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
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
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
Came out of surgery okay.
I was a little surprised to see a great big dressing and a drain but I have every faith in my surgeon.
when said surgeon came to see me the next morning she explained that the dressing etc was to try and curb bruising. Apparently the tumour was attached to my muscle – not sure if that is a bad thing but I don’t like the sound of it. I really don’t want to lose my muscle, it would end up with an even bigger dent than I’ve got already and I think that this little episode may have put me off having a reconstruction for a while.
I have an appointment with my consultant on Wednesday, hopefully it will be good news but I have to confess to being a tad worried. Do I feel lucky?…..
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!
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!
Last night I had a horrid night.
Let’s start from the beginning –
Since my surgery I have been wearing a very thin, soft wrap type of dressing gown. Just a short one…….but a comfy one!
Then last night I thought that perhaps I should start getting back to some sort of normality and so I sorted out my PJ’s…..yes I wear jammies!!!
There the problem started.
I can look at myself naked in the mirror and not feel too bad. I don’t like what I see but I can sort of accept that is just how I am now, it’s just how it is.
However, when I put on my jammie top (which is just a vest top really) I looked RIDICULOUS, no seriously RIDICULOUS.
I looked like a hunch back who’s hunch ‘back’ had migrated to the front! And what is really sad about this is that I preferred the side with no boob. Is that strangely weird? All those years that I could only just fill an A cup bra, and now right when I don’t want it, I am ‘brandishing’ an E cup (but only the one, you understand!!).
And the fact that I really REALLY didn’t like what I saw facing me in the mirror seems to have led on to a night of bad dreams, not surprisingly all about me having one boob and looking ridiculous. I woke up quite upset. Silly really but I was upset by it.
All of a sudden I am scared of facing my reflection, scared of spending a life looking like this. What if I had to go for a stay in hospital? Or if I had to be rescued in the middle of the night for some reason? Or when my granddaughters come for a sleepover?
That is the one that worries me most – my granddaughters. I couldn’t look like this in front of them, nor could I let my own kids see me like this…….and even worse I don’t want my husband seeing me like this.
All this worries me. I thought I was doing well, accepting it all ok……..May be not.
Yesterday our son and his young lady arrived for a weekend visit. It’s so nice to see them – it has been ages……way too long in fact.
It was nice to catch up. Hubby made us all an Indian for dinner and we went for a drink after. I enjoyed my second or third glass of wine since my mastectomy – it’s nice to be off the pain killers long enough to enjoy a glass, I’m not a great drinker you understand but I do like the occasional tipple!!
On the subject of mastectomy:
I can’t believe this but tomorrow will be six weeks down the line. In one way it seems like only yesterday and then in another way if feels like a lifetime ago. I’m getting way more used to the way I look now. Sometimes I see myself in the mirror and I think ‘what a blooming ridiculous way to look’ and then I think well actually I’m really quite lucky, things could have been a whole lot worse. Just lately I have come across two separate people that have cancer in their face. The treatments and stuff that they are going through is just horrendous, and goodness only knows what they and their families will face at the end of it all. Believe me I have got such a better deal, I can put my clothes on and no one is any the wiser. To the outside world I am just a person, nobody would know that I’ve only got one boob……..it really isn’t that bad.
My healing process is doing amazingly well. I look more ‘well’ in fact than I have done for a while – maybe the cancer did have more of an effect than I realized. My scar is good, the hardness over the muscle is still there but hopefully that will improve with time.
My scar is also very neat. Not having stitches or clips makes for a really neat finish. A tiny little thin line that is pink at the moment but of course that will fade over time. My arm movement is good too. It still pulls a little at times but all very easy to live with. The only effect I do seam to be having is a couple of little twinges down my ribs to my waist and also down the back of my arm towards my elbow. I think these are just nerves that are complaining a little, I expect it will pass with continued exercise. I am also suffering a bit with fatigue. I can go out and about for a while but then I need to rest a while before doing anything else. Again I expect this will pass.
