Sunday, 22 June 2014

2 Year Cancerversary

Today is my 2 year Cancerversary. Although obviously 22nd June 2012 is not a date I particularly want to remember, I think it is really important for me to mark the date in some way. It's important for me to do something special and nice on this date as way of saying "Screw You Cancer I Kicked Your Ass".
When I got up this morning, Rob was already at his parents house unloading our worldly goods into their garage (we're moving soon, flat is going on the market this week - super exciting!). On the way home he picked up some shopping and bought me an awesome cake and a lovely bunch of flowers.
We then went for a nice walk in Leechpool Woods with Fagin and in the afternoon we went to Caroline and Mo's with Bob and Laura for a BBQ in the sunshine.
A day of lovely memories!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

White Coat Syndrome

What is it about hospital appointments that fill you with dread? On the day the NHS stamped letter arrives in my postbox detailing my latest appointment, that familiar feeling: racing pulse, sweating, shaking and that dull, nauseating stomach sensation takes over. I'm starting to move on, to adjust to a 'new normal' and this just jumps in the way of my pathway. 

There are days when sometimes I don't think about the cancer, when I don't constantly touch my 'bad' boob, and when I don't convince myself that every last ache and pain, cough and cold is the bastard rearing its ugly head again. But there are also days when I do.  

I got my latest appointment letter for my June check-up in January. I dutifully wrote in my diary when it was, asked the hubby to diarise it as well, and filed the letter away in my cancer folder. Oh yes, the world is such a fun place when you have a 'cancer folder'.... Last week they phoned up to tell me that the location of my appointment had moved from Crawley to East Surrey. You would think by the way my body reacted that I had just been told some awful news, I felt ridiculously sick. I'm such a planner that changes in general make me a bit nervous, so I think when it comes to oncological ones I'll always be even worse. Plus East Surrey is the place where I was told I had cancer, and where I had my two operations. It doesn't really hold good memories for me you could say. But, thinking about it, it was also the place where my surgeon told me that he had cut every trace of the fecker out of me. So I should turn it on its head and make it a positive.

This morning was my 6-monthly check-up. Had been feeling okay since the 'location blip' but as soon as I woke up this morning, I felt the nausea, the heart rate and the pulse rising. I've been feeling very well in myself and noticed no changes other than the rib swelling. But still. I tried to centre myself with some of the CSP techniques and controlled my breathing as much as I could. This calmed me a little. 

Rob drove us to the hospital, we checked in, waited and were seen (on time!) by a super helpful member of Dr Houston's team. I'd never met him before but he was great. Answered all my questions, talked me through the 'proper way' to self-examine and just really put me at ease. In the appointment we mentioned my various medical pre-history like neurofibromatosis and increased blood iron. He didn't seem concerned but sent me for a blood test anyway. It was good to have someone that actually listened, and that I felt cared, unlike previous 6 month check-ups where I've just felt like a tick on a list.  

Anyway, all signed off now until next mammogram in January. It was due in December but they moved it for me as I mentioned the last one being in December had really put a dampener on Christmas.  It's definitely the little things that people in the medical industry do which make a massive difference.

Heart rate and pulse are slowly returning to normal now! Back to reality, on a train off to the busiest part of the wine trade calendar, London Wine Trade Fair. Then this weekend it's time for one of my bestie Amy's hen party, mega excited.

New normal, over and out. 

P.S. It's actually got a name and everything so guess it's not too strange I feel that way...