There is nothing like a man excited for you to get your clothes off. Well, today I had my post operative appointment with my surgeon and he was so keen to see me topless that he even did a little dance at the door of his office before we went in. This is one man who is very proud of the work he does.
And let me tell you, he did a marvelous job on this old girl that’s for sure.
I find myself often holding onto the new boob. Just resting my hand there. Oh she is one fine piece of work. And to think, this new boob is made by me. My fat, my blood vessels and my muscle. All of these things taken from one area and placed into another.
This is where the pain bit kicks in. Because the muscle was taken from the right side of my body near my ribs, there is where the pain sits. It hurts a lot. The pain is what I imagine would be should someone have kicked the beejeebus out of me on a Saturday night.
Anyhoo, I am pretty impressed my body is happy enough to take on a new job in another area. We are amazing human beings I tell you.
One of the most marvellous things that my surgeon told me today was I can now shower again! You have no idea how exciting this is until you are unable to shower for a period of time.
No, I have not gone almost three weeks without washing but it hasn’t been a walk in the park I can tell you that much. As I have been cut from hip to hip, had fat and muscle moved from here to there, a flap of skin replaced from my stomach to my breast, there are many things I can not do for the moment. These include bending, stretching, twisting, laughing too much, sneezing etc. So, come to ‘wash time’, it has been tedious and I have had to enlist the services of my husband.
Now, if you know my husband, you’ll know that he isn’t always the most serious of people so, you can only imagine what my ensuite has been like with the two of us naked and trying to wash my hair and parts of my body that I can’t reach. I have been in fits of giggles and there have been squeals and swear words and a lot of water splashing !
Not only will Sam and I be happy for me to be showering myself but I am sure my neighbours will be happy too hehe.
That is all for today as I am exhausted from my big outing to the surgeons office and a little wander around my favourite supermarket in South Australia being Foodland on Glen Osmond Road.
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.
So remember this morning when I told you I had accidentally taken 5 dexi (steroid tablets) instead of 2 dexis and 3 valium?
Well, I had to tell my little Indian oncologist about my wee accident but when I told him, all of the oncology nurses were standing around my cubicle including the pharmacist. Well, let me tell you I got a lot of laughs and giggles and cackles from my nurses and the pharmasist but not from my oncologist. He even pulled his glasses down his nose and looked over them at me.
I had to promise him it wasn’t deliberate because it ended up being a horrible night and I hated the dexis anyway but I needed three more because I was now three short.
Thankfully the pharmacist thought my story was hilarious and bought me up three more dexi tablets in a different shaped bottle so I will not mistake them again. Not that I care because it was my last chemo session but I do need these tablets to stop the nausea etc.
And another thing, this mornings post was a bit down in the dumps and unenthusiastic but let me tell you, all of the wonderful text messages, emails, facebook messages etc really picked me up. It made me feel so darn supported, loved and kinda proud of myself. I want to thank everyone, those I know, those I dont know and those I want to know, you have helped make this achievable and I didn’t do it alone, I did it with a damn lot of support.
We did it. We have beaten cancer (in my opinion) as a team.
Yes, I have more steps to go but the shittiest and hardest one is done, and that was chemo.
I know I can get through everything else now because if I can get through chemo, anything is possible.
For those just joining my unscheduled journey… next steps are this
Herceptin (I am HER2 Positive, google it) is an intravenus drug that I will need for another eight or so months but can be done before or after work because it has no mind altering effects.
Radiation Therapy x 33 starts in about 4 or 5 weeks where they will burn the area’s most likely to have the cancer spread to being back in the breast that has been removed, shoulder and collar bone. Apparently this is barable.
Lastly, mastectomy of my healthy breast and double reconstruction (in short, two amazing boobs on my way thanks), and a hysterectomy. The second mastectomy and the hysterectomy are for precautionary reasons. As I am the first in the family that we know off to get breast cancer, I want to take all precautions to ensure it doesn’t spread and make sure I dont have to ever go through this again.
Thank you Sam for being there for every chemo session. For the laughs, the singing in the car, driving me here there and everywhere but I will discuss Sam aka Dr Hands a little later because you have absolutely no idea what he has given up to make sure I was A OK.
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.