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Showing posts from April, 2012

A year on....

Three weeks on now and much of the bruising is going which makes the wardrobe decisions easier if I manage to head out. And with growing confidence in my recovery comes the risk of forgetting advice on what not to do. So when I carried a basket in search of percy pigs and the like at the weekend I just forgot not to carry too much. The result wasn't just significant pain for a few days ,  it was a real bursting of the bubble...and bubble i did. No lasting damage happily and as my son sagely said no harm in such a reminder of my vulnerabilities. I am coughing a bit too and the rash remains on my face, so i am back to more carefully pacing myself again. Honest! We celebrated my husbands birthday yesterday and I recalled it was therefore my one year anniversary since being re diagnosed with breast cancer. We were together as a family when I was called to confirm the diagnosis I was expecting. And consequently headed forth into a year that we were not expecting. The first year in our

Walking and singing maybe but knitting...that would be a no!

As regular readers of my blog know I was flattened by a chest infection in February and I worried how it would affect me for my imminent surgery. But also I was concerned that in six months I had had two really bad spells of asthma, an unusual pattern for me. My own feeling is that because my main coping strategy had been to keep going and not let the recent diagnosis dominate my life, I had not given myself the space to acknowledge the impact at all. So I decided to seek some support with it. I created the space if you like to talk it through and ensure I considered other coping strategies. It was really helpful to let go  the coiled spring tension, that I had unconsciously garnered to keep going. Of course for me this recent experience also takes me back to the previous time I had breast cancer. Perhaps my biggest discovery was linked to talking about my fathers death just after my treatment-such a hard time for us all as a family. Did it stop you grieving for him I was asked.....no

Cheese, tunes and Breaking Bad!

It's now two weeks after my op and I have passed the mascara test...that is I have actually worn some! Just once but that's a sign of progress I think. The headache has finally gone. In its place I have nursed a cold sore and an unrelated rash on my face. The cold sore is going but my rash is , I think,  spreading. I have tried the unscientific, slap on any cream I have and see why happens , method so far. Surreptitious scratching is not helpful but holds a certain satisfaction. Google holds no solutions so far so perhaps a more scientific approach will be needed eventually. I think what it's really telling me is my body is still impacted on by the surgery and I need to acknowledge that. Point taken! The South Pacific trip was huge fun. More cheese than Mellis ( local cheese shop!) and all the better for it. Three generations were entertained by corny numbers like "There is nothing like a dame" and beautifully romantic "Some enchanted evening".....ah t

Trying not to do a Sarah Lund!

I broke free from self imposed house arrest yesterday and went out. The sun was making an appearance and we went to the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. It's one of my very favourite places and it's close by. There is a wonderful restful quality about the gardens, even when they are full of people.  The views across Edinburgh are inspiring and an amazing showcase of its ancient beauty. I am still struggling with headaches and so thought the fresh air would be helpful. But I had untamed hair and (almost) no makeup. We only recently moved back to Edinburgh so I still think I won't see people I know when I am out out. Wrong! I met one of our fab research scientists and also a great friend of our team at Breakthrough Breast Cancer in Scotland. It was great to see them both. Now I have been trying hard not to do a Sarah Lund re work!( if you haven't seen the Killing don't worry all will become clear...but not till the last episode!). I know I am off the case to fully reco

Are Percy Pigs the answer?

I wanted to update my blog one week on from my surgery. Is it just a week? And I want to be honest about where this week finds me.   As advised I have planned to have 8 weeks convalescence and at times I have thought ;" 8 weeks , I laugh in the face of eight weeks to get better". And then again I have also thought, that's one week gone already ,"HELP!" So I guess the truth varies. Some of my bruising is better but it's still coming out and travelling too. It's long trousers and roll neck sweaters for me if I don't want it to be seen. Perhaps what I have struggled with most is probably the result of a long anaesthetic. I still feel waves of fatigue and fairly queasy at times. Worst of all has been a three day migraine. It's a result of disruption, tiredness and stress I expect. I have tried everything. My migraine treatment works for a while but it's not stopping it. So here's the list of what else I am trying: paracetamol ( pah!) , lots

Hit by a truck?

I was admitted quickly this week and before I knew it was sitting in the ward trying to distract myself. A neighbour was clearly unwell and the conversations I overheard made me realise how much. And also how distressed she was. The nurse was deeply caring and supportive and it was almost my undoing. I put on my iPod ( thanks again Karine, the beauty of the voice and lyrics a welcome distraction), partly because I felt like an interloper but also to try to focus elsewhere and stop my mind travelling down a road.  My family visited that evening and I asked for help to,change into nice PJs and comb my hair before  they came, knowing how I looked would impact. It did  and they were relieved by the efforts. But that evening my sons girlfriend had a nightmare linked to others she saw in the ward and the evident  impact of cancer on them. It reminded me that my instincts when they were younger, to keep them away from my treatment was right. When I had my ops my children stayed with my paren

Have we lost our concept of convalescing?

It's 30 years since the Falklands war as many commentators are highlighting just now. I was one of those people who said war could never happen over a set of islands most British people had never heard of..that we wouldn't risk lives in such circumstance. I know better now and I realise that political ambition in whatever it's hue can lead to such , in my view, flawed decisions. But why is it relevant to me in particular? It has brought back memories of an earlier hospital admission. I was pregnant with my son and had my appendix removed. A stressful time largely because we feared I would lose him. Happily I didn't but it meant the surgery was more complex and I was sent to a convalescent hospital.......a concept no longer in existence. Picture a scene from Call the Midwife and you will have taste of it. ...and i am not that old honest .It was a long ward of about 30 people ( a Nightingale ward as it was named after Florence!). Many of the patients were about 40 years

The benefits of TLC..both kinds!

How do fill your time after getting up for the last coffee before fasting for real begins? Write a short blog entry? OK. It's so hard not to hit automatic pilot and make my porridge so i am looking for distraction. I have been reflecting on anniversaries. No not the ones linked to precious stones or similar, those ones linked to events, diagnoses , loss and so on. These type of anniversaries can be evoked as seasons change, with songs listened to , with places, with smells. So many things that can bring back memories ,so often in this situation ,unwanted. As we have embraced April i too have experienced that and of course here I am bag packed going into hospital to try to in do the physical and in many ways psychological impact of last year.I have pulled some of the clothes I wore ,as recovered last year from the wardrobe, then stuffed that back quickly, so strong were the sensations they evoked. But another irony struck me as I opened my invitation a few days ago to breast scre