Remember how I told you that my surgeon wants me to lose weight, 7.5 kilos by the 10th of January, 2017? Remember how he told me to ‘just stop drinking alcohol’?
Remember me thinking, AS IF that is going to work.
Well bloody hell.
6 days of no alcohol and I lose 1.2 kilos!! WHAT?
Ok, people MAY have told me previously that this was the way to lose weight but I really enjoy a drink here and there. I am a great dancer and singer when I have had a couple of drinks. I love those little bubbles tickling my nose……
So, to celebrate my weight loss, I attended my niece Tarins 18th, niece Kallys 7th and nephew Jordans 10th joint Birthday Party on Saturday night and drank my weight in bubbles!
Right, I’ll get back on that ‘no alcohol’ diet of mine and see what this week brings.
Oh, just one more thing before I go…. I did this at the party 🙂 Annette is my sister and I think she was a little tickled pink with this bottle of wine.
See you next time, when I am even skinnier (and still sober).
Facebook kinda shits me here and there as to how commercial and whatnot it is but, there are times, when I get that ‘Facebook Memory’ as to what I posted a while ago and, this came up today. I remember so clearly this photo being taken and even though my gorgeous daughter was being silly, I still felt an amazing sense of pride for being her Mum. Nine years ago this photo was taken at my cousin Christine’s 40th Birthday party! OMG, that means my cousin Christine is going to be….. 50 oh so soon. Anyhoo, this photo of ‘the kid and I’ is very special to me. It is before I became a Coeliac and before I knew I had stage 3 breast cancer.
So, this was the week for me to meet with my surgeon to discuss the surgery I want/need early next year. The reason I would like this surgery early next year is because
I would like to be done with Breast Cancer
My wedding is in November 2017 and I would like 2 boobs for it
What does it matter? Just give me another boob please!
So, off to Mr Jim Kollias on Wednesday to discuss my upcoming surgery and to have my 6th monthly Breast Cancer check. Actually, from here on in, I am thinking I wont bother with writing breast cancer with capitals. I recall from school that capital letters were for proper words and those of being ‘important’. Well, you know what Oh Serious Breast Cancer? I have demoted you to lower case from now on!
Right, now we have that straight, let me continue…..
Mr Kollias has many names throughout South Australia and most of them good. Don’t get me wrong, I am going to BAG the SHIT out of him in this post but know this, he is the best in the business ok? Anyhoo… this is how it happened….
Into the lovely little office I went, went through the formalities of me looking great and me saying thank you blah blah and, off to the back room I go to rid myself of my tops and bras and sit on the bed to wait…
Now, keep in mind that Mr James Kollias, being the best in the Breast Cancer field in South Australia, keeps you protected, safe and bubble wrapped the entire time you are dealing with breast cancer. He will do everything humanly possible to rid your body of the cancer and make you feel A OK. You only have to do as you are told and he will make everything happen for you.
Once your breast cancer has been cut out, chemotherapied, radiologied, blitzed with drugs and sleep and some more drugs and more surgery, then comes along the true to life, the honest and IN YOUR FACE Mr Kollias.
There are no more warm snugly cuddly hugs of comfort, no more Mr Nice Guy.
He has always told us how it is when it came to my Stage 3 Breast Cancer but, I always felt safe and snuggly within his words. He was the Captain of our Ship. He would ensure everything happened correctly and his way. My only job on this ship was to follow his orders.
And I did feel all safe and snugly and protected and loved. Until NOW.
Now, I am FAT and ROUND!
On Wednesday the 5th of October 2015 (311 Days Since Mr Kollias and I met) I was meeting him again but this time to discuss my Reconstruction Left Breast Surgery.
I am requiring, wanting and possibly even needing a particular surgery called a TRAM Flap. TRAM stands for transverse rectus abdominis, a muscle in your lower abdomen between your waist and your pubic bone. A flap of this skin, fat, and all or part of the underlying rectus abdominus (“6-pack”) muscle are used to reconstruct the breast in a TRAM flap procedure.
