Friday, 27 November 2009

6 weeks Post Op

Hi everyone
I'm feeling really fab at the moment as the Dr said I was ok to go back to work Monday, had a good nights sleep last night and have been driving again this week- my independence is coming back. I still have restricted mobility in my arm but that is going to be months before that gets back to normal. Still get tears for no reason but better out then in. I think last night was the suspension of my life whilst dealing with Cruella and getting well again and then this morning I felt great!
I have had 2 trips to see my surgeon in Bristol and he doesn't want to see me again until March. He is extremely pleased with how my new breast is shaping up. My back wound is still moist in the middle but again in time that will change. 2 weeks ago I had 700ml of seroma drained from my back and 4oomls this week so won't be long before that dries up.

Monday this week I attended a Moving Forward seminar in Bristol. Thank you Carl for getting me there and thanks Claire from picking me up from the station and taking me home. This was an event organised by the Breast Care nurses at Bristol. There was a talk on Diet, exercise, Lymphodema, and dressing after a mastectomy. We also had massages by the Therapeutic team from the Red Cross. The whole day was extremely relevant and interesting. Notably meeting other women at different stages of their treatment plans. Some of us were able to give reassurance to a lady having her first chemo session yesterday and I was given reassurance about my radiotherapy treatment from ladies who have already had theirs. I could have done with meeting a similar group after I was given my diagnosis. There's nothing like meeting people who have either recently completed or still traveling the same journey. I didn't feel so alone and whilst we are all different, we were all on the same journey.
Funnily whilst waiting to be taken up the room where the seminar was being held, I was chatting (yes some things never change) about our respective treatment plans and I confirmed I hadn't met many people who had had their chemotherapy before their op and this lady, also called Sue, went onto to say that there was this lady on the T.V. that's had the treatments in the same order as you and was trying to remember the name of the show. I smiled and owned up to it being me :-) - And thank you for my lift to the Station Sue and Sue's husband and keep me posted on how your radiotherapy treatment goes.
Last Friday was a great evening thank you Holly and the friends you roped in to help you give me a birthday party. I am so looking forward to going to work next week. I have an appointment with my oncologist on Tuesday so should know more about my radiotherapy treatment and I also need to get my back drained again. Partial normality coming my way :-). My nails are still ridged and breaking off but my hair has been having a groweth spurt so have started to make Dolly redundant. That may change next week when I go into work but we'll see.
Taking Holly to see New Moon this evening and Saturday we are going to Worcester to have a joint birthday celebration with Kerri. Will also catch up with family and friends whilst I'm there which is always good.

Have a great weekend everyone


Sunday, 1 November 2009

Post Op part 2 !

What a busy bee I have been since I last posted.

Firstly our trip to London for the This Morning interview. Holly and I arrived Monday lunchtime and after being dropped of at our hotel decided to get something to eat and head into Convent Garden for a mouch. It was quite pleasant there was not huge crowds. We walked to Trafalger Square spending some time in the National Art Gallery before making our way to Leicester Square and catching tube back from Picidilly Cricus. Rachel arrived and Kath turned up for dinner as well as she was in London that week staying around the corner. We were driven to the studios in the London morning traffic arriving in plenty of time for my debut T.V. appearance.
For those who didn't get to see this

