So, this time last year, I had not even had an appointment with the GP about a concerning lump (that was 15th August – so I must have booked it, but not told anyone). My bedroom was nearly finished (I’d been stripping it, painting it, getting electrics, furniture, carpets done) – little knowing how much time I was going to spend in it. My annual calendar was set up with teaching deadlines, and I was looking forward to some leave – as I was SHATTERED (even more so than I usually had been – we all know why now, don’t we!):

The wall calendar from the year that definitely didn’t go as planned is done. Monday I get to see my surgeon for my one year(ish) checkup. #cancerlife. Means it’s almost time for #GB18 too!!

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Preparing for Mammogram

My surgeon was about to go on annual leave, so I’d been invited in for my ‘1 year mammogram’ a couple of weeks early (mammogram, etc. was 23rd and diagnosis was 30th August).

Image: http://picreativemarketing.com/portfolio_page/mammogram-cartoon/

I haven’t felt particularly concerned about the mammogram, as I’ve not any concerning symptoms (I do sometimes worry that I still haven’t learnt & don’t panic about every random symptom as I know some do, but maybe that’s a good thing – and I do try and observe the ‘2 week rule’ we’re recommended about anything that DOES concern me). Still thought I’d keep myself busy today however, meeting an old friend for lunch, and a new friend for finding more #BeeInTheCity

Tracked down some more #beeinthecity

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The Appointment

I’d rung to check last week that 4.45pm was the correct time, as there’s a sign in the waiting room saying ‘after 4.30pm, you may not be able to have a mammogram’, but because the surgeon’s going on holiday, better to see him, and if necessary come back for mammogram. I’d offered to come in earlier if it would help, to have the mammogram first, but they said the consultant always wants to check you over first (and he’s the one who requests it).

I didn’t even get a chance to sit in the waiting room – straight through to one of the rooms. Brief chat with some of the nurses, then they left me to change into the ‘wonderful’ robe:

Kind of #waitingroomfeet – already in the lovely gown! #breastcancer #oneyear-ish

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Mr Dimoupolos then came in for a chat, told me I was looking very well, said the year had gone fast (then said, maybe not for you!). I said I’m feeling pretty positive, just struggling with fatigue and peripheral neuropathy, grabbling with the psychological effects, and waiting the next set of meds! There is no fan/air con in the treatment rooms, so by this point, despite only wearing half my clothes, sweltering and sweating!

Last night, I realised I had things I wanted to ask, and today I’ve been gradually remembering them, putting them as comments in my appointment on todoist – and then when I got in the hospital I ticked the appointment off and couldn’t see my notes = genius. Think they all came back to me though:

The Mammogram

The lady doing the mammogram was waiting for me (literally – she hadn’t had an appointment since 2.30pm!) so went straight through there too. They’re not fun, but I’m not too bothered by them. Whip the top half back off again …. she lines you up with the ‘straight on’ and the ‘bend to the side’ move – she did both twice – very clearly stating that this wasn’t because she’d seen anything of concern!

I have been squished. Doesn’t take very long with just one! #breastcancer. No news will be good news as should get letter end of August or a phone call earlier if any problems. Nothing concerning surgeon or mammographer!

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Only one side to do, so in and out pretty swiftly. Mr D has said that he will send a formal letter when he returns from holiday, so probably end of August, to the GP. If anyone spots any problems they won’t wait for him to come back, I’ll get a phone call and a recall… so let’s hope for the letter and turn our attention to the zoladex appointment I have some time next Monday at the Christie (no one’s told me what time yet, but I think it’s quite a long-ish one with blood tests, ECHO, bone scans, etc.)… I spoke to the specialist nurse who manages it all, and she said my blood test the other week showed that I had a (something-oestrogen) level of 2000+ and they need it to come down to around 70 (as my cancer cells – of which we hope there are none, but if there are any – are fed by oestrogen) – the zoladex will bring the levels down, kicking off a chemical menopause (whoop!).

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