is well. I hope with a bit more time the paranoia will subside and I will just forget that I have a false boobicle. Looking forward to that day.

one point of note here: it’s really cold to wear first thing in the morning, I’m dreading the winter months — I’ll have to find a way to warm it up before I get dressed. 🙂

For UK followers: Just a little note about the silima prosthesis. The ladies that work there are fantastic. They don’t have a shop so it’s all done over the phone but they are so helpful. I ended with my tape measure, told them how wide across I am and they measured the prosthesis at their end. Then it’s free uk returns if the size isn’t right and they don’t mind how many times you have to change it, they just want it to be right for you. Excellent customer service and quick deliveries. Perfick!

For now, I’m a very happy bunny x

damned pyjamas………

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Before I went to sleep last night I had a little tear (or two) in my eyes. Not a major sobbing session by any means but a little ‘my eyes won’t stop leaking’ kind of thing.

And the same thing happened again this morning.

I really don’t like the new me at all.

All day long my great big bra is uncomfortable. No matter how tight I wear it, it still swizzless round – I assume it is because there is no boob in the way to stop it moving round.
I have to keep on (and on) moving it back….and that is not easy ‘cos it’s so tight.
And because it is soooo tight it gets uncomfortable uncomfortable and painful around my ribs by the end of the day

So I put my pyjamas on…..

And there we have the problem – I look ridiculous. I’ve said this before I know but it’s not getting any better.
I can’t get past this fact and that upsets me too.

I’m ever so glad that I am on anti depressants already. Goodness only knows what kind of sniveling wreck I’d be if I wasn’t on them. I guess that is what holds back the full on sobbing stuff.
Makes me wonder will I ever come off them??. And if I do what on earth will happen??. Reality will really kick in then………I’ll stay on them for a while longer me thinks!!

I feel like I should put a photo on here to prove my point. But I don’t want to offend or shock any one out there.
Oh, what the heck………think I’ll do it anyway. So please look away now if you are easily offended

Scroll down…….

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And that isn’t the worst PJ top – tight ones are worse.

I wonder if I’ll always feel like this? I do hope not.

summer ball……

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Tonight is the ‘summer ball’ (summer? Ha ha!)

It’s a black tie kind of a doo and the theme is black & white. For quite a while we didn’t know for sure if we would be able to go – it all depended on what treatment I was going to need. But all is ok and we can go.

It has caused me a few problems. All my evening dresses were bought when I had two boobs and didn’t need to wear a ‘suit of humpty back westcoats’ to hold them!

Why do bras suitable for after mastectomy need to be so big and bulky?? Chunky great big heavy straps, cups that are cut right up high into your armpit and yet still don’t hold everything in at the front,
four hooks…..yes FOUR hooks to do up at the back. None of this adds up to comfort.
I could compromise on comfort if there was confidence that my prosthesis was secure. But I don’t have that confidence. It tends to move around a bit and ends up in a heap in the middle. Something is not right.
To try and get round the ‘secure’ issue, yesterday I bought some ‘body tape for curvy girl’s!
I tried it out as soon as I got home and guess what……..I’m ALLERGIC to it!!! Darn it!!!!

Any way, I digress, back to my dress……..
Hubby and I searched the shops. Our check list was:

Wide shoulder straps
High neck
High armholes
And obviously black or white
(and preferably something that can be worn again – we are definitely not loaded!!!!)

We had a list of shops that sold such things and off we went. Into the first shop and there it was….my dress, calling to me, saying buy me.
A beautifully fitted black AND white long dress, I tried it on and Woohoo it fitted. It looked gorgeous – except for the neckline. Cut in a low vee it looked a little daft with my great big, super-deep-in-the-middle bra with a silicone boob sticking out the top of it!

But undeterred I felt sure I could sort that little problem out and Cinderella will be going to the ball.

I won’t put a picture now. But maybe tomorrow x

a lesson in being thankful…..

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Today I was feeling a teensy bit sorry for myself. I seem to be struggling more and more each day with coming to terms with only having one boob. I am having such a lot of problems with getting good fitting undergarments that don’t flash off my silicone all the time.
I’m not too sure that my prosthesis is a good fit either. It seems too wide to me and it kind of collects in a heap in the middle of my chest.
Any way, in order to cheer myself up a bit, I zipped up my hoody right up to my chin and set off to town. I thought I’d get my hair cut, that would do the trick.
I got a walk in appointment with a hairdresser I haven’t met before. A lovely girl.we were chatting away and I told her about my situation and then, just as she was about to start cutting, she threw a bombshell into the conversation……

She had suffered a brain aneurysm three years ago, she was only 29 years old at the time with two very young children, babies really.
The aneurysm caused her to have a stroke. She lost the sight in one eye, couldn’t walk or talk or do anything for herself. She was held in a coma for three months and was in hospital for several more months after that.

With sheer strength of character and determination, three years on she has made an amazing recovery. She is walking, talking and hairdressing as she did before. Her sight is still lost in one eye but you wouldn’t know. She is a true inspiration. She has fought the odds with such courage – and all I’ve got to worry about is the lack of a boob.

Shame on me for feeling such self pity…….Oh, and the haircut is great!

let’s talk prosthesis ………..

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Last night I went to my monthly support group meeting. A lovely group of ladies who have all been through,or are still going through, breast cancer and its treatments.

I have to say that compared to these brave ladies I feel a little bit like a fraud. Don’t get me wrong here, I know how very lucky I am and I feel blessed that I don’t need any chemo or radiotherapy but at the same time I feel almost like an under achiever!!! I’m not sure I ‘deserve’ my seat with these brave, strong beautiful ladies. For me, a bit of surgery and some tablets for a few years……nothing really is it?
I’m embarrassed to admit that I have struggled on more than one occasion, with coming to terms with stuff – how I look and stuff like that.
But there are ladies out there that have been through all this more than once, have been through chemo more than once, had radio and then had to go through it all again. My heart goes out to all of you ladies …. you are amazing xxx

Back to yesterday’s group meeting – we had a lady from the hospital prosthetic department come in and give us a chat.
It was really interesting. She gave us a bit of a potted history of mastectomy and prosthesis.

Mastectomy has been happening for a long time now but in the early days the ladies were left to sort themselves out, there was no aftercare or prosthesis, they were told to do without or to use cotton wool or to make a bag and fill it with bird seed.

Breast forms came about in the 1940s – they were little bags filled with kapok, not unlike the softies of today.
In the late 40’s an inflatable prosthesis came about. Quite a hard sort of plastic balloon that was blown up through a straw to get the right size! These were good from the size point of view but they had a habit of deflating ……sometimes noisily! They were also a problem for air travellers. The change in air pressure could cause the prosthesis to expand and maybe even explode!!

From there it moved on to a little bag filled with tiny glass beads. Adjustable size wise but rather hard and unpleasant.

In the 60’s the oil filled breast form arrived. These worked well as long as they didn’t leak.
The silicone breast form arrived in the mid 70’s and is improving all the time.
(If any facts or figures here are wrong, wrong please don’t blame me, I’m only going by a fact sheet I was given last night!!)

Speaking of silicone prosthesis – I got mine on Wednesday. Totes amaze-balls!! looks pretty good……even if I do say so myself!

However, I am gobsmacked at how HEAVY it is! It’s fine when being worn but if you take your bra off with it still in it is surprisingly weighty. Apparently it is supposed to be approximately the same weight as breast tissue……..so, maybe my weight gain isn’t down to my big butt after all, yay!!

Right, time for tea me thinks xx