Welcome to the c word

I rarely show the world what is going on inside it is just not my style. I hide pain and constantly worry about worrying other people and how they will feel about how I am feeling. I keep my problems to myself and sometimes even from my closest friends. Well not this time.

I have been on the c word roller-coaster (I'm calling it the c word to go easy on the faint hearted) for over three weeks now and have decided it is a good idea to write down what's happened, happening and going to happen then whoever wants to keep up to date can without being forced to hear about it through emails from me. Because you will all have days where you just can't or don't want to hear about this. I get that it’s ok.

I hope not but you also might meet people or know people who go through something similar and it might just help them in some way to know they are not alone and when they fall apart it is ok because who wouldn’t. When you read this please forgive grammar and spelling etc I have not slept for three days and sorry too if it is up and down that is pretty much how I am doing most days.

- Tuesday 23rd February 2010

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Too much time on my hands

Not a lot to say really. No not glowing yet, no super powers. Just very tired and have a bit of red skin colour, swelling and an itchy feeling but nothing major. As they said there will not be strong side effects for a couple of weeks. Me inside? Well I am little low today, too much time alone to think. I really would like access to a car now to get about and get back to see the boys, Phil and of course my little Monty shadow who I miss the most and unfortunately I seem to be a little unlucky at the mo with that. Should be mobile any day now hopefully.

Sending love xxx

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Rads so far

Hello, Sorry for disappearing, I did not take my laptop to Brighton and therefore did no blog updates.

Radiotherapy right. Yeah it's not fun but it's not so bad really.
First day they do the usual scaremongering "occasionally some people find their skin around the treated area blisters and slides off" and "we don't recommend wearing deodorants as it may react with the radiation". Oh great.
So they aim and localise radiation with a machine directed at an angle to miss your lungs for obvious reasons. The radiation, which is broken up into daily doses over 4 weeks to not over expose you, kills the cells in the breast (and any cancer cells hopefully) and therefore the skin which is the first place it meets will potentially become damaged like bad sunburn I suppose. It will make the whole area solid and firm and maybe give me lopsided boobs in a couple of years. It turns out after interviewing a few female friends, who obviously won't be named, that many women already have lopsided boobs and I was pretty damn lucky really that mine are even or were anyway. Some women say it evens them up so that is cool for them I suppose.
I admit I find it hard to be glad or appreciative of what it is doing to me, it feels so barbaric to kill the good cells while my body fights and uses all it's energy to rebuild them. My poor healthy cells. Also as silly as it sounds the word radiation rings bad bells in my head and unnerves me from growing up with Chernobyl and hearing about the radiation poisoning and what it did to those poor people over the years after the disaster. I suppose that is the first major disaster news story I remember from childhood and I strongly remember that radiation was bad and it never really left me.

As for the actual event well first day took longer with waiting and a broken machine issue but it was over relatively quickly once they got going. Pretty much you go in get in gown, lay on table thing, wap boob out, get drawn on, lights out, get positioned, lay still, they leave, you breathe, 4 minutes of a machine moving around you buzzing at you and a slightly warm sensation and it is over you are free to leave and enjoy the lunch your mum buys you in some cool Brighton cafe or like yesterday the lunch your very sweet compassionate friends have made for you at your house.
Second day I went in to reception, hello, went to sit, "Sarah Bolland", off I pop, strip, lay down, drawn on, positioned, buzzzzz, out. all in five minutes. It is weird though how you lay there breathing heavily and I can see my chest rising and falling and I am wondering if I am messing up their positioning because I am breathing so heavily because my heart won't stop racing damn it. They are fantastic people and so professional in every way you can't help but admire them and it is over so fast compared to other treatments. and yet if given the choice I would rather not have to walk forty minutes to hospital and 40 minutes back in the midday sun to zapped with some scary stuff that makes peoples skin fall off, thanks all the same.

Still 20th July end date 'last treat' is what they call it I wonder if I will get a lolly xx

Then 22nd July one tired post radiotherapy patient is off to the Marsden to see my surgeon about my boobs and thus starts the five years of 3 monthly visits until you get the official all clear, the reason they do this is sadly because for some people the bastard thing comes back, well not me thanks.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

2 more sleeps

So I would be lying if I said I was not apprehensive, of course I am. Yet I think what is bothering me the most is the the idea of a whole month every weekday same procedure...up, shower, put on E45 cream, wear cotton, hardly any deodorant, - you have to, remember gown, head out to hospital, sit in waiting room for ages, go in undress, zap zap zap, out, Oh it's only 10am now what? So I am trying to get a little car to run me around and keep me entertained through sort of the last bit of this ordeal. I say sort of because of course it is not over until I get the old 5 year all clear which I presume starts from the end of radiotherapy. Every 3 months, go check the boobs and hope.

But I am fine really I am, bored but fine. : ) Hope you are too xxx

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Worried? Pah.

Awake 2am. I swiftly turn over the pillow to get the cold side and then settle back into position usually on my front with one arm under the pillow, no idea why. As I drift off into a peaceful sleep the cat starts in an rapidly ascending tone to request that can he go out and sniff things in the night air. No Monty sleep first. But last night Monty saw his opportunity of a restless body and persisted until I gave in. Downstairs let cat out all without opening eyes fully. Bed. Sleep. Awake 4am. Let Cat in who as I drift off this time decides he wants food but not the perfectly palatable food in his bowl, no, new freshly served by human hands food please...now. So opportunistic well fed cat returns to bed and sleeps purring loudly in a position that requires a skilled level of contortion-ism to adapt gently round without being bitten for disturbing his rest. I fall asleep for what feels like a minute, don't you hate that, and the alarm is repeating the countdown tune until I submit and heave myself towards the bathroom.

I have been fine up until yesterday and it totally spun me out that all that can unravel without notice just because someone tells you you will be in a dark room for up to two hours and get your boobs tattooed.

Reality of it is it was fine, a breeze might be going too far but it was fine and over way faster than I was told. I donned the flowery gown that has sexy poppers for easy boob access and laid down on the examination table which swings around the room faster than you would expect and then three different people drew on me and took x rays and photos of my boob. All in a days work really.

The purpose of today was to get my rads schedule, remember all the cool kids call it rads, and to be aligned ready for the actual treatment which consists of 3 weeks every weekday of radiation to the whole breast then one week of direct targeted radiation to the cavity where the tumour was, which apparently has titanium clips in so they can find it, news to me. The reason for such intense aligning is to ensure that they don't effect the lungs so they come at the breast from an angle to sweep across it and just under the rib cage but hence not touching the lungs.

Rosie came with me kindly and distracted me in the waiting room where waiting feels like a punishment of the worst kind. Then we went and had lunch at the Kemptown deli and I fed my latest addiction of haloumi.

Tired now so signing off xx Night.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Tattoos tomorrow

So even if I try to convince myself I am not worried about tomorrow my body begs to differ, my stomach is in knots again similar to the first few months of diagnosis, but I keep telling myself it will be over soon and I have only to get through this last stretch. There is also this naughty little part of my brain that occasionally throws up the idea that it might come back and I will have to do it all again and chemo too. I suppose that is quite natural really.

I am also apprehensive about this business of laying still with my arm up in a sling thing for up to two hours and being tattooed in two places with indian ink, I get a feeling this visit will be the worse one in some ways. It will be over soon, it will be over soon. Gulp.

I am fine though I hope you all are too xx