It’s been about 5 weeks since surgery and I’ve finally got around to doing another update.
So I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous, maybe slightly terrified about surgery. I don’t think it was actually the thought of surgery but more so what I would be like afterwards.
What would I look like?
What could I do?
How long before I would feel ‘normal’ again?
Will they get all the cancer?
I suppose it was just all the unknowns. I remember clearly getting ready to go into surgery and all was going well until I was walking off, I turned around to look at Cam and that’s when the tears started rolling and I realised how scared I was.
It was all feeling VERY REAL.
After that it was pretty quick, I don’t even remember the countdown, just waking up and feeling pretty good, amazing what a bit of anaesthetic will do.
Not long after, Cam was there and I was attempting to eat a sandwich and that’s when the usual nausea post anaesthetic kicked in. Let’s just say it took my quite a while to eat that sandwich.
I remember looking down and seeing a rather bruised lump and feeling quite good as it still felt like I had some resemblance of a boob. A very bruised and battered boob, but it was a boob .
The hospital stay went pretty well, most of the nurses were fabulous, some not so, but overall I can’t complain. I was in a comfy bed, had food and after a couple days even had a view.
I spent 4 nights in hospital and went home on the 5th day with my trusty bag of drains! The drains were actually pretty gross but it doesn’t take you long to get used to ‘gross’. Carrying a bag filled with blood and ooze starts to become normal. I was actually pretty lucky as my Breast Care Nurse Diedre gave me a goodie bag before I went into surgery and it had a beautiful handmade drain bag, which made life so much easier and stopped Braden from being freaked out. I must say there was more than one occasion where I had the drains hooked up to my bed and I kinda forgot and nearly ripped them out as I was walking off forgetting about them.
Coming home was great. Mum and Dad had come up to hang with Braden and help out while I was in hospital which made things easier.
The hardest part about coming home is stopping yourself from doing too much. I think after two days I was back on the computer doing work. It was actually nice to be doing something as I’m’ not one for sitting around and felt very lucky that I could actually keep working while recovering (and I love what I do ).
The first couple of weeks at home I was a bit nervous as I really wasn’t feeling that confident if my reconstructed breast would survive. The skin was black and blue and then the blisters came and let’s just say it wasn’t pretty! I do owe Cam big time as he was my number 1 nurse and reassured me even when I don’t think he thought it was looking too great.
On a positive, it’s on the mend and surviving, slow going but getting there.
So here I am, 5 weeks post-surgery and the big question…… did they get all the cancer? Well, I actually only found out my results last week as there were two public holidays and a surgical conference so I had to wait.
It was funny going in for my results as I suppose I didn’t know what to expect, but the reality was that it’s just the results of the first stage.
The surgery removed a 13mm tumour and they also discovered another 9cm mass of DCIS (abnormal cells in the milk ducts, considered the earliest form of breast cancer, it is non-invasive which means it hasn’t spread outside the milk ducts), which isn’t as bad as invasive breast cancer (the tumour) but still not great, so very lucky I did end up having a mastectomy as I would have ended up having one anyway. They also removed 3 lymph nodes and did find what is considered a microscopic 1mm bit of cancer (don’t think I’ve got my terminology right there, but you get the idea). My margins were 1mm which is quite tight but they were clear.
My initial thoughts when getting my results were…. FUCK….. I got this early and the sucker had already tried to start spreading. Another reminder to GO CHECK YOUR BOOBS.
So, what does that all mean. Well, the FANTASTIC news is that it means I’m not having chemo! The next step is to visit the Radiation Oncology team as I believe they still want to do radiation and then on to the Medical Oncology team, they are the ones who will be deciding what drugs I go on afterwards.
As my cancer was hormonal, their goal is to pretty much shut down my female hormones. Yep, that means INSTANT menopause. Not too sure if that’s a positive or not yet. Cam’s thinking he might need to move out for a while .
So, that’s the first stage done! I’m recovering really well. Right back into work, slowly getting back into exercise but won’t be able to lift anything heavy for a while longer yet.
Life sure does go on and this cancer thing is quite the journey, but I truly believe staying positive has helped me so much and I’m honestly feeling really good.
Here’s on to the next chapter…..