Monday, 4 May 2015

I'm back baby! YEAH!

OMG! I'm back! I am so so sorry I have been absent for such a long time...I changed my laptop and couldn't bloody log in! Which is a massive disappointment as so much has happened since my last post Where to begin, hmmmm.

Well, I still haven't finished my reconstruction. My wonderful surgeon (Prof Andy Baildam) who started my reconstruction sadly retired from the NHS before doing my next step. We had planned that he was going to do some fat grating which involved taking some fat from my stomach (fill your boots Boss, there's plenty to go at!) and injecting it into my boobs to make them "rounder" and do nipple reconstruction at the same time so obviously that has been on hold until I found a new surgeon. They offered me his replacement surgeon but I thought, as I'm travelling all the way down to London to see a surgeon I don't know, I may as well get referred to my local hospital...whada mistaka to maka! My appointment at my local hospital was on the 6th September 2014. So mum and I went along hoping to meet my new surgeon who would hopefully be up for doing the same procedure as my old wrong can one be?! As we walked in he said "I don't know why you're here, I can guarantee I almost certainly WON'T be performing any surgery on you, I'm a Skin Cancer specialist"! WTF?! So, as I sat there in disbelief he promised he would "Push it through" so that I would get an appointment pronto with the surgeon I should have been seeing...8 months later, I'm STILL waiting! I gave up on that idea and instead looked elsewhere and from very good recommendations have chosen a different surgeon down in Cornwall (Iain Brown). So off I went down to the Sunny South to meet him. He is bloody marvellous and it fills me with great confidence to know that he was mentored by my original surgeon so knows exactly how Prof would have operated on me. So the plan now is to have fat grafting done on 4th June. He's going to leave nipple recon until the very last thing...Icing on the cake as it were! He has suggested removing my areola which may also make a difference to the shape. Twelve months ago this would have gone against everything I would have wanted, but now, I am willing to do anything to get a better shape! I hope people don't think this is a petty, vain outlook but believe me, when you're a woman who can't wear "normal" bras (they are too baggy at the front due to the non-shape), still in padded Belvira bras, 30 months after my mastectomy, I think I'm entitled!!  

So that's about where we're at boob-wise. Elsewhere it's been a rollercoaster to say the least! My relationship ended, but don't feel sorry for me. It's for the best! At least now I can concentrate on getting myself right without feeling guilty about how it's affecting someone else!

Oh and I got myself a hobby, changed my spare bedroom into a craft room. Sometimes I just need to do and think about something not BRCA or boob orientated! (Although I did have to make the glass in the picture :-) ) So I'm doing some card making and personalising glasses and anything else I can teach myself! (Or that my good friend Kim can teach me!). Sometimes you just need a distraction!

I have recently had 2 friends diagnosed with Breast Cancer...f*****g s**t! And last night I watched "The "C" Word" on BBC1 about fellow blogger and BRCA babe Lisa Lynch. What an emotional story, superbly played by the wonderful Sheridan Smith. So many points in her story upset me and brought memories flooding back. Although I haven't had Cancer, my mum has...twice. And watching how Lisa's family supported her brought back a lot of emotion from watching my mum endure the journey to battle BC. Then seeing her post-surgery reminded me of my own feelings post-surgery, from not wanting to see when they removed the dressings, to not being able to get out of the bath (luckily mum was at hand to help me out of it, although we did think at one point we'd have to call the fire service!). I cried all the way through, she was a remarkable lady and I salute her for her ghung-ho get the "BULLSHIT" attitude. She inspired me to try again to get back into my blog account (successfully, obviously) as I have been locked out of it for so long. I shared her pleasure at the prospect of people taking the time to read and even comment, as knowing that it may have helped just one person makes everything worth while.

