There’s a sense of completion today, as I have been notified of the date for my follow-up surgery; kind of neatly bookending with the milestones from a year ago when I was discharged from the wound clinic.
15th September 2021
Soo… guess who has basically been discharged (conditionally) from wound clinic??
🌟 Fuck Yeah! 🌟
First Condition – still not cleared for an actual bath or for pool.
It’s a year later, and I’m still not cleared for public pools or spas or hydrotherapy pools due to the fact that my toenails still haven’t fully recovered from chemotherapy. They split like my fingernails, but also thickened due to lymphoedema, and they lifted from the nail bed, so the risk of a fungal infection is too high to risk a public wet space.
Second Condition – have a new wound care regime, but… no more dressings, baby!
Sent home with yet another care package of wound care stuff…
Third Conditon – I have to contact them immediately if the scars / wounds break down in any way or show any signs of infection.
Wound care nurse
My wonderful wound care nurse was very complimentary: she told me that I was actually amazing, and that I should be really proud of how well I have managed my recovery from such huge surgery and how disciplined I have been with my care, especially with the compounding factor of chemo on top of such extensive surgery before I was healed.
She said that she has found my way of framing the process quite inspirational – and she’s been a wound care nurse for over 30 years, so that was such a great compliment.
And you all know how precious I am being about my eyelashes… she told me I had beautiful eyelashes and asked me what I was doing to look after them so well 💗
What can I say – I clearly have a fucking praise kink!
Advice to live by 🤣
And some of her advice today, although I am sure she didn’t mean for me to apply it to the rest of my life:
“As much as possible, no underwear, no pants”.
I have mentioned this before, but from day one of chemo through until I was officially out of the last chemo cycle, I did a gratitude practice everyday.
Over the course of the day, I would write notes on my phone through the day and then share it on Facebook at night.
I matched with a quote about gratitude and I did this for nearly 100 days. It really helped me maintain an attitude of gratitude even when I was very, very sick and there wasn’t too much to celebrate.
So here’s an example.
Chemo Round Two of Four, Week One, Day Six (Day 27 of chemotherapy treatments).
Oncology liason nurse
I’m grateful for the Oncology Liason Nurse who checks in every week post chemo without fail. I run through my litany of woes, they reassure me, and it helps.
I’m grateful for milestones – I told the Oncology Liason Nurse that last night I went through the calendar and counted out the days until I was three weeks post final chemo and decided that is my “End Chemo” date – and therefore the next day is my “Start Recovery” date… they basically cheered.
So they said that a lot of people think of their last chemo as the end of their cycle and they often get disheartened because they don’t account for the three weeks post chemo… so they were delighted that I had already factored it in. That Chemo Closure date, ironically, is the 11th November, Remembrance Day.
I’m grateful for my housemate cooking dinner for me: they simply do the best fried eggs.
Clear Covid Test
I’m grateful for a clear covid test.
I had to have PCR tests done before going into the hospital and before each chemotherapy infusion.
I’m grateful for the shower chair on loan from a friend… I use it every day – not in the shower at the moment, but during wound care, and lotions and potions. The fatigue is cumulative, and making use of supports and aids like this is absolutely vital to being able to get through the day.
Gratitude quote of the day.
“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
🌹 Be kind, Gentle Creatures – soft eyes, clear vision, open heart, walk gently where you can and harness your rage mindfully when you can’t.
Somewhere along the line that shifted from what I was originally writing (Be kind, Gentle Creatures, tend your gardens, take time to eat the roses, and walk your boundaries), and I’m not sure when that shift happened, but I’m curious now!
❗ 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
- Thursday 09th September 2021: Cancer Journal 15 ~ Chemo
- Fuck Cancer
- Friday 13th August 2021: Cancer Journal 14 ~ Chemo Edition
- Haunted Temple, Sacred Vessel
- Friday 06th August 2021 (Cancer Journal 13)
- Friday 23rd July 2021 (Cancer Journal 12)
- The hospital week: first week post-surgery
- Wednesday 14th July 2021 (Cancer Journal 11)
- Sunday 11th July 2021 (Cancer Journal 10)
- Monday 05th July 2022 (Cancer Journal 9)
- Monday 21st June 2021 – Surgery Date (Cancer Journal 8)
- 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