Cancer Chronicles: Post 5 of 6

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has contacted me. I’m happy that you are/were inspired by my story. And for those who are currently on that rugged road, continue to believe that there’s hope – there’s truly a light at the end of the tunnel and much brighter days ahead. I’m living proof that there can be miracles when you truly believe.

It’s been a while since my last post on the matter because the last couple of weeks were busy with my daughter’s birthday celebrations (yes, she usually has 3 different celebrations because this is Spain!). And even though her birthday coincides with the day I went under the knife for 7.5 hours, I tend to deliberately forget about that part and just remember all the glorious birthdays that I’ve been so grateful to see and celebrate with her ever since. 

September 9th – chemo session # 5

My final chemo session – almost there! More of the usual side effects for the subsequent 5 days or so, but this chapter is over and done! Some of the veins in my left hand are now collapsed. They are literally black and look like they’ve been drawn in with a marker – they feel thick like a chord to the touch. The doctors say they will get better with time. And I’m still happy with my decision for intravenous chemo, over having a chemo port installed in my chest. Ouch!

At this point, I feel completely cured and actually no longer want to have the mastectomy and lymph node removal. But I told myself that I’d rather go through with it and find out that I actually didn’t need to, rather than having to live with the doubt of whether it’s REALLY gone or not. I asked the surgery team if I couldn’t just be monitored through other tests and MRIs instead of having the surgery. They said that tests are not always accurate and blah blah. What do you do, take the risk of keeping your natural breasts since you’re convinced you’re cancer free, or say to hell with it and have them removed? Let’s go with the latter, shall we? Some women say they would feel like less of a woman. I will miss my breasts but I don’t need them to live a healthy and fulfilling life, or so I tell myself.

I have been given a month to recover from my final chemo session to build up my strength a bit before surgery. So I’ve decided to go away on holiday to Dénia (near Alicante) with my family and my lovely in laws. The weather is nice and I’m eating the best paellas and doing nothing more than eat, sleep and swim. My M-i-l does everything for us and takes great care of our daughter. I’m rocking my bald head and owning the shit out of the look, despite the stares and curiosity. There were times when I’d wear a head wrap, but that depended on how I felt on the day. Wearing wigs in the Spanish heat is really not cool – pun intended.

Two weeks later, we’re back in London. We had a fabulous time but I know all of this has been taking its toll on my family – not least my husband, who is not one to share his emotions. Anyway, as the time winds down for my operation, I’m getting to grips with the fact that I’ll soon have my natural breasts completely removed and replaced with two little plastic sacs. I’ve also toyed with the idea of not having a reconstruction and just go flat chested. But I’m only 30 years old for heaven’s sake! Still, perspective people – flat chest and above ground or natural breasts 6 feet under?!! Oh well, I’m still a little vain so I’ve opted for immediate reconstruction.

Sunday 10th October: It’s Rihana’s birthday tomorrow but we’re celebrating today. The in laws have also flown in to take care of her and hold things down while I’m admitted. My hospital bag is already packed and I think I’m mentally ready to say goodbye to life as I know it, tomorrow.

I think this will be my penultimate post on this topic because it’s  still painful to relive. I don’t know when I’ll post the last one, but it will definitely be before the month ends. So just keep an eye out.

Remember, live each day as if it was your last. Be grateful, joyful and kind! Thanks for reading this far – I appreciate you.

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