This year is a big year for us in the family, my gorgeous boy turned 16, next week mum celebrates her 60th Birthday (We're heading away for a girly weekend with friends, can't wait!). In July I will celebrate my 40th birthday, it is exactly 10 years this year that we both tested positive for BRCA1 and 10 years from Mum's first BC diagnosis and 5 years since her last! So we've a lot to be thankful for. I love my family, and I love my life...even with tits/non-tits. :-) xxx

Sunday, 24 November 2013


Gosh, I don't quite know how to start this...I feel so guilty for leaving it for so long knowing that so many people take comfort from reading it! I have to confess, over the last 6 months, I have started, probably about 4 blog posts which ended up getting saved in my drafts and went unpublished for one reason or another. So now, as I am recovering from what will hopefully be my penultimate surgical experience thanks to BRCA, I will write...

All in all I had 3 expansions, the first one was quite painful, the second one I dosed up on painkillers prior to my appointment so was bearable, the third was ok on the day but was painful and uncomfortable for about 6 weeks after!

So 6 days ago I went into hospital for the operation to swap my expander implants to permanent ones. I thank God for my amazing surgeon and feel so lucky to have him work his magic on me! I am really pleased with the result, and although I am still sore and get tired easily I am glad it's all over and am doing so so much better than I was at this point after my mastectomy!  But I don't know what it is about having this gene and the subsequent surgeries to reduce the risk of getting these damn cancers, but even though I have put myself through all this, the worrying never stops! That, I have to say is bloody annoying! I better explain...

About 6 weeks or so ago, I noticed a tiny pea-sized lump underneath the areola, (you may recall my surgeon removed my nipple during the mastectomy but left my areola).  I called the hospital and an appointment was arranged for me to have it checked out. So I went for an ultrasound scan and was really relieved to find that they thought it was just scar tissue, however my surgeon said he would take more of a look when he performed the swap.  I reminded him on when it was op day, and woke to find he had removed it. He said that it appeared to be a stitch which had become encased in scar tissue but he has sent it off for testing anyway.  So there you have it, the worrying doesn't stop! Maybe it will eventually? I hope so!

How am I feeling now? At this particular moment in time, a bit fed up, sorry for myself, upset.  I am terrible at recovering from operations. And yes, this one is a hell of a lot easier than the last one, granted, but I still feel like shit. I think because I don't feel as bad as last time, it is even more frustrating that I can't do what I want to do without feeling it! For example, yesterday, Andy and I went out to do a spot of Christmas shopping.  We were out for most of the day, and he ended up like a packhorse by the time we made it back to the car, bless him. Then I had to go down to mums to have her change my dressing for me, (my wound seems to be doing a spot of weeping!). So while I was at mum's, Andy cooked tea. While I was eating it, I was sick, then felt bloody awful! It was obvious that it was because I had perhaps pushed myself too far during the day and done too much, even though all I actually did was walk around!...So frustrating!  

So, I am writing this from my bed as I am having a "nothing" day today. Although I really feel tempted to take a trip to Argos, (well, ask Andy to drive me there!) to treat myself to a tablet, not an oral tablet, God knows I've had enough of those this last year! You know, one of those like an iPad but not iPad price!.

Oh before I go, I must tell you about trying to change my dressings myself.  So as I said one has been weeping a bit, and I thought it would be best to try and see by how much and change them daily. The first time I went to change it, bearing in mind, I am allergic to Micropore so have been given Tegaderm, I was completely floored! As I started pulling the dressing off, I was ok, but then I got to the part of my breast where there is no sensation, (there are these patches on both sides), and the feel of the dressing being pulled and the sound did not match what my breast was feeling, because of course it was feeling nothing! This knocked me completely sick and I spent the next 20 minutes doubled over the toilet crying my eyes out! I have since managed to do it myself without completely losing it, but only this morning. And I still have to pause at the point my breast loses sensitivity, take a deep breath and try not to think about it too much!

I have probably missed so much out, but thought If I don't update now, I never will! Maybe one day I will publish my drafts...

