Monday, 5 June 2017


My surgery results


Two weeks after my surgery, I went back to the hospital to get my results.

That's about the size of it

The consultant explained that the lump she'd removed was 32 mm in size and over half of the lymph nodes in my armpit had cancer.  Thankfully, I didn't need any more surgery as the margin of tissue they took from my breast that encircled the lump was clear.  However, there were still 'starbursts' of cancer cells in my breast and these would be treated as part of my regime. 

I didn't flinch or get upset when the consultant explained my results.  I'd already got my head around having breast cancer and so the pragmatic part of me just wanted to get on with the next step in my journey. 

Dodgy lung

The other strange thing the consultant told me was that the CT scan had shown that one of my lungs was partially collapsed and that it had been like that for years.  Well I never!  Down to having pneumonia when I was a baby or when I was thrown from a galloping horse into a concrete wall as a 'should-have-known-better' adult?  Hmm, the consultant reckoned it was the pneumonia.

The treatment

I was told I needed six sessions of chemo with one session every three weeks, following a regime called FEC-T (ha, I thought of Father Ted at that point), and then I would have three weeks of daily radiotherapy.  I would also have to have an echocardiogram to check my heart would be OK for the treatment, plus I would be given hormone therapy to tackle the oestrogen.  It was likely I would be on it for up to 10 years.

The consultant told me that I would lose my hair.  Funnily enough, the thought of losing my hair has never really bothered me.  There have been times when my hair has driven me up the wall and on more than one occasion I've just wanted to shave it off in a moment of madness.  I don't feel phased at all.  Well, not yet anyway.    

Workboots on

That night, I posted an update on Facebook about my results.   All of a sudden I saw a comment appear from Adam Keefe, the very 'easy-on-the-eye' former captain but now Head Coach of the Belfast Giants, my beloved ice hockey team.  

I'm embarrassed to say that I screamed like a girl when I read Adam's lovely comment.  I couldn't believe he had spotted my posting and had taken the trouble to reply to me, using the hashtag #workbootson.  I was absolutely bowled over and so excited.  'Oh for crying out loud Karen. You're acting like a bloody teenager,' my husband said through slightly gritted teeth.  

Adam Keefe - you're a legend.




Pictures by www.presseye.com and used with their kind permission.
                                
Prognosis

So what's my prognosis?  

'Intermediate' apparently, which is worse than 'good' but better than 'shit'.

There is a saying which says 'If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.'  I think I prefer 'If life gives you juniper berries, make a fecking big gin and tonic.'

Next time...

I'll be blogging about getting out and about, moving more and meeting cancer mentors.

PS

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter: @luvvacurry






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