Saturday, 23 June 2012

A good hair day

The whole world looks better and brighter today. First thing this morning, I crept up to the bathroom without advertising my plans to anyone, and washed my hair - I felt like a circus contortionist, and the whole act was as energetic as a full cardio vascular workout, but I managed it, including conditioner and hairdryer too, and somehow life just feels a whole load more manageable when your hair isn't sticking to your head. Despite getting told off by my Dad when I owned up,  I was so encouraged by my success that half an hour later I did something even more adventurous and actually had a shower! That was scary, because one of the dressings came loose, and I certainly don't have enough range of movement ot reupholster my wounds all by myself. I was  also quite apprehensive in case I'd dislodged something important, my lungs or ribcage perhaps, so I really had to steel myself to have a proper look in the mirror. When I did though, another unexpected surprise - the dressing I had dislodged was only covering the drainage site, so it was a tiny wound, and the dressing had been put on so tightly that my poor sore boob wound was being pulled towards my poor sore armpit wound. Once it was off I could move a hundred times more freely, when in fact I'd been beginning to think I'd have lifelong restricted movement. Immediately, some of the numbness wafted away, and best of all, within an hour or so, both my arms were the same size all over again. 

Yesterday was my rock bottom day though, but made much nicer by all the lovely people I know. My fabulous Dad is of the generation which believes that any illness can be competely cured by a glass of brandy. So just before 10pm he walks around the corner to Sainsbury's to buy a bottle of Courvoisier, and comes back and pours us each a hefty glass. There are moments in life when a glass of brandy really does do the trick.  Meanwhile, some Facebook friends had already read last night's blog episode, and were doing all they could to cheer me up on line, and a funny corny joke about ketchup had me grinning broadly for the first time all day. 

Today I've also seen Mr T, my eldest son, who is profoundly and multiply disabled with complex medical needs, and he's been away this week while I've been having surgery. Today he's gone to stay with Mary Poppins, our nickname for his longstanding, loyal, multi-talented, kindness-personified very-close-friend-of-the-family Personal Assistant. They popped in with a card and flowers and cakes for Mummy. Mr T doesn't really understand why he's not home at the moment, but for a glorious 3 hours he was right in the thick of things again. He loves Mary Poppins and her boyfriend, Bert, and he's having a whale of a time with them while he can't be here, but I miss him terribly. Mr A, my youngest is out all day taking part in a drama festival 40 miles away, and I feel very sad because it'sthe first time ever I've had to miss a show one of my kids is in. Little Miss F, my eldest, is working today until very late, WM is doing a day of exams, and Grandad is staying with friends for the weekend, so I've had the house to myself most of the afternoon.  I've almost felt like a trusted grown-up, and it's felt good. 

 Ann, my curtain-partner-in-crime, has just knocked on the door with a basket of fruit; delicious cherries, figs, lychees, melons and all sorts of other exotic nicenesses.

Today I think I'm nearly well enough to start enjoying this whole recuperation thing, but first I wanted to do some google research. 

Since the op on Tuesday, with the less than encouraging news that the cancer has definitely spread into the lymph nodes, I've had a nagging fear that this was very bad, sad, poor prognosis type of news. So I took the bull by the horns and looked it up. I now know that women who have had my operation, but without the cancer spreading, have a whopping great 96% survival rate. For people like me, where all the lymph nodes have to be removed, it's does drop a bit, but it is still a hugely encouraging 87%! Now I know that with two simultaneous primary breast cancers, one on each side, things might not always look as rosy, and I also know that I have to wait for the results of all the biopsies for a more accurate picture of the likely extent of the spread, but regardless, I'm hanging on to the 87% of hope.

The sofa, remote, and telly are waiting patiently for me to really get going on a backlog of catch-up, and I'm back counting the many and varied benefits of contracting breast cancer all over again. 

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