Friday, November 26, 2010

#24 Hubby's perspective

My hubby, who has been amazing through all of this & still is, wanted to put his point across. I hope you find it informative. I'm crying as I type. xoxo

Hubby's Perspective
Reading Noodle’s blog has been great and I think quite therapeutic for her… and for me too reading it, even though we’ve lived through it and discussed everything, there has been a certain amount of emotional disconnect.  What I mean is we’ve dealt with it all by just doing what needs to be done, but it’s been a little surreal.  Noodle’s let me write this to give some of my thoughts on this experience.
In one of Noodle’s blogs, she mentioned the “Bubble has certainly burst”, but in reality I think we’ve been pretty lucky.  She was vigilant when checking lumps, so caught it early.  The decision to have the double mastectomy was the absolute right decision based on the outcome of the post op results, and early diagnosis meant the cancer hadn’t spread to the lymph nodes.  So, I don’t think the bubble has burst, it just deflated a bit.  And my message to the girls reading this is to be vigilant and act early if you find a change!

No mater what city I’ve dragged the family to with work, Noodle has always been quick to make friends and her ability to maintain and nurture friendships (no mater where she is) was very evident by the overwhelming support she (and I) got from all around the world.  Although I thought it may have been a little impersonal, I kept local and distant friends up to date via Facebook and Twitter updates, which I’ve been told people liked because they felt like they were able to keep up with what was happening without them feeling like they were annoying us… which no one did.  Social networking has worked well for us during this experience!

Being a partner of a cancer sufferer has it’s difficult times… you’re really just an observer, and most of the time you feel very helpless, there’s nothing physically you can do to make things better.  This is very annoying for someone who likes to think he’s in control… but we all know Noodle controls the family J.   All you can do is be there with love and support, which was the easy bit.      

I was lucky enough to marry into a great family, I love Noodles family and as expected they were fantastic through the whole thing.  I have to single out Noodles sister Kim and her mum who both came up from Victoria to stay with us for 2 weeks each (4 weeks total), with a shift handover at the airport mid term (drop Kim off, pick mum up)… they were both amazing and I can’t thank them enough for all their love and support. 

We’re now just over 6 weeks post Op, and Noodle is doing amazingly well, and she looks great.  But clothes and Noodle’s smile hides the physical and emotional roller coaster of the last few months, and the pain she’s still experiencing.  We’ve settled back down into a pretty normal routine again, and time is slowly healing.

Thanks everyone for your support!!! 

Love you honey! Gav xoxo

Thursday, November 25, 2010

#23 Moving on

I guess it's time to blog again!

Well where do I start?? I went back to work this week, doing a short 4 hour shift. It was lovely to be back, but I felt a little nervous for some reason. I was sure I'd forgotten everything I had learnt on the computer & was a little scared to answer the phones. Really silly, once I was back into it nothing has really changed in 6 weeks of course, just my imagination! It was crazy busy, and the 4 hours flew by.........

Tuesday I had my physio appointment & as my eldest son was off school, he drove me into the hospital to try & get his driving hours up. The physio I had to see turned out to be the same physio that had me doing the wrong exercises in ICU!! Okay so let's see if she can help me out today or will I come away as a waist of time! Turns out my lack of movement in the left arm isn't as common as I was lead to believe (according to the physio) So she went through a whole bunch of stretches (Painful) to try & gain more movement. She also showed me how to massage my scarring & talked about different types of lotions or oils to use. I'm going with Bio Oil which is suppose to be amazing for scar healing. By the end of the session I already had a bit more movement in my arm, so I guess she isn't so crazy after all. She said I need to come back for a couple more sessions to make sure the arm is improving.

Wednesday was back to work again & I was feeling a bit sore after the physio yesterday, so by the end of my shift I was really tired. The girls however were able to persuade me to go down the road with them to one of our wholesaler friends to shop! How could I resist? Sorry babe, they made me do it!
I bought a couple of gorgeous dresses, which will be great for some of the Christmas party's we are off to.

Thursday was a rest day!! Well it was suppose to be, but I got bored & went & did some Christmas shopping. It's gotta be done right? :-)

Today Friday, was my appointment with my breast surgeon. He is so lovely! He confirmed that I do not need to have any further treatment including hormone treatment as they type of cancer I had was not hormone based. So that was all good news! I have to see him every 6 months for the next 5 years & then 12 monthly after that. Driving back from seeing him, I found myself crying! Not really sure why, but am feeling quiet emotional today.....

I have been doing my exercises each day, which I hate as they are painful, but I really need to get my arm back to normal so I can drive my car (instead of hubby's shit box auto) sorry babe, but I love my car!

I have to keep all my positive energy going, I have so much to look forwards to & to be thankful for! Looking forward to the next few weeks as I have Christmas party's & a weekend in Tamworth with my whole family. Can't wait to see them all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

#22 Visitors

Today was an exciting day! I was having a visit from two of my twitter friends up from Sydney, they were flying in just for the day.
I had met @skyhighboysyd before but not @b666v so was looking forward to it very much. They were due to arrive about 1000, so by 1030 I text them to make sure they had made their flight & gotten a cab. The response I got was so typical. LOL "We have just made a detour to the city to shop first" OMG tweeters after my own heart. Love them.

