I had a ghastly start to the day yesterday when I chewed the medication I should swallow, and swallowed the medication I am allowed to chew! Eeeuw! :/ So today, I am snuggled up in my dressing gown and slippers, have taken ALL my tablets correctly, and am looking forward to catching up with you 🙂
Well it's been a funny old fortnight since I last wrote, but I'm definitely on the mend now, and am very grateful to you for keeping in touch with me. It's always good to catch up, but particularly special when you're feeling a bit low. Great to hear all about your New Year celebrations, where you were, who you were with, and to know that you're all cracking on already with 2014!
Colin and I had originally planned to spend New Year together at home, as our Christmas week had been sooooo busy! We'd managed to squeeze in a visit to Lucy and Simon on Boxing Day, take Colin's mum to lunch the following day and then had friends for supper. On the 28th, lovely Mitch and Ali popped in for a cuppa and ended up staying the night, we called in on my friend Jo the next day for lunch, and Lucy, Simon and all the children came for lunch on the 29th!
As I'd had such a generous break over the festivities I was back at QVC for the 31st December and New Year's Day, but it was lovely to see all my friends and get back into the swing of things 🙂
Obviously working both sides of New Year meant we didn't want to make it a late one, but decided at the last minute to ask if Jo and Simon could join us, as they had last year. I had saved my Simple Simon (funny that!) Beef Wellington for a special occasion, so it was perfect, and as Jo's birthday is on New Year's Day, we made it a joint celebration.
I finished work at 6pm and so hurtled back in time to get the table laid and oven on before they arrived. Luckily I still had my make up on from work so just needed to change 🙂 It was a lovely night with just enough Champagne, and the food – though I say it myself – was fab! What about the fireworks eh? We watched them oohing and ahhing as if they were going off in our own garden! Brilliant 🙂 Jo had her presents just gone midnight, we danced to some old 45s on Colin's little Dansette, and then we headed to bed as I had to be at work for lunchtime.
As you'll know I worked most days before my op on the 8th, but did have the somewhat depressing task of taking down the Christmas tree…Looking at this picture you'll see that it pretty much fell apart as soon as I started to 'undress' it, and we are STILL picking pine needles out of the carpet! 🙂 My mum said her bag of presents was filled with needles too… 🙂
The following day I was home and sorting things in preparation for my short stay in hospital, when they called to say that I needn't come in until 4pm as I was the last on the list – smaller procedures first apparently 🙂 It's a funny one isn't it, as part of you is glad for the lie in, but the other part wants just to get in and get it done!
This time it was a different hospital and a different consultant. I think you've probably gathered that I wasn't happy with the results from the last procedure, and as the proverbial 'arm around the shoulder' wasn't there for me, or realistic suggestions as to how to rectify the situation, I decided to search elsewhere. A personal recommendation led me to my new surgeon, who was incredibly kind and also asked me questions about my life, my relationship with Colin, and how I truly felt, in a way no-one has ever taken the time do before…
We arrived at the hospital and went through the form filling, test taking, and felt tip pen drawings, before Jo arrived. She has been with me every time I've had surgery, and always makes me laugh. It was the paper knickers that caught her attention this time – I've always had net ones before! I looked like an indecent sumo wrestler in them! Even Colin admitted they weren't the prettiest 🙂 What with those and the delightful gown that I STILL can't tie properly, I headed off to theatre to let the expert do his work.
Which he did, and brilliantly too, and all was well until I was in recovery and could feel pressure building up on the left side of my chest. Unfortunately I'd started to bleed internally, and as I was the last patient most of the staff had gone home! Mind you they rallied really swiftly, for which I was very grateful, as it's pretty uncomfortable and a bit scary.
It was all sorted and I got back to my room at around 1.30am, where Colin was waiting…I've never been so pleased to see him 🙂 The night staff were incredibly kind and I had my drip, catheter, morphine dispenser, and two units of blood sorted in no time. Do you know it's the first night I've not had to get out of bed for a wee in over three years!!! 🙂
Five days later I was home, and I am delighted to say the surgeon has done a wonderful job. I finally have a cleavage again, am the same size both sides, and he has broken down the horrid hard ridges and smoothed my tummy.
I do admit to feeling pretty ropey though when first home, and very tired. However, we found out on Friday that this was due to anemia (I lost a litre and a half of blood) and a chest infection, but I'm being treated for both and, as I write this, I am feeling much better generally 🙂
Saturday 18th was three years to the day since I was diagnosed…Five major ops and three minor procedures, but I'm still here…looking forward to being able to buy bras again, and to looking 'more normal' 🙂 Breast cancer is a real slap in the face of femininity, and possibly if I didn't do the job I do, I may have left things as they were…but that's not me.
Of course I would give anything to be able to turn the clock back, but I can't. I hope you won't mind me forwarding this link to you, but my Lucy is raising money for Cancer Research…I loved what she wrote, and although I know you have already given hugely, anything would be gratefully received, thank you 🙂
Kathy and Deb popped in to see me last week, Claire's hoping to make it round, Chloe also, and even Dale and Charlie are planning to visit next week, as well as my mum and Jenny who are coming to stay overnight and bringing supper - happy days! I should be back with you first week in February, but please do let me know how you all are, as I have plenty of time to read and write back to you 🙂 Take care, stay warm in the chilly weather, and stay well!
With my love, Ali xx