Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Preparation is key

Yesterday I went along to the Primrose suite at the hospital. First of all Hubby and I were really confused by the chirpy ladies on reception. There they were chatting and laughing,  to be fair I wanted to say " Er excuse me" but then I realised - well its not meant to be a morgue is it!
 We took a seat and checked out the fish tank, well Andrew did. I walked round and saw all the books and leaflets on cancer and chemotherapy which to be fair is perfectly normal to me now.
After a short wait we were called up by my nurse Rachel, shown to a lovely room and immediately offered a cup of tea. I had brought a list of questions ranging from what cancer do I have - multifocal grade 2 invasive ductal carcinoma with metastatic in the axillary nodes. Which to you and me means the cancer is in one area, but we don't know how big it is. The type of cancer is fast growing it's spread to at least one lymph node, but its a common cancer. So once the operation is done and everything is tested, I will get my results two weeks after whereas they will  put all of my statistics into a computer and it'll come up what type of treatment to have - which is aimed to cure me - amazing really. So two and a half weeks later I will be told what the future holds. I will be with the hospital for at least 5 years, but they are hoping that the treatment should take only 6 to 9 months, depending on the statistics.
Anyway,  I then asked Rachel a few more questions and had a little bit of a chat about my feelings. Which to be fair is mainly on the side of how bloody inconvenient this is at this time of year. As a control freak I wanted to get the house ready for Christmas and guests etc. I am convinced I will still be okay over Christmas and chemotherapy won't start until after. However not sure if I could rock a bald head for New Year's Eve! Although having said that on the way out -armed with loads more booklets - I am thinking of starting my own cancer publications library. We were taken to the wig department and the wigs........wow! There were at least 4 of them I'd quite happily wear. The room itself is made up like a little beauty salon with a dressing table and mirror for the fittings, while we were there I was also given a leaflet on pampering therapy entitled - Look good- Feel better, it's based around a complimentary make up workshop that I can go to - and I get a  free goody bag full of make up - happy days. I was also given a swimwear and underwear brochure although pricey some of it was very glamorous and I thought now you're talking. This having cancer lark is not too bad, wigs, free make up, new boob, what more could a girl ask for?

Through all of this my husband and children have kept abreast (no pun intended) of what has been going on. I sat the children down again yesterday and gave them an update of what's happening. My son pondered everything we had told him and  asked " when you go bald, please tell me you're not going to get a really wacky wig?" To which I replied " Of course I am Con this is my chance to look really outlandish, I want a purple and pink one. I will never get this chance again, to be able to express the real me" He looked at me - sniffed then asked if we could have sausage and mash for tea.
My daughter Katie is happy that even though I can't drive we can have a girls day in for her birthday the week before Christmas. Popcorn, hot chocolate and a movie day!

My husband Andrew hugs and kisses me everyday as if his life depends on it, we joke ( as always) that I am a selfish cow for getting cancer, but after Rachel  has told him I would probably only be in the hospital a maximum of 5 days tops he is slightly annoyed that he won't get the bed to himself for long to perfect his starfish impressions, but on the other hand he is relieved as he tells me he won't have to cook, clean, work and look after the kids for too long on his own - as it will be all too much for him...... I raise an eyebrow and we collapse into giggles. Laughter is never in short supply in our house.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Brave and beautiful