While it’s the most popular flap reconstruction procedure, a TRAM flap isn’t for everyone. It’s not a good choice for:
thin women who don’t have enough extra belly tissue
women who already have had multiple abdominal surgeries
women who plan on getting pregnant
women who are concerned about losing strength in their lower abdomen
So, my big belly and myself are thinking, HOOK ME UP BIG BOY, because I am none of the above and more than that, HOOK ME UP TO THOSE SKINNY BITCHES THAT DON’T HAVE ENOUGH EXTRA BELLY TISSUE, I HAVE ENOUGH FOR EVERYBOOOOOODY.
Mr Kollias does not find this helpful OR amusing. Sometimes I wonder how Mr Kollias and I even get along!
Right, back to it….
I am now laying on the medical bed which is not comfortable nor relaxing and Mr Kollias starts the examination. I would have assumed he would have started with Ms Rightie, my lonely breast that stands alone… but no, he starts with my belly. He GRABS a big fist full of the belly area and wibbles and wobbles it up and down as though it isn’t actually attached to me (BUT IT IS) and says,
“Wow, this is very large. YOU are incredibly ROUND’. This is a lot of FAT”.
I kid you not!
I am laying on this bed, with my one amazing but sagging boobie and my big gutses hanging out, feeling oh so vulnerable while he, the amazing Mr K, proceeds to tell me how round and fat I am.
I KNOW I AM FAT FFS!
No, I do not say this out loud.
So, as I lay on that oh so uncomfortable bed, with my gutses hanging out, trying to think of something else, he, Mr Kollias, is grabbing handfulls of flab (yep, that’s my stomach) wibbling and wobbling up and down, still saying the words ROUND and FAT and I CAN’T WORK WITH THIS, I sink deeper and deeper into some daze like meditation.
Ok, I am no fool. I know I am fat. But for f*cks sake. Give me a break! I can’t use the ‘cancer card’ with Mr Kollias because he has been there with me from start til now. He is trying to tell me that
The more fat I have, the more likely I will be to get cancer, especially breast cancer, again
He can not operate on a fat person due to the risks involved
He can not operate on a fat person for a TRANS Flap thingy without putting them ‘at risk’
Right then, after four rounds of him grabbing my gutses, told I am ever so ROUND, and that he can’t operate the way I want without a risk, It is thankfully now time for me to dress and smash his face in.
Ok fine, I didn’t smash his face in but I really wanted too!
Anyhoo, I dressed and went back to his ‘meeting room’ and sat in front of him while he proceeded to tell me that he can not do the surgery I wanted because I was EVER SO ROUND.
Right, he says to me that in order to do the operation the he and I want to have done he wants me to lose 10 kilos by January 10th.
I’m not sure if you remember he wanted me to lose over 20 Kilos previously but I would be dead if I tried to do that so, we are negotiating now like a car buyer v’s a car salesman. Mr Kollias is the Salesman ok?
We go back and forth for a while and agree on a 7.5 Kilo weight loss for him to do the surgery. That means I have to be below 75 kilos by January 10th, 2017.
Oh so easy I hear you say. IT IS NOT EASY I SCREAM BACK AT YOU!
Ok fine, I’ll try to calm down but let me finish with the conversation with the ever so amazing Mr K.
I tell him that I tried to lose weight for him from our previous catch up which resulted in breaking two bones in my ankle.
He says, hmmm, that’s really just an excuse.
I say, well, I am a coealiac and don’t eat any junk food… and he just glares at me.
I then tell him I have lost 2 kilos recently and he says, two kilos is not a weight loss, it is a poo! and then proceeds to blow a raspberry at me!
Then, I tell him I have started taking duromine and he tells me that chemicals are NOT the answer.
Right about now I should be receiving a bloody award for ‘not murdering’ someone.
There are no awards coming my way, no cameras and bunches of flowers or miracle weight loss fairy dust, just Mr K looking at me.
So, I say to the ever so amazing Mr Kollias, “What do you suggest I do?” and his reply, (get ready to inhale a big disgusted gasp”
OMG, is that even legal? Are you aloud to say that to me?
Well, I think yes. BUT, the problem is, now that I am taking this Duromine (appetite suppressant which I think is broken) my meal sizes have reduced, I’m not snacking anywhere near as much as before blah blah blah….. and then I quietly, under my breath, say….. Do you think I should stop drinking alcohol?
Well, doesn’t that open the bloody flood gates?! Out it all comes from the Breast Cancer God of South Australia telling me if I stop drinking today, I’ll lose 3 Kilos in a week and then I’ll lose another 3 kilos in the next three weeks which is almost at my goal weight for the surgery!
