Yes, it is good news folks. And didn’t we need some of that. It seems all that pain, nausea and hell of chemotherapy paid off. The tumour is down to 3 cm, halved in size. My surgeon, the relaxed and immensely reassuring Mr Zammit, said he couldn’t even tell the difference between it and normal glands. He gave me three options for surgery without even a sniff of the M-word. I could have a procedure that meant taking a good chunk of breast tissue, meaning that there would be quite a change in size and shape. That also meant another operation next year to reduce the healthy boob to match. The next was to go in from the top and just take the tumour (plus a margin), meaning leaving a big scar on my cleavage. The last to tunnel in from around the nipple and remove the tumour leaving no scar at all. I was slightly tempted to get a free boob reduction on the NHS with option 1 but big NOPE to the more operations and bigger scarring. So I plumped for number 3. I’m actually pretty blown away that I could come out of all this, not only with my boob intact, but pretty much the same as when this started.
This is my boob pillow for after the operation. I thought it was rather a sweet touch to make it heart-shaped. The surgery is going to happen the week of the 6th July to give me some extra time to recover from my “rough time” (their words) in chemo. I’ll have all my lymph nodes removed too now that they did their job but are not to be trusted anymore. Seems like a poor reward for the wee glandy thingies. A drain will be fitted below my armpit to collect fluid from the wound in a tiny bag that they give me a handbag to carry around in. I’ve never had a handbag in my life so this will be an image change. One interesting part of this process is that I’ve realised I don’t fit the medical profession’s idea of what a woman should be concerned about. I fear I haven’t been consuming their make up sessions and free perfume with the appropriate level of feminine enthusiasm ; p
I’ll be in hospital for 2 or 3 nights depending on how I regroup from the surgery. Hopefully I can go home lickety-split but the drain may be in for a week and it could take a month to recover fully from the op. After that it will take 2/3 weeks for them to analyse the tumour and the margins to check there’s no pre-cancerous or loose cancer cells around. If there is, I’ll go in for a day operation to scrape away the tricky areas. If those are clear or it’s clear in the first place, then it’s onto the next phase of radiotherapy. But that’s for later.
For now, let’s celebrate and enjoy the awesomeness of boob save-age and shrunk lump.