Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Fall out

Well as predicted there has been some emotional fall out from my appointment with Dr Dave on Monday.

There has been a lot of processing both of the information he gave me and my reactions to it. 

And probably no surprise to anyone (except perhaps me) it culminated in a very big cry last night and  the admission that I don’t like the fact that I have no breasts, that I feel disfigured (there I have said it) and that I have had breast cancer.

I was very tired, sore and frustrated that doing normal things required a much bigger effort.

I had driven for the first time, been to have a facial which was heaven but required an explanation about my sensitive upper chest and shopped and cooked dinner.

Feeling OK within the confines of home is one thing – re-joining the outside world another.

Added to that, on Monday Dr Dave took off all the steri-strips to expose the surgical wounds. They looked raw and fresh and I found it more confronting than I expected.

Yes he has achieved a good cosmetic result but you know what – the cosmetic look I had before was just fine thank you.

So all of that just tipped me over and it is a been a strange conflict of emotions since.

Remember I wrote that it all seemed like a bit of an overreaction to one small lump in my breast?

Well as we all now know the pathology results showed that in fact I didn’t just have one small lump, but that the cancer cells were much more widespread in my breast.

So on the one hand I now feel justified in making the decision to have a double mastectomy because in fact I had “real” breast cancer (The reason for the inverted commas is because I was actually asked once by someone if I my first breast cancer was “real” and no I didn’t slap her) but on the other hand I am struggling coming to terms with the knowledge that it wasn’t just a little lump.

Not sure that that makes any sense. I think much of it is connected to my experience the first time I was diagnosed and the fact that I “only” had a lumpectomy and radiotherapy.  (That needs a whole post to itself)

On a lighter note, and there is an  intended pun here, Dr Dave gave me a copy of the pathology report to take home. 
Apart from the fact that the report contained detailed information about the cancer, the size and the grade, what was most disturbing was the rather pathetic weight of my boobs.

Between them they weighed 663gm; the right was 388g and the left 275g

The packs of chicken breasts I buy for schnitzel weigh more than that.

Guess I won’t be noticing that weight difference when I next step onto the scales.

As promised I also asked him about the difference in the charge for the right and left breast. Seems it has nothing to do with a home shopping discount offer but rather the more mundane way that Medicare apportions costs for multiple procedures in the same operation. Boring.

So yes it has been a rough few days since I saw him. Relieved that the decision was a good call yet still trying to come to terms with what had been  growing in my breast and the fact that I may need more treatment.

As Van Morrison wrote " Mamma said there would be days like this" and I guess he was right.

P xx


  1. Wouldn't it be nice to wish yourself a few months into the future to a point where you have already gone through the bit you are in now?
    Of course, if such a power existed you'd probably just wish yourself a reality where cancer is simply an inconvenience like a swollen ankle and is easy to fix.
    Unfortunately, such powers don't exist but personal experience has taught me that baby steps will get you anywhere so just keep moving, thinking, processing and eventually you'll be 'on the other side' of all this.

  2. Sorry, that all sounds a bit trite and I don't mean it that way. xx