Wednesday, 26 August 2015

All Clear

So,  I can't ever say that I have had the "all clear" or that I am cured.

What I can say is that my operations pathology results were extremely positive. I have been told that I have clear margins and no lympth node involvement. As good as it can get.

So the next step, as previously thought, is radiotherapy. The Oncologists at my Hospital did not recommend chemotherapy. As they think it would be more detrimental to my health than it would be a benefit. I struggled with this decision for a while. Why couldn't I throw everything at it? But as they see it, there is nothing there to have anything thrown at it.

So, if there are any bastard mutating cells left in my boob, then I really hope the radiotherapy zaps them into oblivion!  Radiotherapy does have it's own set of side effect. But because it is targeted therapy, it will only harm the area treated. When I say harm, I will be likely to have very red, sensitive skin, be more prone to skin cancer and because my cancer was on the left side, it could cause long time side effects to my heart. It's all serious. But then so is cancer. So I'll get on with it and deal with what comes my way.

I will be writing a more detailed post about it. But, I hope that my prognosis will show at least one person that early diagnosis is the best thing in a shitty situation. Self examination is the only way that you are going to find a lump early (in my own opinion). Taking notice of how your body feels and how it normally works will guide you when something bothers you. Do not delay in getting it seen by your doctor and perservire if you are not fully confident in their opinion.

I am also a week into my hormone therapy. 5 years of Tamoxifen. It will block any cancer cells from using my oestrogen to grow. It's not perfect, it does not stop it forever and when I stop taking it, it means that a flood of oestrogen will flow through my body once more, hopefully there wont be any bully cancer cells lurking, waiting to take hold. But taking Tamoxifen does lower the risk of reaccurance. So I shall take it and I hope I can handle the side effects (which I will not go into right now, but all I will say is, menopausal side effects and plenty of them! JOY)

As this goes on, I have a feeling that I will become a lot more interested in nutrition and how eating well will benefit me and ease what ever side effects I may experience.
I will also be working on my mental wellbeing, which to everyone's surprise (even my own) has been very resilient. I thought I was in deniel, I worried why I wasn't crying harder and more often. But I just didn't and wasn't. That wasn't how I dealt with it.
But that's the thing. NOW there is no IT, to speak of. Great. It truly is great. I think the problem with coming to terms with the fact you have experienced cancer and the over whelming fear it instils in you, is this;
The fear does not go away. When you are diagnosed. You get upset, angry, scared. And then in my case motivated. Motivated to keep positive and get the fucker out of me. There was an it, a thing that was not welcome and I was constantly telling it jog on, to get out!
Like a cancer cell, the fear mutates. NOW my fear is not an IT. It is an IF.
What if?
When I voice my concerns about What if this? What if that? I understand what my friends and family tell me.
You can't live your life that way.
You can't beat yourself up
What if you got hit by a bus?
What if you regretted not following your dreams.
What if you reach old age and feel a void.
Even though literally I have no void, as I was lucky to have breast reconstruction. Figuratively speaking there is a void that the lump has left within me. It is not constant, but sometimes, it opens and my fears pour out and my positivity gets sucked into the dark. WHAT IF it comes back. WHAT IF it is not all out of my body.
Let me tell you what I know.
Hopefully you wouldn't see that bus coming before it knocked you down. Your first Cancer Diagnosis, will knock you down. Friends, family and a team of medics will be there to help you get back on your feet and then you are left on your own. To deal with it. You don't have to die from being hit by a bus, you don't have to die if you get cancer. But once you have had cancer you will always be unsure about what's around the corner. Don't try and tell me that if you were hit by a bus, you wouldn't be looking left and right before took your next step.
Cancer will not rule me. But for a time it became a part of me. And it will forever leave a mark. It is up to me how big that mark will be. I hope it will become smaller as time goes on.

Thank you for your support and kind words.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Five days post surgery

All I can say is this, when you are told to just rest. Resting is boring. But I need it. Sometimes we all need to take a step back and make ourselves have some epic relaxation time.

On the 6th of August 2015 I had my first ever operation. It was four and half hours long. I woke up with a new scar, a drain coming out of me and a slightly smaller, but not that ugly left boob. I was able to have some breast recon after my lump was removed.

