So here we are the start of a New Year, I wonder what this year has in store for us? I am hoping LOTS AND LOTS of fun times with family and friends and I will do my utmost to make sure that happens you can count on that! but firstly I have a very important appointment to deal with……

5th January 2016

So today is the day that I have my first mammogram since diagnosis! so how do I feel?

untitledI am scared, nervous and feel sick….yup that pretty much sums it up I guess!  I know I wont get my results today and the thought of waiting a couple of weeks will be absolute torture for me.  It is around this time last year when I was waiting for surgery and it feels like “here we go again!”  After my mammogram I also have an appointment to see my surgeon to discuss further surgery to “level me up”….

I am not going to this appointment on my own, Lisa is going with me :-)…Lisa has had to grow up so fast in life with everything that has been thrown at her over the years, yet she is always standing by my side whenever I need her.  I really am truly blessed to have such an amazing daughter ♥

Sat in the waiting room seems so different now to what it did a year ago! last year I had no idea I had cancer and sat there like any other woman going for her routine mammogram.  At no time did I ever think there would be anything wrong.  Fast forward a year and Oh my it’s so so different.  Mammograms will always fill me with fear! not fear for having them but the fear of “what if”???? Gone are the days when I took my life for granted.

My name is called and off I go….Lisa giving me the look saying “its going to be ok mum”…

I was not prepared for the pain I experienced when they squashed my boob that I had surgery on…..oh my god it was agony.  The poor women carrying it out couldn’t apologise enough but I appreciate it has to be accurate, at the end of the day I don’t want anything to be missed.  When she finished and I got my breathe back again! I asked her would they be letting me know one way or the other by post and how long would it be before I heard.  She said to me it will be about 3 weeks…….3 WEEKS????? ARE YOU SERIOUS????? Que the tears…oh, but not just any tears a complete and utter break down!  Honestly I had no control over the situation and I don’t think I have ever broke down like that in my life!  I became inconsolable, I couldn’t even say what I wanted to say.  The poor women, goodness knows what was going through her mind at that moment!  Trying to calm me down she said it may be here sooner than 3 weeks but they say that to make sure they are done within that time spell.  She asked me when I was seeing the surgeon and I explained I was seeing him next.  This is unusual apparently as normally you would see him about 2-3 later when they have your results.  However, for me they had changed appointments so I didn’t have to travel twice in the space of a week or two.  I eventually pulled myself together and apologised explaining it felt like everything was going to happen like last year….they would find something, I would be cancelling my holiday again and even worse Lisa would be cancelling her wedding again!  I just couldn’t bear this all happening again and I was terrified.  She tried her best to reassure me saying nothing had stood out from what she could see but she couldn’t tell me 100% as it needed to be read by a specialist.  I totally understand that but honestly the waiting for results is truly torture.

I got myself dressed again and went to fetch Lisa from the waiting room.  Poor Lisa took one look at my face and I saw the panic in hers!!!  “Oh god what’s wrong” she said, I explained it was ok just me having a “moment”.  We went out into the corridor so I could pull myself together before I sat in the next waiting room to see the surgeon!

We sat in the waiting room, the same room where we sat waiting for my results following surgery a year ago.  There are no happy memories for me in these waiting rooms so it’s really hard emotionally.  It was busy as per usual and looking around the waiting room there were so many younger people then what I expected.  Sat there with their husbands/partners looking terrified.  Oh how I wanted to say to them, you will be ok, its doable all the treatment, you will get through it….but I know at that moment they would just feel the fear!  Its so sad!

So we sat waiting….and waiting…..and waiting….it is always a waiting game here but again I realise its not something you can predict in how long a patient will need. Eventually Lisa went to ask at the Reception as we had now been waiting an hour!  They went off to find out why I was waiting for so long and she came back to tell us they were getting someone to read my mammogram prior to me seeing the surgeon!  WELL….panic, excitement, worry???? I felt it all.  Lisa was excited saying that I would probably get my results there and then which would be fantastic.  I was thinking… someone checking them because they noticed something there?  Honestly, the positive thoughts that you want, keep getting pushed back by all the nasty negative ones!!  We were eventually called in, and here we go again….sat in front of the desk with a box of tissues in front! waiting for the surgeon to come in.  Que Lisa….”shall we play eye spy”….Oh that girl, she certainly knows how to make me laugh in the most tense situations.  6b6b7c61f59c02d3ce4d345716ca70ef

Knock on the door… walks the nurse, and the lady (part of the surgeons team) who first told me I had cancer! My stomach must have done a million flips at that point….my thoughts were Oh no not her again….Thankfully she didn’t drag it out for long and went on straight to tell me they got someone to view my mammogram and she was happy to tell me that everything looked fine…….FINE????….YES FINE!!!  🙂 …NOTHING TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT! Lisa looked at me and said “well looks like I will have to get married now” :-)….I just burst into tears trying to apologise through them for crying yet again!  The nurse said to me, it was totally normal to react like this as they see this all the time.  They both said they were really pleased for me….I just wanted to run around the hospital telling everyone and anyone who wanted to listen my good news :-).  The surgeon asked if she could examine me….she could do what she wanted to me at this point as nothing…NOTHING could dampen how I was feeling at this moment.

What a day….how can you be so scared one minute and so elated at the next!  Thank you NHS for looking after me, thank you for reading my results there and then to put my mind at rest and making sure I kept my sanity.  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…..

and Lisa Horne..daughter.thank you

So next on the list is surgery again but I have decided I don’t want this doing until after Lisa’s wedding.  I don’t want to risk the small chance of infection and spoiling anything.  I can cope with the lopsided boobs for a bit longer, being at my daughter’s wedding is the most important thing right now.

The nurse asked me if I wanted to try a prosthesis to enable me to have a better shape.  She took us off to another room and helped me to find a size that would make me look “more normal” in my clothes.  She was so kind and really compassionate towards me, I was so grateful.  We left the hospital feeling on top of the world.

7th January 2016

Today I said my goodbyes to my Aunty Roma, always sad under these circumstances but if I can take anything away from my Aunty it would be how strong and determined she was in adversity.  Independent? too right she was, she suffered from poor health and had Parkinson’s disease but it never stopped her fighting and living her life the best way she could.  A true fighter, RIP Aunty Roma.  It has made me realise how important it is to cherish your life, live your life and be grateful for it!

15th January 2016

This day a year ago I was having surgery….what a difference a year makes! today I am back at work and feeling stronger every day 🙂

18th January 2016

Excited, excited, excited… we paid off our holiday balance :-)….this holiday is going to be the best!  I have never been so excited about a holiday as much as I am right now.  Again, maybe its the appreciation of what I have….Last year around this time, we were going into Thomas Cook to cancel our holiday and that was so hard.

20th January 2016

Yet another happy day….Bridesmaid shopping….but this time I know I WILL BE GOING!, Today I feel the excitement just like the mother of the bride should feel and can look forward. Last year, I had to pretend I was excited as I had that uncertainty of whether I was going to be able to go….but not today 🙂 🙂

25th January 2016

So today I am off to get bloods taken for the BOCS study I am taking part in …

2 very large bottles to fill and I haven’t got the best veins to be fair.  As predicted they struggled to get bloods.  She took a look at my hand and said that I had good veins there….at this point I nearly freaked out!  Oh no way! sorry you are not touching my hand!  I feel I have post traumatic stress around my hands after all the problems I had with cannulas and needles when having chemo!  The pain I experienced then will forever remain in my memory. Eventually they went to get “another person” to try!  She came in and took a look at my arm and said….oh dear!..she then looked at the paper request and said to me …”oh well your doing this voluntary so we will have to see, if we cant get it then so be it”  Okay….so this slightly got my back up!  I understand that she probably wasn’t urgent! but DO NOT MAKE OUT IT IS NOT IMPORTANT GRRRRR. These studies are important for future research and treatment for our future generations, maybe our grandchildren and their children…..I want a cure for cancer and will do what I can to help.  Please do not be ignorant and make out this is NOT IMPORTANT!….rant over…..

The good news is…..they got some….12494953_10153503166749527_4862321932115991619_n

28th January 2016

Today I have an appointment with my Oncologist for discussion about stopping my hormone tablets and to see how I am getting on.  Today Gary is coming with me, he can cope with “general appointments” much better then the ones where I have results.

So off we go to Lincoln, sat in the car for some reason I started thinking about my own mortality! where on earth did that come from????  Gary happily driving along and I drop in the question…..If I died would you still make the effort at Christmas and put all the decorations up?….poor Gary….he looked at me like I had lost the plot….”Stop that, I don’t even want to think about stuff like that” he replied.  I sat and cried, goodness knows what brought all this on!  I feel like I have been feeling pretty positive so why this should come out of nowhere I just don’t know!  Maybe its the anxiety of going back to the hospital that does it.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for all the care and attention they are giving me and all the check ups but with that unfortunately comes anxiety too.

So we met yet another Oncologist, this time a woman (cant even begin to say her name!), she was really nice and I explained about the situation of me coming off the tablets and my reasons for doing so.  She said she completely understood that however there was one I hadn’t yet tried and would I like to try it? OH NO…why offer me another :-(….this really plays with my head as I know the statistics and % of benefit but on the other hand I worry that I should take everything that is offered.  We had a discussion about this and whereas the other 2 Oncologists that I have seen have basically said to me….if it was me, I wouldn’t bother….this Oncologist was not pushing me either way.  I wish she had!  So I agreed I would try….so off I go home with these….12647301_10153508294794527_3878886711835142451_n

Arriving home I started reading up on side effects and looking on forums to see what other people were saying who were taking them….It sounded just the same as the other 2 I had tried…swelling, weight gain, joint pain…oh the joys!  I suddenly went from feeling really really happy (apart from the car journey) to feeling really down.  So here we go again….tears!

tears so what do I do???? Phone Lisa, she will know!

Having a chat with Lisa, and explaining how I felt really helped.  I wanted her reassurance really and she gave me it….so the plan is….phone the Oncologist and explain I have decided I am not going to take them until after the wedding.  It feels like a lead weight has been taken off my shoulders.  I just don’t feel I can cope with the pain at the moment.  I don’t want this to affect my holiday and the wedding but will give it a go after the wedding if they are in agreement….watch this space…


4th February 2016 – WORLD CANCER DAY

Today I am wearing my unity band 12662724_10153520822424527_5847149731433602235_n

Today it has made me reflect on the past year and how far I have come and more important how grateful I am that I am still here!

Please take a moment to look at the following, it may save your life….

I am now pretty much in full swing being back to work and although I am still very tired at times there is a vast improvement to what I was feeling before Christmas.  I am trying my best not to let stress appear in the situation and so far I feel I am doing okay.  I am really enjoying being back to work seeing the patients and hopefully making a difference to their day :-).

I will not be updating my blog as often now, but this is a good thing! it will mean life is good and I am living it :-)….I plan to update every 3 months or so, so keep checking back….and more importantly keep checking your breasts!!!

February/March/April 2016

Well I thought I should update my blog because if I left it too long I would forget things and feelings.  I want to keep this “journey” a true reflection on how it really is, so have decided on a quick update to reflect this….

So what’s been  happening these last few months??  Good things, Not so good things and a big shock!

My tiredness has improved a lot over the months but that’s not to say that some days I am totally exhausted but I guess a lot of that is due to a demanding job and age!!

So I have so much to look forward too, big family holiday and of course my beautiful daughters wedding! We have been busy wedding shopping and have to say I was feeling quite panicky over what I would wear!  As I have said previously, I decided that I didn’t want corrective surgery until after the holiday wedding.  My main reasons for this was

No1. I was worried that there could be a risk of infection and No2. I just couldn’t bear the thought of further surgery just yet.

Little did I know that surgery was coming sooner than I thought!! more to come later on that one!

I have been looking at lots of mother of the bride outfits and they are just not designed for a 4ft 11 rounded, lop sided woman like me!! A lot of outfits are really stiff and ideally I wanted something floaty and an outfit that won’t have me boiling over in the heat of Antigua. Easier said than done unfortunately!  A lot of the floaty dresses emphasised my body shape and I just didn’t feel comfy at all.


I know I shouldn’t be worrying about these type of things after going through all this cancer crap, I know I should be feeling grateful I am here! and yes I am so very grateful BUT this is my daughter’s wedding and I want to look like the proud mother of the bride that I am, and I want to look like a woman!

