Readers may recall that at my last appointment with the breast surgeon (2 December), I was told that I was being referred to the oncologist to determine what treatment I need to have next. I'd hear from them within two weeks, and I should feel free to chase this up. So, naturally I did - repeatedly - and was told - repeatedly - that said appointment would be today or tomorrow.
Blog: The Big J vs The Big C
Making the breast of a bad situation ...
On 4 October 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This blog will chart my progress through treatment, and continued enjoyment of life, love and friendship.
Expect humour, irreverance, occasional sadness, and staunch defence of the National Health Service.
Btw, that picture is not me. :-)
I guess when you have a 15-inch surgical wound, there is a fair chance that an inch or two of it may become infected. But when it does, it is horrid, painful, smelly, leaves a worse scar and - more worryingly - may delay the treatment needed to keep the cancer from coming back.
While identical in its pathology to general breast cancer, Big Breast Cancer has its own peculiar symptoms and foibles.
Big breast cancer:
Basically, biologically, clinically
Bog-standard breast cancer
But brings complications
Bad bastard cells
Build big clumps
Burrowed, buried, concealed
Beneath buxom cover
Before being caught
Here is the very good news from today's appointment with the surgeon at Homerton Hospital (pictured):
OK, so the novelty has worn off now, and sitting round recovering is beginning to, erm, get on my tits.
The big long wound is healing very slowly. The other wound, under my armpit, has a stubborn sore patch next to it. Eight days after the surgery, it was Booby Tuesday again, so I had another walk up to the GP's surgery to have the dressings changed again, and get some advice on what to do.
Written on the occasion of the Labour Party's campaign day for the NHS.
It isn't my humour
That sees off my tumour
Or my banter and mocking derision
It isn't my laugh
But the medical staff
And their caring, their skills, their precision
Back home from the hospital on the very (Mon)day that I had the operation, I felt remarkably cheery and pain-free. Obviously the anaesthetic hadn't worn off fully.
See those letters on my chest? Here's what they stand for:
- R-WLE: Right Wide Local Excision
- SLNB: SentineL Node Biopsy
Yep, it's two operations in one go. The first means removing the cancerous lump and the area around it; the second means removing one or more lymph nodes.
First stop, the London Independent Hospital (pictured) in Bethnal Green.
1 November, and it's Booby Tuesday again. Today, I will get the results of the biopsy on the second lump and the plan for treatment. After a lot of uncertainty, this is what I want.