Progress – Week 6 & 7

I delayed writing this week because of my oncology appointment, which took place on Wednesday. My assumption was that I could detail the treatment plan here. Unfortunately not (see below). But there has been plenty of progress. 

Physical recovery

Over the past two weeks my recovery really has gathered pace. The wound has now completely healed and the swelling is reducing. For the past almost 7 weeks, I have been walking around with what felt like a cushion under my arm. It would swell during the day and reduce a little over night. Now though that has improved a lot. The past 2 weeks though, I have been getting shooting pains at the top of my arm, just above the armpit. My oncologist reassured me that the reduction in swelling is causing this. The nerves which had been compressed are jumping to life, and this is exactly what it feels like. 

Oncology appointment 

As I mentioned above, the oncology appointment was on Wednesday. After surgery a small sample of the tumour should have been sent to USA for analysis. This test predicts the likelihood of recurrence. For some reason, it was omitted, so no result and therefore no treatment yet. If the likelihood of recurrence is high I will need chemotherapy and this must be done before radiotherapy. This is very irritating as I want to get things done and over with. The doctor wasn’t best pleased either because it delays things. Plus he spent 20 minutes chasing results that didn’t exist.

The up side is that I get to enjoy Christmas with no worry about treatment. But it does prolong the uncertainty. I can’t control it, so I don’t plan to worry (too much).

Body image

Since the operation I have been wearing a soft cushion thing in my bra. They call this a stuffy. It gives some shape, but rides up and definitely isn’t the same size as my remaining boob. 

Yesterday I went to be fitted for a silicone prosthesis. It is larger, a better shape and is the same size as my left boob. It weighs a pound (yes, it has been on my kitchen scales), but you don’t notice it once it is in the bra. 

For this procedure I had my bra size measured. It may come as no surprise to find that I have been wearing the wrong size bra, probably for 20 years or more. So, rather than a 36D apparently I am a 42C!!!! Funny thing is, a 42 bra doesn’t seem much looser than a 36. The world of bra measuring seems weird and further investigation is needed. Plus hopefully weight loss!

Over all, I am feeling better about myself. I am used to the way I look and feel. I don’t exactly love the look of myself but it is who I am for now. For that reason, I will be sharing photos soon. I just need them to look as good as they can and the lovely Molly has offered to help me with that. There is no one I would rather have to photograph the new me. 

13 Replies to “Progress – Week 6 & 7”

  1. Boo to the delay! Iā€™m glad you can at least get through the holiday without the burden of treatment. You seem to be progressing so well and Iā€™m so glad to read that!

  2. Ah love it does my heart good to read of your progress. I look forward to seeing your photos and Iā€™m sure Molly will do them beautifully. Much love, Indie xxx

  3. So sorry to hear about the delay, but good that you can spend Christmas without worrying about treatment. And, I believe you are in the BEST hands with Molly!

    Rebel xox

  4. You are so brave Julie…really happy that you will have a treatment free christmas….Molly will definitely take care of you šŸ™‚ xxx

  5. You are doing so well!!! Keep it up. I won’t lie chemo is a challenge and you will lose some weight. The thing to remember is that you are the most important person with a lot of people around you and they will want to help. Let them as long as it doesn’t tax you. If you are too tired for a visitor tell them, they will understand. I had a thing with strange smells making me feel ill, so tell someone if that happens. You will be told the side effects of the drugs so write down any questions you have. I also got really cold and ended up sitting then sleeping in a strange nest thing lol. I can say my fears were much worse than the actual chemo. I didn’t feel fit enough to run a marathon but with the help of a lot of wonderful people I got through it. Yes I lost my hair and that is tough but I was told over and over I had a very pretty bald head lol. It is growing back well and I have a cute pixie cut now.

    Just remember this is all about you for a short while and again let people help you.

    Now sit back and really enjoy your Christmas and be as fit as you can be for the New Year. I found it helped to look at chemo as my weapons against the enemy in my body and I had the thought all the cancer would be gone from my body afterwards and I had something to aim for.

    I am so sorry this comment was so long and I realize you didn’t ask for advice but I have been following your journey and I wanted to let you know I am on your side. Much love to you.

    <3 <3 <3

    1. Thank you for the valuable advice kitten. I don’t know yet if I need to have chemo, but if I do I will certainly bear all of this in mind. It is good to know there are others, like you who have been through this. xx

  6. Sending love and the bestest of CHristmas wishes! have a blast. be merry. enjoy the time and leave the worrying till after. I know it’s easier said than done, but hey, you seem to be doing a good job of it!

    You are strong and brave! And i am humbled.

  7. How frustrating that you haven’t got the answers you were seeking, but I love your silver lining.
    My dad had an awful time with smells (like kitten mentioned) and that happened over Christmas. He did not enjoy the smell of the roasting turkey!
    Thank you for sharing your updates, and I am looking forward to seeing the new you.

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