gemmas-journey

Walnuts and Wizened Fruit. Cancer blog #4

Patrick Kennedy

Hi there, me again

So there I was sitting in my surgeon’s office two weeks after my operation. I’m not sure what I was expecting her to say but it definitely wasn’t ‘so we didn’t get all the cancer and we’ve booked you in for another operation in two weeks time.’ Oh, ok, sure. WHAT?? And that was it, I was once again preparing for another operation so they could get all of the cancer out. Why didn’t they just take the whole boob off and save a lot of time and anguish, but no, they couldn’t do that.

Once again, I was going into hospital at stupid o’clock in the morning. Luckily this time I knew what was coming and I breezed through the whole process. My boob did look like half a walnut because I’m obviously not that great at healing and my nipple seemed to be peering out to the right but heh, it could be worse! I remember going to a friend’s 50th Birthday party and laughing so hard with my husband that I could put cameras on my nipples and keep an eye on everyone from all directions!


A few weeks later I was booked in for 5 weeks of radiotherapy. I had three tattoos done, which I was really excited about, but they were basically just pin pricks that show the borders for the radiotherapy. I asked if they could make them into something a bit more spectacular but apparently that’s against the rules! No fun. So there I was, every day, for five weeks. I was back at work by then so I dived in and out of the hospital, getting more stressed about the parking (which was horrendous) than anything else.

The radiotherapy team were amazing, so kind and considerate, which I really appreciated. It’s not that easy having to get undressed and lie there with your boobs out for 15 minutes, especially when one of them could easily be mistaken for a wizened piece of fruit. The up side was that by the end that boob looked fantastically tanned.


So life then returned to pretty much normal. Having said that, I found myself thinking everyday about having had cancer, was I going to get it again? Would it spread, would it kill me? I had good days, bad days, days when I would call my dad and just say, ‘Ok, I’m having a bad day, talk me out of it’, and most of the time we would end up laughing about things. He told me to write things down, but at that time I found it too scary, and too permanent, and so I wrote nothing. My mum was convinced that we should all be doing karaoke as singing is a great healer. My husband retreated incredibly quickly and I just stood there going uummm, not sure mum. So thankfully that never happened.


Then I had my first mammogram after the operations. Boy I love that squishy machine that makes you stand on your tippy toes unable to breathe! And because my scar tissue was basically rock hard, it was, shall we say, somewhat uncomfortable! A week later the letter came through the post. It was thin, which is a very good sign. And sure enough the results were good. HOORAY for me!!

I’d done it, I’d gotten through my first year. I was onto a winner, wasn’t I?....………..


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