Thursday, 24 September 2009

Surgery confirmed after a day at the BRI

Yesterday I had an appointment with the Breast nurse and my surgeon in Bristol to discuss my options after my scan results taken last week. Shouldn't take long i thought and as per ususal nothing turned out as I expected.
When Holly woke up crying as she hadn't slept well I took that as a sign that the day was going to be challanging. I helped her calm down and even took her and her friend to school as her friend had phoned asking if she could get there early.
Driving to Bristol was non eventful, made a mental note to check Fearne Cottons on line black book of dating rules (you never know). I saw that where I could park free all day was now barriered with road works, saw the parking bay free but decided to carry on and turn around so I would be facing the right way home and of course it was all full when I drove back up leaving me no other choice then to use the NCP car park for an appointment that should take no more then 2 hours.
I get to the reception and my breast care nurse is waiting for me. What fantastic service I think. What Lorraine wanted was to say was last weeks scan results were unhelpful and if I didn't mind she had booked me in for a mammogram and ultra sound scan that morning as that department wasn't too busy shouldn't be too long and my consultant and her would wait and have our meeting afterwards. I laughed and said that was fine I hadn't got to worry about parking as in NCP but Lorraine said I shouldn't be long.
When I saw the number of women in the waiting room I didn't share her optimism and there I waited for nearly 3 hours to have 2 scans. The ultrasound scan couldn't find Cruella at all. I didn't get to see the mammogram xrays.

We ruled out a lumpectomy as we can't see anything, ruled out a wide local incision as they would have to take away one third of my breast and not guarantee that it would include Cruella and then have to have another op. So I am having a Mastectomy with an immediate reconstruction taken from the back as that has the best results for re establishing the blood supply to the moved tissue. 6 months later after the breast has settled they will tattoo a nipple and reduce my left breast to match my reconstructed breast. I have also agreed to take part in 2 studies which I will detail in another post.

Desicions made , the next available slot is October 19th. I confirmed that I can accept, then my surgeon leaves as waiting for me has made him nearly 2 hours late for his teaching lecture he was due at but stayed and waited to save me coming up to Bristol again. What can I say - Carling black label advert -

I mention to Lorraine that my feet have swollen up and on checking them she arranges for me to have a blood test whilst I am there. It is 3.30pm before I leave making it a 4 hour visit. When I process my car park ticket and machine confirms £10 please, my eyes start to water so I start to laugh at it all and make my way home...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Chemo R8 D13 Meeting with Nurse Specialist

I still have tingling in my feet and fingers, dry throat and my eyes have started to water. My appetite is not great but finding it's way back. My bum doesn't hurt and that makes a huge difference. Not sure whether it is the knowledge that I have no more chemo but despite all this I feel really great.

I managed a boiled egg with toast and fruit salad for breakfast before making my way to Bristol to meet with my nurse specialist Lorraine. We chatted for a bit before she went through post surgery bra and clothes options and what I would need in hospital. Went through photos of my consultant surgeons work and methods he uses. Some of the pitfalls and post surgery care. I have also been asked if I would like to take part in 2 studies and have the literature to read this week to help me decide.

As for my operation we cannot decide which / how mine will be done until the results of tomorrow's scan has been discussed at their MDT meeting next Wednesday. My appointment is the same day and after today's meeting we are 95% certain I should be able to make a decision and get a surgery date for a few weeks later.

I am getting stronger every day now and looking forward to going into work as well. Having a shopping spree with Holly this weekend and a weekend in Burnahm on Sea with Jennifer and Gail next weekend providing of course I haven't been called in for surgery.....

Friday, 11 September 2009

Chemo round 8 day 9

Thanks for your helpfull comments Gill.
Have started to feel a bit better today. Stayed up this morning to watch a DVD. It has been a hard week really. My Sister in Law Sandra rushed into Hospital Sat early morning. I have never felt so useless knowing I couldn't help with anything. She is home now resting...
My energy levels dropped on Sunday so have mostly been in bed since then. Feet and fingers are very tingly still. It hurts to type or write at the moment. I am using up my complan as don't really want to eat. I started using vaseline on my lips on Sunday and this prevented a crust forming on the corner of my mouth so I feel quite chuffed about that. My tongue is starting to feel normal so will start to taste food better - yippe and yes my bum hurts again...

I had a referral to Bristol Royal Infirmary confirmed on Monday for Wednesday with a surgeon consultant. I don't know what I was thinking of saying i would be ok on the train. Thank you Kath for taking me. It was very informative and I have an appointment with a Nurse Specialist there on Tuesday to go through reconstructions, MRI scan of breast Wednesday and meeting with Surgeon to confirm available options to me on the 23rd September. I'm impressed at the speed this is moving and all i know is that whatever is left of cruella has be operated on by 2nd week in October.
Will keep you posted

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Chemo Round 8 Day 1

Final round of chemo administered. Just got the nasty bit now that lasts for 14 daysish before I start to feel better. Tounge already lost it's colour so have started taking the difflam and my taste buds have changed. Already taking stuff to soften the bowel contents. Round 7 days 3 to 8 were spent mostly in bed and on the sofa so here goes..... but for the last time and I have started to take multi vits to help and in addition to the strawberry complan I now have a supply of banana and vanilla - Thanks Kerri for your contribution to this - I love you xx

Feeling a bit evil mannered at the moment. I feel exhusted and tired still which doesn't help. I have made a decision yesterday at my pre-assesment appt that I am not going to go for immediate reconstruction after my masectomy in October. This is mainly because the surgons will not be able to confirm if I will need to have radiotherapy until the standard removal of 4 lymph nodes to examine them for signs of cancerouse cells which is only done during surgery. The radiotherapy will effect the reconstructed breast and knowing my luck I will need it. The benifits will be that I will now be having a smaller operation on October giveing me a speedier recovery. I can choose to have my reconstruction done anytime after 6 months giving me time to restore my fitness levels and research and decide on the options open to me on reconstruction. Also this will all be done in Taunton. Lots of things to think about at the moment...