So to say I was feeling quite stressed about this was an understatement! that was until I found a dress 🙂 but it was not in the usual “wedding type shop”.  I took Lisa with me and asked what she thought.  I though I might as well try it on and see, not expecting it to look anywhere near decent on me!  So it was much to my surprise that it fitted really well and I liked it.  I looked at Lisa and I do believe she looked a little emotional! Now what’s that all about??? ha ha, those of you that know Lisa and I will totally understand what I am on about here!  Lisa can control the majority of her emotions and me on the other hand is a total train wreck where emotions are concerned.  So needless to say I bought the dress :-).  However the stress didn’t stop there!  I honestly thought I had done the hard bit but trying to find some shoes to actually fit me has been an absolute nightmare!


How come it is a battle to shift all my excess weight yet my feet seemed to have shrunk!  Trying to get a size 2.5 is near on impossible.  But the good news is after endless looking… I have managed to get a pair of shoes and although they are not quite the glamorous ones I had hoped, least they fit! so now I can pack my flip flops  for around the pool and not worry I would be wearing them with the wedding outfit 😉  So I am all kitted out and can just look forward to what I know will be an amazing time with family and a very proud moment for me.

Our holiday is coming quick and fast so I have been focused on that also and buying some new clothes and swimwear! another nightmare! my shape in swimwear emphasised my lop-sided-ness more than I thought.  So another stress to deal with.  The good news is I heard about a company called knitted knockers.


Please have a look on this site….what a wonderful service totally run by volunteers.  They not only do Knitted Knockers but also Aqua Knockers so I thought I would order one and see….


I was really touched with my parcel when it arrived, the little bits in the hearts, a little note, and a cute “made with love” heart.  It felt so very personal to me yet it was made by someone who doesn’t even know me.  What a really lovely thing to do.  See there are some really kind lovely people in this world :-).

So armed with my Aqua Knocker I thought I best try it out prior to holiday as I had visions of me in the pool on holiday with my Aqua Knocker floating behind me ha ha!  Good news….it worked perfectly, no falling out, no wardrobe malfunctions and it really did make a difference to my body shape so win win!

My mood has been really good over the last few month and I have felt really positive and not dwelled on the Cancer thing…in some ways it made me a little worried that this wasn’t normal but on the other hand it was nice to feel somewhat “normal”.  Unfortunately that was about to change when I least expected it.

At work, doing the things I do, I suddenly had really bad stomach cramps totally out of the blue.  Couldn’t quite understand why but without going into all the details I ended up being very sick, going home, and ending up in A & E.  The upshot of it all was I had a strangulated hernia!  After 4 hours of excruciating pain and endless attempts to get a cannulae in, I finally got some much needed morphine!  If you have been reading my blog you will understand how I feel about cannulas…seriously this definitely didn’t help me to eradicate that fear!!


So pain under control I was then transferred to Lincoln hospital at 1am in the morning with my guardian angel in tow yet again…Thank you Lisa x

Prior to emergency surgery the surgeon came to see me and started talking about the possibility of me having to have a bowel resection! This sent me in to panic overdrive and all I could think of was my holiday and the wedding!…..”NO” I said to the surgeon that can’t happen, I am going on holiday next month…..He must have thought I was some  barmy women who had lost the plot…he was talking surgery and I was thinking holiday!

Next in line was the Anesthetist….He asked me if I was feeling a “little anxious” and asked if I had experienced General Anesthetic in the past…..Que the tears!!  He was so nice and kind to me which made me have a complete and utter breakdown! Honestly I felt really stupid afterwards but having explained my situation he was really understanding and so kind.  “Don’t you worry about a thing he said, we will look after you and everything will be fine”…you have no idea how it felt to hear that.  I was absolutely terrified!  I am not normally like this, I never felt like this when I had my surgery for Cancer but this time I was scared!  I was alone and terrified of just about everything…will I wake up? will they cut away some of my bowel? will this prevent me from going on holiday and going to the wedding?…..thoughts went into overdrive! how I wish I had Lisa there at that moment to tell me I would be just fine or Elaine (my work colleague/friend) who would have said “pull yourself together woman you will be just fine”…good job there wasnt much time to dwell on this as I was whisked away to Theatre.


assignment-phewI woke up and no drainage bags which meant no bowel resection.  What a relief! so now the recovery begins again! more time away from work and more recovery from surgery.  Unfortunately with all this came a change in my mood, I felt really down and it felt such a set back to me.  I had just began to feel more like my usual self, back to work, more energy and then this was a massive set back.  Everyone tried to make me look on the positive…this could have happened anytime…at the airport…on holiday….just before the wedding!!! So yes, looking at those possibilities I am extremely grateful that this is now done and dusted!!!

So since this little setback I have had to take it a little easier at work, I am trying not to do much lifting, stretching, pulling….I guess I am being selfish!! I cannot risk anything happening again because after all…I have a holiday and a wedding to attend 🙂

My mood since my latest set back has taken a bit of a nose dive unfortunately.  I don’t know whether is was because of this or whether it would have happened anyway! all I do know is I don’t like this feeling and wish it would just do one!!!


I suppose I had been doing so well, not dwelling on what has happened over this past year and trying not to have those “what if” thoughts! so why oh why do they have to rear their ugly head now :-(.

ONCOLOGY REVIEW – 14th April 2016

So today is my Oncology review….I have been a bit snappy and moody the last couple of days and I know it’s because of today.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful to the NHS for looking after me and checking I am okay but on the flip side…it’s going back to the Breast Unit where I have so many thoughts (both good and bad, but more bad), it makes me revisit everything when I really don’t want too.  But…I have to go, so off I went with Gary in tow, trying his very best to say all the right things to me to make me feel better….facing a losing battle unfortunately.  My Oncologist gave me a thorough check up and reassured me that the pain I have been experiencing recently is probably due to surgery.  Nothing sinister to look at or feel thank goodness!!!

imagesJWI8OCAW So today I made my decision….I am not going to take the third different lot of hormone therapy that has been offered.  This has been a really tough emotional decision for me and I have not taken it lightly.  The potential benefit to me from these drugs is possibly not as high as what it may be for other women who are higher oestrogen receptor positive.  I am on the lower end of this so the benefits are not so high.  So taking all this into account and the side effects I have experienced when trying the previous two drugs I have decided not to take them.  I have had to weigh up my quality of life to the benefits I may/may not gain. The pain in joints, the swelling in my hands and feet and the general feeling of being like a 80+ old woman is not what I want.  I need to be able to enjoy running around with my grandchildren, being able to work without pain and to live my life.  I do value my life and want to be here for a very long time but I need to also feel like I am living and not only existing!

So there it is….my latest update! and now I plan on having an amazing holiday and enjoying every second of my daughter’s wedding.  No more dramas please and I intend on working on that mood of mine 🙂


I will update in a couple of months….


So here we are, where do the months go? such a lot has been happening over the past few months, lots of happy times.  Those happy times that I just couldn’t see this time last year, couldn’t even imagine them happening but they did and I am so grateful that I am here to enjoy every second of them.


So first on the list was our family Mexican holiday, 2 brothers and 2 sister in laws…first time we had ever been away together for more than a couple of days! Was I nervous? no not really we all made a promise that we would do what we wanted to do as couples and not feel we had to be in each others pockets all the time….BUT this is our family, and of course things never run completely smoothly do they!!  A month prior to our holiday my eldest brother was experiencing some heart problems which required investigating and of course caused us a lot of worry and concern!  Honestly I just felt like everything was against us again.  Why us? Why can’t we all just be happy? Why, Why, Why????

We didn’t know whether he was going to be able to fly until 2 hours prior to leaving for London!  Yes that did stop the excitement because as much as I wanted this holiday so much I knew that if he wasn’t able to come then it would have put a big downer on it all.  I am happy to say….he ticked the “its okay to fly” box and off we went.  Don’t get me wrong the worry was in the background but we tried our best to keep it that way and we had an AMAZING time!  In the whole 2 weeks I think there may have been 1 or 2 evenings that we were not all together.  We just got on so well and I have to say it was one of the best ever holidays I have had.  I don’t know whether it was the fact that I appreciated everything so much more or what but I feel so lucky to have had that opportunity.  I feel so blessed to have such a close family.  My brother is still under investigation but he is okay and I am relieved he is under the watchful eye of the NHS.



Talking about being under the watchful eye of the NHS I have had my appointment with my surgeon to discuss reconstruction surgery.  I had put this off due to the holiday and wedding as I was so worried that if I went ahead I may get an infection and there was no way that I wanted to take a chance on anything that may upset any of our plans.  Reconstruction surgery has been a “no I don’t want it” to “I will think about it” to now….I need it!  I am getting so much discomfort from the vast difference in size of my breasts and cannot wear a bra that feels comfortable and supportive in any way.  So I have decided it’s the best thing to have done and my surgeon 100% agrees with me.  I have my date…day after my birthday!!  Of course that depends on any emergencies that may come in, which will then mean mine will be delayed.  I totally understand that and agree whole heartedly.  I have to say I was somewhat shocked when he told me recovery would be 4-6 weeks!  I am sure I didn’t feel that bad after my first surgery (although my mind was in a difference place then, nothing made sense).  He did explain to me that the recovery may be longer as they may require to do some liposuction after surgery to get a good balance.  Apparently liposuction causes extensive bruising and pain! …that didn’t stop me asking if while he was at it could he just suck some fat out of my stomach!!! Unfortunately not he said with a smile….oh well worth a try!  So the date is booked….Cant say I am looking forward to more surgery but hopefully it will go smoothly and I wont ever need surgery again!

So no time to get the holiday blues because before you can blink your eye our next one is around the corner :-).  My daughter’s wedding day ♥  What a truly magical week we had in Antigua.  To have my son, daughter, grandson and granddaughter all together for a week is something I never thought would happen.  It was amazing, magical, fantastic and all those words that make up perfect.  You seriously cannot put a price on those type of memories.  My daughter (and son-in-law) looked stunning I can’t put into words how proud I felt that day.  I am sure you all know by reading this blog what a tough 2 years she has been through, so to see her standing there blissfully happy made my heart burst with happiness and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving couple.  The whole week was so fantastic, no words could come close to explain how amazing it was, but the memories will stay in my heart forever.


So…holiday tick, wedding tick, wedding party tick…..and now back to reality….

I know life isn’t one big holiday and I know I am extremely lucky to have experienced an amazing few months but it’s so hard to come back to reality it really is.

First stop..Oncology appointment.  I have said on so many occasions I am really grateful they are keeping their watchful eye over me but with that comes a certain amount of anxiety also.  My appointment this time was not in the breast unit (which comes with its own memories) but in the Oncology unit which I find really hard!  Looking around the waiting room which was full to bursting just makes me feel sad.  I know I should be sitting there thinking….I am here, I am alive, I have finished my treatment and the cancer is gone…but instead I look around that waiting room at all those people going through the same anxiety, worry, being terrified and for some, knowing that their treatment is not curable.  Too many young people sat there! cancer has no age discrimination, I hate cancer I truly do.


My new Oncologist who really is a lovely lady gave me the usual check over and again spoke to me about hormone therapy.  I guess they have to make sure that I am happy with my decision.  I still believe I have made the right decision for me and my quality of life and she seemed happy with that.  She doesn’t need to see me now until the New Year after my surgery.  It is hard to believe when I next see her it will be 2 years after first diagnosis.

After such a happy few months I have now hit a bit of a blip.  I had been worried that after all the excitement of the holiday and the wedding I would feel on a bit of a downer and true to form it is here!

This last couple of weeks haven’t been the best at times.  I have a constant pain down my left shoulder and back, pretty sure its muscular as I don’t seem to be able to do anything “out of the norm” these days without suffering with aches and pains.  Honestly I feel like an old women most of the time its crap it really is!  BUT…those demons have been creeping in and of course I am thinking all sorts!  I have tried to keep it to myself but my mood…grumpy, quietness and sadness has got the questions coming.  So I am now being nagged to get myself to the doctor.  I know everyone means well but I don’t want to go! I don’t want to be that paranoid women that I am fighting not to be.  Yes of course I am worried but I just need to give it a little more time to see if it sorts itself out and if not I will then go.

I am finding it a challenge some days to be “normal”, now treatment has finished it’s easy for people to forget and expect life to be back to normal. I understand that and I am sure I would be just the same.  But I don’t think life will ever be normal for me again.  Don’t get me wrong I don’t want to be dwelling on the past and thinking poor me every 5 minutes but with all the treatment I have endured this comes with changes to your body and health and definitely your mind!.  I am a member of a forum (small group), we all had chemo around the same time and it helps to know I am not on my own feeling the way I do, aches, tiredness, lethargy at times, worry etc…they all seem to be feeling/fighting it too.  I totally understand that those around me just want me to be back to my old self and believe me I am trying, but sometimes it is just too hard and it is a struggle to fight it some days. I don’t think people will every truly understand unless they have been in that situation (which of course I don’t want them ever to be).  But…that is okay too!  I don’t want pity and maybe at times I need someone to kick me up the backside and tell me to get on with it.

