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Fucking Cancer Journey

January 13, 2024  •  2 Comments

 

Tuesday 28th November 2023

Started to read all the bumf from yesterday, so much to take in. I have to do it bit by bit, its overwhelming and scary.  I thought that although this is pretty negative it could help someone else so I told Janette Edmonds. Document the journey, photos etc. She said good idea, to go down and she'll do a shoot.

We'd just finished tea when the phone went, a voice asks for Mrs some weird name. Before I could swear she said it's Mr Rees secretary from the Royal Gwent.  Booking me in for the pre op health check. She was really chuffed when I said I had my full health history online.  I'll have to update that too.

Hopefully. I said I'm up for a cancellation. Private doesn't sound a lot quicker, they'd have to refer me, get things sent over. So far they have all been brilliant. 

Wednesday 29th November 2023

Lynn and I went by bus to see The Full Monty in Cardiff.

On the way down my right eye went pixilated around the edge again and there's a pressure in my head. Right hand side and it hurts my head to cough. The sparkly bit went off.
The show was good, I enjoyed it. Very clever with the scenery. Jake Quickenden was good, very fit. Bill Ward was good too. They were all well cast. I noticed my emotions changing in the show, there was a sadish bit and I could feel the sadness rising. Didn't cry but could have. My head hurts, pressure headache. Got the bus about 5.20pm ish. Cold and uncomfy.

Thursday 30th November 2023.
Still got pressure behind my right eye.

Still feel there's a lump in my throat at the bottom, like there's a spud stuck there.
I know most of it is paranoid, stress, tension not real stuff but it's still self-perpetuating and real - To me, at the moment. I'm not the first & not the last but it's the first time for me. I haven't experienced it before.
Did leg day at the gym. Good. Left eye pixilated a bit. 

Friday 1st December 2023

I was at the opticians for 0915. They fitted me in because of the sparkly.

Just made it, almost late as I had to de-ice the car. -0c on the way in, bloody freezing.
No problem with my eyes, he put drops in to make the pupils dilate, I look like an owl! He tested them for any issues and they're fine so it's just a tension thing. Not surprising. So reassured that I don't have a tumour.
Went with Dick out to Martys, it's a lovely house. Dick set his laptop up, I didn't really do much. It was a nice few hours out though. Marty gave us a bottle of wine each. Had a lovely message off Greg's Annie when I got in.
I'm researching using THC and Turkey tail to help kill cancer as well as anything else of course. Its had to find out details though.
The less I think about it the better, will I be able to keep this up till it's sorted? Till I've had the radiotherapy. I asked on one group about cancer support groups and they told me of some, but I can't bring myself to join & go there. I'm not ready, I hope I don't get that low. I think you can have too much input & knowledge about a thing.
The less I know the less I have to think about. Oh, I told Dick about bonjela, he said it doesn't work but he has some stuff that numbs skin prior to having a tattoo. That'll do.

Telling people has been interesting, a variety of reactions from naff all to really sympathetic. At least no one has offered to pray for me! I'd prefer a nice bottle of red wine please!

Saturday 2nd December 2023

Steve & I met Dick for coffee. I felt pretty flat, and it was cold in the cafe.  I've stopped taking my HRT and I'm getting palpitations, anxiety butterflies, anger. really pissed off at the thought of having to take oestrogen inhibitor. Hot flushes, osteoporosis, anxiety etc. Menopause from the start again. ok it may prevent a reoccurrence of cancer but what sort of quality of life do I have? I'll be knocking on a bit then, great you can stop taking the tablets now how about that funeral plan? 

Sunday 3rd December 2023

Quite stroppy and angry today as the last hormones dissipate. Of course, where I've been googling about cancer, THC, Turkey tail I keep getting posts about Cancer this that and the other on Facebook. Bloody bots. I did sign into Macmillan but it's a potch to sign into all the time. I want to forget about it all as much as possible. I'm doing what I can. I don't want to read other people's stories.  I keep thinking should I put a post on FB but then why?  It's my journey, well Steves too. I told him he's got to talk to me about how he's feeling too. 