Monday, 25 March 2013

What size ARE these babies?? (4 months 3 weeks post-op)

Well I am now 4 months and 3 weeks post-op...Where are on earth has the time gone? I have had one expansion and I'm due my second one later this week.  I think it's time to update don't you?! I am guilty of being rather lazy when it comes to updating here but, apart from things being hectic at home (Mum has had some corrective surgery, decorating my sons bedroom, being made redundant), I'm so afraid of my readers getting tired of hearing the same old thing..."It hurts", but unfortunately there is more of that to come.  I hate to think anyone thinks I'm turning this into something negative, because in the grand scheme of things it really isn't! But I think everyone should be aware that it's not always so rosy, but please remember this is my OWN experience...everyone is different!

On Valentines Day (for any overseas readers, 14th February) myself and my wonderful partner, Andy, headed down to London to see Prof. I was really hoping to be given my first expansion, but due to the problems during my recovery, I know that Prof wanted to see how I was first before agreeing to expand.  Luckily he said it was ok to go ahead. So this is what happened...

He chose to do Lefty first, (this is the one which housed the infected Seroma!). So first he had to find the port, he did using a magnet which looked like a little egg-timer. He said the maximum they can inflate at any one time is 100mls, but tried with 50mls first. I have to was bloody painful! I don't know if that's just because I have had problems with this side in the past, or whether it is just my luck! But he thought it was going ok so tried another 50, however he could only get another 15 in. I think he stopped because he could tell I was in quite a bit of discomfort.  So altogether 65mls which he said equates to about a cup size.  My first reaction when I looked down (I looked away for the needlework!) was "Wow!".  I suddenly had developed a bit of a cleavage! WOOHOO!!  He put the same amount in righty which, I have to say, didn't hurt as much!  And that, believe it or not, is all it takes!  It really is that simple.

I hate to sound "Same old, same old..." but I still get pain, twinges, aches. I don't know if I will ever be completely free from all that.  Don't get me wrong it doesn't keep me up at night, or prevent me from doing anything, and it's nothing that a couple of pain killers now and again won't sort out. 

So, I am due my second expansion later this week.  Prof said at my last appointment that he thought I may only need one more and then be ready for the swap...I'm not so sure.  I guess neither of us can be sure until we see how much I can take at this next expansion. But I can't imagine, if I only get about 50mls this time that I will be ready.  To me they look like they need a bit more shape, they look kind of...flat. Even though they are a size...erm...Gosh, I don't even know WHAT size they are! How bizarre is that?! I must change that. Isn't it funny how, (ladies who have had this procedure will probably know what I mean here...) you suddenly stop measuring your boobs by the actual size and start instead by measuring mls (I'm currently at 265mls, this much I DO know! But what that is in actual bra sizes I've no idea! ha)...or number of expansions... First Lady - "I've had 2 expansions now", Second Lady - "Oh really? I'm just waiting for my first", Third Lady - "I'm done expanding and waiting for my swap", First AND Second lady think - "I can't wait to have my swap". On this journey, you learn to be patient!

So that is currently where I'm at with the old boobies! I am growing to like them, but some days I do look at them and don't like what I see, but I'm sure I had days like that pre-op anyway!

Luckily I have fantastic support from friends and family and count my lucky stars every day to have been blessed with them! And also from National Hereditary Breast Cancer Helpline, who have helped me no-end! It is so good to be in touch with other ladies who have gone through the same surgery for the same reasons.  If you are reading this and you feel alone...PLEASE DON'T! If you would like to get in touch with me to have a chat about things please do! I run various support groups on Facebook which you can join and speak to others in the same situation. You can also find me on Twitter

Well I guess that's it for now. I will update shortly after my next expansion (I promise!).

As always, thank you for reading.  Please feel free to comment, and share.  The more people this reaches, the more people will be made aware of the options available to them regarding BRCA1!