This week I have had the pleasure of spending time with some lovely people. First there was the wonderful lady who invited me to her home and showed me her boobs. Now that doesn't happen every day, but if you hold the C Card apparently it's a regular occurrence. I have to say they looked so fantastic - they made me cry. She then showed me last month's Sun newspaper where she and her hubby along with 2 other couples appeared topless in a centre spread. I found myself having to take a step back from embracing this lovely woman - who after all didn't know me, but had the good grace to allow me to tell her how fantastic I thought she was. When I left her house over two hours later,  I realised this would not be my first encounter with a brave and beautiful woman, who'd overcome Breast Cancer.
Whenever you see pictures of woman and indeed men who have come through this terrible ordeal, or are in fact coming through it, it seems to me they all have one thing in common - a radiant smile.
Yesterday, I went over to see my father in law who's just finished his last course of radiotherapy. In the summer he had a large operation for Bowel Cancer, and this time the treatment was for prostate cancer. I was anxious to see him, as we hadn't seen either my Mother or Father in Law for a while as he hadn't been  up to it. We knew that he would be weak, and we had joked that we would clear the way pretty quickly as he had the toilet 2 step - as we called it, and would continue to do so over the next three months because of his treatment. I had begged my husband not to tell them about my diagnosis, as apart from the fact that my husband's uncle - ( My father in law's brother ) has terminal cancer. I felt they didn't need me to add to the mix. Little did I know that my husband felt awful for lying to them. So in the end we agreed to tell them.  I have spent quite a few phone calls where they are trying to be cheerful because of their situation, and I'm trying to be cheerful because of my situation - oh the bloody mindless things we do so as not to worry our nearest and dearest.
During our visit yesterday, after hugs and kisses we skirted round each other' s illnesses -so as to not upset anyone. Then finally after a cup of tea and a slice of cake, we decided to plunge right in. We compared notes and talked about wigs and the beeping of radiotherapy machines. Biopsies, and our aches and pains, and all through this there was one thing that stayed at the forefront of my mind. My Father in law told me that in the radiotherapy suite where he went everyday for his treatment, all the people who were having the same treatment, were always happy and smiling cracking jokes and nobody came away - least of all him -  feeling sad.

 The lady who showed me her boobs earlier in the week had told me the same thing. The unit where she'd received her therapy was a happy, tight knit place. She had told me that these people had become her friends.

All through our visit with my in laws all I saw was my Father in law's radiant smile. He laughed and joked even though it was obvious he was in discomfort, and as I looked at both of them I realised that they were overcome with worry about me, and I was overcome with worry about them.

As I sit here typing - an old clinch I know - but I can't help thinking that if this people can get through it, so can I,  the grand dads, the Mother's the Sisters, Aunts and Brothers, and all the wonderful people that have battled this terrible illness.

 Last week during Children in Need we sat - my husband and I over a glass of wine or two, and as I watched a mother with 3 young children prepare them and herself for her inevitable death, I turned to my husband and said, " Just to get one thing straight, I'll never get like that - I'll know if it comes to it when there is time to stop treatment and not have my body swell up like hers, enough is enough"  but of course now I know that she never stopped fighting, and even though at the end she was swollen up. She was still their mum and all the time she was alive she carried on being mum. But thinking back now I realised that she - even though she had accepted the inevitable - still had this radiant smile on her face.
Hopefully my cancer, will never get to this stage as my nurse has told me the aim is to cure. But I aim to battle - yes I bloody well do, and like I told my son today when he was embarrassed to sit in McDonald's with me. "There will come a time when I am going to be very weak and have no hair, but I still might want to go out, how embarrassed are you going to be then?" - to which he replied " I'm not going to be embarrassed to go out with you if your bald mum, there's no shame in having cancer" I looked at him and realised that whatever happens I'm still his mum, I'm still a sister a daughter, a wife and an aunt - so I owe it to all these people including my friends to just bloody well get on with it. After all there are people out there that are worst off then me. They might not have cancer but some of them don't have a family and friends....... I know what I'd prefer!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cups of Tea