If some way, shape or form this operation has saved my life. I find out next week if I will need another operation, if I will need chemo and if there where any other cancerous cells found around the lump. But for now, I cant help but let myself think that right now, this could be the worst it gets. If it does get worse, if I get news that my prognosis has changed and that I will need more treatment, I will find a way to deal with it. But, for now that is a hurdle i'll have to jump come Monday. For now, I am resting and giving myself time to heal.

I have been watching back to back episodes of Happy Endings!- LOVE IT
Calling my besties,
Taking naps
Reading lots of magazines
And just,


Accepting that this has happened. Accepting that it is shit. Accepting that yes, I am scared. But I have also accepted that I am now in need of creating a new normal. Liz 2.0 is currently under construction.

Accepting change is the only way that I will be able to move forward. I have a feeling Liz 2.0 is going to kick some serious ass! 

Monday, 3 August 2015

Dear Lump

(warning my lump pic is down below!)

Dear Lump,

Hopefully in a couple of weeks time my hopes will be confirmed. That after you are removed on Thursday, I will be cancer free. That none of you remains. No evidence of disease. I can never be 100 percent certain that one of your little cells hasn't broken off already. Floating around to find somewhere else you can get comfortable. But, I can hope that pathology will confirm the MRi, that no cancer will be found in my lymph glands.

How amazing would that be. No evidence of disease. No feasible evidence of cancer. What will remain is how your increasing mass has affected my thoughts, from good to bad. Prominently good. I want to do good. I want to live with good thoughts, good deeds and a good heart. And having you take residence has reminded me not to take anything for granted. I will grab hold of my life and enjoy everyday. I will get through the bad days, so I can relish the good ones. Accept the ying and the yang.

It's all good.

If there is reasonable doubt that you have not been completely removed or that you have made your way to my lympth nodes. I will remember the hope that is in my heart today. That I know I can do this and soon you will be no more than an memory. A life lesson that I will keep with me everyday. Everyday, it a good way. If it starts to haunt me I will remind myself that I can be in control of somethings.

And that control starts with a happy healthly mind.

So I write this:

Dear Lump,

you are not welcome
dont get too comfortable
this is your eviction notice.
sayonara cacinoma!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

When your operation is Cancelled

F.Y.I: I wrote this on Friday. Was going to make a picture, I then felt lazy and didn't.

*insert pretty picture here*

Today, I feel like I am in mourning.

For this morning, I should have awoken in hospital after having my operation to take away the little malfunctioning lump! Alas, this did not happen. After the 7am check in, the not eating from 2am, not drinking water from 6am and the injection in the nipple (OUCH), getting marked up for surgery and even getting a bed and put in a sexy ass patient gown. I was told at 2.15pm that I would not be having my operation.


Basically 43 operating theatres broke down when a computer glitch meant that blood transfusions where not working. I could have had my op, but the surgeon felt that because of delays that the surgery would have actually been rushed and he didn't want that.There simply was not enough time. So on the positive, at least I feel cared for. It is shit but I have to think how stressed all those people where when the computers went down, when operations were going on. It must has been awful.

So as I wait for my next operation date I will reflect on how ready I felt for the surgery. It was a long day but everyone, even Nurses commented on how calm I was.

I truly was calm.
Little mantras ran through my mind to keep me focused.
"This is scary, but you are a grown woman and you can do this"

That was my must constant one. Not the most poetic, but it was the most helpful.

Positive thoughts really are very powerful. As long as they mean something to you, the positive words you create for yourself are the best things you can hold in your mind during difficult times. Making mini mantras has really helped me and kept me focused.

I have to preserve the surgeons markings as best I can. This way the whole process wont be as long next time. We hope. So I  have these really cool clear stickers to put over my boob to keep some of the surgeons drawings as crisp as possible. As fate has it, it has meant that the red blob that shows exactly where my stupid lump is has been kept as perfect as possible. So for now I shall "look after" that lump. Just so I know I've done my bit to help remove it! and when it is gone.

I'll think "so long sucker!".