Tuesday, 15 January 2013

10 weeks Post-op

First I must wish all my readers a Very Happy New Year, I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas!! :-)

WOW! How quick time has gone by! I can't believe it's already 10 weeks since I had my op.  It feels like only yesterday, but on the same note it feels as if it has been such a long, hard slog that's it's almost forever! So since I last blogged a bit has happened that I felt I should write about.  So, my infection was treated successfully, the swelling and redness has all but gone now.  My appointment with Prof on the Thursday went fine. He was happy with everything and said he was happy to "leave you alone for a couple of months now". So I have an appointment on 14th February at which he said he "may" expand, depending on how I'm doing.  So as it is Valentine's Day, Andy will be coming down with me, and you never know, I may get slightly bigger boobs as a Valentine's gift!!!

I am so much better than I was, mentally! I no longer find myself bursting into tears at any random moment, I don't hate myself for going through with the surgery, I am getting used to seeing and feeling my new boobs. And I can really visualise how they will look when they are complete.  Last week I found myself looking back at all the photos I have taken so far on my surgical journey (I definitely recommend doing this!) And I can't believe how far I have come! I think this should be advised as part of the counselling process. If you can't SEE how far you have progressed, it is harder to FEEL how far you have progressed, but if you SEE it you can FEEL it... I think! (I hope that makes sense!)It worked for me anyway!

I'm now driving, only shortish journeys but it's a huge step! My first outing was on 21/12/12. I just drove with Andy down to the supermarket...that was enough for me, he drove back. But I have been building myself up. It's really strange the things you take for granted...for example, I had to put the car into reverse by using both hands!  I couldn't wear my contact lenses until a couple of weeks ago as I couldn't lift my arm up to hold my eyelid open. I still can't drain and mash the potatoes. I had to have a friend come round to straighten my hair for me, and my first bath WITH bubbles was only last week! (It's slippy and difficult to get out of, you can't push or pull yourself up!) I should mention that 2 days after my infection was treated I came down with the flu and really hurt one of my left ribs from sneezing and coughing, so this also added to my recovery time.

I'm still not sleeping great, and don't know what to put this down to as I'm not in as much pain as I was, I'm not particularly worried about anything out of the ordinary, (doesn't everyone have SOME worry about work and money?!) But I'm sure that as soon as I sort my sleep pattern out I will be absolutely fine!

So what now? Well, just wait until next month to see what happens at my appointment.  In the meantime, Mum will be going in hospital next week for corrective surgery but at least I'm still off work so can help her.

Comments welcome :-)
Lots of Love,


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Is this normal?...

Pain, swelling, bruising,infection, inability to have a good nights sleep, I would even go as far as to say maybe a mild depression! Just a few of the things I have been experiencing during the last couple of weeks.  Today I am 5 weeks and 1 day post-op and can't quite believe the time I have had! I don't want this to be a "poor me" account, just an honest account!

It started with pain in my breasts, to be honest it felt like Mastitis which I suffered with after I gave birth to my son almost 14 years ago.  To relieve the pain then, I walked around with cabbage leaves inside my bra (Midwife's recommendation which worked!).  But for this, I couldn't even wear a bra and have to say I wasn't able to wear one for a whole 4 weeks!

So to give you an idea of the difficult time I've had I'll explain... on Sunday 25th November (20 days post-op) I ended up going to the emergency Drs.  When I called I explained that I had undergone breast surgery and thought that I may now have an infection as I was in so much pain, my Lefty was very swollen, hot to touch and red and that I thought I may need antibiotics.  I didn't feel I could even wait until the following day to go to my own GP as I had had such horrendous nights with it that I couldn't stand another night of no sleep and constant pain.  The Dr, although very pleasant, didn't really help much and sent me away with painkillers.  He took my temperature but because I didn't have a high reading, thought there wasn't any sign of infection. So I thought I would just dose myself up with the painkillers he prescribed, even if it meant me sleeping all day and night until the pain cleared up! However, they didn't just make me sleep, they made me zombified and sick! I felt even more rotten than I did suffering the pain. So after a couple of days I decided to ditch the stronger painkillers of the lot and just had paracetamol and the odd strong one, mainly at night so that I could at least try and get a half decent nights sleep!

