Mammogram Take 2

I have had an interesting week this week. I thought I was ready to return to work but I am glad I didn’t. I took my son to school on Monday and as kids do he picked up gastroenteritis so he was sick Tuesday night till 330am! Not much sleep for mummy. Kept him home Wednesday then took him to school Thursday.  Then I had to go get him cause he has diarrhea and the nursery said there’s an epidemic going round.  So I brought him home, and after lunch I felt sick myself. Low and behold by the evening time I was really sick. Possessed kind of sick, the kind you see in horror movies sick. Not pleasant. Felt better after.  Today is Friday and now my husband thinks he’s got it, my son still has the runs and I feel like shit too. So much for the Friday feeling eh!

On the up side though I managed to get my mammogram yesterday in the morning.  The same lady was there so my boobs already knew her. She pulled and stretched them so the flattening machine could get as much boob on the plate as possible and first she did one, then the other and I breathed a sigh of relief. Then she said “we aren’t finished yet, we have to do them sideways too”  Well let me tell you sideways flattening hurts even more. My right boob is more sore due to recent operation so having that flattened did actually make my eyes water.. so I kept saying to myself, I’m not gonna cry, I’m not gonna cry..  (sad or what)  she was very sympathetic and said as long as the pain is just this then its a small price to pay. I agreed painfully. lol

After that she said you have to have an ultrasound! Why would I need an ultrasound? I panicked. So I waited around whilst some curly haired chap asked me various questions and went into a dark room with the same man who appears to be the ultrasound man’s assistant.  The ultrasound man said take of your clothes and lie down.. lol really?   I was wearing the kind of top that I could pull off my shoulders thank god so I did not take off my clothes.  He proceeded to grope and squash and grope some more asking me if I have had any op done to my right boob.  Then he got the ultrasound out and run it all over my right armpit, my right boob which tickled (so inappropriate) and I felt really vulnerable. A strange man I have never met before who said was a doctor was having unlimited access to my breasts. He quickly did my right boob and said “well your breasts appear to be clear but I’m concerned about your right armpit”  After two operations so am I, I thought!

Anyway the whole process took about 20mins and apart from my dodgy right armpit looking dodgy cause of two operations he said my breasts are fine! YAY  My husband could have told him that. 🙂  All in all a painful and rather embarrassing experience with great results.

I spoke to my oncologist’s secretary today.  I am now waiting for a phone call to tell me when I start radiotherapy. Guess who’s gonna jump each time the phone rings! lol

Here are the images from my boob scan.. clear boob scan.. yay for my boobs..now you get to see my boobs too! lol

Left Boob

Right Boob

Post doc visit

what a mammogram machine looks like or can look like!

Yesterday I went to the local Paphos General Hospital to have a mammogram.  Upon arrival I said I have to be in Nicosia today (two hours away) so its quite urgent.  The first chap I saw told me off for not arranging the appointment another day! I said it was not me that arranged the appointment.  Then when I went to register, the chap there also told me off saying that I wouldn’t have time, and the results wont be ready, and why did I leave it so late.. (nightmare so far) I said I just need to have the test, I don’t need the results.  Miserable sods.

Anyway, I get into this tiny room with a mammogram machine thats older than my dad I expect, and this woman who appeared to not know what she was doing proceeded to prepare this machine!   She then went on to tell me shes so stressed and cause of this she was diagnosed with parkinson disease when she was 50.

I wore something that would not require me to strip down to my pants so ladies do not wear a full dress rather than a top and skirt or something! I wore a strapless dress that just required pulling down! Hows that for preparation!  Anyway, I placed my right brest on this plastic plate, she then pulled and stretched it and then stood on a button that then flattened it. It is rather uncomfortable not too painful but still painful.   she pressed this button and then said it didnt work and wondered why.  She trotted out to get someone else who reset the machine and then proceeded to do the same whole thing with my right boob.  And then she said, sorry the machine is broken. (no shit Sherlock!)  They got the technician, the electrician and finally they all said I could leave an apologized.   Two flat boobs and no results.  It could only happen to me! I did find it all rather amusing..

The Bank Of Cyprus Oncology center in Nicosia is really nice.   They have this massive picture of what looks like heaven or the Elysium my husband said, were heroes and fighters go to die on the wall as you enter. Wasn’t too sure what to make of that one.   Everyone waiting seemed normal every day people but you could see the odd one that had no hair, or scarves on their heads, and someone who had recently had facial surgery.  I wondered if it was melanoma or something else.   I felt bad for them. All of the people were there cause of cancer and couldn’t beleive I was was one of them.

