Sunday, 4 April 2010

A puppy is for life ...

You were audible from here” Bubbles scolded gently, as I returned to the waiting area. “You are the only person I know that I could escort to Wound Clinic and hear you laughing from the consulting room. What on earth was going on?” “Oh, it is Nurse G, she is a right one” I responded matter of factly. Bubbles looked at me, her eyebrows slightly raised, her facial expression silently saying “That didn’t answer my question.” So I continued “Well ... after she checked my breast she tried to preserve my privacy and dignity by covering it with the gown. However, I pulled it right back and said “Oh no, don’t hide it ... I am rather proud of my new boob ... I like to show it off at any opportunity". I went on to explain that Nurse G laughed and said "Well, Dr J has done a very good job so I don’t blame you. Though I wonder what will you be like once he has done the other one?! Then we both had a chuckle at that thought.” What I didn't admit to Bubbles was my laughter was a possibly a little too hearty ... through slight embarrassment ... ‘cos I am aware Nurse G asked a very good question ...

That was the first hospital appointment of the week ... as my sooper-dooper consultants are having a little game of Paula Ping-Pong and my wonderful breast surgeon, Dr J, has just batted me back over to my oncologist, Dr Oh-so-luv-ver-ly, who greeted me at my second appointment with his usual beaming smile. “How are you feeling?” he enquired. “I am alright. The breast is OK but I am getting some pain in my arm. I went to Wound Clinic on Monday and they said this level of discomfort is to be expected. It could continue for the next few days or weeks, but it is something that I may unfortunately have for years. It is nothing abnormal.” Dr O smiled sympathetically.

I expect someone has gone through the outcome of the surgery with you? he probed. Now, Dr Price did say a little bit about it but I was more than happy to hear it again, and perhaps glean more information so I replied “Mmm ... not really”. So he launched into his appraisal “Well ... the lump was 2.5 cm ... and the margins were excellent. They removed 11 nodes in total and although we didn’t expect to find any cancer in them, as the chemo should have probably killed it off, the good news is that we couldn’t find any evidence of there ever being any malignancy there.”

A bit of good news and not such good news then. Good news that there doesn't ever to appear to have been cancer in the nodes - but a bit of a blow that the lump was actually bigger than the scan had indicated, as Dr Ultrasound said he thought it had shrunk to only 1.5 cm. Having said that, this news didn't surprise me as I know ultrasound scans are not very accurate. Dr U had also said that my tumour was believed to be about 5cm at diagnosis – but Dr O had previously indicated it was more likely to be at least 6cm – and I am going with him on that as the Yukky Lump lay along the cup of my breast and even I could tell it was pretty big.

My musing was interrupted as Dr O started talking again ... perhaps he had read my mind ... “You know I am very pleased with your treatment ... things have gone very well. I know we cancelled your last chemo and I comfortable and confident that was the right thing to do. We are on track and I am now going to refer you for radiotherapy." “Four weeks ... three on the breast ... and one on the skin?” I butted in. He chuckled a little at my rude interuption ... I guess not all patients have the awareness and understanding of their care pathway like I do. “Yep, exactly!” he said nodding his head.

Now before you go, can I just take a look?” “Oh yes” I replied just a little too heartily and eagerly stripped and jumped onto the chaise. “Can you put your hand over your head?” and I obediently did as I was asked. “That’s great as you will need to be able to do that for radiotherapy.” He inspected my new, rather yellow and orangey, but rejuvanated breast and concluded “Ideal. It looks very good”. “I know” I said and smiled proudly as I admired it too.

Now I am aware that you are probably thinking ... she has spent months crapping on about how much she didn’t want surgery ... how much she loved her ample boobs ... and that she didn’t want some breast surgeon let loose on them. I know ... I know ... the only way I can explain is ...

Imagine you have a pair of old faithful dogs ... something hearty like a couple of labs or retrievers ... and then suddenly and sadly one dies. And whilst you are upset and are grieving, your well meaning friends and family suggest that you get a new doggy to replace your previous one ... to fill the emotional and physical gap. But you are adamant ... no, nothing will replace your old trusty companion. Then one day someone turns up at your house ... with a cute little woof woof ... and although you initially resist ... after a few days you have fallen for its charms and enjoy its company. It ain’t the same as your old pet ... but you start to warm to it ... it is new, novel and fun ... it has an endearing youthfulness and is sparky and alert. Yeah I know it is ironic ... but that’s how I feel about my new boob. OK it might be a bit swollen and discoloured at the moment but give it a few weeks, once it has resumed its usual tone, I think I will become quite fond of it ...

In fact I am seriously thinking of exhibiting at Crufts this year ... yep, my new puppies ... Pinky and Perky ...


  1. Paula - your comedy in the light of all this is brilliant! Very proud of you! Beci xx

  2. heheee! Pinky and Perky I love it. That reminded me of the first single I ever had - a Pinky & Perky song, I was only a toddler and and someone sat on it and broke it. :-(
    Don't let anyone sit on yours!!! :-)
    Looking forward to seeing you soon
    Debbie L

  3. Bakewell tarts no longer! Love it xx

  4. Pinky & Perky in show rosette! Loadsa love, Bubbles xxxxx


I love to hear from you ... even if it is just a 'hi'!