 

Monday 4th December 2023

General thoughts.... It's the knowledge that long term nothing will be the same. I'll be changed. Physically & mentally because it's always going to be in the back of my mind. I think I'm probably still in shock, I know I have cancer but it doesn't feel real, apart from stopping hrt and the bad bits are back. Palpitations, angry, butterflies, head fog. It's a similar feeling to thinking if I wish hard enough Morse will come back.

Sent some brief notes via e-consult to the doctor, I thought they needed to know. Does anyone else? I don''t know, I sort of want to tell everyone because that's the way I rock but then would I announce it to the world if I was having a tooth out?

Tuesday 5th December 2023
I can't concentrate on anything, I'm feeling totally disconnected. I told Steve, he understands I think. I'm probably still in shock or I've gone into some protective mode.
I'm doing a lot of blank staring into space mode, it's quite restful. I wonder will I get back to feeling like me ever? Or is this a new me to get used to? My body may get semi repaired but what about my mind? What will my life be like after? Has my life changed without my permission?

Wednesday 6th December 2023

Went to the gym for 11am. Squats, no lock out squats, then 10 sets of 10 reps with a 10kg dumbbell.
Warmed my legs up for sure. I rang Em & we had a catch up. 
The turkey tail arrived. How much to I take?

I'm scared about the appointment tomorrow, up early, the parking, finding it. I can't even begin to think about the 22nd & 23rd January. It's a big, permanent change. 

Thursday 7th December 2023

Early start, up at 7am out of the house before 8am. We didnt think there would be parking at the front of the hospital so found a side street. Got a bit lost finding the pre op clinic. up to the 3rd floor, find the corridor head towards the restaurant into another lift up to the 6th floor. I was so nervous, i have no idea why, I guess its another bit of unknown in a big bit of unknown that I didn't order. I reported to reception, gave my name dob etc. I was in almost immediately, a young lady checked my blood pressure - sky high I believe. I had to stick a giant cotton wool bud up my nose, another under my pits and another along my groin! Back out to the waiting area then but not for long. Another room another nurse, I'd printed my health history out for her which was useful  as I couldn't remember half of it.  The worst bit was when she asked how much I drank! Er too much? Had to try and work it out she probably thinks I''m a part time lush now! She also asked if I took recreational drugs! CBD oil doesnt count. Loads of questions, hopefully i'm good to go. Had to have blood taken, an echocardiogram. Some of the electrode things wouldnt stick because I had moisturiser on.  On the day of the op I can't  wear make up, nailpolish. Gotta wear comfies. I can drink water up to two hours before the operation. We were all done and dusted and out by 10am. I guess thats it now until THAT injection. I do have some pre tattoo skin numbing cream now though! Where is the fast forward button? Say - fast forward to March 2024?

Oh I've taken delivery of Turkey Tail and Maitake Mushroom, how much to take though? I also have some other herbs. It wont harm. I have to stop all supplements before the operation and also no wine. Dry January it is then. Hey ho. 

I cant drive for about 6 weeks after the operation, they do encourage movement though to decrease likelyhood of lymphoma. So many things! I get chopped up, stuck back together, given chemicals and potentially more chemicals to counteract the side effects of the other chemicals?! I have to take it easy, do the given exercises. I should be able to squat and walk though right?

I'm glad the website is back working, I guess pestering them paid off, still no communication from Zenfolio though - unless you count auto response?

Tuesday 19th December

Feeling really grumpy. Taken horny goat weed and lions mane.

It's like seeing a dandelion, picking the flower to stop it seeding, then digging out the roots then spraying the whole fucking garden with round up just in case. I'll lose a perfectly good body and be left with a train wreck. Not a happy bunny at all.
We hugged while doing tea, I cried. Not a sobby cry, just a little eye leak. To me it shows where I'm at.
Reading about other ladies side effects, problems, is not good for me.

