I’ve been silent for quite a while. It’s been a bleak month for me. And when things aren’t great, I don’t feel like sharing it to the world. I’ve been disconnected, and depressed, and angry, and despondent. Dark thoughts have entered my mind, and I’ve nearly given up. Why?
A few weeks ago, I had some lovely friends over for my Cut for Chemo party. I’d had all my tubes taken out, I felt pretty good, and I was going to get a funky short haircut in preparation for the hair fallout with chemo. It was a lovely lunch at home. The christmas tree had been decorated, I had christmas carols playing, and on the telly I had YouTube streaming a video of a log fire going. Very festive.
Then that afternoon when I visited the plastic surgeon, it transpired that my right breast had developed an infection. The previous day you see, I had a raging fever and the right breast was red. So that afternoon, after my hair cut party, my euphoric mood was brought crashing down. “We’ll have to clean it out” said Dr W. Which meant, that I needed to go into surgery the very next day, which was a Friday.
I was so angry. I was so tired of asking time and time again “Why me?”. But I did. The Rock was on a flight back from New Zealand, so when he landed that Thursday night he received a text from me saying “need surgery tomorrow, 2 pm”. I can’t imagine how he felt.
So there I went in – again. Let’s count. I’ve had a biopsy, a lumpectomy, a mastectomy, and now this short surgery to clean out the breast of any infection. That’s 4 surgeries in 6 weeks. It was only a day surgery, but still. The thought of going under general anesthetic scared the hell out of me.
But, you do what you must right? So, I went through the surgery, got stitched up – again. Then given 4 types of antibiotics. Why 4? Because the fluid they sent for culture came back with no growth, so they didn’t know what was the strain. So they hit me up with everything they could think of. Trouble is, a lot of this stuff made me feel nauseous. For the next 3-4 days, I was in bed, could hardly get up, and felt near death.
So I met with Dr L, who basically deals with infectious diseases. Instead of sending me away with a “suck it up” attitude, this blessed man tweaked my meds, and told me that I should send him text messages as often as I liked, to keep him updated about how I felt. Then he could get a sense for which meds was really making me feel terrible. Turns out, it was the painkiller oxynorm that was making me feel the worse. I was waking in the night with what I can only describe as a burning sensation on my arms, chest, and back of my head, so I’d take the painkiller, but that made me feel so sick. Turns out, the burning sensations was my withdrawal from the drug – so I had to take it to make me feel better, but it made me sick. He took me off that drug immediately and gave me something else. For the first time, in 6 weeks, I slept well that night, and so far, I’ve been sleeping pretty well.
When one feels so sick, that you can’t even get out of bed and the whole world is spinning, I now understand why some people give up hope and think of taking the route of self destruction. The thought definitely crossed my mind. I thought, I just can’t go through this anymore. But, the girls were my life line. Bimble would hop into bed with me when she got home from school and read books to me, just like normal. Like there was nothing wrong with me. The girls didn’t moan that I was useless, that I wasn’t playing with them. But, oh how I wanted to. More than anything I wanted to just be with them, to do everything with them, to play and read. But now I can, thankfully because the meds have been changed.
I still have one tube in me. One tube. We are keeping a good eye on it, making sure the infection doesn’t come back and to make sure the tube’s draining well. It wasn’t draining for one whole day. Not a drop. And thankfully I am obsessed with checking, I rushed back to Dr W and he managed to fix it and right there, 50mls of fluid rushed through the tubes after he had tweaked the stitches holding it in place. He’s nervous too – my plastic surgeon that is. I can’t start chemo until he’s happy with the recovery.
Chemo. I’ll leave that for another post.
But, what I want to say is, while a lot of my posts have been ‘humorous’ and trying to see the positive side of things, I can’t keep that up indefinitely. I’m allowing myself to be real on this blog. So that I’m not masking anything. And I hope you, dear reader, are ok with that.