Thursday, 27 January 2011

17 days Post OP

Have had a few dramatics over the last week.  The infection took hold before the antibiotics kicked in.  My wound was leaking heavily and at one point a CSI agent would have looked at home in my bedroom. Huge thanks to my neigbours Debbie and Sara for running me down to the surgery twice, changing my bedding and then taking all my washing away to do.  I put in a call to Bristol who were surprised that a wound site was leaking but said "First thing is not to Panic. You are on antibiotics minimising the risk of infection and just keep changing the dressings"  Well that's all ok then!  Thanks to Claire for doing some shopping, never ever have I bought such a big box of Maltesers for myself but they are doing the job.  And not forgetting the Bebbs with Anne bringing food parcels and getting both Holly and myself round to theirs for dinner. And then there was Jill who took me out for an hour to Asda on Sunday.  I went in one of the electric trolly's and Jill placed in the shopping.
The weekend I was a bit tearful which I think I can allow myself.  I accepted the impact on my recovery this  infection has had. Cancelled plans to visit family and attend a christening this weekend.  Also the harsh reality of my vulnerability felt foremost in my thoughts following the death of one of my fellow bloggers, Daria,  from Secondary Breast Cancer. This reminded me of the banter we had with my brothers David and Colin when they were faced in the same situation which did put a smile on my face for a bit and hoped Daria's family are drawing similar comfort.
Anne took me to the BRI for this weeks appointment. Dr Chaudry (one of the assistant surgeons) decided I needed more antibiotics, took a swab and also wanted Mr Raytor to see the wound.  She also confirmed that an appointment has been made to see the Oncologist on the 8th February to discuss any further treatment plans e.g. Chemo based on the test results.  Well he will be able to answer the majority of my questions not the surgeons.
Mr Raytor examined the wound and explained to me as they had to open up a 5 week old wound and the skin is not healing particularly well hence continued leaking. What they have done is placed a priority referral to the Tissue Viability Team. They will fit a Vacutex dressing on my wound.  This will accelerate capillary action on the wound will draw the infection out, encourage the new cells forward to assist with the skin healing.  Having read a bit on the Vacutex on the net it all makes a lot of sense but I'm sure he mentioned a tiny pump being used as I remember him saying "there will be a small regular vibrating noise" but can't locate relevant info. This is of course dependant on funding.  Anne please feel free to correct me if I have got this wrong.  If I don't hear anything by Friday I will chase this up.  I successfully changed my dressing this morning but should have done it before it started leaking.  I will get the hang of it soon!!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

No Confirmed News however

early indications are that there were multicfocal sites removed  last week same as discovered in December.  All the same, Lobular breast cancer and some non cancerous cells. Unfortunately the full test results from last weeks op didn't make the MDT meeting yesterday so the Oncologist has not reviewed them.
My Consultant surgeon's opinion is that as all the breast tissue has been removed it will be unlikely that I will need Chemotherapy again. Also this would not have developed during the 12 week break I had from taking Tamoxifen in the summer.  Due to the scar damage on the new breast, it is unlikely that Radiotherapy will be recommended.  This is all backed up by the excellent news that the Lymph nodes were clear.  I am so grateful I had my op and they found it early on.

Unfortunately I have also developed an infection on the area of the wound where they had to re cut into the same scar tissue from December's op.  No on a 5 day course of antibiotics to clear that up. Both Drains now removed starting to feel less disabled but still need to rest. 

Maybe next week I can crack open the champagne!!

Monday, 17 January 2011

6 days Post Op - First day home alone

and doing well.  Holly brought up coffee and toasted teacakes for me before taking herself off to school.  I feel nauseous in the morning so the food, coffee, painkillers and more rest helps me feel better. Another hour in bed before empting my drains as I still have 2 in and draining over 100ml between them.  Strip wash before settling in front of T.V for most of the day.  And this is how its going to be for most of this week.

Back to last week, op day, the 2 lady registrar's appeared to rush in whilst I was waking up in recovery to tell me my Sentinel Node Biopsy came back clear :-).  I nearly lifted myself off the bed I was so ecstatic.  Not sure who was more pleased, me or them.  I remember saying "Does that mean no Chemo?" and realised that they cant' answer that at the moment.
I got back to the ward around 6pm with my sick bowl and managed to catch most of it this time but at least didn't splatter anyone else.
Wednesday, once my painkillers kicked in, I started to feel better and getting excited by the indication that I may be able to go home Thursday and when that time I arrived I carried on as I would normally,  forgetting I had just had a major operation and this made me feel sick again, pushed my temperature and blood pressure up.  Rachel knew as soon as she saw me and said "Still want to go the the pub then ? I guess not!"  

