So since I last wrote a lot has happened.
I am over my anger over the lack of information and getting on with life. Walking, going out with friends and doing the allotment and obligatory housework.
After the weekend my wound became sticky and slightly leaky. I applied a dry non lint dressing to it but it just carried on leaking. It is on my left side just under my arm. It was irritating enough to get the sunburn and rubbing sensation without this. I reduced my stretching exercises and slept with it open so it could dry but neither helped.
Anyway I rang the Breast Care Nurse Specialist who said to come in. I was going to see the McMillan Information Nurse anyway so I was put down for afterwards.
At the information center I wanted to know about wigs and the Look Good Feel Better scheme. The nurse was lovely and gave me information on place to go try wigs on and told me that you don’t get free wigs on the NHS any more. You can have one wig up to to the value of £120 but have to pay a flat fee of £67.20. She said when they were free people too advantage and had wigs up to £600.00. I sort of don’t blame them for wanting the best but seeing as you only need it for a few months it seems a waste of money. That’s just me. I have never been a great spender on my appearance.
She booked me onto a Look Good Feel Better session in which someone comes and talks and shows you how to put on make up an make the best of your features. When going through a lot of the therapies I am told that people find it really useful to do this as they need to adapt to hair loss and changes in image and confidence.
After that I went round the corner to the clinic and saw the nurse who in turn got consultant in clinic to see my wound. The are looks like there are gaps along the wound. I think they are the bits between the stitching as it has gone in and out of my skin. Anyway. He didn’t think I needed any antibiotics and suggested dry dressings. He said for me to see my own consultant the next day who would assess it in terms of whether he wanted to operate with it. They also checked out the gradually building collection of fluid around my chest that moves around. This is known a seroma, a build up of clear body fluids. It isn’t bad and may get it drained when I have my op but it should absorb. Breast Care Nurse Specialists can drain it if bad enough once a week.
Afterwards I spoke to the Nurse Specialist as I was worried that I missed information when seen last week and that I was unhappy that no one had directly said that there might be risk of further surgery. I also advised her that I work better with a bit of information up front no matter how bad.
From this she gave me what sort of cancer I had (lobular) and that it was GRADE 2 not Stage 2. The standard in my hospital is to use stages that basically say whether a cancer is fast or slow growing and how the cancer cells look under the microsope. I am grade two.
A better explanation here: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/cancer-grading
Finally she gave me lot of information on the chemotherapy treatment I will have. this helps me massively and I came away feeling better. Main thing is that I will lose my hair and knowing me be very sick.
Next day I returned to see my own consultant who said my wound looked unusual and as it was still leaking stickiness he had a disinfectant soaked dressing applied with the nurse giving me more for home and advice. She said I may start that at the end of October or 4 weeks after the lymph node clearance.
I also asked him again about a CT scan as the sort of cancer I have can spread easily to other parts of the body (secondaries). he normally wouldn’t do on unless there were four on more lymph nodes with cancer in them but I think he took on board my worry. He made no promises.
In the last few days I have started preparing for my next op on the 29th. I have requested my blood pressure pills as I run out on the day I go in hospital. I filled in a free prescription form; this could have been done ages ago but the doctor didn’t know what form it was. I got one and took it to her. She also signed me off until the beginning of January but I know I will be off longer than that.
I am beginning to have a lot more energy although I was tired after all the above. I went out for a meal with a longstanding friend Wednesday night and yesterday spent a few hours on the allotment before the appointment with another few friends and had a few more round for a glass of wine last night.
I am in town today meeting yet more friends and trying on wigs which I am looking forward to. All in all a productive week.