Monday, 16 September 2019

Day of rest

The sun is actually shining. Today we have a day of rest. Nothing much to do. I’ve made an appointment for the Fox to have his hair cut while he has the chance. I’ve noticed my library book needs to be renewed by tomorrow. As I have less than 100 pages to go I’ll look for another book to take out.

Tomorrow it will be all go with a trip down to Chorley. We had contemplated going down today & staying overnight in a hotel, give ourselves a chance to unwind, but I could not find a wheelchair accessible room anywhere. So much for that thought.  I gather it’s likely to be about an hour’s drive down to Chorley.

I suspect the week is going to get ever busier as it goes on. There’s food shopping to do. The cleaner will be coming on Thursday as will the results of the biopsy. I suspect then another flurry of hospital appointments will arrive.

As it is my aches are growing. The lump that had shrunk with the biopsy seems to be growing again. As it grows it’s getting more painful again. I’m just grateful I managed one good night’s sleep to help me through this spell.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

A good night's sleep

At last I managed a good night's sleep & feel so much better for it.

When I got changed last night I took off the dressing over the incision for the biopsy. All looked fine underneath so I didn’t bother putting on another.

I could manage once more to turn on my side in bed. I even managed to snuggle into the Fox when he joined me.

The biggest ache was in my armpit. The tumour(?) is under a muscle in the breast which made things so painful. Presumably the muscle stretches into the armpit. But at least now I can lie comfortably. Even the lump which started the whole process is now smaller, thanks to the biopsy. It’s also less painful.

Things are certainly not perfect. I’ve still got a painful shoulder, an excess stiffness as much as anything else. But at least the pain levels last night were at a level I could sleep.

There is something truly wonderful about a good night's sleep. With it you can take on the world. Without it everything takes so much more effort. You’re half defeated before you even start. Even your morale can rise. I just hope it will continue. But I am grateful for at least one.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Pin cushion time

The news does not improve.

Yesterday we went off for the 9am thorax contrast CT scan. We were soon heading home. We stopped on the way back to buy some crumpets. We’d just finished the toasted crumpets & a mug of tea when the phone rang. The hospital. Could I come straight back? The radiography doctor at the breast clinic had seen the CT scan & wanted to urgently do an ultrasound led biopsy. We set off back to Lancaster.

First the doctor wanted to put a cannula in me & arrange for me to go for a CT scan for the lower part of my body. After three attempts with no success he abandoned that. My veins just wouldn’t accept the cannula.

He progressed to doing an ultrasound of both breasts & my neck. In my right breast he found a cyst, which may or may not be cancerous. He duly drained it & sent that off for analysis.

He then took a biopsy from left breast. He assured me that, based on his over twenty years’ experience, he is 99% certain that is definitely cancer. The only question is how far it has spread. He gave me no clue but, since he feels a further CT scan is essential & his need to check my neck & armpit as well as breast, I fear the worst. He is also convinced Tuesday’s visit to Chorley is going to be a waste of time as it isn’t a sarcoma. However, as I have an appointment, I might as well go to make certain.

After that he tried to find someone else who could maybe get that cannula in so they could get have go. Another doctor tried. Another failure. Without a cannula in I can’t have the second CT scan.

After over three hours at the hospital I finally left feeling like a pin cushion & badly bruised & sore.

By the evening, the local anaesthetic was wearing off. I went to bed to find it was impossible to lie on my side or front. It was just so uncomfortable. Each time I turned in my sleep I was awoken by the pain. I couldn’t help yelping at it. I think it was almost worse than when I had part of my breast removed three years ago. I had a very ropey nights’ sleep.

Now we wait for notice of the second CT scan. They want to co-ordinate the person with the best record for getting cannulas in at the hospital with a vacancy in the CT scan schedule. It will probably Friday again.

On Thursday I should get a telephone call with the results of the biopsy. It sounds as though it is a foregone conclusion.  Breast cancer. The only things we really want to know are what, if any, treatment is going to be offered & when will it begin. As I’ve said before, the thing with cancer, the sooner you begin treatment, the better the odds of success are.

The one good thing is that the lump seems to have reduced a bit since the biopsy. Or maybe the dressing over the incision for the biopsy just makes it seem that way.