On Wednesday this week I finally get to see the oncologist and hopefully find out what further treatments I may (or may not????) have to have. This appointment has been a long time coming. It’s not that I mind waiting for treatments but I just want to know so that I can plan things. I really can’t wait for Wednesday to come.
Well, I suppose it was bound to happen eventually! I’ve had an absolutely rubbish day.
With ‘him indoors’ back at work, and me on my own 24 – 7 I just have too much time on my own. I’m sure I could cope with the daytime if only he came home in the evening. But he doesn’t. He does ring – several times a day – but it’s not the same is it?
I’d like a little hug and hand holding.
Today, with all this me time I have thought too much and dwelt on things. I have had a bit of a ‘why me’ day and as hard as I have tried I just can’t come up with a ‘why not me’
I’m not happy, and I don’t like it.
The gaping hole between my skin and my bra has been really obvious to me for some reason today. I don’t know why today should be any different to any of the other days but it has. Every time I have looked in the mirror I have had one boob drooping to what seems like my knees (not much support in the post surgery under garment…….a lot of material but not much else!) and the other boob floating somewhere over my shoulder. Not very satisfactory. I hope my proper fake breasticle will be better and hang more like the other one. But I don’t get to find out for a few more weeks yet, I have to wait until my wound is fully healed
On the subject of healing……
My wound is mending well. It pulls in places still but generally it’s ok. The glue is starting to come off in parts which is quite weird. It flakes and catches on the lining of my bra, but at least it doesn’t hurt too much. I was told to keep the skin well moisturised but I don’t particularly like touching it. It feels so flat and hard, which of course it is, after all it is just skin and ribs (and I haven’t felt them for more years than I care to remember!!)
My cold / cough is getting worse. Honestly, I could live without that at the moment.
I’m having trouble sleeping tonight. I don’t know if it’s because I’m missing my special nurse maid (AKA husband), or if it is because I have acquired a very irritating tickly cough – I’m a bit scared of popping me stitches at times. Our if it is simply because my wound is pulling tight at every angle at once. That doesn’t feel at all comfortable. I’ve been having to rub moisturiser into it regularly and I have to say that feels really REALLY weird!
I find myself wondering how long it takes to get used to not having a boob there, to just having a dent where there was once a sticky out bit. And will my scar always be hard? Will it stay rather super sensitive to touch? Hmmm, time will tell I guess.
But the fact remains, I am shattered – after all I have had a busy day………I’ve had to make my own cups of tea and my own ‘prick and ding’ dinner……….I’m just not used to all that exercise don’t you know!!
Shattered but can’t get to sleep. How I hate when this happens. Time to try again. Xx
Remember those little niggling pains I told you about? Well they have been getting steadily worse. I don’t mean to sound like a moaning Minnie but I’m getting bored with it now!
The whole area is becoming rock hard solid and that in itself is painful. I have been told that as time goes on that hardness will soften again, apparently it’s all to do with internal dissolvable stitches and bruising etc…….all to be expected 😦
Then at each end of my scar I have hard lumps. These are apparently caused by the surgeon gathering everything up and joining the gap where bits have been removed. Again all very normal, but still bloomin’ painful !
I’m being very conscientious in doing my exercises, but blinking heck they hurt too. Most of them I can do ok but there is one where you have to put your arm out to the side and raise it against a wall to over head height. I’m finding that impossible at the moment. I can barely get it to shoulder level, and definitely can’t hold it there for 20 seconds, nor can I do the 10 reps they suggest!
Oh dear, a bit of an under achiever I feel. Never mind……there is always tomorrow!
I am looking forward to the weekend, my daughter, her husband and my two granddaughters (not to mention my ‘grand dog’ ) are all coming to stay with us for the weekend. I hope the weather stays nice for them – they love to go to the summer house at the bottom of the garden – we lose them there for hours on end.
I can’t wait to give them loads of hugs.