The waiting game

I was so thrilled that so many people read my blog last week and left so many lovely comments I feel truly honoured to have the love and support of so many people, some i don’t even know personally. I can’t tell you how much that helps when you are faced with an illness that you are not privy to the outcomes and brings into your life so many life changing experiences.

 Since being diagnosed with breast cancer my life has shattered into tiny pieces, I feel that I need to rebuild myself, this is not a negative thought! Last week I felt quite low at times and found myself crying frequently. Waiting for the results of the CT scan was terrible as I had convinced myself that I was riddled with cancer. Although this added to me being committed to changing my lifestyle ( more smoothies, juicing and organic food), it also made me very sad that I might not be able to achieve some of the goals I had set myself at the beginning of the year before all of this! Luckily my scan was clear, the cancer has gone, along with my breast which in itself brings mixed feelings. Having a mastectomy is a strange experience, you are thankful that the cancer you have can be removed, but your body will never be the same again, until reconstruction that is and I am hoping my body will be better than it was before, no more saggy breasts. The pain I have been in is nothing like I have ever experienced  and it’s very frustrating not being able to move my arm! I am trying to do the exercises they give you but they hurt so I am reluctant to do them, I can’t remember how many times in the past I have got frustrated with patients as they would not do the things that health professionals had advised. It’s so hard to follow plans and listen to advice on what you need to do to get better when you feel like you are going to die! So I look at this experience as an aid in helping me to understand my patients in the future. I love being a nurse and I can only feel that this experience is allowing me to grow in this profession.

I am surprised to find that I hate looking at my other breast, it’s annoying, after having quite generous sized breasts all my life that I like the flat chest my mastectomy has given me one side. So it’s frustrating still having a breast the other side. I am not sure if I feel resentment towards this breast as I don’t know whether there is cancer in it yet. Even though I have had a mammogram the type of cancer I have does not show up in its early phases so I am having a mri scan in a few weeks to find out and maybe I will feel differently about it after that. I have a very neat scar, thanks to my wonderful surgeon who is so kind and supportive, in fact my sister and I look forward to our appointments with him! The breast care nurses are great, they explain things in terms that I understand and make themselves available for any questions you might have. I have now got to concentrate on recovering from the operation and prepare myself for chemotherapy, this scares me but I feel I have to embrace it and deal with whatever it throws at me! 

  As I said at the beginning i am blessed to have so many people supporting me, my family are amazing and are so strong even though they were scared and worried whilst I have been waiting for results they have given me the strength to face it, when all I wanted to do was run away. My sister is my rock, she has had to sit in the consultations and listen to the bad news we have been told and yet remains strong and positive for me, I am so grateful for the questions she asks at these consultations as my mind is always elsewhere. My partner needs a medal as he is having to deal with my emotions once the door is closed and everyone has gone, he allows me to express my fears and anxieties and supports me through them, he is also having to put up with the healthy eating and lifestyle changes I am implementing in our home. My friends are incredible particularly the girls at work who message me, visit and take me out, I really don’t know what I would do without you. In the picture I am holding my new lucky mascot that a dear friend gave to me to bring me luck. It’s with this love and support that I will recover and be me once again!

A few baking disasters this week! I have discovered you can’t make flapjack with molasses and my banana muffins were like rock cakes, so if anyone has recipes for sugar free baking or can give me baking lessons I would appreciate it!

Deciding to blog

I have been a nurse for over 30 years, recently i have been thrown into this strange situation where I have become the patient! Just over a month ago i was referred to my local breast clinic as I had found a hardened area on my breast, it had been there a while as it kept coming and going with periods. The consultant felt it could be hormonal as menopause is looming, a mammogram showed a lump 5mms in a completely different place and not connected to the hardened skin, a biopsy confirmed this was cancerous. So I felt lucky to have found this as there were no signs or symptoms. I had a lumpectomy and had been told that I would need radiotherapy.I am really not a patient person and waiting to go back for the results was agonising, I had prepared myself for bad news. The news was not what I had expected, the margins that they had taken away with the tumour were cancerous, so I had two different tumours in my breast. Again I have been told i am lucky because the lobular cancer did not show on the mammogram! If they had not found the first tumour i would still be unaware that I had breast cancer growing inside me. People have often said I am lucky and I have someone watching over me, this is something that I am beginning to explore and no doubt will write about. 

I was then faced with a dilemma, they could do another lumpectomy and try and get all the margins or have a mastectomy, I have not had a MRI scan so nobody was sure what else was going on in my breast. After discussing options with my Consultant, nurses, family and researching lobular cancer I made the decision to have a mastectomy . So I am now 14 day post operation, the pain has been unbearable at times and I am struggling to use my arm but I am trying to remain positive whilst I wait for results. I am surrounded by books on breast cancer, making smoothies, juicing and taking supplements. I have colouring books, my art set is placed beside me ready for me to spring into artistic mode and I am going to learn to crochet! I  had to stop completing my degree which was devastating so this is why I have decided to start a blog, let’s see how it goes!