My height, blood pressure, weight were all taken down and a file was created with my photo taken to go in it to avoid any mistakes they said.  I smiled for the photo. I wondered if anyone else did that.    The Doctor that I saw reminded me of House cause he had a limp. So I will now know him as Dr House! He read my file then started talking to me of the seriousness of my condition.   He said that Melanoma is unlinke any other cancer and that diagnoses can depend on mm’s in sizes starting from 0.7! Anything above that is completely different diagnoses.  He said that my 2mm final leftover and my other above normal sized mm skin cancer bits meant my melanoma is aggressive.   He said that the first diagnoses could have been due to my pregnancy and hormones making it so.  In the old days they used to treat women with anti hormone drugs.  I wonder if taking the pill for ten years suppressed it? I must ask him that.

He said that I will need radiotherapy for sure and some other treatment after interferon or Chemotherapy.  However interferon is a drug they like to use in America but not so much in Europe due to its 5% success rate.  Chemo is probably a better choice but he doesn’t know yet.   He said that its good that my cancer is localised and they can target it.

Side effects of Radiotherapy will feel like sunburn.   I wont be able to wash there AT ALL during treatment and they will provide me with some kind of powder. He did say I can only wash it if I feel stinky. Hello? Its roasting sweaty hot in Cyprus..  My right lung will be slightly affected a little during the treatment which will give me a cough but that will go when treatment has stopped.  It can leave scar tissue in my arm which can lead to lymphedema but not on all patients.

He said to be positive, and not to change my lifestyle and that once he has looked through my file with this other doctor, they will decide what the best way is to target my incurable disease to help stop it from coming back.   My right armpit wont be affected again but unfortunately the rest of my body is still at risk.  Thats the thing with melanoma.  It can come back anytime anywhere and there’s not much you can do about it really.

So of course I’m terrified.  I’m so angry.  I just want to be ok and not have to worry.  Im super pissed off that this has happened to me just when my life was falling into place.  for the rest of my life I will have to deal with wondering if the pain in my stomach is just wind, or a headache is just a headache.  And to top it all off, I may even loose all my hair and my fertility and get a really fat right arm.  I know its a small price to pay in the exchange for a long life.  But still. I want my hair, I want my health and perhaps more children and I like my arm just as it is.

So all in all another crap day for me yesterday, from flat boobs to a shit diagnosis.

Saying all that though I didn’t get upset. Or cry. I guess now  I’m going through the angry stage.. watch out for road rage and rudeness when you least expect it. I apologize for my upcoming self!

Alethea is still in here somewhere though and she’s fighting and she’s smiling.. on the outside anyway!

Scan day results

Its so nice when you go down to have tests and everyone recognises you. I mean its not nice cause it means you have been there often cause you are sick but its nice that they treat you like a friend. Its very important to feel comfy around people like that. They deal with terrible news daily so I cant imagine they have an easy job! I always make an effort and laugh and joke with them.

George, as usual told me off for having a nose stud and he insisted that next time he will not allow me to have a scan with it in.  I argued back.  lol I am what I am and I do what I want. Poor George.  The lady that injects me with the warm fuzzy feeling fluid is lovely too. She is from Greece.  They all asked about Bob and she had a good browse at my scar. I think her name is Charoulla, but I’m not sure anymore.

The scan only took 5 or 10 mins and they covered my lower regions with a heavy duty anti x ray blanket thingy.  I assume thats what it was.  As it was heavy duty and he said its in case I want babies..ha

I didn’t have to strip this time and wear a gown.  I was pleased to say this to George, he said why? Aren’t you wearing a bra? lol Kinda strange when a man you dont really want to know, knows that.  But I have one of those nice padded boobed tops that does not require a bra as you cant tell if its cold or not.. lol

The doctor overseeing me said its all clear! We didn’t find anything.  WOW how amazing was it to hear THAT.

Mum and I went outside to have a big fat sarnie with everything in it then I went to see my surgeon at the clinic who I also shared the news with and he told me that Bob has to stay with me till Thursday. Darn it.

Then I had to go back and get my results and the same doctor that was overseeing me said I need to have a routine mammogram cause there is a small cyst in one of my boobs.  Nothing to worry about. I’m trying not to worry about it.  But after what I’ve been through I cant help but be a little worried about it.

My second opinion results are not back yet. So I need to wait till Friday for them.   After that I get to experience pancake boobs. They flatten them between two planks of something for an inside view.   This should not be difficult as after my son’s hungry appetite when he was a baby they aren’t quite what they used to be and I’m sure they’ll just lay down flat and save the doctors a job! lol   The joys of motherhood are many.

I’ll leave you with something that made me laugh..