Well that was the shortest happy news ever. I swear I was only hoping to get a reprieve from my illness for just six months, that’s all I was hoping for, nothing more. I had a small window there were I thought I could sit back and relax for a bit, take it easy and dare I say had some hope that things would get better for me.
My husband booked his long service leave for august and I just wanted to enjoy that time with him. We had started planning an overseas trip, it was going to be a once in a lifetime trip. I was feeling a bit worried about planning and booking because it seemed too good to be true. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening, we were getting excited about the trip the more we planned it out. What could go wrong now? Surely I couldn’t get sick between now and when we go??? My scans showed NED.
So when I had slight red skin on my right breast where I had the cancer, where they did the radio I didn’t think much of it, so much so I thought I could see my GP in the morning and then take my daughter to the park afterwards. Silly me thought I just needed to get some antibiotics to clear the skin infection. I was taken aback when the GP told me to go straight to the hospital, do not pass go, do not collect $200. I went straight to the hospital and had IV antibiotics, I was in hospital for 10 days. That’s 10 whole days in hospital! I felt so bad for my daughter as this happened during the school holidays and she spent most of her holidays visiting me in hospital. She was so upset she couldn’t go to the park that day.
The skin infection was actually clearing and was looking less angry but it just wouldn’t leave. I really hoped it was going to work out for me but unfortunately the infection didn’t clear so the next step was to operate. It was the longest stay in hospital for me and I hadn’t had the operation yet.
Our Europe trip seemed to be slipping away now, an operation??? It was just so unexpected, this is what happens when you start planning anything good, when you think that maybe for a short period of time you’ll be ok. I guess you have to be on your guard 24/7. It was longest day ever, I literally waited all day to get my operation I came out of surgery at 10.30pm. It was the least complicated operation I had; removing what little resemblance of breasts I had left, they removed my implants which was so hard because I had such bad tight thin skin from the radio it was just super stretched over the implants. My skin was breaking down and couldn’t cope anymore.
Taking away the implants has left me feeling exposed… It just brought back my cancer all over again. My body looks disfigured, I’ve been amputated. It’s hard not to feel embarrassed about my body, I feel humiliated, not sure why. There’s no hiding behind implants now. I have to face this SOB head-on now. It comes from all angles and pounces when you least expect it. It was just a skin infection, but because my skin was burnt to a crisp when I had radio my skin was compromised and I’m sure it will have other repercussions I don’t foresee yet. Having my lymph nodes removed I’m sure didn’t help either, how’s my body supposed to detect infection and fight infection without these?
It’s weird that this turn of events has pushed me to my lowest point throughout my whole cancer journey thus far. I’ve never felt so demoralised, so defeated. This might sound very dramatic but I feel like I’m in for a slow tortured death. It feels like there is someone out there torturing me seeing how far I can go, how much I can take. It keeps taking parts of me all the time and I keep repairing my body parts where I can. I keep trying to glue myself together again but I’m finding it difficult now to get myself back to my pre-cancer days. Once it’s broken you can’t get it back to its original state, it’s still me I guess but the cancer seems relentless at finding my weak points.
I’m at a loss with this latest saga, I’m too scared to plan anymore of my holidays in case this bloody infection doesn’t clear and I have to have more operation to clear it. I’m not looking forward to going back on the Afinitor either or getting my next scans done next month. I’m not sure I can take any more. People always ask me how do you do it? Well I don’t have a choice in the matter, you do it because you have no alternative.
I’m still here for my daughter, I still have my wonderful family & friends and that’s all that matters.