Tuesday, October 17, 2006


N had an MRI on her spine two weeks ago. She got the result yesterday. The one thing with cancer or indeed any progressive illness is that the waiting never gets any easier. N's way is not to talk about it, but I can still always sense that beneath everything she is preoccupied with anticipating the results. Like me she won't commit to doing anything more than a few days ahead. It's as if we're holding our breath until we know whether or not it's safe to breath again.

Anyway the MRI result was good, the tumour hasn't grown, it hasn't shrunk either, but no growth is good as it would creep into the cavity between her pelvic bones and that would start to affect all manner of things. So she's celebrating by going off to London for a couple of days to meet two Spanish friends who are over for a short break.

I watched the second showing of the Trinny and Susannah programme on the woman who had had a mastectomy. I missed it last week as I was doing the show. I must admit I never suffered from the hiding myself away thing, certainly not in front of my family. I decided very early on to look at my wound/scar and to let my husband see it. I think I felt like I didn't want to have yet another thing to deal with, my plate already felt pretty full! But I don't like communal changing rooms, but then I didn't like them pre-cancer. I'd also really like a massage, but I'd have to get someone I could trust, and someone who doesn't freak at the thought of treating me, I've asked a few and they're always very wary, frightened that they might trigger something off again, not that I want the scarred area massaged, but my neck and back would be lovely.

Not sure about the T&S show, by all means make people look good, but stop playing at being shrinks while you're at it. That whole behind the screen thing is too voyeuristic, but then so is the whole of reality TV.

I think being "incomplete" has really made me so much more empathetic towards disfigurement. I can chuck a bra on and dress and to all intents and purpose still look normal. I can't imagine what it must take to live with a facial disfigurement, or some other physical disability. I think that's why I hated baldness so much, it marked me out from the tribe. I'm really quite shy, so blending is important to me. People like punks can choose not to blend, but I'm very much a camouflage girl. Being stared at is my idea of hell.


Blogger PI said...

Good news bout N and I hope she has a good break.
Like you I have reservations about T and S. They can be so un attractive, persona wise.
I can't think why anyone is reluctant to massage your back and shoulders. I'm sure places of excellence likd Bristol would advocate it.

3:18 pm  
Blogger CyberScribe said...

Did you get to watch another reality TV show Digging Deep on the BBC...
'Amanda and Andre are puzzled by Vicky and Mike Green's garden: it's a cluttered jungle of overgrown grass and paving slabs, but there are definitely signs of previous love and care. 'Something must have happened here to make them forget this place,' concludes Amanda. She is right: nearly three years of treatment for breast cancer had left Vicky unable to tend to the garden. She now feels well enough to look to the future, and is keen to reclaim the space.'

10:03 pm  
Blogger CyberScribe said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:03 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Oh I missed that - meant to watch it, but I was editing photos and my men were watching Celtic in the European Champions' League game.
I don't like the layout of that garden much, I know it's meant to be low maintenance, but it's all slabs, bit like an exercise yard, lol!
It's "pink October everything is breast cancer. Sometimes I think there's way too much pink, there are lots of other cancers, not sure why BC merits a whole month of attention.

When I was in treatment I met this poor woman whose husband was dying of pancreatic cancer, she said to me that I was lucky that mine could be chopped out, and she was right.

12:17 am  
Blogger blkbutterfly said...

i was on the MSN website today and i read an article about inflammatory breast cancer. even though you weren't diagnosed with that type, i thought of you. and then i come by your blog and you're talking about your masectomy (sp?)
i'm glad your friend's MRI result was good. something about reading of the decision to commiit more than a few days ahead really struck me.

4:20 am  
Blogger CyberScribe said...

My father-in-law has had 3 operations for mouth cancer. The 1st was 17 years ago when he had lymph nodes, salivary glands and part of his jawbone and 7 teeth removed.He now has a titanium jaw, thats worth some money :-) He had 70 staples down one side of his face and 50 down the other.That was a 10 hour op which nearly killed him. He had 2 subsequent operations, one 15 years ago and another 13 years ago.He still smokes, but doesn't drink as many straight whiskeys. Added to that he suffers from COPD . I reckon he's survived either to his fighting spirit or the mother-in-laws prayers ( I should say spells, most ma-in-laws are like witches aren't they)

Oh yeah, his kids have a nickname for him 'turkey-neck'... he lies low at Christmas:-)

10:54 am  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thank BLKB, yes just looking a few days ahead becomes a way of life, and it has it's advantages. Inflammatory Brast Cancer is usually very aggressive ansd is often combined with having the HER2
growth factor, which one on five women have -fortunately I was negative for it. It's the once where the new drug Herceptrin can help.

CS, your FIL sounds like quite a character. I'm sure they're going to find that individual DNA/genes play a huge part in survival. I've known women with early cancer and a good prognosis die, and others who've been told things look grim going on for years.

My FIL is a Church of scotland minister and he has a healing group praying for my wee heathen hide. I won't knock it as it's cracks in the pavement stuff ;)

12:38 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:24 pm  
Blogger PI said...

No don't knock because I'm another - pray-er ie!

3:34 pm  

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