RSS

Tag Archives: mastectomy

Moving forward

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?

 
12 Comments

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

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Voldemort!

"Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself."
~Dumbledore

I have my own personal Voldemort – not quite in the sense of the character, but in the sense of having a monster I’ve been afraid to name for too long. This past couple of weeks, I’ve finally given it a name. Before the test results came through, it was ‘The Big C’ – talk about a name to inspire fear! I now just call it cancer. See? It even loses its capitalisation!

fear wolfVoldemort… or wolf… or whatever form the worst fear takes.
(The artist is unknown to me, so if anyone knows who to credit,
feel free to let me know)

Back in Brazil, I discovered a lump in my breast. I duly went to the doctor and was told it was just a fatty deposit. Switch to ‘ignore’. I’m good at that… ignoring something I don’t want to deal with. We then left on an adventure across the oceans with England being the destination, so we could be closer to Tat. A couple of months ago, the ‘fatty deposit’ changed and very soon became something that was most definitely not just a fatty deposit, so back to the doctor I went.

To give the doctor some credit, I’d hate to ever play poker against her. She gave nothing away, but booked me for further testing ‘just to be sure’. I went for the obligatory mamo. Then ultra scans. Then the biopsy. The mamo is awful. The ultra scan, messy. The biopsy… combine raw fear of the disease with fear of the ‘gun’ that punctures the hole with discomfort and the pain when they take a sample beyond the lump to check for spread. There were two of those… one for the lump itself and another for my lymph glands.

A few days later, I had my appointment to review the results, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC). People suddenly start talking quieter in serious tones. I lost it with the surgeon who broke the news when I told him I’m pro-active and asked him what I could do/eat/drink to promote healing before the surgery. “Oh, just eat healthy and do a bit of exercise,” was his response. No foods or chemicals to avoid – and we all know there are many carcinogenic foods and chemicals out there. He had absolutely no advice at all, not a shred of wisdom to share. Let’s just cut it off and pump you full of harmful chemicals and radioactivity and be done with it. At that point, my anger kicked in. I’ll nail this damn thing, yes, I will!

So, from the point of view of the specialists, the programme is as follows: Next Thursday, I go for a bone scan and a CAT scan to see if there’s cancer anywhere else in my body. On the 15th of September, I’m booked in for a mastectomy. It’s still up for debate as to whether or not they want me to do chemo before or after the surgery. A lot depends on the results of next week’s tests.

I am, however, not the average patient ;) I came home and, after the first tears, rants and blind hysteria, I sprang into action. I’m not without resources. I will do everything in my power to avoid ‘modern medicine’s solutions the cancer. I am pro-active and have started an intense treatment programme of my own. Perhaps I’ll write about that in another blog. Perhaps not. I know that there are those that will try to shoot me down in flames for what I’m doing, but I’m Not going to take this lying down and I will Not have treatments forced on me that will, I believe, do more harm than good. I do, however, intend to be around for many more years, so, trust me, I won’t be stupid about this. I am, in the end, a realist, and will do whatever it takes to heal.

So there’s my Voldemort…. a pitiful beast in the end and one I can fight. I know there will be scary moments and downright frightening encounters, but I have around me so much love and support that there’s no way I can lose!

 
16 Comments

Posted by on August 28, 2014 in cancer, health

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
The Druid's Garden

Spiritual Journeys in Tending the Land, Permaculture, Wildcrafting, and Regenerative Living

Purple Herbal

Sharing My Passion For Nature With The World

Furious Curious Cancer Survivor

I would have beaten any type of cancer

The imperfect cooks

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Solaris

Welcome to the real world

Forest and Fungi

Part of my journey to contribute to a more beautiful world...

tywyllseren

Musings From an Alternate Universe

cancer killing recipe

Just another WordPress.com site

Speaking in Symbols

Learning the language of the subconcious

The Happy Living People Project

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Bonofa 'The Future is Now'

The greatest WordPress.com site in all the land!

Ian Waldick

The Adventures of an Irish Farmer

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Rolbos ©

Living the life of the common people.

The Millennium Conjectures™

A Blog of the Ridiculous and Sublime, by Mark Sackler

Civilizations-End.com

Be Prepared- a simple mans idea's

Whispering Earth

Nature patiently waits and we have only to turn back to her to find relief from our suffering - Dr Bach

Otrazhenie

Reflection

biocreativity

art. biology. creativity. science. design. nature.

Some Wonderland

Not Alice's kind of wonderland