He is looking at me like I am some very backward hick born child!
I haven’t even told him how much I drink (Thank Goodness!)
So, There we have it peeps.
As I sit here, looking at my lovely glass of sparkling wine, I know that it is one of the last as I HAVE TO LOSE THIS WEIGHT. Not just for Mr Kollias but for myself to have the surgery I want.
There is an alternative surgery involving using my back fat with expanders and then silicon blah blah but no, that isn’t what I want.
I want the stomach one, where there will be no artificial products in my body.
After all of the chemo and radiation, I am thinking I would like to repair my body with my body.
So, There we have it.
I have been angry, sad, angry again and everything in between since my appointment with Mr James Kollias on Wednesday but, at the end of the day, he is only doing what is best for me.
What really shits me through all of this is, I forgot to tell my amazing and incredible surgeon about the lump I was worried about! Thankfully he had done a thorough examination while I was there of good ol’ rightie and obviously didn’t find anything to be worried about.
Sorry it has been so long since my last post. Thank you for all of the ‘behind the scenes’ messages and in my face messages.
Love to you all. Stick with me. I am doing this ok? I am going to give it my all to lose that darn 7.5 kilos.
A thank you to the Encore Program for taking me in. I am going to fill you all in about this Encore Program from the YWCA soon. Hopefully, work works with me on this one 🙂
I don’t do shout out’s very often do I? I am going to today.
My shout outs are…
Veronica Stanbridge : for listening to me sook and cry and worry about the stupid lump that turned out to be nothing. I know how hard this is for you to relive this horrible disease after your amazing sister Maggie passed away from it. Veronica ‘Amazing’ Stanbridge is in the black 🙂
Mandy Azzam: Yep, I might know when you are not coping with things but you give it back knowing when I am not doing so well. I love that you leave me be until our lunch dates when I let it all out.
Tamara Martin: You always know when I’m having a bad day. Not through my actual voice but through the voice of our emails. Thankyou for knowing when I don’t want to talk but really want to talk. You know me too well.
Everyone in my life means so much to me. Please don’t be displeased to not find your name here but it is Friday night after a huge week at work and, it has been a tough week for me. Everyone who is in my life, with true honesty and love (eg: no backstabbing or bullshit) means so much to me.
What’s Duromine? Well, in simple terms, it is an appetite suppressant. Less food, apparently, will make me less fat.
At $98.00(Aust) a script, which lasts one month, it had better bloody work. Thankfully, my health insurance covers $57.00 of it so that really works out to about $1.36 per capsule, which I take one a day. That isn’t bad really when you think of the cost of snacking and excess eating. I am actually saving money by being on this stuff.
So, I started the ‘wonder drug’ 7 days ago and am taking the lowest dose possible being 15mg. This is because it can interfere or react with Tamoxifen. I take this tablet each morning at about 5:30am with my breakfast of a tuna and baby spinach wrap. I find no urges to eat until lunch time and even then, I have to remind myself that I need to eat. Lunch is something simple like a small fruit salad and yoghurt or a tin of tuna with a small salad. Dinner is something like a small seafood stirfry with brown rice or a piece of steamed fish and veg.
How have I done in the 7 days?
I have lost a grand total of ZERO!
Yep, not even a hundred grams. A big, fat, round zero.
At least my lack weight loss matches my body shape.
Ok, so this week hasn’t been very normal with having surgery on Wednesday (which I should have lost 5 bloody kilos because I fasted from 7:30am until 7pm!) and have had a sneaky glass of bubbles or two but seriously, come on! Nothing? Not one little gram of weight loss?
I shall not give up though. This stuff is going to work. I already feel better being on it because of the reduced food intake.
Are you curious about the side effects? So many people have an opinion on Duromine weather they’ve taken it or not.
These have been my side effects.
Dry mouth (water fixes it everytime)
Slight headache in the first couple of days
Vagueness (said good morning to the same person twice one day)
Tiredness in the first few days
Obviously, each person is different with medication and side effects but these have been mine which I was quite pleased about.
Lets Not Judge Amanda Bailey.
I thought a lot about writing this blog about being on Duromine because, as a society, we love to judge people. Put them down for whatever we can. Does it really make us feel better to do this? Does it improve our own lives to judge and gossip about someone else?