Wednesday 20th December

Saw Kim, got my stuff.
It's nice to talk to someone who understands the mindset too. Once you get that diagnosis it's an instant life change. It makes you face your own mortality, it's suddenly very real, very visable.

I'm better in my head today because I've been Busier.

Tuesday 26th December 2023

Well I thought I’d xmas scribble.

I’m glad I put the diagnoses online, most people will have seen it and responded. I did it on xmas eve.
Always at the back of my mind is the after effects, burning and fatigue then will I get lymphoedema, will I get cording (where they take a few lymph nodes to test) then the inhibitors, just in case poison. It’ll bring back hot flushes, joint pain, the anxiety? The anger? Fuck knows what else. It’ll age me, make my skin old. Make me old. It’s like taking a tidy car in for service and being given back an old wreck plus still having to pay the mechanic. I don’t even want a fucking service!
How do I know I even need inhibitors? I can’t have that much oestrogen anyway now I’m off hrt. Don’t they do a test to see? Even if I am still making oestrogen do they know it’ll come back? Will 5- 10 years of menopause which takes me up to 80 be worth it? Am I going to gain that many additional years? It’s length of life and quality of life. 20 years of shite quality or 10 years of good quality? If could be talking bollocks of course but these are not nice drugs, they have bad side effects. I don’t know, do the doctors know? What if they’re just meeting drug sales targets? (My thoughts, my rambles, butt out!)

 

 

Wednesday 27th December

Well, 1040hrs the phone goes, it's the hospital. 😳

Was I aware that I had an appointment on the 11th January? Er no! So Dr Chopra ( good name) will see me on the 11th January. Well, that's a surprise! I have to be there for 0730hrs. I'm in a state of shock, that mental life clock has just clunked another minute away. I was due to see Janette on the 12th too, for a photoshoot. I'm ok now I've got used to it. 

 

 

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Funny old day.
Had coffee with Dick & Marty. They were nice, positive thoughts etc.
We went down to Cardiff about 1.45pm. easy run down. Felt quite nervous, we were there at 2.40pm. We sat and waited, I heard a woman say she was there for a 3.30pm appointment, she went in at 3.20pm. 3.30pm I asked the reception how long the delay was going to be.  She said after the one comes out.  We went in about 3.45pm. The doctor said it's a 2cm cancer. They'll do a lumpectomy on 23rd Jan . The day before I have to go the Gwent and they inject into the nipple some stuff to check the lymph nodes. That sounds like the worst bit. It's a day operation at Ystrad Mynach, general anaesthesia. Sometime after I'll have radiotherapy. May not need chemo. Hope not.  I'll have tablets to inhibit oestrogen, that doesn't sound good either, hot flushes etc.
I've messaged the people who need to know, family etc. 
It maybe Monday but it's an occasion so I opened a bottle of Barolo. There's a lot of 'fuck it ' around right now.
How do I feel?  Not that surprised. Bit weird. No tears. Pragmatic. Should I go private? Could I have found it earlier? Covid delayed the screening.


There was a lovely full moon on the way home. My bruise.  10000074081000007408

Mon 29th November

Still feel rough with a cold.
Met Steve at 12md. Got some bits in Morrisons. Drove to Cardiff, managed to park in Sophia gardens, once we figured out how to get into the parking area. Couldn't get the parking app to work, there was a different app for this carpark.  Struggled to figure it out. Managed it eventually, it's not clear though, the machines looked really complicated, how do old people manage?  Found the screening place, we were early but it doesn't matter. I'm aware I'm overcompensating and being cheerful.
Had to fill in a form, have a mammogram on the right one. Sat waiting now to see a doctor, have a scan, maybe a biopsy. Had a coffee, it was a bit yuk.