The amount of times I have just burst into tears because I felt I couldn't cope any longer with the pain,discomfort and complete inability to do anything was just ridiculous! And because I felt like this I also had the "I wish I'd never had the f***ing op!!" (through tears). Thank God for my lovely boyfriend and my Mum. I simply could not have got through any of this if it wasn't for their support.xx

***Beware reading the next paragraph if you are tickle stomached!***

So the following Friday (25 days post-op) I woke up and thought, "Sod this! I've had enough...I'm just going to PRETEND I'm better, that might work!?!" So that was my plan...I even tweeted it! However, while I was still in my pyjamas, I couldn't help but notice a funny smell.  I looked down my top and there was obviously something leaking from under the steri-strips on Righty. Also I could see bits of black on the side of the strips, when I pulled them slightly to the side I could also see a bit of green gunk.  I was so worried of what was underneath the strips, my worst fear was Necrosis. I called my mum and asked her advice, she told me to call the Dr's straight away. So I did and made the appointment for later that day.  In the afternoon, my Breast Care nurse called me and I told her how I had been feeling in myself and about Lefty and Righty.  She was quite concerned to say the least and went off to speak to a consultant (my own wasn't in clinic on that day), she came back and said I need to get my GP to refer me to my local hospital as the team at Bart's believed I needed Intravenous antibiotics. She also told me I needed to get the steri-strips off so that the GP could have a good look, and I was to call after my appointment to let her know what the outcome was.  

My GP didn't want to refer me to the hospital for a number of reasons so gave me oral antibiotics. I called the BC nurse back and told her this.  She was still adamant that I needed to be admitted, and asked if I could send her photos of my boobs.  I did this and she called me straight back while she and 2 consultants were looking over them and said I definitely needed to be admitted for IV antis. So off to my local A&E Andy and I went! 

I really was not prepared for the reaction I received when telling the staff why I was there.  First of all my initial "I underwent Breast Surgery just over 3 weeks ago" had to be immediately followed by "It was risk reducing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction" as I'm sure they thought, "She's only had a boob job, no sympathy" (call me cynical and paranoid!)...Then I had the "Why travel all the way down to London? We have a team here who can perform that surgery...what a trek for you!"...erm...because it is my patient right to choose my own surgeon irrelevant of where they are based, and if there is a risk to my health as a result then I expect to be treated the same as any patient, thank you! So after speaking to the nurse, then a consultant, then a second consultant, who, thank God knew what I was talking about as he used to perform these operations himself, I was given one shot of IV antibiotics and sent home with oral ones.  Not the outcome I think that the Bart's team were looking for but I knew they would be in touch after the weekend anyway and I was preparing to travel back down there should they wish to see me. 

So on the Monday morning (28 days post-op) my BCN called again to ask how I had been over the weekend, I told her what had happened at the hospital on the Friday, and she said she would speak to my surgeon (affectionately known to his team as Prof) and would call me back at lunchtime.  When she called me back she said that Prof would like to see me the following day, and that he was also there and would like to speak to me on the phone. How re-assuring! So after speaking to him I arranged to go down the following day. My BCN said that I MUST wear a bra...This killed me as I was so so sore, but apparently I should have worn one from when I had the op! No-one had told me this so she said she would also arrange for me to see the Bra Nurse while I was down there so that I could get a proper supportive bra.  I was so grateful for this! 

