And Beyond…

Today is just a few days past the anniversary of the day I first found the lump (frozen pea) in my right boob.

Readers of the blog will know I have been pretty quiet since the end of my radiotherapy. I went to my first three month checks and was surprised that no-one said to me that I was Cancer free or whatever. So I waited for today – the day when I was due for a ‘new’ baseline mammogram and another consultation with the surgeon to follow.

Peter is away at a conference in Dunedin and I was home alone last night, and until Sunday evening. Despite being desperately tired, sleep was hard to come by. Maybe the build up of tension of the forthcoming day was affecting me more than I thought. I had imagined that I was pretty cool about it all. I have to admit that that thought of the surgically altered boob being squashed flat in the mammogram machine had about as much appeal as a plate of rotten eggs.

I had set the alarm early so that I didn’t have to rush but was wide awake before it went off. I eventually left home to do the hour’s drive with a bit of time up my sleeve as the weather was atrocious and I wanted a bit of leeway for unforeseen circumstances on the trip over the hill to Lower Hutt. There wasn’t much traffic and only a few minor rock falls on the road, so I made good time.

I crossed the threshold of the Radiology clinic with a bit of trepidation, sat down and buried my nose in my Codecracker puzzle book to take my mind off it. Then I was called in for the familiar mammogram routine again. The technician took all the familiar poses and then said that given my history she would do a couple more. “Nothing to worry about”, she said, “I can’t read these things the way the doctors do.” She went out to consult the Radiology Dr, and several minutes later she was back for more. “Nothing to worry about”, she assured me again. So more were done. She disappeared again, came back and told me that seeing I was here and lived so far away did I have time to stay for an MRI. “Nothing to worry about.” So I was led off to another room for the MRI. She pointed out the area of concern on the screen as she worked but I was in a brain fog. It all looked the same to me. Following that, I was finally allowed to don my clothing again, so that I could walk around the hall to see the surgeon, nearly half an hour late for my originally appointed time.

So, in to see Mr Dowle. X-ray images of my boobs were all over the screen when I walked in. With Mr Dowle there is no pussyfooting around. He got straight to the point. The good news is that my right boob is Cancer Free 🙂 Of some slight concern now is my left boob. There is a growth that was present in my 2011 mammogram that has grown bigger. He is pretty sure that is a fibroadenoma.

According to the Breast Clinic’s blurb, fibroadenomas are not considered a risk factor for breast cancer, and they don’t turn into cancer. In extraordinarily rare cases a cancer can arise next to a fibroadenoma and even rarer are cancers which develop in the cells of the fibroadenoma. BUT, they have to first make sure that, that is all it is. And how do they make that diagnosis. More biopsies!

I was so not prepared for that when I left home this morning. Mr Dowle’s Nurse went over to the Radiology clinic and organised an appointment to have the biopsy done at 3.30pm, so I had about three hours to have lunch and shop at the Westfield Mall. Shopping at the Mall is something pretty rare for the country girl these days and was the only bright factor of the day.

And even though the message from this session is so different from that first visit last year I feel, needlessly probably, almost as if if I am on that slippery slope again. I am definitely back to that ghastly week of waiting, waiting, waiting.

Next Thursday morning (5th), they will telephone me with the results, and on Saturday 7th I should be on the redeye to Brisbane followed by the bus to Toowoomba to visit Frith, Jason and the children.

9 thoughts on “And Beyond…

  1. Be strong Sylvia, all will be well. You will be receiving good news on thursday. It will be a positive day for us both, thats the day of my hand surgery finally after 11 months, and you will be told all is well. Then you will wing your way to see your family in Aussie. Take care and keep in touch my friend.

  2. Hi Sylvia,
    well you have been going through quite a big ordeal by yourself without Peter being around. You are a brave woman! I know when I went for my mammogram a few years ago I was rather nervous and a bit agitated just waiting for the results so I can understand what you went through just waiting for the results.
    Good to hear that you are catching up with Frith and Jason and kids, sounds like a good time to be with family and you will be in my thoughts on Thursday.
    I am heading off to Samoa to see Luke & Tania and the kids on Tues. 10th Sept. for a wedding, which I am looking forward to. Well I want to pass on
    this beautiful scripture verse that really encouraged me so I hope it does the same for you.
    ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
    by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
    requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends
    all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in
    Christ Jesus.
    Love Faye &Nev. Gates XX


    • Thank you, Faye. It’s wonderful to have such generous, caring and loving friends.
      I am coming up to Auckland tonight to spend the weekend with Simon, Keri and the boys. Peter decided last night that he didn’t want me home alone for the rest of the time he is away. Don’t know that I’ll be able to get to see you as my time will be dictated to by the routines of the boys and the fact that I’ll be reliant on Simon and Keri for transport.

    • It’s so that I can decide who is a genuine commenter and who is just posting spam, Faye. Since I started this blog I have deleted about 30 spammed comments, and that despite the fact that the spam filter on WordPress has filtered off 882 spam comments. They are usually ads telling me how to get my blog noticed more, by using their services of course.

  3. You can do this, Sylvia. You made it through last year’s stuff and you will make it through this too. Focus on going to Toowoomba and seeing the Ronan Gang. Definitely distract yourself with that puzzle book and anything else that does it for you. You are greatly loved and are surrounded by prayers.

    • Thanks, Cynthia. Its probably just a case of my emotions running riot over my intellect. It was just such a shock. At least the first time I went knowing there was a lump and that there would be a consequence but this time I had expected everything to be a metter of ticking the boxes and walking out the door Cancer Free. So crushing to have had another ‘incident’ to cloud my day.
      But Frith has just messaged and said she is taking me on a trip of the outlet stores on the Gold Coast in Aussie. Remember the ‘repressed shopper’ you took to Woodbury Common? Shopping always makes me happy even if I don’t buy anything.
      And thanks again for being such a wonderful friend, from so far away.

  4. Sylvia, Sorry to hear you had to face this alone, but I am sure everything will be fine and dandy. I think you are an absolutely amazing woman and your strength and resolve will get you through. Just know that I am thinking of you. Lots of love

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