I’m writing this, wondering if it is perhaps an element of my day I should blog and not publish, but in the art of being honest and raising awareness and sharing our journey with you guys, i decided that I will put it out there.
Today is pancake day and I spent my morning in the Breast Unit at the hospital. I found this quite funny whilst waiting for my 3 hour appointment to begin, in hindsight i reckon sleep deprivation, emotional exhaustion, stress, worry and nerves played a part in my inappropriate sense of humour.
Last Friday I finally made a visit to the GP who agreed with me that there was some ‘dense mass’ in my right breast and after listening to my symptoms, felt that I needed to be seen in the Breast Unit ASAP. She sent me to the reception desk with a note that said just that. ASAP. underlined. I didn’t panic, but suddenly that niggle I’d had in my head that something wasn’t right, became a big deal. Shit. Got. Real!
My appointment was the following Tuesday (Today) and as I heard the lady on the telephone, my stomach sank, it was the same day as Rory’s very important appointment with Ravi regarding the possibilities of Rory saying goodbye to his tube, it was going to be a very difficult day emotionally and logistically but we could fit both appointments in.
I’m not going to lie, the urgency and the speed in which all this happened, made me really anxious, yet reallIy grateful that I wasn’t waiting around long at the same time. I cried myself to sleep, I imagine the worst. I began to think of life for A&R without me in it. Ash and I had some really dull conversations. I had some really strange moments when I was playing with A&R and we were having a really nice moment all cuddling or giggling and I could picture the moment in my head, looking back, as if I was an outsider, and I wasn’t really there. Imagining that I wouldn’t get any more of these moments. It broke me.
I had dizzy spells, I was extremely tired, I had one constant migraine, a head fog. I felt sick and I wasn’t eating properly. I had convinced myself I was already fading away, as dramatic as that sounds, but in hindsight now I know that I was just exhausted, emotionally drained and overwhelmed. On the outside, or around A&R, I kept up such a pretence that by the time i closed the front door or the boys were in bed, or Ash was home to watch the boys, I was no use to anyone and collapsed in a heap, wallowing in the what ifs.
The appointment came, I went by myself, despite my nearest and dearest trying to muscle their way in, I knew that I just had to go and do it, and as long as the boys were cared for (by Ash) then I would be fine, because life isn’t about me any more, it is about them and so as long as they were ok, I just had to go and do the appointment and return to them to crack on with routine and prepare for Rory’s appointment in the afternoon.
The lady on the phone explained the appointment to me, I would be seen by a nurse and a consultant, scanned or mammogram’d if needed and then if necessary, further tests including a biopsy.
I arrived at the clinic and checked in at the desk, no sooner had i said my name that a lovely lady escorted me to the waiting area. She was so nice, warm and genuine that she may as well have held my hand and gave me a hug. I sat down and she called me within a couple of minutes for my height and weight. Everything was so polite and dignified, I wasn’t rushed, I didn’t feel like cattle, it was like I was all that mattered.
I was then called into a room where a nurse spoke to me about my symptoms and then examined me. I removed the top half of my clothes and wore a gown that crossed over at the front. Everything was done with such care and dignity, she identified the ‘dense mass’ as they kept referring to it, and she drew a ring around it with her pen. A consultant came in and gave a second examination and together they decided that the ‘definite dense mass’ needed to be scanned so that we could see exactly what was going on.
I carried my basket of clothes as I walked down the corridor with my little gown on and we stopped besides a wall of leaflets. The nurse carefully picked the relevant one for me and talked me through it without giving anything away to any passers by that could hear. We went forward to the next part where I was called in for an ultrasound. Again, the staff were so lovely and warm and I felt at ease the whole time.
The outcome of the ultrasound was a good one, I have normal breast tissue, but just happen to have a dense mass in one area and that we know it is nothing to worry about for now, but that I should keep an eye on it for any future changes, and then go straight back.
And I suppose the message here is this, check your breasts, if you notice any changes go and get checked. The whole experience wasn’t one to be feared. The outcome scared me, but the actual appointment was nothing scary at all. Everyone was so lovely and so calming and so reassuring. Don’t put it off, I had a good outcome, but fear of the appointment isn’t worth the risk of a possible negative outcome.
I have a friend who has battled breast cancer and she told me that the appointment wasn’t anything to worry about and that really put me at ease. She said that the staff were so nice in clinic and she told me what to expect and so I suppose I am just passing that on and raising that awareness.
Take care of yourself ladies! Life is precious! ☺️
No sooner had I left the clinic, we grabbed some lunch quick before dropping Austin at Nannies (thanks for the beautiful flowers) and going to the Children’s hospital to see Ravi about the next steps for Rory’s tracheostomy.
We didn’t quite get the positive vibe that we were hoping for but Ravi listened to everything we had to say, he said that Rory looks great and is doing amazing and he wishes that all of his patients looked as well as Rory, but that he fears he is worse on the inside than we first thought. He aims to use a laser to burn away some scar tissue in his airway in the hope of getting his tube out. He said he will try his best but we just don’t know and there are so many bumps in the road ahead. We talked about possible reconstruction, Rory being ventilated and asleep in intensive care for a period of time, how we would feel about that and the timescales involved. We don’t have a plan. We are waiting for the theatre appointment where he will take a look at Rory’s airway and burn away the scar tissue and then make a plan from there.
We can only hope!