So today has been one of those challenging days!  I don’t suppose it helped sitting and watching a film I recorded a while back called Living with Dementia.  It was about a 50-year-old man who got diagnosed and how his life was changing for not only him but also his family.  That programme did not set the mood well for today! Dementia is close to my heart, having my step mother bed bound with it.  So today I have been thinking about how life was before dementia, life when as a family we would go around the house and have wonderful happy family times (especially over Christmas).  Now I go around and see my step mum in a bed 24/7….Dementia! another cruel illness.  I know this is life and I know so many others are going through even worth tragedies but it doesn’t make it easier.

Not a great few days from me, I am hoping it is just a blip! maybe post holiday/wedding blues.  I will try and cheer myself up and start thinking more positive.  Starting with not watching any depressive films on T.V.

I will update closer to my surgery, here’s hoping I will be in a happier mood then 🙂


Where has the time gone??? so what has been happening in my life since July then? hmm wish I could say it has been all good but I would be lying to be honest!  Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t all been bad but I had hoped my mood would have picked up and for the most it has I guess.  I have had a few months where negativity has certainly crept in!  I don’t know whether it was because my expectation was set to high!  I loved the way I felt after my treatment ended, positive thoughts and very little dwelling on the what ifs! Unfortunately it didn’t stay that way and I have had a couple of rough months where I just couldn’t get some awful thoughts out of my head.


Yes I am selfish! I want to see my grandchildren grow up and get married, yes I want to be in my children’s lives for as long as possible, yes I want to be there to support them, hug them when they need it, offer my advise when they need it…I want to be able to spend many many good times with them all, I want to grow old with Gary and have more wonderful family holidays building amazing memories…. I know so many people never get to enjoy the things that I have already done so yes I am being selfish but I can’t apologise for that, that’s me, that is what keeps me going in life, and I wish that for everyone in the world, good health and happiness.

So how have I got through those days? I guess being so busy at work has helped, not much time to dwell on things when you are rushed off your feet and when I finish work I am that exhausted my brain just hasn’t the energy to process any thoughts!  So I guess, keeping busy is the key!

I did wonder if all those negative thoughts were due to the fact I knew I had surgery coming up.  All these things are a constant reminder of the fact that my life has changed and just reminds me of what I have gone through and how scared I still am at times!


Maybe I need to practice what I preach! I am constantly telling people to be positive and not to waste time or energy in worrying about things we cannot change! My friend often says to me….”Lynda what would you say to your patient’s?”, and I know I would say to them everything that I should be telling myself!!!  This is work in progress…..

Pre Operative Assessment Clinic

So I have my date for surgery, 15th November, day after my birthday! prior to that I have my pre op assessment which involves ECG, Bloods, BP, Urine test, Height and the dreaded weight!!!, swabs, signing of consent forms etc. etc

My friend (who is a nurse) kindly organised for me to have my ECG and bloods taken at Grantham Hospital which saved me the long drive to Lincoln.  When I had it done they gave me a print out in an envelope to take to my surgeon.  Being a nurse the curiosity got the better of me, so when I was in the car I opened the envelope to see what it said.  Now I am not an expert on ECG’s but underneath the graph it said ABNORMAL, along with some other bits which I now can’t remember!  Have to say this wasn’t what I was expecting and felt slightly worried, so now what?  Well to cut a long story short I spoke to my friend who understood more about the ECG then I did and with her speaking to her boss and her knowledge it put my mind at rest that all was fine and it was nothing to be concerned about! phew!  The rest of my tests at Lincoln went fine and so surgery was booked for the 15th!

Week before surgery I got a telephone call from the hospital saying that unfortunately due to an emergency they had to cancel my operation and rearrange for the 17th.  I was so taken back with the call I didn’t realise that the 17th was only 2 days later anyway.  Once it sunk in my thoughts were with the person that would be having surgery in my place.  It wouldn’t have been a planned reduction like me, it was more likely to be someone who had a tumor that needed removing as soon as possible.  I tried my hardest not to dwell on that but it was hard knowing how that felt, having cancer in your body and how you just wanted it out!!!  I hope whoever it was is recovering well and is cancer free.

I have really tried not to think about surgery but this time I am really scared!  I am scared that I wont wake up! Now, this will be my 7th General Anesthetic and I can’t ever remember feeling this scared so why now??? I was even contemplating writing some letters to Dan, Lisa, Gary, Callum & Mia just in case! but I doubt I would have got much writing done through the tears!  Thankfully I came to my senses and didn’t write any letters.

Not only am I scared about not waking up, I am also incredibly anxious about having the cannula inserted in my hand/arm.  If you have read my blog from the beginning who will know all the problems I have had with cannulas and I am beginning to think I should have asked for some tablets to calm me the night before like I got prior to chemo!  I honestly think I have post traumatic stress when it comes to cannulas and veins!!! so much so that I have not taken any patient’s bloods since then and I don’t think I ever will be able to again.

17th November 2016

So here we are……surgery

I don’t have to be there until 11.30am which is much better than last time as I had to be there at 08.00am which was a long day hanging around.  I knew I was going to be going down to theatre in the afternoon and was expected to stay over night mainly due to how I am after G.A …sickness, low blood pressure etc.  Gary in tow and Lisa following in her car off we went.  I hate the thought of Lisa driving all this way and spending all day hanging around, especially as she will get home late and then will be up early morning ready for a 13 hour shift!  Don’t get me wrong I couldn’t do any of this without her support  believe me! but it doesn’t stop the mum in me worrying about her.  There was never a question about her not coming, I didn’t dare mention that!!  To be honest, if she wasn’t with me I don’t think I could have gone through with it.  Lisa has been with me from Day 1, through all the horrible times and now hopefully it will be happier times.

We were taken up to the ward when they did the checking in etc and final paperwork and have to say the staff were really lovely and welcoming which was nice.  Mr G (my Surgeon) came to see me, such a wonderful man in every way and a fantastic Surgeon.  He has such a calming aura about him and makes me feel that I am in safe hands.  He said he needed to measure me up and the nurse said “He needs to put an arrow where he is going to operate” to this Mr G turned round and said “Its a little more than an arrow, stay here and see”….Well honestly it was like spaghetti junction with red, blue and black lines I couldn’t believe it and have to say the nurse said she was shocked too!


This is just some, there were a lot more believe me!

Next to come along was the anesthesist.  Great big bloke who said it how it was, just what I needed to be honest, any sympathy would have tipped me over the edge to be fair.  So everyone seen, got my gown and paper pants!!! all ready for the go.

Just after 3pm they came and said they were ready, so a hug and a kiss to Lisa & Gary and off I went…no going back now…..

This time they took me straight into theatre, I didn’t go in a seperate room for them to put me to sleep.  Mr G came up and did some more drawing on me and the Anesthesist appeared again and asked me how I was, to which I replied “I am ok”, his response was “well lets cut to the chase and tell me how your really feeling” :-).  I told you he says it how it is!  He reasurred me that I would be waking up and would be in safe hands.  Before I knew it, cannula was in and off I went into the land of nod!

The next thing I remember is hearing my name….”Lynda wake up, open your eyes”…in the background I could see Gary and Lisa but I just couldn’t wake up no matter how hard I tried.  I can remember briefly saying I felt sick and was given some anti-emetics and can remember no more!  Honestly I feel so bad that both Gary & Lisa had spent all day hanging around for me and I just wanted to stay asleep!!!  I have no idea how long they continued to stop but eventually they went home as it was clear I was staying over night no matter what.

I woke up in the morning and can honestly say I felt on top of the world!  I was so happy I was awake and I didn’t feel sick! – result!!  I had some breakfast and sat in bed just thinking thank goodness this is all over.  I hope I NEVER have to go through any of this again.  Yes I was sore but seriously I was so happy to be alive.  The nurse came to check the wound and said I had quite alot of bleeding so they needed to change my dressing before I could go home.  I was given a follow up appointment for a week to check the wound and another for 2 weeks for the pathology report.

The Pathology report is to do with the tissue they cut away, they check that thoroughly to check there are no cancer cells lurking around.  There is no reason why there should be but I do feel quite anxious about this.  I guess anxiety will never truly leave me, every mammogram will bring anxiety for me I know.  I am praying that all will be fine and the tissue will be healthy.

okI really hope so……


Home sweet home…’s so good to be home.  Now my challenge begins….sitting around is just not me!  I know I need to rest and recover but I do find that hard.  I have been signed off work for at least a month and told that it may be longer.  However they didnt rule out that I may be able to go back after a month on light duties but it would need to be just that!  Normally I would be pushing to be back almost immediately but the way work is, stress, lack of staff etc it would be madness for me to push it! for once I am going to think about my recovery and stay off like they suggest.

Itch, Itch, Itch….its driving me crazy, how I just want to rip those dressings off and itch!  Don’t worry I wont, I may be impatient but I am not completely stupid 🙂  Pain is bareable, keep taking the pills which seem to work but have felt a bit sick on and off.  Thankfully I still kept my box of pills from when I had chemo so I have every anti sickness drug that I could possibly need.  The brusing is certainly coming out, looks like I have been given a good battering to be honest!  However….through all that, apart from the swelling I do like the look of being “levelled up”



So here we are entering another year! It’s been a while since I have updated but that means one thing doesn’t it? it means I have been living my life, right? So I will try to think back over the past 6 months and fill you all in what has been happening….

First things first…..Surgery on my “good boob”.  Swelling has now gone down and as much as I thought I wouldn’t be bothered either way, I have to say I love my new look!  I didn’t realise just how much this surgery would actually impact on how I feel.   My clothes now fit a lot better and its made me feel slightly “normal again” ….when I say “normal” what I mean is….I don’t look in the mirror and get constantly reminded that I had cancer because of the shape of me!  Don’t get me wrong, I will NEVER forget that I had cancer because the emotional scars are very much etched in my mind  but visually day-to-day it is so much better.

So the next reminder is creeping up on me…..the dreaded yearly mammogram! cue anxiety again!.  As I have said on so many occasions I am so so grateful to the NHS for taking such good care of me and although the mammograms are very reassuring they don’t come without a certain amount of panic and anxiety.  Apparently there is a word for this……SCANXIETY

Scanxiety I am most definitely suffering from this and probably will do every year!  So I will sit patiently for that letter to drop through my letterbox any day now.

25th February 2017

The letter arrived….but not the one I was expecting! it was for my follow-up appointment with my surgeon following surgery, it was for the  10th March.  Off I go to my appointment to see my surgeon, he is the most kindest, sensitive person you could wish to know and more importantly he cut that cancer out of me!!!

He was really pleased with the symmetry and happy with the way everything went.  He asked me if I had my mammogram and when I said no he was surprised saying I should have had it done in January.  I know I could have phoned up for this appointment but….I didn’t! I guess it was due to the fact that I am so scared.

Well… time to get scared today…he said “ok we will do it now” ….”What right now?” I replied in shock….”Yes right now” he said….

So no time to panic and off I went….I wasn’t looking forward to the pain, because last time it was really painful! but pleased to say it wasn’t too bad!  I think the pain last time must have been a bit to do with the radiotherapy too.

So, here we go again….I asked when I would get the results.  The reply this time was….I wouldn’t get a letter unless I needed a recall.  WHAT????? no letter?????? I have to say this worried me a bit….What if the letter gets lost in the post I said???? The lady could obviously see I was anxious (again!!!) and said I could ring up in 2 to 3 weeks and see if the result was back if that made me feel any better.  So off I went with that in mind.  I was quite proud of myself this time as I didn’t have a complete break down in the room like last time!… now the waiting game yet again, 2 weeks thinking What if??????.

About 2 weeks later I just pulled up on the drive from work and there was Gary stood at the door with a letter in his hand! Now believe me I can spot a letter from Lincoln County almost with my eyes shut, I have had that many!!  I am sure you can imagine what was going on with my mind at that moment! my stomach must have done a million flips in those initial few seconds.  I looked at Gary and said ….Well???…absolutely terrified of the answer.  His reply was “Well I don’t know I haven’t opened it”…..OMG, why would you greet me at the door with a letter in your hand and not have opened it.  I went inside and felt absolutely sick to the stomach.  They told me I wouldn’t get a letter unless there was a recall.  All I could think was, please god not again!