When I had my last operation 3 years ago. I waited 6 weeks, 6 weeks all over the summer as the tumour in my stomach got bigger and bigger. The amount of tea friends and family got through as we sat around the kitchen table waiting for the operation was phenomenal. 
This time I am continuing work, as I'm self employed I can do so. I also don't have anyone to tell me I have to produce a sick note all the time in order to get paid. The fact of the matter is - I just don't get paid - but hey ho you can't have everything. Good points are as I work within the wedding industry - things quieten down this time of year anyway. Also as a great plus point I look normal. (?) No large stomach and questions about when its due.
Bad points are - no I don't get paid, and I have to ensure I am fit for work as soon as. Hence I have already booked in work leading up to next Autumn. So in my mind, wig, false eyelashes and lovely drawn on eyebrows and just like now - nobody will know I have cancer.
However, I am under no illusions that it will be easy, so for the sake of bad days. Which I won't have a clue about. I have decided that I will sit with the cat and catch up on all the thriller books I have tucked away upstairs, watch catch up TV, feel sorry for myself and drink tea.
When I was in pain after my last operation, waiting to heal. I still managed to put my make up on and look good - even if I didn't see anyone all day. So whether I feel sorry for myself or not - I will still be wearing lipstick, and when I go bald I will ensure I have a great hat or scarf sitting by the front door in case someone pops in and joins me for a cup of tea. After all not only was I was raised to coordinate, I was raised to always make the tea. My daughter is the same.

For those of you that have been following my blog you'll be pleased to know that I have done quite a bit of Christmas shopping and sorted out a few bits and pieces that were floating round my head. I've not ruled out going out for dinner Christmas Day, think I still have a bit of time to sort that one - I have asked the kids and either way they are fine. Andrew not so keen - after all he'll probably be paying!
So what with that and booking in a last minute book club with the girls. My next move is to make sure my roots aren't grey when I go in for the operation! Imagine the plastic surgeon looking at nicely painted toes and finger nails, threaded eyebrows. plucked and waxed bits and bobs and grey roots!  He would be horrified. Especially as he wears nice hand made suits. I wouldn't want to let the side down.

Yesterday, I went out to buy a sports bra, hmmm not happy they don't come with lace.  I've also been told that my PJ's have to be buttoned , so that they can open up as I won't be able to lift up my arm. Buttoned up PJ's seriously? Oh well as long as they coordinate I suppose that's the main thing. Also it will give my visitors something to laugh at whilst they drink their vending machine tea.

Now to fake tan beforehand or not........................

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Limbo Land

This morning after another sleepless night I found it extremely difficult getting out of the bed. Don't get me wrong I'm a miserable cow first thing in the morning any way, but this was not a morning like that, this was like I had flu. Even brushing my hair was a monumental task.
I decided that I was going to sit on the sofa and have a do nothing day, and what did that bring me - guilt! Guilt that I hadn't done anything and believe me there's a long list. Lets take for instance Christmas - I've bought 2 presents. Normally I'd have got the lot by now. My daughter has her birthday the week before Christmas and I haven't even got her a card yet. I have, however got my mother in laws present, unfortunately we've had to cancel all the plans that were made for her - its her 70th, as I go into hospital that same weekend. How inconsiderate of me!
Another round of guilt that keeps me awake at night is, who's going to cook the Christmas dinner? My family have all said don't worry about it this year, just have the four of you and the cat, the kids are older now so they won't mind. This has made me really angry. Even though they are 15 and nearly 17. I still love to carry out all the little traditions. Stockings left on the bed, wrapping the presents to match the colour of the tree (yes sad I know) Cooking eggs benedict and serving bucks fizz for breakfast. The list goes on. It even includes shouting up the stairs every half an hour on Christmas Eve whereabouts in the world Santa is as I follow him on Google.  The kids obviously just raise their eyebrows at me. We've had the same conversation for the last couple of years. "Mum you know there's no Father Christmas don't you?"  Me " Well then you won't get any present will you! You know he'll use his magic key to get in the house to leave them" At which point, including my husband they laugh quietly and let me get on with it. The truth is Christmas is precious in my house, its a time for friends to come round Christmas Eve for a mulled wine 'home made' mince pies and shortbread. How the bugger am I going to pull that off this year? Andrew says the same thing to me over and over. " Don't worry about it just concentrate on getting yourself better, the kids and I will sort everything out" this makes me even more worried, poor Andrew and the kids how will they cope. I need to be able to support them, how can I put them through this again. Unfortunately, I am a control freak. When I had my last operation I came home and started mopping the kitchen floor. So there is no hope for me really.