James and Lynne are kindly taking to my post- op appointment this Wednesday.  This is when it will be reported back to me the full test results of the tumour they found in December and hopefully my Treatment plan.  A good start is knowing Cruella's sister didn't leave the breast. I'm feeling really lucky :-)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Away Home

Sue rang me this morning, rather eagerly telling me she could come home today, aim to get there for 12 o’clock and we’ll stop at a pub on the way home. Hmmmmm.

As it turned out, Sue had got a little too excited and enthusiastic sorting her stuff out and packing, she got a bit hot and bothered, so we stayed a while and she had some food and tablets and left at around 2pm.

So, we didn’t stop at the pub or go via the Thatchers Brewery!! And she’s in bed resting hoping to get some good sleep tonight.

Also, had we left the hospital when Lil Miss Eager wanted, she’d have missed the beautiful flower arrangement that had been sent by her work colleagues.

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Operation Day

Have spoken to the Staff Nurse and Sue is back on the ward, drips and drains attached.

They’re giving her sips of water to see how it goes, then she’ll have some food later on. Sick bowl is on standby!!

That’s all for now, will let you know more when we know more!!

Rachel xx

Monday, 10 January 2011

Wasn't that bad after all

Day started good.  Got everything ready for tea tonight, wrote down the return train times from Bristol, Anne took me to the station got ticket off I went. 
Then on train I  realised left notebook and appt letter at home with return train times. Got off at wrong bus stop in Bristol but still arrive at the BRI at 11am to find out appointment not till 1:30pm!!  
After a browse and a glass of wine in the pub turned up at correct time and got seen after waiting for 45 minutes.  Then it was just a an injection (no canular), massage injection site for 15 minutes then lie down for some xray's. Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
Now I really do have to pack my bag and yes will check letter for tomorrow :-)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Ready for a day of needles and scans

which is all in aid of  new technology for Sentinel Node Location / Imaging in 2 parts. 
Part 1 Injection and first imaging session lasting approximately 1 hour
Part 2  If necessary (criteria unknown to me ) Imaging about 3 or 4 hours later lasting approximately 1 hour.
One of the injections will be of a slightly radioactive substance.  At some point I will be injected with dye. 
This is to assist  my surgeon on Tuesday, identifying the Primary lymph node gate (my terminology) and remove gates 1 & 2 before continuing with my mastectomy and reconstruction.  The removed sample will be immediately tested in a machine called OSNA ( to see if cancer has travelled out of the breast in the Lymph system.  With the results, a decision can be made during the operation as to whether to continue with a clearance or not  as opposed to doing one straight away as in my last mastectomy in Oct 2009.  Saving my lymph nodes reduces the risk of Lymphedema.  I will be pleasantly surprised if this has stayed inside the breast this time. 
Going to Bristol on the train tomorrow but not sure what time I'm getting back.  My friend and work colleague Alice, is Holly sitting tomorrow night so Holly can stay at home and Rachel will land Tuesday afternoon  for the week to take over.  
Book ready, iPod charged.  Suppose I could pack my bag but not feeling inspired to do much.  

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year and a funny thought for the day

Thanks everyone for your kind comments via blog, facebook, phone email and cards. They all help. Jo & Jo your card most certainly made me laugh.  I did mention to Holly about going to find a Karaoke bar and she shook her head (in terror I think).  I reminded her when we went to Tenerife February 2005 with Sharon Laura and Matthew when we lived in Brackley and one evening we did end up in a Karaoke bar. My turn arrived and  Robbie Williams' Angels was my choice.  Whilst I was singing my heart out the DJ went over to Sharon and asked her if her mate had a sense of humour and next thing he came out with tissue paper stuffed in his ears and waving a lighter.
New Years eve we went to Worcester to Kerri's house and I was telling them about your card the above story and as we were about to embark on an evening of SingStar and we all burst into the song I will survive by Gloria Gayner.   Thanks Guys xx