They did finally arrive in a smelly cab (@skyhighboysyd's words) after a shopping fix & we all went out to lunch.. What a hoot we had!
It made me realise what a great thing twitter is & how it can connect so many people that would not otherwise ever meet. Some people you just click with & these two are very special. We did miss @retroJetgirl though. :-(

@b666v @skyhighboysyd @nonoodle @propjock

I suggest for any of you on twitter that don't already follow these guys, you should they are a hoot!
Thanks for a great day & look forward to getting down to Sydney to see you both again soon. xoxo

#21 Doctor's Appointment

Well I had my follow up appointment on Monday at the plastic surgeon's rooms. We arrived & once again the gorgeous Laura was there to great us. She removed my dressings from my FLAP's & Stomach. The stomach wound was a bit confronting as I have been cut from one hip to the other & it was still looking a little red & oozy in places. Not pretty at all!
Laura then took me off to have my photo's taken, lovely, NOT! The plastic surgeon then came in had a look, was happy with the shape of my FLAP's & explained that the hardening will lessen over time & when he recreates my nipples in about 6 months if it hasn't sorted out he will attend to it then. (what ever that means)

I had a few questions for him such as, when can I drive the car? Can I have coffee yet? (have been dying without it), what cream to use for the scaring? When can I take off this god awful girdle? etc...

I was surprised & elated when he said I can have coffee, take off the girdle & start doing short drives in the car. Woo Hoo! Cause for celebration!! He will see me again in a month as everything is going so well.

I had to go & make an appointment with the physio, they will help with my stomach muscles & arm movements. My left arm (where the lymph nodes have been removed) is still quiet numb, sore & limited in movement. So I go to see them in another two weeks.

Hubby & I decided to drop into my work as it is only around the corner from the hospital. Was so lovely to see all the girls & they were so happy to see me. I made a return to work date with my manager in two weeks. She will put me on for a short shift to start with. Can't wait!

When we left work we went straight to the local coffee shop, I had to have my fix! :-)
As soon as I got home I had my daily walk & then straight off with the girdle! Who wants to come to a girdle burning party?? It will be happening soon! xo

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

#20 Hardening

Well today has been a roller coaster of emotions! Woke up at 0630 & headed out for my walk. I managed to ditch hubby & mum as my chaperone's & go it alone. Was going along well when I started to realise my left FLAP was feeling uncomfortable & very hard. When I got home & checked it out it was seriously rock hard all around the top area & a bit sunken. This sent me into panic mode. All I could think of was my body is rejecting this transplant & I'm going to have to have more surgery! I sat with my peppermint tea sobbing. Mum was trying to console me & hubby cancelled his day in the office in town. (God I'm a drama queen)

I had to wait until 0900 to call the surgeon's rooms, so I took a shower & got organised if I had to rush off into hospital. It seemed to take forever for 0900 to come around & I was amazed at how quickly I could shower, including washing & drying/straightening my hair.

Right on 0900 I called the rooms & was put through to one of the nurses. The gorgeous Laura who had spent 2 horrid nights with me at my worst in hospital after surgery. She is gorgeous, and suggested I came in to see her after lunch. She did reassure me that hardening does happen & it's probably fine, so I felt a little better & stopped my pathetic sobbing.

Hubby & I trekked into the city to the hospital & arrived a little early, so we stopped by "The Chicks in Pink" shop (breast cancer charity shop) & purchased a few more T-shirts & things. Retail therapy always settles me down.

When we arrived at the surgeon's rooms, we didn't have to wait long for Laura to see us. Laura had a look & said she could understand why I was worried by the look of it. But said I was very little & she was used to most of the women being rather large with large breasts, so mine are a little sunken at the top.
She had arranged for another Doctor (as mine was at a conference) to see me, which was great. He took a look & explained about the blood flow being established & that the fatty tissue from my tummy wont all establish & therefore instead of fatty tissue in places, muscle will be directly under the skin & that is why there is some sunken area above the FLAP, but the hardness was normal & will settle over time, not to worry about it! I can't tell you how relieved I was! Now I probably haven't explained it correctly, but the bottom line is hardness is normal & everything seems to be going well. I see my surgeon on Monday! :-)

Sorry about the drama people!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

#19 Workshop

One of my girl friends who is a beautician, volunteers for an organisation called "Look Good, Feel Good"! They hold workshops for cancer patients to go along & have a makeover, with hair (wigs) & makeup lessons. It's a bit of fun & you get to keep all the products! So today she took me along to one. Was a small group of only 4 patients, two older ladies & (sadly) one 14 year old girl & myself.

We started off with cleansing & removing our makeup that we already had on. I sat next to this lady who was a scream! She came in with a turban on with a blingy head band over it, she looked wonderful & this really displayed her personality. As we moved through the make demonstration she would repeat everything we were being told to do. They used her to demonstrate the eyebrow pencil, which she thought was hilarious because without her glasses on she couldn't see her eyebrows & with them on we couldn't see her eyebrows anyway. She & the other lady were bantering the whole time with each other about how to put their makeup on. You had to be there, but they were very funny!

The lady beside me had met the wig lady before as she had already purchased a wig from her. So when it was time to demonstrate the wigs, she was chosen to go up as the model. Well she wasn't too happy about taking off her turban for all to see, but the wigs looked fantastic on her. You really wouldn't know they were wigs at all. She bossed around the wig lady & tried on lots of different turbans & headband combinations laughing & joking through the whole thing. I was feeling a little guilty about the hair lose as I was the only one who still had my own hair. They all tried on wigs & the young girl looked fantastic! She would close her eyes every time they took it off as she didn't want to see herself without hair. Was hard for me to sit there when I knew I wasn't going to be having chemo & would therefore not loose my hair. It was a very humbling moment!

I think everyone enjoyed the morning, I know I did, it was great to get out of the house & meet new people & have a laugh. Thanks Sarah for taking me along xoxo