Health

Week 9- keep that dripfeed coming…

Week 9- keep that dripfeed coming…

Week 9 started off with a follow-up consultation with my surgeon. It was all a little bit ad-hoc, with my notes still written on paper, given that the latest biopsy results had only just come through.  Surgery all went well, he examined my non-boob and looked very pleased with his surgery.  The was however, a teeny, tiny problem.  There was a bit more cancer than they had anticipated.  When they took off my boob, what they had thought to be three cancerous lumps had turned out to be four.  In addition, the dreaded lymph nodes had decided to rear their little lymphy heads and decided that they wanted to play in this game as well.

Lymphy, lymphy…

The surgeon had removed what were known as the ‘Sentinel’ lymph nodes.  This was the first few which, if they didn’t show any cancer meant it was very very unlikely to be in any of the others.  Unfortunately, out of the five he took out, two were cancerous, which meant that the rest would have to come out.  I would be heading back in to my favourite hospital ward in Week 10, because clearly, after a good stay in intensive care and a shorter stay for the mastectomy, I couldn’t get enough of the place. As I said to a good friend of mine, ‘if you are goinging to be on the dance floor, you might as well dance’; let Round 2 of surgery commence.

Given this extra spreadage, I would also have the addition of a full body scan at the beginning of week 10.  A slightly terrifying prospect and the potential for all of this shit to really hit the fan and start spreading to the walls and the ceiling, making an actual shithouse the only place I would be living for the forthcoming future.

Keep your eyes on the prize…

Not only that but given that the cancer was more widespread than previously thought, the dreaded chemo was now a certainty. Bloody great. The dripfeed continued.  Ultimately though, as a good friend has said, you have to keep your eyes on the prize, which is to get through this treatment and hopefully live a cancer-free life after it.

I also had my son return with my mother in Week 9- it is only then, when dealing with the trials and tribulations of a six-year old, that you realise how tired you actually are.  You are also acutely aware that the effect cancer has on those around you is possibly worse that the effect it has on you, at least psychologically.  You are completely absorbed, involved and consumed by your treatment, whilst those around you can only sit passively by.   My mother’s way of dealing with this feeling of ineptitude, was to clean and organise- a lot.  The rooms in my apartment were pulled out and rearranged to the degree that I began to be more worried about her own health than mine.  She looked continually knackered and although she relaxed a little bit during the week, I could see the toll that this was taking on her.

Happy birthday to me…

It was also my birthday in Week 9- I hit the magic milestone of 45. With so much more going on, I genuinely completely forgot that it was my birthday for about two hours when I woke up- I was due to pick up my son from the airport later than day but ‘the tribe’ also laid on a surprise afternoon tea with scones, genuine, flown-in from the UK that day clotted cream, and of course, fizz.  It was a lovely surprise and coupled with picking up my child who I hadn’t seen for the longest period of time in his whole existence, made, in the midst of this shitfest, one of the nicest birthdays I had ever had.

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