What I shared on Facebook on Friday 28th May 2021 as my Cancer Journal Number 7.
These cancer journals were my ongoing strategy of keeping people up to date without having to share the same information again and again. I would write, and then I would get specific friends to act as beta readers, and that was helpful. Then I would post to Facebook, send the same message by email, What’s App, SMS, etc. It saved a lot of emotional energy for me, and that was becoming vital.
⭐ Cancer Journal ⭐
Friday 28th May 2021 (7)
Cancer, moving house, the extraordinary kindness of community.
New cancer diagnosis – left breast.
I would like to announce the identity of the two entities found in my left breast.
Both Scaevola and Sinistra on the left join their counterparts, Dexter and Benjamin, on the right in being cancerous.
Why, yes, I have named my tumours, thank you for noticing.
Humour is part of what helps me cope.
This week was supposed to be about getting ready to move this weekend, but has been about medical appointments instead.
Plan moving forward
Now I have consulted with the surgeons and specialists as well as my GP, and the plan moving forward is a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction.
Dates and hospitals to be confirmed; I am lucky to have options, that I am currently considering and the wellness team are checking their availabilities.
Once these decisions have been made, I have will share them when I am comfortable doing so.
My recovery time may well be a little longer even if there is no complications due to the compounding aspects of fibromyalgia: however, I am looking at approximately 5 nights in hospital, 2 – 3 weeks where I will be unable to drive, and a further 3 – 5 weeks before I will be able to work.
Probably 3 months recovery in full, and with a follow-up day procedure months down the track.
Wow, was Past Fabienne optimistic or what????
It’s now been nearly a year since surgery, and 6 months since I finished chemotherapy. I’m still not back at work. My ‘work’ currently is to regain capacity.
Moving became a nightmare with lockdown.
For everyone that has been asking – I’ll be frank, the moving has been a bit of a clusterfuck, especially now with lockdown happening across the weekend that I had arranged essentially a four day working bee to get us moved and settled in.
However… how amazing that so many people were willing to help in the first place! Thank you.
So we now have my housemate, and myself, some stair climbing trolleys, and a truck. And I think we have some sunny days (it’s a flat tray truck, lol!).
The truck is a fucking miracle on wheels, on loan from friends. We would be completely fucked without it.
One thing that has consistently been a source of stability, comfort, and marvel has been the incredible generosity of spirit that I have been enveloped in from family, friends, and colleagues.
People have been so kind, and so practically helpful with volunteering time and effort. It’s extraordinary to me, knowing how busy everyone’s lives are, that people have simply.. *made* time to help. Such kindness has buoyed up my spirits and underpinned my ability to cope.
Simply so much gratitude.
Fatigue, pain, and communication
I’m still really fatigued, and it feels like this week in particular has been an absolute whirlwind.
I’d also like to acknowledge all the messages: much appreciated.
I don’t always have the capacity to reply, and I get overwhelmed very easily, so please don’t be offended if I don’t reply immediately.
I appreciate the gentle reminders about the important stuff.. like the message that says “I’ll see you tomorrow at xx time if that still works” – just in case I have forgotten or a medical appointment has been shifted, or whatever. Like I said, it’s been full on.
Just a reminder too when lockdown has finished and I can see people again: please be mindful – I have cancer, and fibromyalgia, my immune system is currently under assault: if you or a close contact has been sick in the previous 7 – 14 days, please don’t come anywhere near me! Getting sick at this point would be a disaster, and if close to surgery dates, would jeopardise my surgery.
So that’s *super important*.
📍 I have pinned the post with the announcement about my diagnosis and the boundaries I want to work with, so if this post is the first you have seen, please refer to that pinned post.
⭐ This is the seventh of my Cancer Journal entries, if you are interested in the others, I have put links in at the bottom of this post.
🌹 Be kind, Gentle Creatures, tend your gardens, take time to eat the roses, and walk your boundaries.
❗ Check your breasts, check your testicles.
Ensure that you are vigilant around your self-examination. Train yourself to check your breasts/testicles routinely, and monitor your bowel habits and your urine output. These are our body’s early warning signs, and we don’t have a lot of awareness of them.
Related blog posts
- Wednesday 26th May 2021 Cancer Clinic
- Tuesday 25th May 2021 Left Breast Diagnosis
- Friday 21st May 2021: Biopsy, Left Breast
- Tuesday 18th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 6)
- Monday 17th May 2021 Arranging the biopsy
- Saturday 15th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 5)
- Wednesday 12th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 4)
- Friday 07th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 3)
- Cancer surgeon
- Sunday, 02nd May 2021 (Cancer Journal 2)
- Saturday, May 01st 2021 ( Cancer Journal 1)
- Facebook post
- How to tell people you have cancer.
- Deciding strategies
- The Camus Question of Choice
- The Follow-up Tests
- The phone call.
- Check your breasts