Tuesday, 15 November 2011


I spent too many hours sitting today. My total contact time would have been lucky to have been more than 20 minutes! It was my end-of-treatment reviews. And, it felt strange to be back in amongst the breast clinic patients.

The husband and the two children came along. So, as I stood in line, waiting to speak with the ever so helpful receptionist, I saw a familiar face. It was wonderful to catch up with one of the TBCs. (And, a little while later, I caught up with another). It felt strange (not that I'm complaining) to not be nervous. I was just going to be chatting with the doctors and there was no bad news. Right? Of course, there is no way I am anticipating any bad news!

I sat. I squirmed. I talked. One complaint though; the hospital has been pretty close to perfect. Child number two decided to complicate things with an ill timed nappy fill. I picked up the tiny, smelly child and headed for the toilets. I was happy-as when I discovered the absense of a nappy-change table. The second toilets were lacking too! I returned to the waiting room to collect the pram. (We brought the pram along reluctantly, but now I was so thankful that we did.) I wheeled the pram into the disabled toilets and proceded to do the nappy change; all the while anticipating my name being called. My name wasn't called. It was eventually though.

The physio was the first to call me in. She is the best! I really do feel as though I am the only person she sees. Anyway, my measures are the same. For this summer, at least, I am to wear the glove and the sleeve during exercise. Hey, that's not too bad. Totally manageable. Actually, she went on to say that very new research is showing (although not conclusive) that individuals who are fit and healthy before breast cancer treatment and who return to that straight after treatment are less likely to develop lymphedema. That's some motivation, right there, to keep up the good nutrition and exercise.

Next, I was called in to see the radiation doctor. I remembered this one..he liked to refer to the operation site as "boob". It is just so awkward. Is it unprofessional? I don't know. Either way, I felt pretty uncomfortable. That was doubled when he asked me to take my top off. In the past, the curtain was drawn and I would undress before the doctor would inspect. Now...he wanted me to undress right there and then. Look, I know he's not weird. It's just that there is so much fuss about a women's dignity etc that it was quite...I know I'm using this word an awful lot...uncomfortable. Lovely doctor of course. And, very kind. He explained everything in a way that made sense. Just...well, it's a very tiny complaint.

I was back in the waiting room. And, no, I didn't sit in the same seat. There were many ladies, sitting with their support person, and they were moving in and out of appointments, changing seats as much as I was.

I met with the chemo doctor after a while. I had nothing to report on the tamoxifen's side effects. My neutrophil levels were at 1.9 (should be at 2). And, I was yet to hear of my vitamin D levels. Essentially, all was well. I could have told her that. I feel well. I questioned whether I was to have a gene test. To which she replied that it was likely that I would in the new year. Within minutes, I was walking out of that appointment.

Another wait and then I met with the last doctor for the day. A member from the surgical team called me in. She didn't look at my scars (Mr "Boob" did that already) and she just asked a handful of questions. That was it. If it wasn't so-not-the-right-thing-to-do I would have run out of there. I was glad that it was finished. Such relief.

I felt sorry for the people who would be staying the night. But, I sure was happy to be going home.

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