Operation Duromine

I’m Fat.

Not just fat. Obese.

According to the BMI chart anyway.

So, enter Duromine.

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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

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 🙂

 

Thinking of the year that was….

I started 2015 with a smile on my face. I was so happy and fortunate and loved.

Thankfully, I am ending this year with a smile on my face because I am happy, fortunate and loved.

Ok, there was a bump on the way.

We got over the bump.

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I have been made aware of so many things this year. The first thing being that Sam is there for me, through sickness and in health. He was there for me each and every day to ensure I was loved, fed, clean, medicated and positive. Sam made me laugh, took in all of the medical information, made learning about breast cancer his project and even sang silly songs to me. He drove me to each and every chemotherapy appointment, surgeon appointment, many of the radiation appointments and the endless trips to the chemist.

I have made new friends, been reunited with old friends, lost a couple of friends, felt the love of so many wonderful people. I have seen amazing and selfless sides of many people as well.

Naturally, I can’t name each and every person who has touched my heart this year but please know, you probably are one of them.

I started the year with two boobs, a head of long hair, a little lighter but I am ending this year with more knowledge, empathy, understanding and patience than I had at the beginning. I now know the amazing lengths people go to too help someone facing a very frightening illness. I have been incredibly fortunate to have an amazing group of people surrounding me.

I didn’t get cancer this year. I was diagnosed this year. According to my surgeon, the cancer had been in my body for a couple of years. I will not see 2015 as ‘the year I got cancer’ but it will be the year that Sam and I fought the disease in my body as far as I am concerned, we won.

The biggest standout of the year is pretty obvious to me. It was being told I had breast cancer. Everything that followed those words happened so fast and there was always something going on weather it was surgery, drains, those bloody dreadful and shitty hemorrhoids, nausea, fatigue, chemotherapy, baldness, radiation therapy, burns, blisters, but it was my ultra sound and mammogram appointment that I’ll never forget.

Do you make New Year Resolutions? I am a bit wishy washy when it comes to them but this year I have a long list of health related changes for my new year. Be warned, I am giving up alcohol. Blogs may actually start to make sense hehe.

There will be less processed foods, goodbye to sugar, hello to daily activity (I have the neighbours exersize bike in my lounge room ready and waiting), and I am going to smile a lot! I will continue with my positive attitude, growing salads and vegetables, drinking a lot of water and helping anyone who needs it.

This New Years Eve will be spent with our lovely neighbours at what I am hoping, will be the 1st of many street/neighbourhood parties.

My thoughts this year will be with health of my amazing family and friends, feeling proud of the amazing daughter I have, loving that amazing man of mine, drinking my last drink for a while and enjoying the fact I am here to celebrate another New Year.

Thank you to everyone for being with me this year either in person or in writing and your thoughts.

I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Much love………

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Christmas Lunch with my Team

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.

Wish me luck 🙂

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Radiation Day 1

A Breeze!

I thought it would hurt. I expected to feel something but I felt nothing. Not even a tingle.

That snorkel and nose clip still gave me a bit of anxiety but they had music blaring in the room and they were all songs I love but other than that, was easy peasy. AND, I have my own ‘locker’ where my gown is kept. I love this idea because I am astonished at how much gets thrown away in medical land. So, I wear the same gown everyday.

The staff were really nice, personal and professional.

This can not be said for Dr Hands.

When we were leaving the radiotherapy unit, I complained to him that I must have put my bra on wrong because my boob was under my arm and very uncomfortable.

He asked “which boob”.

Oh he thought he was so funny. Of course it was Dolly (the prosthetic one) but he does love to entertain himself.

So, thats that for today.

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Boob, Boobie, The new Boobalicious Boob is coming!

Totally forgot to tell you in all the excitement from my gorgeous cousins and daughter, but, my new boob is coming tomorrow.

Boob lady, Krista, does house calls and is bringing me a brand new prosthetic sticky boob.

This boob has weight in it so it means it doesn’t ride up to become a chin rest. It should droop just like Rightie.

Speaking of rightie, I have totally had enough of her and her double D status and droppiness. She needs to be constrained otherwise she swings like a bloody pendulum and could potentially hypnotise someone and could even give me a black eye. For the first time in my life, I really wish I had small boobies because now that leftie has left my life and is shriveled up, dead in a bin somewhere, I still have a bit of swelling and the stupid ‘surgical garment bra’ annoys me but I can’t be going out and about without it because of bloody rightie.

