After a frustrating 2.5hr school run to drop off Millie’s children in the snow and ice, we decided it would be sensible if I went to the hospital alone so that Millie would be able to collect them from schools on time. As it turned out the journey was easier than usual and, for the most part, the roads clear of snow/ice/people!
My appointment with my surgeon and Macmillan nurse was on time, so far so good. After a quick examination my surgeon confirmed that the lump and pains were associated with the area that had been stitched internally and externally and will dissipate in time. He also examined my left breast and glands to set my mind at rest about the other pains.
Once dressed, we sat in the consultation room comfortably and my surgeon asked me ‘what do you want to do next? Surgery, Radiation, Re-examination of the pathology…?? ‘
‘Somewhat unusual’ the Macmillan nurse’s eyebrows said and my surgeon explained to her that he knew I had been doing research, asking questions and speaking with other Phyllodes survivors about my case together with yesterday’s consultation. I told him of my decisions that I had made before, during and after yesterday’s consultation which in summary was that I didn’t want any other surgery or treatment at this time. I was happy that my queries and concerns had been answered. I was also happy that the pains were manageable now that I knew it wasn’t a recurrence. He reconfirmed that should I have any concerns at all in the future or any new questions, I should call or make an appointment immediately. This once again assured me that I wasn’t going to be left worrying but am getting the very best treatment and care.
We also agreed the follow up schedule, as discussed the day before, would be every three months for the first year, six monthly for the second year and annually thereafter.
One question that I know will come up and one that I don’t want to fall off the radar is the evening up of my two boobs. After the two surgeries I have been left with scarring and a smaller right breast, although given what I could have been left with, I’m very lucky that the difference is not drastic and can be addressed without surgery. However I don’t want to do anything about it now and indeed if my own self image is better may decide not to do anything about it, ever. I know that I need to lose a lot of weight and that this weight loss may make the difference more or even less obvious (women often lose weight from their breasts but it may not be evenly lost due to the surgery). So my job – I need to lose weight and get myself to a ‘stable’ weight. At that point I may then be asking the surgical team what options are available to me to even out my right and left breasts. Until then I shall be satisfied with the assistance of Rigby & Peller’s magical inserts and, perhaps, some custom made lingerie to address the natural imbalance. But for now, I’m happy that the onus is on me and I don’t want surgery until I’ve done that. I would hate to have surgery once and then lose weight to need surgery again.
For now I need to look ahead, to plan, to schedule, to organise my life. I need to work out if I will have difficulties with mortgages, life policies, financial planning etc and how I manage this. I also need to come to terms with my new body image and how this will affect my emotional future. I’m hoping that meeting others at the Atlanta Conference I will be able to understand how others have overcome these issues too. So here goes… I will only update this website if I have more information or my healthy position changes or in the run up to the Conference… Well, I’ve got my life to restart and get back on track, so forgive me if I pick up the phone, turn up on your doorstep, push you into going out or coming round but I’ve got things to do…
But before I go for now… thank you for your support, emails, calls and positive vibes. They obviously worked and I know I couldn’t have gone through this journey with so few minor blips, without you all. Thank you.