One thing I have let go of (sort off) is decorating the Christmas tree. When I told Andrew and the kids that it would be really nice if they put it up whilst I was in hospital, they all just looked at me - " Mum you are joking, you'll only come home and moan that we hadn't done it property and change it" I said " No I wouldn't" but I know and they know that I would, when no ones looking obviously. That's why every year they put balls and other decorations on my gorgeous work of art,  that don't match my colour scheme and I know they do it. They all sit around sniggering, as I moan " who put the gold/silver/red ball on there?"
So this time I plead " Can't you just do this one thing for me this year and match the tree in - please, I've got Breast cancer"  but no they still snigger, pat me on the head (my son) and say " course we will"  whilst exchanging smirking glances. So even that's going to keep me awake at night now!

Other things that keep me awake apart from - has the cancer spread? Do they really have to take my breast off, can't they just zap it?............ and that all time classic..... are they sure I've got cancer maybe they've got it wrong? All mingle in together along with the should I be eating or drinking that? Will drinking coffee, eating red meat etc. make it spread? So all this waiting around  is excruciating. I've got another three weeks yet.

Trying to act normal and continue to work is difficult, yesterday, I went to see someone - suited and booted as usual, to give them a proposal on some events they'd like me to do. Do they know, I think? Are they not going give me the job because they think I won't be able to handle it in-between  all the treatment? After all who would hire a woman waiting to have treatment for breast cancer? Then, I think am I kidding myself here, am I going to be able to handle it? I've already put my life on hold before, but didn't I read somewhere that the hospital can fit my chemotherapy and radiotherapy in around my work? Or did I just make that up?  What if Andrew isn't busy how are we going to survive money wise? Round and round my head go these questions as I lay there at night.....but maybe the biggest thing that worries me and its really petty but I don't care I can't help worrying about it is - if I put on weight or lose it, will my new boob stay the same? Or will it grow and shrink the same as the other one? After all when I lose weight or put it on, my boobs are the first place to show. Especially when I put on weight and stand in front of my husband, you can see the pure delight in his eyes as I say " My god my boobs are huge." " Yep" he says like the cat that's got the cream..............

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Isn't it ironic - don't ya think!

Today I got to thinking that after hearing  " Isn't it ironic" twice in one day, that I wonder why God doesn't share luck out fairly? Or in fact why he gives bad luck to some more than others? As I was working at the office today,  I mentioned this to Kim, she looked me in the eye and said what I would have said " Because you're strong and you can take it" Don't get me wrong I could sink into a pity party here, but I think I'm going to need a few of those on other days in the future.  Even so, certain thoughts run through my mind -such as -  how much stronger do I have to fucking be? Not that I would wish this on my worst enemy  but come on, if there is a god, is this some sort of test and have I still not bloody well passed? Am I going to have a wonderful rich life when I'm older? Or is this some sort of leveller after marrying a great man, and this is Gods way of saying - you've had a bit too much good luck Wendie, and to be fair we've got to chuck you a couple of major catastrophics to make up for it? I hope there is a God, because when it is finally my time - we will be having words.....

Yesterday, I joined the "official cancer club" I phone Macmillan and registered myself as a cancer sufferer. Makes a change that I didn't have to pay a subscription, normally when I register for anything these days - as I'm self employed there is always someone who is ready to take your money. Having said that, I have got a blinder of an excuse now. Let me give you an example, this week alone I have had, Yell, Facebook and Thompson Local call me on the business line. Normal spill happens when they rattle on about their fantastic offers and don't let you get a word in edgeways to say no. I usually carry on working, or if I'm at home I sort the whites from the colours and load the washing machine as well as sticking the kettle on. I've been know to watch a whole episode of " Homes under the Hammer" and eat my lunch on one occasion with Thompson Local.  Any how, now I just blurt out very loudly " Can I just stop you there I have just been diagnosed with Breast Cancer and I can't commit to anything at the moment" This is then followed by a mumbled apology and a CLICK BURRRRRR as the phone goes down. It's brilliant I recommend anyone who is close to me to use it. Hubby to N Power, Daughter to PPL. So if anyone out there wants to use the breast cancer card and use me as an excuse of not shedding out loads of money - please do.

