13th January 2022
I’ll be honest, I am glad to see the back of 2021. The timing of the change of year has mirrored my situation, with 2021 seeing the last of the worst of my treatment and I look forward to better days ahead!
So, here’s an update since my last post. I had surgery as planned on 16th December. General anaesthetic is a peculiar experience. I’ve had a few operations in my life and each time, it’s a bit weird anticipating the knowledge that you’ll be knocked out and brought back again! That feeling of losing consciousness as the anaesthetic works is odd and then, when you come to, there’s the nurse calling your name and you fade in and out for a bit. All the staff at the hospital were wonderful and the surgeon did a great job with very neat stitches. I was delighted to know the port-a-cath had been removed as it was proving very uncomfortable as I had lost weight.
A small area of tissue was removed and some lymph. A drain had been left for the lymph area, which means a tube to a bottle. It works by vacuum rather than gravity. I was sent home with a linen bag to put it in and carrying it around with me all the time was a bit odd. I had to put the bag handles over my left arm to ensure I didn’t get up in a hurry and leave it hanging!! They sent me home early that evening and I felt pretty good. Didn’t need much in the way of painkillers but I took them when I needed them.
That was on the Thursday and the following Monday I went to have the drain removed. I think the nurse had done a few of those before. No warning, just whip it out! Best way but it makes you wince a bit! Much better out than in. I was pleased to see the back of the tube and bottle.
On Christmas Eve, hubby and I returned to see the surgeon who let us know that the operation had been a success, with no sign of any cancerous tissue removed! Hurrah! The chemo had done its job. Only fly in the ointment was the lymph area which had a small seroma (a build up of fluid) which the surgeon drained (more needles). Normally seromas are not much of a problem and go down fairly quickly after surgery. I had to be the person who had a massive build up and over the holiday period too so it was 5 days before I could ring them and go back for it to be drained again. 450ml of it. The relief. However, it built up again over New Year, with another bank holiday to delay matters, so it was a similar size. I was back the next time within 3 days and it still needed draining but is getting much better.
Meanwhile, we met my oncologist again who confirmed that I would need radiotherapy. He is a very technical guy and enjoys explaining everything in detail which is good except for the fact that I only take in a small part of it! Basically, I have to have four weeks’ treatment, Monday to Friday. It sounds like the technology has changed a great deal in the ten years since I last had it. I will need to hold my breath to create as much as a gap as possible between the area being zapped and my heart. I think it’s a case of hold your breath as long as you can – the machine knows when you let the breath out again. I have practised and can hold my breath for up to a minute. We go back for another consultation soon to see the unit and discuss dates. I don’t have a problem with radiotherapy – compared with chemo, it’s easy. It only last a few minutes.
He also confirmed that my Phesgo injections could resume – this is a protein blocker because my cancer is HER2+. I have these injections every 3 weeks for 18 cycles and I’ve had around four already so they will go on until September. The injections only take about five minutes to administer in the thigh. It feels quite sore afterwards but wears off. Best not to drag your trousers back up over the site like I did the first time – that hurts! Otherwise, injections are quick and easy. No nasty side effects so far either. Fingers crossed that continues.
So 2022 means more treatment but nothing awful. My body has been through a bit of a battering so it will take time to build up my stamina and strength again. My fingernails are in a dreadful state, poor things, and break all the time. I’m taking supplements and going for walks again which is all good. And my digestive system is improving. Yay!
I can’t set dates for my courses yet as I need to complete radiotherapy and feel strong enough to resume ‘normal’ life. However, I am meditating and working on my spiritual skills and well-being so that I’ll be in a strong place when I am able to resume the courses. And of course, on a day to day basis, there is always work to be done, holding light, radiating light and connecting with my soul and my guide. It’s very easy to forget to do that when you get caught up in emails, the internet and everyday matters but that’s when it’s needed the most! I’d say this is still very much a work in progress. Personality taming continues!!
And my new hair growth almost covers my head. It’s still really, really short but when I brush my hand over my head it is beautifully soft! It will be a while yet though before I can ditch the hats and turbans, not least because it’s cold without much hair! I still wear a thin cap at night for that reason.
So, that’s where I’m at. I’m very much looking forward whilst trying to make the most of the here and now. I wish you all the very best for 2022. May we all experience a better year than the last two. Focus on the positives and believe we can make this world a happier and more loving place xx