A month has passed already

So its been a whole month since I had my first surgery. I had my stitches out today. I had to go in and see the doctor as I was leaking from my drain so I freaked out thinking I may have pulled it out and went to see him.   He wasn’t all that pleased but luckily it didn’t actually come out and now I have to leave it in till Thursday. My results still weren’t in however as mentioned previously I get them tomorrow and so far they look promising.

I’ve decided that I will use interferon if offered to me.  Side effects means you get to feel a bit crap but at least I’ll be alive to feel crap eh!

My son has started to warm up to me again and give me cuddles! He has been really good with Bob (drain) and hasn’t tried to pull it or lift it or even look at it. Clever little boy I gave birth to! hehe

Hubby has been excellent as usual, cooking and cleaning and ironing whilst I sit and do nothing!  I feel like a princess, till my son farts on me and the dream is over! lol  Too many men in the house.. I’ll definately have to try for a baby girl next time! Even things out a little.

I am completely up to date with Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Lost, 90210 and Eastenders ombnibuses! Talk about square eyes.  Can’t really do much else as my arm still isn’t strong enough and I am shattered all the time. Apparently having an axillary clearance is quite a major operation. I didn’t realise this till recently. So even though I may look ok, I feel like shit. lol

I cant wait till I can roll over in bed and not worry about ripping Bob out, being in pain and what happens next.  My mind was in over drive this morning after our darling son woke us up playing his noisy toy in bed at 345am.. which indicates he wants a bottle before he will go back to sleep.  I tossed and turned and tried to get comfy and I couldn’t so I asked my husband to give me a hug, which at the present time involves hand holding!  Poor chap. I think its cause I’m nervous again about the whole thing.

So apart from spending a lot of time thinking about life, friends and whats happened to me, I haven’t really been doing much with myself.

I guess life will never quite been normal for me as I will always have this cause Malignant Melanoma is the kind that can come back over and over again. However, in some cases it doesn’t. As it already has for me I guess I am not one of those cases.   I hope this time its gone and it wont come back.  I would very much like to not have to worry about such an awful disease.

So my advise to you is, always where sunscreen, do not use sunbeds, do not sunbathe if really hot.  Because things like this can happen to anyone. At any age.  I was a huge sun worshiper, I remember the days when I’d lie on coral bay, sunbathing with little or no sunscreen on because I have darker skin.  I don’t have to worry about sunburn I used to say.   Stupid me.  I’ve learned my lesson now.  Now I have a sunhat and I will always wear sunscreen every day, even when I am just going to the shops.  Now I don’t really have a choice anymore.

However its not all bad, I’m alive, I am treatable,  I have a lovely supportive family, and real friends that have been there for me during my most difficult time and have visited me in hospital and have made me smile. I will keep saying this but life is so much better when you smile. (ok so I’m a lot cheesy!)

Cant wait till I get my results tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Friday Rambles

So, I went to get my dressings changed this morning.   Getting quite used to the whole process.  I’ve not worn a bra for a week now and I’m sure my boobs are facing the floor with each passing day..

Dr Lucas said I am recovering well but I can’t have my stitches out or my drain out yet.   On Tuesday when I get my results hopefully I can have my stitches out, but the drain has to stay in for as long as I have fluid coming out.   I wonder how long that is then? I wonder if I can do something to hasten it like pee?  Probably not.   I had to go to the shop on the way back, so I tucked BOB (aka drain) under my long skirt and in I trotted with my sunhat on and looking like there was nothing wrong with me.   Cause no one asked what was wrong with me for a change! lol

I just wanted to say, that during this blog, you may find I may recommend a book or an article but this is just something that worked for me so don’t feel upset or any differently because it doesnt work for you.  Do what ever you feel is right for you and follow your own instincts.  As long as you are also following some of your doctors too! lol

My arm is still very sore and stiff to use.  I still tire easily but its been less than a week really so what on earth am I worried about.   My sister’s birthday is coming up and she wants to go clubbing.  So do I but there’s not much chance of that happening as long as I’ve got Bob with me.   Although I could take Bob to dinner..

In the meantime I have become a couch potato.  Once my stitches are out, and Bob has gone I will start to do some exercise.  A healthy body and all that is good to fight off anything really.  And I’ve never really been one for exercise.  Sure I can dance all night and I never sit down when I’m out having a few drinks.  But ask me to go jogging, or do some exercises dvd at home?  I just cant do it.    Problem is I cant afford the gym and thats the only thing that will get me exercising.    So instead I will go walking with a friend of mine with the prams.  I plan on using my sons big pram for weight pushing! haha

I contacted a cancer support group yesterday.  It was really hard not getting emotional on the phone to a total stranger whilst trying to explain my situation. You see I can keep a brave face to those who know me, but I feel differently towards strangers.   Do you? Anyway, one of the nurses will come and see me soon.  They will help teach me more about how to deal with lymphedema and it be nice to talk to someone too.  Once I find out the coffee mornings I may go along with Bob and have a chat.   Perhaps you could try and do the same. Its hard keeping up appearances and remaining strong for the ones you love, so perhaps letting it all out will do you good!

