Fear of the unknown…

It has been almost 7 weeks since I had my operation. I enjoyed being a princess for about 2 weeks and my mom and sister were amazing. They humoured my OCD bathing regime and it was fabulous. I quickly worked out a routine for myself and became self sufficient.

I have to pinch myself when I look at my new boobs! They are so amazing and so comfy! I certainly don’t miss the old ones!!!! I also have had no pain whatsoever. It was really just the focus on not moving my arms too much and sleeping on my back that kept me on my toes. I feel very lucky in this regard considering I lost 2kg (easiest weight I ever lost) in theatre.

I have been visiting Sheree, my plastic surgeon basically bi-weekly for dressing changes. Cancer boob is being a pain and I may need to get a stitch put in to close a little spot that isn’t in the mood for healing. Usually visiting a dr this often is a mission but visiting Sheree is such a pleasure and I just love hearing about the fascinating surgeries that she is doing saving little kids. I am going to miss our visits when cancer boob is healed.

After my surgery, Sarah my surgeon, said that she had found some tumour still left when she removed the tissue in the area. The tumour was removed completely and the margins were clear but this has been worrying me terribly because it means the chemo which worked so well at the start was not quite as effective as we thought. It means that I didn’t achieve a Pathological Complete Response (PCR). This freaks me out a little, I won’t lie. I have been so focused on the chemo and surgery and now suddenly I am faced with the next steps. Its a bit like I felt at the beginning when I was first faced with the news.

It’s a bit scary to think that this may come back and that keeps yelling at me from the back of my mind. I am actually cancer free now and I should be celebrating that!!

Yesterday I met with Ronwyn and Karabo, my oncology team. I got to show them my new boobs which they loved!!! Well done Sheree LOL. I wanted to see Ronwyn to talk about the chemo tablet that had been mentioned by my radiologist. I wasn’t too keen on more chemo side effects so I wanted to understand this fully so I could prepare myself (see brain comment above). Usually facts calm my brain down but I was quite tense afterwards with a whirlwind of emotions swirling in my head (not your fault Ronwyn & Karabo). My brain works in black and white! I don’t like grey areas!!

I went to visit my friend Haley afterwards. Haley has been in hospital for 7 weeks for cancer treatment herself. I just love our visits and seeing my friend and what she is going through ended my little pity party. As my friend Sofi would say “Suck it up Buttercup”. I do enjoy visiting Haley and its rather hilarious because the staff think we are sisters so I get to stay much longer than normal. Pity I didn’t realise this earlier!

Some very exciting news however is that I may be entered into a new clinical trail. I will report back on that in my next blog.

So the way forward… I start radiation for 4 weeks on the 18th of October, given my wound is healed, and then I have to take oral chemo for 6 months. The upside of this is that I get to see Karabo and Ronwyn every three weeks which is pretty cool. My dancing girls!!

The one side effect that is worrying me is Palmar-Plantar Erythrodysesthesia or hand-foot syndrome because this could affect my running. I cannot wait to get back to running and back to the trails with my running buddies. I have missed it so much and have such FOMO watching everyone running awesome trails. This syndrome happens when tiny amounts of chemo leak out of your veins and it affects your hands and feet. Your hands and feet shouldn’t get warm or confined on the meds so I will be keeping ice buckets at hand to cool down my feet if it means I can do some running again.

On a more positive note, I am heading to the bush in two weeks for a very welcome spoil and I can’t wait to enjoy it with the family and my special friends. The leopards of the Sabi Sands better come out and do the hoola for me with honey badgers as the side show.

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