So my wee sister Jo, who is currently in Central America learning permaculture and collecting a ridiculous amount of minor injuries, has been embroidering me this beautiful image of the Goddess Ixchel. I marvel at the love and talent that went into this. Anyway she will be teaching me this amazing skill and also to play the ukelele whilst I am house-bound. It got me thinking about other things I could learn/do while feeling like pants. I have no idea what I’ll be up for, if anything. But it could fun to get your ideas my bosom buds. Hit me.
So today really felt like we’re battening down the hatches and making ready for imminent treatment. Mum and Dad starting purging the house of all unnecessary items and went home with a car full of our crap. Something they vowed NEVER to do again after years of their progeny’s old furniture, fridges and schoolbooks filling up their spare spaces. My house plants that have been hanging on for dear life for years now got some VIP repotting by Mum and are now no longer staring at me accusingly from the corners of the room. The parents also brought the above pictured giant box of healthy snacks (from my sister Kim and her peeps too) and I am well and truly ready for months of idle chewing of all things hemp or fruity. My sister now has the official role as ‘Head Snack Provider’. Energy balls will become increasingly in demand I predict.
Adam has also been all over the case and registered as a carer and a team up support group who will hopefully come and weed and water my allotment while I’m sick so I don’t lose it. I’ve been doing my bit for the coming Chemo-pocalypse by finding out that there are free massages and hypnotherapy available at the Sussex Cancer Centre that administers the chemo. Awesome! I will probably miss out on the purpose-built Macmillan complementary therapy centre though as they don’t open until October this year. I also nabbed one of the last two flu vaccinations left at my local GP surgery (she wrote my name on it and everything) but I’m going to check with my oncologist first before I get it. Apparently if I get any bugs while in the chemo treatment they have to delay the next round until my blood count is up. Also I don’t really want flu to turn into pneumonia which can happen when my immune system is wiped out by chemo. So we’re getting things in place ready for the coming storm and I’m feeling like the team is coming together and all hands are firmly on deck.
So this is the room in the clinic where they first told me I had cancer. I knew as soon as they took us to the room with the comfy chairs, it was gonna be bad. And they have been taking us there ever since. At least today it wasn’t so awful and the meeting with the surgeon held no devastating surprises. He actually said that the original lump is probably around 5 cm (not 6 cm) so some slightly better news. I’ll take it. But they can’t know for sure until they yank it out and do a Quincy on it. It looks like the chemotherapy will come first to shrink the bugger before they do surgery. This will mean two things. They can see if the cancer is responding to the chemo as the lump will start to shrink and if it’s smaller, then they will take less tissue out of the breast. Thus furthering the goals of the ‘Save the Breast’ campaign, please sign the petition: “Dear Cancer, We strongly object to your plan to take over Heidi Bachram’s breasts. Please stop.”
Anyway as this was a slow news day for us, Adam and I descended into competing for the affections of the nicest nurse in the clinic, Julie. You’ll be glad to hear that I won said competition after she gave me a squeeze of my upper arm as we left the building. Next big news will be next Tuesday when we get the results from the lymph node biopsy (under armpit) and the small lump in my left boob.
So I just went to the Park Centre for Breast Care today for the first time since I got the news that I did have breast cancer. The poor innocent building is beginning to fill me with dread and fear. I must get a grip on that because I predict I’ll be spending a lot more time there. I had the biopsy of my lymph glands (under the right armpit) and they also did a biopsy of a very small lump that the MRI detected in my left breast. All numbed up, so at least there was no pain. Although I’m feeling a bit sore now and there’ll be no weightlifting for 2 days. Doh! So I got the news that the original lump is actually 6 cm whereas we previously thought it was 1.7 cm. So, quite some difference and it was a huge shock. But apparently these things can be relative and big boobs may mean big lumps. And as the radiologist made clear, I am “well-endowed” so there’s plenty of room for the surgeons to manoeuvre in. There’s still a good chance to ‘Save The Breast.’ Anyway the next big test result to come is from the biopsies to see if the cancer has spread to the other breast and to the lymph glands. We’ll deal with that when and if it comes. So I’m feeling pretty shaken up and I’m rolling with it. After a few of these bad news days I’ve discovered that I’ll have a day of weepiness and then I’ll accept it and make it part of the new reality.