My answer is no. What’s your answer?
I decided, obviously, to write this because I feel I have been honest and transparent since I began this blog and for anyone who ever read my previous blog called I WOKE UP FAT, will know that I am probably a bit too open at times.
My fat life started approximately 9 years ago. Initially, I thought it was due to being diagnosed as a coeliac (allergy to gluten) and I still feel this has a big part to being a big girl but also, as my relationship with Sam progressed, so did my weight gain.
The meals I ate were often the same size as Sams meals. This is not healthy! I should not be eating the same amount as a grown man who does manual labour for a job. I am an office worker perched on my bum all day.
I did spend a year at the gym a few years back and had very good success in losing 18 kilos. It meant I was at the gym 5, sometimes 6, days a week, my diet was impeccable and I was motivated.
Once I had gone from being 95 kilos (Yes, 95 whopping kilograms) down to 78 kilos, it all stopped. My weight loss journey seemed to be over. Try as hard as I did, nothing was budging. Then, as happens with many people, I got frustrated and fed up and GAVE UP.
Fast forward a couple of years and whilst I haven’t gained all of that weight back, I have gained a couple of kilos and am still very fat. I am only five feet tall so, carrying more than say, 60 kilos, is a lot of weight for a little person like me to carry.
My starting weight, 7 days ago, was 81.9 kilos. Wow, I am putting it all out there aren’t I? How many of you would happily put your weight and age out into the big wide web for lots of little judgemental gossipy eyeballs to read?
So anyway, I am on this Operation Duromine to lose weight for the upcoming surgery being my breast reconstruction. It is a short term ‘fix’ and my fingers are crossed it works. I am hoping to have this surgery in January, 2017.
Obviously walking wasn’t going to do it because after breaking those couple of bones in my ankle and leg, it made walking a wee bit tedious.
Oh, about that. The surgery on Wednesday went really well (they removed two of the pins holding my bones together) and aside from that huge long fasting session, it all went without incident. I did meet a wonderful lady in Recovery who is the sister of a work colleague. She was just gorgeous and caring and kind. Thanks for looking after me Mim.
Hopefully, I can start walking again comfortably and carefully to kickstart this weight loss that my surgeon, Dr Kollias, is adamant I must do. He would like me to lose 20 kilos prior to my surgery which not only will make me look and feel better but will also reduce my chances of getting breast cancer again.
This is not a ‘commercial’ for appetite suppressants but more a journal for me (and you if you are interested) to see how I travel with this weight loss stuff.
So from me, my big fat 0 weight loss, I bid you farewell… until next time xx
2007 V’s 2016
Uniden Digital Camera
Ps: The gorgeous lady in the photo with me is Author Tamara K Martin. Keep an eye on your bookshelves people, her writing will be out for you to buy and read soon 🙂
8th of April my breast cancer was confirmed and the fact it had spread.
At this time, I’ll be honest, I did not imagine I would experience such a positive and wonderful Christmas.
Yesterday, I experienced a wonderful Christmas.
I am incredibly fortunate that I have such a wonderful network of people backing my health and the front runner of this wonderful network is Sam.
He made me promise not to buy gifts for each other this year as we simply couldn’t afford it and naturally, he didn’t stick to his word. I received such wonderful gifts and these were, a Game of Thrones colouring book, a gorgeous breast cancer pandora charm and a women’s health diary.
There is no way on this planet, in this life, that I want to live it without my Samuel Wilkinson.
After my gorgeous Dr Hands surprised me with my wonderful gifts, we then packed up and got ready for a full day of driving and visiting.
First up we traveled to the gorgeous and amazing property of Sam’s cousins’ house at Gummeracha – Nikki McGrane and Braden Hutt, and wow, what a gorgeous home and setting for Christmas. Thank you so much for having us and I can’t wait to visit again soon.
Here I am with ‘Santa’ Darren!
There were many laughs and bubbles (Thank you Auntie Susie not only for the bubbles but also for watching you go down the slip and slide heheheheeh) and then we were off to my Auntie Lyn and Uncle Phils house at Gawler.
As you can see, if you know South Australia, we had a bit of driving to do but it was very worth it. Thankfully, Dr Hands did all the driving which left me to drink all of the bubbles out of the Adelaide Hills 🙂
The Poo bit of it all is me. I have finished Radiation. Yay.
