Life is a rollercoaster

I thought I would write up about the emotional journey I have been on recently and what has been going on since the last surgery as I havent posted for a while.

I spent a week at Di’s and although Di was at work most of the time, leaving by 6am and back around 3:30-4pm, just knowing I had her company in the evening was a godsend, whenever I am around her, I feel happy and I enjoy myself. I can forget about stuff and just enjoy being around the person I love and admire.  She loves me for who I am, regardless of what is going on.  She has entered my life at such a vital moment in time, its spooky.

Unconditional Love

Unconditional Love

Now I am back at work I guess a sense of normality has crept back in to my world again, it’s back to getting up at 7:30, showering, walking the dog, and going to work etc. I guess we all need a sense of order in our lives and I think that’s why the whole uncertainty of the cancer process has got to me at times.   Nose to the Grindstone again 🙂

Nose to the Grindstone

Nose to the Grindstone

Yesterday I found out that my first appointment with the Oncologist is this tomorrow and that has given me a massive sense of relief, I am sure I will find out when my treatment will start and what will happen, so that element of uncertainty will be gone.  I have asked Di and Mum to come with me, as I feel that it’s important that they hear what I get told as I believe they will be the most affected, I know Di has wanted to be involved with my treatment process and this is the first time an appointment has come through that doesn’t involve any of us needing to take time off work and I feel that this is a good one for Di to be involved with as I think the Chemo is going to be the toughest part of the treatment to-date.  Surgery has felt pretty easy to cope with, the pain wasn’t major and hasn’t affected my general lifestyle apart from not being at work for the two weeks after each operation.

What has been preying on my mind a lot is what is the best thing to do when I start my chemo, how ill will I be, will I be able to see people, will I be able to look after Lily and let her out enough.  Will I feel miserable and not want to see anyone, will anyone want to come and see me?  I know a lot of it is silly things and deep down I know I will be ok, I will see people, they will come and see me and I will look after Lily, but its those thoughts that whizz around my head.

I am not scared of the actual chemo, I know I will lose my hair, that doesnt bother me.  I shaved my head before for charity so the lack of hair isnt an issue.  I guess when it happens I may feel self concious but I know when I see someone who has no hair I feel admiration to them no matter what.  I met a friend of Di’s this weekend who has had chemo and she had no hair and all I could think was how good she looked and how stylish her hat was and I hoped I could look half as good as her when my time comes.

My mum has offered that I can go and stay with her during my treatment and my best mates have as well, I feel a bit lost as to what to do, I dont really want to be too far from my friends as I know I am always out and about and going to visit people so being confined 20-30 mins away from my friends scares me.  I know that Di wishes she could look after me as well, but we both accept that staying at hers is out of the question as it is too far from the hospital and my family and friends.

Hopefully seeing the Oncologist will help answer a lot of my questions and fill that void of not knowing what is happening, when things will happen as I like to feel like I am in some form of control. Knowing when my treatment will start will be a huge help as well, so then I can start to plan for Christmas and New Year and other events.

Just bring it on, I want to get going….. I feel like I am stuck in a rut!

Stuck in a Rut - Vicar of Dibley Stylie!

Stuck in a Rut – Vicar of Dibley Stylie!

All Clear :-)

I know I havent written on here for a while, mainly because I havent really had much to say, I have been in a lot better place than I was immediately after surgery, as I did feel pretty down in the dumps at that point.

All Clear :-)

All Clear 🙂

Well the good news is that the results came through as all clear from my second surgery and no further cancer was found in my breasticle.  🙂 So that was a relief, for once my gut instinct was right!  I had a feeling all would be ok this time, I had prepared myself slightly for the news that it wasnt all clear and had started to process the thought of losing the entire breast.  I have to admit that this did scare me, so I didnt want to put too much thought into it, just in case it wasnt needed, which is what happened.  But just for blogging info, I would have been happy to have a masectomy, what I couldnt get my head round was whether to go for reconstruction or not.  Initially it hadnt even occured to me to have reconstruction, it wasnt until I mentioned it to my mum that she said she presumed that of course I would have a reconstruction.  I replied saying I hadnt even thought of it, I was prepared to not have it and she was shocked to say the least.

It did make me giggle as she said something along the lines of “when you are of a certain shape and have larger lumps and bumps than some, the lack of a bump will make you look uneven” so in other words, as I have a more than ample bosom, only having one would be a little odd 🙂

I guess I had just presumed I would lose that shape and I would wear a prosthetic boob and carry on like that. This opened up another can of worms, my thought process was going along the lines that I would rather lose the lot and know it has all gone.  I guess if the decision had gone that way I would have sought more advice and information and seen what my options were.