Anyhoo, I digress because new boobie leftie is coming tomorrow and it has a sticky back on it so i can stick it to my left flat chest and I’ll have droopy leftie back!

The way the boobie lady demonstrates it is with the enthusiasm of a vacuum cleaner sales person and their bowling ball test. She sticks the stickie boobie to her palm, upends her palm so boobie is hanging to the floor, wiggles it and shows that it doesn’t come off! Oh the excitement on her face is priceless and one must try to keep a straight face but man, that is hard work because she is hilarious. She really loves her job!

Should I ever be hanging from the chandelier in some fancy sexual movement to be turning Dr Hands on, I can rest assured that new fake leftie will hang tight.

Now, where can I buy a chandelier…..

PS: I still have my hair, eyebrows, leg hairs and nose hairs. If this chemo doesn’t kick in soon I am really going to have to shave my legs. Seriously, who has the energy for that!!??

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The Unichable Itch

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How weird is the title? Well, imagine what it says. You have an itch, mine is under my left arm where my left boob has been removed.

When I try to itch it, I can’t feel myself itching it. The itch remains itchy even while I try to itch it! It is a funny, annoying and unless you have lived it, quite hard to make someone understand exactly what I mean.

And itch, wow, does it itch! It doesn’t end. Constantly I feel the need to itch under my arm or near the under arm of the left boozie boobie that has left me but itching it gives me no relief because the damn area is still quite numb.

I must admit here and now, I do entertain myself. I mean look at me. I have breast cancer. I am missing an entire breast (thankfully it was the breast with the hair on it that was taken away), I have had nine out of 20 lymph nodes removed, a scar from my chest bone to under my arm and here I am, complaining about an itch that can not be scratched.

Bet you wish you were me right now hey?

Stick me 22 times with that needle… I’ll be fine :)

I had an appointment with my wonderful surgeon Mr J Kollias today and I thought to myself, why not call into work and grab the things I needed from my locker like my sneakers. I have one pair of sneakers and they have been living at work since the 7th of April. I also needed a couple of documents which my lovely buddies Gilda and Veronica were able to organise between themselves  for me.

What was amazing was the amount of lovely, caring and wonderful people who had a moment to come hug, talk and smile with me. I heard I was looking good, that they loved my blogs, happy to see me etc. What never ceases to amaze me is the people who come out of the woodwork to give you the support and positiveness through times such as this. Times like these really show some peoples true colours and I love it. Some of these true colours are sad and hard to deal with because they aren’t the people you thought they were but with others, the ones that quietly text or send private messages, they are the ones I hold close to pick me up when I am feeling down.

I have a great friend called Ian W. We have worked together for more than ten years now and today, we hugged. Our first hug ever…..Neeeyaaaw! It was lovely 🙂

I was given a word of advice from my long time mate Ian W. If the blog is too long, he doesn’t finish it hehe. Well you know what Ian W, join my man Sam because he is the same. Sam looks at how many words there are before he decides if he is going to read it or not. Keep in mind that whilst this blog is for anyone interested in my journey and how I am feeling and what I am going through, it is also my release, my therapy. So, if there are too many words for the Sam’s and Ians of the world, too bad. 🙂

After visiting the wonderful people at work, I felt I didn’t want to leave! I wanted to stay and talk and believe it or not, work! People believe that having so much time off is awesome and don’t get me wrong, it totally rocks but OMG, it has been a very long time since I have had this kinda time on my hands.

So, I left my work peeps and headed to Mr Kollias’ office which has me very concerned and has kinda changed my thoughts on this wonderful man. Here is what I think now. He does not like real boobs. He is a fake boob kinda guy. Ok fine, he cut out my cancer, threw my boob and nipple in the bin, took out my 9 out of 20 lymph nodes and saved my life but he was not done. He had something else he wanted to do.

Remember the other day when I was telling you that I thought I was a medical miracle? That I had started to grow a new boob? Well, surgeon Mr K said it was just fluid and he would drain it for me. Right. There. And. Then!

I didn’t bring Dr Hands with me (Sam) and I was scared. Dr K told me to get my gear off (top half only) and pushed and prodded the new boob I had proudly grown and said it felt like a hot water bottle. Yeah, whatever, he just doesn’t want to admit I could be beating the odds and growing this boobie back! He pulled out a gigantic needle and syringe, telling me he would drain it. If I had a mirror in front of me I am almost certain I would be doing a day time soapie face….

