Wednesday, 4 March 2009
Six years on.
March 4th is nowadays a double celebration for us - Roger's birthday and another year and a day's distance from my mastectomy. Dazed and confused as I was after I got my diagnosis, I can remember being completely distraught when I found out that my operation was scheduled for the day before his birthday. I'm sure I even remember asking for it to be changed...!
My first memories of waking up after the operation - one, just being so glad to be alive (I'm terrified of general anaesthetics) and two, being in intense pain. I was offered a choice between Paracetomol and morphine and chose the latter. Didn't have to have any more pain relief while I was in there so it must have been the right choice!
So instead of us celebrating his 53rd birthday in our usual style my wonderful husband spent it hospital visiting - bearing with him my evening meal, a feast of garlicky king prawns, salad and French bread. Heaven!!! And he wasn't alone - every evening that week as he walked across the car park with my meal he saw several other people carrying covered trays of food.
I was extremely lucky, especially considering that I had buried my head in the sand about my lump for a whole two months before I did anything about it. I had all my left side underarm lymph nodes removed as well as having a full mastectomy and they were all clear. I didn't have to have chemotherapy or radiotherapy, just medication. Two years later, when the bit they missed first time round was removed, a battery of tests told me I was still clear and regular checkups continue to confirm that.
Of course I realise it could come back and bite me on the bum anytime but the further away I get from it the better I feel. And I keep a hundred percent positive attitude. When I was first diagnosed I thought, "No way are you going to get me" and I still feel just the same.
I want to say to any one (it can affect men as well as women): for goodness sake a) check yourself regularly and b) if you find anything that doesn't feel right go seek medical help a.s.a.p. The sooner it's diagnosed, the better your chances of survival.
Who's the little fellow at the top? He's the lovely pressy Roger bought me along with the first of my meals, because he knew what a big deal it had been for me going under the anaesthetic.
Well, I'm off now as it's time to get the fillet steak on the go and open the St Emilion for the birthday meal!