Finally, I spoke to Rachel yesterday and told her my decision that I wanted to have the mastectomy  and reconstruction done all in one go. So now the letter is on its way out to me to confirm the date and time etc. This should arrive the day before the operation as the NHS tend to use Timbucktoo postage. Anyhow, after visiting Holland and Barrett, and Boots and asking about an alternative to HRT ( I've had to come off it) Primrose oil seems to be the only thing I can take as the hot flushes and night sweats are taking hold. So when I asked Rachel whether I could take anything, she basically told me that I have to get on with it until after my treatment. So when I've finished writing this post I'm going to just pop my head in the fridge again for 10 minutes or so.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

I've hit the wall

On Friday I went back to see the consultant and he confirmed that the cancer had indeed spread to my lymph node. So not only would I have to have a mastectomy I would also have to lose some lymph nodes. As I am now getting used to the terminology ( I practically live on the Macmillan site) the official name is Mastectomy and axillary clearance. Its seems I have stage 3a cancer. Which includes a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and then a couple of years of hormonally balancing medication. So obviously I can't think about all of it and I have to take it day by day.
My operation is scheduled for the 6th December.

I was fortunate to also have secured an appointment with the plastic surgeon in the afternoon. Where he measured me up and after some oohing and ahhing he told me that although I will lose all my skin over my boob including my nipple - tumour is attached, he can do something called  a Lattisimus Dorsi Flap, which to you and me means that a muscle, skin, tissue and fat are taken from my back and used to make a new breast. So no implant yippee! Unfortunately, he also told me that he recommends that I don't have this procedure done until all my treatment is out of the way. Which means that I will have no right breast for at least a year!! Apparently, it can interfere with the radiotherapy and can make the boob hard and lumpy. Also the operation can last up to 10 hours, can put me in hospital for 10 days. Will mean I have limited use in my arm and back for up to 12 months, oh and not forgetting leave me open to infection. He then went on to tell me that if I wanted it done regardless he would consent and be available on the 6th. He gave me till Monday to make the decision.

So here I am Sunday night after having a terrible weekend of trying to please everyone, trying to stay my usual, strong, upbeat and jokey self (even though I have been crying my eyes out, and tossing and turning in bed)  I  have decided that I am going ahead with it. Christmas or no Christmas, I can always supervise everyone else.
 Why you ask?  I could say it was because I cannot image waking up and looking in the mirror every morning and seeing no breast and just a massive scar - which would be true. Or, I could tell you  that trying to figure out what I would wear each day that would cover up my chest area and not seeing my cleavage , would be heartbreaking considering I have to look good for my job. I could even say that the though of wearing a prosthesis in my bra when the scars heals fills me with dread. Again this would be true -  but the biggest fear is going through the operation, having chemo plus all the side effects, baldness, tiredness, mouth ulcers, weight gain etc etc. Then radiotherapy, burning skin, diarrhoea etc.  Then having to put up with the Hormone medication, that also has some terrible side effects, after all this I may just turn to my husband and say " darling - I've had enough and I can't go through another operation I've had enough and I want to get on with my life" and never being brave enough to have a reconstruction. I know this would put me on a head fuck for the rest of my life, along with the - will I get cancer in the other boob and will it come back questions?
So yes I am prepared to live without a nipple ( another small operation in the future - that I may not be able to go through) and yes I am prepared to lose my hair and wear a wig, but I 've got to be realistic and realise that even I have limitations to what I can put up with, and not having a boob isn't one of them.  After all there is only so much anyone can take. Everything else has got to be left to the skill and the live saving drugs from the breast cancer team, that and my positive attuitude and a great big dose of luck.  

So now the decision is made - I just have to tell the hospital............

