More Unexpected News!

Well well well............

I was prepared for my journey - I had packed my bag (figuratively speaking!) but then my trip got cancelled!!!

That very cryptic sentence relates to my trip to the hospital to get my eagerly (not sure that is really the word!) awaited results of my pathology following the mastectomy.

Well you could have knocked me over with a feather - turns out they took 18 (yes 18!!!) lymph nodes and all of them (yes all of them!) were clear.......!!

As well as that, pathology showed that the cancer was not in fact invasive, but I just had A LOT of cancerous cells, taking over over a quarter of my breast - BUT they were not invasive - just a huge amount of DCIS (Ductal Carcioma In Situ).  So from Stage III cancer I was downgraded to Stage I.

The question was raised as to whether I really needed the mastectomy - but the risk was that conserving surgery may leave some of the little devils and that from being Stage I, it could very quickly end up being Stage III again.

Chemo may or may not be appropriate - am waiting to hear on that one after some more tests - radiation would be useless since each little tumour is so tiny.  BUT I will start Tamoxifen at the very least.

Of course my heart did sink a bit when I found out that one of the side effects was weight gain - honestly why on earth are side effects for me ALWAYS weight gain!  I struggle to keep my weight under control (and fail mostly) - I have a massive issue with it........ comes from many years of ballet where you have to be stick thin....... and our teacher used to weigh us each week, we were rewarded for losing weight! Honestly I am soo f**ked up over my body image ever since - and I am 49 now :(

Anyway less about my demons but more about the fact that this was the best news ever - but also in many ways the most shocking!  Now, having got my head around chemo and the long journey ahead, I have to get my head around an easier journey - a journey of course, but without the difficulty and uncertainty, and I have been finding it difficult - yes mad I know, but just goes to show how in many ways Cancer messes with your head!

Off to hospital on Sunday to get fitted for Frank the Falsie and then in a few months time it will be time to think about reconstructive surgery - hopefully to a more managable C cup rather than the E cup crowd pleasers I used to have (hated having big boobs......reference stick thin ballet dancer syndrome above!!!).

Anyway on that bombshell................

I finished my Purple Wurm which I love - not for chemo anymore (well probably not anyway), but maybe when I finally play Golf in a colder climate!  Great, simple pattern and I think I may well knit it again for gifts!

And finally......

These were beautiful flowers from a beautiful lady and colleage who lives and works in Sweden - was supposed to be going to Stockholm to see her just before the op - hopefully I can get there again soon.  Not that its an easy journey from Abu Dhabi - its not direct so takes about 16 hours........

Next thing on my to do list is to figure out where I go with my career....I am over HR and I so want to do something with craft - but it will be hard to figure out how to manage without my salary coming in - so there is a lot to be thinking about - but having had such a close scrape with my mortality (again!) I really need to re-evaluate my priorities.......but thats for another post!

Let the Games Begin..........

Well I guess a very lose reference to the Olympic Games - happening in my home town in less than a month......yikes!  But really its a reference to the fun and games about to start in my life!

My Boobs and I went out for a last fling outing before the big day........... Fred got an awesome facepaint at the same time - fairly rubbish iphone photos though!!! (and yes he got in trouble for the bunny ears!!)

So I went into hospital at 6am on Thursday 21st June for my Radical Mastectomy of my right breast - sounds so clinical doesn't it! Well it was really.......

Now I have had 19 (at the last count) surgeries small and large requiring General Anaesthetic (and his friend Major Surgery was sometimes present....) but most have been done in the UK at Guys and St Thomas' Hospital (which I grew to know very well indeed!) and so having my care in Abu Dhabi, where as a western woman I have a number of local customs and practices to get my head around - I was a little concerned.  However my choice was to have my care here, with my family present, to cause the least amount of upset to the kids and to be able to continue to live with some kind of normal!

I need not have worried.......the hospital is modern and spotlessly clean and I know all about cleanliness of hospitals, having been in and out of a few - and the staff have been brought from all around the world - my surgeon is from the Czech Republic, my anaesthastists were from Russia and Australia and my nurses from Egypt, Phillipines, India and Korea!! So we made a fine global team! Yes, there are fairly strict rules about mens and women's areas - but I really don't worry about that, much prefer to hang out with the ladies!!

I went down to surgery at 7.30 and was back on the ward (well my room) by 11am - honestly slept for most of the first day, poor Keith sat patiently waiting for me to come round, but I was quite happy sleeping (as always!!).

View from my room!

All went ok and I was feeling pretty ok by the next day - the kids came in and Flo kindly took a photo of me!!!  Infact I was so well that I was taking iphone photos myself whilst wandering around the room bored........!

Flowers from work!
My uncomfortable bed

I finished Fifty Shades of Grey (not the most suitable reading for a regular mastectomy patient, but then I am not that normal...) and The Knife of Never Letting Go (read along in the Playful Day Rav group!) - I love my Kindle!!!

Home a couple of days later and a couple of days after that, drain free!!  Hurrah!!

Now just for the path results which I will get on 3rd July - which also happens to be my 19th wedding anniversary - lets hope for a good present!  Although to be honest clear or not clear.......still have to have the chemo.........!

Have been knitting myself some chemo hats in anticipation of a bald head!

First one is from a pattern called Felicity which I loved as its so simple and cute - then I added a little pink breast cancer bow (an idea I had seen on another Ravellers project!).

Then we have Slabe which is a pattern I have been wanting to knit for a very long time!  I used so stash yarn - Louet Pearl - but actually, although the yarn is lovely and soft, it did not give me the sort of definition I would have liked.  All the same I am pleased with it and I think I might make another one because its easy to wear!

Finally I have been enjoying the garden for 30 seconds at a time - think 45C heat....... but I have some lovely flowers to look at and of course cannot wait for the scar to start to heal so I can get into the inviting pool......

I will sign off now and report back on the Oncology visit......... in the words of Christian Grey (and for sure you all must know who HE is now......) Laters.....