I opened the letter and straight away my eyes focused on the first line…..We are pleased to inform you that your mammogram appeared normal. Happy Days 🙂 I did a little happy dance around the kitchen then thought to myself….why on earth did they tell me I wouldn’t hear unless there was anything wrong!  I think they need to be clear on what the procedure is as it does cause so much worry believe me.  I do understand that the NHS have to save money but don’t say one thing and then do another right???

So another year ticked off clear, happy days most definitely.  I have also started to go to slimming world to try to become more healthier.  Now I look “more normal” it has motivated me to lose this excess baggage I am carrying around in abundance!!  Its a slow process but a steady 1lb a week in the right direction.


Now I can look forward again….. lots to look forward too as I have a new baby granddaughter due the beginning of June and prior to that a lovely holiday in the Dominican Republic.

May 2017

Back from another amazing holiday :-).  Holidays are very important to me now, they always have been but my outlook to so many things have changed over the past 2 years.  Holidays are a must every year, we need to make lots and lots of memories and enjoy life to the full.  So with that in mind we have decided in 2018 we will have 2 holidays!!!!! well why not hey? we work hard.

June 2017

Welcome to the world Jessica Spinks :-)… beautiful granddaughter was born on the 2nd June and I couldn’t be more proud of my daughter Lisa.   A few little blips to keep us on our toes but compared to the trauma of when Callum was born there was no comparison.  She is absolutely beautiful and I look forward to spending lots of time with her.

11th June 2017So today will be the first day that I will have all my 3 grandchildren together for the first time as we are visiting my daughter.  Lots of cuddles for Nanny and lots of photos of course :-).

Getting ready to go….. having a shower and I thought to myself, I had better just check my boobs (as you do! or should I say, I hope you all do!!!).  Not expecting to feel anything but some discomfort as it is still quite tender in places to be honest.  So there I was pressing away and then…….horror! I felt a lump in my “good boob”.  I think I froze at that moment and for a few seconds I was too scared to feel again.  However, I needed to, so felt again and yes there was definitely a lump.  To say I felt sick is an understatement.

fb - Copy

I got out of the shower and walked into the bedroom, looked at Gary and he could tell instantly something was wrong.  What is it? he said……I have found a lump……What? Where? are you sure? he replied……I asked him to feel it, part of me hoping that I was actually imagining this.  But….no he felt it 😦

Those next few minutes I can’t really remember only that there were tears….yes a lot of tears!  If you have read my blog from the start you will know that Gary finds dealing with this sort of thing really hard (like I am sure many others would).  I am not blaming him in any way as we all deal with stuff differently.  I needed to speak to someone who would bring me back on a more stable level as we were about to go and visit my daughter and all my grandchildren and I needed to do that…I wanted to do that! So I phoned one of my friends, who true to form said all the right things and just enough to make me pull myself together for our visit.

On the way to my daughters, Gary said to me…your not going to mention anything to Lisa are you? Initially my thoughts were NO of course not she has just had a baby and has enough to cope with.  But then I thought hang on a minute this is Lisa we are talking about here! She would not appreciate one bit me holding this from her.  I know my daughter well and I would not have been thanked for not sharing this with her.  She has been through this with me every step of the way right from the start and she had more than enough on her plate then.  I had to tell her….

We arrived at her house and at that point no one else had arrived, we were both in the kitchen and she asked me if I was okay…..she knew I wasn’t (we are mother and daughter after all and we know each other so well believe me!).  So I told her, she felt the lump…and then the sensible Lisa kicked in……

  • “Right, okay it could be anything here,  fatty lump, cyst etc” she said
  • “but what if it isn’t”? I replied
  • “well we will deal with it, just as we did before” she said
  • “But I can’t go through all that again”…I said
  • “Yes you can and you will, and on the positive side, if it is the unthinkable it will be a new cancer not a secondary”

….at that moment in time I just couldn’t even bring myself to be thinking it could be cancer but I knew she was right.  What choice have I got? no choice really, I have to deal with whatever it is.  I just don’t want to have to deal with all this crap again.

I don’t know how I did it but I managed to focus on my beautiful grandchildren and push those thoughts as far to the back of my mind that I could.  All in all it was a lovely afternoon and made me realise how lucky I am to be blessed with these 3 beautiful grandchildren.

On the way home though those thoughts soon appeared their ugly head.  I knew I had to make an appointment first thing in the morning so I had to telephone work to let them know I wouldn’t be in.  It’s very difficult phoning work when you’re not actually “ill” but the psychological impact is immense.  I knew that I would not be able to focus on my patients and in the job I do I just cannot risk that.

I managed to sleep on and off but woke up in the morning wishing this was just a nightmare and I had imagined it all.  But unfortunately not, the lump was still there.  So I got an appointment for the morning and off I went.

The doctor had a feel and said yes there was definitely a lump and I would need to be seen at Lincoln.  She explained that she wouldn’t fast track me (which is where they see you within the 2 weeks) as she said as I am “in the system” they would see me before then anyway.  She said if I hadn’t heard anything by the middle of the week to phone my Oncologist secretary.  I left thinking… we go again, the waiting game.

Throughout my diagnosis and waiting for biopsy results the hardest thing through all this was waiting….waiting for appointments…..waiting for results…..there is no way of getting around any of this but any person diagnosed with cancer will tell you the same…the waiting game is so hard!

Midweek, and no letter or phone call so I telephoned my Oncologists secretary who informed me that yes they had received the referral but she needed to speak to the Oncologist to find out what they do next!!! I asked her if she could ring me and let me know and her response was……Umm well I could if you want me too!…..WTF….yes please I do want you too! honestly this isn’t like waiting to see if you have won a prize this is about my sanity here!!!  I did get the call later in the day to say it would now be passed to my surgeon and if I had heard nothing by Friday then to ring his secretary….all this passing from one to another.  I just want an appointment as soon as possible because I feel like I am going stir crazy here!!

Friday comes and no letter so I telephone the surgeons secretary only to be told she had now gone home!!!  I spoke to the receptionist on the breast unit and explained how anxious I was and to be fair she was lovely and said she could imagine how I was feeling.  She said she would speak to the surgeon who was currently seeing a patient and then ring me with hopefully news regarding an appointment.  Unfortunately no phone call came that evening so now I have to wait until Monday!  How I got through the weekend I will never know, lack of sleep, lots of worrying and wishing every minute away until Monday arrived.

Monday 19th June 2017

Honestly I couldn’t wait to get on the phone to the Breast unit.  I spoke to the receptionist who I had originally spoke to on Friday and she said they had sorted me an appointment and a letter was ready to be posted.  She asked me to hang on and she would tell me when it was…..4th July….WHAT????? I couldn’t believe it, I told her that this would be going into the 4th week since I found the lump, I just can’t wait that long or else I would go completely insane.  She apologised and said it was the lack of appointments for the ultrasound.  I was asked to phone the breast care nurses to see if they could push it forward.  I did phone the breast care nurses but it was an answer phone, so I left my message and just hoped that someone would get back to me as soon as possible.

I had this week off work as annual leave anyway as the plan was to spend time with my daughter and help her.  I got in the car and off I went, I had only just arrived and noticed I had a voice mail on my mobile asking me to ring them.  I couldn’t dial that number quick enough.  They told me that they had managed to get another doctor and this had opened up 4 appointments and if I wanted I could have an appointment first thing the following morning.  Did I want it???? too right I did.

How strange to get off the phone and feel so happy! happy that I was going to be seen but also scared at the same time.  The morning couldn’t come quick enough and Lisa along with baby Jessica came with me.  I felt so bad that Lisa was coming with me with a new-born baby but there was no way she was letting me go without her.  If I am being truthful here I am so pleased she did insist on coming.  So we arrived and off we went to the breast unit, they greeted me by first name (which is lovely, but sad that they have seen me so much they know me!)  we sat in the waiting room where I have been so many times….I looked at Lisa, and she said, well the first time we came here Callum was a baby and now here we are with Jessica as a baby.  Thank goodness she said she isn’t having any more babies as I don’t want to make a habit of this!!  We sat in that waiting room and a sense of dread came over me, my stomach was churning and I felt more nervous than any other time I had been here.  Maybe it was because last time I didn’t know what was coming, this time I knew so much more, other than the result of course!


We were called into the room and asked to take a seat while they went to get the surgeon.  We sat in that room (again) with the desk and tissues in front of us!  Lisa looked at me and said….No eye spy today I haven’t the energy….I had to smile! those that have read my blog from the start will understand the eye spy bit.

In walked my surgeon, I was so relieved it was him.  He is absolutely lovely and having operated on me twice he knew more about my boobs than anyone!!! He examined me and straight away said to me….I am pretty sure this is fat necrosis caused by surgery.  He explained that the position of the lump would also lead him to think that way.  However, he said I would need an ultrasound scan and possible drainage if this was confirmed.  He went on to explain that a necrosis does have similarities to a tumor and if they had any doubts then they would do a biopsy.  He said he would see me after the scan.

This put my mind at ease a little but I had been here before,  they were adamant it was a cyst and when they stuck a needle in there was nothing to drain so I ended up having a biopsy…..and a week later told I had cancer.  So to say I was still apprehensive was an understatement.

I went straight in to the scan, as soon as the radiologist put the probe on she said…fat necrosis.  This was in the first 10 seconds so she must have been pretty sure.  What a relief, I looked at Lisa who was smiling.  She then went on to say she would stick a needle in and drain what she could.  It was then that I felt nervous, what if they couldn’t drain anything (like before), they would then have to do a biopsy and then I would have to wait another week for the results (like before)…..

No numbing of the skin, needle straight in OUCH! actually it wasn’t that bad considering.  I was so relieved to see liquid in that syringe!!! that confirmed it was an oil necrosis cyst.

Fat Necrosis and Oil Cysts in the Breast

Fat necrosis happens when an area of the fatty breast tissue is damaged, usually as a result of injury to the breast. It can also happen after breast surgery or radiation treatment. Fat necrosis is more common in older women with very large breasts.

As the body repairs the damaged breast tissue, it’s usually replaced by firm scar tissue. But some fat cells may respond differently to injury. Instead of forming scar tissue, the fat cells die and release their contents. This forms a sac-like collection of greasy fluid called an oil cyst.


I then had to go back to see my surgeon who confirmed everything and reassured me that everything was good.  He told me not to worry and to see my Oncologist in September and then he would see me early next year when I have my next mammogram.  Honestly I wanted to kiss him! but I didn’t, I used my self-control 🙂 He turned to me and said….now go and enjoy that baby.  How nice was that?

I don’t think I could quite believe that I was walking out of the unit knowing that everything was okay.  I honestly cannot tell you the relief I felt….so there was only one thing for it….(after the phone calls of course) and that was to celebrate!  So Lisa and I had a Krispy Krème doughnut ha ha… we know how to celebrate!!!


I think I am still in a bit of shock as I think I had started to prepare for the worst.  I am so thankful that I don’t have too.  The lump is still there but I was told that it may slowly reduce but not too worry if it doesn’t.  If it became painful then to phone the breast unit straight away and don’t worry about going through the G.P next time.  Hopefully there wont be a next time 🙂

So just a little reminder to all you ladies and gents out there…..PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE REMEMBER TO CHECK YOUR BREASTS ON A REGULAR BASIS….If there is anything and I mean anything that concerns you, get yourself to the Doctors.  Don’t be scared, life is precious and we need to act on any health worries to ensure we can appreciate this life for many many years to come.


So…..On with enjoying life again but I wont become complacent and will continue to check my breasts every couple of weeks.  I value my life so much more these days and I have so many more memories to make along the way.


Well it has been quite a few months since I updated my blog.  My plan is to update every year when I am due my mammogram.  Since my last “scare” I had a pre-planned appointment in March to see my Oncologist and my yearly mammogram.  So what has been happening since my last blog entry? I would like to say I have just been enjoying my life with no worries but……

So for the most, that is exactly what I have been doing “enjoying life”, but true Lynda style it wouldn’t be that simple would it??

Before Christmas I developed a really bad cough which just wouldn’t go, I didn’t go to the doctors until I was forced because as we all know the NHS say… go to your Pharmacy etc etc.  However, after trying just about every cough medicine money could buy my cough just seemed to get worse and I was beginning to feel a bit breatheless so I succumbed and booked an appointment.  I was told I had a chest infection and was prescribed antibiotics and steroids.  After a week had past I was expecting to feel 100% but I didn’t really and still had this niggling cough in the back ground.  I didn’t go back to the doctors until a few weeks later to be told yet again I had a chest infection!  So second lot of antibiotics.  Due to the length of time I have had the cough they recommended I had a chest x-ray.  Que the panic! what are they looking for?? Do they think something nasty is going on???  Having to wait for 2 weeks didn’t really help my anxiety but I am pleased to say the X-ray was clear phew!!