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Of course I'm fine

Today was the day that I had to go back for another ultrasound to see if the cancer had spread. Andrew came with me and while we were in the car he asked me if I was okay. I answered him truthfully - I really was. I dressed to the nines with full make up and blow dried hair ready to do battle, I wasn't going to  give cancer too much of my time today as it was my son's 15th Birthday. He was more important.

After we booked in and I put on the lovely NHS gown that I did remark as I walked into the room, how well it went with my blue tights and high heeled boots. I was full of joviality.
Things started off well, the consultant scanned my boob and my armpit and basically asked me if I has discussed anything with Mr Charfare my consultant. I admitted that yes I did know I had a tumour and that it was cancer, I told him that we had touched on discussing my options, but he wanted a second opinion on my armpit. Basically my lymph nodes.
Without a local he put a needle into my armpit into the lymph node as we continued our discussion. I told him that I had decided on a full mastectomy as I wanted to avoid chemotherapy. He told me that he thought there was no reason to take another biopsy from the other side of my breast then if I was going down this route. Then it hit me BAM - I was discussing having my breast removed, my nipple had a tumour attached to it, so this had to go, there was a distinct possibility that I would have to shrink the tumour through chemo and  a good chance that the cancer was all over my breast and had seeped into my lymph nodes. Here was I as cool as a cucumber discussing cancer treatment like I was choosing what to have from a menu to compliment the wine, confirming that my wishes were to remove my boob completely and have a reconstruction.
I asked for water as I felt that I wanted to faint, voices were coming from far away still talking about cancer, my options - what fucking options? I had cancer whether I liked it or not. The nurse came with me as I struggled to leave the room, I told her I needed to go to the toilet  I could barely stand. She took me into the hallway and I put my head between my legs and prayed for the room spinning to stop. After a while I took myself off to the toilet  where I looked into the long mirror at myself. I gave myself a good talking too, told myself to shape up, this was nothing compared to what I had to go through. For god sake if I couldn't manage a small needle, how was I going to cope with everything else that was chucked at me.

I went back into the room has a biopsy of the other side of my boob, came out booked an appointment for Friday. I then told my husband we were going to go shopping to get my son his favourite dinner for tonights birthday tea and a bloody great big chocolate birthday cake. Panic over!

Here we go again

On Friday the 2nd November I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Now I know what you're all thinking, " We've read diaries from woman before who have had the same, why should your blog be any different?" Well, I can't answer that one, all I can say is that writing is suppose to be therapeutic - and to be fair, I've got the urge to say things that family and friends may not understand - but strangers might.

When the doctor told me at the hospital that they had found a tumour and it was cancer, to say I was shocked would be a fair assumption. However, relief was a great word to use as well. Let me explain, 3 years ago in 2009 as I was planning for my wedding, a tumour was found in my stomach, well to cut a long story short it went on to grow to 13lb before I had it taken away. It was a very traumatic time and even though I had to postpone my wedding, I did finally managed to walk down the "aisle" with my dad and son supporting me. After the wedding and after lots of problems health wise, I was put on HRT, I argued and rallied against it but as I had gone into premature menopause, it was a final solution, and it worked. However at the back of my mind, I knew I had been given a intermission, and it was only a matter of time before I got breast cancer. Now I am sure most people reading this would think how morbid, fancy thinking that.

It took me a long time mentally to get over the operation, one year after I broke down and had to go for trauma counselling, two years after, I cried continually and became moody and horrible, so by Christmas 2011 I decided, after a long chat with my husband, in which I described myself as a broken woman - that I had to get my head around what had happened, stop worrying about what may or may not happen health wise in the future and get on with my life. So after being subscribed anti depressants,  I told my story in a woman's magazine. Remarkably, seeing the story in print like  it had happened to someone else worked and in July this year - three years after the operation, I forgot about the upcoming date and sailed on with life - any thoughts on breast cancer reeling its ugly head, was pushed to the back of my mind - still there but controllable.
However, only one month later as we were packing for our holiday, alarm bells started going off as I noticed that my nipple looked a bit strange, I showed my husband and he told me to get it checked out. I decided I was going on holiday first, we were all tired and we needed a week away, my nipple would probably clear up in its own time. After all I was on first name basis with everyone at the doctor's surgery, and I didn't want to renew my season ticket, to the NHS again!