Well have a wonderful weekend.  Try not to be to down on yourself!

Alethea & Bob.  lol 🙂

Post Op

So as mentioned previously, I wasn’t too bad this time after surgery.  I had a drip in my left wrist and my drain coming out of my right side! I have to say maneuvering around the bed to get to the loo was quite a challenge! Lucky for me I am a woman and I can multitask!:)

This is what the drain looks like by the way.. sorry if its a little too gross for you..its actually attached to my right side by my rib cage.

Day 1 was more of a blur really!  Slept on and off!  My parents came to visit me with my son and my sister too and my hubby was there till quite late! visiting hours don’t really exist at the clinic!

Day 2 left me wondering how I didn’t fart on the operating table! I am sure during surgery they inserted a trumpet in my belly because I had some serious wind issues.  I think this is my reaction to my anesthetic or the drip that they put in.  I had the same problem last time.  So don’t worry if you get wind.  A lady I once knew used to fart when she bent over due to her age and she said “where ever you may be, let your wind go free” Of course I did not do this, I checked if the coast was clear first, I just hope the patient next door couldn’t hear me. 🙂

They wake you up quite early there, 7am!  They take my temperature, my heart rate and my blood pressure which was always low..  needless to say I’d always beat them to it and tell them first! lol  Everyone loves a smart arse.. not!  They said I need to drink more water.

I spent a lot of time reading, watching TV and looking forward to the next visitor to help pass the day.   I don’t think some people realize that after having this kind of surgery, you need all the support you can get and being awake from 7am till 10pm, in the same room on your own can be rather dull and you spend far too much time thinking!  Sure I wasn’t on my own the whole day, however I was very surprised to realise who my friends are and who aren’t!  Cause lets face it, if you cant find the time to visit a friend in hospital, then you must have a really really really good excuse! Busy isn’t it! Or you aren’t their friend in the first place.   Thats my opinion. These days people do have busy lives and families and what not, but sometimes you should stop and visit a friend in hospital because they need you to, because its the right thing to do & because you care. Even if its just passing by and not staying. Its the thought that counts. A 5 minute visit feels much longer to a person lying in a hospital bed and they always feel loved and supported when you do.
However don’t spend too much time worrying about those that don’t visit, and those that don’t call.  You cant change things and it will only upset you and thus not help you get well quick.  Focus on the ones that came, on the messages you did receive instead.  So thank you to those that came to see me, it meant more to me than you can imagine and thank you to those who have supported me on facebook from far away too! You are fab! 🙂

I made a new friend. The one I told about my cancer in the shop.  She was there from day two and has texted me every day since to check on my progress. She really cheered me up!And shes funny too.  You need people that are optimistic and fun to be around at this time!

I also spent a lot of time eating.  Chocolate, biscuits, McDonalds thick shakes, more chocolate.. and the clinic food was fantastic! I had trifle, and custard and apple, and watermelon and fruit salad!  Fish and chips, cottage pie, roast pork with roast tatties! Not all in one day! lol  I think I need to go on a diet now.  Hospitals are bad for your clothes.. lol

Day 3 I had my dressings changed. I was quite nervous cause the plaster that covers the gauze was quite large and my surgeon is always quick to remove that.  Not pleasant one bit.  He didn’t appear to mind. I also had my drain emptied.  They all made jokes and I lied there covering my one exposed boob with my hand whilst they did the spraying and the cleaning and the re patching.  Its quick and if you focus on the TV or on something else its soon over! Its why they teach you breathing exercises during labour! As you are so busy focusing on something different you forget about the pain.. (well not entirely but it works)

Sleeping wasn’t too difficult, mainly flat on my back but with a pillow you can actually lie on your side with it under your arm so your armpit isn’t touching your body.   That and making sure you don’t rip out your drain.    I dropped mine the first day and I crapped myself. Luckily I didn’t rip it out but the pain tought me not to do that again!

Days 4 & 5 went by quickly and then today I was allowed home.  Me and my drain that is.   I have stepped on it, my husband has tripped on it and I am thinking perhaps I was safer in the clinic! lol

I am in pain. I am not superwoman and it hurts to do nearly everything. I cant pick up my son, I cant cuddle my son, I cant do anything in fact that requires the use of my right arm’s muscles.However I can still do most things that are also important, like butter my toast, use the loo, wave at a friend and simple every day stuff 🙂

I have to keep the drain in till at least Friday when I hopefully get my results. They will decide if it comes out then. Results will state how much cancer was taken out, whether it spread to nearby tissue, whether it originated from my melanoma from 2008.

I recommend you read this book.  Its very interesting about cancer patients and survival and how you can actually speed up your recovery all by yourself.   And believe me when I say I will try anything to get better! Love, Medicine and Miracles: Lessons Learned about Self-Healing from a Surgeon’s Experience with Exceptional Patients

Here are some images of my stitches taken today. Do not click on it to enlarge it if you are not ready for gory details. Its not a pleasant picture. But don’t let this scare you!  as in a few weeks it will look like the one next to it!

Right, I’m shattered now so that’s it for now!

Stay positive, be strong. 🙂