Saw the doctor who did a physical exam. Then I had a scan, then they did a biopsy! 
Local anaesthetic, then a quick cut and a thing that makes a loud click. 2 samples of the lump taken. The local stung a but not too bad. I bled a bit and the other nurse had to put pressure on to stop it, she said it'll bruise. They then took another one. She put a big dressing on it, told me to leave it on for 24hrs and to sleep with a bra on tonight.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. A bit scared I guess but pretty pragmatic. The worst bit would be losing my hair if I did have cancer. Shit that's scary writing that down. I have to go back 3pm next Monday. Fingers crossed, eh?

The wrinkles are the dressing not my skin mind! Steve did take another but it had my chin in it and I was looking down so it was all wrinkly!

Monday 19th November

Had the mammogram result, they want to see me for more tests. Not good.
 

Had my mammogram.
Told her about the thickening in the right one. They won't call me for another one now, if I want one I have to call them.

September 2023

 

Fucking Cancer Journey

 

 

 

I want to do this for me. Just me. I'm ok as I am, I haven't authorised the changes that will happen and I'm annoyed about it. That's ok though.

The studio is a large airy room, warm, comforting, private and safe.

I'm a photographer myself, I could have found someone closer to home but I wanted the expertise of a female who is a total empath and who I knew  would read me.  Guide me. Put me at ease and produce stunning work.

I've found that keeping busy has helped, be that walking, going to the gym or having a photoshoot!

https://www.beautifully-you.photography/Not bad for a pensioner! https://www.beautifully-you.photography/Not bad for a pensioner!

 

4th January

 

 

I had a fantastic experience today.

I had a photoshoot by a talented lady Janette Edmonds, Beautifully You. She has a lovely studio within a Georgian House in Charmouth, Dorset. My hair & make up were professionally done. It's a weird thing having that done, just sitting there, chatting. Look up, look down, it's quite cathartic and surprisingly emotional. Having not started my treatment yet I'm feeling great. Scared but I know I look good and I feel good. The actual operation is scary, on a par with having a tooth out. It's the "what if's" afterwards that, for me, is the scary bit. All the people who have sailed through it with no effect is fine. It does nothing to assuage MY inner fear though!

Still, I loved the shoot, we did light fluffy clothes, darker, clothing - well nearly clothing. I wanted pinky & perky shots minus overt nipples, Facebook safe shots that say something. The heel on my shoe fell off again, that made interesting posing. Its a liberating experience, I loved it. Wear this, put that on, hands like this. Close your mouth, look down. Brilliant and I would recommend for anyone at any stage to get a shoot done. Some clothes were mine, some were borrowed. It such a gentle experience too, if you wanted to cry then that's ok too (I'd say wait untill the end in case it messes your make up up though!

Beautifully You Photographyhttps://www.beautifully-you.photography/ Beautifully You Photographyhttps://www.beautifully-you.photography/


Wednesday 10th January 2024

Well not a good start.

Put my boob numbing cream on, put a plastic bag on it.
Rocked up to the nuclear department to be told the stuff wasn't here, problem at Cardiff, it's still there. We've had to come to canteen and wait and go back in half hour. Ju suggested I go to Cardiff for it.
Went back and a few of us were told the stuff is coming from Swansea. They've messed up it won't be here today.come back at 10am tomorrow. Have the jab then go to Ystrad Mynach. So here I am back home with my boob all numb hanging around till tomorrow.
Oops apparently I shouldn't take CBD before the op. 🙄
Oh well, by the time they get around to me it will have gone.
I just want it done now. on my own I'm calm but having to talk is intolerable. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.

Thursday 11th January 2024

 

 

 

So I'm finally ready for the operation.

Scared, talking too much. Everyone is lovely. Apart from the twat who didn't send the jabs up yesterday.
I've had to de robe, put theirs on. A big pair of Bridgette Jones paper knickers.
Multi questions by nurses, doctors , anesthetist, allergies, chest, breathing, etc.
My head's fucked, gotta job to recall my name. I'm starving too. Hope I don't stay overnight but they're non committal, there's a cut off time for going home.