We are now nearly 8 weeks since this cough started and still it hadn’t cleared up so again off I went to the doctors !  It was at this point my mind started working overtime…. Just why isn’t this cough going after all this medication??? what if the cancer had spread to my lungs???? get the picture? Oh how I hate feeling so negative but I have never had a cough for so long in my life!  I think the only thing that stopped me from going completely out of my mind was that so many people that I know seemed to have a cough also, and the x-ray I had done was clear.  The doctor didn’t really know what to say to be honest, she listened to my chest and said it was clear this time.  So now what? she said she would try me with an inhaler and to use it before bed which would open my airways and hopefully help me to sleep.  Oh I forgot to say, I have had so little sleep because once I start coughing at night it goes on and on and on and on……its a wonder Gary didn’t suffocate me! maybe its payback for all his snoring!!!  The doctor said she would see me in a couple of weeks and if no improvement then they would need to investigate further.  Panic stations again! I am not good when the words “further investigation” gets mentioned.  Please, please, please let this inhaler help!

So that night I took the inhaler and guess what? I slept all night with no coughing! and I am pleased to say that for the most I am coughing very little.  The inhaler is making such a difference.  I am yet to go back to the doctors for my follow up appointment so I have no idea whether she will suggest I keep with the inhaler for a while or not.  Watch this space…

I would like to say that is all that has been happening health wise but unfortunately not :-(.

So….for about 5 weeks now I noticed a rash on my “good boob” a rash around the areola.  At first I just thought, oh its just dry skin but then started to think…. I wonder???  I told Lisa because as you all know from reading my blog she is the person that can calm me in a panic especially when it comes to my breasts!!!  As normal Lisa was her normal calm self (well on the outside at least!) and said to me “look mum, just go to the doctors and get it checked out”.  I knew she was right but as I knew I had an upcoming appointment with my Oncologist I thought I would wait until then.  After all it just looked like an eczema rash.  Of course this didn’t stop me worrying so I did what we all probably would do….

I go to Google! like you do! (even if you are a nurse)


type in…..rash on breast…..and this is what came up…..

Paget’s disease of the nipple – NHS.UK

Que panic!, it cant be that though can it??? I was reading on the sites that most of the time it usually starts on the nipple first and that isn’t the case for me.  I must have checked every site on the internet that said rash on breast! for the most I thought to myself….Nope it doesn’t sound like Paget’s disease to me but then I stumbled across a site that said it can present like a eczema looking rash!


So now what? well I had my mammogram booked for a few days later and then I had my Oncology appointment a week after so hopefully that will put my mind at rest right???

Off I go for my mammogram which comes with its own stress and anxiety! but this time my anxiety was more focused on this rash.  I had my mammogram at Grantham this time which is where they first found my original lump.  Since then my mammograms have been at Lincoln.  However as I am not back at Grantham…all I kept thinking was, I hope the same doesn’t happen again!

The mammogram wasn’t the most comfortable but this is due to the treatment and surgery I have had.  Its very tender still and it certainly brought tears to my eyes Ouch!  When it was finished I mentioned to the lady about my rash and asked her if she had ever come across anything like it.  Why I asked her I will never know because I know they cant say anything!  She said she thought the Macmillan nurse was in her office and that she could ask her to take a look if I wanted.  Yes Please!!! so off I went to her office.

This is where all my senses especially common sense just disappears!  Heaven knows what I was expecting her to say….I guess it was something like….”oh its eczema, nothing to worry about” but nope! she looked at it and said….It could be Paget’s disease! Noooooo don’t say that please 😦   I told her what I read about it starting in the nipple.  Her reply was, “not always”! you need to get that checked out.

I thanked her for looking and just walked out and thought WTF….It wasn’t what I wanted to hear.  I wanted her to say it was nothing to worry about….but I know if she said that I would still have worried so it was a no win situation really.

So I had my mini melt down (quite mild considering!) and then phoned Lisa.  Que the ever positive guardian angel to the rescue.  Sometimes I look at her and think who is the mother and who is the daughter here! God what would I do without her? she keeps me sane, she puts things into perspective and gives me hope.

I had my appointment with my Oncologist a few days later thank goodness.  I went on my own as Lisa was at work and I wanted to go with a positive attitude as much as possible.  I really felt quite calm considering, that was until I was sat in the waiting room.  Right in the middle of the chemo suite and radiotherapy department, so many memories, so many worries and then suddenly I felt a little panic set in!  Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long.

My Oncologist is such a lovely lady and she bounced in that room asking me how I was….and I guess expecting me to say, I am great thanks!! but not this time!  She appeared shocked saying today she was going to discharge me from her care as it was now nearly 3 years clear.  She gave me a full examination and as I laid there expecting reassurance, yet again I was disappointed.

“Unfortunately you are going to have to be fast tracked to the breast unit as you will need a biopsy”

My heart sank, I asked her what she thought but she couldn’t tell me either way.  She explained to me the only way to diagnose Paget’s disease was to do a biopsy.  It wouldn’t show up on a mammogram either.  In view of this she said she wouldn’t discharge me and I would need to see her again later in the year.  So off I went….back to work, mind working overtime.  I wanted to go back to work because I knew I would have to focus my mind somewhere else.  2 days later I get a call from the Breast Unit saying they had an appointment for the Saturday and could I make it?  Too right I could! the sooner I get this sorted the better.

So Saturday arrives and off I go, with Gary in tow!  Unfortunately Lisa was working so was unable to come with me.  I felt reasonably okay about this as I knew I would not get any results on that day anyway.  So here we are again sat in the breast unit, I hate how familiar this place is to me!  The staff are just wonderful but it holds so so many sad moments for me along with fear.  We didn’t have to wait for long before I got called.  We walked into the room and the Macmillan nurse turned to Gary and asked him if he was okay (he clearly didn’t look okay!), she said he looked terrified and more worried than me.  Poor Gary, he is no good with anything medical but he wanted to support me.  I took a look at him and told him he would be better off waiting in the waiting room.  I really couldn’t cope with him passing out or anything like that!  I felt sick as it was and needed to concentrate on myself.  Reluctantly Gary went out.

So here I was, sat behind a empty desk with only my thoughts.  No Lisa today to say “shall we play eye spy mum” :-).  Thankfully it was only a few minutes before the lovely Mr G (my surgeon) came in.  He is like an instant calming machine.

So top off (he has seen my boobs that many times it is like second nature to me now).  He told me he was going to do a deep biopsy but would use local anaesthetic first (thank goodness!).  It was a good job Gary wasn’t in the room at this point as I think we would be picking him up off the floor!).  The biopsy didn’t take long but I had to wait for half an hour afterwards due to it causing quite a lot of bleeding.  They put a pressure bandage on which seemed to do the trick.  I felt well and truly trussed up!  I asked Mr G what he thought, and again he couldn’t really tell me one way or another.  He asked me if it itched and I said No feeling happy, thinking that was a good thing but unfortunately it wasn’t the case.  He told me it would have been better if it had itched!!  Oh god! that is not what I wanted to hear.  BUT…..the good news is, my mammogram came back clear and he said that if it is Paget’s disease it will be early stages….


To say I feel sore is an understatement! I guess having a biopsy to an area where I recently had surgery will be tender!

So here we are…..I have to wait 2 weeks for the results, 2 weeks of anxiety and worry.  The waiting game sucks! but as long as the outcome is positive then it will be worth it all.




























December 2015

December arrives I can hardly believe that this time a year ago was when this nightmare began.  But on the positive side…I am hear…I am alive….I am cancer free and I am rebuilding my life again :-).  I have received yet another appointment in the post for January 2016….My first mammogram since diagnosis, all sorts are going through my head right now!  I knew I would feel like this.  I am so scared, I am scared in case they find something again.  I know there is no reason why they should but I will be a lot happier once its done and I have the results…which hopefully will be ALL CLEAR!

4th December 2015

Today is a big day for me!  I am going out and about without my hat!  not brave enough to go to work without it just yet but that’s due to the colour at the moment.


I have had lots of lovely comments about the colour and sometimes when I look in the mirror I really like it.  BUT…it is not me! I don’t see ME when I look in the mirror and that’s really important to me.  The colour is so different to my original colour that I honestly don’t think I could keep it like this.





5th December 2015

So Christmas is fast approaching, I love this time of year.  I love the family time, I love giving presents and I love to see everyone happy.  I know that’s not the case everywhere and like other years Gary & I have decided to donate to charity rather than send out Christmas Cards.  This year we have donated to NSPCC, to me Christmas is about children (apart from the religious side of course)  There are so many children out there that have nothing, that are being abused and have lives that I just cant bare to think about.  I hope our small donation may help keep a child safe.  I am sure most people would have expected us to donate to cancer research.  The reason we haven’t done this is because we have donated throughout the year to various cancer fundraising events.  There are so many charities that need supporting I wish we could give to them all.

6th December 2015

Anastrozole is taking its toll! This joint pain is just awful.  I thought taking the Letrozole was bad enough but I actually think this is giving it a run for its money!  I am not sure I will be able to keep taking these tablets as it is making me feel like an old women!  just standing up and moving when I have sat down for longer than 5 minutes is a challenge now!  I will try my best to see it through to February when I have my appointment but I really feel that the decision to stop taking them might have to be made!  I feel I have to at least give the tablets a go but……..we will see!

10th December 2015

Well today I am going to the hairdressers for the first time in a year!!! I am going to get my hair coloured and am so excited.  I would normally colour my hair myself but I am scared it may turn out orange with it being “new” hair so I am playing it safe…..


Well….I have to say the excitement didn’t last!  I am really not sure about the colour!  My hairdresser said it needed a base colour and once it grows longer then I can have high/low lights in.  I guess I thought my hair would be just like it was before! Expectations again!!! no patience here I am afraid.  Well this is the colour….so I just have to get on with it!!!  I should just be grateful I have hair I guess.

11th December 2015

Well today is the day that I take my daughter Lisa away for a “thank you” weekend.  She had no idea where we were going or what we were doing!  I don’t know how I have managed to keep it a secret for so long.

So…..we travelled to London on the train and checked into our hotel in Convent garden, little bit of shopping and then an evening meal at Maxwells.  Next on to the Theatre to see Mamma Mia.  We had such a fab time, Lisa said she thoroughly enjoyed it and we had fantastic seats.  The following morning my brother and sister in law met us for breakfast and then we went to Winter Wonderland.  Such a lovely time walking around looking at all the stalls etc.  Later that day we went to Wimbledon where we met with all the family for a meal.  It really was a lovely weekend and I know Lisa enjoyed it as much as I did.  I don’t think I could ever thank Lisa enough for this last year but I hope this little treat went someway to show how much I appreciate her.


I must say thank you to my brother and sister in law – Victor & Sarah, because they did so much to help make this a wonderful weekend and I am really grateful to them ♥

22nd December 2015

So on this day a year ago was the day I had my biopsy….little did I know what the next 9 months would entail….

23rd December – 30th December 2015

It’s been a lovely Christmas, lots of family time, lots of happy time.  I am at my happiest surrounded by my family.  It’s been tiring don’t get me wrong as I am sure it’s the same for everyone women out there! but its worth every bit of that tiredness.  I feel so blessed to have a wonderful family as I know there are so many out there that would love to have what we have.

31st December 2015

So here we are, the end of the year and what a year it has been!  Yesterday I reached the point where I just had to do something about this pain I am experiencing.  I rang the Oncology unit for advise and to see if they were happy for me to stop taking these tablets! I can’t see that it is good to have to take Paracetamol and Ibuprofen  daily just to get through the day! It’s not been an easy decision and part of me needs constant reassuring that I have done the right thing!  The joint pain is just horrendous and I really can’t see it improving.  It’s affecting my work as I can barely kneel down without being in so much pain and getting off the floor is a challenge in itself!  As my job involves a lot of time of my knees I just don’t know if I can do it!  My 2 year old grandson wants Nanny to be on the floor playing and again I just can’t do it without being in so much discomfort!

I spoke to my friend/work colleague about it and she pretty much summed it up….the 1% benefit it gives you does not out way your current quality of life! and she is right.  I feel my quality of life has been lost by about 40% I feel so old and have to think about everything that involves getting up and down!!  So the plan is…I have stopped taking them and my Oncologist has brought my appointment forward to the end of January to see how I am.

