It’s been a bit of a curate’s egg type of week.
I started with a rant about Community Health Services – thanks to everyone who commented on the blog and suggestions on what I should do now. I will be doing something, not quite sure what or when yet.
The good bits of the egg:
Infection now cleared up, still some fluid build up and leakage but no more visits to see Jane, the nurse at the GP surgery, who has been fab.
Three appointments at Royal Derby Hospital arranged consecutively – how brilliant is that? Lymphedema at 1.30, Physiotherapy at 2.00 and Consultant surgeon at 2.15
Lymphedema appointment was fine. 10% of patients develop it after surgery removing lymph nodes. Some good tips on using different types of materials to stimulate feeling and sensitivity, and massaging upper arms and around the wound to encourage lymphatic fluids to drain. Back to see her in 6 months.
Passed my Physiotherapy tests with flying colours. The exercises have been a doddle, mainly due to very little post op pain. She sees no reason why I can’t drive – as long as I can comfortably do an emergency stop and check with my insurance company. First job on the list for Monday.
The rotten bits of the egg.
The appointment with Mr Cheung was ….. disappointing. It started off a bit weird with him asking “What are you expecting me to tell you?” What I wanted to hear was that all of the cancer had been removed. That’s not quite the answer I got. He had successfully removed all the axillary nodes and cancer that was ‘visible to the naked eye.’ He described it as a pyramid, the base being the armpit where the nodes were, tapering up, and that advanced cancer had been found. Not what I wanted to hear. And what about the tumours in the shoulder and neck? No real answer to that one, other than I’m being referred back to oncology for radiotherapy to the neck and I should hear something in about 4 weeks. Left with a prescription for Exemestane, a drug which helps to stop the body making oestrogen and used to treat advanced breast cancer when other drugs haven’t worked. A long wait at Boots for the prescription to be filled and then back to Jo’s feeling very flat.
The best bit of the egg
Sitting at Jo’s with a cuppa, I got a call from Pam Woodings, my oncologist, checking how I’d got on and what I’d been told. To cut a long conversation short, I’ll be having radiotherapy daily for 3 weeks at Derby. To cut down on time and travelling, I’ll see Pam in Radiotherapy for planning and she’ll arrange another CT scan. 5 gold stars awarded to Pam.