They inject me, tubes in my gob and throat 😬😳
I've signed the form. The 2 students with the surgeon had a feel. Just sat waiting now.
It appears there are ongoing issues with these injections, getting hold of them.
1530hrs. Still waiting. Been spoken to by JoJo the physio. Exercise, cording, massage etc. it's a lot to take in. Preventing cording by exercise, massage.
Went down about 5.15pm. all very chilled, friendly. Had a oxygen mask on, thing in my hand. Zonked out. Back about 1815hrs. I'll stay overnight as it's late. I think I'll feel more reassured here.
Back legs wobbly, bit light headed, fat lip. So I'm taking it very steady. Got up for a wee, didn't keel over - result!.
Facetime Stevo, Dick. Messaged Wendy , Ty, Marty, Lizzy. Oh must message Janette. All in all thank fuck it's done. Butterflies gone for now.

All prepped & ready! All prepped & ready!

 

Friday 12th January 2024

 

 

0210 hrs. Had a light sleep.

Legs wobbly. Back still uncomfy, back lats.

My pal said said if you want to cry then you cry. So what if the feeling occurs and I don't want to cry? I don't like crying, it does no good (for me) so no, I don't want to. Not to be brave but I just don't want to.

I wonder why my blood pressure is s high?

What about these moles, can they\someone look and say age related?

Why am I awake?

I noticed when trying to sleep we earlier that if there was any sort of even small noise then the butterflies "sharped" I know that's anxiety. Research medicinal mushrooms and herbs to sort this.

Two of the nurses came in with a cup of hot chocolate. They were so lovely. We had a nice chat -  Alison & Sarah.

It's 0420hrs now. Head still muzzy, legs wobbly. I read my notes.

 

 

Looking at all the well wishes on my Facebook post post is lovely. No one knows what to say, there's not much you can say. The fact that people care enough so say anything is bloody marvelous.  People who actually care about you want to let you know they care so what are they supposed to say? The fact that they've reached out when they don't know what to say is pretty awesome. It's not hollow, it's people being nice ❤️

 

 

 

 

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Looking rough as fuck on a few here! Still I figure it may be useful to someone.  I have omitted one I took where I look like a Shar Pei dog though, I have standards you know!

I did ask the surgeon just before the operation if I could have a doggy bag, they said no it had to go off be analysed. 

Saturday 13th January 2024

I haven't done much  today. tidied up, dishwasher on. Read and replied to everyone asking how I am. Yes, I'm loving hearing from everyone. I did shower, I have to keep the dressing dry for four days, or was it 14? I don't know, my head is shot with all the information, I have read the leaflets but its not sinking in. I guess being off the HRT and Lions Mane won't help the head fog. Even before I go onto any Aromatase Inhibitors (which I am really not wanting to) I'm having mild hot flushes, head fog, anxiety butterflies. Then I have to take shite that may well exacerbate all those plus a few more just in case?  (This is my blog, my brain dump remember) I'm still looking for an alternative, Medicinal Mushrooms, herbal. Also something to lower my blood pressure, while the doctor is aware and haven't suggested anything Id rather find something natural to bring it down. 

 

Just a thought.

The radiation may kill cancer but I can't help wondering does it cause other problems? Kill the cancer but shorten my life in another way?

 

 

 

I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

I like how I Am now, I'm knocking on a bit but I'm fit and healthy.

Once you get that diagnosis then it's like a shutter comes down. What's going to happen, will I look different, will I feel different?

It's a scary time.

I saw that my portrait photographer friend Janette had a rare cancellation so I contacted her. We arranged for a date in January where I would visit, bring whatever clothes I wanted (think glamorous she said) when I stopped laughing I had a rummage and literally threw stuff in the case.

We had to bring the date forward as my op has been brought forward 😬

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

Kevin(non-registered)
Just found your most recent post Wendy.
I love the way you look at things and, although you don’t want to - who would ?- you are ploughing ahead with treatment and your hopes are high.
Please keep blogging, it helps a lot.
Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Kevin Lanigan(non-registered)
Try and stay strong Wendy. You can beat this.
Let yourself be scared of it all, you have loads of friends to help you if you want
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