So the end of the year….I have done quite a bit of reflection these last couple of days.  I have looked back over my blog and realised how far I have come.  To think there were so many days where I just felt I couldn’t do it…but I did! 🙂  With the help and support of my family and wonderful friends willing me along the way I managed to get to that finishing line!  When I look back over what I have gone through I can barely believe it!

  1. Mammogram x 2
  2. Ultra Sound x 1
  3. Biopsy
  4. Nuclear medicine injection
  5. ECG
  6. Guide wire
  7. Surgery
  8. Echo cardiogram
  9. FEC chemotherapy x 6
  10. Blood test x 8+
  11. Loss of hair, eyebrows, eyelashes
  12. Sepsis
  13. X ray to the chest
  14. CT Planning
  15. Tattoo
  16. Radiotherapy x 15
  17. Bone Density Scan
  18. Ultra Sound to neck
  19. Genetic counselling
  20. Hormone Therapy

I am hoping that’s my fill for sometime now!

So now I am looking forward to 2016…apprehensive and a touch scared as I am coming up to my first mammogram since diagnosis.  I pray that I get the all clear and I can at long last look forward to my daughter’s wedding and our holiday.  Fingers, toes and everything crossed for me please :-).







November 2015

November already…where has this year gone?

2nd November 2015

Well today is the day….I cant put it off any longer, I need to start my new tablets..


I have now been off Letrozole for more than 5 weeks, and although the pain has decreased slightly it is still very much there!  I have an appointment with my Oncologist later this month and if I haven’t started this new tablet then I cant tell him how I am getting on with it.  So here we go……

Work….I am continuing with my phased return to work and have to say I feel so frustrated at how tired I am feeling.  I know everyone told me I would be tired but I am finding it really hard to come to terms with it.  I start my day feeling like I could do almost anything, feeling like I used too…but hit that midday and wham! all my energy is sucked out of me! I really do not have much patience!  On the plus side though, I am enjoying being back and feel a small sense of belonging again which is great!  I feel like I am participating in “life” again.

12th November 2015

Yuck! I am feeling rubbish today, sore throat and banging headache!  To think I have had all those toxic drugs pumped into my body, my immune system up the creek and other than the one stay in hospital I kept reasonably well and now I am supposed to be “healthier” this decides to come knocking! So honey and lemon it is….

13th November 2015

The dreadful news of the Paris massacre has made me realise how lucky I really am! The poor families of those that have died in this awful way just doesn’t comprehend belief.  They went out for an evening with friends and loved ones and now they are gone!  Their families had no time to say goodbye, kiss them, say all those words they would want to say….its just tragic.  No warning…… so sad.


Life is so precious and if this awful year has taught me anything it is just that.  I like to think that I appreciate the simple things in life so much more and don’t take things for granted.  You learn what’s important in life and what isn’t.  I hope I continue feeling this way.  Before the 22nd December 2014 I never really thought about my own mortality, I took my life and my health for granted, but now I realise just how precious life is!

14th November 2015

Happy Birthday to me :-)….I cant believe I am 55 years old today…although I have to say I certainly feel so much older with this joint pain! but I am 55 and alive so that’s great :-).  I have been well and truly spoilt as per usual from my lovely hubby, family and friends.

However, there is one thing though…..all my cards….ALL of them were serious and sensible.  Lovely cards don’t get me wrong but what has happened to my friends (you know who you are), that always send me some sort of sarcastic card about my age or something rude????? do they think that now I am 55 I have lost my sense of humor or something? :-).  Maybe they just felt I needed something “nice” after what I have endured this year :-).  I am sure next year I will be getting inundated with some seriously rude cards!!!


23rd November 2015

Tomorrow I am set loose…..oh yes….I am going out to see patients’ on my own!  I have managed to get a uniform that covers my unbalanced body!! and off I will be going.  I feel exciting, nervous, apprehensive….but I know I need to get back doing what I love.  Hope the patients’ are kind to me.

26th November 2015

Today I have an appointment with the Oncologist, Gary is coming with me today as Lisa has to work.  I am feeling a lot more apprehensive then normal, probably due to the fact I know I will be seeing a new Oncologist as mine has now left :-(.  It brings back some memories I wish I could erase when I walk through those doors to the breast unit.  I always get that sick feeling in my stomach!  I am grateful that they continue to keep a check on things though and if I have to put up with those emotions then so be it! as long as I am okay then that’s fine.  The Oncologist I saw was really nice, gave me a check over and asked me how I was doing on the new medication.  I told him that I am still experiencing joint pain but at the moment its tolerable.  We had a long discussion about the benefits and he told me that the percentage benefit is minimal for me!  He also went on to say that if it was him then he wouldn’t take it!  I know my other Oncologist always said that he didn’t think the benefit outweighed the side effects but wanted me to try.  Well the plan is that I will keep trying until my next appointment in February and then decide from then whether I still wish to take it.  So pill popping will continue to then…

30th November 2015

Today I received 2 appointments in the post….one to see the Oncologist in February and One to see my surgeon in January to discuss further surgery.  I have to say I really didn’t think I would be having so many check ups following my end of active treatment.  I am not complaining! I am extremely grateful to the NHS for everything they do for me.

October 2015

October already, I can’t believe how quick the months are flying by!  So October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month….


How true this is!  It’s a shame I had to get Breast Cancer to make myself more aware! Don’t get me wrong I did check but it wasn’t as often as I should have.  I am sure many of you reading this blog will say exactly the same!  I do hope that with my diagnosis if anything good is to come out of this (apart from me being here of course :-),  it has made my friends and family even more aware and you have now taken to checking yourselves more frequently.  And remember, you don’t always have to feel a lump! I didn’t!  So please ladies attend your regular mammograms, it could save your life.

I am all for campaigns to raise awareness but have to say one in particular upset me…

So they think Danielle Lloyd stripped off showing a fantastic figure and lovely shaped boobs is good for Breast Cancer Awareness month! Well I can tell you, looking at her body and knowing what myself and millions of other women have gone through with their change of shape and the tough treatment along the way! looking at this does not make us feel good! its insulting!!!!!!!! Why do they need to strip off to raise awareness! just read some of the breast cancer blogs and see how it really is! I am sure the message will come across a lot more dignified than this!

Sorry but I just don’t think this is necessary, it’s not glamorous getting breast cancer its awful! Yes there are many many women that get breast cancer but the way some people talk about it, you would think its like getting a common cold! Well those of you reading my blog will know it is so much more than that! its gruelling not only for the person going through it but it has an impact on everyone that loves and cares for that person.  Sorry rant over….

1st October 2015
Tonight Gary & I went to the cinema, not a place we go to regularly but I talked him into watching the film “Miss you already”, I honestly don’t know why I put myself through these types of things but maybe its just curiosity!  It was about 2 friends and one got breast cancer…..unfortunately it was not the end that I expected, I had hoped for a happy ending.  Although it was hard-hitting, some parts were funny but I was very selfish and not once did I consider the impact it would have on Gary!!! He told me it was too close to home and he wouldn’t be watching anymore of these types of films.  Sorry Gary….
3rd October 2015
It’s not been a good day today, lots of tears….I haven’t told many people so I apologise to those that are reading this that felt I should have told them.  I have been experiencing neck pain for 2-3 weeks now and it just doesn’t seem to be going.  I have no idea why or when it started exactly but I do know it’s not going away.  It’s not neck pain where you can’t move your neck, maybe a trapped nerve? I find it difficult to explain but it’s now beginning to worry me.  A year ago anything like this I wouldn’t have given it a second thought but I guess this is how I will be with every ache and pain :-(.
I belong to a breast cancer forum on facebook and there is one particular lady on there who is fantastic at putting things into words about feelings which relate to so many of us going through this.  I asked her permission if I could share some of what she has put as it explains so well what I am feeling…..

When I was moved from weekly hospital visits to ‘see you in 12 months’ I suddenly found I began to fight! Not fighting cancer…. But fighting Cancers legacy…….. FEAR!!

Fear that strikes in the early hours of the morning, the heart pounding fear of ‘what if it comes back?’

But once the treatments have been completed, once life is not governed by hospital appointments….. That is when the true fight begins! Trying to calm that beating heart, trying to persuade yourself that it truly has been conquered and that you are no longer a cancer patient. Trying to maintain the facade that we show to family and friends who think we should ‘move on’ that we are coping? This is the real fight! Oh my life!  I truly wish everyone who faces this vile disease, in whatever form, the very best outcome!  As I said , in the beginning I didn’t feel the fight was mine…. But I never doubted I was in for the battle of my life!

That pretty much sums it up….FEAR!
So with this worry on my mind day and night, I discussed it with a friend (nurse) who I work with and her reply was….”Lynda, if a patient told you this and asked for advise, what would you say?”…….My reply would be …go to the Doctors, so I have made an appointment.  Thank you Elaine 🙂
5th October 2015
I have a cold and a terrible cough …cold what’s that all about???
All through my treatment when my immune system was at an all time low I never got a cold despite being around Gary & Callum who had lots of colds! and now treatment is over, wham I get this! Well here’s hoping it goes as quick as it has arrived!!
9th October 2015
Cold & Cough is improving so today Lisa, Callum and I went shopping and we actually started our Christmas shopping! I love Christmas so much, anyone who knows me will know this!  I love the family time, I love having my Son & Daughter together (which doesn’t happen as much as I would like) and to see the Grandchildren open their presents is just priceless.  So shopping days will become more frequent…..Poor Gary will be hiding the credit card! and I will be hiding the bags ha ha
12th October 2015
Today was my Occupational Health review prior to returning to work, it was going to be postponed when I told them I have a G.P appointment tomorrow but I asked for it to go ahead.  I have to think positive here!
Consultation was good and I was happy with what she suggested for my return to work.  Phased return over 6 weeks and then to use some of my accumulated annual leave to make my days shorter.  I know I am going to feel tired so this will help ease my way back into the “working world” again!
13th October 2015
A visit to the G.P….I am feeling really nervous, I just want him to say that I am worrying unnecessary!  Well he had a good feel of my neck and told me he couldn’t feel anything.  I was so relieved but proceeded into floods of tears! For goodness sake! I hate doing this! so an offer of Kleenex again (I told you I was keeping them in business didn’t I?).
He told me that due to my history …(Oh yes I now have a history!, not the one I wanted though!)…..he would refer me for a scan of my neck.  He did make it clear that he felt there was nothing to be concerned about but just wanted to make sure.  So the waiting game begins…..
I am trying my hardest not to worry about this and have to say that I do feel more reassured now I have seen the G.P.
16th October 2015
WOW…I cant believe it, today is the day…after nearly 10 months off, I am finally going back to work!  How do I feel??? well take your pick…..excited….nervous….scared….apprehensive….emotional….. BUT happy to get back to some sort of normality and to be working with the best colleagues/friends again.  It was weird sitting with Gary having breakfast knowing we would be leaving the house at the same time…just like we used to do!
No uniform on today as for the next couple of weeks I will mainly be doing admin work.  I cant wait to be back out seeing my patients old and new though!  It’s quite an emotional day all round for me as 6 years ago today I lost my lovely Dad, I miss him so much but I know he will be so proud of me going back to work.  I will never forget how excited and proud he was when I qualified and told him I would be working as a nurse in the same village he lived.  So with my dad looking down on me off I go back to work 🙂
When I arrived at work I was greeted by my colleagues with balloons around the office and a lovely bouquet of flowers!  I thought I was doing really well holding my emotions together until I read the cards they gave me and then that was it!…..cue the Kleenex…again!!!
12122817_10153317658399527_5658007694753919747_n It’s so good to be back with this bunch 🙂
So my few hours of work consisted of emails and going through a few bits and pieces….I did notice a couple of hours in the yawning started!! not because I was bored but I guess it was what everyone warned me of!

So after lunch I had to do what I was told and pack my stuff up and go home!

It’s so good to be back, but I know this is going to be a slow process and I need to take it easy and build up my strength again. But…I survived today and will be looking forward to  going back next week…


26th October 2015

Well today I have a hospital appointment for an ultrasound on my neck.  To say I feel slightly anxious is an understatement.  I will be going on my own today due to family work commitments but that’s okay as I was told no results would be given to me anyway.  It is not worth family taking days leave just to hold my hand! I need to get my big girl panties on and get on with it!!!


