Once again I play the waiting game. This time its waiting for the wounds to heal. The one where the sentinel node was taken is doing quite nicely but the other one where the larger excision was made is taking quite a bit longer to heal. The bruising has almost subsided but I can still see the tell tale sign that the radioactive die is still in my system. Just as well I am not travelling overseas for my Christmas holidays.
In recent days I have had a letter from the local DHB presenting me with an appointment to see the Radiotherapy Oncologist from Wellington, in Masterton on 9 January. I have to admit that the thought passed my mind that that larger wound is taking so long to heal it might not even have healed by the time I see the Oncologist! Again the waiting is one of the worst parts of this whole experience, making the little things seem to drag on so much longer. On Friday the Wellington DHB rang me up and offered me an appointment to see the same person in Wellington on 7 January. I told them that I had already had a letter from the Wairarapa DHB with an appointment for the 9th, which was met with a little embarrassment on their side. Silence ensued while they spoke with the Oncologist who said we should stick with the original appointment on 9 January. Just two days longer to wait than if I went to Wellington.
But Christmas is almost upon us and Simon (my son from Auckland), Keri, his wife and their three children, Cameron 7, Jamie 5 and Caleb 3 arrived on Thursday 20th to stay with us for about 2 weeks, or at least until after Maria’s wedding. The house is certainly a lot noisier. Last night at the dinner table next to Jamie, who is either eating or talking at about 100 decibels (or should I say, shouting rather than talking). Gentle reminders that I was right next to him seemed to have an effect for all of about 5 seconds before the decibels were again going through the roof.
Our scaredy cat, Macy is sinking into paranoia. She can’t cope. The slightest noise from any of the more recent inhabitants of the house has her running for safety either under our bed or under the duvet cover. As long as we can’t see her she doesn’t exist, she thinks. We have to coax her out to eat food. She doesn’t dare go to her normal eating spot in the kitchen. Too many noisy children out there. Buffo is more laid back and suffers the ministrations of the children with very little rancour. He’s had the odd swipe but always with closed paws. But yes, he retreats to our bedroom or outside when he’s had enough too.
Yesterday,we all piled into our cars and travelled to Levin for my Mother-In-Law’s 100th birthday. She had cards from the Queen, the Prime Minister, the local Member of Parliament, the local District Council, as well as many other friends and well wishers. There were 50 people there and while the great grandchildren had a lovely time getting to know other young people they have never known of before, but who were still their cousins, once removed. On the other hand my mother-in-law seemed somewhat overwhelmed by the occasion. She spoke with me on 4 occasions not really realising who I was. But no offence taken. There were quite a few reasonably close relatives who were in the same position, but it was an occasion that not many will have the pleasure of in their lifetimes.
The one good thing, for me, from that party was being able to face so many people, most of them relatives, admit that I had breast cancer, and talk about it without all the tears, so maybe that side of me is healing rather better than the physical.
At home with the children on Friday evening, I was feeling a bit tired, sat on one of our armchairs after dinner and surrendered to its comforting arms. Very soon I was joined by Caleb who wanted to snuggle on Grandma’s lap. Not normally a problem but as he wriggled, his little elbows were digging into my boobs, right on and near my wounds. I quickly grabbed his little arm and explained that Grandma has been in hospital and that men had had to cut me with knives. It’s a concept he is familiar with as he recently had a spell in the emergency room after badly gashing his leg after running through a glass door. He turned around and with his little finger pointed out on my boobs, saying “hurt there’, I nodded, “hurt there”, yes”, I said. “Hurt there, hurt there” and I agreed that yes it did. Then he looked up at me and said “I kiss it”. And proceeded to lay four little kisses across my sore breast.