19 April 2010


Well I got home properly yesterday after two rather miserable nights at North Shore Hospital. I expected to go home on Saturday but they still wanted to monitor my blood pressure and portacath. I was let out for the afternoon if I returned by 6pm as I told them in tears it was my wedding anniversary. So I got to go home to my own bed for a few hours, and very reluctantly I returned back to hospital. So, as you can imagine, yesterday I was itching to get home, and kept nagging the nurses for an answer. I was so ready to be broken out of there I had already rung mum and Owen to come and get me. I would have left regardless as I was so sick of no sleep. Not a good place to get sleep!

But the surgery went well, they got the main tumors out, along with a lot of lymph nodes, which have been sent to the pathologists for testing. We are hoping for some clear ones, as we are already pretty sure some of them were cancerous. In 10 days time we are meeting with the surgeon, my breast nurse Janice and an oncologist from Auckland Hospital to find out the nature of the cancer and where we go with drugs and chemo treatment etc.

The whole surgery thing was pretty new for me, having only ever had epidurals when Madeline and Johnny were born via emergency c-section. Coming around after a general anesthetic has been horrible, lots of woozy dizziness and nausea. There's been a little bit of pain but I am trying to stay on top of it with some drugs. I also had a portacath installed in my neck while I was being operated on. This is to help the chemotherapy drugs get into my body a lot easier than if they were being inserted via veins in my hand. This is also uncomfortable and tender as it heals. I also have two drains coming out of my chest with fluid which I have to carry around classily in a bum bag. So yeah I don't look real pretty. Although Owen says I am as beautiful as ever. Awww.

One of the most lovely things about the hospital stay was the chance to get to know two of my roommates. All three of us had come out of surgery on Friday and were all getting over them that night making a bit of a fuss and not sleeping so well. When the curtains were drawn back on Saturday morning we had a real meet and greet and a wonderful time together. In particular, Debbie who had just had her final surgery for breast reconstruction and was at the complete different end to my life. Her diagnosis had been back in 2008 and now she was on the road to recovery and normality. She was a huge inspiration, especially because she was so bright and bubbly and happy. She left in high spirits, proud of her new bust, and handing me her card anytime I had questions.
My other room mate was Lena, from Iraq, who was recovering from a gall bladder operation. She struck me as a beautiful courageous woman who had been through much in her life already and this surgery was nothing in comparison. Guessing from all her visitors she is a very loved woman. She really encouraged me and made me feel like God was really there looking after me. I was so blessed to be with them both, and almost had a sense of sadness when we went our separate ways.

So how am I feeling?
I feel sadness, for the body that I won't be for a long time. I know its only on the outside and people won't be able to tell once I have my special prosthesis etc but I know and I grieve for the cleavage I had. I really do. I had always been quite proud of them really.
I am tired.
Sore at times.
Frustrated that I have no energy.
Sad that my children are looking at me quite worried, especially Johnny who is too little to explain it all to. A little frightened at the prospect of going through more exhausting procedures but I don't think about that too much.
Loved.Very very loved.

Owen and I on our wedding day 11 years ago. Wow what a wonderful decision that was!! And see those awesome people in the background? Az, Becs, Alex, Lynne, Jamie, Amy, Nicole - I still love you guys!!


Widge said...

Don't really know what to say without sounding like a cliche flake, but just letting you know I'm here reading, wondering and praying for ya.
the part you wrote about the other women in the ward, how god is looking after you brought tears to my eyes. so awesome.

Penny said...

Wow what a journey you've had!
I was supposed to meet you at coffee on Wednesday night with Simone and Gail but we both ended up not going.
Maybe I'll meet you next time.
Great blog!