Well….much to my surprise they did give me the result there and then! and I am happy to say that nothing abnormal showed up on the scan Phew!  So I guess the pain in my neck is probably due to me pulling a muscle or something or maybe it’s due to the fact that I have done barely nothing for the last 10 months other than “feel ill” and my body has gone into shock that I am now on the move! 😉  Joking aside, I am really relieved that all appears well.  I am hoping that the worry of every ache and pain wont have me running to the Doctors every 5 minutes in the future.

So thinking about comfort….Gary and I have decided its time we treated ourselves to a new bed, so today we are off shopping!




1st-22nd September 2015

My hair is growing which is great but I can’t say the same about the colour! I seriously hate the colour salt & pepper.  Don’t get me wrong its nice to know its growing back but I really cant wait until I can dye it again!  I have been advised no colour until 6 months following last chemotherapy so that takes me into the New Year.  I guess I will just have to continue with wearing my hats until that time.  On the plus side though my eyelashes are pretty much back to normal and if anything they seem slightly longer 🙂


I never realised just how much my eyelashes meant to me and what a difference it makes to your face.  I will never take them for granted again!!!  A friend of mine posted some lovely words on Facebook when I spoke about my eyelashes “your eyes are your windows to your inner soul, with or without shutters you cannot change how beautiful you are”.  Such lovely words and of course made me cry! Talking about crying….I have always been quite emotional but these days I have to fight all the time to stop myself crying at least a handful of times a week!  I wish I liked wearing sunglasses because at least I could hide behind them!  I am hoping that the tears will become less in time but until then I am keeping Kleenex in business.

2nd September 2015 – Appointment with my Oncologist.

A couple of days ago I received a phone call out of the blue from my Oncologists secretary asking if I would mind bringing my appointment forward.  She went on to explain that he was leaving and going to work elsewhere.  Honestly that phone call knocked me sideways, it upset me so much more than I ever imagined, I felt like I was being abandoned and even felt a sense of fear.  After lots of tears (again!) Gary reassured me that as I have finished all my active treatment, hopefully I will not need to see an Oncologist much in the future (other than the routine checks).  I know I should feel grateful that he saw me right through my treatment but we had built up a really good relationship and I felt safe knowing he was taking care of me.

Lisa came with me to my appointment and I took along some wine & chocolates and a thank you card.  When we were called in and I handed over my gifts I honestly thought he was going to cry! he was so shocked that they were for him.  I guess most people give gifts to the nurses and the Oncologists somehow get overlooked.  I told him I just wanted to thank him for taking care of me (and you will be shocked to hear at this point I didn’t cry!!!)  He stood up and gave me such a big hug and said that he would never forget me! What a lovely thing to say.  He went on to say that he would never forget how bad he felt when I told him Lisa was getting married and that she was postponing her wedding because I was having chemo.  He said he felt so responsible for ruining our plans, bless him. We told him the wedding was now rebooked for next year.  He reached across the table and grabbed my hand saying….”AND YOU WILL BE GOING THIS TIME!”….and yes I will be 🙂

I explained to him the side effects I was having with the Letrozole and he told me to stop taking them for 1-2 months and he prescribed me an alternative to take following the couple of months break.  He explained that they do have benefits but due to the fact I was a low positive for Oestrogen that benefit would be small and not worth it if I am suffering so much.  He then went onto say if I continue to suffer with bad side effects after taking the alternative then to stop them all together.  I will definitely take that into account as the side effects are so debilitating and just making me feel so old with the aches and pains.  I then showed him my hands as the skin is still peeling off.  After telling me off for not contacting him before now he prescribed Vitamin B6 tablets to take for 2 weeks saying that should sort it!  fingers crossed it will.  I then had a good examination to which he said all was fine! (thank goodness!) and said I would receive an appointment for November for a further check up with another Oncologist.  So we said our goodbyes and he gave both Lisa and I another big hug and off we went on our way.  I felt like I was saying goodbye to a good friend! isn’t it funny how attached we get to some people and to think when Lisa and I were sat in the waiting room just when I was diagnosed and we saw this giant of a man walk past I turned to her and said “I hope that isn’t him, he looks scary”….However, I couldn’t have been happier once I got to know him he was just a gentle giant.

7th September 2015 – Appointment with the Genetics team

So today I had my appointment with the Genetics team to discuss family history of cancer.  Following lengthy discussion I decided that I would take part in a study called BOCS which stands for The Breast and Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility Study.  Taking part in this test will involve a blood test which will be used for genetic analysis of known breast and ovarian cancer genetic factors and to discover new factors.  Part of this test will show whether I have inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.  The results can take some time but I am pleased I am being tested for this as it is so important for Lisa to know any potential breast cancer risks to her.

After a couple of busy days with appointments, today I had a meeting with my boss and HR to discuss my return to work.  I felt really anxious about this meeting so Lisa made sure she was sat by my side (as she always is in my time of need!)  The discussion was around how I was feeling about returning to work and what my needs would be and how they can support this.  The plan is, a provisional date of middle October I will return on a phased return.  Part of me is excited as this is a huge step back to normality for me but the other part of me is apprehensive as I know the stress my job involves.  My challenge will be to think of myself and to work my hours and say NO when I cant do anymore!  It will be a huge challenge but I know I need to be honest and true to myself and my family who are equally as worried about me being in stressful situations.  I will be going back to work a different person to who I was when I did my last shift on Christmas Day! a lot has changed at work but a lot more has changed in my life!  I need to work to live not live to work….

do whats right for you I need to remember this every day!!!

So thinking work….I tried on my uniform and much to my horror I look awful in it!!!

muffin top This is me! except I seem to have acquired 3 muffin tops!

So….bigger uniform it is then 😦


So thoughts are very much work focused these days, mixed emotions but its something I have to do.

So after the horror show of trying on my uniform my thoughts are how am I going to get this weight off!  I know its not going to be easy as I have been told by many professionals but I seriously cannot accept that I have to look like this! Now my wound has healed following Radiotherapy Gary and I have re-joined the Leisure club.  I am not quite ready for the gym yet but 3-4 days of gentle swimming is a good start and hopefully will help in transforming those muffin tops into something flatter!!!

v2_i262202_w580_h435_x758120C6 wish me luck 🙂




AUGUST 2015 – 1st – 9th

Well a lot has been happening in my life over the past 9 days, most of it good but some not so…..

Firstly I received the results of my bone scan which were good! so I guess that means no added medication to take along side the hormone therapy.  I have been on Letrozole for nearly 4 weeks now and some side effects are definitely kicking in…mainly joint pain!  When I wake in the morning I can barely move my fingers and when I get out of bed my legs take a while to get going!  I find that sitting for any length of time I struggle to get going again!  I am sure I look like an old lady, I know I certainly feel it.  Another thing that I have noticed is swelling in my fingers which means I can’t put my wedding ring on, I am hoping that this will pass or it may mean another new ring!!! ;-).  I will just suck it up and see how it goes, I want every security blanket that’s available to stop this awful disease rearing its ugly head again!!  Another problem that has appeared over the last week or so is skin peeling off my hands and feet! I have no idea if this is a side effect from these tablets or something else as I know from reading forums many women have experienced skin peeling (especially feet) shortly after finishing chemo.  I was hoping that it would go on its own accord but it doesn’t appear to be, so maybe a trip to the GP is in order!….Weight loss is just not doing anything which is depressing me! I have lost 5lbs and it has come to a stand still.  I will not give up on this and am hoping when I next see my Oncologist he will give me the go ahead to start swimming again which I am hoping will help me……now on to the better news 🙂


I am so excited to see I have eyelashes again, okay they maybe short right now but they are long enough to wear mascara! It’s fantastic as I feel mascara makes me look more “normal” and I don’t have that “cancer look around my eyes”…no progress on the eyebrows yet but I can least use a pencil for that.  Second bit of good news……


Oh yes I have some hair! okay it maybe grey (horror!) with a touch of brown, but it is growing!  Gary says I look like one of those coconut biscuits….

coconut Hmmm I don’t know where the resemblance lies here!

I will still be wearing my hat for some time I reckon!

On the 31st July and 1st August we had a big family reunion – 22 of us to be exact.  It was a fantastic weekend, we had pre birthday celebration for Dan’s 30th and just had an amazing family time.  Lots of fun, lots of laughs, lots of reminiscing and lots of new memories…..and not forgetting lots of photos!

family photo I hate the way I look personally but beyond that it was great to have the opportunity for us all to be together ♥

Unfortunately the downside from a wonderful weekend was me feeling tired and teary! A mixture of emotions I think, it was such a wonderful weekend but made me realise how unfit I am and brought to the forefront that I am still recovering from this Cancer crap!!  I know this should be a time to think positive after going through all the treatment, but sometimes it just makes me realise how much it has robbed me of my confidence and zest for life!  I hope it returns….sooner rather than later!

6th August 2015

Birthday memories of my Dad, another sad day, I am yet to find it a comfort thinking of memories of all the good times, it still is too raw for me.  Love you Dad xxx

7th August 2015

My lovely sons 30th birthday! and what a day.  For some mad reason he decided to do a skydive with his best friend.  Now anyone that knows Dan would find this hard to believe!  Even he said, “why am I doing this Mum, I am terrified”…Well son I didn’t make you!!!  I am happy to say he did it! and landed safely on the ground.  It was a great day and although he was absolutely terrified before, during and after! I think he is pleased he did it.  Not sure he will be attempting it again in the near future though.  Happy Birthday Dan, love you lots xxx

11th August 2015

Well today I feel quite bruised, why you may ask?? I actually fell out of bed during the night!!! well I am not quite sure what happened to be honest.  I woke up to go to the toilet, sat up and the next thing I was facing in the opposite direction I wanted to go, with my face against my bedside table! I went with a bang and now have a lovely little bruise on the side of my cheek.  I think Gary thought I had fainted but I am pretty sure I didn’t, but for the life of me I have no idea why it happened!  Lets hope it doesn’t happen again or I might start to worry!

So, I thought once chemo and radiotherapy finished I would be slowly on the road to recovery but it appears not!  the skin on my hands are still peeling and look awful….

hands 3hands 2hands1

I have tried every moisturiser that I have but it doesn’t seem to help at all.  Whilst picking up my prescription for the dreaded Letrozole, I thought I would ask the pharmacy for advise…I don’t want to use up a GP slot if the pharmacy can advise (isn’t that what they say on the TV adverts!)….well he wasn’t much use to be honest and clearly didn’t want to commit.  Once I told him I had just finished radiotherapy he then said “oh well that’s it then there’s nothing you can do except moisturise”!  Great!…so off I go home, no further on then I was.  Having looked on lots of cancer forums etc a lot of people recommend Moo cream so that’s what I have ordered off the internet!  Don’t care if they used it on cows as long as it does the trick I will be happy!

moo cream

The cream does seem to help if I apply it 4-5 times a day but once they dry out again it looks just the same! so frustrating, I guess I will have to see what my Oncologist suggests when I see him next month.

14th August 2015

Today has been a “nanny day”, because the weather is not the best, plans had to be changed.  So this morning Mia has been baking with minimal help from Nanny!


Bless her, she did so well and made lots of lovely cakes to take home to Daddy & Jade.  She wasn’t keen on the washing up bit afterwards though! :-).  Once the cake baking was over we were joined by Lisa & Callum.  Lunch out, play time in the soft play area and then home. I then had dancing lessons from Mia who wanted to teach me all her moves!  She is a great little mover but I hate to say it Nanny is not anymore! It nearly killed me especially when she wanted me to start jumping up and down!   A really lovely day spent with my grandchildren & daughter but now I am exhausted!!  This is when I find it so frustrating, the tiredness just sucks.

15th August 2015

season ticket

I can hardly believe it! today I am going back to watching my Football team in action!  I feel really nervous about going its weird!  I feel really vulnerable and almost scared to be meeting up with people I haven’t seen since Christmas.  I needn’t have worried though as I was fine.  It was quite emotional at times but lovely to receive hugs from the two guys I sit next to.  Everyone genuinely seemed pleased to see me and wanted to know if I was now “better”.  Took some deep breaths to stop myself blubbing away but I managed to control those tears!  It was so great to be doing something “normal”, something that I enjoyed so much before Cancer and am determined I will do again!

16th August 2015

Today my lovely son-in-law to be, took part in Brave the Shave raising much-needed money for cancer research.  Well done Robert and thank you, without people like you raising funds my story and those of many others might have been very different!


17th-20th August 2015

At long last I have received my appointment for Clinical Genetics Service to discuss family history etc.  I am relieved to get this appointment, although I know it means more waiting once I have the blood test.  It really is important to know whether I carry the BRCA gene, not only for me but also for Lisa.

