Meeting the fifth major player in my medical team took the wind right out of my sails yesterday.
Here I was, seemingly about to breeze into a five-week stint of radiotherapy with the idea that my two follow-up surgeries could be over and done with by the end of the year.
Well, I was way off!
Everything has gone as well as it can since my breast cancer diagnosis last October. Scans all showed the tumors were contained, chemo was degrading but the outcome was the best we could ask for and surgery appears to have depleted my body of those nasty bastard cancer cells.
The radiation ‘clean up’ will be time-consuming and monotonous — but I only see it as one of the small hurdles (like those the under 7s start with at Little Athletics)!
Next stage is a mastectomy on the other side and, at the same time, reconstruction of that side and a complete rebuild of the other. None of these things HAVE to happen. But they are likely to save my life!
As one of those ‘genetically challenged’ people with a BRCA gene mutation (my doctors reckon they know most of us by name) my chances of cancer rearing its ugly head in my other breast and /or my ovaries are increased. So I’m chosing to lose them!
That means an even longer time under the knife and in recovery than I thought.
Underestimating the time it may take my skin to heal after radiotherapy was the first lapse of time I inconveniently overlooked — as was the time needed between the first part of the reconstructive surgery and the second.
In the scheme of things, I hope, when I look back in 10 years’ time it will be a tiny, minute spec of my life that I had to put in the hands of this BC. It’s just that it’s all been a bit overwhelming this past 24 hours to think of what lies ahead in the next 9 months (not the next 4 as I really hoped it would be).
What is a few months though hey? Well I’ve already been part of this fight for 10 months so a few more can’t hurt.
Trouble is I just wanted it all over and done with, to live life not defined by cancer. That will come — as a family we all know it will — it’s just going to take a bit longer than my impatient mind and body had hoped!