Down but not out

Once again I haven’t written for a while, so apologies again for that.

In my last post I mentioned that I had been diagnosed with costochrondritus (or something like that) which is inflammation of the cartilage in the ribs, well several months on, it’s still playing up and has been causing a lot of pain and sleepless nights. The pain was pretty severe at time and I found it hard to cope with, especially at night, as lying down was torture. After a while the pain in my left breast was agony, so I went back to the Doctor and was given pain killers but nothing was working. After several weeks of not sleeping I went back again and was diagnosed with cellulitis. So more antibiotics and pain killers.

I did some research and found it to be very common for breast cancer patients to suffer with costachronditus and cellulitis, I found post upon post from women talking about it. It made me feel better to know it wasn’t something out of the ordinary but I did feel a bit upset that there are so many complications that happen regularly for post cancer treatment patients. I have found the almost constant pain to be very draining and the lack of sleep has made me feel emotional and grouchy and I don’t like feeling like that.

During all this I had a fun trip to hospital over Christmas, I went to see my local GP on Christmas Eve to see if I could get anything to ease the pain and ended up being referred to A&E as they wanted to rule out that I didn’t have a PE (Pulmonary Embollism) . Not what I had planned for Christmas Eve! I have to admit to being a bit scared as although I didn’t really know what a PE is but being a avid TV watcher, I’d watched my fair share of Holby City and Casualty so I knew it wasn’t something to shout from the rooftops!

So off I trundled to A&E (around 4:30pm) and hoped it wasn’t going to be busy. Luckily it wasn’t busy but it still ended up being about 4 hours in there. I a had a blood test and then an x-Ray and waited for the results. The x-Ray came back clear but the blood tests showed evidence of clotting, so I was at risk of the PE. I wasn’t sure how to take this, but they said I would need to come back for a CT scan and would also need a blood thinning injection.

The Dr came back and said she had the appointment for my CT scan…. She looked sheepish and apologised and said it was the next day…. Christmas Day! Great!!! 10am on Christmas Day… Ooh what I’ve always wanted lol.

So I had my blood thinning injection which stung like a biatch!! But off I went home…. I have to admit the drive back to mums was an emotional one, I felt scared and fed up. I knew Mum had a houseful of guests for Christmas Eve and I couldn’t really face it but I was meant to be staying the night so I had to grin and bear it.

A pretty much sleepless night and then it was Christmas Day, I can’t say I felt full of Christmas joy but I got up and wrnt downstairs, mum has been up for a while getting the vegetables peeled and chopped, the turkey was already in the oven so before long we were off down to Gloucester.

We found the ACAU ward but caused some confusion as I don’t think they are used to patients walking in, I think if I had arrived in a wheelchair or on a trolley then I would have been a doodle, but a walk-in patient wasn’t on the cards so after a few phone calls They agreed I was in the right place so I was put into the waiting area. After a while one of the Dr’s came over and said that they would need to fit a cannula and I can tell you right now, I nearly cried right there and then. The thought of having one of those terrified me, I hadn’t had anything like that for a while but the memories of the chemo and problems with my veins etc came flooding back.

I warned the Dr that my veins were shot to pieces from the chemo and they had real problems getting a vein but she smiled sweetly and did that, “I can do this” look and tried…. Failed, tried again… Failed… And again… Failed.

Another Dr was called in, he tried… Failed…. Then they tried my foot… Holy moly…… That hurt like hell and I was very close to saying a naughty word! That didn’t work but I did do a lovely fountain of blood across the floor lol.

The third Dr who was clearly the “Boss” came along and he tried twice and finally got one, right on the knuckle…. Ouchio!

Finally I got up to the CT scan ward and into the CT scanning room, they got to me to lie down on the bed and warned me that they were going to pump some fluid into me that would make me feel hot and would make me feel that I had wet myself. I laughed but. OMG how right were they lol.

I found the process itself ok, but the pain from keeping my arm above my head was awful, the scar tissue is pretty bad in and around my boob and makes movement difficult and it pulls.

I had to go back to ACAU for the results and they came back saying that there was no signs of any clots, but they had seen some signs of infection so I would get antibiotics but they had also spotted some nodules that would need further investigation. As soon as I heard “Nodules” my heart sank…. I couldn’t help but think it meant cancer… I looked at mum and could tell from her face the same thought had gone through her mind. I asked her what she meant by nodules and she said they were small at 7mm and I would be referred to a lung specialist and they would have more answers. She said they couldn’t rule out cancer but it could also be a reaction to the radiotherapy.

It’s funny how when I told some people I had the all clear from the PE threat but they found nodules, some people were like Yay! That’s fab news… Others asked about the nodules… Clearly thinking like me…..

Once I got home, I managed to shut out all the negative thoughts and enjoyed spending Christmas with my family, I love spending time with my niece Caroline, she makes me laugh so much so was the perfect remedy for a shit morning.

Well today I finally got to see the Lung Specialist and she said they want me to go back in 2 months to have another CT scan to see if the nodules have changed at all, until then there isn’t much that they can say or do. I have one in my right lung and two in my left lung and that’s all she could say really… So I see it as two more months of reprieve lol.

So that’s the update….. The pain is still not getting much better so I am using sleeping pills to help me sleep. I am keeping myself amused and excited thinking about all of my plans for the summer. I have Glastonbury to look forward to, Lakefest and Surf Camp but best of all I am trying to get a campervan…. A Mazda Bongo to be exact. My plan is have it for April/May so watch this space!,

So I may be on the ropes but I’m fighting back…………

🙂 xx