Gary has some time off this week so we booked to stay a couple of nights in York.  We love York and thought it would do us both some good to have a break away.  We had a lovely time although it was spoilt a little by the pain I am experiencing with my feet.  They are so tender and it really does affect how much I can walk.  I spent 2 days walking through the pain, paracetamol and ibuprofen just don’t seem to be touching it.  This pain is seriously getting me down and I don’t know how long I can continue like this.  I have finally got my Oncologist appointment for the 10th September so I will try to continue taking the medication until I discuss it further with him then.  If he tells me that the pain will get easier than I will be happy to continue taking the medication but if its something that I just have to “put up with” then I will have to consider stopping the tablets.  I cannot carry on like this for the next 5 years, it is no quality of life at all.  I also want to discuss with him what benefit I may achieve by taking these tablets as I know I am border line on whether they recommend them or not.

These last couple of days have been real “downers” for me, I am trying my hardest to keep my feelings under wraps, but at times it has not been possible and I have had a couple of melt downs!  My mind is working overtime….worrying about the future, worrying about my pain, worrying about my state of mind, worrying about my body image, worrying about my return to work and how I will cope, worrying whether I will ever be normal again!  I know everyone keeps telling me I will be fine but honestly it is so hard to see that right now.  I know the pain I am feeling each day is not helping matters.  I just think that all the treatment that I have gone through has been gruelling and I was hoping that things would now seem easier but it is definitely not the case.  If anything, at times it feels so much harder.  That light at the end of the tunnel seems out of reach some days!

The beginning of September is going to be busy for me, in one week I have a meeting with my boss from work, appointment with the genetics team and appointment with my Oncologist.  I am beginning to think about my return to work but I know at this present time I am not ready.  I have a lot to think about prior to returning to work and I know it will not be the same as before I left.  Lots has changed, both at work and me as a person!  I know I now need to put myself first, my health is so important and my life is precious…

worklifeThis has to be balanced!

JULY 2015


2nd July 2015

Well the time has come when I really need to tackle this excess weight so tonight I joined Weight Watchers! w.w.

I feel ready and determined to get myself healthier and look forward.  I know it may take some time as my fitness levels are zero right now.  But…. today is a start, I need to be healthier and I need to look better to make myself feel better! Wish me luck everyone!

7th July 2015 – Today is stage 3 of my treatment

So today is the start of Radiotherapy, a daily trip to Lincoln County for the next 15 days (weekends off!).  I don’t feel nervous about this at all, I just want to get it done and move on!  I am sure I would have felt very different if I hadn’t had to have chemotherapy but I feel if I coped with that I can pretty much cope with this!

radiotherapy lincoln

So this is the big machine which will be blasting away any nasty stray cancer cells that may be lurking about.  Prior to the start of this I met with senior therapy Radiographer Jane, such a lovely lady who made me feel very much at ease.  She discussed what was going to happen over the next few weeks and answered any questions that I had.  So off I went and No. 1 session now ticked off.  Although you have to remain very still, its only for a short time so wasn’t too bad.

9th July 2015

Today we were invited to the Bentley Hotel for a talk on “Enhancing your recovery through radiotherapy”.  Gary booked the day off and came with me.  The talk was about what radiotherapy is, side effects etc, self-care and advice about keeping active, what support is available and how to access this.  It was really informative and reassuring, I also think it was good that husbands/wives/friends etc were also invited as their lives have also been affected by cancer.  I would certainly recommend anyone about to start radiotherapy to attend one of these sessions.  We are so lucky in this country to have our NHS and all the services that are offered to us.  It is so easy to complain about this and that, but when you need life saving treatment it is there for you.  I would hate to have to decline treatment because I couldn’t afford it like so many other countries.

10th July 2015

Today I feel quite sad as we should have been flying to Antigua today for my daughter’s wedding 😦, but on the other hand I feel so lucky that my daughter didn’t want to get married without me being there and did not hesitate to postpone her wedding for me.  It was so hard for me when I knew I had to have chemo but right from the start she was adamant that treatment came first and the wedding could wait.  The wedding is now booked for next June 2016 and we are going to have one massive celebration 🙂

11th July 2015

Today = family time = feel good day

Today the sun was shining so as I am feeling so much better we had a family barbeque, unfortunately a small family one today but it was lovely to have my son, daughter and two grandchildren together.  As you are all probably aware by now nothing makes me more happy than spending time with family.

callum paddlingCallum is always so happy, he just makes me burst with pride ♥

Callum & MiaI don’t have both grandchildren together as much as I would like but when I do it’s just perfect ♥

my family My wonderful family ♥

14th July 2015

Today as I was leaving radiotherapy I received a phone call from our doctors surgery informing me I had a script to pick up.  This confused me as I am not on any medication since I finished chemotherapy.  I asked the receptionist if she could tell me what it was….”Letrozole which you need to take every day and its been put on repeat”.  I realised then that it was one of the hormone therapy tablets.  When I put the phone down my heart sank! I really thought that all my treatment was coming to the end on 27th July and now to be told I have to take these tablets every day for the next 5 years has come as a bit of a shock.

crying out loud

1. When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer I was told I would probably have surgery, radiotherapy and hormone therapy… 2. After surgery I was initially told all I would need was radiotherapy and no hormone therapy…. 3. After seeing my Oncologist I was told Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy but no hormone therapy as my Oestrogen levels were low….. 4. After I finished chemotherapy my Oncologist said he felt hormone therapy would not benefit me and as they come with lots of side effects it wouldn’t be worth me having them.  He did however say that he would check with his team as policies and guidelines change and he would let me know!…… I guess this is letting me know then!

So I have been reading up on this tablet and have to say reading the side effects doesn’t exactly fill me with excitement! Very common: More than 1 in 10 people who take Letrozole

  • bone problems such as bone fractures or osteoporosis
  • general feeling of being unwell
  • high levels of cholesterol in the blood
  • hot flushes
  • increased sweating
  • joint pain
  • tiredness
  • weakness

Common: More than 1 in 100 people who take Letrozole

  • angina or worsening of angina
  • appetite gain
  • bone pain
  • cerebrovascular problems
  • constipation
  • depression
  • diarrhoea
  • dry skin
  • feeling dizzy
  • hair loss
  • headaches
  • heart attack
  • heart problems
  • indigestion
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle pain or tenderness
  • nausea
  • oedema of the extremities
  • raised blood pressure
  • skin rash or rashes
  • stomach pain
  • stroke
  • vaginal bleeding
  • vomiting
  • weight gain

Honestly the thought of anymore side effects fill me with dread, but what do you do???? if it means another security blanket for me to (hopefully) prevent this disease returning then I guess I will just have to suck it and see!

15th July 2015

Today I met with a lovely friend for lunch, it is always nice to catch up even though she did her best to encourage me to have cake!!!! – I did decline though :-).  Thank you for lunch Di xxx

Radiotherapy was late today 4.30pm and have to say this is the first day that I felt really tired driving!  not sure whether it is the radiotherapy as it can cause tiredness or whether it was because it was so late in the day.  It’s such a drag travelling to Lincoln every day for half an hour but feel I have coped reasonably well up till now.  I have to say though as much as it’s a drag the staff that work in this department are fantastic.  I have seen quite a few people in a week and each and every one of them greet you with a smile and are really chatty which makes the whole experience so much better even though it is only for a short time.

16th July 2015

Today I feel absolutely shattered again, I guess this treatment is taking effect.  I still drove to weight watchers tonight though as I really want to keep this up as its so important to me.  I lost 2 1/2 lb so it’s a start I know I have been eating healthier and I can do no more.  Exercise is a challenge right now but I will try to do some before long as I know it will help.  I have been told that you shouldn’t lose weight whilst having radiotherapy as it can change your body shape which in turn affects their measurements.  I don’t think there is any fear of my body changing shape that quick to be honest.

18th July 2015

Today I have some fantastic news to share…..WE HAVE BOOKED OUR HOLIDAY TO MEXICO!!!

booked our holiday I am so excited I could burst!  Yes it may not be until next year but it’s booked and my two brothers and sister-in-laws are coming too 🙂  I would be lying if I wasn’t nervous about booking again….there is always that niggling doubt in my head saying “what if it comes back!”, I know I need to stop thinking this and instead living my life, at the end of the day why should it come back!!! So positive thinking and counting down the days!

So feeling upbeat I suggested to Gary we go for a walk….off we go….walked to Belton House puffing and panting…me not Gary, had a cup of tea and a look around the gardens then off we go back home….Oh my! I think we set our sights a bit too far for our first walk, I struggled big time.  At one time I thought I was going to pass out, it was a real challenge!  I couldn’t sit anywhere because there was so much poo (from the animals that run freely) and so little grass I just had to keep going.  I have never been so pleased to walk through our front door and collapse on the sofa!!  I think our next walk will be around the block!

21st July 2015

Radiotherapy is going well but I am beginning to feel a little tender in places but so far no skin breakdown thank goodness.  After radiotherapy I decided I was going to do some exercise!  No walking to Belton house this time! staying safely in doors and exercising via DVD

exercise A really good DVD which looked very easy prior to attempting it! but having done no exercise for 8 months, it wasn’t as easy as it looked!  Just made me realise how very unfit I am.  I will try to do this 3-4 times a week, least it will be a start.

23rd July 2014

What a crap day! tried to think positive

Tired after radiotherapy I dragged myself to weight watchers only to be told I had not lost anything….not a pound, not even an ounce!  I didn’t stay to the class as I could feel a mini breakdown coming!  So instead I drove home and had a major breakdown instead!  I feel gutted!  I have eaten so healthy, done loads of exercise (well loads for me!) and to be told I had stayed the same I wanted to pick the bloody scales up and through them out the window!!!  Gary did his best to reassure me but as you ladies know men just don’t get it!!!

24th July 2014

Today I have Radiotherapy and a Bone scan, but more importantly I am seeing my daughter and grandson as they are now back from holiday!  I can’t believe that I only have one more session of Radiotherapy! where has the time gone! it has flown by this last 3 weeks.  I must have a bone scan due to the hormone therapy tablets that I am now taking for the next 5 years, as one of the side effects are thinning of the bones!


Very comfortable bed I have to say!

Prior to the scan being carried out I had to be weighed!!!! I was asked if I wanted to know my weight in stones…I explained that I was weighed last night at weight watchers so no thank you!  He then went on to explain how I would probably find it very difficult to lose weight for at least 6 months!  Explaining that due to chemo and steroids it takes this length of time to get the drugs out of your system!  Part of me felt reassured after my no weight loss last night but on the other hand I felt gutted that weight loss is going to be a slow process.  He also explained that the tablets I am taking will more than likely cause water retention and this again may be a factor.  Bloody marvellous!!! honestly if I haven’t been through enough, I am trying my best to become more healthier and fitter, lose weight is a key factor in all this…and then this!!!

crying out loud


Well I can hardly believe we have reached this point! today is my final radiotherapy which means the end of intense treatment.  I have done it!!!! I am not sure how I feel to be honest, it’s a weird feeling which I can’t explain.  I feel like I should be jumping with joy but I am not.  I think this is due to the fact treatment side effects are still very visible.  I am hoping when I eventually lose some weight, my hair grows back along with my eyelashes and eyebrows then maybe I will feel I am moving forward and putting this awful 8 months behind me!

story I have had every treatment that has been offered to me and even though at times (which were many!) when I felt I just couldn’t go on I DID! Thank you to every one of my family and friends for helping me through those dark days and willing me on! I couldn’t have done it without you all.  Lisa Horne…there are no words for you that would come close to saying how major you were in all this! I hope you know how much a massive part of all this you have been.  Day 1 you were with me at my side….from scans to diagnosis… surgery… results……to chemo… recovery….to the last radiotherapy…THANKYOU! Love you loads xxx

daughter my life

Daniel, I know you were there for me in your own way and you found it really difficult knowing what I was going through.  Not everyone can cope with things that life throws at us but I know you were always thinking and worrying about me even though you didn’t like to talk about it all, love you loads xxx

Gary…what can I say, I know how tough this has been on you and still is.  You have had the brunt of my ups and downs with many tantrums and tears, thank you for being at my side when the going got tough!  and more importantly staying there!!! I hope in time our life will be full of fun and happiness again, I love you xxx

There is a song that sums up this last year for me, I love the lyrics but unfortunately I have no idea how to add a link to my blog.  It’s The storm is over by R Kelly… can view it on you tube if you so wish.

I am hoping if you paste this link, you may be able to play it! –

So now the major treatment is over, I need to finish carrying out my To Do List…. 🙂

beat cancer