We had a great holiday and when I came back I kept looking at my nipple, I couldn't figure out if it looked better or not, but still didn't go to the doctors. Then around 5 weeks ago I was watching Lorraine and it was breast cancer awareness week, they pointed out 5 different signs of how to spot breast cancer, I had 4 of them. Of course, you can scare yourself stupid and self diagnosing is not the best thing to do, so I plucked up the courage and went to the doctors. I came out of there with some steroid cream and was told I had psoriasis of the nipple and to go back in a week. I wasn't entirely convinced but if that's what the doctor said who was I to argue. At this time I had convinced myself that this so called belief that I would get breast cancer - was in fact only going to be psoriasis of the nipple and all these years of worrying were for nothing. My constant yo yoing of thoughts was exhausting, but in fact I was so convinced that this was all it was, I actually took my daughter in with me two weeks later for a second check up. Also by this stage I had convinced my husband and myself that the lumps that had now formed in my breast were in fact blocked ducts from the cream that I had been applying.
So when the doctor told me in front of my daughter that he was sending me to the breast clinic I was fine, last time I was given a so called emergency appointment it took 2 months for it to come through. So in my mind, that was fine - I could carry on with life.
In less than a week I was at the hospital, now for anyone who has every had a mammogram, it is safe to say that it is one of the most awful experiences - especially when you're not prepared for it and you have a sore and swollen breast - which is what I had by now. (another reason to think I had an infection)  I was asked to have an ultrasound  then another, and by this stage I've got 6 people in the room and my boobs hanging out. whereas I am laughing and joking with the nurses and consultants who had gathered.  One biopsy later, lots of blood and a little bit more discomfort. I drive myself home and am told I need to come back the following week.

So when I went back last Friday, whilst wearing another set of matching underwear, I am examined and told I have breast cancer. I looked at the doctor and a million thoughts go through my head, and I can't believe that one of them is relief. I hate myself for the feeling as I really thought I had convinced myself that I was just being silly. Who in their right mind would convince them self they would get breast cancer? However, after the chat with the nurse and a few tears over the possibilities of losing my hair, talking about reconstructions, and what happens next. The one thing that kept playing in my mind is now this has been confirmed I can get on with the rest of my life. In fact while driving home, I start to think that after, hopefully after getting pert boobs, a great wig and eyelash extensions I can get on with living.

So where am I now, after telling my family and close friends, I think it’s okay to blog about this. I am under no illusions that I have a tough and painful battle ahead, but I am determined that cancer will be the start of my life and not the end of it. My children aged 15 and 16, have been told. They were great - I know that's not always going to be the case, as after all I am their mum. I told them straight, I have breast cancer and as a family we are going to fight it, there will be good days and bad days. But, I also told them that they cannot use this as an excuse to get bad marks at school, or use it as a get out clause. We should be available to talk to each other at all times, and we are going to try our best to not be sad. We've decided that we can all back each other up if one of us is having a bad day. 
In fact my son laughed yesterday when he heard me using the pain in my breast as an excuse to my husband, I overheard him telling his sister " Mum is using having her tit off as an excuse for not doing the washing up"
On showing my daughter my new reindeer PJ's for hospital she commented " Mum you are the most positive person I know" I did tell her there are days when I am not going to be positive and she is to use those days to kick my arse and vice versa. She replied " No mum we are going to kick cancer's arse" 

As I sit here now, tomorrow is the day when I go in for another ultrasound to see whether the cancer has spread into my armpit and lymph nodes - and yes I am scared. Friday I will get my results so I will then have my care plan put into place, I am scared of chemo, I am scared of being poorly. One thing I am not scared of is dying. I have thought about it and today is one of those days I am not scared of it. Tomorrow may be different, but I'll take my chances, after all I've got a lot to fight for.