BERT2011 (Bugger, Estrogen Receptive Tumor)….

Metastic breast cancer at 38

The bandages are off!

Well this will be a tricky one to write today… As I want to write these blogs in complete honesty so that anyone reading this who may be going through the same knows what to expect… But saying that it can get quite personal… Oh well here goes

Yesterday the district nurse came to take off my bandages, this involves the removal of the heavy duty support bandages, the gauze bandages and the stereo strips… To say I was fairly anxious about this day was an understatement.. The support bandages literally don’t allow much movement and i was worried about the pain when they came off, but also as they are immensely sticky I was worried that they would pull at the wounds when they were removed. Also it’s kind of nice to live in a dream world and not see what’s underneath ..

The nurse was very patient with me, it’s a fairly emotional moment for a woman to see what her breast looks like when there’s a piece missing… I managed to hold it together whilst the nurse was there but the tears arrived the moment she left… And no matter how many times Andy tells me it looks fine I still find it hard to look at…. Tears here we go again!

Ok… Pulled myself together now for round two…

I have two scars, which are now covered in huge yellow bruises, one is under my breast where they have removed the lump… I am lucky that it was underneath but even still it’s still a fairly hefty indentation.. I’m told it may yet drop a little as the stitches are inside and have not yet disintegrated.. The other scar is under my armpit where they have removed 4 lymph nodes… This is the particularly painful area.. The scars about 2.5 cm long and is not very smooth t the mo… All my nurse friends are telling me that they look amazing and are “good” but even still when you are not used to seeing these on your body it does come as somewhat of a shock.

I am in more pain now that the support bandages have come off, I guess whilst things settle down.. Sleeping last night was not fun and I felt quite vulnerable. The support bandages are so hefty they give you a sense of protection.

No word on the results of the pathology reports yet… Hopefully tomorrow

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More morphine please

Well yesterday started ok… But when the morphine wears off life ain’t so good!! Taking the other tablets but even though I didn’t do very much yesterday it wad still too much.. By then end of the day the pain had kicked into high gear.

Andys keeping tabs on me today bless him.. Making sure I don’t overdo it again.. It’s so frustrating!! I can’t even seem to manage the basic of tasks!! The exercises they have given me to do to combat lymphodemia are ridiculously simple yet they bring tears to my eyes!

I wonder how long I’ll be like this.. Its a fine line between me trying to push myself to get better and not making it worse..


Operation day – continued

Well I’m back home now but wanted to write on here what happened yesterday for anyone who may read this who’s going through the same thing..

So the day started with my radioactive isotope injection, this is for the sentinel node biopsy.. Basically I had a radioactive isotope injected into my nipple (whilst awake!!) then some scans were taken of me too see where the dye moved to to locate the first set of my lymph nodes… This was ok.. Though when she injected the isotope this was quite painful, the nurse said it would sting and yup it sure did!!

After this we then had a 2 hour wait whilst the isotope had chance to move through my body to my lymph nodes…this is so that in my surgery they can add a blue dye ( I think) and locate the nodes in my armpit and biopsy them to test if the cancer has got that far..

So 2 hours later it’s off to theatre admissions.. Here I had to go it alone.. The nurse were fantastic with me, when I explained my needle phobia they had put the numbing cream for the canula on early so when I got to admissions my hand was already numb… The sister of the admissions unit looked after me personally all the way through and she was fantastic, very patient and understanding.. When she said I needed more bloods taken I asked if this could be done through the canula so I didn’t have to have 2 injections so she arranged for the anaesthetist to come down especially to put in my canula take the bloods and prep me early..this was such a relief I can’t thank them enough…

Next step was to go through the forms and steps with my surgeon dr kumar.. He was fantastic though when he started to look at my breast to determine where he wanted to make the incisions I felt quite quest and had to lay down ( wimp) it was the thought of him cutting into me that caused it.. Quite scary really to think someone is intentionally going to cut you.. He was very patient with me and reassured me that he was doing this “looking” to try and make sure that he could do the operation as cosmetically pleasing as possible not that there was something wrong..

So that done it was time to don my wonderful peep hole gown, urine sample and lots of forms and checks then it was time for me to walk to theatre .. Here I went into the anaesthetists room where I was laid on he bed and my canula connected up.. Slowly put under and that was that….

I think around 2 hours later I was being brought round in the recovery ward… Felt very groggy but pushed myself to try and wake up.. As they needed to asses my pain to see how much morphine to give me.. Ended with 3-4 shots i think.. Plus oxygen.

After this I was transferred to ward .. Worst things was the thirstiness! Seem to not be able to produce saliva and all I wanted t do was drink water but I was only allowed sips.. After about 1.5 hours on the ward a started to wake up properly.. Before that I’d been pretty groggy and prob talking nonsense ..

Able to drink then I felt better, managed a little of the hospital dinner… Felt very sleepy but forced myself to stay awake.. Dr kumar was due to visit me and he’d said that if I was ok I could go home that night so I wanted to make sure that I was well enough to do so.. Didn’t wanted to go to sleep the wake up go home and be in pain..

So dr kumar came round and declared that all went well and that i could be discharged… So the nurses kept and eye only for a few hours until I’d eaten, drank and been to the loo.. Then my family was able to take me home … 12 hours later.

Been given cocodamol and a voltarol equivalent to take for the pain.. But the morphine was holding steady..

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Operation day

Well the day is here 😦 feeling very anxious this morning… Wish I was braver but I really hate injections and operations…. Keep getting myself a bit worked up about it.. Scared

Have no idea how much pain I’m going to be in at the end if today.. Unknown is a pretty scary world..

Thankyou to all my wonderful friends and family who have messaged me last night and this morning your thoughts and support are really helping me get through this.. Thankyou all xxxx

Will try and post again later.. For anyone going through this I hope that in some small way reading this blog may help