Moving forward

04 May

At least, in one area of my life.

I know that there are many out there who will be thrilled (ok, that’s perhaps a rather strong word) to hear that I’ve made the decision to go for my radical mastectomy. It’s a huge thing for me, so I’ve planned it for the start of June, which gives me time to prepare physically, mentally, emotionally, and practically.

Physically, I need to work up fitness, particularly in my chest and arms. I’m also preparing myself for the possibility of lymphedema, the most frightening part of this whole deal and the main reason I’ve put surgery off for so long. Right now, I’m learning as much as I can about the prevention and management of that ghastly, incurable disease (yes, there are worse things than cancer – at least, in my book). Practically, I need to gather a front-buttoning, comfortable wardrobe. My shirts and blouses are all pullover. Not that I really need much encouragement to go shopping lately. Shopping, for me, is very much out of character. I’ve always been the Scrooge, thinking twice before spending a penny. This brings me to the mental and emotional part of all this.

This past month has been awful on so many levels. My first lone wedding anniversary was one of the toughest times I’ve had to go through. For many years, we didn’t celebrate birthdays or Christmases as a family. Our wedding anniversary was the Big Event of the year. Much was made of it. Tat and I did our level best to be out there and busy on that day, but it was still rough. The nights are the worst. I rarely sleep more than two hours at a stretch. My scans not long after Jurgis died showed a substantial shrinkage of the tumour. No surprise there. I was militant about my protocol, following it to the nth degree and he helped me, continually encouraging me in my weaker moments. After he died, I seemed to have lost all will. My protocol slid and became erratic. This has shown itself in my scan results. First there was no shrinkage. The last lot showed growth and the tumour isn’t looking ‘healthy’ anymore, so yes, I’m giving up, though not altogether…

The plan is this: Aside from my wardrobe issues, which are really minor – the joys of working in a charity shop are that clothes are easy and inexpensive to come by – there are a few more practical plans to make. I want to make pouches for the drains that I may have to wear for a couple of weeks. I’ve seen examples of these in US and Australian stores. I’ve not seen anything here, but am not worried, as I can make them. It will give me something to do during those long, sleepless nights anyway. After surgery, I’ll stay home for about two weeks before phasing in going back to work. I plan to go back to my anti-cancer protocol after the surgery, though I’ll probably cut back on the number of supplements. I do need to go back to a cleaner diet *sigh* That’s been the biggest factor in my health changes.

It’s rather hard to find a non-gory image to illustrate the surgical incision and the drain bags I plan to make holders for. The holders are to prevent them pulling out of the surgical area when sleeping or going out.

I’m sorry I disappeared. I’m sorry I shut my friends out this month. I could barely deal with myself, never mind actually having to make meaningful conversation. At work, it’s easy. Simple customer service and possible chat about the weather. My evenings and nights have been a long marathon of watching TV series and online shopping (a rather troublesome side effect of my emotional state). Having said that, I do now have a couple of purchases that give me immense delight like the little fan I bought to help cope with the brutal hot flushes at night. It’s a bright, sunny yellow and just totally cool, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Onward and upward. It’s a long road, but I’m used to long roads by now, right?


Posted by on May 4, 2015 in cancer, healing, health, jorge


Tags: , , , , ,

12 responses to “Moving forward

  1. Ien in the Kootenays

    May 4, 2015 at 2:35 am

    Oh Tint, so sorry. I am sure you could have beat the cancer sans surgery with Jurgis’ help. Having to deal with sudden widowhood AND cancer is just not fair, Loving thoughts.

    • tintalasia

      May 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Life isn’t very fair, is it? I just keep thinking that there are so many going through so much worse than I am. Thank you for being there and being an inspiration for me, Ien.

  2. VagabondBlues

    May 4, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Good to hear your news, I think of you everyday!! Your decision although frightening is the right way to go I apologies needed for taking time for yourself! Love you dearly ❤️

    • tintalasia

      May 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm

      Heather, sweetheart, it is thanks to you this surgery is happening :) My surgeon wanted to thank you personally. I do believe she came very close to doing a happy dance lol Now I can’t wait to have it over and done with. I’m not good at waiting *sigh*

  3. Jizzy Green

    May 4, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Hey C, or Big C (for your beautiful name, not for an ailment!)
    They say we are not given more than we can cope with – hell then, you obviously can cope with so much more than the rest of us! It is so understandable if you went underground for a while, I can give you so many platitudes of why you need to soldier on but I would rather commend you on your stoicism, and being able to share even those dark moments we all have at some stage or other. For me, it was when my husband had a brain tumour removed and I thought I may have to live without him – so I experienced walking along those lonely paths of despair, but lucky for me, I still have him in my life. Not to say that that is always easy either!! But I learned MUCH in those dark days – mostly, that I was strong and resilient and would be able to cope with whatever was thrown my way….
    I wish you strength on your journey, and LOVE. I stretch out my arms and send you a cyber hug so that you know you are connected to others. With love.

    • tintalasia

      May 28, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Oh Gizelle… I don’t know how I would have coped with such a frightening scenario! You have such a beautiful relationship with your husband. I know you both live your lives to the full. You’re an inspiration to me :) Thank you for being there and for being you.

  4. MC

    May 4, 2015 at 12:01 pm

    You just reminded me of something. I’ll need to send another email! :)

    • tintalasia

      May 28, 2015 at 3:23 pm

      That’s what I’m here for ;)

  5. Tatiana

    May 4, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    You are beautiful and you are whole. You are incredible and I’m so proud of you, for everything you’ve achieved and everything you’re going to achieve, and for everything you’ve gone through and how you’re still holding it together so well.

    I love you so much!

    • tintalasia

      May 28, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      I love you too. I could never do this without you <3

  6. Llynde

    August 8, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    As Tatiana says “You are beautiful and you are whole” Such words of truth about one amazing woman and a woman with a soul that has touched so many in their times of darkness – now it is all of us – all across the world – who will stand beside you – and Tat – during this time in the “valley”. Tint, my friend, you WILL reach the tops of the mountains again, to stand in the Light of Healing and Life. Please don’t ever forget that. Jurgis will lead you – just don’t let go of his hand.
    Love you always

    • tintalasia

      September 3, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      Oh my friend, I wish you were nearby. I could do with your healing touch and the love you radiate. Love you, Llynde! Thank you!


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