Friday, 17 December 2010

waiting is all I do these days

The last few days have been full of all sorts of ups and downs as I have slowly but surely discovered that cancer well and truly does take over your life one way or another. If I am not stressing over what lies ahead and the years of uncertainty it's the day to day stuff that brings it all home to you.

I now have my permanent prosthesis which is a lovely match to my other breast and although I am not quite healed enough to wear a proper bra yet, it is still brilliant to know that I can now have a natural looking bust again. It is surprising how things like this make such a difference, just a small step towards normalcy of some sort. I went for a wig fitting the same day and that really was an emotional experience; I cried when I tried on the one I bought because suddenly there was the pre-cancer me looking back in the mirror! I had not expected to be quite so tearful about it but sometimes a little cry is a good thing.

In other ways things have gone decidedly pear-shaped. Much as I hate the prospect of all the side effects, I really want to get started on chemo but due to staff shortages it will now be after the holiday break. At least it won't spoil christmas and truly I am grateful for that but it is back to the waiting game again and I just hate that as there has been so much of it over the last few months. In fact I feel like most of life is all about waiting either for test results or treatment of various sorts and I'm finding it harder and harder to deal with it as my reserves of stoicism and patience get used up.

Next week I am having a Hickman Line  fitted because I was at high risk of extravasation (tissue damage caused by the chemo drugs leaking into the tissue surrounding a cannula) and also vasculitis makes my veins harder to find and easier to damage. I am pleased that this decision has been made in advance of me starting treatment but it does mean weekly dressing changes resulting even more of my life being taken over by it all.

This last week I think I have been finding it harder and harder to escape the fact that I have cancer for even a moment and the realisation that it is very difficult not to have your life defined by being a cancer patient has been a tough thing to deal with. I will get through this but it often seems that just when I am getting a handle on things something else comes along to knock me back. The final straw was being told that I should strongly consider having a further mastectomy as a means of reducing the risk of the cancer returning as apparently I come into the high risk category. Admittedly I don't have to worry about this for at least a year but when I am having a hard time dealing with things as they are this was one piece of news I could have done without for the time being.

Now I guess I'd better try and find the enthusiasm to write some Christmas cards - not much hope of that right now, someone pass the chocolate please!


  1. Yikes,if I am understanding what a Hickman line is- that doesn't sound like fun. Still way better the the alternative of poking hole every time. They us a portacath on me, which I just had put back in yesterday.

  2. Nope, it ain't fun but then I guess a portacath isn't much either. Definitely better than being stuck with a needle all the time though! :-)