So on the Tuesday I went down to see my surgeon who arranged an ultrasound scan for me on Lefty.  This proved that there was a build up of fluid, which was drained...a whole 200mls!!  I was also fitted with a bra, and had the wound on Righty looked at which he was happy was just superficial...PHEW! So my diagnosis for Lefty was Infected Seroma which was drained and I was put on IV antibiotics and kept in hospital for 2 nights.  I can't explain the relief I felt when I was in hospital being treated by my own surgeon! He also confirmed that all the tissue removed during the operation was clear of any pre-cancerous cells...DOUBLE PHEW!!

So, today is my last day of antibiotics, I feel better in myself but still have some pain and a lot of tightness.  The tightness I think is normal. And Lefty is till red, but I have an appointment on Thursday (5 weeks and 8 days post-op) back in London so we will see what happens when I go down then.

I was so relieved to find that there was actually something wrong as sometimes you start to think, "Is it just me? Am I being mard? Is it normal to still be feeling like this so long after the op? Why does everyone else seem to be doing ok, but I'm not?"  This is why this post is soooo long, which I apologise for. But I want anyone else reading who may be feeling like I have been that it is quite normal, especially if there is a problem with healing! This infection has put my recovery back a few weeks, I'm still not driving and can't imagine getting behind the wheel this side of Christmas to be honest! But I do seem to have been able to come out of the "low" that I found myself in. I am getting around a lot easier now, and even managing to do a bit around the house (not too much though!).  It really is a case of listening to your own body and knowing when to start and when to stop.

If I don't manage to update before Christmas I wish you all and your families a very merry Christmas and a healthy and Happy New Year! And would like to thank you all for your support, it really has been invaluable!

Thank you for reading, as always please feel free to comment and share.

Lots of Love

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

16 days Post-Op...

Well here I am, just over 2 weeks later and so much has happened since then! I have to be completely honest and let you know that I am still in an incredible amount of pain, but I am still hopeful that this will subside in time.  I was told to give myself at least a month before I notice any let up in the pain.  At the moment it feels like a really severe case of Mastitis, crossed with the feeling that someone/something is constantly applying pressure to my upper chest.  Then there is the soreness at the sides, the swelling, the inability to sleep comfortably.  Then there is the frustration at not being able to do anything without the risk of being completely wiped out for the next couple of days! Not forgetting the fact that I need help to apply my own personal hygiene!  I tried to have a bath last week...what a fail that was! I managed to get in no problem, but getting out was quite a different story! My mum had to help me, I was able to get in fine, I just went on my knees and lowered myself, but could I get out? Could I boot!  I don't even know how I managed it in the end, but I remember mum joking that we would have to call the Fire Brigade to help...My response to that was, "cover my bum!".

I went to my post-op check up last Thursday and my surgeon was quite taken aback by the amount of bruising on my right breast, in fact his response on seeing them was "ooh poor you"! He tried to drain the bruising but was only able to get a little bit but from that he confirmed that it would in fact disperse on its own. And that it has! The bruising has gone down quite a bit since my appointment...thanks goodness!

Another thing I have really been struggling with is the fact that I was told to stop taking my HRT for a couple of weeks following my op.  This is to reduce the risk of DVT.  However it enormously increases the risk of horrendous hot sweats and terrible moods/weepy sensitivity! I have been nothing short of horrible to my gorgeous son, I just have not had any patience with him what so ever. For that I feel terribly guilty, but I really do hope that is behind me now as I have been able to re-start my HRT 2 nights ago! I have also been experiencing what can only be described as "spontaneous crying"! Again, I hope this is something that will eventually fade.

I have to say Monday was a particularly bad day with regards to pain and mood. So much so that I even spoke the immortal words "I wish I'd never had the f****ng operation!!"! I know that this was just a spur of the moment outburst and that when things settle down I will not be thinking like this atall, I will be thinking straight!  The pain, frustration, tiredness and inability to do things for myself just became too much and this is how I reacted.