During my results appointment, I showed the Breast Care Nurse the swelling in the area where the lump had been removed as once again it felt like it had filled up and was feeling tight and I was noticing it when extending my arm as it felt restrictive.  She said she would get the Consultant to check it out as she may decide to draw off some of the seroma.  I also showed her the speckled bruising/rash that had appeared on the underside of my boob over the last few days.   I remember thinking that post surgery bruising was a lot less this time, I only had one small bruise so wasnt sure why this bruising had appeared, it wasnt a typical bruise, it was almost speckled.

The consultant took a look and did an ultra sound on the lump area and agreed to remove some of the seroma fluid and said that the speckled bruise/rash was a bruise and it was due to everything settling down and actually pushing down slightly due to the tissue being removed from the top, she said I was wearing the right kind of bra, to keep the support constant and it would disappear.

I was told to lie down and she asked the nurse to get a 50ml syringe, ok I had no idea how big a 50ml syringe was….. OH BOY it looked huge when she came over with it… I thought she cant possibly fill that….. pah… she did!  lol!  I once again was fascinated watching the ultra sound screen as she drew off the liquid, I could see the big gap in my boob and it moving as the fluid was drawn off.  Closing in really.  The Consultant advised I may notice a dip from now on, as the fluid was packing it out, this didnt bother me really, I would rather have a dip than feeling tight and over stretched….. (hmmmmm that sounds rude ha ha!)

Once that was drawn off, I had a little plaster put on and could get dressed.  The Consultant then advised that basically I would now be handed over to a different department, I would now come under the Oncology department rather than the Breast Care Clinic.  I have to admit I felt a little strange hearing this, I have only seen this woman 4-5 times, but she has played such a massive role in my life in such a short time.  Thanks to her and her team I am now cancer free!

I think I felt sadder knowing I might not see the nurse again, she is a lovely lady and has been so supportive and kind and I have enjoyed my appointments with her.  She did say that no matter what, I can still call them, as that is what they are there for, just because I am now under the Oncology department, doesnt mean I cant speak to them anymore, so that was nice.

The nurse also told me that my hair would fall out, apparantly with Breast Cancer, the type of chemo they give you does mean it will fall out as a lot of people had told me, mine might not fall out.  It still doesnt bother me, I am actually pretty curious about it, I wont shave my head when it starts happening, I will see how it goes, I want to leave it to fall out naturally as much as I can, but having said that, my clippers do call me to use them on occasions and its rude not to 🙂

Someone who also obeys the call of the clippers!!

Someone who also obeys the call of the clippers!!

I have not long had a phone call to say my first appointment with the Oncologist is this Weds.   Luckily it is after work so that makes it a lot easier, as I do feel bad taking so much time off work.

I will write another post shortly on emotions as I wanted to keep this one a bit seperate 🙂

Buoyancy aid

Well it’s been over a week now since my second surgery and its healing well, I took my plaster off on Tuesday and I didn’t even have to try soaking it off. I was a bit inquisitive and pulled at the corner and it lifted off really easily so I kept pulling and whoosh it was all off! It wasn’t as bad as the first time, I didn’t feel so queasy as the actual scars did pull a bit and it separated slightly but was held in place by the stitches. (don’t worry it settled back ok!)

This time round the surgery and after effects have been very different to the previous surgery, there is a lot less bruising and swelling so the physical side of things has been a lot easier but it’s been more emotional this time. I have felt a lot lower than before, more because it feels like I am waiting for things to happen, I feel like I cannot plan anything too far ahead because I just don’t know what stage of my treatment I will be at.

I was told after my surgery that there are various stages before I start my chemo, and it just feels like its a long old waiting game.

Luckily this week I have been lucky enough that I could take myself off to Di’s for a few days, she had to work during the day but having company in the evening is amazing and being around Di makes me smile, laugh and generally enjoy myself and feel at peace. I live on my own and although I feel happy living on my own (for now) I found last time I was signed off that I struggled being at home on my own so much. I am my own worst enemy to a certain extent as I am a right muddle monster and live in a muddle. This means that I tend to go visit people rather than tidy up my own muddles and have people come round, but now I know that I can’t do that. When I start chemo and feel rubbish I am not going to want to go see people so need to tidy up and KEEP IT TIDY.