Tracie arrvied on Thursday to take up her role as mine and Holly's Carer. We had a pink friday at work. Rachel and Laura finally turned up, party at Kaths Friday night. Saturday I started to feel in a ummm lets try and not think about Monday mood. Planned a shopping trip for my Farewell boob party. Tracie took Rachel to Hospital, meanwhile Kerri and Wendy turned up so mood lifted. Rachel and Tracie finally returned with a surprise guest. My sister Francis from London. I knew she was up to something and Francis never entered my head !! That was it then. Nno room for the anxious mood and we had a lovely evening with lovely food, drink and company. Sunday a walk up Cothelstone hill cleared the lungs. When everyone departed, I got out the questionnaire that I had agreed to take part in and completed it. Got Holly organised and walked her over to her friends house. Would we like a glass of wine ??? ummm didnt take long to decide on that one. I embarrasingly forgot to make Holly's sandwiches for the next day but Claire wouldn't take no for an answer and provided Holly with her lunch. Thank you Claire and Carl for your kindness. We had a lovely distractive evening. Couldn't bring myself to pack so left that for the morning.
Had a sniffle before I got up. I know I'm in safe hands, I know it's the right thing to do but still feeling mournful about loosing my breast. Time whizzed by and before I knew it I was being brought round and given sips of water before being taken back up to my ward where I was going to be cared for along with 5 other ladies. Tuesday my surgeon examined his handy work and confirmed that he was pleased with the outcome. All I can see is lopsided breasts and my cleavage. I have taken a peak but have decided to leave this for a while. The nurses are angels is all I can say. There were 3 ladies in our bay who had Tracheostomies fitted and this just reminded me of the last time I saw Dave before he passed away last year. So when the tears started, as they do, I didn't know why or who I was crying for. Me Colin or Dave. Thanks to everyone for all my messages, cards flowers Chocolates and visits.
I came round from surgery with 4 drains attached to me where the Seroma fluid was being drained from my back. I went home with 2 and the level of fluid being drained dropped. I couldn't wait to get home and I got to choose Chilli for tea!! During tea Tracie noticed one of the drains had stopped working. We both thought that was good. Later when I went upstairs I realised I was wet underneath my arm. I hadn't felt it as was still numb. Tracie organsied visit from District Nurse and we decided it had dislodged somehow and attempted to repair it. I woke up drenched, after my first full nights sleep in a week. My scheduled D Nurse got onto the BRI and I started to cry as it sounded like they wanted me back up there. It wasn't a bother Tracie reassured me but I just didnt want to go anywhere. End result was the D Nurse was allowed to remove the drain - Hooray only 1 more left which got removed Sunday as hardly anything was coming out. Starting to feel better. Tracie has been brilliant. Never mind have I been doing as I am told. I have been submissive as couldn't do anything anyway or as Tracie put it She is the dominant bitch !!
Retail therapy has helped but had a blip last Wednesday when I went for my follow up appointment in Bristol. My back was drained again, wound checked and dressing changed. All agreed my wound was healing well and the lovely consultant surgeon wanted to know how I was manageing and getting on and then the serious talk about the Pathology results. They were able to confirm the orginal size of Cruella in what they had removed so she's gone. However, of the 10 lymph nodes they removed for examination they confirmed that 4 had cancerous cells passed through them and therefore I was going to be refered for radiotherapy treatment. I always knew this was a probabilty but I really didn't want to hear it. This was going to minimize the risk of local recourance of the same tumour. All I could think about was that C cells had travelled outside my breast. I managed to make it through the rest of my appt. The rest of my treatment can be carried out in Taunton unless I specify otherwise. For practical reasons this is great news and he has met the new reconstruction surgeon that is starting here soon and that I would like him. I didn't even make it out of the hospital before the tears started. Thankfully Tracie was paying more attention then me and reminded me that 6 out of the 10 didn't have c cells which is also good.
Thursday I set about ringing the Breast Care team in Taunton to arrange appointments for my back to be drained and to be measured for a prosthetic breast. After being told the nurses were all in a busy clinic and I was happy for an afternoon call I had a call back within 5 minutes and we arranged an appt for Thursday afternoon this week. Went out to lunch with work collegues and when we got back I had a letter inviting me out for Christmas lunch with the Somerset Breast Cancer Support Group. Didn't know they existed. Friday more retail therapy required and had a productive afternoon out in Wells. When we got home I had a message from the Breast Care team in Bristol, Sorry we missed you on Wednesday, glad to see everything progressing well. I take it you are out which is good, please ring if you need us for anything and if I don't hear from you I will call you back on Monday!
I have had a lovely weekend. Laura came down, Lynne came up, James, Lynnes new bf, came over. Tracie did my make up and we scared the monsters knocking on our door >Big Grin< !! Sunday had a lovely lunch over in Chard with some friends. I felt tearfully tired when I went to bed but I had a good nights sleep and here we are the start of another week where I am gaining more Independence on a daily basis.
Sometimes in the morning before I get out of bed, if I lie still I don't feel any discomfort and for a minute I can pretend that none of this has happened and that it is all a dream and that I am getting up in a mo to cycle to work :-)