I have finished Chemotherapy. Yay.
But my cancer journey hasn’t ended and I do try to be all happy and positive with everyone but it isn’t all happy and wonderful.
Cancer doesn’t really end.
I still have 10 sessions of Herceptin. Ok, so there are no side effects from this and I only have it every three weeks….
Medication needs to be taken for the next ten years.
I have a 1 in 20 chance of getting cancer again somewhere in my body.
I stupidly said I would give up alcohol in January with no end date (I must have been drunk when I made this deal)
But, my point is, whilst the shitty sides are over, it isn’t over.
Another but, I love that I got to see another Christmas.
I Love that I got cuddles from my gorgeous niece Kally and nephew Jordan.
I got to see most of my family at Auntie Lyns house. With lots of laughs and food and drinks.
Many giggles were had at Sam’s family doo this arvo and my goodness, Santa Darren and Auntie Susie on the slip and slide almost had me doing a lady leak in my pants!
I love that I had another Christmas and I have the positive results to see many more to come.
Thankyou to all who have followed my journey so far. There is more to come so stay tuned.
I have loved today as I do with all Christmas celebrations. I can’t wait to celebrate many more.
He is a picture of Sam and I with our lovely neighbour John. (John is in the Middle)
I do wish that everyone reading this had an equally amazing and happy Christmas as Sam and I had.
I will talk to you all soon, when I get over tomorrows hangover xx
My top stayed on through my work Christmas Lunch #1 so put away your bail money 🙂
It was so lovely to go to my work teams Christmas lunch even though I haven’t been at work since April. All of the team members gave me a hug (no valium needed) and I actually felt good. I felt a part of the team and I am happy to say that they agree, (well the mangers agree) to have me back earlier than previously expected.
There is no way, in my opinion, that I need until May 2016, off to recover. I miss my work so much and can’t wait to get back into it.
Here is the look I went for today. Yes, I know I know, I have bragged all about going nude nut (bald head) but I just couldn’t do it to my team mates and I think I did OK with the scarf thing (with help from my neighbours).
Sorry for being MIA lately but have been a bit down, nothing much to say, too lazy etc.
It seems all I do lately is do my 45 minute to an hour drive to the Radiotherapy clinic, take off my top, get radiated, get dressed and drive the 45 minutes to an hour home.
Now I can add physio to my schedule for Lymphodema and again, drive an hour to that clinic, take my top off, get massaged for an hour, get dressed and drive an hour to get home.
A visit to my surgeon, you guessed it, 45 minutes to an hours drive (this is all dependent on traffic conditions), take my top off, get fondled and drive that distance again, home.
So today, I have NO radiation, physio or surgery visits but I have something so much more exciting and that is my teams Christmas Lunch!
What I am frightened about is driving 45 minutes to an hour to the hotel, walk in, take my top off, eat lunch and leave!
I’ll let you know how that pans out, do they have Wi-Fi in prison? I might get arrested for flashing but should only have to do ‘half the time’ in prison because I’ll only be flashing the one boob that I have left.
Yes, a lot of it has had to do with my bum and bowels but I will give you a break with all of that information.
I have slept a lot which is not something I will ever complain about. The medication I am now on with the new chemo drugs make me quite zombie like but that is ok. Much better than the pain and discomfort that I suffered last chemo when they changed the drugs and advised I would probably only need ‘panadol’ to deal with the pain. Yeah Nah, Endone is what I needed. I don’t like endone as a general rule because it makes me nauseas and constipated and dopier than usual but it is what is needed to get me through the chemo ‘feelings’.
On some nicer news…….. The dogs got new beds recently. Brady and Kelly have both turned 7 years old and any dog trainer will tell you that is the dogs 2nd change of life. Dogs go through a ‘change’ at the ages of 2 and 7 – both Kelly and Brady are the same age. Kelly (our Staffy X) has become very sooky. Needs/wants cuddles constantly. Brady, who has always been the gently, frightened and most obedient dog has become a grumpy old man. He does NOT like it when Kelly settles in to her bed next to his. I now have to separate their beds at night time before they go to ‘real’ bed time. Kelly is a lazy b*tch who refuses to hold her poopies and weewees and has decided the hallway (carpet) is her toilet so she now sleeps in the garage. But, before ‘real’ bedtime, the dogs are in with us in the house and run around like crazy fools, play tug of war, demand cuddles from Dr Hands and I and have sleeps before dinner and bed. Sometimes, Brady goes onto his bed first but when Kelly goes onto hers, he growls and huffs and puffs and carries on like a fool and I have to move his bed away from hers.
