What I shared on Facebook on Monday 21st June 2021 as my Cancer Journal Number 8.
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 ⭐
Monday 21st June 2021 (8) surgery date edition
Surgical date: Cancer Journal 8
I have a surgery date!
July 12th at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Which is 9 days after my 51st birthday.
I am grateful to have the time; there is a lot to do in terms of recovery proofing my new home for my return post-surgery and the best possible recovery period.
And amongst all of this, and despite my reading and research (peer-reviewed articles from medical journals, thanks very much); I concede to being frightened and feeling vulnerable.
It’s a big surgery; bilateral mastectomy with a DIEP flap reconstruction; at least 5 days in the hospital, at least 4 weeks before I can drive and they recommend not attempting any return to work until around the 8-week mark. They have told me to consider it a three-month recovery to get to even 80-90% and that it will be 6 – 12 months before I will be at 100% again.
Again, please consider your comments carefully – age, weight, and health are all factors. Implants are a completely different process entirely. Technology has also changed a lot from even 5 years ago. So by all means Google, discuss, and share, but please be mindful that telling me horror stories is not particularly helpful and not a single one I have heard so far has applied to my specific situation.
So unless this is lived experience or professional experience, I’m again, not too interested in the friend of a friend who had… something similar, and ohhh… such terrible problems… just terrible Muriel. ⛔
I appreciate intentions are good but my surgery is very specific, and so far it has only been the personal, lived experiences that have been helpful.
Disaster stories are *not* helpful.
I have a great wellness team and some good researchers on the side.
Now I have an additional freezer for slow cooker meals – next to do a day of food prep with another friend. There is some indulgence in some meals from @mangia mangia with love, and another friend is making me some old-fashioned pea and ham soup and pumpkin soup.
A very generousfriend has provided a la-z-boy and a shower stool… and I am a convert! I can see a stand-up recliner in the future.
Another talented friend made me some cosy night shirts for the hospital that I am already using under the pretext of wearing them in. Cheerful slippers were a gift from another friend, and I have a gorgeous soft knee rug from my cousin as well as my delightful brew mug!
Work colleagues have sent me an uber gift card, and it can be used for uber eats or actual ubers- I think I will be making at least weekly trips to Royal Melbourne Hospital for a while post-surgery from what I understand.
A house cleaner is starting post lockdown.
I have to go and get specific post-surgical underwear, and I have to arrange a dryer.
Then I have to sit down and go through my private health, and also through my income insurance. I have applied for a temporary parking access card to make any car trips and parking easier post-surgery.
There are lots of things to think about and it all kind of has to be sorted before going to the hospital so that I can be safe and comfortable when I come home.
I have had my first covid vaccination (AstraZenenica) and that knocked me around for a good two days.
I had my Mirena removed – recommended because my cancers are hormone-positive; and that today has promptly introduced my first period for 12 years.
Have to say, haven’t missed them!
So just for today, I am nursing my stomach with a hot water bottle and not moving far from the recliner. Thank goodness I planned and had some Modibodi underwear on hand – precisely as a precaution.
For those squicking out right now? I’m sorry my loves, but we need to destigmatise periods and period/incontinence management.
Still moving house
In terms of the old house; some bold snowdrops have popped up and I am going to frantically attempt to relocate them in a pot.
I’ve managed to more about a third of the violets successfully and I am going to have a go at the other two-thirds!
We have a skip across the weekend for clearing out the rubbish, the gardener is coming, and I have to finish the last of the packing/moving. I have a friend helping on Sunday and another friend on Saturday helped do a breast cast as part of my Solstice observations combined with the art therapy aspect I am using throughout this experience. The cats are settling into the new house but are not yet using the cat flap fully.
Just a reminder too when lockdown has finished and I can see people again: please be mindful – I have cancer, and fibromyalgia and my immune system is currently under assault: if you or a close contact has been sick in the previous two weeks, 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 eighth 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
- Plaster Cast
- Thursday 03rd June 2021 – the worst meltdown
- Sunday 30th May 2021: Cancer – telling your colleagues
- Friday 28th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 7)
- Friday 28th May 2021 Plastic Surgeon
- Wednesday 26th May 2021 Cancer Clinic
- Tuesday 25th May 2021 Left Breast Diagnosis
- Friday 21st May 2021: Biopsy, Left Breast
- Tuesday 18th May (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