This self confessed MUDDLE MONSTER needs to sort herself out as the thought of being stuck alone in my flat for days and days terrifies me.

Tiggers Bounce

Well folks, good news this Tigger has bounced back, a good dose of Sister Act, seeing my lovely friend who is in the show, good times with my sister all topped off with seeing my lovely other half and a fab evening with my mates has banished those dark clouds and low feelings 🙂

I’ve had a dip but I’m now back up there in happy tigger land.

Thank you to everyone who helped get me back up there…. Love you all xxxx

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Flat as a pancake

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This is only going to be a short one as even though part of me wants to keep it hush how I am feeling, I realised that when I started this blog, I needed to document all of the emotions and processes and when you are having low days then I need to mention it too.

I think I mentioned in my last post that directly after surgery and coming round I was on a bit of a high and then felt low afterwards, well the low feeling hasn’t really shifted. I feel pretty deflated right now, and although I don’t exactly have anything in particular to feel low about, I just do. I am hoping it will shift today as I am off to see Sister Act, the musical in Birmingham and a lovely friend of mine is in it and I’m hoping to see her afterwards.

I’ve seen the show before and loved it so my sister and I decided to give each other show tickets for our birthday presents (we are twins!) so I suggested sister act, as I know Lavinia wanted to see it when I went on my own before. So we booked it in April and now it’s finally here. I’m hoping it gives me the lift I need as I don’t like feeling like this.

I feel like I need to cry but can’t, part of me doesn’t want to, as I’m scared of I do, I won’t stop and will end up with a migraine. I know that there are bound to be good and bad days along this journey, but I am determined not to let the bad days occur very often…..

Be gone I say 🙂

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Second time round

Today was the second lot of my surgery, this was to remove further breast tissue after the original lumpectomy showed cancerous cells on the one side of the lump, so they were going to remove from the left hand side of my left breast.

I had to be in at 7:30am so that was a bit of a shock to the system as that is my usual waking up time for work. Having said that I didn’t sleep that well, I kept waking up to see what time it was.

I’ve been asked a few times if I am nervous, but I’m starting to question myself on this, I don’t actually feel that nervous most of the time, but sometimes I wonder if my body is getting tense and stressed overnight, as I have been waking up feeling tense and stiff and getting a lot of tension headaches, so maybe sub consciously I am?

Well enough of that, I didn’t feel nervous that much this morning I just wanted to get there and get it sorted. I didn’t know what time surgery was starting but I knew I was second on the list, so my childish little mind immediately goes into “First the worst, Second the Best, third the one with the hairy chest” 🙂

We got there about 7:15am and the reception for day surgery wasn’t open, so we had to wait until 7:30 to get signed in, I didn’t have a letter, so had that momentary panic of “are they expecting me, am I booked in for today?” Luckily they knew all about me and soon I was whisked away to a ward and allocated a bed.

I got chatting to the lady next to me, she was in for her first lumpectomy and seemed pretty nervous, so we chatted about the procedures and she said she had bowel cancer some years ago so was aware of a lot of the things about to happen. Then a nurse came to see her to go through her details etc, sign the forms etc. She was told she was in first and would need to get undressed and the anaesthetist would be round to see her soon.

My nurse arrived and went through my details, I was given a new name tag, a nice red one, as I had an allergic reaction to the blue dye last time and even though I wouldn’t be having the blue dye this time, it was still a reaction/allergy.

Once this was done I was told I could go get my mum and bring her through, but we had already decided that mum would nip home, as last time was such a long draggy day So I said goodbye to Mum and said I would text when I was awake and that the nurses recommended to ring at 12 if she hadn’t heard from me.

I had my blood pressure taken and that was all ok, I could hear the lady next door was having hers taken as well and they said it was very high. The nurse said she would speak to the surgeon to get her advice as to whether she wanted to proceed with the surgery. A while later I heard the anaesthetist come round and sadly she told the lady that it was too risky to proceed with surgery, that her type of cancer would not be harmed by a slight delay, she would need to see her Dr and get her blood pressure under control and come back.

I have to say I felt gutted for the poor lady, I would have been devastated if that was me, but fair play she handled it really well and was very upbeat about it.

The next minute the nurse came into see me and handed me some paracetamol, my gown and stockings and said, “you’re up first now”……. Hmmmmm first the worst and all that lol… 😛

So it was time to put on my sexy gown and even sexier stockings….. Hmmmmm hot stuff lol 🙂

I saw the anaesthetist and had all the paperwork to be filled out, luckily as it was so close to my last surgery they could copy a lot from the old sheet so it was a lot quicker.