I did manage to get a photo before this all occur occurred though.
Today, my wonderful mum came to visit me as she does most weekends. I haven’t posted her gorgeous square yet but I will do that a little later but look at the beautiful flowers she bought up for me. She almost always brings beautiful flowers for me to cheer me up. The thing that I really hate about her visits is that I can see she suffers looking at my bald (but almost all fluffy with new hair) head, my red and itchy eyes, runny nose, tiredness etc. How does a daughter comfort her mother who is suffering watching said daughter deal with cancer. Thankfully, we laugh a lot. Mum and I can laugh at the stupidest things…. I want to mention Sam here but that would seem rude hehe. My mum, Sam, Inlaws, Tamara, Accalia, Cousins, Neighbours, Furbabies and everyone inbetween keep it real but achievable.
Flowers from Mum
Oh, and another thing, we harvested another Cauliflower this week, our neighbour John recons we could get about $10.00 for it because it is bloody huge. Excuse the fat bald chick holding it but it is to give you a perspective of how big this thing was
But, I’ll have you know, I have lost 8 kilos since this cancer bizzo stuff so thats a good thing right?
Do you remember a while back when I told you about some people who had raised money for me to use just for me? No bills or medical appointment costs etc?
They were the team who included my gorgeous daughter Accalia, my lovely friends Mia and Nicole which linked with Black Canvas Photography, Bendigo Bank and others…
Well, they raised money for me to splurge on myself and so far I had bought some lovely bottles of sparkling wine, Baileys Irish Cream, gorgeous matching bedside lamps, a lovely tree painting on canvas and today….
Lobster Tails and Scallops.
I dont have much of an appetite and is a constant argument with Dr Hands and I. He is constantly questioning me on what I have eaten and had to drink blah blah blah.
So, on the way home from the extra long Radiotherapy appointment, Dr Hands asked me what I wanted for dinner and straight away I said, lets go to Cappo Seafood!
It is on the way home from the city and a place we used to go to often but since we now live in the country, we rarely even mention it. So, we went to Cappo to see what whet my appettite.
Lobster Tails! 3 x $20.00. Yes Please! Give me Give Me Give me!! I picked up a couple of scallops on skewers and a hand full of cooked prawns. Yup, thank you ‘splurge money’.
So, tonight, Dr Hands made garlic butter lobster tail and the two skewers of scallops (5 x each skewer) and yummo. I ate the six prawns while I waited for him to cook the dinner but was totally worth it.
Normally, neither Dr Hands nor I would ever consider me having such an extravagant meal but due to our current situation, it wouldn’t be in our budget. My ‘splurge money’ has been all about me thanks to everyone involved, I was able to indulge.
Let me say………grrrrrrrrr, mmmmmmmm, yummmmmmmm **insert Homer drawl**
This was a total splurge and so well appreciated.
Thank you Mia, Accalia, Black Canvas Photography, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Sue Sayles and all the others I do not know of.
I am frightened of the upcoming bills of radiotherapy and such but to be able to enjoy such a meal (including some lovely bubbles) was such a lovely moment that could not have happened without you all.
So, I am being very careful with my ‘splurge money’ that has been collected, please know that it has been so very much appreciated.
How do I know I have found the one? Well, beside the fact he has been absolutely amazing through this cancer bizzo, he loves me, I find him kinda sexy etc….. but also because, future mother and father in law just know how to pick me up. Improve my mood…
They popped in today to say hi and these where the things they bought with them….
Here we have a daffodil plant (how does one not smile looking at those happy and sunny flowers?), a punnet of blueberries and a magnificent bottle of Grant Burge …… Oh good times….. 🙂
I am a man who believes romance should never die, movies make for a great night, custom suiting is a must and creating a legacy is one's purpose. A man who holds true to this understands the gentleman's lifestyle.
Setting the world straight by complaining about and making humorous remarks towards our problems while providing solutions we should all live by. Cus' we're just really pissed off about a lot of things.