‑ Breast Cancer Returns After Remission

I have been putting off writing this article for months now. However, I have finally plucked up the courage to do so. The reason being I did not wish to dishearten those of you who have suffered breast cancer. Other reasons are more emotionally complex. Uppermost, I feel inadequate concerning this subject at the present time. Those of you that have suffered from this awful condition know how one forever lives with the constant dread of its return...

My unexpected Christmas present for the year 2013 was delivered two weeks early... During my breast cancer clinic visit, I was informed there was a possibility my breast cancer had reared its ugly head again. Being so near Christmas, I was given several tests on the spot to confirm the Doctor's suspicions. I was then told I would not receive the results from these tests until the New Year! It turned out to be the worst Christmas of my life. When I eventually received a letter for an immediate doctor's appointment, I had the answer that I was expecting.

On having my breast cancer confirmed by a doctor at my local hospital, I was informed that having had some Radiotherapy with my first case of Cancer some ten years previous; it could not be given in the same area again. Therefore, it was a Mastectomy for me this time! The doctor had offered me an instant reconstruction after my mastectomy, which I accepted.

My family having been through this ordeal before roughly knew what to expect. That said they each coped with it in their different ways. Life can be so unfair sometimes; it was not easy seeing them suffering and worrying once again on my behalf. It has been such an emotional strain for everyone. Family and friends had been telling me for weeks how well I had been coping. Indeed, I did not even break down in tears ("serious denial here I now realize").

I stoically accepted each hospital appointment as they came through the door. The first time I had a breast cancer I had numerous blood tests and X-rays, so I knew what to expect this time. February, I went into the hospital for a Mastectomy. To my surprise, I was informed that they wanted me in and out of hospital within 24hrs in avoidance of infection.

To quote my doctor 'Hospitals are dangerous places.' I awoke after having had my mastectomy with drains hanging out of my side, and a bag inserted under the flap of skin that was previously my breast. A day and a half after my operation I was home (drains in situ). I now had a Becker implant; this little darling had to be topped up every three weeks until it reached a presentable size. Once achieved (still on-going), the Becker will be removed and replaced with a prosthetic breast, following that a 'nip and tuck' will be performed on the other breast to try to even-up the breasts.

When the district nurse removed my dressing, it took me a good half up to an hour before I could bring myself to look at my mastectomy scar. I am ashamed to admit on my first viewing of the scar all my resolve to be strong for everyone deserted me in an instant. I now realize I had been under the misconception that I had lain to rest the feeling of 'Why Me' years ago. However, this time it had returned with such a vengeance, it totally overwhelmed me and that night. I sobbed myself to sleep muffling the sounds with my pillow.

P.S.Guess what, I got an infection anyway, which delayed everything by three weeks. That is quite enough of the gory details...

You may wish to know how I am coping now! Well, it has been months since my Operation, and I have pulled myself together (somewhat). Everything I do is done very earnestly; it may be my last chance to do it; you see! I cannot escape my inner voice warning me of this possibility at every opportunity. In saying that I am aware, I cannot let this negativity revel in a life of its own, and I am determined that I will overcome this feeling.

This cancer has hit me harder than the previous one, my emotions are very raw but I still have a loving family and friends who need me to be strong. I try very hard to act normal and not let them see the pain I suffer both physically and mentally. My poor hubby is the only one to see the real me and not the 'Mrs; I am OK.' Without his loving care and attention, I would have folded ages ago. He gives me strength and understanding, even when I am being the 'B**** from Hell.' I love you so much my darling, thank you for being my rock. Words alone cannot fully express my love for you xxxx.