Before long the two anaesthetist nurses came in and one was a friend of mine, so it was lovely to see a familiar face, but she had to act professional and so banter was strictly off limits 🙂

The next stage was a bit of a blur, again no nice dreams, no fuzzy wuzzy nice floaty feelings, just boom out cold 🙂

The next thing I remember waking up in the recovery room and thank god this time there was no itching, feeling freezing or any of that stuff due to an allergic reaction. I felt a lot more alert this time and was told I had only been in for 30 mins or so… I think 🙂

Before long I was whisked back up to the ward, it was empty now, the two other ladies were obviously in surgery, they were both non breast operations and I think more in the down below regions and they were all well over 65 so I felt a real spring chicken :-). (plus one of them kept pulling faces like Mrs Brown, from Mrs Browns Boys) and I couldn’t tell what she was up to, but maybe she was wincing from the pain downstairs lol.

I felt really perky so when the nurse asked I’d if I wanted anything, so I asked if she could get my phone out of my shoe, as I didn’t have anywhere to hide it. She smiled and got it for me 🙂 Straight away I felt reunited with my lifeline and was texting to say I was back in the land of the living and then sending mushy texts to Di 🙂

After a while the surgeon came to see me and said that as far as she could tell the op had gone well and that she had removed the maximum amount of breast tissue that she could and that if the results still showed that there was cancer there, then we would have to look at a full mastectomy as my boob couldn’t cope with any further tissue being removed. I have to admit this despite already saying I’d be ok with a mastectomy if it was needed, hearing this did make me feel pretty upset.

She said I would have to wait two weeks for my results and then they would take the next action that was needed. I had already asked the Breast Care Nurse about when would I be looking at starting chemo and I can’t remember the exact details. But it seemed like two weeks after getting my results (two weeks to go) I would see the relevant Dr, then I would need to have the Chemo talk? Then tests or something like that? All I could think if is that it seems a lot of waiting and waiting is not the easiest.

I’m being totally honest, but I am struggling with concentrating at work, I know I can’t get involved in projects that I should normally be taking on, as I can’t commit to being there or seeing it through. My mind goes blank at the drop of a hat, I can’t remember what the hell I was doing. It’s like my brain is a big mushy pile of goo….. (Hmmm what colour would it be….)

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(Pmsl I just googled blue goo I google images… Ha ha… It ranged from scantily clad women covered in blue paint, to a type of weed/hash, to cracked heel cream and some dodgy pics so I switched to green goo….. Much safer!!!)

I’ve been given a sick note for another two weeks, and I’m battling whether to take a week and go back in or stick to the two weeks, what I found last time is that the first week was needed for physical healing and the second week felt more like mental healing and psychological healing/preparation. So I don’t know, it feels too soon to decide as I have struggled keeping my emotions under control today. It easier to keep my emotions in check when I am around others, that’s partly why I haven’t gone to bed yet lol.

Well I think I am well and try whacked so going to face the bed of emotions and hope to sleep soundly without crying lol.. I don’t want to cry as I know everything will be ok, but I think I am just tired and emotional…. Blahhhhhh

Nite all xx

Give us a Pin!

You know when you get a balloon in your hands and the overwhelming urge to dig your nails in and pop it just washes over you…… no???  You dont…. ok its just me then 🙂   Well if you can imagine a water bomb balloon thats filled to the brim ready to burst, well thats a bit like what my boob feels like right now.  Ok I know its not going to burst but the swelling is there and the hole where the lump was has filled with Seroma and it feels like it has caused the rest of the breast to swell as well.  The Surgeon saw it on Friday just gone and said that they would drain it all when I have the op on Thursday and I shall be very relieved to have that gone, as it is making my boob very tender and hyper sensitive.

I found I was very wary about being knocked when I was out on Friday night, I had a bit of a boogie and it wasnt very comfortable.  I didnt like the sensation so wedged my arm into my boob which helped and just tamed my dancing down to a mere sway lol.   So thats the end of my breakdancing for a while!

 

Breakdancing

Breakdancing

I brought some of those Belivia Bras from JML the other day and they are a godsend, they are very comfortable but also give great support, as I found normal bras rubbed on my scar where the lymph nodes were taken out.  Ok they dont look very sexy but do I care… pffft nope!  Comfort all the way right now 🙂

Well thats my little offload for now, I just want to get to Thursday and get the Op over and done with!

Ta-Ra for now chooks! xx