22 needles in and out, filling each and every 22 sucker syringes full and squeezing the disgusting liquid into a kidney dish and I was done according to Mr Kollias. I did request Mr K pop that needle and syringe into my stomach, ass and thighs to rid them of the disgusting liquid but he didn’t have time to do that, he was due in surgery in about an hour.  I kid you not but that dish was almost full! And not at all pleasant to look at but I peeked all the same. What did surprise me was the fact I didn’t feel it at all. He said I wouldn’t feel it because I was still numb from surgery. Not sure how he knew that because I certainly didn’t tell him. He must indeed know his stuff hey?

What did make me jump out of my skin was when he grabbed one of the boobie stitches! Wow, the F word flew out of my mouth in the speed of light and you know what Mr K said? Settle down… WHat? Settle down? Geez, that hurt like no tomorrow and he wants me to settle down!? I’ll give him a settle down!! That part of my missing leftie boobie is very sensitive but he did answer one question that had been driving me nuts. There is a bit of a bubble thing that looks like a cleavage and that is exactly what it is. He said that by leaving that bubble there, he can create a magnificent boob with a natural looking cleavage. He is a thinker that surgeon of mine. So now, I love him again.

Turns out that I can now shower and do whatever even I want (making sure it isn’t overly strenuous and if you know me, that is not at all a concern) as there are no dressings left because my wound, my scar, is looking marvelous, to Mr K, and the stitches will dissolve. I have a follow up appointment with Mr K in four weeks unless I start growing my medical miracle boob again. Then I’ll have to see him earlier to remove the fluid.

Also, the chemo wont start until the fluid has stopped filling up the bomb site. (boobectimy) so fingers crossed, the fluid stops. I want to get this chemo started because the sooner it starts, the sooner it finishes and the sooner I can get back to work and get back my normal life. Yes, I said it, get back to work. Being a lady of luxury is awesome but after a few weeks, it wears thin.

Having said that, after today’s journey, I was absolutely bloody exhausted and I didn’t do much at all. I felt sad that I couldn’t sit down and talk with all of the wonderful people from work who had written gorgeous messages in my get well cards, that I couldn’t answer everyones questions but I am totally and amazingly happy that there will come a time when I will be back at work to do this.

The only bad news of today was that I did test HER2 positive so that means a whole lot of new drugs that will be added to my chemo journey.

Saying Goodbye to Leftie

How should I be feeling about losing a breast? No one can answer this for me except me. It is a really weird thing because it isn’t like I actually ‘need’ good ol’ leftie but I don’t particularly want her thrown in the bin either. Sure, she is a wee bit sick and all but she still looks pretty good albeit a few bruises from being poked and prodded. I guess she is sort of like a tonsil hey? We have them but don’t really need them. But I can tell you right now, I didn’t check my tonsils growing up to see how big they were getting! I didn’t compare my tonsils to those of my friends. Boys didn’t want to check out my tonsils either, well, that I know off anyway.

So, ol’ leftie is useless really. I am giving her to my surgeon to throw away in a pile of other unwanted boobies, to take her and the sickness in my body, away. It really shouldn’t matter should it? It isn’t like I am losing something important or necessary for my life. I even feel a bit of a whinger to be honest knowing another person in my life who is in fact without an important part of their body, their arm. Who am I to complain about losing a boob? It isn’t like I need her to drive or hug or to pick up an object. The thing is, I like her. She has been around for quite a while now and I am used to her. But, the choice isn’t mine anymore, it is where the cancer lives and is now time to go. Like a game show really, it is time to leave……..**suspense built in here** …. Leftie (and Cancer), you have been evicted from living in the body of Bailey!

Today I thought about the things I need to pack for my holiday to St Andrews Hospital. I have received a phone call from the lady at concierge known as ‘the nurse’ who has advised me there will be a phone in my room, a television and something else that I can’t remember. Probably a bed hey? I realised, once I started looking for the things I would need for this holiday and it occured to me, she didn’t tell me if I needed a bra. Obviously I don’t need a proper bra  as though only rightie will be residing in said bra but I cant be letting rightie swing about on her own. Goodness knows what kind of damage she might do! I could end up with a black eye or bruised knees simply from rightie not being nestled tight against my body. She can get a bit out of control when left to her own devises.

Well, after all these years with leftie, I don’t think there is much else I can say in this farewell piece to her. Thanks for being there? Thanks for hanging around? Cya Leftie, and take that cancer with you!