Thursday, 12 July 2012


Last week I went for my 6 monthly check up with my surgeon. Having been through all the worry of finding a new lump and then getting the wonderful news that it was benign, I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. Which just goes to show that you should never take things for granted where cancer is concerned!

I took this appointment as an opportunity to mention the ongoing pain I have in my chest that is mainly focused on the area directly underneath my scar. This has been with me for a year and is not only very debilitating, it is also inconvenient as most of the time it makes it too uncomfortable to wear a bra. As a result, even though I have a new contact prosthesis, I am forced most days to use my soft 'temporary' one if I want to look symmetrical when I go out.

I had assumed (mainly because this is what my GP has said) that the pain is there because of the broken ribs I sustained last year from being resuscitated and the horrible fall and that radiotherapy had slowed down the healing process. I just resigned myself to being on painkillers for a long time in the hope that it would eventually sort itself out. However, after a year of constant pain I thought I might as well get a second opinion whilst I was with my surgeon.

He then shocked me by saying that there was absolutely no way broken ribs would still be causing pain after all this time. Instead he thought that there was something much more serious going on in the form of either a regional recurrence or bone mets and has ordered up a load of tests and scans. He also said he is referring me to another surgeon to get a second opinion on it all.

It is an understatement to say that I was shocked!

As a result I am struggling to sleep again and really very scared at the possibility of facing the same traumatic treatment I went through last year. I'm not sure how I will cope psychologically if I need to have chemotherapy again, just thought of it fills me with dread.

The icing on the cake was a confirmed diagnosis of Lymphoedema, which is hugely disappointing when I've been so careful to look after my arm but I guess when it's your right side and you are right-handed, the risks were that much higher. My surgeon is referring me to the specialist clinic and he also wants a scan of the veins in my upper arm to see if vasculitis is a contributory factor.

So, all in all not what I was expecting from a routine check up. It truly sucks to be back playing the waiting game again!

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