I know this all seems very negative at the moment, but this is how it is I'm afraid...Well, for me anyway! I'm not really a good recoverer of operations, and I know everyone is different! Please bear this in mind if you are reading this and have yet to go through surgery! I don't want it to put anyone off, I just want to write down how I'm feeling, I'm sure there will also be people reading this who know exactly where I'm coming from and can totally relate to it, and can say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and these feelings wont last forever, which, realistically, I am sure they wont!

Today is a better day, today I am just tired....don't get me wrong I am also in pain, but today I can cope with it!

And so, my next appointment at the hospital is in 4 weeks time, my surgeon wanted to check out the bruising and swelling before arranging an expansion (at the rate I am going, I won't need one! I am currently the size I was pre-op!). Unfortunately I didn't have the tissue results at my last appointment as they weren't yet back so I will, I guess, have them at the next appointment.  I also had the dressings removed, although underneath I still have steri-strips.  I spoke to my BC Nurse yesterday to ask about whether I have to remove these as it is such a long time before my next op, but was told that they would eventually fall off anyway, then I will see what is underneath.  It concerns me a little not seeing a nipple, but I had a dream last night that they were all finished and they looked fab so I know it's only a matter of time before I get to that point as my surgeon is the best!.

Next time I write I will be sure to be more positive ;-)  I have been photographing my journey so I can see the difference and improvements :-)

Thank you for reading :-)
As ever comment, share, tweet.

Lots of Love

Saturday, 10 November 2012

5 Days Post-op...

I guess I shouldn't be doing this just yet, but as I have the laptop at me knee to pay some bills I thought I would give a quick update.  The operation went well, and the surgeon was happy with the results. Although there was significant bruising and swelling on the right side which he thought I may have to return to theatre to have drained, but thankfully it sorted itself out!  Surgery was on Monday (05/11/2012), I went down at 11.30am and remember waking up on the ward at around 7.30pm.  I was in recovery before going onto the ward but can't remember how long for.  I came home yesterday after having both drains removed, even though they were still draining a fair amount of fluid!  But I have an appointment next Thursday back at clinic for my post-op check. This is where, I believe, I will also get the results from the tissue they removed and sent for testing.

So, after all the hype leading up to the op, how do I feel now??  Lets go with the negatives first, bearing in mind the surgery is only a few days old!

I am tearful - Sometimes I just burst into tears for no particular reason! As soon as I walked through the door at home I burst into tears into my mums arms!
I can't get comfortable in my own bed - I want the hospital bed back with all its lovely support! I know I can use pillows but it just isn't the same and I keep slipping down the bloody bed!
I feel like I have pulled muscles in my armpits - Could be due to the fact that my muscles have actually been pulled! They now cover the expanders!
I'm so sleepy! - I only have to go up and down the stairs a couple of times and I'm absolutely whacked!
The tight "band around the chest" sensation - constant, uncomfortable. It's like wearing a tight strapless bra all day and night but you know you aren't going to get that "Ahhhhhhhh" feeling when you take it off because you can't!

And for the positives?  Well apart from the blatantly obvious (for those who are not clear, that means being Breast Cancer Risk (virtually) free) I am only experiencing the "ooh no work on Monday" feeling!  I am waiting for a big relief moment to hit me, but I don't know when that will be...When I'm not in so much discomfort? When my screening appointment would be due (January/February)? When my reconstruction is absolutely complete? When I reach the age my aunty was when she was first diagnosed (5 years away)? Who knows, but I'm sure it will come!  It certainly isn't something I'm going to rush or force upon myself.

And so that is how things are at the moment.  I know that with each day I will get stronger and cope better.  I can tell things are slowly improving from the exercises I am doing daily.  Tomorrow I will be watching my beautiful son take part in the Remembrance Parade in town with his Cadet detachment.  I will take a chair in case I need to sit down, but this is something I will not miss for the world.  He makes me so proud!

I will return after my next appointment to update, but for now, thank you all so much for reading and taking an interest.  Please feel free to comment and share.

Lots of Love